Over the past 12 months I’d noticed Tulum appearing on more and more Instagram feeds and coming up in more and more conversations. I’d had my mind set on a trip there since my sister went three or so years ago and would not stop harping on about it for way, way too long… however, to be totally honest, I was so certain it would turn out to be one of those places that looks great with a filter and witty caption, but would fall short in the flesh. And alongside this assumption, I hadn’t planned to make it a ‘bloggy’ trip; I had planned to post a few snaps (duh), but this blog wasn’t in my intentions.
Oh, how wrong I was about this gorgeous little Mexican town! So free-spirited, creative, friendly and just generally one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen in my life.
Within a few measly hours, I had totally fallen in love with this place and was immediately excited to write this very post and tell you all about it.
We stayed at Naay Hotel which was located in the more central ‘town’ part of Tulum and was about a 10-15 minute drive to the beaches (although that felt more like 2 minutes as you go through the most amazing scenery on your way!). The hotel itself was absolutely perfect… it had a rooftop pool to rival any rooftop pool you’ve ever seen, double and single sun loungers, a sweet dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner (amazing for sunrise and sunset, especially if, like us, you get into the routine of waking up at 5am and being at breakfast for 7) and the rooms were the perfect mix of boutique and rustic feeling, but with all the mod-cons I couldn’t live without. The only issues we experienced were one night being woken up 4/5 times by them ringing our phone and banging our door because we forgot to close our tab that day (honestly, don’t disturb this beast when she’s asleep or risk the wrath!) and the fact that the staff didn’t speak much English so it was sometimes tricky to request simple things like booking us a table for dinner. A really lovely boutique hotel – definitely recommend if you’re looking for somewhere that is a blend of luxury and budget friendly.
Most of the hotels on the seafront also double up as beach clubs… and became our homes for more or less every day during daylight hours. Most of the ones we visited were luxury, 5* hotels that opened up a selection of their beds to non-guests for a minimum spend during your stay. Most of them required a spend per person of around $20 per person (one went up to $50 I think) but to be honest, over the course of one full day this was exceeded anyway. It probably sounds douchey to say we spent most of our days in ‘luxury beach clubs’, but in reality, we were still on quiet, unpopulated beaches and sat alongside jungle..
Some of our favourite ones were:
- La Zebra
- Mi Amor (no access to beach but great views over sea)
- Taqueria La Eufemia (no minimum spend, but get there early!)
One of the biggest reasons I loved Tulum so much is because it’s not just a ‘beach holiday’ – there’s so much to see and explore, especially if you’re able to rent a car or bike. During our trip, we visited three Cenotes (a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath…. I definitely took that straight from Wikipedia) and I wish we visited more actually.
The first one we visited was Dos Ojos which was about 30 mins by car. We arrived when it opened at 9am and we had the whole place to ourselves for the whole time we were there. The Cenotes were absolutely huge and honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. I could have stayed there for hours and hours, just me, my snorkel and this whole crazy underwater world!
The second one we visited was Casa Tortuga. This Cenote was absolutely huge and mainly all in narrow underground caves and we were led by a guide in a group of about eight people. It was a little too intense for me (I’m not the worlds best swimmer!) but there was a five year-old with us who had the time of her life, so it’s a confirmed fact that it was just me being a wimp! If you’re good with water, tight spaces and darkness then I’d 100% recommend. Given the chance, I would do it again… but I’d just put my big girl pants on and man the f*** up a bit more.
The final one we went to was Grand Cenote. Crowded, small, not much to see. Don’t bother!
We ate mostly at the beach clubs in the daytimes, but in the evenings we tried to eat at more local, authentic places. I didn’t get any shots of these I’m afraid, as I tried to leave my phone at the hotel in the evenings to give my poor boyfriend a break from photographer duty, but a few places I’d definitely recommend trying out if you visit are:
- Pasha (amazing Turkish food – family run, gorgeous surroundings!)
- Burrito Amor (casual dining in a super cool outdoor restaurant. Best burrito I’ve ever tasted by a mile)
- Pizzeria Manglar (really chic, trendy indoorsy/outdoorsy pizzeria tucked down a totally unassuming road. They have three adorable little dogs too. winner.)
- Taqueria Honorio (I personally didn’t love this place because they didn’t do any veggie options, but Tom, who is a raging carnivore loved it. Local food, local restaurant and a lot of local people dining there which I always think is a good sign!).
That’s 10 days of travels crammed into lil blog post.. I could carry on talking about this place for days and I think I could if I wanted to! If you’ve got any questions then, as always, comment below or drop me a message on Instagram.