On our Tulum vacation, we opted for nice dinners near the beach and economical lunches in Tulum pueblo.  We felt so “local” ordering in Spanish (to the best of our abilities) and experiencing such a rich culture.

Nick had done some major restaurant research, so he knew we had to go to El Pollo Bronco where they cook full chickens in a open pit and then serve by either 1/4, 1/2 or whole chicken plates.

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Our roasted 1/4 chicken was served with corn tortillas, rice, shredded cabbage and salsa.  It was such a simple, but very delicious meal.

DSC03255 View of the main street in the pueblo from our street-side table.

We had quite the experience at El Taquetto.  Immediately after walking in, a sweet waitress escorted us back to an open kitchen and proceeded to display the five different specials of the day…in Spanish.  Thank goodness I know some food words like pescado and pollo, but I’m sure anything we would have ended up with would have been amazing.

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I picked a chorizo chili with potatoes, served with rice, pureed black beans and corn tortillas.  The green salsa you see – that stuff had a kick! 

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Served with pineapple juice.  I  could live off of this stuff.

So, before this wonderful lunch, we had stumbled upon a cenote.  The Grand Cenote to be exact.  I don’t know if all cenotes are created equal, but I doubt many can top the one we went to.

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So what is a cenote?  Before we booked our trip to Mexico, I had no idea.  Basically it’s a big freshwater cave.  Snorkeling is big at cenotes (pronouced si-no-tays), but scuba is even bigger.  There were many times when I put my face down in the water and saw eerie lights from deep down in the caves.  It takes guts to explore down that far…it seemed like the underwater caves just did not end. 

I had never really snorkeled before, but knew I wanted to, so we actually packed our own snorkel gear.  Upon arriving at the cenote, my fear of dark mossy water came out of hiding.  It took me about 30 minutes to completely get used to breathing out of my snorkel, and after that I was golden.  We swam all around the cenote, taking pictures with a disposable underwater camera (most of which did not develop 😦 ).  It was a great experience – even if I didn’t like the moss or the bats.

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Part 3 tomorrow!

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