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Backpacking means that you are able to get out and explore the world however you see fit. Though you might want to always be on the move, there are times when it is better to sit still and work a little. One of the best work travel jobs for backpackers is working a season at a ski resort in Europe or North America. Here are some of the reasons why this might be the right choice for you!

A Variety of Work-Travel Opportunities

One of the best reasons to work a season at a ski resort can simply be for the variety of work available. After all, a ski resort might as well be a small city, so there should be plenty of roles that you could fulfil.

If you have the qualifications and the experience, you might be able to find a role as a ski or snowboard instructor. You could also get a job maintaining the slopes and helping out with other aspects of managing the pistes.

Of course, there are also plenty of roles in hospitality. You could work in the lodges, whether they are for private owners or just for people renting for a week or two.

There is usually also a good amount of bar work in the ski resorts. Get your applications in early so you have a good chance at landing a role that works for you and your skills!

Enjoy the Ski Resort Benefits

Use your days off to enjoy employee discounts at the ski resort

Use your days off to enjoy employee discounts at the ski resort

A great reason to choose to work a ski season will always be the days off. Many jobs at resorts will come with either a staff pass or a serious discount for a day pass to the slopes. If you are not scheduled in, you will be able to head out and enjoy everything that the resort has to offer!

Just make sure that you are fully prepared for your time outside so that you can keep yourself safe on the slopes. It would be devastating if you were to run into trouble at the start of the season and would be left having to give up your position. Use tools like pistepro.com to monitor conditions on the slopes, and make sure your equipment is always properly maintained.

Meeting People from All over the World

Meet people from all over the world while working at a ski resort

Meet people from all over the world while working at a ski resort

When you choose to work a season at a ski resort, you will be able to meet people from all around the world. Whether you are a housekeeper or a bartender, there is always a chance that you will run into someone from the other side of the world who might nevertheless be your new best friend.

You have to work, and work hard, but don’t forget to have fun too! A ski resort is a great place to live for a few months.

Whether you are in Canada, one of Europe’s best ski resorts, or anywhere else with amazing slopes, you will have so many opportunities at your feet. Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges and embrace everything this adventure has to offer you!

As a backpacker, it can sometimes be good to stay put for a little while. In addition to the experience of working in a ski resort, you will be able to work up a fantastic pot that you can use to further your travels.

Working at a Ski Resort Abroad

If you’re interested in traveling abroad in order to work at a ski resort, be sure to check into the local visa rules for work travel. Some countries grant short-term work visas for people who are only interested in working for a season.

Working at a Ski Resort in the USA

Most of the ski resorts in the US are found on the West and Central regions, in the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains. There are also some top-notch ski resorts found in Northern New England area, in Vermont and New York State.

If you are a US citizen, you shouldn’t have any complications finding short term work at a ski resort in the US. Lots of young people choose to work a a season at a ski resort in between high school and university, or after graduating from college.

If you are not from the US, you’ll need to secure a work visa in order to work a season at a ski resort. The most common work travel visa for the USA is the H2B visa. With this visa, the ski resort sponsors you directly in order to work there.

Unfortunately, in the past couple of years, the number of H2B visas has been limited, since ski resorts need to show that they cannot find a US citizen to fill the job. If you are a certified ski or snowboard instructor, you’ll have a better chance of landing a job at a US Ski Resort. Be sure to apply ahead of time, since most of the jobs are filled in the springtime before the winter season.

Working at a Ski Resort in Canada

Famous for back country skiing and massive Rocky Mountain resorts, Canada is one of the best places to work a season at a ski resort. Besides, Canada has a working holiday visa program, which makes it easier for foreigners to get a ski resort job in Canada compared with the US and even Europe.

The working holiday visa is open for most countries for young people from age 18 to 30/35. The benefit of the program is that you do not have to secure a job before going. The visa is valid or a year or two (depending on your country) and allows you to travel to Canada and start looking for a job.

Be sure to check the specific requirements to see if you’re eligible for a work travel visa for Canada.

