FIRST STOP -> PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Playa del Carmen was nice, but a lot more touristy than I expected… The beaches were flat and in some places the water was murky and full of rubbish.
We ate at La Patrona restaurant most nights as we really enjoyed the food. They do a really good vegetarian burrito and 2 for 1 cocktails!
After spending a few days in Playa, we decided to do a day trip to Cozumel Island, which was only a short ferry ride away. We rented a scooter and rode around the island all day. It was so beautiful! We found some great swimming and snorkeling spots in the south part of the island with some of the clearest water I have ever seen!
We went to Playa Palancar for lunch, which was a relaxing beach bar that overlooked the long stretch of calm ocean. We ordered coronas and nachos and sat there for hours, people watching.
NEXT STOP ->TULUM
Five days in Playa was enough for us, so we set off down to Tulum by ADO bus. Tulum was not what I was expecting. The town looked like a gas stop on the side of the highway. It didn’t look like much but this place had so much to offer. The one thing I disliked, was how spread out the place was. You could either stay by the beach (expensive and isolated) or in the town (cheap and near bars/shops). We stayed in the town as it was close to the supermarket, shops and restaurants. We hired 2 bikes for 3 days that only cost us $20AUD so we could get around easier.
We rode our bikes to the Grand Cenote early the next morning. It was so worth the visit! For those of you who don’t know, a cenote is a natural underground reservoir of water. Swimming through the caves in crystal clear water was just breathtaking. The only downfall is that you have to share it with everyone else. Make sure you go early if you visit here to try escape the crowds.
The next day, we visited the Tulum Ruins, which was an easy 8-kilometre ride along a bike path from where we were staying. The park was beautifully maintained and right on the beach which gave you some really awesome photos!
After a couple of quiet days of hanging at the beach and lazing around in our Airbnb apartment, we decided to hire a scooter and visit Akumal.
We got up super early to try make it there before sunrise. Unfortunately our scooter was really dodgey with no headlights and a broken speed odometer and we couldn’t see the huge trucks speeding passed us properly so we had to pull over until first light. We arrived in Akumal just after sunrise and dived into the slightly murky ocean.
Minutes later, turtles appeared all around us! It was the most amazing experience. We swam with them for over an hour, just watching them glide through the water, feeding on seaweed. It was such a great way to start the morning.
We left Akumal around 8:30am and headed to Dos Ojos Cenote that was only a short drive away. The cenote was divided into three pools, two main ones and one only accessible with a guide. The pools had super clear waters but the caves were a lot darker than the Grand Cenote. This place would be amazing for scuba diving as the caves go so far in.
By noon, the place had turned into a mosh pit of people and we found it hard to even find a place to swim! Again, remember to go here early to avoid the crowds.
Some places we ate at in Tulum
Raw love – delicious, vegan food right on the beach. Amazing acai bowls!
Poncho Villa – amazing nachos with a great view, slow service
Antojitas La Chiaponeca – 7 peso tacos, nothing fancy, all the locals ate there
Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar – live music, great vibe, amazing mojitos!