The town of Valladolid did not impress us much although others seem to like it. We found it lacking in good food and sadly, we ate Dominoes Pizza in our hotel TWO nights in a row (gasp). But it’s a great jumping off place for ruins.
First was Ek Balam. You can still climb up the long stairs with this one (Chichen Itza has stopped that) so many enjoy this. Jake and Charlotte went up and it was a haul. This was surprisingly the most expensive ruin we went to however still only a few dollars per person. It was nice and empty comparatively even in the afternoon.
The other major site near there of course is Chichen Itza, which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It is a big area of ruins and there are loads of vendors who set up around the entire complex selling all kinds of handicrafts and gems to take home! Somewhat negates the beauty of the place but it’s just what it is. We went really early and the vendors were just arriving too so we had about an hour before crowds started to come in (thank goodness we did).
It was enjoyable and neat to see but I can’t say it was our favorite ruin of them all.
The houses and some streets in Valladolid are pretty. We love the colors of houses here in Mexico. Everywhere you look there are bright colors and flowers and music.
There is also a great cenote there. Cenotes are basically sinkholes (a scary term when you own property in Florida) filled with usually clear water. Some are fully open and others completely enclosed. Lots of people like the cave ones underground with stalactites etc. but we prefer the half open ones as less daunting. The water is cold but clear and there are fish that nibble!
One last picture of the church in the town square. Pretty in the rain at night.
Tulum is another gem in Southern Mexico. Mayan ruins against a backdrop of turquoise ocean, cenotes to swim in, nearby inland ruins, and good food – what more could you want!
The ruins in Tulum are one of the few on the cliffs over the ocean. It is lovely and cool in the morning and before the cruise ship folks are ferried in so go as early as possible. Take water and sunscreen though.
A visit to the Coba ruins was also a fun day. It’s a large complex first settled in 50BC and spread over quite a few kilometers. You can walk, rent bikes or rent bike-tuk tuks with a driver. We opted for this last option given that two of us don’t manage to stay on bikes well! It was actually fun as our bike driver was Mayan and he chatted about current cultural situations in the area for indigenous peoples and share about foods and traditions etc.
We spent an amazing first week in Mexico at the Worldschooling Family Summit held in Puerto Morelos that is a neat little fishing town half an hour (and another world really) away from Cancun. There were about 100 people from all around the globe hanging out and learning from each other. Kids played and made new friends under watchful eyes of worldschool teens while parents talked travel and learning and also made friendships.
It was a great start to a few months in Mexico and we ended up with loads of new friends, many of whom we met up with again over the next months around the region. Hopefully we will meet some of them again at who knows where around the world.
Puerto Morelos is a fun little town. We stayed in the village side but had a car to drive the 10 minutes to the beach. We ended up going back there for the last week of our time in Mexico as we loved it so much. One evening while sitting in the little town square at an evening market, I looked around and realized that it was very similar to Gulfport, Florida, which we love back “home.” There is a used bookstore, great coffee shop, little playground on the square, amazing ice cream shops, beach, and loads of seafood restaurants with great ceviche and cold beer. All the things we love and filled with friendly people.