Sheer Simplicity will Capture You in Tulum!

 

Sheer Simplicity will Capture You in Tulum! - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenTulum is a place very special in my heart! It is a destination with deep history and beauty, but also an extraordinary feeling for all that set foot on its paradisiacal soft white sand beaches! It is a true escape from anywhere you are in your life! Even when you already come from paradise!

Many people associate Tulum as an excursion with the existence and tour of the Mayan Ruins! While this is a beautiful and wonderful treasure of Tulum, which adds magic and mystery to the town, it’s certainly not the only secret to what makes Tulum such a special paradise!

What does create all the amazement is the feeling of calmness, the tropical attitude, the involvement with nature and the site of virgin beaches and turquoise Caribbean waters so pristine it will take your breath away! If any place is going to make you forget your woes for a day, it will be here!

The first time I traveled to Mexico was to Playa del Carmen. That was beautiful enough in my eyes but at the time I truly had no idea how beauty travels and changes throughout every few miles of land.

I had my first encounter with Tulum when I ventured out back to the Riviera Maya to visit my boyfriend (now husband) whom I had met on a previous vacation there. Yes, love sparked and now here I am!

He took me on adventure to the beautiful Cenotes, to beaches of Akumal and ultimately to Tulum – a place where I swear you could feel rays of astonishment shine right through me! It was just so beautiful!

After exploring the intriguing Ruins, which were the stomping ground of the Mayan Community many years before our time, we set out on a Bohemian Jungle road where we found a beachfront cabana to stay the night!

We had dinner outdoors at a charming Mexican restaurant situated along the tropical jungle path! I should mention that many of the restaurants along the way have a casual yet romantic feel; and so far, I have experienced the food and atmosphere to be amazing everywhere we have tried.

After dinner we sat on the beach watching the night sky as it was completely mesmerizing! At night the lights diminish giving the perfect setting for the shining stars to miraculously steal the show! A blanket, a glass of wine and those amazing stars! A simplicity so seamless and perfect it could never be replaced.

We awoke at sunrise with a view so serene you felt like you had died and gone to heaven! Really! I know that sounds like a cliché but I’m not really how else you could actually describe it! The water was gleaming and sparkling like nothing I have ever seen in my life!

And in that moment, all I could imagine was the shattering possibility that I almost went through life without ever knowing such a place. I felt such a sense of gratitude that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience this once in my lifetime! Of course not knowing that in fact, my future would take me back time and time again!

Sheer Simplicity will Capture You in Tulum!My husband and I make our escape to Tulum usually about once a month, as it is only about a 40 minute drive south from our home in Playa del Carmen. We always visit the same spot – at OM Beach Club in Tulum, where you will find a chair which has gained fame in its painted striking words – “The only chair you will remember for the rest of your life”! Well, isn’t that the truth!

Sometimes we take a little walk around the town center of Tulum, located away from the shore, where you can find great eats and small shops. It is a very small town and holds plenty of charm!

Tulum is always a place where we go to be free from our normal everyday life! From cell phones, from work, from our never ending to do list! And it’s always wonderful to continue to see a place that remains exquisite and unchanged!

I would most certainly recommend anyone vacationing in city-like environments, like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, to take a day out to spend in Tulum; simply to understand the true Mexican Caribbean vibe!

When we book of vacations we dream of being secluded; yet we tend to choose spots where conveniences are available – That is normal! But a day trip to Tulum allows you to make that escape, if only for a day, so that you can truly let yourself be free in nature and the beauty surrounding you! Visit the Mayan Ruins, Relax on the Beach, Eat Delicious and come home with memories that will live with you forever!

Riviera Maya Bucket List Part 1 – Discovering Small Pieces of Heaven!

Xpu-Ha - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenThe Riviera Maya is a special place that is meant to be experienced and explored rather than just merely seen. The very thing that keeps so many people coming back year after year is the fact that it is a vacation that can always offer a different experience.

