TulumWelcome to paradise
Tulum is jungle, eternal tropical heat and endless turquoise sea. After living in this beach town for several months, I truly understand being daily blessed by the sun and surrounded by pure nature can help you to be more balanced and carefree in life.Tulum became famous for city dwellers in search for the escaped „down-to-earth-feeling“. It is this gypsy-lifestyle of sustainable accommodation, healthy food and spirituality that has made it a top destination for creatives, celebrities and dropouts worldwide.
Tulum centroThe Mexican side of the stylish beach destination
Tulum Pueblo and the boutique hotels along the „Zona Hotelera“ (the beach road of over 10km till the entrance to the Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka’an) are two very different worlds. The beach area is in hand of foreign gypsetters, the town still shows authentic Mexican life. Both worlds have its very own charme.
My recommendations: La Barracuda for super fresh fish. La Chiapaneca for the best authentic tacos in town.
Cenote divingA unique experience
Casa Cenote: for beginners (Discover Scuba Diving) and exam place for the Open Water certificate
Gran Cenote: for snokerling, for diving medium difficult, but beautiful light contrasts
Angelita: titled to be one of the 35 most spectacular places in the world, heavy layer of sulfur around 30m depth, but breathtakingly exciting and unforgettable to dive through this cloud into the absolute darkness. Difficult (deep dive – Advanced Open Water).
The Yucatán Peninsula is interfused with cenotes, subterranean flooded caves. There are about 6000 of these freshwater sinkholes, many of them still unexplored. There is no place in the world, where you will find a longer underwater river system. So it´s just the perfect place to try cavern diving. Most of the cenotes are only accessible by pick-ups, narrow paths through the thicket of the jungle. Average time to arrive at the sinkholes is often half an hour of drive. From above, the cenotes look like little pools and don´t give any indication of the world that opens up to you after descending.
an indescribable green-yellow play of lights in the „garden area“, rather simple (the only cenote, where the route has to be staked out with a rope by the guide )
Calavera: for the brave divers (you have to jump 3m down into this cenote to enter), rather difficult, strong halocline but fascinating stalactites and a mystical atmosphere.
The Yucatán PeninsulaGetting around
After visiting the ruins of Coba, the next attraction located in between Tulum and Merida is the small colonial town of Valladolid (one of Mexico´s many Pueblos Mágicos). In this quite town you can easily walk around, mainly interesting are the streets around the big square (Zocalo) on the opposite of the beautiful cathedral San Gervasio. If you look for swimming or snorkeling, you will find the cenotes Dzinup and Samula south of Valladolid (about 30 minutes by bike). Both cenotes are impressive and above all refreshing.
I was lucky to be there for Día de los Muertos. This Mexican holiday is not a mourning event, but rather a colourful festival where everyone comes together on the main square. The Mexicans celebrate the visit of the dead on this day. It’s a happy party with music, dancing and food. Not to forget the slightly unusual competition: they choose this night the most beautiful and most decorative altar.
The most famous cenote Ik Kil is only a few kilometers away from Chichén Itzá. The freshwater hole is at 17m depth. You descend over three floors enjoying a lush green vegetation.
Uxmal is one of the less visited ruin sites. Uxmal was largely rebuilt and well reconstructed. It´s a day trip from Merida. If you go on a guided tour, you can see a little more of the Puuc route as you will also visit the ruins of Kabah.
The capital of Yucatán unites the colourful Mexican life: Merida is a vibrant city with magnificent colonial buildings and pastel shining facades. Highlight: The art market on Sundays. In the early evening young and old people are dancing cheerfully to live music.