Tulum. Ethereal. Other-worldly. Reminiscent of the past with its ancient ruins and garden of Eden-like fauna and flora while very much in the present with its yoga studios, water sports, and boho-chic shopping scene.
Our trip to Tulum was inspired by countless friends who told us to visit, but also by one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Julia Engel’s Gal Meets Glam 5-Day Guide to Tulum. After seeing her incredible travels there, I knew that this was one place we couldn’t miss when visiting Mexico. Tulum did not disappoint.
We started our day out by visiting the ancient Mayan ruins. The ruins themselves are a sight to be seen. They are set on the beautiful beaches of Tulum, which makes them all the more beautiful. I have never seen such clear waters or so many people scrambling to take a dip in them. The water was literally perfect — clear and temperate. Zach, unfortunately, hadn’t changed into his swim trunks yet, so our big regret was that we didn’t get to actually swim there, just dipped our feet in.
After visiting the ruins, we decided to rent bikes, per Julia’s recommendation. That was a great idea, but pro-tip #1, be prepared for a fairly long bike ride if you are starting from the ruins and going the full length of the beach. And pro-tip #2, don’t be like me and get a bum bike. My bike had a broken left pedal, which made biking all-the-more difficult.
We biked to the most delicious of restaurants in the Mi Amor Hotel and Spa. I had a delectable artichoke and spinach ravioli, berry smoothie, and parmesan truffle fries and Zach ordered a savory fish-of-the-day and jungle smoothie. Our stomachs greatly thanked us. It was one of the best meals I have had in a while. The hotel was small and sweet with only 18 rooms. The pool wound through the hotel grounds and ultimately let out into stunning views of the ocean which had some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen.
Our experience at Mi Amor and the view of the beach convinced us that we needed to finally take a dip in the Tulum waterfront. We did not regret riding the waves and sun-tanning on the public beach just five minutes up from our lunch location.
After sunbathing, we decided to clean up a bit and head into “downtown” Tulum. Downtown is a relative term. If you’re expecting New York City skyscrapers, Washingtonian busyness, or Chicago-level skylines, you’ve come to the wrong place. Downtown Tulum is not super obvious; instead, it is nestled in a fairy-like forest. Rather than take my decrepit bike on this journey, we opted to re-park our rental car and make our way to the middle section of Tulum which promised some shopping for the ever-in-search-of-a-good-deal-and-unique-buy — Liv.
I was not disappointed. The shopping is, like I noted earlier, very boho-chic. While that’s not my style, I really enjoyed window-shopping and even purchased a cute dress that is sure to be featured on the blog during our travels, if not this trip, certainly the next. And there was even something for the guys to enjoy. Zach found Cuban cigars! (Thanks, Ricardo!)
After that, we headed to dinner at Rosa Negra. The ambiance was incredible, the wait staff was ever-so-kind, and the food (especially the Baked Alaska for dessert) was great. I cannot over-emphasize how beautiful this restaurant is. The decor was like stepping straight into a movie scene (Zach and I had fun imagining some sort of Jason Bourne action movie being filmed here). It would be SO. MUCH. FUN.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted. But in the good kind of way — the refreshing feeling you get after you’ve gone for a long swim, or just experienced a relaxing massage.
Tulum far-exceeded both of our expectations and already has us talking about making a return trip to stay exclusively in Tulum. If you are planning a trip to Mexico, this gem must be included on your to-do list.
Also, on the fashion-front. The dress I am wearing is from Promod. My Mom picked it up for me when she and my Dad took their 30th wedding anniversary trip to Europe. I cannot recommend this dress more highly. I’ve traveled with it in hot weather in Korea and now in Mexico (and obviously worn it in the U.S.) and it has never failed me. It’s light and airy, but gives enough coverage to protect you from the sun. It has pockets (always a plus) and is a uniformly figure-flattering cut. For a day out-and-about, it is a go-to.
For those who usually follow my blog, you know that I don’t usually write this much for my posts. Thanks for bearing with me. Tulum is just such a special place, one that Zach and I look forward to returning to for years to come.
For those planning a trip there, please feel free to shoot me a message with any questions. I’m happy to pass along any tips and tricks we found helpful.
You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. ~ Psalm 89:9