There are so many secret places and what I believe to be hidden wonders. If you have visited Playa del Carmen, Cancun or even Tulum you may think that is where it all ends. But in reality that is just where it starts.

In between these well-known landmarks you can find small pieces of heaven! What used to be secret little treasures are now becoming more talked about – but none the less are still must sees while on vacation anywhere in the Riviera Maya.

If you are calling Playa del Carmen your home base for the week and are looking to switch up the scenery a bit (which I highly recommend you do, for your own good!) there are a few of my favorite little wonders heading southward that I always recommend. You can even visit more than one place in one day – offering a more fulfilling experience.

Magical Cenotes

Start your day trip adventure with a stop at one of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful cenotes which are about 15 minutes south from Playa del Carmen! This is a perfect activity to start in the morning on a really hot day! I always love cenotes on hot days because the water is a bit chillier than the ocean or pool water, and is an absolutely amazingly refreshing way to cool off!

A cenote is literally a natural fresh clear water pool which, on sunny days mirrors like crystal. It’s beautiful and quite an invigorating experience. Some cenotes even have underground cave entrances for those who love to dive and explore.

Two of my favorite nearby cenotes on this south route toward Tulum are Centoe Azul and Jardin of Eden. Both have great cliff jump off points if you like a little extra adventure. This is a great activity for a nice quick swim or to spend the entire day! Bring your towels, bathing suit and your smile! The entrance is about 50 pesos per person depending on the cenote.

If you have the time you may want to wander off to a brilliant new beach! The summer time hours give you plenty of beach time, so even if you arrive in the afternoon you still have plenty of time to enjoy!

The secret place everyone is talking about – Xpu-ha

Only right around the corner from the cenotes, on the other side of the highway you can find one of the most magical places I have encountered in the Riviera Maya – Xpu-ha! My goodness, what a wonderful place! I discovered Xpu-ha after having lived here already for almost 1.5 years! The first time I saw it I thought – “I can’t believe I have been missing out on this heaven all this time”. Well now I am very thankful that this paradisaical place is a regular part of my life!

Xpu-ha Beach is a paradise with soft white sand and crystal clear waters. It is also home to some of the most precious coral reefs! If you like to swim or snorkel this is a fantastic place to discover! You can also enjoy select water sports at a fraction of the cost of what you would spend in Playa! The entrance is 40 pesos per person but if you consume at the beach club, you will get a refund for your entrance upon leaving. The beach club is also highly recommendable with great food and cocktails!

The place of the Sea Turtles in Akumal

Akumal is another paradise not to be missed. It’s about 10 more minutes from the cenotes, still heading south! I have been to Akumal time and time again for relaxing days on the beach and to swim with the very large and exceptionally amazing Sea Turtles! You can bring your own snorkel gear or you can rent for a fee.

Swimming with the turtles can be done as a tour or you are free to go on your own! Aside from the sea turtles you can also swim amongst other well-known sea creatures such as stingrays and an array of colorful fish! It is truly an experience you will be glad you’ve discovered! Entrance to Akumal is absolutely free!

I recommend you try one of the most famous restaurants on the Riviera Maya called – La Buena Vida! It is such a charming restaurant with great food overlooking the beautiful Half Moon Bay of Akumal!

The serenity of Tulum

Tulum - Condo Hotels Playa del CarmenNow I bring you to a place where my heart forever lives – in Tulum! About a 45 minute drive away from Playa, Tulum is a place that makes you feel free as soon as you arrive! Its relaxed bohemian vibe puts even the most anxious at tranquility! Here the waves are bigger and the water bright and blue! If you love boogie boarding or riding the waves I highly suggest a day in Tulum!

There is a very pretty jungle road with a string of beach clubs and small hotels – each offering loungers and food and drink service! When I go I tend to always find myself at a place called “Om Tulum”! The stretch of beach is amazing and I always enjoy the service and the great food!

If you happen to be traveling with your dog – Tulum is one of the few places in the Riviera Maya that is animal friendly! You can end your day in Tulum by walking through the little town, shopping and having dinner at one of the many charming restaurants in the town center.

