December 5, 2017
Tulum is paradise it takes beach vacation to the next level. Tulum has a reputation as a wellness destination, and it defiantly lived up to its expectation. I had never felt more alive & recharged my partner and I were the happiest we have ever been, there was amazing energy. Where the jungle meets the caribbean sea .. Ruins, zip lines, canoeing, cenotes, cliff jumping, snorkeling, lazing around in hammocks, margaritas, seafood tacos … Tulum is the most magical place I have visited so far. I loved everything about it and had an incredible month here. I found some great food & bars as well as perfect places to relax all day at.
La Coqueta - First on my list for very good reason! Really cute, more traditional open air restaurant with an extensive Mexican menu. Great ceviche, fish and shrimps. Located opposite San Fransisco super market is a local Mexican restaurant with the best prawn tacos in the world! If you go to Tulum and don’t at least try this place once, you are crazy! The seafood is caught daily so go early to avoid missing out on shrimp and fish tacos. It was the best place I ate in Tulum. It was really well priced for the quality, fresh seafood and amazing flavours. I think a dinner for with margaritas would have been around $15 aud each. The owner was amazing and you can tell she's put so much into making her business a success. The setting isn’t anything fancy, just plastic tables looking out onto a road but you don’t even notice because the food is so good! MUST GO! I am so hungry right now whilst writing this review ..
Harwood - Devine restaurant, I loved experiencing a special dinner here. I didn’t need to queue in line for hours to get a reservation but I have heard that this is common, so be prepared to wait .. The menu changes every day to suit what the land and sea can offer, they do take things off the menu as they sell out so I would advice an early dinner. Although the up side to this is every single day the produce is as fresh as can be. Every meal on the menu is prepared the same way, cooked by open fire, in the wood burning oven and grill. The staff here are beautiful and so passionate about what they serve. They explained the choices in detail & we had some delicious zingy and beautifully fresh ceviche & smoked fish.I can promise you will have a delicious seafood dinner here with super relaxed vibes. The cocktails weren’t a stand out for me but the atmosphere and food made it a perfect night. It is a gorgeous opens air setting, its easy to spend the whole night relaxing here. I loved it and would say its one of my most favourite places I have eaten at. I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat.
La Malquerida - This place has amazing food and $2 frozen Margaritas that were the best we had in Mexico! Really amazing home made lasagna, which feels really weird to order in Mexico but it was as good as what I ate in Italy! .. Great chicken nachos, tacos, and the BEST happy hour drinks! Happy hour which seemed to be all day every day is two for one, for just 70 peso. Crazy cheap and they were so good! The seafood platter for 2 came with octopus, fish, butterflied shrimp, two caribbean lobster tails (a must try.) It was fresh and great quality. The service was always great here, the staff are very kind beautiful people. Highly recommend a dinner here. This place was a simple, traditional layout & really affordable.
El Gourmet- Great for sandwich and salad, I always just got takeaway and took it down to the beach, but its a cute little outside cafe. Everything was always fresh and was quick to grab a takeaway lunch from. Wide selection of Paninis , salads and fresh juices. The staff were so kind and were happy to make custom sandwiches. Really good flavoured water & everyone said the ice coffee is great.
DelCielo - This place is just as a good brunch in Melbourne… Nowhere does brunch like Melbourne and I've struggled to find anything like this whilst travelling. But this was AMAZING! This breakfast was incredible! They had smoked salmon, poached eggs, fresh house made bread & smashed avo! The staff were beautiful, they were so friendly and helpful. I was so happy to find this place, brunch lovers must go! (coffee wasn’t amazing, but food 10/10)
Teetotum- Amazing fish tacos, smoothies & juices, delicious breakfast burritos & great French toast. I also had the best guacamole on toast for breakfast a few times & loved it. Amazing fresh juices, ginger shot was strong but was so good. They have free refills on coffee & really amazing staff. The vibe here is really chilled it's a great spot to start your day. The rooftop was beautiful if you got there early enough before it was too hot. or out the front super comfortable big chairs. I do however put out a warning that the hot sauce with the fish tacos is by the far the hottest thing I have ever tried.. I love hot food but this was next level ho! The staff did warn me.. eek! We visited so many times and would highly recommend this place to anyone visiting Tulum. Teetotum is in the perfect location, situated halfway between town and the beach. It is so tropical & Richard who owns it was so welcoming. I also loved JJ who is the manager here, they will send you in the right direction & make sure you know where to go in Tulum! The hotel is also great here I would consider staying here as well as just visiting for breakfast. This was by far one of the best spot for breakfast in Tulum don't miss out.