Working at a Ski Resort in Europe

The most popular European ski resorts are found in Austria, Switzerland, France, and Germany. You can also go north to Scandinavia and find work in Norway or Sweden. On average, European ski resorts are more crowded than those in North America

If you are a local EU citizen, you won’t have any visa trouble securing a job at a ski resort in Europe. However, if your job will have any sort of client interaction, it is very important that you speak the local language of the resort. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for non-EU citizens to secure a job at a European ski resort, since most of the jobs will go to the locals.

However, Austria and France now have a work-travel agreement with several countries, including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

Switzerland does not have a work travel visa program, so your only option would be to hope for a cash job at a Swiss Ski Resort.

Nevertheless, if it is your dream to work at a ski resort in Europe, be sure to check the working requirements, as things may change in the future.


Where will you go next? What will you do? All could be determined by what you manage to save up whilst working at the ski resort.

Take the time to work out whether this could be the right move for you careerwise, and then see if there is a ski resort that will take you on for the season!

While most visitors to Washington, DC typically come to visit the national monuments, Smithsonian museums and the White House, they are missing a hidden gem. The most beautiful gardens in Washington, DC are often free to visit and present endless entertainment.

On the National Mall alone, there are five free gardens to explore. So if you don’t have a car, don’t despair. Read on for a list of my favorite public gardens in Washington, DC.

 

U.S. Botanical Gardens (USBG)

United States Botanical Gardens in Washington DC

United States Botanical Gardens

The number one destination is the U.S. Botanical Gardens, which is located Maryland Avenue SW in Washington, DC. While the conservatory remains closed, visitors can roam outside in the gardens at the front and side of the museum.

To prepare for your visit, consider a virtual tour—both outdoors and indoors. During non-pandemic times, the USBG offered free guided tours.

The three-acre National Garden is enclosed within walls, like a secret garden. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed. It is home to the Regional Garden (featuring Mid-Atlantic plants) as well as the Rose Garden. Children will love the Butterfly Garden.

The nation’s First Ladies are honored with a special water garden. There is a fountain area to relax as well as stone boulders. Occasionally, educational programs occur in the Amphitheater.

Across the street on Independence Avenue lies Bartholdi Park. Not to be missed is the Bartholdi Fountain when visiting gardens in Washington, DC. There are tables and chairs for a quick al fresco lunch.

Follow the circular paths to explore hidden paths and groves of plants. A special delight for cooks is the herb garden where you can take in the fragrance of basil or oregano plants. The U.S. Botanic Gardens is included in the U.S. Capitol Complex.

U.S. Capitol Grounds

Magnolia Trees on the US Capitol Grounds in Washington DC

Magnolia Trees on the US Capitol Grounds

While not a traditional garden, the 58-acre U.S. Capitol Grounds is home to the most extensive array of trees in the Washington DC area.

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed a park-like setting in 1874, which featured curving paths. He removed 400 trees. His design included low border walls, decorative lamps, and a historic shelter for streetcar passengers.

A special delight is the red-brick Summerhouse, set on the slope of the West Front Lawn. In the spring, beds of tulips bloom near the structure.

A visitor could spend an entire afternoon walking around the paths encircling the U.S. Capitol building. According to the Architect of the Capitol, 65 of Olmsted’s original trees are alive today. His design featured native trees, including elms, lindens, buckeyes and oaks.

There are also groupings of evergreen near the base of the West Terrace of the Capitol. In addition, the Capitol Grounds now feature gifted, memorial and commemorative trees, including the 9/11 Anniversary Tree, the Anne Frank Tree and the Emmett Till Tree. Download a map at www.aoc.gov.

There are wrought-iron benches for a rest period. The Capitol Reflecting Pool is a perfect venue for lunch while you watch the ducks swim by.

Smithsonian Gardens

Smithsonian Moongate Garden in Washington DC

Smithsonian Moongate Garden

After visiting a Smithsonian museum, be sure to reserve time to relax at the rooftop Enid A. Haupt Garden. It opened in 1987.

Smithsonian Associates even offers forest bathing class in its Moongate Garden (for a fee). Designed by architect Jean Paul Carlhian, the Moongate Garden features an Asian design inspired by the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China.

