Thursday, June 13, 2024

Hot Ruins and Cool Cenotes

 On the fourth day of Cruise-mas (ha ha, get it? πŸ˜„)...we went to Cozumel, Mexico, and took a tender to the mainland for our excursion to the ancient Mayan ruins at Tulum, followed by the most refreshing swims in two beautiful cenotes. I also got to use my Spanish with the locals, which was really fun. I've long felt a strong connection to this part of the world and the people there, and I'd really like to become fluent in Spanish instead of the passable semi-fluency that I've had for decades. This trip motivated me to get going on that!

The view of Cozumel from our balcony that morning.

Our excursion left early (6:45!), and we were gone for most of the day. These were some of the pretty views as we walked down the streets to our bus after taking the tender over to the mainland. 

These fruit bars were a good snack.

Before we went to see the ruins, we stopped in a gift shop, and (of course) I liked these colorful owls. 

I had been thinking about getting one after the ruins on our way back to the bus, but when that happened an hour or so later, the only thing I wanted from that shop was Gatorade because I was so hot. It was the best Gatorade I've ever had!

The ruins were really neat. I have to say, though, that I liked the other ruins site that I've been to in Mexico better. Why? There was hardly any shade here, it was hot and humid, you couldn't bring plastic water bottles in (thank goodness we had our reusable ones, but they didn't last long, and there were no water fountains), there were some areas that were inaccessible due to construction or repair work, and the tour guide was nice but not that informative. That all said, it was awesome to see these amazing structures. 

"El Castillo" (the castle)

Sam πŸ˜†

If I had lived here back then, I would have been a fisherman so that I could stay in or near the water all day. I don't know how I would have survived otherwise!

This cave was cool. Not literally cool, though, because it was so hot out. Ha ha.

Sam again πŸ˜†


I liked how these ruins were right by the coast and overlooked the sea.

This is one of my favorite pictures. And Sam finally smiled a tiny bit!

It would have been nice to go down to the and cool off our feet in the water, but alas, this stairwell was closed off, so the sea teased us with its cooling refreshment from afar.

This is what happens sometimes when my mom takes the pictures. πŸ˜‚

After we got the best Gatorades ever, we picked up our pre-ordered lunches to eat on the bus ride to the cenotes. The boys wanted to try coconut milk, so I got them each one. It wasn't what they thought, and Sam barely drank his, but John was a trooper and drank all of his.

I loved the cenotes! I'd wanted to swim in one for a long time, and my opportunity had finally arrived! The first cenote was in a sunken cave with stalactites hanging down. This was the entrance.
It was a small cenote and a pretty quick (but cool--in more ways than one!) swim.

After that, we walked through the woods to a larger, open-air cenote.
Selfies with my sons during the walk:

The swim in this cenote was the best swim of my life. The water was pure, clear, and refreshing.  The scenery was beautiful. I felt such peace there. It was my favorite part of the whole excursion and one of my favorite things I did on the cruise.  

The boys jumped in from high(ish) heights. John did a front flip and then a running back flip (which I posted a video of on Instagram). 


I snapped these pictures of Playa del Carmen on the way to the tender that took us back to the ship. 😍

I love the colors of the ocean here.

Dinner that night was Mexican-themed. I got the tortilla soup and the pulled pork enchilada.

It was one of the best enchiladas I've ever had. πŸ˜‹

A pretty towel swan awaited us in our room.

It was a great day of history and culture and the best swimming ever!

Tags: #royalcaribbean #westerncaribbeancruise #wonderoftheseas #tulum