The sun was hitting hard when we left Las Coloradas. After a stop in a cenote to get some refreshment, and after having met new travel friends, Les P’tits Pommés, (we hope meeting them again on the road) we finally arrive in the ruins of Chichén Itzá for the night. We cannot access the site. So we sleep on the parking lot of a hotel.
We wake up at dawn to be the first ones to enter the ruins. And it was a good idea as tourists and buses will arrive soon.
As it is situated between Valladolid and Mérida, Chichén Itzá is heavily visited, in particular by tourists who come to get some rest on the Caribbean coast. In the Yucatan peninsula, pyramids are usually near some water resources as cenotes, which was mandatory as far as there is no river in this area whereas the arid season can be tough.
This maya site was occupied by the Itza people, and its history can be situated between 600 and 1200 after JC. It might be one of the most important mayan site in all Mexico.
Now it is part of the 7 new wonders of the world.
So we enter the first on the site and enjoy the empty place and take some pictures with nobody on it. Just the sellers are everywhere, getting prepared for a new day of business.
Whereas groups of tourists arrive, we finish the visit and leave the ruins in direction of the coast and the sea.
We park on the parking lot between 2 resorts and enjoy the fresh air coming from the sea. One of the 2 hotels offers “all inclusive” trips. By curiosity we enter and try the trick: “we are traveling in our van, we do not have a lot of money, and it is our wedding anniversary (what?!), would you make a discount for us to enjoy the hotel and the restaurants during 1 day? (big charming smile)”
The receptionist seems to be understanding (well, that is what we thought. Mistake) and tells us that he will see what he can do for us. After 2 minutes, he comes back and proudly announce:
“we can give you access to the hotel, the restaurants and the drinks between 9am and 6pm for… 90$US. Per person. Without the alcoholic drinks.”
So 90$ per person for a breakfast and a small meal with a glass of water? We laugh. Maybe to loud. Well… Yes! and we leave to the van.
We will have a beer on the beach. And it will be perfect !
The day after, we wake up early to go to the Tulum ruins. We try to be in advance because we know that this site is the most visited archaeological place of the region. So we arrive for the opening.
But it is full! Tourists everywhere and the queue is already huge!
We don’t really understand. We try to enjoy the place and the views between the crowd.
After all, the site is gorgeous! Really different from the others: next to the sea, it seems to jump into the Caribbean sea. And the ruins mixed to the turquoise blue seem unreal!
Finally we do not stay a long time on the site… it is really hot and the crowd push us to the exit. We still do not understand how we missed the opening. In reality, we will understand 2 days after. Yes because now we are in the Quintana Roo state. And from Yucatan and Quinatana Roo there is 1 hour of difference: when it is 8 in Yucatan it is 9 in Tulum.
So here we are, we understand why the site of Tulum was full! We did not arrive at the opening hour. And beside that, we lived 4 days with the wrong time!
Sian Ka’an Reserve
After so many people, we want to be alone for a while. So Sian Ka’an reserve will be our next destination. South from Tulum, on the peninsula, we start driving on the gravel road. First, the big properties are on both sides and after a few kilometers we start seeing the sea and the laguna. On a bridge we even meet a small crocodile.
The day after, we enter a small trail even smaller than the others. It is getting tight. With mud and trees everywhere. And finally the trees stop us.
We take the big tools!
The reserve is gorgeous and the beach amazing. The only point is the fact that on the beach, the waves bring a lot of rubbish. So we had our lunch and started to collect some rubbish on the beach. But it is a drop in the ocean regarding what is still there and what will arrive…
We keep going on the coast to Mahahual. It is a small village on the Caribbean coast that looks like a post card: blue water and soft sand. We go to the campground. But the weather is turning to storm. The sea is rough. And not so blue anymore. When the wind ends, we start being bitten by some small flies that pass through the net…
After 2 nights we decide to leave. The rain is strong. Too bad, no snorkeling this time.
We go to Bacalar, our final mexican stop. It is windy but the rain has stopped. The laguna is not so smooth and not so blue either. We go to a balneario and meet Chloé et Fréd on a parking lot. A nice meeting as we appreciate on the road. They are doing a world trip and just arrived a few days ago from Cuba. We start talking, we share a beer and finally a pizza!
The day after, we enjoy the laguna before going to Chetumal, our sleeping-city before the boarder crossing of tomorrow. Fred and Chloé come with us as they go in the same direction. A small walk during the evening and we leave our friends…. but for sure we will meet in Paris!
We go to sleep on a parking lot under the monitoring of the police on the top of a small crane.
That will be our last night in Mexico. Tomorrow we start new adventures in Belize!