Coming up from Belize into Mexico was relatively easy. Took the boat from Caye Caulker, through San Pedro, and up to Chetumal, Mexico. After laying our bags down and having police dogs sniff them, then going through a backwards entry process, I was in Mexico.
Traveller's Tip: Have cash on you as you have to pay an exit cost when leaving Belize of about $18 USD and know this, because you cannot pay with card and they will try and extort as much out of you as possible.
I had to run across to the ATM and it was a hassle, and not knowing the exchange rate in Mexico, I took out a measly $50 USD, which cost me about $5 in a transaction fee. Anyways, lesson learned, I was in Mexico, heading up to see the Mayan Ruins in Tulum, couple days in Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Isla Mujeres!
Overlooking the Tulum Mayan Ruins site
A few hour bus ride and I arrived in Tulum which was much quieter, and smaller than I had envisioned in my head. Weather was rainy and that caused some humidity so I looked for a good hostel to shack up for a few days. Came across Hostel Sheik, on the corner of town and up a hundred meters from the main road, and met the owner as I entered and received a very warm welcome and I threw down some pesos for a few nights. A big palapa style thatched roof hostel with a nice patio at the entrance where everyone hangs out and swaps stories. Arriving in the afternoon, with the weather pretty miserable I walked around Tulum, bought a few souvenirs and the day was coming to a close. Was pleased to wake up to the sun glowing through the curtains and the clouds in the sky being only wispy white ones. A perfect day to check out the Tulum Mayan Ruins. The beach Tulum has to offer is famous as it is where they shoot the Sports Illustrated swim suit issue sometimes and of course Tulum Mayan Ruins overlooking them.
Mayan Ruins Tulum | Beach Tulum
Travellers Tip: If you have a video camera, hide it. They charge you to bring in a video camera and do not allow tripods. After Machu Picchu, you would expect Mayan Ruins, Inka Ruins, Aztec Ruins, all to be kind of inferior, and the reality is, Machu Picchu is one of a kind, Tulum Mayan Ruins are one of a kind. When you enter the path around the side and walk under the small stone entryway the whole area opens to this gorgeous green expanse of beauty with big rock ruins surrounding it. The whole area seems to glow and shine under the Mexican sun and it will actually lift your mood, and when you turn to the left you see the stunning shifting blue colours of the Caribbean and I began to smile. I felt like I was ripping off Mexico only paying 5 dollars to come enjoy this but they have done something amazing by keeping the price low so that there is no excuse for even the most budget traveller to come and enjoy it. When you walk up to the big Mayan Ruin structure over looking the water, you can descend the stairs and access Tulum Beach directly. A few scuba, snorkelling or fishing boats off in the distance bobbing in the calm water and everything around you makes for one incredible panorama view.
I exited and walked down the road away from the entrance and found a great little beach club, and some shade under an abandoned palapa to pull out my elastic bands and get a good sweat on. Tell me something that is better than a day like this? That view, while feeling the endorphins of a workout and a rinse off in the refreshing Caribbean is seriously hard to beat.