Ki' Bok Cafe Gourmet - Couldn't ask for a better coffee shop to hang out at while in Tulum. Music, staff and energy in the place was fantastic, and the coffee was pretty good. Their almond milk was bit off I would suggest getting an espresso or regular milk. But The coffee was actually pretty good!
Coco Tulum - Acai & smoothie needs! They have raw, vegan pad thai & a great selection of herbal teas. The acai was so good, topped with fresh fruit & nuts.
GITANO - Is a mescal bar in the jungle. The venue it’s self is an experience. The bar and dining area’s are so cool. You can sit outside under the stars in the jungle, sip on the best mezcals in the world and eat some of the most delicious fresh seafood. The Mezcal mule is so refreshing, theres nothing better in the tropical heat than one of these .. Ginger extract, sparkling water & lime. I also loved the “stardust” mescal, dark rum, pineapple, house made coconut cream, & papaya. And before you leave the Moss shot is a must do! I know its not rocket science advice here but try their ceviche, it is so good, one of the best I had ever had. I loved this place so much it had such a cool vibe .. and the fact it has a disco ball, above the outdoor seating is even better! It's one of best on the beach and is super chill for a sunset. My favourite thing was to get a drink at happy hour $10 and watch the sunset. At night however it turns into a bar with lots more mescal, music & lots of dancing!
Carretera Tulum - So romantic!! Make sure you check out this place for a drink. There is a candlelit garden, where you can sit under the stars and enjoy Tulums amazing tropical weather.. ahhh heaven… I didn’t get the chance to eat here but I saw someone with pork buns which is exciting to see in Mexico! The drinks were great. The staff had so much knowledge and were so beautiful and helpful. Loved this place for a drink. I feel like it was very trendy, they are putting their own mexican spin on other cuisens.
Batey Mojito Bar- If you're looking to have some casual drinks in Tulum at night, this is your place! You can't beat the live music & relaxed atmosphere. The mojitos are 10/10 here and I wouldn't expect anything less from a place that fresh grinds the sugar cane right in front of you! This place knows how to make a mean cocktail. It’s a super fun little bar with great chilled vibe & excellent mojitos! They generally live music playing at night & was full of young backpackers. They usually keep a mojito cart out front with a man cutting fresh sugar cane, which adds to the atmosphere.
I would suggest staying on the beach in tulum. There are great places to eat all along the beach & if you want to go into the town one night a collective is so easy. Another option is to ride your bike into town.. I loved the nights we spent at the beach as there is no reason to leave.
We actually stayed in one airbnb for a few weeks which was great. It was perfectly located between the beach & town. It was nestled away in the jungle so waking up there was magical. It was so tropical, had a pool, free bikes, was quite, safe with a guard at night & was affordable approx $50 AUD a night. We also stayed at a few other airbnbs and they were all fantastic but this is the one I would recommend.
Azulik - Adult styled tree house Villas on the sand in Tulum. It was the the most romantic resort and spa you could imagine. Giant hammocks, outdoor baths, giant round beds and lantens to make your way through the jungle at night. There is no wifi and limited power which was so refreshing. Sometimes a digital detox is the best thing in the world .. It made me focus on the beautiful nature in front of me at that very moment and nothing else. Even if its for one night, this place is like nowhere else in the world & I would recommend staying even for a short stay with someone special.
Nomade Tulum is located on the main beach of Tulum, your room is actually on the sand which is incredible. You’ll get the most out of stay with so much to see and explore just within the grounds of the hotel, theres not really a reason to leave. I loved the gratitude tent & the wind chime garden. Yoga on the beach was a beautiful way to start off each morning followed by delicious fresh fruit. I felt really redevinated and motivated after visiting nomads. It really is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen, to me it felt more like a retreat. Staying here is a really special experience and will have you totally relaxed by the end of your first day. The food was incredible also, everything here was to perfection.
Casa Malca - Beautiful, luxe boutique hotel & home to the famous leather chair hanging swing. Such a beautiful resort located on the sand of Tulum. This is a great place to pop in for a drink to also.
