Inhale; a persistent ebb of aquamarine tides fold seamlessly into the crystalline coast. Exhale; lush jungle foliage is caressed by a balmy Caribbean breeze. Raw, natural and beautiful, enter the barefoot bohemian paradise of Tulum.
On the Eastern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo resides the ancient ruins of Tulum. The word "Tulum" translating to "wall" in Spanish, is an ancient fortress constructed along a steep cliff, sheltered by three walls and the caribbean sea due East. The ancient city is met by modernity just outside its walls. A short ten minute drive south along Boca Paila beach drive and you will eventually discover a modern day Tulum, chalk full of ultra-chic boutiques, yoga centers and health-minded eateries tucked amongst the jungle foliage.
After returning from my travels last week, I am still buzzing with feel-good vibes from this magical place. On that note, I am thrilled to share my highlights from my recent visit to Tulum.
During our visit to the Mayan Riviera, we stayed at Be Tulum, a bohemian-luxe botique hotel on the southern end of Boca Paila strip. Promptly upon arrival, we kicked our shoes off to enjoy a "toes in the sand" experience... and it was pure bliss.
The property is absolutely gorgeous and very in tune with the natural surroundings. I was impressed to learn that the bungalows had been thoughtfully constructed using native material and culturally inspired decor. Each bungalow was complimented by a private outdoor space tucked amongst the tropical foliage including showers, baths or plunge pool.
Here are a few photos I took during our stay at Be Tulum.
I was fortunate enough to visit the area with friends who had prior experiences in Tulum. Under their direction, our group dined at a number of restaurants, all of which were outstanding!
One of the first nights in Tulum we dined at Arca, a modern farm-to-table eatery located on Boca Paila beach drive. The seasonal menu is a reflection of the vibrant flavors indigenous to the Yucatán. Chef Maya Scales and Chef Benjamin Coe serve fresh, local cuisine to their guests. The food is so fresh in fact that it is sourced from local farmers or directly from the chefs garden which supplies Arca with vegetables daily. I was impressed to discover that even the cocktails utilize garden grown ingredients. The farm fresh ethos is complimented by the warm and enchanting dining atmosphere. Romantic palms from the lush Mayan jungle are met by the eclectic art-deco bar and lounge. Long picnic style tables are illuminated by a soft glow from the surrounding candles and torches.
The following night we enjoyed exotic flavors and hyper-local ingredients at Heartwood. Here the menu is a product of the daily bounty harvested fresh from communal Mayan farms called Milpas. A selection of 10-15 menu offerings are listed daily upon a simple chalkboard menu. Dishes are cooked over an open flame on a beautiful wood burning stove. The product, a clean and beautiful expression of the local cuisine.
A note on packing...
- Bring bug spray!! Mosquitos are very active around dusk and dawn, so I highly recomend that you arrive prepared with bug repellant.
- And something to fan yourself with - Tulum is very humid! On the jungle side of the Boca Paila strip there is very little air flow in the evening, just around dinner time. Having an old fashioned hand held fan will be a total game changer for your experience.