Friday, September 15, 2006

Riviera Maya Journal 2 #6 - Exploring Pueblo Tulum

At the end of the Riviera Maya, about 80 south of CancĂșn, ancient ruins, boutique hotels and an art colony comprise the eclectic pueblo of Tulum.

In the city's archeological zone, Mayan palaces, temples and other civic buildings from 1300 A.D. overlook the sea from a breathtaking cliffside location. The 45-peso entry fee ($5) is a cheap price to pay for the privilege of swimming in the ocean directly below the pyramid El Castillo.

South along the coastline, small solar-powered hotels provide electricity to guests each night from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Using candles for illuminations, nearby restaurants serve fresh seafood and other local cuisine right on the beach. Air conditioning is provided by the perpetual ocean breeze.

A wide variety of outstanding Mexican folk art, clothing and beadwork is available in an intimate marketplace located near the Hotel Piedra Escondida.

Along the main street of Tulum, souvenir stands are interspersed with cantinas, convenience stores, mercados and pharmacias. This is where the people of Tulum work and live.

Take a walk off the main drag and explore the iglesias (churches), escuelas, (schools) and other community centers. CancĂșn is a great tourist experience, but the real Mexico is found in places like Tulum.
-Larry Widen
larry@funjet.com

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