By Teresa Thuy

Travel to Tulum – Day 2: GRAN CENOTE & TULUM BEACH

Travel to Tulum – Day 2: GRAN CENOTE & TULUM BEACH

T U L U M – DAY 2 : G R A N  C E N O T E  &  T U L U M  B E A C H

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Welcome to our second day in Tulum! Marty and I were looking forward to a full day in the clearest waters! First stop was Gran Cenote. A cenote occurs when the ground sinks and exposes an underground cave. This cenote is one of thousands in the Yucatán Peninsula and is part of a network of underwater rivers and caves. Before we headed out to Gran Cenote, we made ourselves a smoothie!

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Each morning, we blended yogurt, frozen mixed berries, and a banana. If you go to the frozen section of San Francisco de Asis Mart, grab the large bag of frozen fruit that contains six one cup-portioned bags. Each bag was perfect for making smoothies for two. It provided us with plenty of energy for our 23 – 25 minute (2.5 miles) bike ride from our place, that was a few blocks south of Tulum town, to Gran Cenote!

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Welcome to Gran Cenote! It cost 150 pesos or about $7.50 USD/person for entry. Quick reminder of the conversion from my previous post: to convert pesos to USD, I multiplied the amount by $.05 to get the approximate USD amount.

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Here is a view of the cave from the top. We took a flight of stairs down to the deck, where you can rent snorkel gear for 60 pesos or about $3 USD, diving gear, and a locker. We recommend getting there in the morning to avoid the crowds.

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We explored, before we dove in!

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Love the bright colors everywhere!

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Made friends with this handsome guy!

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Sandals are from Old Navy, and they also come in other colors like black and blush.

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True turquoise waters

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We were ready to go in! The water temperature was cool, so we stayed moving.

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I was excited!! I swam with Marty, fish, and turtles… for almost two hours!

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Limestone walls

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Stood on a large rock. The floor of the Gran Cenote was almost 33 feet away.


We snorkeled to the other side, where it was shallow.

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Goodbye, Gran Cenote!

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The chorizo flavored Frit-os at the store inside the park caught my eye. They were tasty!

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We rode our bikes back to Tulum town and had lunch at Don Cafeto. Before we ordered our food, our server brought us chips with salsa and a bowl overflowing with spicy pickled jalapeños, carrots, and potatoes! Close friends and family know that I love pickles. I ate most of the pickled goodness, before our meal came out.

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More fish and shrimp ceviche!!

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Don Cafeto also had live music! One guy beat the bongo drum, while the other sang and played the keyboard. And, the main dish? More seafood, of course! Fish tacos and a margarita for me and skirt steak tacos and two micheladas for him! Our meal was about $32 USD with tip. Back on our bikes!

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Tulum Beach!! If you don’t mind the relaxation nor the exercise, I recommend getting around by bicycle! It is encouraged in Tulum. On the way to the beach, we saw small stone pillars with a letter per pillar along the sidewalk that read “Everybody rides bicycles in Tulum”. It took us roughly 20 – 25 minutes to arrive at this gorgeous sight. There were many rocks near the shore on this part of Tulum Beach. Beware: that usually means spiky sea urchins are living on them, so keep your distance.

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We rode our bikes back through the beach resort area and stopped at Maria del Mar Hotel. Two free hammocks?! A DJ spinning dance music? This was the spot. Two Miami Vice, please!

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Someone likes his hammock a lot.

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Not a worry in the world

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Clear waters and clear skies

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We discovered a vegan ice cream truck on our way back into Tulum town!

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All the ice cream is made to order, and you can even mix two flavors! My mango/pineapple and his peanut butter/banana combinations were great! The couple, who owned the shop, used coconut milk to make the ice cream, so it was free of dairy. It also gave the ice cream a slight taste of coconut for a more tropical twist! It cost 100 pesos for both.

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Their ride

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Fresh and handmade! The ice cream was worth the wait.

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We rode back home to wash up, pour ourselves a rum & coke, and get ready for dinner.

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Our taxi driver, who our Airbnb host recommended, suggested that we try El Camello, Jr. We noticed this place was always packed, whenever we rode our bikes past it! I understand the photo shows otherwise, since it was taken after our late dinner. 🙂

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Pico de gallo and beans for our chips!

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Marty added some of the pico de gallo into our guacamole. We had plenty of dips to choose from!

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Micheladas for two!

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He poured the Sol beers into our glasses of spices, tomato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce with a salted rim and stirring rod dipped in tamarind.

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I ordered the octopus in garlic, and he chose the steak. These hefty portions were just what we needed, after our active day!

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Happy baby!

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Lots of used napkins, barely sipped drink, an empty water bottle, and a clean plate? This is normal.

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Our dinner was about $24 USD, before tip. Thank you for a great dinner, El Camello, Jr.!

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We walked around, explored a few bars with live music, and discovered many bars with house music. We really liked this band. It had a violinist!

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Thank you for another fun day in Tulum, babe! It was filled with my favorites: you, ceviche, music, the beach, biking, and the list goes on! <3

Thank YOU for traveling to Tulum with me! Subscribe to my blog, and you will get notified, when I post our visit to the Mayan ruins and exploration of another gorgeous side of Tulum Beach from days 3 and 4!


Teresa Thuy

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