well, i’m FINALLY posting about our honeymoon as promised. tulum was a magical place that i absolutely fell in love with the first day we were there. and honestly, i’d be happy going back every year. when we went in october, it was low season — so there were some pros and some cons.
the PROS were : hotel rates were cheaper, the town itself was super quiet and serene. there were no lines anywhere and we had the beach to ourselves. we expected some rain, but the weather was perfect everyday.
the CONS were : a lot of restaurants were closed, the bugs are REALLY intense, there’s more seaweed on the beach thus a funky smell sometimes.
regardless, though — we had such an amazing trip and i highly recommend tulum (just like everyone else in the universe). if you want a quieter more relaxing experience and prefer to not have tourists everywhere, then i recommend low season.
we stayed at the beach hotel, and based on our visits to a bunch of hotels – we were so happy with our choice. every staff member was so friendly and fun. the vibe of the hotel was also so relaxed – we barely ever wore shoes and ziggy’s bar had 2 for 1 happy hour everyday. and they had swings at the bar. so yes, i loved our hotel.
we chose to stay on the second floor because gideon was concerned about the bugs on the ground level. and with the second floor rooms, you not only have a patio with a hammock, but you have a roof deck with a bed for stargazing. so dreamy.
the bohemian designer-y vibe is so unique, there’s beautiful colors and murals and landscapes almost everywhere you look.
places to go + things to do in TULUM
first off — we made friends with another couple that got married the same day as us. we spent most of our trip with them, and we bonded so hard, so that made our trip even more memorable.
the mayan ruins : go as early as you can in the morning, because you’ll get cranky fast the hotter it is.
coqui coqui : the most serene spa experience, and i had one of the best massages of my life there. (we had a second massage on our patio at the hotel, which was also amazing)
walk around tulum : i didn’t get any photos, but we spent a good couple hours browsing the shops in the town, i got the cutest leather purse and a hammock chair. dreamcatchers, mexican blankets, you’ll be in heaven.
the cenotes : we went on two excursions with the adventure tour center, and we had such a blast hanging out with jeff and cesar (tell them i sent you.) our first trip was a cenote tour, we visited three of them. the first two we snorkeled and the third was a private sinkhole that we jumped into a dozen times. can you believe the water?! unreal.
the sian ka’an muyil river : this was hands down our favorite day in tulum. jeff took us first for some authentic tacos, and then we took a boat through the most crystal clear warm water you’ve ever seen. the whole “sea” was man made and you really have to see it to believe it. after we hopped off the boat, we floated down the river with tubes and beers.
where to eat in TULUM
like i said, a lot of places we’d planned on going were closed for the season. this included the famously awesome places : hartwood, gitano & el tabano. which is why we decided we’re going back asap. we also wanted to check out mezzanine which is supposed to have amazing thai food, but we ran out of time.
casa banana : amazing food. we had this slow roasted duck with some sort of cauliflower garlic mush that was so damn incredible.
casa jaguar : a super cute place with really good drinks and food and vibe. we split a huge fish dish that was dope.
posada margherita : an italian restaurant right on the beach. so romantic. and they have amazing everything. (we went twice)
matteo’s : a really good lunch spot that we may have eaten at multiple times, because it was where our excursion company was located. their fish tacos are what they say they are, the best.
casa violeta : a gorgeous hotel restaurant with amazing view. tropical ceviche and purple basil margaritas? guh.
papaya playa : we initially wanted to stay at this hotel, but decided on the beach – so we went for lunch instead. really hip fun vibe and super good ceviche.
flor de michoacan : if you’re shopping, stop in for the tastiest paletas (popsicles) ever.
bring cash. the ATMs have huge fees if you run out, so just try to bring as much as you think you’ll spend. most places don’t take cards, and be a little weary of using your card in certain [non-gringo] places. also, exchange your currency before you go to the airport. we did this downtown a few days before we left and the exchange rate was way lower than it was at the airport.
bring so much bug spray if you can. SO MUCH. most of tulum didn’t sell any with deet in it, and the all-natural ones just don’t protect as well.
you can’t wear normal sunscreen in the cenotes, so if you’re planning to go visit them, buy some biodegradable sunscreen on amazon before your trip.
pooping in tulum… is not the best. TMI, but i wasn’t aware before we went. the septic pipes at the hotels are TINY, so you’re not supposed to flush toilet paper. i just wanted to prepare you for this, because i like you.
stay at a hotel that includes a breakfast plan. i am so glad we did this, because it gave us the mornings to relax and not have to venture out until we felt like it. the beach hotel had a DOPE breakfast included, we had a huge breakfast everyday with fresh juice and coffee. it was perfect.
we were unsure if we should rent a car, but we ended up doing it. unless you’re into loooong bike rides, it was pretty nice to be able to drive into the town or to excursions whenever we wanted. we also needed it to go stock up on bug spray because we went through almost a bottle a day.
the beaches and roads are super dark at night, so bring a flashlight or use your phone flashlight. we walked to dinner along the beach our second night and didn’t use a light, only to find out the next night that we’d been walking on a zillion crabs for 20 minutes. there are crabs EVERYWHERE.
the hotel zone of tulum has two “parts” – the hotels are all located on the beach side, and behind the hotels is the jungle side. this is where a lot of the restaurants are, and also the direction in which the sun sets. if you’re planning on eating on the jungle side, especially in bug season, prepare yourself. shower in bug spray before going, and try to cover your skin as much as possible.
don’t book excursions through your hotels, you can find better deals online. and again, i really just recommend our tour company. they really made our trip what it was.
pack less clothes and more bathing suits than you think. you may have noticed i’m wearing the same bikini in almost all the photos. with the wedding craziness, i didn’t invest a lot of time in getting bathing suits for the trip, but i barely wore the clothes i brought. pack less so you have more room in your bag for hammock chairs.
if you’re aiming for a relaxing trip, stay at a quiet hotel where you’ll want to hang out a lot. we spent a huge amount of time at our beach and hotel, and we’d be so tired after long days that we ate at the hotel more often than we thought we would.
luckily, our honeymoon wasn’t over. come back tomorrow for part 2!