I had severe anxiety trying to decide which Mayan Ruin I wanted to tour on my Western Caribbean vacation. Both Belize and Mexico boast some of the most awe-striking. Do I make my choice based purely on beauty or vastness of the site or the rare opportunity to climb such delicate remains? Or do I decide based on the family-run tacqueria nearby that boasts the strongest margaritas in all of Mexico? Bingo.
When we arrived at Tulum, I spotted Frosty’s, the aforementioned heavy-handed-on-the-tequila joint, and I made a mental note of where I would be planting myself in a couple of hours. There was a short, scorching hot walk from there to the start of the ruins. Once we were herded through a five-foot wide tunnel it was as if the gates of heaven had opened. It was a vision of sporadic ruins amongst the spacious lush green grounds. My view was just a tad distorted by the sea of tourists trying to catch a glimpse. Like hundreds. No exaggeration. With that said, it was worth every minute.
We walked to each ruin, standing in front of it admiring its remnants. Sort of ironic when beauty comes in the form of something that is deteriorating. But, it was impressive enough to stand back, speechless in utter amazement. Most of the structures were barriered off, so we stood belly-up to the ropes like we were at the Louvre waiting for the Mona Lisa to speak to us.
After ogling the ruins, dozens of visitors ventured to the renowned Tulum beach. This is where the most stunning views are seen, with a crystal-clear blue ocean as a backdrop. There were about twenty, steep steps to the sandy beach below and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to descend down. Though the beach battles for one of the most beautiful I had ever dipped my toes in, it was quite small. We were all, more-than-willingly, crammed into our small “ocean” bubble. Nobody wanted to miss this once in a lifetime experience, including myself. We spent about fifteen minutes at the shores edge, wiggling our way through the other adventurists. Then, back up the…very…steep…stairs, which confirmed that I am really out of shape.
Before leaving, we made a pit stop at Frosty’s for dinner and a potent cocktail. There were no menus, the waiter simply recited a brief menu of Mexican staples. I opted for a steak Fajita taco, chips and one Margarita blended, which actually arrived on ice. After the first sip of my drink I looked over to my neighbor who was on his second. No words were necessary, it was more of a look of “How the heck could you possibly drink more than one of these”? I may just as well have had a straight shot of Tequila. Another diner informed us that in Mexico Tequila is cheaper than any of the mixers that are used and that is why they are excessive on the liquor. Either way, I was feeling tipsy after three sips (lightweight) and had to “sleep it off” on the bus ride back.