When I was cruising with Carnival Cruise Line in the Western Caribbean, I got to experience one of the most AMAZING shore excursions in Mexico. After reviewing all of the fabulous shore excursion options, we decided to book the “VIP Exclusive Tulum & Cenote Swim With Mayan Lunch”. Since Michael was a history major in college, I knew we had to visit the Mayan Ruins on our trip, but deciding between the Tulum Ruins versus the Cozumel Ruins was tricky! After some research and talking to my family, we decided to visit the Mayan Temples of Tulum based on the great reviews! And boy was it the most PERFECT day for the four of us. I can’t thank Carnival enough for the most magical experience!!
MORNING: We debarked from the ship at noon once we got to the port in Cozumel, Mexico. After meeting with our tour guide and group, we hopped on a ferry for a 45-minute ride to Playa del Carmen and the Mainland. Next, we boarded an air-conditioned van for our day filled with a deep look into Mayan culture and cuisine!
Once we arrived at the majestic Temples of Tulum, we spent about two hours learning about Mayan history with our certified guide, Alen. We admired the main temples “El Castillo”, the Temple of the descendent god and the Temple of the Frescos. And then we went to the shore to get a glimpse of the most gorgeous beach!! I’m for sure coming back here for a swim next time I visit Tulum. I mean, how gorgeous is this view?!
After visiting the Mayan Temples, we hopped back on our bus to a private Mayan Village not open to the public. We learned about how modern-day Mayan descendants live today and got to cool off with a cenote swim. For those who don’t know (I didn’t know this either), a cenote is a huge natural pool in the jungle. To get to the cenote, we rode on a scenic kayak ride in the middle of an emerald green jungle.
The pictures don’t do this place justice. This cenote swim was seriously one of the most majestic experiences ever. Swimming in that water with the exotic flora backdrop was just so surreal and AMAZING! From here, we walked around the village and stopped to have a one-of-a-kind Mayan lunch. Our meal included chicken, local vegetables, salad, guacamole, rice, beans and coffee. For dessert, our hosts gave us a tasting of some of their favorite fruits from the village. The Mayans serve it with a mixture of sugar, salt and hot chili flakes that add a nice, sweet heat kick to an already delicious taste. I just want to say it was some of the freshest and most delicious pineapple I’ve ever had!!
It felt so nice to be connected to these families whom are part of this Mayan culture. There are a total of 13 families that live in this village. It was a grand adventure indeed and I can’t wait to come back to spend more time in Tulum one day!!
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