Enid Haupt Garden Parterre in Washington DC

Enid Haupt Garden Parterre

The Haupt garden is conveniently located next to the old Smithsonian Castle. This 4-acre venue also features the Fountain Garden and the French-styled Parterre.

Wander down the brick paths, rest at the fountain or read a book while admiring the flowers. Pose in front of the Renwick Gates or the Downing Urn. This Haupt garden is actually standing on the roofs of the National Museum of African Art, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the S. Rillon Ripley Center.

As you walk through the end gates, be sure to devote some time to the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden. The air is perfumed year-round with the four-season garden that includes fragrant flowers and interpretative signage.

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington DC

Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden

This open-air gallery is situated on the National Mall, with direct views of the U.S. Capitol on the left and the Washington Monument on the right.

The sunken sculpture garden is embedded 14 feet below the surface of the Mall. Visitors explore different rooms that divide up the open air gallery.

There are 30 works of arts ranging from abstract to modern. The plants provide a backdrop for the modern art. In addition, gardeners regularly change the plant palette to reflect the changing seasons.

Do not miss the Yoko Ono’s Wish Tree for Washington, DC. A special treat is to visit the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden after a major snowstorm when the artwork is buried under a blanket of snow.

National Gallery Sculpture Garden

National Gallery of Art Outdoor Sculpture Garden in Washington DC

National Gallery of Art Outdoor Sculpture Garden

One block away, the National Gallery of Art “planted” its gated outdoor Sculpture Garden on the corners of Constitution Avenue, 7th Street NW and Madison Avenue NW.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden features lush plantings, trees and bushes as well as important artwork. Do not miss the secluded area which features Marc Chagall’s Orphee.

The 1969 stone and glass mosaic can serve as a meditation point. The 10-feet by 17-feet mosaic features characters from Greek mythology.

Other fun sculptures include Robert Indiana’s bright-red AMOR and Barry Flanagan’s Thinker on a Rock. Plan to visit around lunch or mid-afternoon to enjoy a meal at the Pavilion Café, which operates from 11 am to 4 pm.

The last two gardens in Washington DC will require a car, but they are definitely worth a visit.

National Arboretum

Located in NE Washington at New York Avenue and R Street, the U.S. National Arboretum is free to explore.

This is a must-see venue if visiting gardens in Washington, DC. It is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm, except December 25.

The 446-acre campus features 9.5 miles of winding roadways. Typically, 600,000 visitors explore each year. It is a favorite destination of dog owners.

Traffic peaks in the spring to see the Japanese cherry trees and the azaleas. Favorite flowers and bushes include azalea, boxwood, daffodil, daylily, dogwood, holly, magnolia, and maple.

The modern architecture visitors’ center includes a fountain and pool with aquatic plants. Also not to be missed are the Flowering Tree Walk, the National Herb Garden and the Asian Collections. The Arboretum is also home to the National Capitol Columns.

Dumbarton Gardens

Dumbarton Oaks Gate in Washington DC

Dumbarton Oaks Gate

Dumbarton Oaks is a country estate sited in Washington, DC. Located in Georgetown, the Dumbarton Oaks mansion and surrounding gardens represent bliss.

Owned by Robert and Mildred Bliss, the estate was conceived as a retreat. The 1801 Federal-style home was purchased in June 1920.

The owners hired landscape architect Beatrix Farrand to design terraced garden rooms and vistas. The couple “gifted” the property to Harvard University in 1940 when it transitioned from a private estate to a research institute. Dumbarton Oaks is located at 1703 32nd Street NW.

 

 

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If hiking through the wilderness is at the top of your bucket list, you’re not alone. The beautiful scenery, epic trails, and campsites, and experiences of a lifetime make backcountry backpacking a major goal for any outdoor enthusiast. 

But, there’s a reason the idea stays on bucket lists and doesn’t get crossed off as often as other items. 

Backcountry backpacking can be dangerous, especially if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you’re a frequent backpacker, you already know some of the common injuries that can occur while hiking. But, you’re putting yourself at risk for things greater than blisters and scrapes when you’re exploring mostly-uncharted terrain. 

