On our last full day in Mexico, we planned a private tour of Tulum-ancient Mayan ruins situated at the edge of the ocean and Tankah-a natural park with ziplining, canoing, cenotes, snorkeling, and an authentic Mayan lunch.
Our guide, Mundo, just so happened to have a background in Archeology and was very passionate about history. He seemed to really enjoy answering our questions about the Mayans. I had never realized that both the Vikings and the Chinese had discovered this ancient civilization before Christopher Columbus had. He discussed how the Mayans gave offerings to their gods, even voluntary human sacrifices.
We had a fun time learning a little of the history of the place and taking in the breathtaking views, just imagining the lives that have come and gone from here over thousands of years.
On our way out of Tulum, we also had a nice time checking out the market and enjoying coconut milk from a fresh machete-cut coconut.
Next up, Welcome to the jungle!
We drove into this beautiful tropical park and headed toward the zip lines. I am not a physical risk taker. But I do really enjoy zip-lining for some reason. But I don’t enjoy the initial panicky heart racing before I suck it up and do it. Once I’m done with the first line, I’m good to go!
We zip-lined across the lagoon a couple times and got a better view of the jungle, then canoed back across the lagoon. There was a fair amount of people from other groups there, but it was not overcrowded. They catered well to visitors, offering water and a hammock area to hang out.
Then we headed over to the cenote, which was basically open, not cave-like, with a deck for people to jump off of. There was also a high rock that people could dive off of. I decided to take the plunge, and it actually felt higher than it looked, but it was exhilarating!
I found this cenote to be a fun experience, but as cenotes go, it was not the one I would recommend.
We did a tour to Hidden Worlds back in 2009 and those were actual cenotes in caves, where you could swim around and see the stalagmites and stalactites…and zip-line down into the cenote. They also had a bike-line that you would take over the treetops of the jungle.
One neat thing I had never heard of, maybe because I’m not a fish person (I don’t care to eat most fish, nor do I find them super interesting unless they are amazingly colored), is that there are fish that will eat the dead skin off of your feet.
They offered a fish therapy treatment back at our resort spa for about $25, which my friends were planning on trying but ran out of time. Well, we ended up getting it for free because they were at the cenote too!
Have you ever had fish nibble at your feet? It tickled a bit. All in all, a neat experience to have but I would not pay $25 for it.
Next, it was lunch time and we were led to a covered pavilion among the jungle where local Mayan women had cooked an authentic Mayan meal. There was grilled chicken, refried beans, fresh fruit and some other stuff that I can’t remember because….guacamole…which I ate with fresh homemade tortillas. Of course, I had seconds.
After arriving back at the resort, we checked out the GoPro photos our guide had taken for us (they give you an SD card with all the photos on it). That was pretty amusing. Let’s just say, Mundo’s photography skills were all over the place.
Like every night, our concierge, Otto, booked our dinner reservation. This time, we tried Frida, Gran Velas’ upscale Mexican restaurant. As with every other meal, the presentation was amazing, the food was creative and yummy, and the staff was outstanding.
It was sad that this was our last evening before heading home. We had such a blast on this trip and enjoyed the resort so much that I am trying to convince my husband to come back with the kids.