The beach, while white-sand and pleasant, was quite crowded. We paid money to go on a snorkeling trip that took us out to a very crowded reef for about 45 minutes. The guide yelled at us to stay together the whole time, and I got kicked in the head by tourists with Go Pro cameras every time something interesting appeared. Bad experience. On the other hand, we sat at some relatively low-key resort all day, drank beer, ate lunch, and I think had a $60 tab for five people. So there is that.
The town of Tulum itself is home to some fantastic little bars and restaurants, many of them specializing in Pastor tacos. Food and drinks are cheap and tasty. However, the poverty is troubling. There are a large number of people squatting in the jungle and trying to carve out homes there. They are constantly surrounded by garbage. The police ride around in pickup trucks brandishing weapons. The juxtaposition with the tourism is stark, and one can’t help but be ultra-aware of one’s privilege here. I will try to get some more pictures and try to describe my thoughts on this further later. Also I am going to go check out the Mayan ruins. More to come.