the first time i went to Mexico i was in high school. i went with my parents to playa del carmen; we stayed in a condo, on the beach, just outside of town. (this was back in the day when playa del carmen was chill and not the touristy disaster it is now.) this trip was kind of a disaster; it took me 12 hours to get sun poisoning and a heat rash. but it was still on these beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters.
we decided that since we were in the land of the mayans it would only be appropriate to check out the nearby ruins at tulum. we were not prepared --it was the middle of july and crazy hot. and truth be told i remember very little from the trip. what i do recall is that the sun was intense, there was no shade, we had no water, and the "ruins" looked like pile of rocks under grass. just another disaster.
two weeks ago, i was back in the land of the mayans; back in august we had planned a couples vacation with one of rcg's friends. right after landing in cancun, we went to tulum for two days -- and we decided to go back to the ruins. i was definitely worried, but it seemed silly not to go when we were staying 3 miles away. so we rented bikes (100 pesos a day) and rode to the ruins. and they were incredible. i think it helped that we had water, it was march and not july, and i was a little older and more appreciative of the history and awesomeness of the ruins.
the ruins at tulum are super interesting because tulum is the only mayan city on the sea. the ruins are built right on the cliff overlooking crystal clear turquoise waters.
"los mayans afirman que el camino de tulum, en el mar, se abrirá en algún momento y el mundo cambiará."
there are tons of iguanas that call the tulum ruins home. we even saw two fighting!
maybe the best part of the ruins at tulum: the white sand beach that sits below the castillo. there are stairs down to the beach so that you can swim where the mayans did (and so you can cool off from the intense sun).
it cost 57 pesos to enter. and worth every penny.