It was about an hour’s drive to Tulum from Playa Del Carmen, and we arrived at mid-afternoon. The shuttle deposited us at the main entrance to the park, and at first we weren’t sure where we needed to buy our tickets as the entire area looked like an outdoor flea market with vendors selling a variety of foods and wares in different booths and buildings. Doran was immediately intrigued by the colourful Mayan calendar disks displayed outside one of the buildings and spent some time looking through them before eventually purchasing one. From there we found the ticket booth, and after buying our tickets we proceeded down the main avenue that leads to the gate.
The next morning Doran and I headed over to the mainland for the day where we spent some time in Playa Del Carmen (which was busy and full of tourists and street vendors) before travelling south to Tulum to see the ruins there. Although we weren’t birding in the morning, I nevertheless saw some great birds and took pictures whenever I could. The ferry dock was much birdier than I expected, and I picked up some of the water birds I was hoping to see. The bird that most surprised me was the first one I saw when we got out of our taxi – three Ruddy Turnstones were running along the concrete concourse leading to the ferry boarding area, dodging people and stopping to investigate food found on the ground. I am used to seeing these birds on rocky beaches where they peck at the sand and flip over rocks looking for aquatic invertebrates and insects; I didn’t realize they scavenged for food in busy urban coastal areas just the way gulls do!