In December I went on a girls trip to Tulum, Mexico with my travel bae, Grace. This was our second time taking a trip just the two of us, so we enjoy traveling together enough to do it again! We had both been to Mexico previously, but never Tulum. After falling in love with the city through some great Instagram accounts, we planned our vacation to this beautiful place.
Our Airbnb was a pretty perfect fit for us, but we realized as we spent time in Tulum that we would’ve preferred staying right on the beach at a resort…so next time we will! Tulum was about an hour and a half ride from the Cancun airport and we chose to have a private shuttle take us. It really did make it very easy on us. We arrived at our place on a Friday afternoon, with enough time to get situated and check out the sunset from the rooftop pool area of our condo.
We decided to walk into town for dinner that night. There were tons of places to go and lots happening. We ended up stopping at a place called Encanto Cantina that looked cute from the outside but was even better once we got inside. Our food was delicious and I lost count of how many margaritas we had…but when in Mexico, am I right?
The next day, we went to have breakfast at a place associated with our condo, called Sugar Free. The food was yummy there and filled us up for a fun day ahead. We took a bus provided by our condo to Los Amigos beach club. The weather hadn’t been the best that morning, so there was hardly anyone out and about that day. We had the place almost to ourselves, great waiters and a seemingly never-ending 2×1 Happy Hour. We stuck through the stormy weather and the day turned out quite beautiful, so we ended up spending way more time at the club than we had planned, but no regrets.
We decided to walk along the beach that evening until we found a place for dinner. We ended up at Rosa Negra, another beautiful place with great service, food and drinks. We found this to be a common trend throughout all of Tulum. We weren’t complaining.
We woke up on Sunday feeling just a little hungover from a day full of drinks and sunshine, but we trekked on. We had decided the night before that we were going to take bikes to the beach that day…that turned into quite an adventure we will never forget. We finally made it to the place that first caught our eye when thinking of Tulum, The Papaya Playa Project. We instantly fell in love with the vibe of this place. It was right on the beach, had a DJ playing some great music and we ended up lounging there for several hours taking it all in.
That night we knew we wanted to check out a nicer restaurant we had heard about called Hartwood. It had a rotating daily menu full of seafood and land items and everything was made in house to order until that item ran out. We didn’t have to wait too long until we were seated at the bar top, which gave us the best opportunity to watch their bartenders at work making some yummy concoctions all with fresh juices. The food was amazing in every sense of the word. I had their ribs and being from Texas I had high hopes and they did not disappoint. The service was also top-notch, so if you couldn’t already tell, I highly recommend this place!
The next day we had booked an Airbnb experience to check out some cenotes with local guides. They picked us up that morning and our adventure began. We had the best time experiencing the cenotes this way. Our first cenote for the day was Encantado. This one was surrounded by mangroves and there were only like 2 other people there. We got to snorkel and jump off of decks into the cold, but refreshing, water. This one reminded me of a big lake, but our guides knew so much about cenotes and how this one was connected to others through underground tunnels filled with water…HELLO CLAUSTROPHOBIA!
Our second stop was Cenote Calavera (Spanish for skull). This cenote was very different from the first but just as cool. It definitely had more people but not bad enough that you couldn’t get in and swim. Did I mention the best way to get in is to just jump? This one had one large hole and two smaller holes (like eyes of a skull) and you could jump down through any of the three. I did jump through a smaller one while closing my eyes and saying a quick prayer. We also relaxed here for a bit, ate some snacks and drank some local beer.
Our last stop for the day was Cenote Isla Alamos. This one was very secluded, like out in the middle of nowhere, but totally worth the trip. We were the only people in sight and got to experience how beautiful this place was. This one was a complete circle, with an island in the middle. It wasn’t very deep, but the water was super clear. Grace and I practiced diving down, but we weren’t nearly as good as our guides. We ate some yummy homemade guacamole that one of our guides had made, which was the best guac I’ve probably ever had.
For our last night in Tulum, we grabbed dinner at La Querida Italiano…we had a craving for some carbs. Then we headed over to Batey for some drinks and live music. They are known for their mojitos, which of course, I don’t like…but Grace tried them and loved them.
On our last half day in Tulum, we wanted to make the most of our time. We grabbed a taxi to take us to La Zebra, an amazing place right on the beach. We had breakfast at their restaurant and it was delicious. It was over the morning meal that we contemplated staying another night there at their hotel because we were in love with the place. We got drinks right on the beach and just soaked in as much of the sunshine as we could before having to leave to catch our flight.
I couldn’t recommend Tulum more for a trip. We had so much fun, the food is wonderful, the people were great and the beaches are beautiful. I have a trip coming up soon to Sayulita, Mexico, so I’m hoping it’s just as amazing. Have you been to Tulum? What other destinations in Mexico should we go to?!
Happy travels! 🙂