When my best friend told me that she was going to get married in Mexico and she wanted me to be the Maid of Honor, I was thrilled to go on this adventure with her. She invited my husband and I to a small town located about 1 hour south of Cancun, named Tulum. I had visited Cancun and the surrounding areas before, so I was very excited to see a different part of the Yucatan peninsula which is known for historic Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, and underground fresh water pools called cenotes.
As soon as we arrived in Tulum, I fell in love with the climate, people, and scenery. According to a recent census, there about 20,000 inhabitants in Tulum, but this number is expected to increase over the next decade. During our stay we witnessed construction of bridges, building of sidewalks, and installation of street lights. Our lodging was a small cabana on the beach at the end of Tulum’s main beach strip. Every day we could walk the beach, take yoga classes, or drink fresh coconut water. The local restaurants were often small homes converted into restaurants where recipes were passed down from generation to generation. At one restaurant we visited, there were three generations of chefs; a grandmother, mother, and daughter all were preparing the meals.
The Tulum ruins, which are the third most-visited archaeological site in Mexico, are situated on tall cliffs and bluffs facing east towards the Caribbean Sea. Tulum was built sometime between the 13th and 15th centuries and survived 70 years before it was discovered when the Spanish began occupying Mexico. The inhabitants’ major form of trade was fishing due to its proximity to the sea. I was extremely impressed with how well the architecture of the ruins has been maintained and was told that the Tulum ruins are one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites in the world.
The wedding turned out to be beautiful, and I will never forget my experience in Tulum, which felt like an undiscovered paradise full of historical context and cultural traditions. My husband and I are already trying to figure out when we can go back!
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