One of the best things about my life for the past couple years is that I’m seeing and doing things that I’ve wanted to see or do for a decade or more. These aren’t bucket list items per se (because I don’t have a bucket list), but they are places that I’ve thought would be awesome to see some day. Tulum is one of those places.
I first became aware of Tulum sometime in the early 2000s on rockclimbing.com. Someone had posted a photo of himself bouldering on the cliffs below the Tulum ruins, and it blew my mind. It combined several awesome things: 1) rock climbing, 2) a beautiful beach, and 3) history/ruins. I swore I would go there one day, and I did it last month as a day trip from Cozumel.
The ruins themselves aren’t that great. They’re neat, but both Chichen Itza and Uxmal are far more impressive. But the location. Man oh man, that location. It’s got to be one of the most spectacular settings I can imagine for any buildings, and I envy the Mayans that lived there. Because of the lighting when I was there (in the morning when the sun was at a less than ideal location for taking pictures), the photos below don’t do the place justice. Believe me when I say that it’s even more spectacular in person.
After visiting the ruins themselves, I walked a bit further down the coast to the amazing beach of Tulum. I’ve seen the Tulum beach rated as one of the top beaches in the world (e.g., #5 of 50 here and #9 here), and it’s definitely the best I saw in Mexico (including those of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel). It’s huge and uncrowded (at least when I was there), and the sand is powdery soft.
It was one of those days that made me think twice about leaving Mexico.