A couple of years back, my brother had a destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. A visit to a famous Mayan ruin, Chichen Itza, was planned so the two families can meet and get to know each other better. As amazing as Chichen Itza was, the best ruins (aside from Tikkal in Guatemala, which I’ll post about some other time) were near the ocean fronts in Tulum. The ocean on the east side is a gorgeous aqua (I love living near the Pacific since it’s less humid, but the water is so clear and warm on the other side), and to have that as the background to these amazing ruins just made the scenery so epic.
The highlight of the trip, though, was definitely Ik-Kil Cenote, which is a natural sinkhole where you can dive in and take a swim. It was kind of scary because a barricade of officers bearing huge rifles stop you to inspect your car on the way to the cenote, but the search was quick. I didn’t take a picture of that (I was pretty intimidated!), but I did take pics of the gorgeous sites:
Another good thing about Tulum ruins is that there’s not as many vendors as in Chichen Itza. I admit, though, I totally fell for a little kid trying to keep up with my stride to sell embroidered cloths to me at Chichen Itza, since he said in the cutest Spanish ever, “It’s to keep your tortillas warm, Miss!”… so, I bought a few from him because I’m such a sucker. 😉
My brother’s wedding was off-season, so airfare was reasonable. The all-inclusive resort where the wedding guests stayed at was pretty ridiculous price-wise and something I would never book for myself considering there’s plenty of cheaper hotels and restaurants around the area, but since he’s my only brother and all there was no way I was missing out. Tulum was super cheap in terms of lodging, but it was so uncomfortable that I would have probably just gone with a regular hotel had I known. Rental cars are also cheaper, and driving around in Mexico is the same as driving in the U.S. For history geeks like me, it’s a fun getaway to see the sites that pictures don’t do justice! This is one of my main motivations to go to Machu Picchu one day, so hopefully I can make the magic happen (after I pay off my debt and pay for trips upfront, of course).