15 Jan Travel leg 2021/2022: Tulum, Mexico
It has been a great travel leg in the Riviera Maya area for the last few months. In this post a recap of our adventures.
We decided to take it easy when we arrived in Mexico last October and let ourselves land in Mexico for a couple of months after being in Holland for almost 18 months due to travel restrictions.
Let the kids get used to Spanish again and explore the Tulum / Riviera Maya area. We first, as we always do when we fly to Cancun, is visit our beloved island Isla Holbox. About 2,5 hour drive from the airport, it is just a boat ride away from paradise! We stay at Isla Holbox for 5 weeks!
After enjoying Holbox, we chose Tulum to live for a couple of months, so we are close to our long time Mexican friends Paty and Chris and their kids. If you have been following us for longer, you might remember Steven and me got married in their hotel in Pie de la Cuesta, close to Acapulco.
Their kids are 7 and 5 years old and have a great friendship with our kids. Every year we try to meet somewhere, like the time they traveled to Costa Rica to visit us and spend time together. Such awesome experiences and memories! So this time we visit them in Tulum and do nice things together. More than anything the kids speak Spanish amongst each other which is great learning for ours. We spend Christmas together this year, with a traditional meat grilling, or ‘gourmetten’, a typical way for Dutch people to celebrate Christmas.
There are a few things to do in and around Tulum. The beach for one is a big favorite with the kids and we often go to Playa Pescadores, a public beach close to the Maya pyramids in Tulum. We sometimes drive to Puerto Morelos to go to the public beach there, but this travel leg we skipped it.
Instead the kids wanted to go to the ‘Ludoteca’, an indoor playing club for kids up to 6 years old. Lots of free play, but also some reading and singing. Full Spanish immersion which is great. Visiting these new places where a different language is spoken is always interesting. Usually I stay to hang around and it helps they are together. Downside is that they don’t really make new friends, because they play and stick together ☺️
We make trips to the cenotes around Tulum which are really great (and a little cold!) swimming, exploring the caves and its bats.
We visited the UNESCO world heritage town of Valladolid and ate a nice Mexican soup. We visited the Maya city of Chichen Itza and went in with a childrens’ guide, explaining them the history and what was special about this place. In Spanish! They both experimented with the mineral obsediaan. A vulcanic stone that allows for sun gazing in the middle of the day. Awesome to see the sun so close by without hurting your eyes! On the way back we visited another cenote and loved the swimming and cool down.
We went to Cozumel for a weekend with the idea to go snorkeling with the kids. Unfortunately we picked the only weekend with cold and rainy weather 🙁 so no snorkeling but the kids loved to be on the large ferry to and from Cozumel.
Throughout our time in Tulum we rented a place with a huge pool so there was daily swimming. Vesper learned to dive and swim a big leg under water. As we did not bring the kids’ bikes we bought little scooters off Amazon to ride in the Tulum Deportivo, the outdoor sports park. A great activity with the kids!
Close to our place we found a food truck market with a playground and a weekly salsa night with live music. Such a great place to eat, play and meet other families.
These four months the kids did not go to school in Tulum. Unfortunately all schools in and around Tulum required kids to wear face masks. Also teacher wore face masks. Besides the utter uselessness of face masks in itself to protect people from a virus, it is even more difficult to learn a language from someone who wears a mask. So we choose to not send our kids to school those first four months and instead worldschooled them using all the experiences we had during our time in Tulum.
For our second travel leg we found a school outside of the city of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Queretaro, that does not require face masks. So from February to May the kids will go to school there and immerse themselves into the Spanish language, make new friends and explore.