I don’t like cruise ships

After we left Playa del Carmen a few days ago, we spent two days in Tulum, a smallish town a bit off the coast, with nice beaches a short bike ride away. Tulum town itself is nothing too special, although we found quite some interesting looking local restaurants and taquerias off the main road, which itself is lined with tourist crap restaurants and souvenir shops.


Tulum is mostly famous for a Maya ruin that looks out over sea. We beat most of the crowds by arriving there early in the morning. It’s a small, but nice site to stroll around for a few hours.


In the afternoon, we took our bikes to Gran Cenote. Cenotes are deep freshwater pools that often connect to cave systems and the nice rock formations and crystal clear waters make for excellent swimming and snorkeling fun. The entry price of 10usd per person was a bit steep, but what can you do… It was beautiful, so I would recommend it.


We wanted to get a bit closer to sea and away from the crowds. From the descriptions online, Mahahual seemed to be such a place. Laidback Carribbean vibes, they said. Perhaps that was some years ago. I knew that there was a Cruise ship dock in Mahahual, so i should have known better. We arrived in the early afternoon and our Airbnb cabin was interesting. It looked like a ramshackle hut from the outside, but inside the owners put in a lot of attention for small details that were cool. We then went out to sea to finally see some of the marine life that is supposed to be abundant here. Instead, we were met by heaps of American tourists cruising around on Segways. Moreover, except around some restaurants, where they removed it, the beaches were lined with red seaweed that smelled like rotten eggs.



We were quite disappointed in the whole Mahahual experience, so we went to our cabin. Our cabin was nice, right? After the sun set, our cozy little cabin turned into a mosquito-infested swamp hut. Having both been through the Dengue fever experience before in Thailand and Cambodia, we generally respond to mosquitoes in the tropixtwith extreme paranoia. Our hell hut had a mosquito net, so we were safe! Wrong again. The little fuckers were smarter than us and managed to get in although we didn’t know how… 20 bites and 2 hours later they disappeared as quickly as they came, only to wake us up again the next morning.


Thankfully, this allowed us to take the first bus out of town and now we find ourselves in Bacalar. A small town on the edge of a beautiful blue lagoon. We have our own hammocks, kitchen and small pier to get in the water. It’s a good reminder that wherever you are, awesome things are always close by. You just have to look 🙂


Hasta luego.


Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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