About an hour south of Playa, Tulum is a laid-back little town, as well as a (fairly nearby) beautiful cabaña-lined beach (with nice ruins adjacent to the beach as well). Tulum is much less built-up than Playa, and is a hangout for many more hippies. I spent 3 nights in town, and another 3 on the beachfront in my hammock. Very relaxing.
The beach at Tulum.
I always intended to stay at least 3 nights in Tulum. It sounded like the ideal place to unwind, and to have a real holiday before the hard stuff begins. But I never thought I'd be here 6 nights — almost an entire week! That's triple the time I've stayed almost anywhere else in Mexico so far. Beware the magic of Tulum: it will suck you in; and after it's done with you, it will leave you longing for more.
This place is arguably the best nighttime hangout in Tulum, and it's where I went, with various friends, for four nights in a row. Tonight was my final night there, and it was a big one. Live band, intense dancing, and the usual deal of 2-for-1 Cuba Libres until 11pm. The bar is also conveniently located across the road from The Weary Traveler.
After about 3 days of intermittent rain and constant cloud, the sun has returned in full force, and Tulum is paradise once more. As such, I did what semed like the only logical choice, and spent all day long relaxing and having a seriously chilled time on the beach.
Chris, Erica, Laura, and myself went to a big disco party that was happening on the beach tonight, at a place called the Mezzanine bar. Plenty of drinking, plenty of dancing, and plenty of good times. The Austrian guys and Wahi showed up as well.
This afternoon was a rainy, dreary affair. Instead of hanging out at my new beach retreat in the cold and the wet, I returned (as a "trespasser", for the first of many times) to The Weary Traveler, and hung out with Chris, Erica, Laura, and Emily (another Aussie, from Dubbo). Laura taught us all a crazy card game called Irish snap, which kept us drunk and occupied for quite some time.
These three folks were staying at The Weary Traveler in Tulum, while I was down on the beach at Mar Caribe. I met Chris first — on the beach, I think — and then the next day, I met Erica and Laura as well. The four of us ended up going out on the town for a few nights, and becoming real good friends.
Today I finally did what I've been meaning to do ever since I got to Tulum: I moved to the beach, and set up my hammock for sleeping in. I'm staying at a cabaña lodge called Mar Caribe; they also rent out hammock space for 50 pesos a night. This is the way to stay in Tulum.
These two Israeli guys were staying at The Weary Traveler. They're both — eh, you know! — real easy-going, laid-back guys. Actually, they're both rather stoned. Shay is also an accomplished juggler, who can do an impressive act with his throwing sticks. Nir wants to go to Italy to become a doctor. They've both done South America, and have plenty of good stories to tell about it.
Tonight will be remembered as the great feast night of Tulum. Kyden, Steve, and myself decided to make it a boys' cooking night, and we whisked up an authentic Mexican dinner of tamales, BBQ chicken, and guacamole that was extremely delicious, and that was also of ample quantity for about half the hostel to dig in and have a bite.
Kyden, Steve, and myself caught a taxi over to the Grande Cenote this afternoon. This is one of several cenotes (rock pools) in the area, that I learned are actually all joined together, through a vast, subterranean network of water tunnels. We hired some snorkels and fins at the cenote, and jumped in for a dazzling underwater adventure.