I am SO excited to share our 3-day getaway to Tulum. As some of you know, we spent this past weekend in good ole’ Mexico – man, oh man, did we miss the beach. We were beyond excited and grateful for our sweet escape.
Our original plan was to visit Tulum on Valentine’s Day weekend, however, with the new travel rule in place, we decided to move up the trip. We flew in on Thursday evening so we had two full days to explore the beauty of Tulum. It was our second time visiting but I felt that I enjoyed it SO MUCH MORE this time around. (I was super ill to my stomach the first time.)
Our Stay at Ahau Tulum
OK – so if you follow me on the gram you saw how beautiful Ahau Tulum was. It is a beautiful luxurious beachfront resort that is perfect for couples. It’s not all-inclusive but the location, aesthetic, people, and views, make it all worth it. The view was SPECTACULAR. We had an ocean view from our little hut and the aesthetic of the whole resort was peaceful. (We stayed at Los Amigos Beach the first time, which ended up being a stunning resort as well. Unfortunately, as of today, it remains closed due to the pandemic. 🙁 )
Since we rebooked the trip super last minute, we had no choice but to book a room with double beds. (Well, that was because we were adamant about staying at Ahau.) It was a spacious room, with amazing views, and really cute. I really enjoyed the balcony, location, and property. I must say, if you want to be close to all of the hot spots, I highly encourage you to stay near this area. There are so many beautiful properties to choose from so you really cannot go wrong with choosing any of them.
- As I mentioned above, the location was perfect. Ahau is centrally located along the “zona hotelera de Tulum” (or the hotel zone) and you can easily walk to restaurants, shops, etc.
- The beach was clean and free of algae. Whenever we visited in the summer of 2018, the beach was filled with stinky brown algae. We couldn’t even get in the water because of how much algae there was.
- The people at the resort were amazing and welcoming.
- Amazing views of the beach, which means beautiful sunrises. I had so many moments of peace early in the mornings, we even had one yoga session on the beach when it was nearly empty.
- Free access to Tulum Jungle Gym, which is a neat spot to check out, especially if you workout 😉
- The wifi connection was pretty impressive throughout the entire property, which is really nice for someone who likes to post on Instagram 😉
- They had oceanfront (and indoor) yoga classes available.
- A popular wooden sculpture, Ven a la Luz, by South African artist Daniel Popper, is located right outside of Ahau. This was a very popular spot for photos amongst tourists throughout the entire day. (Yep, there was always a line to take a photo.)
- The onsite restaurant offers fresh coffee (or tea) and delicious granola bars each morning. All you have to do is send a message through WhatsApp and request it.
- They have an observation deck on the property where you can climb up and catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Can you tell I am obsessed with sunrises and sunsets?
- Loud music at night from the next door property – not too sure if the music was coming from our next door neighbors or the resort located next to Ahau.
- The A/C only worked from 7 pm to 9 am, which made it a little difficult to fall asleep. The weather is incredibly humid in Tulum, even worse during summertime, and this is coming from a girl who lives in Houston, the most humid place on earth. (OK, OK, maybe I am exaggerating.) But seriously, it’s humid in Tulum.
- Our room had issues with the water pressure and temperature. We reported the problems but eventually gave up since we didn’t want to waste time addressing the issues, lol. We just dealt with it and moved along.
Restaurants in Tulum
We spent most of our time exploring the shops and eateries located along the hotel zone. Since we didn’t get to explore much during our first visit in 2018, we took advantage this time around annnnnnd we didn’t hold back, lol. Below is a list of the places we checked out during our stay:
- Chambao – I highly encourage you to visit any of the restaurants owned by Grupo RosaNegra. It’s a collection of high-end restaurants with live entertainment, and let me tell you, the waiters/staff make you feel like the most important person in the room. We have been to two so far, Chambao and Rosa Negra, and both were very impressive. They’re expensive but worth the experience because you won’t be disappointed by their food, service, or ambiance.
- Ziggy’s – We came here for breakfast and dinner, and I have to say, if you like chilaquiles, you must come here to try them. I had the red chilaquiles with scrambled egg and chicken and HOLY CHILAQUILES – they were delish. Highly recommend. Their breakfast didn’t disappoint at all. The dinner was okay – I didn’t know all of the appetizers I ordered would be fried since the menu wasn’t clear on that. I prefer not to eat fried foods, but of course, that’s a personal choice. If you love and enjoy fried foods, then I suggest to try the appetizers. The live music at night was lovely though. Not to mention, you are sitting on the beach so it is nice to hear the sound of the waves when the musicians aren’t playing.
- Tantra – We came here for cocktails and to check out the place because the music was loud and I wanted to know what was happening, lol. It was a vibe; I loved the corridor entrance to the restaurant! I had the Tantra Citrus, which consisted of Tanqueray gin with burnt pineapple, Tio Pepe liquor, homemade orange jam, and tangerine bitters. It was yummy! I’ll be creating a video of this place very soon so you can catch a glimpse of their ambiance.
