We arrived under the cloak of darkness and did not know what to expect when the sun rose and unveiled the beautiful Akumal Bay. Our condo Iguana 5 is located on the point of the crescent at Akumal Bay. The front wall facing the bay is all glass, floor to ceiling and wall to wall. The day was overcast but that did not effect our view and it made it a great day to explore Tulum.
We had picked up a few items at the coner store and had breakfast at the Condo. It was our first major Mayan Ruin and I was excited. Everything is a seperate ticket. We needed four park entries, shuttle rides $28 not bad but we then hired an english speaking guide $40. and then a permit to take vidio $3.50. And now you know what is coming ....... the tulum experience PRICELESS. We really enjoyed the site and I know we would not have gotten much out of it with out the guide. He took his time explained the different areas, buildings and he knew about the Mayan people. After Tulum we walked the beach south of Tulum and saw an area referred to as hippie haven. A bunch of quaint little bungalos scattered along the beach. Enjoyed pumpkin empanadas for a late lunch at Zuma Que Fresca. A peaceful end to a great afternoon.
We decided to fill up with gas on the way back to the condo. They pump the gas for you in Mexico and I had heard you have to watch and be sure they clear the pump. I saw it clear and he put in $56 worth. As I gave him an american hundred, the other attendant comes over and is checking the air in my tires saying theyre low. I turn back around and now the guy is holding an american one dollar bill acting as if I gave him that. He wanted more money. I double checked my clip and had no more hundreds and so I knew I was being had. Meanwhile cars are backing up and I do not want to move my car until we figure this out. Finally he pulls out my hundred and asks for a dollar that would give me $45 change. That was not what he was saying at first but a good way for him to come clean. I gave him another dollar and he tried to only give me $35 change. Which I caught imediately and got my remaining $10 and then got the heck out of there. We were still tired from our previous long travel day and headed back to the condo for a relaxing evening of Backgammon and Mexican Bingo ( a little game we bought at a shop)
Day 3 came in a little brighter. We had a leisurely morning at the condo and then headed to Yal-Ku Lagoon for some snorkiling. It was a beautiful park with mostly nude bronze statues littered along the trails and rocks. It is an area where an underground river feeds into the ocean. $40 for all of us. We did find out when we left that there was another entrance to the Lagoon another 50 yards down the road that was about half the price. However you would have missed many of the statues.
We went to Lucys for shrimp and fish tacos with some wonderful homemade ice cream for dessert. We spent the afternoon on the beach in front of the Lol-Ha Beach Club. A few fishing boats floating near waiting to take travelers out to whatever. This area was even more peaceful than Isla Mujeras.
Day 4 came in even a little brighter as a tropical storm that had been in Belize was slowly moving out and taking some clouds with it. It was our last day in the area and we had to decide between Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve and Xcaret a Mexican Disneyland. We had a lot of conflicting info on Sian Kaan in regards to what it was, what you do and how much it costs. We chose the safe pick of Xcaret. It costs $100 PP and that included an all you could eat buffet, a few snack vouchers and the evening show. The park was overwhelming and confusing. It really took a long time to get our bearings and figure out how and what we wanted to do. They had an underground river to snorkle & float in but there were no fish to see. There was good snorkling in an area close to the ocean. They did have little animal exhibits scattered throughout the park but it was hard to find your way around. Some exhibits were worth seeing but a lot were not. We did enjoy their bird sanctuary. You could really get up close to different tropical birds and flamingos. The food was very good at the buffet and the evening show was informative and entertaining. But we felt our $500 could have been spent a little wiser (maybe a Contoy Island trip). Most of what we saw there you will see as you explore Mexico and then you would see the real deal.
Tune in tomorrow as we are off to explore Coba, we have a run in with the Police (not the band) and move to Valllodolid.