Birthday Getaway Part II: Tulum

This past week I’ve come across 4 different couples who are heading to Tulum in the next couple of weeks. FOUR. Yes, Tulum is officially the Miami alternative for New Yorkers. And for good reason– it’s awesome. Let me tell you why…

Tulum is what I imagine Bali being like, minus the 24 hour plane ride. It’s bohemian, sexy, and eco-friendly. Yoga is a way of life, and the beautiful people have migrated. In January 2012, the NY Times took note of this hip-and-happening beach in Mexico, even interviewing fashion designers and editors about it. Tulum has become THE holiday spot for fashion’s finest.

It’s no wonder why this town is amongst the dreamiest of places to visit. Beaches are absolutely gorgeous, people exude positive energy and the food is on point. I daydream of the day where I could own a little business on the side in Tulum. Whether it’s a clothing boutique or a restaurant, it doesn’t matter. Either would do. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is where I will call home for life, but when asked “Where would you hope to have a vacation home one day?” I would, without hesitation, say Tulum. For now I’ll stick to visiting and telling you guys how awesome it is.

Here’s a little breakdown of some of my Tulum favorites:

//Where to Eat

Hartwood: Leave it to a New Yorker to open up the hottest restaurant in Tulum. Formally at Vinegar Hill House and Peasant (two of my favorite restaurants) Chef and Owner, Eric Werner, does not disappoint. Everything from the decor, food, and service, was amazing. Just make sure you show up early and bring cash. (see below for pictures and tips.)

Posada Margherita: With some of the freshest pasta in all of Mexico, these guys have something good going. This beach side restaurant is one of the most popular spots in all of Tulum. Food is delicious but, in my opinion, did not beat Hartwood. Perhaps it’s the excellent service that keeps people coming back? True story: we forgot that it was cash only so when we asked the owner where the nearest ATM was he said, “Do not worry about the money! Where are you from? New York? Ah, no worries. Enjoy your vacation and bring an envelope of cash to Circolo, our sister restaurant, when you get home…Or come tomorrow!” My jaw drops. This guy seriously allows people to show up the next day to pay, no questions asked. I really wonder how often people skip out on the bill. We chose to pay the next day and stayed for some Aperol spritzes. (see more below.)

El Tábano: Probably our second favorite restaurant of the vaca was El Tábano. You know the food is good when the restaurant doesn’t even have a website and is packed regularly. I would recommend what to order, but they change the menu all the time. We ordered a chilled cucumber and avocado soup, roasted cactus, and braised oxtail. Everything was beyond delicious.

//Where to grab cocktails

Mateo’s: Coco locos, sunsets, and burritos. If you can do all three at once, then go for it. (see below for more pictures and tips.)

La Zebra: If you’re in town on a Sunday, make sure you go learn how to dance some salsa at La Zebra. Their teachers, from what we could tell, were all talented and gracious. If you’re not into dancing, go anyways. There’s a salsa party from 8pm-11pm where you go on stage, or just kick-back and watch.

Zamas: Super cool spot in between the beach and town. (see below for more pictures and tips.)

//Where to Yoga

Ahau Tulum: If you’re a yoga lover, make sure you go to a class at Ahau Tulum. This yoga resort has several classes a day, all of which are friendly for beginners and advanced yogis. The upside? You have a beautiful view of the beach. The downside? You have to block out any restaurant noise as the room is located directly above the cafe.

Yoga Shala: I didn’t get a chance to practice here, but it looked like a great alternative to Ahau. Classes were slightly more expensive ($15 USD), but my guess is the practice is a lot more peaceful.

//Because you have to

The Ruins: Bring sunblock, comfortable shoes, and a bathing suit. (See below for more pictures and tips.)

Rent Bikes: I highly recommend renting bikes if you don’t have a car (or even if you do.) We rented ours from Yoga Shala, but most hotels will be able to offer up other options. Also check out Hola Bike.

Cenotes: There are many types of cenotes to explore and different ways to explore them. Wikipedia has some options you should check out. I went during my last trip to Tulum about 5 years ago and it was awesome. Highly encourage you check them out if you have time.

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Outside of our hotel room

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Checking out Papaya Playa

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The fish tacos at Ahau Tulum were the winners of the trip. The pineapple chunks made them all the more refreshing.

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Outside of our hotel room at Azucar. We had a hammock (!!!)

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Hartwood and all its beauty.

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I ordered the octopus special and instantly went to culinary heaven. Everything they serve is fresh and cooked with love.

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Be prepared to lose power. It’s a common problem in Tulum.

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Coco locos (not to be confused with Coco loso’s) are a must at Mateo’s. Order them for sunset cocktails in the Sunset Lounge. Thank me later.

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This picture doesn’t even do the sunset justice. @ Mateo’s.

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Posada Margherita

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Watch the sun rise one day. It’s out-of-this-world stunning.

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This is Posada Margherita during the day. Order an Aperol Spritz and you’ll feel like you’re chilling in the Italian Riviera.

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Here’s my touristy boyfriend being a complete nerd at The Ruins.

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When you head to the ruins, make sure you go down to the beach. It’s breathtaking. As long as you don’t mind sharing it with hundreds of tourists.

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Coqui Coqui has one of the the coolest vibes in Tulum. This is their boutique with sand-filled floors. I died. (One day, right?)

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My thoughts exactly.

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Me sporting a new tan and Reformation dress. I believe I purchased the last one, but here’s a gorgeous clone.

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This sunset was incredible. The colors were something out of “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona.”

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Zamas is a cool spot tucked in the corner between the beach and the town. Great drinks, and an even better view.

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Shirt by LF stores, tan romper by NastyGal, earrings from TopShop.

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Taking it all in. //

Another thing to keep in mind if you’re traveling to Tulum is that everything on the beach closes at 11pm. It’s an eco-friendly town, so don’t litter and try not to clog up the toilet with paper. A lot of the better restaurants are cash only, so make sure you have enough pesos or dollars. If you’re going to the ruins, make sure you bring pesos (admission is 57 pesos per person.) Also, wear lots of sunscreen and if the mosquitos like you, bring some repellent. I also highly recommend you rent a car if you’re doing the same trip we did (Playa Del Carmen–> Tulum) otherwise you’re going to spend $75 per person for a cab to the airport.

Adios, Tulum. Until next time.

xo Cyndi

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