- Taqueria La Eufemia – OK, so if I had to choose one place from this list for you to visit, I would pick this one. I wish we had all the time in the world to sit, pick something from the menu, eat, wait for the food to go down, and repeat. This place has over 2K reviews and it’s all about the tacos, it doesn’t matter which type of taco, apparently, they’re all good. And cheap. I can only speak from my experience, and I have to say, the fish and shrimp tacos were A1. Highly recommend. Not to mention, the maracuya (or passionfruit) margarita was yummy.
- Casa Jaguar – This was a place we checked out for drinks and apps and it was so cute. It’s romantic with a beautiful setting all-around. It’s so romantic that people have gotten married here! It is much more relaxed compared to the other restaurants we checked out. Oh, and it’s conveniently located right across from Ahau, the resort we stayed at.
- Chamicos – If you love seafood, you must check out this place for the ceviche and aguachiles. There used to be two locations, and the cooler location was located by Soliman Bay, however, it closed down due to the pandemic 🙁 We were so bummed. Anyway, this is how we found out they had a second location located in the town of Tulum, not the hotel zone.
- La Barracuda – So we didn’t eat here this time around but we ate here in 2018. As I was scrolling through my old photos, I found a photo of the dish we ordered and I immediately knew I had to include it in this travel guide. If you love seafood, and you happen to be exploring the cute town of Tulum, please add this one to your list. It was a place recommended by our taxi driver and he wasn’t wrong. It was delicious.
Activities in Tulum
There are so many fun things to do in Tulum. In fact, there is so much to do that you’ll need more than three days to experience it all. The biggest tip I can give you is to make a list of your top two (or three) things you’d like to do so you can ensure to squeeze it in your agenda. Although, if you are staying longer than three days, even better. Do it all, my friend.
- Shopping – There are many shops to explore along the hotel zone or the town of Tulum. Personally, I chose not to shop along the hotel zone because even though the boutiques are so freaking cute (and unique), they’re pricey. I rather eat food, lol. Just kidding – but seriously, I don’t have $200 to spare on a straw purse. At least not yet 😉 working on it. I bought a few things in the town of Tulum though and the vendors were ready to haggle. (I didn’t pursue the haggling part, not going to lie, I felt bad, especially during this pandemic. However, they initiated the reduced prices and it was hard to say no so I bought the stuff, lol.)
- Cenotes – If I had to pick the one must-do activity, I would pick to swim in a cenote. We went to Cenote Dos Ojos in 2018 and it was a lovely experience. I loved having the opportunity to swim in magical turquoise water. Below is a list of the ones some of you recommended:
- Gran Cenote
- Cenote Carwash
- Cenote Sac Actun
- Casa Cenote
- Cenote Azul
- Town of Tulum – Hop on a taxi, or your rental car, and drive to the small town of Tulum. Depending on where you book your hotel along the hotel zone, the drive isn’t bad at all. The town of Tulum has so many shops and restaurants to choose from. This is good place to purchase tequila (or mezcal) bottles. If you are looking for nice souvenirs, or Mexican decor for the home, highly recommend to shop here.
- Mayan Ruins – This ancient Mayan city is a must-see; there is so much history here.
- Spa Services – Many resorts offer spa services, which include a variation of facial and massage types.
- Ancient Spiritual Ceremonies – OK, next time I visit, the cacao ceremony is at the very top of my list of things to do. I was very intrigued by this ceremony whenever I walked by Hotel Sanara Tulum and saw a sign advertising it. Aside from this ceremony, there is a lot more to choose from.
- Underground River Tour – This is something I have yet to do but I looked into it, and it looks pretty cool! According to research, this is the longest underground river system on earth. I’ll link more about their private tours here.
I compiled a list of things I thought were worth mentioning that I think you’ll find beneficial as you plan your trip to Tulum:
- If you need to exchange money for pesos, do it at the airport because the exchange rate is WAY better.
- If you want to save money, while at the same time maximize your time in Tulum, fly to Cancun the evening before and book a cheap hotel in Cancun. This way, you wake up in Mexico and all you have to do is make the drive from Cancun to Tulum the next morning. We stayed at Hotel Emporio, which was a really nice hotel for the price. By the way, I had no clue until we checked in but this was the hotel I stayed at in 2015 with my family for our summer vacation!!! CRAY. They made SO many improvements to the property. In fact, they’re still under construction but you can’t even tell since they’re close to finishing. So far they’ve added more pools, including one with a swim up bar, a beautiful restaurant with panoramic views of the ocean, and a bar area. Highly recommend.
- If you feel comfortable driving in the streets of Mexico, renting a car wasn’t a bad idea after all. I was a bit concerned about this but having a confident husband who isn’t afraid of the drivers in Mexico, made me feel comfortable after all. But of course, use your best judgement and make a decision based on your comfort level.
Well, that’s a wrap for today, my beautiful’s! I hope you have a lovely day. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or insights, please never hesitate to reach out. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message on Instagram.
Ps. If you have yet to read Monday’s blog post, I’ll link it here. I shared 20 things to be grateful for today 🙂