Ancient Ruins + Cenotes + Margaritas
WHERE TO STAY:
- LiveTulum: Located conveniently close to the ‘city’, LiveTulum was the most affordable option we found. The boutique hotel has everything you need for a weekend getaway and bike rentals are included in your stay. The beach road is only a 10-15 minute ride from the hotel or a relatively cheap taxi ride in the evenings. Depending on your budget and # of nights, this hotel made great sense for our first trip to Tulum
- Papaya Playa Project: Beautiful, boho, boutique and beachfront. We frequented Papaya Playa project more than once as it was a ~ 15 minute bike ride from our hotel. The restaurant was delicious.. full of healthy juice options for breakfast and great lunch items as well. The atmosphere is laid-back and you can spend your entire day lounging on the beach in one of their cabanas.
- Azulik Tulum: Adults-only. Could only see from the outside as it was a short walk down the beach from Papaya Playa Project but the rooms are unbelievable. There is no AC as it is all open-air but with the beach front breeze, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Coco Tulum: Another beachfront option. Great bar and live music + Sunday “fundays” at this boutique hotel a few miles down beach road.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK:
- Papaya Playa Project: a boutique hotel + a great spot for day drinking. Whether you choose the healthy fresh-juice route, or the spiced-rim margaritas, you can’t go wrong. Papaya Playa Project has a laid-back, boho atmosphere. Get there early and you can scout out a spot on the beach ( as long as you order drinks + appetizers throughout the day, they will let you stay ) even if you are not staying at the hotel. Oh, and don’t miss out on the shrimp quesadillas….SO good.
- Mezzanine: Rated as one of the top restaurants in a Forbes Travel article, Mezzanine did not disappoint. If coming from town, turn left on the main beach road and go down < 1 mile. The restaurant is on your right, located right on the white sand beach. Sip on a tequila cocktail, sit on big comfy plush pillows while eating a Thai- Asian fusion meal and watch the colors in the sky as the sun sets.
- Coco Tulum: Beachfront boutique hotel and bar. Live music. Refreshing margaritas. Take a shower beneath a conch shell. Swing the day away at the swing-set bar with the Dj playing in the background and forget about ‘ time ‘
- Gitano: “Gypsy Bar”. Dark, smokey, and hipster vibes fill this bar / restaurant in the jungle. Filled with burning incense to keep the bugs away, there is a very relaxed ambience as soon as you walk through the “door”. Enjoy one of their specialty ‘mezcal’ cocktails, smokey and perfect after a hot day in the sun. Make reservations online, especially if you are going during a busy time. The taco variety was tasty but small.. don’t expect to be filed up on them alone. If you stick around, there is live music, letting you dance under the stars, jungle, and glistening disco ball above.
- Mateos: Happy hour starts early and lasts long. 2-for-1 fresh crushed mojitos, and mouth watering fish tacos are followed by live music and coco-loco cocktails out of fresh coconuts on the rooftop terrace. Did I mention the rooftop terrace overlooks the jungle and is the perfect place to watch the sunset? Mateos is located right off the main beach road, on the jungle side. It is pretty big and you won’t miss it. Go for happy hour, and stay for the evening.
- Posada Margherita: take a step into the “Mediterranean” as you walk back through the beach alleyway to this small, charming italian restaurant. The views of the ocean for sunset are hard to beat. You feel as though you are in a mix of the Caribbean and the Italy coastline. Order a bottle, or two, of chilled rose and order up some of their homemade pasta. Pretty sure you can’t go wrong no matter what pasta dish you order. *** they do NOT accept credit cards – if you pay in pesos, there is a slight discount… paying in USD is more expensive so take note, and bring enough local currency with you **