Last year my friends and I took a last minute trip to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for New Years. On this trip we went to see the Tulum Ruins one of those days and ended up eating dinner in town. We were amazed by this gem of a city, and wanted to make a return trip dedicated to exploring Tulum. 6 girls, white sand beaches, happy hours, chilaquiles, and dance parties. It was a relaxing 4 days in paradise.
We arrived and took Cancun Limo service for 1.5 hours to our hotel (we rented a van, not a limo). Cabanas Tulum is a great hotel right on a beautiful beach. It has two restaurants, Frescos and Ziggy Beach. Breakfast at Ziggy's comes free with the hotel stay. This isn't like an American continental breakfast, but rather, an entire menu which includes smoothies, chilaquiles, breakfast burritos, coffee, and more. All of it was delicious and unlimited, and right on the beach overlooking the ocean. Chilaquiles was a favorite among our friends, you can order it with half green and half red sauce, the perfect combo.
Cabanas Tulum also has free bike rentals if you stay there. We took these cruisers out to go shopping on the Main Street where there are tons of boutiques with boho beachwear.
Dinner at Posada Margherita
Posada margherita has a beautiful rustic boho chic aesthetic. The pastas are good, but not as good as the fresh pasta in Italy. That really can't be beat. Nonetheless, it's worth having a meal in this gorgeous restaurant on the sea.
Sunset at Mateos
We had sunset drinks at Mateos two nights in a row. Mateos has a rooftop deck overlooking the bright green tropical landscape. It's 2 for 1 drinks, strawberry mint mojitos, mango maragitas, and many more delicious cocktails. Sip on these while feeling the ocean breeze and listening to a DJ set. We caught one DJ set with a live trumpet player.
We wandered by Todos Santos our first night in Tulum. It has an elegant atmosphere and inventive cocktails that featured local ingredients (guanabana, mango, coconut milk) and lots of different types of mezcal. We drank mezcal drinks out of goblets with fresh thyme sprigs, and wandered around the all the rooms and dance floors and DJs. We went here again our second night for a cocktail and caught a mariachi band performance.
Once you arrive in Tulum, there seem to be regular spots to frequent based on the night. Gitano seems to be the Friday night hot spot. They clear a portion of the tables for a dance floor under the trees with string lights. The DJ was a modern disco vibe, and we danced the night away under the disco ball.
Lazy river adventure
We planned one adventure for this trip with Adventure Tour Center, a relaxing tour that starts with a boat ride through two fresh water lagoons which connect to an ancient Mayan canal. There is a small ruin site on the bank of the canal, and then we went floating through the clear water as the current carries everyone gently towards the Caribbean Sea. The fresh water is so beautiful, and the canal is lined with large air plants. It's peaceful and serene.
The beach in front of Cabanas Tulum is picture perfect. We spent countless hours enjoying the sunshine, warm water, and slight ocean breeze while drinking margaritas.
Hartwood is a classy open air restaurant featuring a lot of fresh seafood. Their menu changes daily based on what the freshest ingredients are they can find. It has a magical ambiance, and is arguably one of the hardest places to get a reservation at in Tulum. Reserve early so you can experience this gem.
Papaya Playa's night to shine is Saturday. There is a small cover charge that includes a drink, then you must buy drink coupons once inside. Papaya Playa is open air and right on the beach. They have a massive outdoor dance floor with DJs and it was packed. They also had someone who did face paintings, it started to feel like we were at Burning Man.
There are countless places to do yoga in Tulum. We went to a class at Maya Tulum.
Bejuco is brand new and quite amazing. It has little huts all across the beach front that you can sit and eat or drink inside. These huts are made from "Bejuco," it's namesake. We would've loved to get the full experience, but shortly after we took the photos below the storm brewing unleashed itself and we had to run for cover. We stayed and had a drink, but I'm really looking forward to coming back to fully embrace this boho chic restaurant.
Mezzanine is a delicious Thai restaurant overlooking the ocean. It has a cozy moroccan vibe to it.
There are loads of cute boutiques to shop in Tulum. The prices range, but most are on the high side. I particularly loved the boho chic beachwear in the ally next to Murmur restaurant. Carvana is another favorite. It has a Burning Man kind style to it. Most of their products can be worn in different ways depending on how you wrap them. They have a lot of linen and leather pieces, and I want it all!
We didn't see the ruins on this particular trip, but I did go a year prior in 2016. The ruins of Tulum aren't as grand as some of the other ancient Mayan temples that have survived the test of time, but they have one amazing thing going for them, the beach they tower over is breathtaking. A gradient of blues that meet with the white sandy shoreline. You can purchase a package that includes entrance fee, a boat ride, and snorkeling for about 25 USD. We wandered through the ruins by the sea, catching sight of all the iguanas blending into the stonework.