Still, if heading into the backcountry is a goal of yours, there’s no reason you can’t reach it with a little preparedness. Use the following safety tips and ideas as your ultimate guide to backpacking safely while in the backcountry. 

Plan Ahead

Perhaps the most important safety tip before you head out on your backcountry backpacking trip is to plan ahead as much as possible. That starts by making sure you pack the right essentials, including: 

You don’t want to overload your bag so it weighs you down. But, you’ll be happy to have these essentials on hand in case of an emergency, or just at the end of a long day on the trail. 

In addition to packing for your trip, you can also plan ahead by telling someone where you’re going. This should be typical standard practice even on shorter trips. But, it’s an especially important safety tip for more dangerous backpacking treks in the backcountry.

Let someone know exactly where you’ll be and when you’ll be there. If anything were to happen and people needed to look for you, they would have a better idea of where to find you quickly. 

Finally, prepare yourself by researching the weather and local terrain. What does the forecast look like for your trip? Knowing ahead of time will make it easier to make efficient packing decisions. 

Have Support

Bring your dog along when Backcountry Backpacking

Your dog can be a welcome companion when backcountry backpacking

Backpacking is a great way to find yourself and take advantage of some peace and quiet in an overly busy world. But, when you’re tackling rough terrain, having some kind of support system is important.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to travel with family or friends. But, you might consider bringing your canine companion along with you. 

Dogs should always be trained if you’re considering taking them along for your trek. You can train them yourself, hire a trainer, or go for a really thorough option by signing them up for a board-and-train program.

Once they learn to listen and obey basic commands on the trail, going backcountry backpacking with your dog can actually benefit your experience. They will offer a source of companionship and motivation as well as protection. 

Keep in mind that there are extra things you’ll need to bring if you backpack with your dog. You might even consider getting them their own little harness pack to keep things like food, treats, water, and waste bags. 

Another safety tip for backcountry backpacking is to keep your phone with you to make sure you have support on your adventure. It might go against any “off the grid” ideas you have.

But, keeping your phone charged and with you at all times will give you a way to call for help, if needed. It will also give you a way to connect with people back home if you’re struggling to stay motivated or you’re dealing with loneliness.

Having a support system, whether they’re right next to you in the form of a furry friend, or a thousand miles away, can make a big difference. 

Expect the Unexpected

Planning and preparing will always be important when you’re heading out on a backpacking excursion. But, no matter how well-prepared you are, you can’t predict everything that will happen on the trail. You might run into things like: 

  • Unexpected bad weather
  • Changes to the land due to erosion 
  • Wild animals that could be threatening
  • Malfunctioning equipment

There are things you can do to better prepare yourself for some of these situations. For example, one important safety tip for backcountry backpacking is to prepare to protect yourself from the threat of dangerous animals by carrying a firearm.

Whether you’re by yourself or hiking with your kids, make sure you know how to properly store your gun, and that you’ve received firearm training before using it. 

For other unexpected situations, you have to be willing to think on your feet. Backpacking in the backcountry takes more than strength and stamina – it takes a sharp mind.

Some of the best survivalists in the world are only able to do what they do because of their outdoor knowledge and willingness to think outside the box. 

If you’re ready to cross backcountry backpacking off your bucket list, there’s no better time to do it. But, keep these safety tips in mind to make sure it’s a positive experience that you’ll feel confident about every step of the way. 

A visit to Denali National Park has the potential to be one of the most memorable adventures you will ever experience. The vast national park located in interior Alaska offers some breathtaking views, including spectacular sights like Mt. McKinley and other peaks. This expansive park also features scenic wilderness with a unique boreal and tundra landscape. 

The best part is that the national park offers something to all types of travelers and explorers. Whether you seek adventure, or prefer to relax in the wilderness, this national park provides options for both. Here’s a comprehensive list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park.

 

1. Bus Tours

The national park spreads across a whopping 7408 square miles, and bus tours are the best way to explore it all. No Denali expedition is complete without taking one of the three renowned bus tours of the National Park.

Though all three bus tours are full-day activities, they cover different distances, sights, and experiences. The Tundra Wilderness Tour takes eight hours and is the most popular among the three.

