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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Mexico: Tulum Pueblo

Curandero in Tulum Pueblo
In the daytime, Curandero looks pretty innocent; by night, it takes over the entire block; L'Hotelito is a couple of doors down the road, well within the blast zone

I have discovered the first place in Mexico that I really don't like, and its name is Tulum Pueblo. It's important not to confuse Tulum Pueblo – a drawn-out town along the main coastal highway of the state of Quintana Roo – with the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum Ruinas or the area of hotels along Tulum Beach, as the three different Tulums are quite separate from each other and are only connected by taxi rides. We came to the area for the coastal ruins, which are spectacular, and we thought Tulum Pueblo would make a decent base, as it has more affordable hotels and restaurants than Tulum Beach.

Bad Italian Coffee

The next morning the Italian owners of the hotel managed to serve lukewarm and astonishingly insipid coffee without the hint of a smile – a sure sign that these citizens of a country obsessed with quality coffee had given up hope of ever leading a normal life with such a wretched noise next door every weekend – so we checked out and wandered away from the main road to find a quieter hotel that we hoped would withstand the aural armageddon that was apparently going to be repeated on Sunday night. We dumped our bags and turned back to our original plan for the day, to visit the comparatively wonderful Tulum Ruinas.

Tears of a Clown

After another wet and humid night that felt like armageddon had come – made much more bearable by the new hotel we were in, which was a lot quieter and more pleasant – we booked a ticket on the midday bus for our next destination, Valladolid, and settled into a restaurant on the main drag for a Mexican omelette and a coffee. And it was here that something happened that sums up Tulum Pueblo perfectly.