Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mexico Diary - Tulum Beach and Ruins

Hello there, did you all have a great start of 2018? I'm back on my beloved island Mallorca by now enjoying the mild climate and being with my boyfriend.

Today I have a new post for you with some pics of Tulum. Lean back and make yourself comfortable, it's a long one ;-) 
Lately, everyone seems to be going to Tulum, especially bloggers. I see it all over Instagram - photos of its white beaches, mystical ruins and cute cafés. Since it was on our way to our next stop Valladolid we decided to spend a few days in Tulum too.
We arrived in the morning after a three-hour bus ride from Bacalar and Miguel quickly found a nice hotel where we would stay the next two nights. Our hotel Casa Rosa was right behind the bus station and we had a spacious, colorful room with a huge and comfy bed. It wasn't really expensive, we payed about 300 Pesos per night, 15 Euro more or less.
We spent the afternooon strolling through the town, eating and buying some souvenirs for our loved ones at home. Tulum is devided into two different parts. There is the original, more authentic town with all its shops, restaurants, affordable hostels and hotels and the playa, the beach strip, where you will find one luxury hotel next to the other mixed with hippie shops, hip cafés and restaurants and stylish people on bikes. Both parts are pretty laid-back which is why I loved Tulum so much.
Later that day we decided to explore the beach area a little. The girl working at the reception of our hotel was super nice and left us some bikes because the beach was about 5 kilometers away from the town. I loved the playa, its relaxed atmosphere, the shops with their beautiful boho clothes and the trendy food places in the middle of what felt like a jungle. However, I was a little disappointed by how touristy and limited the area was. You can't access the beach unless you stay in one of the expensive hotels or resorts - what a shame, especially for the locals. We spent only one hour in the beach area of Tulum and then headed back to our hotel to do some food shopping for the next day.

Our hotel, can you tell why it's called Casa Rosa?

The town of Tulum

Heading to the beach

The cute Matcha Mama café, one of many hip places in the beach area

On our second day, we decided to visit the famous Tulum Ruins. 
We got up early to avoid the tourist masses and took a 'collectivo' there, which is a shared van mostly used by locals and the ideal tranport for people traveling on a budget. We paid only 20 pesos for a 10 minute ride. The van dropped us off at the main street from where it was an easy walk to the entrance. We paid the 70 Pesos entrance fee and explored the ruins all morning long. The archaeologcial site was not the biggest one we visited in Mexico but its location was absolutely beautiful. The ruins are located right next to the paradisiac beach of Tulum so you have amazing sea views while traveling back in time and soaking in the Mayan culture.

After exploring the Mayan ruins for a few hours we needed some refreshment and found the perfect place for a nice bath. You can actually swim right next to the ruins, there is a public beach on the archaeological site but we found an even better spot. Only a five-minute walk further down that same beach was totally empty. There were only a handful of tourists and vendors - lucky us, we basically had the whole beach for ourselves. We spent the next few hours chilling in the sun, going for a swim, having lunch and just enjoying the white sand, the crystal clear water and the sounds of the palm trees in the wind. Awww, Tulum, you're so beautiful!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Mexico Diary - La Laguna de Bacalar

Happy new year, my dear readers! Can you believe 2017 is over already? It's been an incredible year! I got my bachelor degree, started a new job, moved from Germany to Spain and spent a month in Mexico. I hope 2018 will be an equally fabulous year!

Today you get to see some pics of Bacalar, also referred to as the 'Pueblo Mágico', a beautiful town in the Quintana Roo state where time seems to stand still.

Where to Stay and what to Do
We spent only one and a half days in Bacalar, however this was one of the most relaxing trips of our three-week vacation. We arrived late at night, had some dinner and went straight to our hotel called Hotel Jireh. The room we had was simple but the bed comfortable, plus the hotel was close to the bus station and they had a really nice outdoor area with a pool so all in all we were pretty satisfied with the hotel.
The next morning we got up early and went for a stroll through the little town. We went to see the lagoon of Bacalar and also went shopping at the local market where we got fresh fruit for our breakfast. We headed back to the hotel to eat a little something and then started our day trip.
We wanted to see the Cenote Azul, which is a deep well that connects to the lake of Bacalar through underground rivers. There are cenotes all over the Yucatán peninsula, a must see when you travel to Mexico. We started walking towards the Cenote Azul, however it was crazy hot that day and it was farther away than we thought so in the middle of the way we took a cab there. Once we arrived at the cenote we were a little disappointed because it's a really touristy place where you have to enter a big restaurant to get to the water. I guess we expected something more tranquil and secluded. The cenote is beautiful though, it looks like a big blue lagoon in the middle of the forest. The water is crystal clear, however the cenote is 90 meters deep so you can't really see much when swimming. We went snorkeling for a while and I was a little scared to be honest because that cenote is damn dark and you don't really know what's swimming down there.
It was fun but we didn't want to stay too long because we also wanted to see the famous Laguna de los Siete Colores in Bacalar, a huge lake with amazingly clear water in different shades of blue. So we walked to what the locals call a 'beach club', a public spot where you can go swim in the lagoon. This place truly deserves to be called paradise, it is such a peaceful natural wonder. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the warm freshwater and on the swings that were placed in the lagoon. After having some snacks and changing we took a cab back to the town of Bacalar where we found a romantic spot to watch the sun set over the lagoon.
Later that day we went for dinner at a beach restaurant called La Playita. Miguel had a tasty curry and I went for a delicious salad with goat cheese and tuna tartare with watermelon, a wonderful treat after having only Mexican food for a week, haha! I loved the romance of this restaurant. We were surrounded by trees and candles and enjoyed our meals listening to a relaxing mix of reggae and jazz music, the perfect ending of an adventurous day.

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