Topes y Cenotes - Tulum, Mexico Part 9 - Beach at the ruins

The beach that was located below the guard tower of the Mayan ruins was so beautiful that it deserved its own post.  And even though I showed you a sneak peak of it in the last post, it's worth seeing again.  It was one of my favorite parts of our trips.

You're walking along a path, up a slight hill, and there's jungle all around you so although you welcome the shade, it's really muggy.  You see light up ahead and you can start to hear the ocean.  And then all of a sudden you crest the hill and come out of the trees and you see this.

Totally breathtaking, and this picture absolutely does not do it justice. I will probably say that a million times in these posts, if I haven't already.

The beach itself is actually relatively small, and was already fairly filled with people considering that it was still early.  By the time we got to this point, we were so hot and so thirsty that we were literally shaking with excitement about the prospect of getting to swim in that beautiful blue ocean.

The stairs - which don't look so bad in the picture above - were some of the steepest, scariest stairs I have ever encountered.  Only in Mexico.... 

I can't even imagine what this place is like later in the day when all of the tourist buses hit it.  As I mentioned earlier, we were there fairly early because we wanted to beat the huge crowds that arrive around 10 a.m. from Cancun.  There were only a handful of people on the beach, but it was so small that if there were another 30 or people there, there wouldn't be room on the beach to put your stuff.  It was teeny tiny.

My splotchy, overheated face.

But we didn't mind.  We were in awe.

It was awesome to just bob along in the water and look at the coastline.  We made jokes to each other about the poor suckers who didn't bring their swimsuits and thus had to seethe with jealousy while watching us from above.  Have I mentioned how hot it was there?  It was the first time in my life that I have completely sweated through a shirt.  I HATE sweating.  It's the reason that I exercise at home, because I like to wear nothing more than a sports bra so that any sweat I might produce dries quickly.  If I was that sweaty at the ruins - and I am not a generally sweaty person - then I can only imagine what other people felt like.

I could have stayed in that water all day.  The water was so warm and I loved the setting.  But we were parched.  Even though I knew in advance that it would be hot and that we needed to pack bottles of water, we only packed two.  DH was dehydrated already from his illness so he chugged those two bottles within the first 30 minutes, and I only took about two sips so that I could let him have it.

That meant that by the time we were dried off from swimming and walking up those ridiculously steep and scary stairs, I was weak with heat exhaustion.  I was dizzy and so thirsty that I thought I was going to throw up.  We high-tailed it out of there, made the eight-tenths of a kilometer walk (I just love that I think about things in both miles and kilometers now - I feel so "wordly") back to parking lot and shopping area and decided that we were going to suck it up and buy an over-priced bottle of water at the gift shop.  I had heard that they were ridiculously overpriced, and maybe they were if you paid US dollars, but we had pesos and got a medium sized bottle of water for $15 pesos, which is approximately $1.19.  Super cheap for a tourist in our minds, since we're used to paying $3 or more at at theme park for a small bottle of water.

But, just know that there is NO WHERE to buy water in or near the ruins.  You have to walk back to the shopping area and once you leave the ruins, you can't get back in.  So, buy or bring PLENTY of water before you pay your entrance fee or you will seriously regret it like we did.

I will end this post with a story, and one of my favorite pictures from the week.

When we were walking through the shopping area, a man holding an iguana saw me holding my camera and walked up to.  He basically just handed me the iguana, assuring me that it wouldn't bite.  I was so confused.  Then he grabbed my camera and offered to take our picture.  Ummm.. ok, but this feels like a scam. Or perhaps like my camera was just stolen.  Oh well, I do have his iguana after all.

So, as expected the man who now possessed our camera posed us next to each other, held up my camera, and said, "I take your picture for $5 dolla."  I let out a "Ha!" and said, "Noo...." And he took the picture.

"$5 dolla." He said. "I'll give you 2 dollars," I said.  "OK.. four dolla," he said, while taking a second picture.  I tightened my grip on the iguana and said "2 dollars."  I flashed him a pretty smile and grabbed my camera as he took back his iguana.  I pulled 2 ones out of my pocket* and thanked him profusely.  He persisted for a moment and then took his 2 dollars and left.

This picture was SOOOOO worth 2 dollars.  I look GREAT with an iguana, don't you think???

* A New Hartman Travelers tip: 
In touristy places, I highly recommend carrying only small bills and putting them in your pocket separately.  Do you know what I mean?  Basically, if you're taking ten one dollar bills, fold each bill in half or into quarters or however you want to do it, and then place them in your pocket loosely.  This way, when you're trying to negotiate a price, you're not pulling out a wad of money.  If you do that, you've just lost the negotiation, because now they know how much you have.  When I was paying the iguana man, I pulled out one loose bill and gave it to him, and then acted like I was digging around in my pocket for the second one.  It was super wrinkled and I think he was convinced that was all that I had.  It made it really easy to get rid of him without either of us having to get nasty.


Tulum said...

Great post of Tulum! Tulum is a gorgoeus place on earth. Thanx for sharing with us!

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