A major birthday plus miles to redeem with the airlines equals trip to Mexico. It was a wonderful.
We rented a car in Cancun (wooo!) from a friendly car rental place. The car key came with a bottle opener thing. That's handy for the cervazas! About 100km south of Cancun (or about 1.5/2 hours with traffic) is the town of Tulum. I think the population is around 60 thousand and was at one point in history a major Mayan city. The town is a few miles from the ocean and is on the edge of a large biosphere, which is apparently what they call a protected national forest - but I agree that biosphere sounds much cooler. We called it the jungle.
To get to the beach area, you go to Tulum and take a left. You'll pass the fire station and learn that the Spainish word for firemen is BOMBEROS! You'll exclaim that every time you go past.
The road that runs down the coast is narrow and the jungle is fiercely trying to take it over. Also, there are speed bumps everywhere including particular nasty ones that look like metal turtles. In Spanish, speed bumps are TOPES! and there are cute little signs announcing them that look like either breasts or Mickey Mouse ears. The signs are cute. The topes on the other hand are a pain in the ass.
We stayed at this little eco-hotel called Nueva Vida (here it is on Google Maps). It's primarily little cabanas plus a few free standing buildings that would house one or two rooms all set in a very jungle-y environment. Most people strive to stay in the ocean front cabanas - literally on the ocean front. I love the ocean, but there was also a house that was behind the cabanas that had a nice top floor room. We chose that one. Our logic being that it was higher and we probably would have less animals stopping by and we still had the view and ocean breeezes since we were higher.
It was a great room and the staff were awesome. I'd recommend it heartily.
And it's really all eco-y. Most of the power is solar and the water is either collected or brought in as they don't have electricity, water, or sewage running out there.
That's the jungle
The view out the front of our room was the ocean. The view out the back was the biosphere and it just went on and on. Flat. Forest. Jaguars spying on us.
The beach was perfect. Gorgeous. Clear, warm water and this beautiful creamy colored sand.
Well, what'd you do?
We did very little. Ate. Sat on the beach. Read. Ate. Walked down the road to the store that sold beer. One day we did venture into town to see the Mayan ruins. Those were interesting and lovely to look at but quite touristy. You want to do something fun? Check out the public bathroom there. Oh, did I say "fun"? I meant "incredibly stinky".