Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tulum and the Reserva de la Bioshere Sian Ka'an

We rented a car for a few days and revisited beautiful Tulum just south of us. Inhabited during the Post Classic Period AD 1200 - 1521, it was a major port town. Although the structures are modest in size compared to the big Mayan sites we've been to like Tikal, Chichen Itza and Copan, the setting is spectacular. The rest of the day we drove south along the coast towards Punta Allen, through the busy but very low key resort areas of the Mayan Riveria and then into the Reserva de la Biosfere Sian Ka'an (Where the sky begins).  In 1987 the U.N. classified it as a World Heritage Site. This whole penninsula contains 5000 sq km of jungle, marsh, mangroves and islands.
The road was pretty awful and we went very slow. Most of the land on the beach side is privately owned and fenced. We're not sure how that all works in a Reserva but eventually we found an entrance to the beach just after crossing the bridge at Poca Paila. It was worth the wait - an endless stretch of white sand and clear water. I can see why many young people come out here to camp. We picked up two of them on the way back and they were grateful to avoid many miles walking the hot road. They enjoyed Punta Allen and camping on the beach but were finally driven out by the sand fleas - too bad. Even Paradise has it's problems.
We are flying to Cuba on Tuesday 2/28 for a 9 day stay in Havana. After returning to Mexico we'll move up to Isla Mujeres and wait for a weather window for an overnight to Cuba's south west corner at Port San Antonio where we will check into the country. Then Scott Free will cruise the south coast of the island. So Cuba by land and by sea!
Scott silhouetted in one of the four entrances
to Tulum through the defensive wall.

These building do remind me of Greece.

The original cove which served as the trade port for nearby

Many iguanas roamed the ruins

Occasional greenery and flowers are a welcome respite
from the sun.

Hundreds of tourists were visiting the site with us.

The buildings have names based on their resemblance to
other places but they have stuck. This is called El Castillo
or The Castle.

There is access to the beach from the site and many people
go down and enjoy the water.

From Tulum we drove down the shore road towards Punta

The beach was long, white and perfect. And there were
almost no people.

It was heaven!

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