little bits & pieces

#TravelTuesday | Tulum, Mexico

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
"Traveling is one of the only things you can buy that makes you richer." This is one of my favorite quotes because although it may drain your savings, like mine, I wouldn't take any of it back. I was so scared of traveling when I was young and it is so true that once you start, you'll wish you started sooner! I have been to 18 countries and only 13 states in the U.S., which also translates to 7% of the entire world, talk about feeling small!

So for #TravelTuesday I want to highlight each country with my top restaurants and things to see/do. Not gonna lie, I'm also doing it because I need to remember that my traveling life is NOT over just because I will have a child....right?? RIGHT??!?!! lol

TULUM, MEXICO | 4.19.15-4.27.15

|  S t a y  |

1. The Beach Tulum Hotel $$$$ - It is an adults only hotel but has got to be my favorite hotel in Tulum, both for location and style. They have beach front rooms and balcony terraces along with amazing food and great vibes at Ziggy Beach Club. Even just visiting and having lunch at Ziggy Beach and then lounging on there beach beds is worth it!

2. Papaya Playa Hotel $$ - Run by the same owners as The Beach Hotel, this eco-friendly hotel has a lively bar scene ( which in Tulum means soft dance beats while having a cocktail or glass of wine). For the beach front location, ambiance and food, I would say this hotel is easiest on the wallet and great on the eyes. Only downfall is that there is no pool but most of these beach front hotels don't have or need one!

Some others I would recommend would be:

3. Parayso Hotel & Spa $- LOCATION!! Right in the midst of everything, beachfront, ocean views. Best bang for your buck in my opinion!
4. Dreams Resort $$$$- Family Friendly, all inclusive, secluded and 15min from main Tulum.
5. Casa Violeta $$- Beach front, in the heart of Tulum.

|  E a t  |

1. Hartwood - One of, if not thee most popular restaurant in Tulum. Known for there ever changing menu and fresh local produce served daily. No advance reservations are taken so make sure you go at 3pm to put your name in for a table that same evening. They are open between 6pm- 11pm and closed Mondays & Tuesdays. Truly a must for all foodies out there!

Grilled Octopus | A staple of Hartwood

2. Ziggy's- A part of The Beach Hotel, Ziggy's is an upscale Mexican cuisine with yummy frozen drinks (I had the virgin banana coconut colada) and addicting margarita concoctions. This is a restaurant where you have your feet in the sand and the views of the Caribbean.

3. Gitano- If your feeling fancy, this is the restaurant to wear those heels you regretted bringing! A place for both elegant dining and cocktail bar for dancing, I would definitely recommend this place for a night out Tulum style. The drinks are pricy so be prepared but very worth it!

4. El Tabano- Great place for lunch to grab some imaginative Mexican cuisine. Watermelon Gazpacho and Shrimp with Habanero Butter are at the top of my favorites!

5. Restaurare-  They don't have a website but this is a must for the vegans and vegetarians out there. A fresh Vegan cuisine from local farmers markets, with dishes like Banana & Amaranth pancakes or the Vegan Baja Tacos, Restaurare is sure to impress.

|  F u n  |

1. Cenotes- They are everywhere! With so many to chose from you really need to do the research on where they are, what time they close and which places are worth it! Being 6 months prego I couldn't do the crazy underwater cenotes that required scubas but I found a few that are definitely worth seeing.

Ik KilSuch a beauty if it's not to crowded and they offer super tasty, real fruit, frozen treats. Definitely a drive up to the Yucatan area but a perfect stop on the way back from visiting the always scorching, Chichen Itza pyramid.  
Gran Cenote- A short distance from Tulum, this was a perfect spot for a dip after a beach day. Also, if you go after 3pm it's not too crowded which is always nice.

Yal- Ku Lagoon- It is hidden but you can ask the front desk or do some research to find the location if you don't want to take a tour. This is just outside of Tulum, in Akumal, a perfect spot for kids in a large enough area to explore freely.

Other Cenotes I would have loved to visit:

Cenote Dos OjosA MUST for divers and one of the most popular cenotes to visit this cenote is still in the top 10 list of longest underwater sea caves in the world.

Calavera Cenote- Right in Tulum, this cenote requires you to either jump into the hole on top of it or climb down the flight of stairs.

Cenote Labnaha Eco Park- Also in Tulum, I would have loved to explore this tunnel of sea caves but it was a little much for my tummy and I haha. The Eco park requires a full day tour of $89 US but includes two other cenotes (Cenote Sagrado & Magic Cenote), snorkel equipment, life jackets, lunch and lockers.

2. Chichen Itza- A far, non-scenic, drive from Tulum so be prepared. This is suppose to be concerned one of the newest seven wonders of the world. It is pretty amazing but the heat and humidity really gets ya (especially pregnant), stopping at a cenote after is a must!

3. Playa Del Carmen- Just 30 minutes from Tulum, it's an easy drive to spend a day or two in this now bustling, tourist filled city. My favorite parts of Playa del Carmen:

Mamitas Beach Club, where we got a bed, stuffed our faces and relaxed all day

The Palm at Playa- If we weren't staying at a friends beautiful condo, we would've stayed here. Amazing food, beautiful view and across the street from the beach (which in my opinion isn't that great compared to Tulum!). The rooftop does become a party on the weekends with a DJ but is open to the public anytime.
5th Avenue shopping

Sur Steakhouse

Main street in Playa is 5th avenue, theres tons of shops, restaurants and bars for everyone. Our favorite was Sur Restaurant, the vibe at night is perfect for drinks and apps with friends or a romantic dinner.

A few random shots:

I would definitely go back and hope this helps anyone planning a trip to Tulum or the surrounding areas (Playa Del Carmen and Cancun). It was a perfect baby moon!

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