Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
cabanas line the white sand beaches near the Mayan ruins of Tulum
on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. >>>
<<< Thatched-roof palapa huts,
a beautiful seaside location, and a popular nude beach, all attract
an international crowd of tourists and travelers.
Crusoe-like accommodations, and camping spots on the beach near
Tulum, are simple and basic. More upscale cabanas offer beds,
mosquito netting and candles. >>>
<<< Fishing boats color the white sand
beaches along the southern coast of Quintana Roo. Local fisherman
still work the warm ocean waters fished by their early Maya ancestors.
above the Caribbean, the ancient fortress of Tulum was first
sighted by Spanish explorers in the early 1500's. Today the ruins
are one of the most popular Mayan tourist destinations in Mexico.
South of El Crucero, the crossroads on
highway 309, the cabanas of El Mirador, Santa Fe an åd
Don Armando's all flow together into an impromptu village, along
the oceanfront near the ruins of Tulum. Of the three, Don Armando's
offers the more comfortable accommodations with blankets, hammocks
and proper beds. Not surprisingly their slightly higher priced
cabanas fill up quickly.
R A V E L M E N U
A I N M E N U
I rented a small hammock and a basic cabana at Santa Fe for about
50 pesos a night. My private lodging featured a concrete floor,
wooden sticks and poles for walls, a thatched palm frond roof
and a slatted wooden door with a simple padlock. A few steps
away were some cold water communal showers and toilet stalls
which everyone staying at the Santa Fe shared. The beach at Tulum
is beautiful, just south of the rocky cliffs where the ruins
of Tulum overlook the Caribbean coast. There are numerous topless
women bathers on the beach and a number of au natural sun worshipers.
Although nude bathing is illeg Åal in Mexico it's usually
tolerated at Tulum.
The clusters of cabanas are within easy walking distance to the
popular Tulum ruins perched on the high cliff above the Caribbean.
It helps to get there early enough to avoid the mass of day trippers
who come by tour bus from Cancun.
At night the multitude of stars above the beach in Tulum fills
the sky with a tactile intensity that is thick with light. Above
the horizon a bright quarter moon rose up directly over the Caribbean,
as the neo-hippie percussionists pounded drums on the beach throughout
the night into the early hours of morning.
A number of obviously stoned people wander around the Tulum beach
cabanas where sixties-era dropouts often mingle with the younger
Rainbow people. The odor of marijuana wafts through the air as
reggae tapes blast away at Bar Marley, a Santa Fe palapa hangout
with a sandy floor.
Text and Photography
by Paul Picus. Copyright © 1996-2008 Paul Picus. All Rights
Copyright © 1996-2008
Gar Benedick, All Rights Reserved.