As much as I embrace cold and snow as inevitable and even enjoyable part of living in Canada, a mid-February sunny get-away with a side of generous dose of vitamin D is always a nice treat! There has been a lot of attention on Tulum as a beautiful tropical destination lately, so naturally my best friend, my sister and I set out to discover it for ourselves. I put together my list below to highlight everything I LOVED about vacationing in this boho-chic escape.
1. FOODIE PARADISE
This truly is a destination for a discerning foodie. From authentic Yucatan food to fusion restaurants to spectacularly indulgent international cuisine to health-conscious, vegan or gluten free offerings, Tulum has quite a generous selection of restaurants to meet the highest of foodie standards.
We ate our way through Tulum trying hard to sample as much of the decadent flavours as we could manage (while still fitting in our bikinis).
My personal favourite restaurants were Gitano and Casa Banana.
2. MAYAN RUINS
3. GRAN CENOTE
4. HEALTY SMOOTHIES, BOWLS & COFFEES
Because the food is soooo good in Tulum and also because food is what I care about the most on my travels (or in general, lets be serious), healthy food options deserve a separate point on my list. I loved that while travelling, I still had access to clean, nutritious and healthful food options. Some restaurants worth to be mentioned in this category are: The Real Coconut, Raw Love, Matcha Mama.
5. PICTURE PERFECT BEACHES
Between the perfect weather (it rained for about 10 minutes the entire week), turquoise water and well maintained white sand beaches with an abundance of hammocks, cabanas and food and drink options along the stretch, this was one of the my favourite tropical beaches to date. I’m typically not the beach type as I get bored quite easily and need to look for something more entertaining and adventurous; however, it’s hard to get bored on this beach - between people watching, tanning, and eating, there is enough buzz going on to keep a busy-bee like myself entertained.
6. FRESH COCONUTS ON THE BEACH
7. MEZCAL COCKTAILS
After this trip, I consider myself to be a converted Mezcal-lover. Mezcal is an alcohol distilled from Agave syrup (literally translated, it means “over-cooked agave”) and has a strong smoky flavour which makes it a perfect base for many deliciously refreshing cocktails of complex and interesting taste.
8. HAMMOCK LOUNGING AT SERENA GLAMPING
For second half of our trip, we stayed at this gem of a spot - beautiful Serena Glamping resort hidden away in the jungle, right on the main street. It was surreal to experience this stunning resort with all the comforts of a luxury hotel, the friendliest staff and a distinctly glamping nature vibe. We spent a couple of lazy hours hanging out in the hammocks with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
9. FRIDAY NIGHT AT ROSA NEGRA
Rosa Negra was definitely a great spot to hang out on a Friday night - great margaritas, awesome DJ set and a very happening and busy vibe.
10. CRUISING AROUND ON BIKES
Bikes were our preferred mode of transportation on this trip. Our first Airbnb was in Aldea Zama neighbourhood, from which we commuted to the beach on bikes (approx 30 minutes). After moving to Serena Glamping resort close to the beach, we still rented bikes to go up and down the street during the day.
Bring cash for restaurants, cabs, drinks, shopping. Many places do not take credit card or add a percentage for using plastic.
Transportation from Cancun to Tulum: public bus is around $18, a taxi/shuttle is approximately $130 (which is faster and well worth it if you have 3-4 people to split the cost with)
Expect that taxis will cost more at night; however, do not be afraid to negotiate a reasonable price.
We spent half of our trip in an Airbnb in Aldea Zama (30 min bike ride or $10-20 cab ride from the beach). The second part of our trip was at Serena Glamping right beside the beach. There are pro’s and con’s to both but, in the end, we were happy to have experienced both. First Airbnb had a kitchen, living room, two patios, two bedrooms and three full bathrooms for about a third of the price of our second (beach) accommodation. First spot was comfortable, spacious and inexpensive, but the second (albeit much smaller) had the unique boho rustic charm and the convenience of living in a jungle setting right beside the beach (however it did come with a higher price tag - locally known as “beach tax”)