Finally made it to Tulum, Mexico! Also known as bohemian beach paradise. I have wanted to go to Tulum for a few years now, and we finally made it happen for Cassondra’s (belated) birthday. We spent 5 nights / 6 days in this gorgeous slice of paradise, and to be honest, it wasn’t enough… but it was the perfect appetizer for another trip South of the Border. I cannot wait to go back, but in the mean time, I’m going to share my Tulum travel diary and my VLOG!
We stayed at Papaya Playa Project, which is on the northern most tip of the main Tulum drag. I had heard great things about this place from a friend of mine who had her wedding there, and also saw it on this Who What Wear article, but it was even better than I expected. We had a “New Casita” on the beach with a gorgeous view of the ocean, a very spacious room and bathroom, and a rooftop area to enjoy the picturesque Caribbean coastline. Papaya Playa’s tagline is “a return to simplicity,” so they are very eco-conscious and minimal in aesthetic and design. Besides the fact that they don’t use straws, I really didn’t seem to notice or mind the minimalism. The hotel kind of feels like you are in a jungle, with narrow pathways that embrace the natural landscape. Breakfast was included, which is always nice, and it was actually quite delicious with an awesome view. I’m still craving fresh papaya juice 🙂 If I were to go again, I would definitely stay here! But here are some other hotels that piqued my interest…
- Be Tulum – Modern and rustic at the same time. On the opposite end of the drarg from Papaya and kind of out-of-the-way, but beautiful.
- Ahau – We went here for drinks, which were delicious, and I loved the Hawaiian vibe here. Bright colors and intimate, beach-front access.
- Viento Del Mar – Never went in this hotel but love the look and feel from the outside. Great location!
- Posada Margherita – So this place is known for there restaurant, but I would totally stay here! The aesthetic is beyond, I love it.
- La Posada Del Sol – Super cute boutique hotel next to Papaya Playa.
Let’s talk outfits. I went super casual and comfortable the entire time there. The humidity is real, and I was sticky and sweaty, even when it was raining! Here are a few of my favorite looks.
Dress | Victoria’s Secret Sandals | From Thailand Bag | Uniqlo Glasses | Etnia Barcelona
Dress | H&M Sandals | From Thailand Bag | Uniqlo Hat | Urban Outfitters Glasses | Westward Leaning
Top | Line and Dot Skirt | Vintage
Dress | Vintage Bag | Uniqlo Sandals | Target
Top | Line and Dot Skirt | From Thailand Glasses | Etnia Barcelona
I have to say, I was MOST excited for the food in Tulum. I had heard raving reviews about all of the delicious places to dine in Tulum that I practically arrived salivating. Overall, it was good, but not as great as I expected. One thing to know before heading to Tulum is that the food is not authentic “Mexican.” Instead, we found a variety of different food ranging from Italian to Argentinian in lieu of tacos and rice and beans. Below are the places we went to, ranked in order from favorite to least.
- Anojitos La Chipaneca. Hands down my favorite meal. This was the last dinner we had, and it came highly recommended by locals as their favorite. It’s located in downtown Tulum (about 15 min from the main strip) and definitely worth it. We ordered plates full of al pastor and beef tacos, a beef torta, empendadas, and my fav, al pastor panchecos.
- Hartwood. Believe the hype on this one. My top dishes were the baby back ribs (a must!) and the filette roblano. Had the line to get a reservation not been an hour and a half (no lie) we would have gone here twice.
- Mateos. This place is basically tied for second place. We stumbled across this place the very first night because it was the only thing open at 11pm. The BEST fish tacos I’ve ever had! So good, we went TWICE.
- Posada Margherita. Definitely worth the trip because of the gorgeous atmosphere. I enjoyed the cocktails.. I had a delicious mescal concoction with lavender and rosemary, and the pasta was divine. However, I wasn’t crazy about the fish. It was fresh, but quite bland. Also, this place is cash only and the ATM there charges you an arm and a leg and maybe an ear in fees! The staff is really great here.
- Tunich. Had a quaint brekie here. Lots of smoothie and juice options and awesome coffee!
- Ahau. I’d go back and have more food here. We had amazingly fresh ceviche and this jamaica drink that I’m still craving!
- Charlie’s. Another good place in downtown Tulum! We also stumbled upon this place for a drink and ended up getting one of my favorite dishes the entire trip… guac in fried cheese!!
- Casa Banana. Good food, good wine list, great crowd! Tried a wine here that I had never heard of before – Albarino. Two thumbs up! The fish and shrimp skewers looked phenom.
- Gitano. This place gets an A++ for mezcal cocktails, decor, staff, and ambiance! The cutest, coolest place with awesome music. Sadly, I can’t say the food was as good as everything else. Everything we had was just OK, with the exception of the sweet potato and hummus appetizers.
I can’t wait to go back and try even more restaurants! I have a feeling there are a ton of hidden gems that aren’t quite as popular or “insta” famous.
I’ve never been one to just lay around on the beach all day on vacation. Although, if there is a place that would inspire me to be a lazy beach bum… it would probably be Tulum! Here are a few things I highly suggest you do if you go to Tulum.
- Rent bikes
- Go see the Cenotes! We did Dos Ojos and Caracoal, and I’m so glad we did
- Lay in a hammock
- Explore the ruins. We did Coba!
- Go shopping downtown