I took a cab for 70 pesos from the town of Tulum to the Zona Arquelogica de Tulum, my cab driver Antonio was very nice and he made me laugh. I was a little confused when I got out of the cab on which way to go in order to get to the entrance. It was like walking into a snow globe of tourist distractions, everyone trying to sell something. I walked a few hundred feet through this little plaza area with bogus restaurants that reminded me too much of America; and men covered in body paint and feathered headdresses standing in the shade looking incredibly bored. After about a half a mile I made it to the entrance where I paid 64 pesos for a pass and was on my way.
+++ life travel
There were many, many people. I wouldn’t recommend paying for a tour, honestly there are so many little tour groups slowly traversing the area that I had trouble escaping the voices of the guides. For a few minutes in the beginning of my walk I listened to one of the guides– I could have easily joined the group without anyone knowing otherwise; but I became enthralled with a large Iguana and felt listening to this man’s chatter was too distracting, so I walked as far away from the groups as possible.
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It is a mesmerizing area, especially once you make it to the cliffs and see where the vibrant aquamarine water meets the beach just below; but, at some point it is hard to tell exactly what portions of the ruins are ancient Mayan structures. For the most part you can tell the difference, but there were some points where I questioned was this put here for the tourists benefit? And what a shame, but I’m not an archeologist, so perhaps the additions were necessary to allow people to come and see the place while also ensuring its’ future.
I was incredibly overwhelmed by the masses of people, the sounds of their cameras going off, and the waving of their selfie sticks, and I hate to say it, but I wished some form of silence was required. I hope that if I were not alone during my experience that I would hold the same view. All the talking about what you “think” went on in these specific structures, or how you would have used them if you were an ancient Mayan, is pointless.
Finally I found a modern stone bench (made to look ancient) beneath the perfect little tree overlooking another mass of people running around on the beach; and I stayed there for what seemed like hours reading a book. I was very happy there and I met several fearless Iguanas and called them my poquito amigos, even though they were giant.