Tulum and Cancun, Mexico Travel: Destination Wedding Photographer

Tulum was one of my least favorite cities, but also had some of our craziest adventures. It’s a great place to stay for a night so you can get up early and beat the crowds out at the Coba Ruins. Other than that, I found it to be underwhelming. There is alot of new construction going on and we happened to book an Airbnb in the middle of it. It was such a cute place, but had horrific dirt roads leading to it. The beaches were ill-groomed and smelly because of the seaweed. The food is crazy expensive and I think it’s going to be more of a “boutique” experience when the housing construction is finished. My experience here is also likely tainted by the fact that our car got towed and we ended up in the water with a crocodile… more on that in a bit. It wasn’t all bad though!

tulum coba ruins mexico travel couple

Car Towed

The night I had planned to do a photo swap with our cute Airbnb host family, we came back from the beach only to find our car (along with 5 others) had been towed. It was a frustrating experience that included canceling my photoshoot (which I was the most peeved about), sitting for two hours in a police station, and paying American prices to get our car back (about $250 USD). We were the first ones to arrive and easily paid our ticket. Then the officers gave the guys a ride out to the impound lot and dropped them off. They waited 20 minutes for the owner to arrive to be told he only accepts cash! He at least was willing to give them a ride to an ATM and back. In this entire time, another 5 groups arrived. Each time they did, I felt so bad for them and kind of glad we weren’t alone! However, there wasn’t an officer there to take their payment and by the time our guys got back, they still were no closer to getting their car back. We at least were able to tell them what to expect and they were hopefully more prepared than we were.

tulum coba ruins mexico travel couple

Coba Ruins

I highly recommend getting up early and being at Coba when it opens. The entrance fee when we went was 75 pesos, about $4.30 USD! Cheapest entrance fee we had the entire trip. You can opt to walk the trails, rent a bike, or hire a guy to bike you out. We opted to rent our own bikes for 50 pesos each or about $3 USD. They only have a few bikes that are beach cruisers with the squishier seats so getting early let us have the pick of the litter! The ruins were really awesome. They are old and have seen a lot of wear from the elements and use, but it was spectacular to stand upon the structure and look down into the remains of an old civilization. Coba is one of the tallest ruins left in the Yucatan. On our bike ride, we rode to the main Coba ruin you can climb up on, and then around to all the different sites. Many have been restored, and many are still piles of rubble with trees growing out of each side.

tulum coba ruins mexico travel couple

tulum coba ruins mexico travel couple

Cenote Maniti and a Crocodile

We visited a beautiful Cenote in Tulum called Maniti (Manatee). It is a sinkhole filled with fresh groundwater. This particular cenote has an underground cave that takes you all the way out to the ocean. It is named Maniti because manatees would swim up and come hang out at the cenote! Because of this, there is a current in the cenote that isn’t found anywhere else we’ve been. The cenote is lined with mangroves and is shaped like a river instead of a simple pool. We rented flippers because getting up the ‘river’ in it was too hard without them. It is such a beautiful swim and I would mostly recommend it, as long as you don’t go all the way to the end!

cenote maniti mexico travel snorkel

You see, near the end of the cenote, there is a sign that says “Caution Crocodile Area”.  We had no warning about a crocodile area until seeing the sign, at which point I was adamant we needed to turn around and be done. We were getting ready to do just that when THIS happened. The crocodile swam right between Brannan and Ryan and was so close! I hope this is a ONCE in a LIFETIME experience. I was totally freaked out, hyperventilating, and was sure we were all going to die. Since we didn’t die, we can add it to a “really cool experience” list. But I don’t ever want to swim with a crocodile again!

View our Crocodile Encounter in Tulum here on Vimeo

Also, apparently the crocodile’s name is Paunchy Tom.

cenote maniti mexico travel snorkel

Cancun and surf lessons

My husband and his friend took surf lessons from Todd while we were in Cancun. They had such an amazing time and loved their experience. These lessons are completely hands on and Todd had two assistants come with him to help the guys get their boards out through the waves and they all mentored the guys. They also carried an extra chair out to the beach for us ladies to relax under the beach umbrella and enjoy drinks on. On our last day in town, we went back and rented surf boards so the guys could practice again. We would highly recommend 360 Surf School. When we come back, you can bet we’ll be trying out the SUP adventure and my husband will getting a refresher surf lesson. Well worth the money and a wonderful addition to our trip!

surf lessons 360 surf school cancun mexico travel

surf lessons 360 surf school cancun mexico travelsurf lessons 360 surf school cancun mexico travel

So long Mexico, hope to see you again soon!

cancun beach mexico travel landscape


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