So I’ve been wanting to go to Tulum for a while (thanks to Instagram). As my now fiancee` and I were planning our annual Cancun trip, I figured it would be the perfect time to spend a few days in Tulum, too. The week we planned to go was also a few days before my birthday so I wanted to take advantage of it! We stayed in Cancun Friday – Monday and Tulum from Monday – Wednesday.
For months I had been reading different blogs about how to navigate to Tulum – including where to stay and things to do. I did my research and kept up with different places in my Notes on my phone.
We decided an Airbnb was the way to go, especially since they’re really nice and inexpensive (just make sure you read the reviews!). After looking at many options, we finally settled on Soho Villas since we would have our own private pool and enough space. This villa is great for 2-3 people; it’s very open and includes a living room, full kitchen and studio-style bedroom.
Our Airbnb host set up a private shuttle to take us directly to the villa. We left our resort in Cancun and took the 2-hour ride to Tulum around 5 p.m. So when we got to Tulum around 7 p.m., it was already dark. We quickly changed and went out to do a little exploring. Also, the great part about our host was that he was very responsive and would call us a taxi right to our villa whenever we were leaving. “Downtown” Tulum was only a few miles away so we decided to hang out there that night.
We landed at a bar called Cervecería Chapultepec where everything was only 21 pesos (about $1 in U.S.). We enjoyed a few mojitos and sliders before leaving.
We were both tired even though it was only a few hours from my birthday. We walked around a bit but everything was beginning to close – and it had also rained a few moments before (hello flooded streets and puddles).
We got a taxi to go back to our villa only to find it completely dark. Yep, we had no power. I immediately got in contact with our host and he informed me that a transformer exploded nearby and everyone near our district lost power. We both tried to stay calm and just hope for the best. We ended up without power all night so it was extremely hot and uncomfortable!! At about 7 a.m. the next morning, we decided we couldn’t take it anymore, so we got dressed and walked down the street to one of the other apartment’s sales offices. A few minutes later, the power was restored but we had already planned to go check out a beach club called Papaya Playa Project, which wasn’t too far away.
Most of the beach clubs in Tulum are attached to hotels and have a bar + restaurant + and access to the beach, of course. At Papaya Playa, the rooms are similar to treehouses and they have an outdoor museum and separate juice bar.
We decided to have breakfast and enjoy the amazing view. To get a beach bed, you would have to reach a food and beverage minimum, but we didn’t really think it was worth it since the place was virtually empty. I ordered the chilaquiles and I wasn’t disappointed!
After breakfast, we walked the beach and then headed back to our villa to change for our next adventure.
Did I mentioned it was also my birthday!? The whole not having power thing through us off a bit but once we got back to our place and made sure our power was back, we felt better. We met up with some friends and went to a place I absolutely had to go to since I had been admiring it for months – Sfer Ik Museum at Azulik.
This place was so beautiful and was comprised of entirely all handmade art. Admission is free but they do take donations. You have to take your shoes off when entering and you have to keep your voice low. They only let a small number of people in the exhibit at a time which is great because you get to experience it without a large crowd. Azulik also has villas and dining at Kin Toh which was also on my list but they were still closed when we arrived. After Azulik, we went back to Papaya Playa Project with our friends (it was walking distance) to have lunch and also get in the hotel’s pool which has a direct view of the beach.
Our friends invited us to their villa that night since they had a chef coming over to cook dinner. Their villa was really nice. We ended up not going out that night since it was already late and we had everything we needed.
The next day was our last but I HAD to check off another place on my list – Pablo Escobar’s Mansion (Casa Malca) – which is a hotel, museum, and restaurant.
Casa Malca was about 30 minutes away from our villa in the hotel district. This district had everything that you’d see on Instagram. I was slightly upset that we couldn’t spend more time here, but we enjoyed the mansion while we could. As long as you open a tab, you’re free to roam the premises. We had brunch before exploring and taking pics.
Unfortunately, we had to get back to our villa to catch our flight. I was so sad to leave – Tulum is definitely a place I would travel to again, especially since I didn’t get to knock off all the places on my list.
If you need more recommendations on places to stay and things to do, let me know. Stay tuned for my next blog post all about our engagement that also happened in Mexico. 😉
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