After a bit of long drive to Tulum, on a late evening, we were welcomed into our small, albeit private room by our AirBnB host. We were hungry and she pointed out to the one street where most of the places to eat were. We stepped out for a quick bite, “Tacos?” Taquerias aplenty, we found a crowded hole in the wall place, Antojitos la Chiapaneca.
We saw a mix of tourists and locals dining while plenty of waiters were running about serving to their needs. I waved my two fingers, mumbling “Un mesa para dos?” and we were promptly seated in a corner table with plastic chairs. The menu was small and the prices unbelievable. “7 pesos for a taco?” To be safe, we ordered just a couple of tacos (no cheese). They arrived quickly, we topped the tacos ourselves at the self serving condiments table with plenty of lemons, onion, coriander etc. “Wow!” We ended up ordering lot more by pointing to random taco options from the menu, it was hard to keep track of how many. Satisfied is an understatement.
After a sumptuous dinner, it was not easy to wake up early the next day. We had to check out too, so we showered, packed, had a quick bite and we set off to see the ruins. After parking the car in the outskirts of the site (to save on parking fees), we walked a long walk. There was a long line of eager tourists with pesos in hand to get their tickets, ready to venture into the ruins (a few with a guide).
Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans. Having both the coastal and land routes converge at Tulum, the Mayans used this site for trading. Protection is very important to the Mayans. With the Caribbean ocean protecting Tulum on one side and with a wall built on the other side, the city was its height between the 13th and 15th centuries. Unfortunately, the Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers results in high fatalities, eventually resulting in abandonment of the city.
Tulum is now flocked with tourists from all over the world. It is one of those very few archaeological sites where you’d want to bring your swimsuits, to splash into the Caribbean waters nearby.
Pyramid El Castillo (or The Castle) is a popular spot at this site, which is perched above a lovely cove. God of Winds, the Great Palace, Templo Dios del Viento, Temple of the Frescos are notable few that are scattered around here. Unfortunately, the sites do not have much information about the ruins other than their names and a short description. Either you read a book on these ruins or hire a guide if you really want to know the history. We decided to just do sightseeing.
Though it was sunny (and hot!), the clouds out of nowhere rolled in and it started to pour. We got wet but luckily the tree close to us provided some shelter. The winds picked up and we decided to go back. By the time we reached our car, we saw a few who had set up a make-shift juice bar. It wasn’t good but it was what we needed, an icy cold drink on this hot day.