Gorgeous powder-sand beaches. Mayan ruins. Swimming with turtles. Boho-chic shopping. Farm-to-table restaurants. This is Tulum. It's located on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, 70 miles south of Cancun, an experience that will excite all the senses. My family and I visited this hippie-chic vacation destination over the summer and we can't wait to go back!
First of all, let's discuss how easy it is to get to Tulum! There are so many direct flights to Cancun including Jet Blue (YAY!) and then it's about a 1.5 hour drive to the beach strip. Tulum is like a hipster camp for adults so if you have children under 12, I would recommend going to a larger hotel in Playa del Carmen like the Rosewood Mayakoba.
Below are my favorite boutique hotels along Tulum's famed beach strip. These hotels are more like upscale eco-lodges (all have air conditioning and free wi-fi).
One of the best hotels along the strip in Tulum. There are 20 rooms at this adults-only property with a mix of beach-front and garden rooms. You can stay on the beach all day or have the concierge arrange some fun excursions or day trips. The restaurant serves some of the best local fish I have tasted anywhere. The hotel also offers full spa services, yoga and bike rentals.
Hotel Nomade Tulum
Hotel Nomade is a hippie-chic hotel located right next to, and owned by, Be Tulum. Every room is located directly on the beach with a view of the ocean or gardens. The rooms and bathrooms are a bit more rustic than they are at Be Tulum. The good news is they are all on the beach, and less expensive. Food is delicious and they have two restaurants on property including one that's vegetarian. Of course daily yoga is included!
Hotel Sanara Tulum
Sanara Tulum is a luxury eco-chic hotel and wellness center that's extremely popular with all of the top lifestyle bloggers these days. It offers spa treatments, cleanses and other wellness programs. The property has a beautiful yoga studio overlooking the beach and it's restaurant, The Real Coconut Cafe, serves delicious food with elements of paleo, gluten-free and grain free vegan diet practices. The rooms are modern and bright with nice bathrooms. This hotel is on my list for our next trip!
Hartwood is an environmentally friendly restaurant located on a jungle road near the ocean. It offers the BEST fresh wood-fired seafood and delicious veggie side dishes made with local ingredients! It can be quite a challenge to secure a reservation here. Insider tip: There is a new seasonal reservation policy now. You can secure a reservation by emailing them in advance at info@HartwoodTulum.com and request a few dates and times. They will confirm what works for them so it's best to give them a few options. The only other alternative to securing a dinner ressie is to wait on line at 3:00 to get your name on the list.
You will feel like you are eating in Italy when you go to Posada Margherita! They have the best home-made bread and pasta! A carb-lovers heaven.
Casa Banana incorporates both Mexican and Argentinean cuisines. They have some of the best cocktails here!
We had great lunches every day just by strolling along the beach and trying some of the different hotel restaurants.
Be Tulum poolside and the Real Coconut Restaurant at Sanara Tulum were two of our favorites.
Chamico's Lobster Shack
They have the best ceviche and lobster lunch here ever!
We walked down the beach from the Nomad Tulum to check out some of the other hotels along the strip!
This store is a must for any fashion girl visiting Tulum! They offer a large selection of fabulous day to night boho-chic kaftans and dresses. The dresses reflect the carefree Tulum lifestyle with a sophisticated New York vibe. They also have a store that carries mens clothing and chic children's beachwear.
This boutique has the best hand-made accessories from exotic leather bags and jewelry to fedoras and beach totes. Pieces reflect Mexico and Latin America's deep seeded roots in culture and quality design.
It's well worth it to make a few stops along the road to Coba and pick up hand-made Mayan hammock chairs or full hammocks. They are less than half the price of the ones you will find in Tulum.
We purchased one of these colorful hammocks and the Missoni-style hammock chair!
There is plenty to do in Tulum if you want to do more than sit on the beach. We had our hotel organize several day trips that included ziplining, swimming, climbing, canoeing and repelling.
There are ruins on a smaller scale in Tulum but I think it's worth the trip to Coba for the day to see and do more!
When traveling to Tulum, pack a few light dresses that can double as cover ups, swim suits and comfortable, strappy flats, espadrilles or low wedges. If you are planning to go on excursions, bring sneakers, tank tops and denim shorts. Leave the heels at home. And, don't forget a great hat!
Sun Dresses and Cover ups:
Sunday St Tropez has the perfect bohemian-inspired styles to wear in Tulum. The line includes casual separates like flowy shorts and tops as well as sun dresses crafted from lightweight fabrics. They are not sold online in the U.S., but you can get them by contacting Katerina Frangenberg of Club Prive in NY at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can get the look with a Melissa Odabash Off The Shoulder White Dress or some great beachwear from Zimmerman.
No need to overpack while in Tulum. Below are suggestions for shoes, active-wear and accessories that are perfect for a trip there!
JADEtribe Tassel Pom-Pom or Evil eye beach bag at KM33 Tulum
Tkees beach sandals
K. Jacques Strappy flats or wedges
Sunday Somewhere Parker Sunglasses
Sensi Studio Panama Hat
When it came to my beauty routine in Tulum, I tried to keep it simple. I brought coconut oil, sunscreen, traveling skincare kit, and some tinted moisturizer. When you're in and out of the water, you don't want to overdo or overthink your make up, keep it natural!
Nutiva Coconut Oil (use as conditioner for hair and skin)
Honest Company Natural Bug Repellent
Coola Organic Sunscreen
Lune + Aster Tinted CC Cream
Vita Liberata anti-aging self-tanning serum
There are plenty of places where you won't have internet, especially once you leave the grounds of your hotel. Don't forget to bring your underwater camera, go-pro or water-proof smart phone case!
If you have not booked your next beach get-away yet, Tulum should be at the top of the list! What are some of your favorite vacation spots? I would love to hear from you!
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