Food, History and Cenotes, Oh Maya: Why You Need To Visit Tulum, Mexico


Dorothy might’ve been scared of lions, tigers, and bears, but we’ve got three things that’ll get you excited about – Tulum that is. Tulum, Mexico is known for the ancient Mayan ruins located here, but there’s so much more to discover. With some of the friendliest people on the planet, Mexico is the place to be. Content creator Jenna Doucet @jennadouce gives us some first-hand international travel tips and shows us the best reasons why you need to book your next vacation in Tulum. Viva Mexico!

What To Do

History and architecture fans alike will appreciate a trip to Tulum. Of course, there are beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, but the real draw is the Mayan history here. “Tulum itself is the site of a pre-Colombian Mayan walled city, which served as a major port for Coba.”

These ancient Mayan ruins can be found along the Yucatan Peninsula where Tulum is located. The most famous of all these architectural wonders is Chichen-Itza, which is Jenna’s favorite architecture she saw during her trip. “My favorite architecture was from my trip to Chichen-Itza, Yucatan, Mexico to see the Chichen-Itza ruins. Chichen-Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities.”

There’s quite a lot to discover about this ancient Mayan locale, which is why having a guide allows you the opportunity to not just see the history but learn about it too. Fun fact: Chichen-Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Don’t let the possibility of an overload of tourists deter you either. Jenna says even though there are other tourists there, it’s still worth it. She also tells us Chichen-Itza is surrounded by many temples that have intricate stone carvings and ornate decoration. 

Another activity to do in Tulum is experience the cenotes. These are hundreds of years old and are formed from “collapsed limestone bedrocks that expose groundwater underneath.” Whether it’s taking a swim, or in Jenna’s case, zip-lining inside them, cenotes are a must. Jenna adds that these were sometimes used by the ancient Mayans for sacrificial offerings. Well, at least that’s a slice of history we can leave out of today’s cenote experience.

Where To Meet People

Ask anyone who’s been to Mexico and they’ll tell you that without a doubt they’re some of the friendliest in the world. Jenna echoes that sentiment saying, “The Mexican culture itself is quite friendly. Everywhere we went people were nice and helpful.” So in that case, stop by a local restaurant and strike up a conversation with your waiter. Ask someone on the bus for directions. You’ll quickly find the people in Mexico are more than happy to be a friendly face for you and help you out during your trip.

Where To Eat

While there might be a war between Mexican and Italian for ‘World’s Favorite Food’, we can all agree that Mexican food rarely – if ever – disappoints. There’s a lot of perks to traveling to Mexico and the food is no exception. While she didn’t have a favorite restaurant, in particular, Jenna says she “LOVED” all the Mexican food she tried. Which included all the classics: enchiladas, tamales, ceviche, shrimp tacos, empanadas, guacamole, and salsa. The trick, she says, is to eat the authentic, off-the-beaten-path spots for the best dishes.

Why You Need To Visit Mexico

We mentioned the food, and Jenna says the “amazing” and “varied” food is definitely a reason to go. Mexico’s also very friendly and welcoming. Not every place in the world is going to have the friendliest encounters for tourists, but it certainly is a bonus. Who wouldn’t want to go to a place where everyone has a smile for you and says hello? As mentioned earlier, Tulum – and Mexico in general – has a lot of fascinating history to explore. It’s more than just beautiful beaches and ‘cervezas’.

Mexico is also affordable, which is a huge perk for folks looking for a great destination on a budget. Jenna says there’s something for everyone here but adds that there’s even more to discover. “I feel like we barely scratched the surface of this beautiful country and I would love to return.”

Equipment & Editing

For her trip to Tulum, Jenna stuck with her iPhone X for its convenience. However, when she usually travels, she often uses her Canon Rebel T5 camera.

Like many of our favorite content creators, Jenna keeps her photos looking great with Lightroom. “I edit everything with Lightroom.”

Be sure to connect with Jenna on Instagram @jennadouce