Alex and I flew into Cancun, picked up our car and headed towards playa del Carmen. As soon as we felt that warm air and smelt that ocean breeze I knew I couldn’t head inland for a while so we ditched our whole plan of travelling from Playa del Carmen to Mexico City and decided to book two weeks in the sleepy local town of Tulum. We began our trip with our pre-booked accommodation in Playa del Carmen which although beautiful is marketed at tourists and is a bit too glitzy for my liking but I wasn’t complaining about the mall right next door to our hotel.
The next day we jumped in our tiny i10 car towards Chichen Itza, all started out well but we definitely ran into a couple of obstacles along the way. First problem was we thought we would see somewhere along the road to stop for breakfast but after driving around an hour and half we kinda realised there was nothing! Second obstacle was when we arrived at the toll booth (which we later discovered can be totally avoided by planning your trip better) and we were asked to give them the equivalent of $20 aud when we realised we had no Mexican pesos! Woops! We were fortunately able to get just enough cash from a Chichen Itza ticket desk with a provided lunch if we paid on card…phew! Once we were up and going again we headed towards a hotel called “the lodge at Chichen Itza” where we could pick up our tickets and enter the ruins through there. Chichen Itza has been named one of the seven new world wonders and it’s no wonder why. It’s a fantastically preserved ruin that really displays the workmanship of the Mayan people and has a lot of information in English as well.
We then decided that we had to find a way to get out of the unbearable heat and we followed signs to a local Cenote, Ik Kil. The cenotes are natural sinkholes of collapsed limestone rock exposing underground water. The Mayan cultures used these sinkholes for potable water and built their cities around them, they also believed that they were the gateway to the afterlife. Ik Kil cenote has a gorgeous blue colour and is quite deep, although not the cheapest cenote in the Yucutan peninsula it is very well looked after and well worth it after a hot day wandering around the ruins.
After a beautiful day we headed back along the toll-free road which landed us in Tulum (the reason we decided to stay here) and we fell in love. Tulum has some of the most beautiful beaches, lots of nearby cenotes and some of the best hotels and restaurants that aren’t over commercialised. We stumbled into the overly cool restaurant of Gitano and had some incredible Mexican fusion food and delicious hand-crafted cocktails.