Way Down the White Sand Beach Near Where the Sky is Born
Tulum Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
- Highlights: Prettiest white sand beach!, relearning skills I should have retained from childhood
- Mosquito bites: 17
- Receded mosquito bites: 10
Our beachside cabana spent, we shipped off in a cab down the beach road to find the puzzlingly named Maria Sabina Happy Gecko hostel, which had some hostelworld reviews on the internet advertising free kayak rentals (yay!) but whose actual existence we weren't sure of as it did not appear on any maps of town and no cab drivers had ever heard of it (boo). After a long ride down the beach, three u-turns, and some suspicious glances at an old hippie bus outside a gate with little signage, we finally found it -- secluded, far from anything else, dingy, and spelling like patchouli, but cheap and oh-so-close to a beautiful sparkling white sand beach and the entrance to the Sian Ka'an reserve.
On the first day, we checked out the beach which was gorgeous -- nicer, finer, white sand and less people than the beach further north, and with lush palm trees swaying in the wind. It was out of a postcard, or Lost or something. All the beaches in Tulum are private, and this one was actually owned by an adjacent resort. The hostel owners are friends with the people who own the beach, and hence the nice beach access for a dinky hippie hostel.
We also went kayaking in the cenote in back of the hostel. Normally, you can snorkel, but we went right after a storm which made the waters pitch black -- it was scary looking down because it seemed like a neverending abyss. That night, we ate fresh grilled cenote fish by the bonfire.
In the morning, we went on a bike ride through the Sian Ka'an biosphere. The reserve is on a very narrow penninsula -- on one side is the Caribbean and on the other is a brackish Everglades-esque lagoon. One unpaved, potholed road runs down the middle, flanked by dense palms. The park is known for its plethora of wildlife and unique protected environments. The organization CESIAK organizes really nice-sounding tours as well as cabins in the park. The prices were too high for us -- it would have been nice if there were more self-guided options-- but I would imagine all the funds go to park upkeep. The other dissapointing things was that all the beaches (and therefore beautiful views of the ocean) had private property signs on them. This has never stopped me before, but Johnny has this whole thing about following rules and junk, grr.
I haven't ridden a bike since I was 10 years old and crashed into a parked car on my mom's bike which was too tall and the first handbrake bike I had ever used. You know how they say you "never forget" how to ride a bike? Well, it's only kinda sorta true. I could do it, just very badly. We did make it down to the visitor's center where you could purchase kayaking tours and go on a very tall, very rickety tower with views across the penninsula. After a tiring ride back, we stopped at the cenote next to the park entrance for a refreshing cold water dip.