Tulum is Trending
by Rita Goldberg
Most in-the-know travelers have already heard that something special is going on in Tulum, Mexico’s eco-chic, jungle-beach hot spot. Long known for its ancient Mayan ruins, this preserved habitat has emerged as the new kid on the vacay block - with good reason. A stay at one of the many highly-rated, beachfront resorts offers everything you can want in a first class destination. Foodies, yogis, naturalists, beach bums and Mezcal sipping gypsetters are all welcome and will find their own slice of Nirvana in the array of pastimes available within this remote enclave.
The development of this Mayan Riviera incorporated a commitment to the preservation of the ecosystem. This is evident in the architectural style, decor and personality of this charming organically flavored town. Locals are committed to reducing the carbon footprint and enthusiastically encourage tourists to participate in the environmentally forward mandates that dictate the town’s culture. Think hollowed lemongrass stalks in lieu of straws and trash bins labeled “organico.”
Activities - What to do
If you are in need of total respite, spend your days luxuriating under a thatched roof on a beach bed atop the powder soft white sand. Servers are at the ready to offer cocktails and bites delivered to your slice of paradise by the sea. For active vacationers, yoga classes and bike rentals are available on site. An abundance of nearby Cenotes, where geological fans can enjoy freshwater swimming, offers another unique-to-this-locale activity. For an added bonus pick up a picnic lunch to bring. Day trips to view the ancient Mayan Ruins or enjoy the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary will also delight. Or stroll the quaint town, dotted with eateries, boutiques and the frequently touted ice cream stand.
Accommodations - Where to Stay
The rustically luxurious hotels are designed with organic elements and reflect the attention to nature that is the hallmark of Tulum’s jungle glamp vibe.
For accommodations that offer a private haven, with a serene and spiritual element, Papaya Playa Project is a great option. Nestled within the jungle and bordered by the Mexican Caribbean coast, the property was designed with sustainability as its core guiding principle. Yoga, meditation and first class spa treatment options complete the vacationer’s zen experience. But Saturday night is party night at this otherwise quiet and remote resort. Vacationers and locals show up for the hottest fiesta in town each week and beachfront dj’s inspire all night dancing and mingling.
If being right in the middle of the action is your preference, opt for Be Tulum, another outstanding hotel option.
Dining - Reservations Recommended
Rife with natural foliage, most of the loggia style, roofless eateries imbue a sense of dining amidst nature.
For a quintessential Tulum culinary experience enjoy a meal at Hartwood. The menu changes daily and is based on the freshly procured ingredients that are sustainably sourced on any given day. The cooking is done by open fire on a hand made wood burning oven and grill. Reservations are encouraged.
Gitano is another dine worthy hot spot. Hearty appetites will be well sated with the grilled ribeye, tender and flavorful. Trendy eaters will relish the slow-roasted pork belly, finished off with sweet and sour pineapple and accompanied by crispy cabbage. The cinnamon smoked sweet potato is a great table share starter or side. Friday nights are disco nights and this otherwise serene environment is transformed to the town’s gathering hub for drinking, dancing and new friend finding.
Sweet tooths will want to have at least one meal at Casa Jaguar to enjoy the traditional churro dessert served with a pot of warm chocolate for dipping. Arca, Posada Margherita and Rosa Negra are also certain to satisfy.
Suitcase - What to Pack
Bathing suits and yoga attire will see you through your trip during the days. For evening looks, the style is organic to pair with the local vibe. Breezy neutral linen fabrics, hemp totes and canvas footwear are fashionably correct in this town that pays homage to nature inspired attire. Bring plenty of cash, preferably pesos, as taxis and some of the best restaurants do not accept credit cards. ATM dispensers are hard to find and not always reliable.
The nearest major airport is in Cancun and from there a taxi ride will take over an hour to get you to this remote city. Negotiate the price in advance and expect to pay about $100. Once you arrive in Tulum you will quickly and easily meld into the sanctuary lifestyle that makes this town a truly magical escape.