It covers wildlife, landscapes, and plants of the national park. You can expect a few restroom stops and quick breaks for stretching your legs and photographs.

2. Hiking

Denali National Park is an adventure enthusiast’s paradise. The national park offers adventurous hiking trails leading to scenic views. Whether you are looking for a day hike, customizable hikes for large groups, or multi-day hikes, you can find all these things to do in Denali.

You can take one of the many guided hiking tours offered by professionals, or choose to hike on your own. If going your own way, the maintained hiking trails at the entrance of the park and the Denali Backcountry are the two options available for you.

Any which way, hiking through the wilderness of this national park is indeed bliss. Ensure you pack the appropriate hiking gear and follow all safety precautions if you wish to hike on your own.

3. Flightseeing

Fancy a bird’s eye view of the national park and the reserve? Make a once in a lifetime memory and splurge on a flightseeing tour over Denali National Park. What better way can you take in the mighty mountain peaks than by soaring above them?

Instead of a flight, you can also go for a helicopter, some of which actually land on the glaciers. Or maybe you want to opt for Heli-hiking to combine an epic helicopter ride with an adventurous hike through the backcountry. 

Flightseeing is an ideal option for people who prefer sitting in a relaxed airplane while witnessing the wildlife and plants from a higher view. The duration and distance of the flight seeing excursions differ from company to company. So, it’s better to compare various flight seeing services and select the one matching your preference.

4. Off-roading

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, it’s time to get your feet dirty by hopping onto an ATV or a Jeep across the muddy trails of this Alaskan national park. You can either enjoy an off road adventure as a passenger or take control by hiring a vehicle for yourself.

The jeep excursions take you through the national park highways, whereas the ATV rides take you through the Denali backcountry. You can also stop your ATV wherever you want for a quick photoshoot. Regardless of the vehicle, off-roading is one of the best things to do in Denali National Park.

5. River Rafting

Part of the beauty of Denali National Park is the impressive rivers that cut through the landscape. Is there a better way to explore those majestic waters than in a raft? River rafting not just allows you to explore the rivers, but also offers a unique view of the glaciers and wildlife across river banks.

You can opt for a relaxing trip on the Nenana River or go for a more adventurous rafting trip packed with adrenaline. Here again, there is a multitude of options depending on whether you want to grab a paddle along with the professional guide or sit back and enjoy the view.

There are also options ranging from a quick two-hour rafting experience to an entire day trip that includes a picnic lunch on the beautiful riverbanks.

Final Thoughts

That sums up the list of the five best things to do in Denali National Park. Hopefully, the list inspires you to create a fantastic itinerary that matches your preferences. You can also check out the Visitor Center at the park’s entrance to get a better picture of the things you can do during your trip.

Anyone who’s into world travel will be familiar with Tulum. This jungle coastline on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula has become a recent hotspot, with its stunning Cenotes and boutique beach hotels featuring prominently all over social media. While Tulum is no longer off the beaten path, the food scene, the funky artist vibe, and the stunning nearby sites make it the perfect destination in our books. If you’re in the area, be sure to take advantage of some great day trips from Tulum.

 

Renting a car is the best way to take day trips from Tulum, but you can also find local tour operators who will organize everything for you. You can check out Get Your Guide or Viator to get an idea of pricing and reviews and to book your tour ahead of time.

1. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza - one of the best day trips from tulum

The Chichen Itza Pyramid – one of the New Wonders of the World

It’s safe to say that the number one day trip from Tulum is a visit to one of the New Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when you see this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage Site and how it rises impressively from the surrounding countryside.

Chichen Itza is best reached by car and takes about 2 hours one-way from Tulum. If you don’t have your own car, you can go on a full-day excursion that combines a visit to Chichen Itza, the Hubiku Cenote, and Valladolid.

2. Cenote Ik Kil

Swim in the stunning Ik Kil Cenote - a day trip from Tulum

Swim in the stunning Ik Kil Cenote

Located a 2-hour drive from Tulum is one of the most beautiful Cenotes on the Yucatán Peninsula. The ceiling of a former freshwater limestone cave has long since collapsed, creating a steep crater-like opening with jungle vines spilling into the pool below.

