Tulum, Mexico in Quintana Roo is one of the most amazing places I’ve been! If you haven’t been, you should add it to your short list. It has definitely made it into my top 5 travel destinations:
Getting to Tulum wasn’t as bad as I thought. I arrived at CUN (Canun International Airport in Cancun, Mexico) at terminal 3 (Delta flight) around 3pm. As soon as I got off the plane and collected my baggage, I saw a Hertz counter, and notified them that I had made a vehicle reservation. The Hertz guy came running around from behind the counter, scooped up my bags, and walked me to the shuttle bus that dropped me off in front of the rental office just outside of terminal 2. After about 10 minutes, I was ready to go with my Jeep Patriot (still had paper plates on it!). I booked a place in Cancun for the night at Emporio since it was a Friday night after all. We quickly got ready, and hailed a cab to the ‘Party zone.’ Scouting out a lively place to eat dinner, we chose Carlos N’ Charlies, tourists, I know! I am glad we did — the staff there is over the top hilarious, and the food was great, especially the guacamole which is made right in front of you. It was just what my 30-something body needed to get in the mood for the club/bar scene. While we were there we met two great people — coworkers Mikaela and Eddie from NYC, and we were off! Let me tell you: getting into places here isn’t easy. The nightlife felt a lot like Vegas: a hassle and cover is super expensive! At some point we met a random group of French guys that took us (and paid $60 for each of us) to get into The City nightclub. It claims to be the largest club in Latin America, holding 5000 people! It was insane. I can’t imagine that a club like this would fly in the US (liability!). It has escalators and is multi-level with steps all the way around — there is hardly a flat surface in the club. There were performances in the center the whole time with dancers, acrobats, comedians, magicians. Pretty impressive. Come 3am I was ready to go home! On the way to get a cab, we saw some guys selling ‘Papa John’s’ pizza… or so the pizza cover said… it was the most disgusting pizza I had ever eaten.
The morning came, and I was so ready for Tulum. I definitely couldn’t handle Cancun another night. We hopped in the Jeep and drove the 90 minutes. It was pretty much one straight road all the way. So easy. Upon arriving, we asked around for a cheap eco-chic hotel and stumbled upon Playa Canek. It was $180/night for an ocean view which I highly recommend! You can pay $30/night extra for A/C, but it wasn’t worth it to us. In Tulum, A/C is a luxury, wifi is spotty, 3G is almost non-existent near the oceanside, mosquitos are rampant, but the beauty and serenity made me quickly overlook it all.
Top things to do:
Swim in the beautiful, clear, calm, turquoise waters
Jog down the white, sandy beach
Eat at Hartwood
Visit a Cenote (underground river)
Visit the Mayan Ruins on the oceanside
Find the cute, rustic Gelato sign outside of Posada Marghertia (very Pinterest)
Eat at Casa Banana and order a drink from their Mixology bar
Browse the super cute boutiques
Yoga on the beach
Eat and juice at Del Cielo
Juice at Hip Hotel
Eat at Casa Jaguar (cutest place you ever did see)
Ride bicycles down the main beach road
Salsa dance at La Zebra
Bikini Bootcamp at Amensala (for another trip when I have 6 days to spare). Must try one day.