31 March, 2011

Exploring from Cancun to Tulum

For years various members of the Company of Gentlemen have explored together on self-guided adventure tours. This year our destination was the east coast of the Yucatan. Tim Altman and myself, Gerry Green, flew out a few days earlier than Al Borchardt and Don Sime who had delaying commitments. (Click on image to enlarge. Back arrow to return.)

In keeping with our bare bones trip concept, our flight costs with Volaris were incredibly low ($37 each way), we stayed in private dormitory hostels throughout the trip, and used inexpensive buses between towns as well as motorbikes and bicyclesj to explore locally. However, we splurged on meals and drinks!

Tim and Gerry used Ciudad Cancun as a base and discovered many interesting destinations including laidback Isla Mujeres with it's striking turquoise waters of North Beach, Playa del Carmen with its upscale stores, restaurants and beautiful beaches covered with superfit Europeans, the fishing village of Puerto Morelos with its botanical gardens and jungle hiking trails including observation towers, swinging bridge and archeological ruins, as well as the high rise beach resorts of Cancun.

We picked up Al and Don at the Cancun airport, slept overnight at a comfortable hostel before catching the first class bus south to Tulum. Our first impression of the Posada Los Mapaches was not good, however once inside the gate of this bike, bed and breakfast hostel, we were at peace. The breakfasts were gourmet. Surprisingly we all took to the bicycles like ducks to water and used them for four days to explore everywhere. There were no hills!

One highlight was the impressively located Tulum archeological site on cliffs high above the turquoise surf of the Caribbean.

Another was swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Gran Cenote and into caves leading to another cenote (sink hole). The flow stone, stalactites and bats on wing added to the awesome experience.

We also peddled our bikes for tens of kilometers along a coastal road with dozens of resorts, restaurants and tourist services. The white sand beaches were awesome.

Besides that, we bicycled along dirt jungle trails to a wilderness beach. After a considerable walk along the beach we came across two bankrupt beach resorts that were abandoned, intriging places to discover and explore.

Eventually it was time to check out, return to the airport and fly home.

It had been days of high adventure for us senior Gentlemen, getting out of our comfort zones and sharing a bonding experience together. Totally different from a canned tour, we did it ourselves and savored the freedom of doing it our way!

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