Be Tulum Hotel is a boutique hotel made for absolute relaxation. You eat breakfast with your toes in the sand, can laze around on day beds all day and have a swim to cool off in a pool hidden amongst the jungle. This hotel was so beautiful and had the best beach set up, I loved it!
Coqui Coqui Coba- Residence & Spa - The most magical pool EVER!
Teetotum - I wrote about this place for breakfast but the hotel is also great. It was basically next door to our airbnb.. We loved the spot as you can easily jump on the bike and ride into town for dinner or down to the beach for the day. I didn’t see the rooms but the location is great & the staff were so kind and helpful. I can however confirm great food, cocktails & smoothies here. Oh & a super beautiful doggie who hangs out on the front steps, I loved him.
I just had a look on the map where the closet cenotes were and chatted to the locals about which ones are the best to go to and at what time .. I found riding the bikes around tulum so fun and we discovered a few cenotes I hadn’t heard of by simply riding past and seeing sign. Yucatan is known for it’s widespread range of cenotes. Some of which are really large & look like a lake, others almost completely closed over that look more like a cave with only a small opening. There are more than 6000 of them in the Yucatan which is crazy, so theres so many to visit and choose from.
Gran Cenote is beautiful. There is lots to explore & I was lucky enough to swim with loads of turtles here. The water was crystal clear in some parts . It was pretty busy with tourist but in saying that I did have a great time here though & would recommend visiting. I would go back to this one.
Cenote Calavera is actually another one my favourites even though it is so small. It is located about 5 minutes drive west of Tulum, we just rode our bikes here, which was super easy. It is surrounded by jungle & is so peaceful. Both times we visited we were the only ones there. We were able to jump off the rocks into the water and snorkell a little. There were lots of bats & fish to see. A rope also hung in the style of a swing in the water also which made it super relaxing and beautiful whilst in the water.
Cenote Azul was one of my favourites. The water is so blue and clear I loved it here.
Tamcacha-ha I loved! It is so fun as there are two platforms you can jump off. I think its around 11 metres high & so much fun! Again go in the AM to avoid tourist it was getting busy by the afternoon.
La Noria - The water looked so blue it was magical. It is so deep so good if you want to snorkel.
Choo-Ha - Really deep under ground, I found this really terrifying but incredible once you are under. I was glad I was brave enough to experience it but didn’t stay there for long.
Multum Ha - best for snorkelling as it is known to have has the clearest water, I don’t really snorkel often so could have been me but I didn’t see too many fish here …
Cenote Dos Ojos is one of the biggest and one of the most famous and therefore busiest cenotes in Mexico. I would suggest going at opening ti avoid the large crowds or even the last hour or two before it closes. The Pit is apart of Dos Ojos, it’s really deep so you need a flash light, I found this terrifying so didn’t go in but my partner loved it.
Carwash cenote - I have no idea if this is the real name but the colectivo driver knew it & told me people used to wash their cars there and thats where the name came from .. This is not confirmed, so if anyone finds out let me know would love to know if thats true or not.
Ik Kil is probably the most photographed cenote - My least favourite because of all the tourists it’s hard to enjoy. But stunning hanging vines and blue water when the sun hits.
Cenote Escondido - Its a free one, its not that beautiful to look at but I saw some pretty incredible giant fish.
Jardin Del Eden & Cenote Cristalino - I didnt get to but they are meant to be amazing.
PLACES CLOSE BY TO SEE
Isla Hotbox - Less touristy than Tulum. Still super cute, chilled vibes and great Mexican food! The most stunning white sand, clear blue water beaches!
The town of Cenotillo has around a100 cenotes. There are no tours here or map to find them so you have to try to find a local willing to take you,,, Many locals wont take you and will tell you about people who have gone missing in them. Which was enough to scare me .. There is a cool raft in one that is meant to be a cool spot to hang out at.
Los Aluxes Bacalar - This is where you will find the novelty floating bar! It is actually really beautiful spot. I preferred Tulum but could be good to even spend a day here rather than spending a few nights.
Playa Del Carmen- Thompson hotel - Can not fault this hotel it was beautiful. I would recommend staying here if you are going to Playa. The pool is amazing, the restraunts & bars were fantastic. I can not fault this hotel in anyway. There is also a beach club, which was great.