Katarina, A Style Journey
(Affiliate) In the end of 2017 I finally had the opportunity to visit the Tulum I’ve heard so much about. The unbelievably beautiful beaches and various nature, the mighty beach clubs, the breathtaking sunsets and one the AMAZING cuisines. Not to mention the totally tranquil – and still a bit hippie – atmosphere running through the place and people there. And I can only say that I approve the rumors; the place is really a dream destination in so many ways. And these spots are some of the reasons why:
WHERE TO STAY
Most would prefer to stay on the beach, in one of the luxe beach hotels (between Sanara and Casa Malca), and some of these, like Nomade, Casa Malca and Be Tulum for example, really are worth the extra money (a lot money actually, in high season). They’re at the beach, with the most beautiful beach clubs, cozy rooms and with great food, both breakfast/lunch and dinner. Others on the other hand, duo to their beach location, are shamelessly overpriced and definitely NOT worth it.
In other words, especially if you’re having a car, it might be just as good – if not better! – living in Tulum town. Not only are you close to the small town of Tulum and some of the best restaurants (that are A LOT cheaper than the ones on the beach), you’ll find some really nice and newer hotels for really good prices. Which is exactly what we did!
Finding Tiki Tiki, in the middle of the jungle, hidden and quit and in one with nature, really made our trip even better. The perfect location close to the city and some of our favorite restaurants, not to mention the hotels mid-century modern design and interior, which made it a dream destination for relaxation. A perfect spot to recharge batteries and get away. And the staff there, well they are the BEST! Not to mention that Guido, the bartender makes the most amazing drinks in Tulum – and no, I’m not exaggerating.
Tiki Tiki even have some good live music, in thread with the hotel style, which makes it the perfect spot to enjoy some late night drinks.
See more of Tiki Tiki inour Dream Destination post!
Photo: Left: La Zebra, right: Sanara
Since we had a delicious breakfast at the hotel we didn’t want to skip we only had lunch (and dinner) out. And the lunches was only on the beach – even though I’ve heard there are some good spots in town as well (like HUMO).
Our favorite lunch spots must be the uber healthy yet UBER tasty food and drinks at Sanara (we also spent most of our days at their beach club), Nomade and La Zebra (the linse soup is delisious!). These are all on the beach clubs.
There are also a couple of good lunch spots by the beach-road (both Mexican, bowls and smoothies), but we where to lazy to take the walk…
Photo: Humo / A Style Journey
… where do I start? Since good food experiences is one of the top 3 most important things on how I experience my vacation, we did a lot of food research and got some really good tips from the locals aka. The hotel staff.
First things first: There are a lot of good restaurants by the beach, some of the most known and most spoken of are located there, yet these are also a lot more pricey and not all of them are as good as they’re said to be. It seems like some of them got their huge names thanks to location and looks – and it’s true that some of the most beautiful ones, speaking in terms of atmosphere and design, are located on the beach. When that’s said, some of the beach restaurants are definitely worth trying! My favorites are Safari, Gitano and Charly’s Vegan Tacos. We also ate at Hartwood and Posada Margarita, which is said to be the best ones, but I was not convinced (especially the latter, even though it’s said to be the best Italian in town).
Pssst! We heard that Casa Jaguar is supposed to be good, but did not have the time to try.
Tulum town is where you’ll find my absolute favorite – I even dare to call it the best restaurant in Tulum – HUMO. I won’t say more than that it has it all; the food, the atmosphere/location, the concept and the good prices. A MUST-TRY! We ate there two nights in a row after discovering it – and you’ll really regret not eating there.
If you get enough of all the Mexican food the best Italian (especially the Pizza) is the (Italian) family restaurant El Bacaro. If not you’ll find the best (and cheapest) tacos in Tulum at Antojitos – do not let the look scare you away. The best traditional Mexican food, according to the locals, you’ll find at Cetil. And last, but not least if you’re a meat-lover, they say El Asadero is the place to be.
WHERE TO DRINK
There are three spots you shouldn’t miss!
1. GITANO (on the beach): Perfect atmosphere, some of the best drinks and also good food to have on the side. We LOVED the hummus and the tacos.
2. BATEY (in town): Close to El Bacaro in centrum is what’s probably the best bar in town. And the best part? Well, they make their own sugar, right in front of you, so they can give you the best mojito you’ll ever taste! And they have all kinds.
3. TIKI TIKI HOTEL (in town/the jungle): As mentioned in the beginning Guido at Tiki Tiki makes the best drinks in town. And the night atmosphere at the hotel is so tranquil.
The beach-life in Tulum is separated in two; one public side and one ‘private’ where you can choose from different beach clubs (as long as you spend a pre-set amount while there, mostly between 20-30 euros per pers). We preferred the latter, between Sanara and Casa Malca. It depends on what you’re looking for, but Sanara and La Zebra – especially La Zebra – are more lively. From the NEST and all the way to Casa Malca it’s super tranquil.
WHERE TO SHOP
Even though I’m not a super shopper when on a beach vacations, there are some things that might be worth looking for while in Tulum. Bikinis and swimsuits, kaftans and other beach pieces, straw hats and bags AND super cute Mexican decoration (cloths, tortilla baskets, bowls, etc…) for the Mexican nights at home. For the latter, Tulum town is the place to hunt. While for the clothing you’ll actually find some nice stores on the beach road – as well some in the same street as El Bacaro.
WHAT TO SEE
Ups… Not been looking forward to this question since we actually didn’t want to do anything else than beach, beach, beach and food/drinks. Which is why we can almost only recommend La Dolce Vita, despite there are A LOT of things to do in and near Tulum.
We did visit one thing though; the Maya ruins and they’re absolutely worth the look! Other things we would have done next time is:
1. The Kaan Luun lagoon
2. Valladolid or Mérida
Morning yoga and breakfast at Holistika – or maybe a evening Temazcal?
Other than that the beach is your best friend!