It’s hard to believe that a place like this exists on earth. Keep in mind that there is a fee to enter which seems to get more expensive year after year so come prepared with your pesos. 

3. Swimming with Turtles in Akumal

For one of the best day trips from Tulum, head up the coast to Akumal, a Mayan word that means place of the turtles. In Akumal Bay, you can swim with juvenile green sea turtles who hang out here until they head to open waters in their adulthood.

Akumal is a public beach, so it’s absolutely free to swim with the turtles. However, there are some privately-owned beaches near the area, so be sure to avoid trespassing and upsetting the local owners.

4. Coba Mayan Ruins

Climb the Coba Mayan Ruins on your daytrip in Quintana Roo

Climb the Coba Mayan Ruins

The Yucatán Peninsula is home to some of the most impressive Mayan ruins, and the pyramid at Coba is a must-see. This particular site is special because it’s one of the only Mayan ruins that you can actually climb.

If you have your own car, it’s about a 45-minute drive from Tulum, but there are also local buses that connect Coba to Tulum.

5. Valladolid

The Suytun Cenote near the town of Valladolid

The Suytun Cenote near the town of Valladolid

The colorful quaint little town of Valladolid is a perfect day trip from Tulum for anyone who wants to see an eclectic colonial town in the heart of the Yucatán. If you’re making the trek to Valladolid, don’t miss the nearby Suytun Cenote.

This Cenote is one of the most popular sites on the Yucatán, famous for its cathedral walls and stone platform that leads to the middle of the freshwater pool. It’s a popular spot, so it’s best to visit Suytun Cenote in the afternoon after the tourist buses have departed. 

6. Cozumel

Take a Yucatan Peninsula day trip to the paradise beaches of Cozumel

Relax on the paradise beaches of Cozumel

Cozumel is a mostly-undeveloped island that looks like an island paradise: white sand, turquoise waters, and palm trees that grow right up to the shore. Luckily, it’s possible to take a day trip from Tulum to Cozumel.

There are ferries departing from Playa del Carmen every hour, so there is never too long of a wait. Once on Cozumel, you can go snorkelling among the reefs, or head to a sandy beach to relax.

7. Sian Ka’an Biosphere

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the impressive Mayan-built canals that can still be seen in this area. Located about an hour away, it’s one of the best day trips from Tulum for anyone looking to get a taste for the Mayan culture.

Visitors can even take a kayaking tour through the ancient canals that were used to control irrigation in the region.  If you want to go with a guide through the vast Biosphere, you can take a half-day tour from Tulum that combines kayaking in the lagoon with exploring Mayan ruins in the surrounding jungle.

8. Rio Secreto underwater cave tour

Explore the Rio Secreto Caves and underground lakes

Explore the Rio Secreto Caves and underground lakes

The Rio Secreto is one of the most stunning sights on the Yucatán peninsula. This network of limestone caves has underwater rivers, hiking trails, and massive cathedral-like rooms. You’ll have to go with a guide to explore the underground area, and there are tours ranging from full-day experiences to shorter visits.

9. Swimming with Whale Sharks near Isla Mujeres

Swim with Whale Sharks off the coast of Holbox

Swim with Whale Sharks off the coast of Isla Mujeres

If you’re spending a long vacation in Tulum, you should make time to take a day trip to the north. Here you’ll find a more remote and untouched part of the Yucatán peninsula, so it’s the perfect day trip for those looking to get off the beaten path.

From June to September, you can find Whale Sharks off the coast of Isla Mujeres, and it’s possible to book a tour from Tulum to swim alongside these gentle giants.

10. Bacalar Laguna de 7 Colores

The Bacalar Laguna de 7 Colores & Bacalar Cenote

The Bacalar Laguna de 7 Colores & Bacalar Cenote

If you’re looking for something further afield from Tulum, you can head 3 hours south to Bacalar Laguna de 7 Colores. It’s a good idea to take a day trip to Bacalar from Tulum if you want to get off the beaten path in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Although it’s a fair distance away from Tulum, the stunning lagoon is worth it. The best way to see the lagoon is from the water, so you might consider splurging on a full-day sailing trip that picks up from Tulum.