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Long Weekend on the Yucatan


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Back in February, a friend and I took a quick trip to Mexico. My friend had just received a passport, so we decided to take it for a spin. I had never been to Mexico before, and it seemed like a tourist-friendly, tourist-developed option. I wanted to go before it became too touristy. Too late for that, but now I know. Of course my last international trip had been to Zambia, where I was spoiled.


We flew into Cancun on the Yucatan in the early afternoon, and we made it to our hotel in Tulum in time for happy hour and an early dinner. The German man I sat next to on the plane was reading an article about the coronavirus while coughing into his open hands. Not exactly inspiring. Thankfully we've come a long way since then. I always wear a mask when I fly, because I get nose bleeds from the dry plane air, but I was glad I had developed that habit. Same with wiping down my immediate area with an isopropyl cleaning wipe.


We hired a car service to drive us the two hours south to Tulum. We stayed at a small, quiet boutique hotel in town called Tiki Tiki Tulum. They were clean and backed up to the jungle. We couldn't figure out how to work the a/c, so it was a bit warm and humid.


Tulum is divided into two areas: pueblo and playa. My research brought up that anything on the beach is run on a generator, and some places have even been built illegally. There is also a sewage problem. The beach was developed too quickly to be safe or environmentally friendly. If you're looking to book an eco resort on the beach: they are anything but. So we stayed in town, but removed from any of the places involved in partying. We were right next door to a yoga retreat center. It was quiet except for one night, when there was music going until 10pm. Not bad!


I wanted three things out of this trip: birds, cultural history, and tacos. I got all three.


Our first full day included birding in Muyil with a hired guide, then a free afternoon.


Day two was spent at the Tulum ruins.


Day three we went to cenotes and the Coba ruins.


And day four we returned to frozen New England.


Here is the iconic vista of Tulum. Every tourist takes this picture. I am no exception.




You can see the seaweed piling up on the beach. Tulum has a seaweed problem. But it's really a climate change problem. The warming Caribbean means the sargassum can grow and grow unchecked.

Edited by roseclaw
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