What is fun in Tulum, Mexico?

By: Deanna Robinson

Adventure exists all over the world,especially in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.?In the summer of 2007, my family and I decided to take a break andtravel to Tulum, a small town on the Mayan Riviera famous for it’s ancientpyramids and beautiful beaches.? Westayed in a bungalow on the beach, relaxed, and took in some of the localactivities.? During my vacation in Tulum,I had many wonderful experiences that changed my opinion of what fun really is.????????

??? Two activities that I found veryexciting were four-wheeling and snorkeling in a cenote near some Mayanruins.? This took place on a scorchinghot afternoon in the middle of July, deep in the verdant jungle of the YucatanPeninsula.? Surprisingly, this was actuallyonly a short drive from our hotel.?Following a quick lesson from our instructor, Hector, on how to operatean All Terrain Vehicle (ATV), we were on our way into the jungle on a rocky,dusty trail.? It was the first time I hadoperated an ATV all by myself, so, despite the dust, bugs, and exhaust fumes, Ifelt free and independent.? After achallenging ride through the jungle past some ancient ruins, we arrived at themid-point of the trail.? From here, wehiked down a more narrow path, crowded by trees, vines and underbrush - alittle spooky!? At the end of the walkingpath, we came to the gigantic cenote, which is a sinkhole filled withcrystal-clear water.? Hector said, “justdive right in and see how refreshing the water is!"? So, we grabbed our snorkeling gear andquickly jumped in.? Almost immediatelyafter my skin touched the sparkling water, I realized Hector’s true definitionof “refreshing" - COLD!? Ignoring thefrigid temperature, I put my face into the “refreshing" water and my eyes werefilled with amazement.? I could seestalagmites and stalactites, plus all sorts of fish and plants.? It was like a huge aquarium.? We swam all around and explored thisunderground cave, and, just when my toes were turning blue, Hector informed usthat it was time to head back.? Aftersome quick pictures, we hiked back to the ATVs and rode back to the startingpoint.? All the way back, I was thinkingabout how great the afternoon had been.??? On another day of the vacation, wewent zip-lining, which is gliding high above the jungle floor on a thickcable.? The rider is strapped into aharness which connects to a pulley that rolls along a cable stretched betweentwo high platforms.? It was anexhilarating experience, especially since I am afraid of heights!? This adventure began with an early morningride into the jungle, followed by a bike ride to the first platform.? A new guide, not Hector, gave us helmets andharnesses.? She also explained how to usea crooked tree branch as a brake if we wanted to slow down while on thecable.?? When it was my turn, I hooked myharness to the cable and grabbed my brake stick.? My knees trembled and my heart pumped fast.? I was so scared, I forgot to unhook my safetyclip from the tower rail.? The guideunhooked me and said, “push!"? I couldhear my dad cheering me on.??Reluctantly, I pushed off with my feet and began my first glide.? When I looked around, I could hardly believemy eyes.? I was flying high above thetall trees and rocky terrain, and the dense jungle stretched as far as I couldsee.? It was so exciting, I forgot allabout being scared of heights.? Beforelong, I arrived at the end, and, using my tree branch to slow me down, made a near-perfectlanding on the second platform.? Afterthat first ride, I couldn’t wait to experience the remaining zip-lines.? When we were done, we swam in another cenote- BONUS!? After enjoying a lunch in thejungle prepared by native Mayans, we traveled back to the hotel and rested inhammocks on the beach, a perfect end to a perfect day.??? Being a person who adores animals ofall sorts, I especially enjoyed my final adventure in Tulum, swimming withdolphins!? This event occurred at anoutdoor aquarium, where I was part of a tour group.? Most, including myself, had never touched adolphin, so we prepared to get to know them.?While waiting near the water, I saw two slick dorsal fins pierce thesurface of the water, creating silent ripples that followed two gray shapes inthe water.? The dolphins, Lula and Jack,soon swam up and I quickly fell in love.?They were so adorable, with gleaming eyes and gentle faces.? All I could think about was the funahead.? When it was my turn in line,Jack, a white-tipped dolphin, stretched out his flippers and gave me a bighug.? Then, he gave me a big wet kissright on the lips!? Next, the guide toldme to swim out into the open water and wait there with my arms spread out.? Quickly, the two dolphins appeared on eachside of me, waiting for me to grab their dorsal fins.? I grasped their fins and they swam forward,pulling me through the water.? After theride, I was tingling with excitement, knowing the best was yet to come.? I again swam out into open water and waited,this time with my arms and legs spread out.?I stiffened my legs and soon felt the dolphins begin to push me withtheir snouts, faster and faster.?Suddenly, I rose up out of the water, gliding along, propelled by twodolphin engines under my feet! It was a fantastic feeling.

The Mayan Riviera is a beautifulplace to visit and it also a great place to pursue new adventures such asfour-wheeling, snorkeling in cenotes, zip-lining and even swimming with realdolphins.? I feel very lucky to haveexperienced these activities while there on vacation.? Such activities are not part of my every-dayeventsHealth Fitness Articles, are very were more exciting and special than the things I normallyconsider to be fun.? One could even saythat getting to participate in these activities changed my idea of what funreally is.

??? More information regarding Mayan Riviera Family Vacations canbe found at? MayanRiviera Family Vacations.com

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