We recently took our sense of adventure to Tulum, Mexico with a couple of our very close friends. We explored the beautiful town, swam with sting rays & sea turtles, jumped into a lagoon and swam around in the Grand Cenote. Oh, and ate some of the most delicious food until our bellies were stuffed. From exploring the beautiful hotels on the beach, enjoying the top recommended restaurant in the jungle and spending time in what may be the most beautiful gallery we’ve ever seen, our adventure to Tulum, Mexico was one we won’t soon be forgetting.
We arrived in Tulum in the late afternoon. We took a private shuttle from the airport at Cancun to our airbnb, which ended up being about an hour and a half ride. The moment you start driving, you can see just how thick the forest is. With lush trees and vines growing all along the road, the drive went by so quickly with plenty to see from the window. We checked into our air bnb quickly, eager to get out and explore. We were also pretty hungry and so a mission for dinner was top of the list. We walked up to a main street to grab a taxi. Taxis are everywhere in Tulum, which made our exploring so much easier. We headed out to the main beach in Tulum which is the one you see in all the beautiful images online. With a long stretch of beach covered in the most beautiful private resorts and boutique hotels, we decided that was where we would like to have our first dinner. We made our way to Be Tulum, which happens to be on the further end of the drive. There is one road in and out of this area from town, which is happens to be the same road that bicyclists and pedestrians share. Be Tulum had the most beautiful design form the moment you walked in. With a restaurant right on their white sandy beach, we found a low table with pillows for comfort. It was magical! We all enjoyed our dinner at Maresias and it was the perfect meal to start off our vacation.
The next day, we woke up and started our first adventure day. We started off by getting a taxi and going to the ruins. It was really interested to walk around and view everything, but it was extremely humid and crowded. We weren’t really feeling like spending too much time around the ruins, so we made way to our excursion. We booked a boat ride that took us out to the reef to snorkel. We strapped on our gear and jumped right into the ocean. We had a guide would had us follow him around, and we were greeted by friendly sea turtles, colorful fish and sting rays that seemed to be 4-5ft in size. They were massive! It was one of the coolest experiences. After our snorkel excursion, we decided to stay on the public beach and grab a few beers and some snacks before our dinner reservation that evening. We had heard that the number one place to grab dinner in Tulum was Hartwood. We actually posted that we were headed out to Tulum on our instagram and at least 4 different people said we HAD to go here. So thankful that my friend Sam did some research and made a reservation for us. It was slow season, but this place was still crowded. While our table was being prepped for our dinner, we stopped next door for a pre-dinner mezcal cocktail at Gitano. The cocktails were delicious. Because each restaurant is right off the beach, and inset to the jungle, they take precautions with bugs and critters. During dinner at Hartwood they walked around with a bowl of some wood burning that had the most wonderful scent to it. We later asked what it was and found out it was copal. It did help with the bugs, but tradition was to burn Copal for a blessing. Many of the resorts and restaurants burn copal to bless their space. We ended up buying some copal to take home. I haven’t had a chance to burn it yet but am eager to try it at our next outdoor dinner party.
The second day of our trip was filled with exploring the hotels on that main beach stretch, enjoying beach beers and eating food at all the places we could along the way. We started closer towards the beginning of the stretch at the beautiful Azulik resort. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to explore the resort since we weren’t guests, but they did have the most beautiful public boutique as well as an art gallery. This may very well be the most stunning building design I have ever seen. The boutique was filled with unique clothing designs & accessories, throughout the concrete store. With fresh water and stepping stones to walk on, the boutique itself was truly a gallery. The art gallery had these stunning woven circular pieces on the outside. To get in, a gigantic circular door was opened on a hinge in the middle. We spent quite a bit of time enjoying the beautiful design and just sitting in awe of this one of a kind creation.
After our time at Azulik, we made our way down the beach and stopped in to Posada Margharita. Every nook and cranny was filled with details and potted plants; it made me so happy. We sat right on the beach and the breeze cooled us down from our walking. We sipped on some beer, enjoyed some fresh baked focaccia bread and had great conversation with our friends. There is something so magical about being able to travel with your friends and experience new adventures together. We’ve always been pretty social, so we love including friends in our travels and seeing new places with people who are close to us. It is one of our favorite things. That night, we actually ended up going to what I would say was our favorite little treasure; Clan-Destino. We made a stop here after dinner at Hartwoods on the second night, but didn’t realize that a bar with a cenote in the middle even existed. We didn’t have our suites to jump in, but definitely wanted to come back so we could. So, as our final stop of our third night of exploring Tulum, we headed to Clan-Destino to grab a drink and swim in the cenote. It was magical!
On our last day in Tulum, we had a planned to take a taxi to two stops: The Kaan Luum Lagoon and the Grand Cenote. The lagoon was a recommendation from a friendly bartender who made a full list of things for us to do like places to eat and drink, as well as must see spots to explore. The Kaan Luum Lagoon was such a great recommendation. The water was a bit more yellow due to the season, and wasn’t as bright teal as it is during December – April, but it was still insanely beautiful. It was a nice change from the beaches that were filled with stinky seaweed (we came on the off season…), and the water was cool and refreshing. Our friendly bartender who recommended the The Kaan Luum Lagoon said that there was Mayan clay on the bottom and you could rub it on your skin. It smelt like sulfur pretty bad, but I must say that my skin seemed to be glowing. It was either the clay or the lack of sunscreen. We were recommended to not wear sunscreen or bug spray in both of these spots because it isn’t healthy for the landscape or wildlife. The Grand Cenote was our last big adventure, and boy did it really live up to the hype. The Grand Cenote was one big cave that you could swim through. One each end of the cave, there were two swimming spots. One was a deeper area with fresh water turtles and minnows swimming. The other was a shallow soaking area with the most beautiful crystal clear water. We had so much fun, we didn’t capture too many photographs in this spot.
We has such a magical time with our adventure to Tulum, Mexico. Surrounding yourself with great friends, a beautiful new destination and plenty to explore is always a sure way to go. We made a video showcasing more of everything that we did including some street shopping and the ruins. Now the questions is… Where should we go next?