I think it was Tuesday last week… A day where we didn’t have any plans (though we rarely have plans over here). We weren’t sure what to do and wanted to maybe mix up our day to day routine here. We had discussed renting a car and heading out-of-town, but again, no set plans. We ate breakfast and decided to go for a walk to a French place I had found the last time I was in town. We planned to just get drinks and be on our way again, but the menu called to us. Half way through lunch we decided that if the car rental place had a car available today, that maybe we should take it.
It was already mid-afternoon at this point, but we decided hoping in a car and exploring, even if just for a few hours would be a good idea. Muyil had been on my list for a while now. Everyone visits the ruins of Tulum, Chichen Itza, and often Coba too. But people rarely speak of Muyil. And so, like everything else, the less people who do it, the more I tend to want to 😉 We rented a car, filled up some water bottles, and took a family day trip south to the Mayan ruins of Muyil.
Berry tea for her. Coffee for him. And a coco for me.
The coolest girl I know.
My lunch: a bread-less veggie burger and a salad. Small, but good.
We weren’t sure what to expect at Muyil. The drive was quick, the traffic was light and then basically non-existent once we passed the town of Tulum. The cell service was also non-existent, but it didn’t matter. We just followed the road signs with the pictures of a ruin on them. And before we knew it we were pulling into a small parking lot on the side of the road. We paid for Alex and my entrance into the park and made our way in— kids are usually free, just ask.
There weren’t more than maybe 10 other people there at a time. And three, pretty large and impressive ruins to see.
Muyil was nice. Smaller than Coba. And lacking the ocean breeze that Tulum offers, but we basically had the place to ourselves.
We found and explored caves.
And Marlowe climbed. Give her land to explore and rocks and trees to climb, and she’s happy.
If you continue past the temple and into the woods you find a gate and a man. Another 50 or so pesos per person allows you entrance past the gate into a wooden jungle path.
Cenotes, frogs, birds, termites, nature everywhere. Also: I’ve had an unreasonable fear of crocodiles lately. I’m not sure why. Alex laughs at me all the time, because I was able to stand in a cage with 11 lives alligators, but every single watery jungle path we take leads to me say, “be careful for crocodiles!” You just never know. And I don’t want to know. I have alligator dreams monthly, but crocodiles scare me most.
And at the end of the path? The most beautiful blue lagoon. If you visit, bring pesos, because the men stand there with their boats waiting to give out tours. Again, we traveled on a whim– sadly with limited money in our wallets, so there was no boat ride for us. Not this time.
There was a sign to the right with a translation of “mud zone” or was it “wet sand zone”? I don’t remember. But there was a warning for sure. Marlowe climbed out a few feet and proclaimed she was sinking and we motioned her and her muddy feet back to dry land.
And then the funny part came. I took her shoes to the dock and reached down to clean them, but the water was just out of reach. The water appeared to only be about 6 or so inches deep, and despite all my irrational fears, I took a step in. Little did I know that the “wet sand” was really wet— the sand was hardly land at all and I sunk in about 2+ feet of water.
Lesson learned, laguna sand is different from beach sand. Thankfully there was a rock and I quickly pushed myself back up and out. And we laughed a lot. Alex was completely and totally bewildered the rest of the day. Over and over again asking, “what were you thinking?” I just wanted to clean off her shoes. It wasn’t supposed to be deep. But it was. And thankfully crocodile free, haha.
We made our way back onto the path and took a detour to the tower. I never really thought I had a fear of heights, but maybe I do. Because climbing the four flights of step-ladder to the top made me uneasy. But we all did it. Four flights up, above the trees — a jungle view on one side and a lagoon view on the other. It was perfect. High, but perfect.
PS. The climb down is just as scary as the climb up.
And after? Tacos.
I had made a promise to Marlowe that I would take her to the vegan taco place I loved so much. And so we did. We took a detour east to Tulum beach on our way back and drove straight in for tacos. I have to be super careful with my corn intake, due to my leftover health issues, but I made the exception here. And it was worth it.
After dinner the plan was to drive home. Marlowe asked for beach time but it was close to bedtime and we had already had a long day. But still, as we drove past the beach, I couldn’t help but stop to take in the sunset over the water with these two. Whats the point of homeschooling if we can’t say “screw bedtime!” every once a while, you know? And so we did.
I wanted to recreate this photo from this post from our first trip to Mexico together. I missed the site mark by 3 feet or so. But the image itself, is far off. We tried. But better than repeating the photo, was taking a photo of these two here together. 5 years later and here we all are together. What a wonderful thing.
We said goodnight to the sun and then we drove back to our apartment in playa del carmen. We all agreed, it was a pretty great day to have without making a single plan.
If you do ever plan to visit ruins in the Yucatán, I would suggest Muyil for sure. The downside is because it is so small, you can’t show up and expect to find a tour guide to explain its history. But of course, you can look up its history yourself or plan a guided tour there. You can’t climb the ruins like you can climb at Coba. But it’s such a nice site to explore. And if you plan ahead, you could pack lunch and pay for a boat on the lagoon. The boats can be pricey, I think about 25$ a person, but worth it for sure.
Just whatever you do, don’t jump in the wet sand 🙂