We always knew we wanted to return to Tulum after visiting for the first time, with the boys, two years ago. So this year, Adam whisked me away to explore the little pueblito of Tulum just the two of us. It's location is about 2 hours south of Cancun. It is quaint, isn't congested with tourists, laid back and it has a bohemian feel to it. You ride on bikes to get around and pretty much live in your swim suits. Even though it was just a 5 day getaway, we were able to enjoy many activities and relax at the same time. If you're a parent, you know relaxing can be as easy as sitting on the plane for 5 hours, without any interruptions and just reading a magazine.
This post is divided by Hotels, Activities, and Food, so it's easier to browse through. I listed all the links at the bottom, in case you wanted to visit some of these locations.
**BLOG POST from last trip CLICK HERE
If you don't utilize hotels.com to reserve your hotels when traveling, you really should, because you can accumulate free nights. We travel a lot as a family and Adam does, as well for work, so this "summer fling" was the perfect time to use some of our free nights. With it just being Adam and I, we opted to stay at an "adults only" type of hotel because why not, right?
This hotel had only one night available, so we took advatange of the one night. The decor of the hotel is bohemian style and I was in love. The ambiance is so laid back and there isn't a lack of views in each room, but we did have the most amazing view since it was the suite. It's was a large room with a patio and jacuzzi that felt amazing in the evening. I loved that it had access to two beach areas that you didn't have to walk or drive to. My favorite part of this room was the shower overlooking the ocean with a wide open window. It gave you the feeling that you were showering outside. Lastly, it had no curtains which meant you just had to be careful not to give free show, hehe.
This boutique hotel was breathtaking. We were greeted with mimosas and hot hand towels. Our room was a bit smaller on this property, but still had a private jacuzzi on our patio. Believe me, after a day of exploring it was nice to relax in the comfort of your own space. This hotel included a full 2 course breakfast for all the guests. That amenity alone made me so happy. Although it didn't include access to the beach it did have several cabanas where you could lay down and relax with a view overlooking the ocean.
This was not a place we stayed, but we did take time to come and admire the scenery. This is definitely on my list of places to stay next time we visit. If you're a fan of the TV show Narcos, then you'll appreciate the history behind this property. It was, at one time, the mansion of Pablo Escobar and has now been turned into a hotel. So charming.
We had somewhat of an idea of what we wanted to do, but we didn't make any reservations. We decided to just play it day by day. The great thing about traveling to the Riviera Maya, is there is so much to do. I don't suggest you try to do everything at once, instead come back and do new things.
Cenotes are just about everywhere, but we decided to visit this one since it was about 15 minutes away. Its $10usd per person and it comes with a shower, hammock and you can rent life jackets and lockers for just a few bucks. The water is a bit cold but the temperature outside is so hot and humid, its refreshing to just take a dip in it. I was a bit disappointed that diving wasn't allowed, but there are other cenotes where you can. I'll have to visit some of those next time.
The distance to this cenote was closer. It was about 5 minutes away from Mi Amor Hotel and it was a bit more in cost, due to the fact that they offer kayaking. The highlight for us, was the opportunity to get more of a look at the sea life. They also offer snorkeling and scuba diving for you to enjoy.
We couldn't decide if you should visit Chichén Itzá or the Coba Ruins because they both have the pyramids. However, you can climb the pyramid in Coba and it was a 45 minute drive compared to the 1.5 hour drive to Chichén Itzá, where climbing is not allowed. If you plan for either one of these, take walking shoes, lots of water, sunscreen, a hat and comfy clothes. It's a $10usd entrance fee and you don't need a guide, so don't get suckered into paying for one. You do, however, want to rent a bicycle because it's a big park. I promise, it's worth it! We biked straight to the biggest pyramid to climb and it was so much fun. Luckily, we had been working out prior to this trip, so it was an easy climb. The only downside was that the heat drained us a bit. I'm glad we went to Coba instead, next time we will visit Chichén Itzá.
From Tulum we drove to Playa Del Carmen (45 min drive) to catch the ferry. There are a few companies where you can purchase tickets and they all try to upsale the tickets, which we weren't interested in dealing with. Lucky for Adam, I do all the haggling because I know exactly what they are trying to do. It went from $80usd to $15 bucks round trip because I'm no dummy, haha. The ferry runs every hour on the hour and it's about a 45 minute trip, boarding included. If you ask me, Isla Mujeres is so much better. That's where we visited during our last trip there. So if you are trying to decide which one to go to, my suggestion is Isla Mujeres. Cozumel, has a nice downtown but just to sit at a beach you have to take a taxi, whereas Mujeres you can get to most of the beaches and downtown by solely walking.
Playa Paraíso is a breathtaking beach in Tulum. This was our second visit here, since on our last trip, we visited with the boys in tow. You can rent beach chairs, get massages on the beach and also do fun beach activities like jet ski. The water everywhere is crystal blue and so warm so we went in to catch some waves. Parking is included if you decide to dine at the beach club.
We've heard of how fun Xoximilco is so we had to check it out this time. Luckily, we saved it for the last night because it was a great way to end our trip. It's about $80 per person and it includes all you can eat, drink and 4.5 hours of entertainment. It's a bit expensive, but it was so worth it. Basically, it's a boat that sits about 20 people and you're riding along a river but along the way you are serenaded with all varieties of Mexican music and you pick up food along the way. There's really none like it, not even in Vegas. The night we went it was a Juan Gabriel theme, so only his music was being performed. It really surprised me how so many people around the world visit. We were the only Americans on our boat, other people were from Colombia, Portugal, Chile, Argentina and many more countries. It's a must do for sure!
Adam and I love to find new street food where ever we visit. So when it comes to any antojitos, we are all in throughout the day. But, we also had the chance to dine at some restaurants, so here is the list:
It's an authentic restaurant known for large meat plates like the arrachera. My favorite is the Frijoles de Charro they serve as a starter.
Best street tacos I tried in this area, so many varieties of meats and I can easily eat 8 tacos, next to Domino's pizza.
Modern Mexican cuisine but so delicious. We had aguachiles and posole de camaron.
Great place for a late dinner and it was walking distance from our hotel. Everything is grilled on the parilla so it definitely gives it a more of an authentic flavor.
Known mostly for their mariscos and you can enjoy dining on the beach.
I'd love to visit new areas in the Yucatan, so if you have recommendations for our next visit, please let me know below. Hope you're able to explore the beautiful town of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mx.
XOXO, Crystal Cara