Tulum is such a hot destination right now and it is easy to see why. A short flight from the US, it is an an entire world away in terms of climate, vibe, and pace. The Loteli team took a mid-winter break from to Tulum and Isla Holbox and had an amazing time.
Below are four things we learned on our recent trip. We hope they help if you're planning a trip to this part of the world!
1. In Tulum, your location matters
When traveling with a group of friends, renting a villa usually makes more sense than renting separate hotel rooms. We did this in Tulum, opting to stay slightly out of town at the beautiful Villa Miramar so that we could have our own space to gather everyone for sunset drinks. The location out of town meant it was very quiet and relaxing, but we did end up spending more on taxis to get to and from the action. If you're planning to be out every night you may prefer to stay closer to town.
2. Don't miss out on the poolside scene
Unfortunately, Tulum has a real problem with seaweed which makes many of the beaches difficult to enjoy. One way around this is to purchase a day pass to some of the larger resorts where they groom the beaches throughout the day, or where they have a beautiful pool to sit by. We opted to do this on three afternoons, visiting BeTulum, Habitas and Casa Malca. Each of these were stunning and great options for a group intent on relaxing. Naturally, this included some float time!
3. Be prepared for incredible meals
It probably won't surprise you to hear that there are many amazing restaurants in Tulum. What might surprise you is that while many of the restaurants are very luxurious, you do not need to dress up at all. No heels necessary! Some highlights were sunset cocktails in a 'nest' at Azulik, an Argentine-style feast at Mina, a healthy post-yoga breakfast at The Real Coconut and a delicious pre-party meal at Rosa Negra. We didn't get a chance to visit Hartwood but heard rave reviews.
4. It's worth venturing off the beaten track
To cap off the trip, we drove north from Tulum to Puerto de Chiquila and from there took the ferry to Isla Holbox. There are two ferry companies with departures every 30 minutes so you do not need to worry about timing your trip across. Holbox (pronounced 'hol-vosh') is still something of a secret so does not have the crowds and traffic you find now in Tulum.
This tiny island is vehicle free, with white, powdered-sugar sand, warm water and a low-key vibe. Taxi buggies pick you up from the ferry and take you to your hotel, or you can rent your own. There are still plenty of restaurant options, from casual meals to more upscale hotel restaurants. We spent one evening wandering around the cute boutiques in the center of town. One tip - pack the mosquito repellent! They came out in force as soon as the sun began to set.
The highlight of Holbox had to be the beach. The water was so clear and warm, and best of all - no seaweed! Can you believe the color of the water?
That's a quick summary of the four things we learned in Tulum. There's so much to see in this part of the world - we are already planning a return trip soon!