Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tulum, Mexico - a great getaway

Fly fishing for bonefish

We ran across a fresh a snapper during our bird tour

The beachfront cabanas at Cesiak

Steve and Wendy at the Mayan ruins in Tulum

An empty beach south of Tulum

My partner, Wendy, and I aren't that much into the beachfront full-on "resort" scene so we searched for a place where we could enjoy the Caribbean coast on our own terms for a little spring vacation. Tulum, located 1.5 hours south of Cancun, was a great choice.

Tulum is an actual Mexican town with quite a few shops, a few decent restaurants, a well-stocked grocery store and plenty of accommodations -- either on the beach or in town.
Here's some video from our trip.

The beaches in Tulum were absolutely perfect -- lots of silky white sand along the coast, large shallow areas for swimming, and that gorgeous turquoise Caribbean water leading out to a large reef that extends for many miles up and down the coast. You could hang out in the more popular local beach, where pina coladas were close by, or search for a private spot farther down the coast, where we didn't see hardly anyone.

It was a very relaxed scene. Some women went topless. In the more remote beaches, it was definitely clothing optional.

We chose to stay at Posada Yum Kin, a hotel in Tulum proper, for the first 4 nights of our stay ($70/night U.S.). It was a good home base with a kitchenette. That way we didn't have to eat out for every meal.

In the second half of our trip, we stayed at Centro Ecologico Sian Ka'an (cesiak) ($80/night U.S.), a beautiful spot less than an hour from Tulum, at the gateway to the 1.3-million-acre Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Cesiak had these cool, beachfront cabana-style huts with well-ventilated canvas wall tents inside to keep out the bugs and rain, if an issue.

We kept the hatches wide open and slept amid the sound of big wind, crashing waves and bird song. I sure miss that background aura already!

We did bird-watching tours, snorkeling, fly fishing, R&R on the beach, jogging on the beach and several Mayan ruins. We wanted to go sea kayaking to observe wild pink flamingos, but that didn't work out.

Wendy had a lot of frequent flier miles logged with Alaska Airlines, so most of our plane fare was taken care of. Alaska flies to Cancun from Seattle or L.A., a 5-hour flight from either location. That seemed pretty quick and easy to me.

Bon voyage!
-- SS