12 hours of Yucatan Maya, part 3: Tulum and Sian Ka’an

See also parts 1 and 2 of 12 Hours of Yucatan Maya.

Tulum is the typical tourist ghetto, catering mostly to the budget crowd but some boutique properties and a whole lot of yoga. It is about 120 km south of Cancun along a start-and-stop highway, bursts of speed alternating with large speed bumps. The Rapid Traveler reached the ruins at 4:18, last entry at 4:30 and was given a stern warning to be out by 5:00. He darted by strolling beach-loungers to survey the site.

The Tulum ruins boast a coastal perch that its inland competitors cannot match. But the beach brings a carnival of flesh that lends a comical air to the gray, windswept ruins. For coastal lovers, this is a must-see and counterpoint to Chichen Itza. Ek’ Balam, Coba and Muyil can be given a pass by all but the most devoted.

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Tulum is elegant, from a certain point of view

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This circus is only missing jugglers

Si’an Kaan Biosphere Reserve’s entry is at the end of the long coast strip of Tulum resorts. At the park gate the road turns to gravel and the mud-clothed Jeeps rolling out testifiy to the rough drive down to Punta Allen and the wider reserve. With the sun setting, The Rapid Traveler only had time to poke his nose into the Ben Ha Cenote near the park entrace. Looks stunning, and agencies have a wide variety of tours on offer, some involve floating (with life jacket) through the mangroves. Well worth getting off the beach for a day.

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Path to Ben Ha Cenote, Sian Ka’an

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Ben Ha Cenote, Sian Ka’an

Five Mayan ruins, a glimpse of Si’an Kaan and 642 km logged. A great Rapid Travel Chai day.

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