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Insider Guide to Tulum

Posted by Rebecca Gaddis on

Tulum is one of those magical beach destinations that I could go back to again and again and never get tired. In fact, it seems the more I go, the more this place inspires me. There is a bohemian wonderland along Tulum beach, which is lined with extremely well-curated boutique hotels and sexy jungle cafes and restaurants. The vibe is totally laid back, and it draws an interesting and eclectic crowd from all over - mainly Europe, South America, and the US.
An easy 2-hour drive from Cancun and all of a sudden, you see the sign that leads to Tulum beach, and everything is easy breezy from then on. There are so many incredible hotels in Tulum that it can be hard to choose -  a couple that I personally recommend are NEST Tulum, Nomade Tulum, and Sanara Tulum. Each are beautiful and unique in their own way. NEST Tulum is a fairly new property owned by a friend of mine. I was blown away after my first stay, as the hotel is beautifully designed, simplistic, yet has everything you need plus a gorgeous beach bar and restaurant serving free Mezcal every day at 5pm, and some of the best ceviche I’ve ever had. Sanara is a bit different but just as beautiful. A very modern and sleek design, with incredible food served at The Real Coconut restaurant at the hotel. There is also a gorgeous yoga studio with prime views of the ocean. Nomade has to be one of my favorite hotels ever. The vibe and décor are so beautiful and bohemian, and every crevice of this place is designed so thoughtfully. Everything from an amazing beach scene with tables you can dine on in the sand, to a Moroccan themed vegan restaurant that has the most amazing ambiance. It’s definitely a must-visit!
Tulum, Mexico
For food, it’s extremely hard to go wrong here. All of the food is so fresh, and the flavors are to die for. Some of my favorites are the Real Coconut at Sanara - the breakfast there is especially incredible.  I also love the Italian restaurant called Posada Margherita. Yes, you might think why Italian in Mexico? But the Italian family that owns and cook make 100% authentic Italian cuisine and the food is nothing short of delicious. Be sure to also stop by Hartwood and Gitano for a sexy dinner in the jungle. For lunch, I like Canopia and La Coqueta for some of the best tacos I’ve had in a while. For fun, Gitano is lively on Thursday and Friday nights, and be sure to check out when Papaya Playa Project is having one of their full-moon parties where you can dance the night away on the beach.
Tulum, Mexico
September and October are considered low-season, but the weather during this time is still nice - so if you are looking for more of a quiet getaway this is a perfect time. Holidays and New Years are always packed, and crowds continue to filter in throughout the spring and summer.
The beaches are beautiful, and if that’s all you have on your agenda you won’t go wrong. But there are some cool day excursions to take if you feel like being a bit more adventurous. The Mayan ruins are a must if you’ve never seen them. They are lined along a gorgeous stretch of beach and go back into the jungle. Also, the cenotes, or underwater caves shouldn’t be missed. Depending which one you go to, they could be anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour away from Tulum beach - they are really spectacular and you can swim in the freshwater that is miraculously filtered by the earth and often surrounded by fish and turtles.
You can also venture to the main part of Tulum, about a 5-minute ride from the beach town. There are shops and restaurants - I’ll usually stop and browse for a couple of hours then go back to the beach, my true happy place where you can spend your day hotel hopping, trying the amazing cuisine, meeting interesting people, and browsing the cute boutiques, all on a bicycle. It truly is a little piece of heaven on earth, and I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Tulum, Mexico

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