Tulum Street Murals

Tulum is half resort town, half millennium hippie hangout. Whatever it is, it is not a typical Mexican city. Although some might want to believe that they are experiencing the ‘real’ Mexico just because they left the American style package deals of Cancun 131 kilometres up the coastline.

I did, however, find the street art in Tulum intriguing. Below are just a few ….image image image image image image

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And my personal fave …. The Dapper Pig.

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Four Mayan Cities in Four Days

Archaeological evidence indicates that numerous raised roadways (sacbe, sacbeob) connected ancient Mayan communities. Today, I used the highway and a rented car. Far easier and faster!

Chitzen Itza. The best known, but my least preferred of the ancient Mayan cities. Oh sure, the temple is in absolutely pristine condition, but with all the vendors lining the path and selling souvenirs, the site has the feeling of a shopping centre the day before Christmas.

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Tulum. A smaller city with smaller temples. What is most impressive about this site is its setting – fantastic views of the Caribbean Sea. This is easily the most accessible Mayan site for the tourists who flock to this coast.  There is even a white sand beach on site, should anyone feel the pain of withdrawal.

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Ek Balam. North of Valladolid, less known, less visited. Unlike the temples at Chitzen Itza and Tulum, a steep and sweaty climb to the top is still possible. The cool breeze is welcome!

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Cobà. Definitely my favourite site of the four. Visitors have the choice of walking, cycling or hiring a pedo-cab to visit the temple complexes. There are tree-lined paths providing a bit of shade and it is still possible to climb the stairs of the highest temple in the Yucatan for a great view of the region. A thick rope is provided for assurance.

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Ready or not … a visit to Chitzen Itza

Knowing that this ancient Mayan city is one of the main tours out of Cancun, I made a point of visiting early in the morning before the crowds. There were only a few cars and a single tour bus in the parking lot when I arrived. By the time I was ready to leave though, I had to negotiate my way through the gauntlet of vendors and oncoming umbrella wielding guides and tourists.

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Next post will feature photos of Chitzen Itza and other Mayan cities.

Parroquia Los Santos Reyes de Tizimín

Church of the Three Wise Kings is a typical colonial church, placed in the heart of towns and cities throughout Mexico. This one is located in Tizimín, a small town north of the highway that carries thousands of tour groups from Cancun to Chitzen Itza.

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Opening Day

There was definitely excitement in the air yesterday in the San Felipe and Rio Lagartos communities.

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And it it had more to do with a fun fair being in both the communities (check out the vintage foosball tables).

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No, this was serious business as one fisherman told me on the busy wharf.

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Much work was being done – preparing gear, checking engines, loading ice onto the boats – to the end of the day.

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Today is the opening day of the short lived, but lucrative, sea cucumber harvest. The boats left before sunrise this morning in groups of threes or fours.

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The catch is mostly for export to Asia, where the bland, tasteless and somewhat slippery creature is considered a delicacy.