Tulum Pueblo (not to be confused with Tulum Playa) is considerably less than charming. The only reason we are here is for the day trips we have planned. It's cheaper, generally, to stay in Tulum Pueblo but the beach is a 20 minute bike or 10 minute colectivo ride away. We didn't come here for the beach crazy as it seems, plus we have had lots of days of clear blue water to enjoy already. There are a million tourists, travelers, backpackers, etc here and we are just one more drop in the bucket. The place is completely over run, over priced, and over rated, but like I said we are here for the day trips. The food in the small local places is dang good though, what's not to like about delicious 45¢ tacos? And the people who live here are nice too.
Day trip number one is to the ruins at Muyil and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve to float down Mayan carved canals. It's not easy to find clear instructions on how do take day trips from Tulum independently, the hotels seem to only know how to direct you to an expensive private taxi or a tour. We foundthis link from roamingaroundtheworld.com to be a huge help. We followed their advice about the bus and the trip worked out perfectly. We walked around some low key ruins for about an hour and were just about the only people there.
Follow this path behind the main temple and it leads you into the jungle of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.
Another small enterance fee is paid and the trail becomes a raised boardwalk through the forest.
The first stop is the observation tower. I'm not good at estimating heights, but the tower goes well above the tree canopy for a beautiful view of the jungle and lagoon. The tower was strudy and well constructed but I'll say it was a bit unnerving climbing up basically slightly inclined ladders to a thatch roof hut.
Continue along the path and it opens up to a dock where small boats wait to ferry passengers across the lagoon to the canals for about $35 per person. It's a steep price but it is sustainable tourism run by Mayan people who live here. More of that crystal water!
Arrivng at a small dock, the driver instructed us to leave our things in the boat and step into the canal which is crystal clear and has a gentle current. Water feature #4, canals dug by Mayans 1000 years ago. The 30 minute float cuts through whispering grasses and shady mangroves. Just a few small fish here and there and a very mellow flow.
Over too soon, another small dock appears where our shoes are waiting but no sign of anyone. The dock leads to another elevated Boardwalk that leads a long long way through hot grassy marsh lands. Our boat awaits, we jet across the lagoon and back to the Reserve. We traced our path back through the jungle, the ruins, and finally to the highway where we have lunch and coo over another stray kitten. We wait about 10 minutes on the side of the road for a Tulum bound colectivo. Back to the room for siesta and later hop on bikes to find yet another great meal.