Tulum is the place to be but I prefer the part behind the ruins. Ultra trendy, on this part. A little bit like Ibiza, but more sophisticated. Plenty of taste: surrounded by turquoise water and white sandy beaches, I met lots of beautiful and stylish people, as if people were filtered at the airport!
But I prefer the part behind the ruins. Ultra trendy, on this part. A little bit like Ibiza, but more sophisticated. Plenty of taste: surrounded by turquoise water and white sandy beaches, I met lots of beautiful and stylish people, as if people were filtered at the airport!
As a Parisian, I’m lucky enough to be able to organize my schedule so that I can leave often. Staying in a hotel is both like being at home, and elsewhere. I look for security, but also discretion, which is why I am a member of the “She travel club”. It’s part of a certain elegance that one should find in a hotel, as much in the efficiency of the staff as in the quality of the bedding.
IMPORTANT: Tulum has the reputation of being a noisy and dangerous city. It is true, we will not dispute. And some people do not leave their hotels where everything is included. For me, safety goes with the flow. In fact, there is not much to fear if you follow the usual safety advice.
Anyway, it is better to go with friends than as a solo backpacker.
My favorites restaurants
Must-to-go, even if only for a drink
Gitano: Cocktail lounge and restaurant are nestled in palm tree-studded jungle, with chandeliers hanging from trees. Feet in the sand, as everywhere in Tulum. And a smoke of copal, (an antimosquitos sent in profusion) , gives to the atmosphere an ethereal side. In addition to serving Mexican food, the cocktail-lounge is amazing. Speciality of the house: Jungle Fever cocktail (mezcal, chili, lime, cilantro). DJ in the middle of the restaurant, people can dance. And most of the time they dance.
Casa Malca: This hotel was the mansion of the famous Pablo Escobar! After his death in 1993, many of Escobar’s properties were abandoned, including this mansion in Tulum. Bought in 2012 by a New York art dealer, Mister Malca, it was revamped into a five-star resort. Booking a night is quite expensive (1000 dollars). Better to take a « Day pass beach », (the beach is stunning), and have a lunch at the hotel restaurant.
Casa Jaguar: Much less noisy than Gitano. The food is very much aligned with Tulum’s philosophy : unpretentious, but sophisticated.
Some personals adresses
Wild: Perfect for lunches. Tables are set under the canopy of the jungle, cuisine with a Maya inspiration.
Casa Violeta: Very bohemian, with a stunning view of the ocean. Organic food, and more Italian than latine.
Rosa Negra: More for dinners. Rustic but sophisticated atmosphere. The mood is set by candlelight. But the DJ is amazing
My favorite adresses for clothes
Caravana: The best ever summer chic! First Boutique in Tulum, Caravana is now in Scorpios, Mykonos, Ibiza. Caravana only selects natural fabrics and fibers. All pieces are handmade at workshops in Mexico. The clothes recognize uni-gender and one size. Each piece can be worn and styled in multiple ways. I bought a dress, and I have been wearing it on all my vacations
Afrodita: Tulum’s ethos is in the charter of this brand « We believe in artisanal slow fashion, we believe in fair trade for all our workers, and we believe that having a actual part on your local society and economy only validates you as a part of it». Ecolo, easy to wear, and not crazy prices.
Do not leave Tulum without a hat (one minimum) : ! I challenge you not to succumb to Mapache. Handmade capes made of natural straw, panamas, and especially sombreros. Everything is made by artisans, each piece is unique.
Spa, messages and yoga
In Tulum, you won’t see anyone playing tennis or paragliding. Not a single golf course. Here you don’t sweat, you meditate, you nurture your soul.
Yoga: Tulum is the capital of yoga schools. There are hundreds of them. You can choose between yoga and massage, yoga and diving, yoga and meditation, yoga and bachelorette parties. How to choose?
Rely on the hotel where you are staying. Most of them organize yoga classes. The concierge has always the right person for a private yoga class. Avoid internet addresses.
Massages : There is the cheap one on the beach, or the expensive one in a luxury spa. Here again, rely on the hotel. One of my favorite hotel is Radhoo hotel: I like it because I am steps away from Tulum’s main strip, and from the noise. This hotel has a bohemian character, with a touch of luxury. The concierge booked for me a masseuse who came to my room with her equipment. I was reassured, the girl was great, and the prices were very reasonable.
Spa: You have to try the Temazcal ritual massage. Temazcal is one of the oldest rituals of Mesoamerican cultures. It is a ceremony accompanied by a steam bath that occurs in a small “dome” built with stones and other natural elements. It was believed that this space represented the interior of the Earth, a place of transit between the living and the underworld. Tezmacal is supposed to released all your stress.
Good address: Casa Violeta, they practice Temazcal as a sacred ritual, preserving its authenticity and integrity. It is not the case everywhere.
Place to visit
People come to Tulum a lot for the beaches, but it would be a shame to miss these visits
The ruins of Tulum: It is sublime . The remains of a Mayan fortress perched on a rocky promontory, facing the Caribbean Sea. Imagine the show. This fortress was mainly dedicated to religious ceremonies. There are tombs, altars, temples, including El Castillo, a sublime Mayan temple of 12 meters high (a building of 4 floors). You can make the visit at night, it is even more magic
The ancient Mayan city of Coba: This site is bigger, very different from the site of Tulum. More vast, more impressive by the height of the vestiges. You can imagine being Indiana Jones because it is a huge playground. One of the most impressive Caraibes wildlife. You can even encounter scorpions there, but not deadly.
The cenotes, the Yucatan is full of them. They are chasms filled with a crystal clear blue water. I was amazed by the beauty of the cenote Sac Actun, which unlike the other cenotes is not in the open air but in a cave with impressive stalactites.