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Published: December 17th 2013
It's now 5pm.. we arrived an hour and a half ago from our tour of Tulum. Guys.. this "Tulum Tour" sounds a bit boring, I know, so I will break it down for y'all so you will keep it in mind for when you visit this area. Nina and I both agree that by far.. this tour was THE BEST activity E-V-E-R.
Let me rewind and start from this morning...Our morning started with breakfast at 645am because our tour guide was going to pick us up from our hotel at 730am, which he did.
This tour company is called, "ALLTOURNATIVE.. ECOARCHAELOGICAL ADVENTURES"... they specialize in eco-conscious tours of Mayan communities, ruins, and jungles. They cooperate with the indigenous Mayan people in making sure that the land and cenotés are respected. (Cenoté(pronounced SE-NO-TEH)s are subterranean rivers. From what I understand, the Yucatan Peninsula is flat, so there are no mountains... therefore, no rivers on the surface. But, there are these underground rivers called cenotés.. they have been there for ages. The cenotés have been the region's main source of drinking water. )<br style="color: font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height:
normal;" />Anyway, Alltournative is an awesome "alternative" to the several mainstream amusement parks in this region i.e. Xcaret, Xplor, Xel Ha, etc.Here's why...a)The group size is limited to 12 people.. in our case today, there were only 8 in our group, yay! (Also, luckily today, our tour guide Fabricio brought along a trainee so we had two tour guides!)b)There are no lines to stand in for the activities included with this tour.c)Very personable guides and very personalized service.Our tour started in the Mayan jungle, approximately a 20 minute drive after getting off the main highway(our guide is very funny, he started playing Guns n'Roses "Welcome to the Jungle" when we entered the jungle lol). After our van was parked, we walked to an area where lockers are located.. everyone in the group put on their bathing suits and stored their
belongings. We all walked to an area where there were open showers.. we were about to place ourselves in cenotés and showering is a requirement prior to the activity. After showering, we all took turns(one couple at a time) in rappelling down a limestone hole on the ground that leads into a cenoté, that was awesome.. the water in these underground rivers is crystal clear. We all took turns rappelling and falling in. Afterwards, 'swam in the cenoté about 100m to an opening leading up to the surface.
When we all got back to the surface, we were led to a cave where a Shaman(Mayan priest) was waiting for us. Everyone who visits and uses this land must go through a cleansing ritual. The priest offers a sacrifice to the Gods by burning tree sap in an urn. It was quite an experience, I loved every minute of it.
After the ritual, we were all led to the canopies of the trees.. ZIP-LINING!! One by one, we zipped down to another tower 600 ft away.. right after, climbed up another to go back where we came from. It was AWESOOOOOME!!!<br style="color: font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.727272033691406px; line-height:
normal;" />When we finished the zip-lining activity, it was time for another great activity.. off-roading/rock-crawling in a military-grade 4x4 truck/personnel carrier. It was like riding a bull, but one on crack lol. That ride was intense, I'm surprised the truck was still in one piece afterwards lol. We got off the truck and geared up again for more zip-lining, this time, a water landing! Soo much fun!
After, we were lead to Nohoch Ich.. from my understanding, only the longest subterranean river in the world, at 160 miles long, under the Yucatan peninsula. This place is very popular, world-renowned, and highly recognized by National Geographic... and we were going to be snorkeling in it! We did and I gotta say.. WOW. I mean, WOW. I've only seen this stuff on TV. It was SIMPLY BREATHTAKING, in EVERY sense of the word. I would come back to Cancun just to come here again, I'm serious.
We swam/snorkeled in this place for so long that when the flashlights were off, you could not see a thing. If you are claustrophobic, I would definitely not recommend this activity. Man, if only my GoPro's battery hadn't drained by the time I came
to this place.. dag gummit. If you've seen the movie, "Sanctum".. you'd have an idea of what we experienced. AMAZING. (Without the diving gear and people dying lol)
All the activities we've done so far were somewhat physically demanding so we all were hungry after the awesome snorkeling session. So afterwards, lunch was served. Inside a house in this jungle, we were offered a buffet of native and regional cuisine.. prepared and cooked by Mayan women who all live in the community. Jugo de tamarindo(tamarind juice), empanadas, a chicken dish, vegetable soup, and all the fixins.. was a fantastic treat indeed.
After lunch, we hiked the jungle about 20 minutes to where our van was parked. Along the way, we had to avoid some native trees and plants that are harmful to the skin, similar to a Poison Ivy. Before we got back to the van, we were offered one last treat before heading out to Tulum... margaritas and tequila!! Haha! This tour is AMAZING! By the way, people.. ALL that we've experienced, eaten, and drank so far cost us only $129 per person.. and we were not done yet, there is still a 30 minute ride to
Tulum Ruins, an ancient Mayan archaeological site where a Mayan city once stood. Back then, a city of commerce and politics(like Portland lol).
When we arrived in Tulum, Nina and I were awestruck.. we were walking around in a place where once upon an ancient time, the Mayans were walking around.. or offering human sacrifices lol.
The structures and the architecture of buildings were so interesting and awesome. By the way, this place(Tulum) is only one of 6000 archaeological sites in this region.. wild, ain't it? The sun was so hot, we decided to go down to the beach. The beach was amazing.. fine white sand, warm/bright blue water, and pounding surf.. I couldn't resist, I had to jump in and swim 😊
One thing in the ruins there was a lot of... iguanas! It seemed everywhere you turned, there was an iguana staring at you.. or two, or three, sometimes four!! lol
We left Tulum at around 345p and were dropped off at our hotel around 430p. First thing we did after arriving in our room.. took showers, of course! Afterwards, 'walked down to Bamboleo and feasted.. we were hungry hippos! Haha! After dinner, we
went back up to our room to rest ourselves a bit.. we were tired! What an awesome last day spent here in Riviera Maya, we're soo glad we decided to do this tour today.
At twilight, after napping, Nina and I walked over to La Creperie and had some dessert.. what a perfect ending to this day.
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