The most peaceful, tranquil and least touristic ruins I have seen so far, were at the Muyil archeological site. I took an ado bus from Tulum for twenty minutes to reach the area.
On entering the site, the lack of people was so refreshing. I was on my own exploring the jungle, old ruins and spotting wildlife. I walked through the rainforest, listening to the sounds of birds, seeing spectacularly gnarled trees and appreciating the cool shade from the forest canopy. The ruins themselves were in great condition, pyramids still held their shape. I sat down on a rock for quiet some time watching large, unique, bright blue butterflies flutter past me. I saw a couple of forest rodents, many colourful lizards and numerous ants on their long journey across paths, branches and up trees carrying leaves twice their size. I wondered which ant chose the route that millions of them religiously followed and how did they know they wanted to take that specific path? Time flew sitting here watching the living forest ecosystem go about its everyday business.
Next I found the path to the lagoon which I entered. The path wound through the forest, passing swamps, thick vegetation and further more jungle wildlife. It was a great nature walk. I reached a watch tower made of several unstable wooden ladders. I chambered up carefully, reached the top and was rewarded with phenomenal views over the forest. In the distance I could see the blue lagoon and the sunny blue sky. I peered down and saw how high I had climbed, far down below me I could see the swampy forest.
I continue my walk to the lagoon which was beautiful too. Sadly there were lots of tour guides around trying to sell me a boat ride which I was not interested in.
Instead I went for some Mexican food. I ate fresh fish with beans, rice and tortilla overlooking a lovely little courtyard in a restaurant across the road from the ruins.
After this I was determined to find a section of the lagoon I could enter and jump in for free. I walked around a while asking people how to get there. Unfortunately they all me back to the tour guides. Never mind, tomorrow I am traveling to Bacalar lagoon so I will get my lagoon swim then.
I stood at the side of the main road to wait for a collectivo or bus back to Tulum. While, waiting under the shade of a tree I saw some people further down doing the same thing and decided to join them. As I walked towards them, someone in their car stopped and gave me the thumb sign (free ride). Yes please, I quickly asked the other two waiting if they would join (safety in numbers). They agreed and I got my second hitch hike ride of the trip. The driver was a new tour guide and gave us his card to spread his good work. It was a win win situation for everyone. I understood some of his Spanish too and what I did not understand I just said si and nodded along. I got the general gist of what he was saying – that’s the main thing!
Exploring these places by myself is really giving me the chance to improve my Spanish, see quieter, non touristic areas and have furthermore adventures. I really enjoy both solo travel and traveling with fellow hostel friends. Both are great ways to see new things.
Breakdown of costs for fellow travelers:
Ado bus: 27 pesos
To enter the ruins : 29 pesos
Enter the lagoon area and tower: 50 pesos (although there is a sneaky path you can use for free to get there, if you go out of the ruins turn left walk past the restaurants on the other side of the road. There will be the first Road on the left, take this and you will reach the lagoon).
Ado bus back (if you can’t manage to hitch) : 27 pesos
An inexpensive day, which was well worth it.