Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico
Tulum is a town in two parts. The single street that runs parallel to the ocean is packed with exclusive boutique hotels, boutique shops, and boutique tacos. These hotels and resorts sit along a straight stretch of still, quiet, pristine, aqua marine water and super fine, white sand with their backs turned to the street. These places offer plush accommodations, private beach access, and peaceful dwellings for those looking to get away from the world. The inner part of town is a short ways away from the beach but a fun and easy bike ride. The vibe is more lively and residential. It’s more social and diverse. No matter where you stay Tulum is small and easy to explore.
Beaches, cenotes, and the famous Tulum ruins are all a short bike ride away from each other. Tulum is very bike friendly with wide paths and cheap rentals, taking away the stress of traffic and figuring out public transportation. Tulum is simple-fish tacos, cold beer, and perfect, postcard, swimmable beaches.
Cenotes in the Yucatan are like stars in the sky. There are over 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan alone, many of which remain unexplored. A cenote is a large bedrock of limestone that has collapsed into a sinkhole. This collapse often exposes underground caves with swimmable pools of water inside of shallow caverns. The crystal clear waters that spring from deep within the earth sparkles with tones of saturated blues and emerald green. The water sits still and calm, like a sheet of thin glass.
A handful of the most famous and stunning cenotes can be found scattered around Tulum. Some cost an arm and a leg to get into, some are packed with people, many are small, special, and can be had all to yourself, and some may take a bit more effort than others to arrive to but there is no shortage to choose from.
The Mayan ruins located within the jungle of the Tulum National Park lends this beach town some depth with a look at the regions fascinating history and culture. Tulum was built as a walled city by Mayans in the 13th century and eventually abandoned with the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. A few crumbling structures of a once strong civilization remain and remind us of what once was and what humans are capable of- both building intelligent, astonishing societies and also destroying them with greed for power. The ruins are easily accessible and packed with visitors. The ruins hover over a cliff’s edge with sweeping ocean views. From the park, there is also access to a striking swimming beach surround by lush green jungle.