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Tulum Day 3

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Hailed a taxi and went to the Tulum ruins first thing this morning. 150 pesos. 85 pesos for entry. Word is you have to arrive before the tour buses start unloading people around 9:00 or 10:00. So I got there just as they opened at 8:00 and got to check them out with a handful of others. The ruins reminded me of Ostia Antica, Italy. Similar to churches, ruins all kind of look the same after a while. It was still interesting to see them though. They had various temples houses and other buildings, some still with decorative motifs intact.

The ruins overlook the ocean, making it a really beautiful historical site. Today, iguanas make the ruins their home. I probably saw about 20 to 25 iguanas sunning themselves on the ruins.

There are 5 iguanas in this photo

Tulum Beach

After spending about an hour and a half there I left and decided to walk towards Tulum Beach. I knew I wouldn’t be swimming with my toe, but it was holding up well during my walks so far so I went just to see the area. It was about a 20 to 25 minute walk south. When I got to Playa Maya, I went out to the shore. It didn’t take long to realize that was a bad idea. Trying to keep sand out of my bandage was impossible. I walked back to the road and hailed a taxi back to my Airbnb. 300 pesos. My Airbnb is conveniently located next to a sports complex with makes it easy to communicate with taxi drivers where to go.

Playa Maya

Taxis, entry fees, and many restaurants are all cash only. With the prices in Tulum much closer to American prices, I needed to exchange more money. Most of the reviews about the ATMs talked of fraud or not receiving their money. I went to a local bank and waited behind six others before being turned away because I didn’t have my passport. So instead I stopped by one of the touristy currency exchange places. It made more sense to give up some money with a lower exchange rate than to take unnecessary steps.

Next, I stopped at the ADO bus station to buy my ticket to Cancun tomorrow. The bus station was overwhelmed. People were everywhere. Just another sign that Tulum has grown too big too fast. I got my ticket to Cancun Centro for 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. From there I’ll take a taxi to the port where I’ll take a ferry to Isla Mujeres then finally another taxi to my last Airbnb.

Sanitation Problems

I didn’t find there to be much else to do in Tulum, and I wasn’t exactly motivated to explore further. As mentioned before, it has clearly grown too fast due to tourism. Everything in town caters to tourists, at tourist prices. Additionally, there are basic sanitation problems in Tulum. I routinely had to walk past “shit’s creek”, where raw sewage sat in the street. I had heard Tulum had sewage problems before I arrived. I guess I just didn’t expect it to be right out in the open, 1.5 blocks from the main drag.

Shit’s creek

Also, as is the case in every part of Mexico I’ve visited, toilet paper goes in trash can. This took quite a bit of getting used to at the beginning (and reversing it has proven tricky now back at home).

Now that I had more than a few pesos in my pocket I stopped in a highly rated place for some Al pastor tacos. I left pretty underwhelmed. Tulum is just too touristy for quality food on the main drag. Not wanting to have to walk anymore today, a picked up a burrito for dinner and went back to my Airbnb. I posted another update, caught up with some friends. Nina and I will both be in Cancun on Wednesday, but I’ll fly out before she arrives. We were hoping to meet up for lunch or dinner but it just isn’t going to work out. We agreed we’ll have to meet up for dinner somewhere else in the world 🙂

Daily Expenses

Amounts in Mexican Pesos

Total Spend$2308 (~$115.20 USD)
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