If you are planning a trip to the Riviera Maya use these helpful bucket list items to create your own agenda tailored to your interests. Keep follow us for more must-see beaches and little paradises!

Finding Paradise in Tulum

Playa del Carmen is located in the middle of the Riviera Maya, a stretch of pristine Caribbean coastline stretching from Cancun in the north to Tulum in the south. Most of the places I love to visit from Playa are located to the south of town, such as Akumal, Xcacel and Cenote Azul, but I recently discovered another piece of paradise in the form of Tulum’s Paraiso beach (which literally means paradise!).

My previous visits to Tulum had proved a little fruitless, and I had actually wondered what all the fuss was about. I’d ventured south to explore the ancient ruins which overlook the ocean, but that day the clouds decided to open up, preventing me from appreciating the true beauty of the beach.

Tulum ruins

The other time I visited Tulum, I was a little confused by its layout. The pueblo (town) is set just off the highway almost five kilometers away from the beaches, with the ruins situated at the northern end. If you don’t have your own transport, this means utilizing the collectivos (vans) and taxis to get around, as it is too far to cover on foot.

On my last visit, however, we had access to our own vehicle, which allowed us to explore at our own pace. We decided to hit the beach just south of the ruins, which had public access and parking.

The beach in front of the Paraiso beach club was busy with happy locals and tourists enjoying the sea and sun, but we still managed to secure a spot under the shade of a natural umbrella – a coconut palm.

Tulum palm tree

We took to the crystal clear water which reflected a bright turquoise blue. As soon as I entered the water, I was filled with such a deep feeling of appreciation for being able to spend time in the Mayan Riviera. It truly is such a beautiful part of the world, and it’s beaches are something to behold.

What’s more, they are completely free!

There are many resorts along the coastline of Tulum that provide access to the beach for the cost of a sun-lounger or a meal at their restaurant, but honestly, I prefer the public beaches where locals and tourists mingle and enjoy the beach together.

Tulum paraiso beach

Paradise is available to everyone, and is not something that has to be earned or bought. It is simply there, waiting to be enjoyed by everyone who takes the time to do so. The crystal clear, invigorating waters, the white sandy shores lined with palm trees and flanked by jungle; it is nature’s gift to us in this part of the world.

Looking around at the contented beach-goers – kids burying themselves in the fine sand; elderly couples perched on chairs under umbrellas; tourists taking multiple ‘selfies’ of themselves against the spectacular Caribbean backdrop – it seemed that everyone else felt the same way.

We were experiencing paradise on earth, and there was simply no other place any of us wanted to be that day.

Paradise in Tulum

Tip: ‘Paradise’ beach is easily accessed form Playa del Carmen, less than an hours’ drive south. Turn left at the traffic lights before the town, then left at the T-junction near the beach. After about 2-3 KM, turn right at the sign which says “Public Access to Beach”, then pull up a piece of sand under a palm tree and enjoy!

Top 10 Things To Do on the Riviera Maya

Playa del Carmen is located on a pristine stretch of coastline on the eastern Yucatan peninsular, known as the Riviera Maya. The Riviera Maya offers world class accommodation, unique natural wonders, beautiful beaches and historic treasures which make it a popular vacation destination for people from all over the world. We’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Things To Do to assist you with you next visit.

1. Experience the Unique Vibe of Playa del Carmen

Riviera Maya Playa del Carmen

‘Playa’ as it is known by the regulars, is a cosmopolitan town on the Caribbean Sea, securing a special place in the hearts of all who visit. Sparkling waters, fantastic restaurants, lively night life and friendly people are just some of the possible reasons why this town is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Riviera Maya.

2. Swim In a Cenote

Natural, geologically formed pools filled with cool clear fresh water are scattered all along the Riviera Maya. Known for their refreshing, healing qualities, swimming in a cenote is an absolute must for visitors. Our favorites are Cenote Azul, Cristallino and Dos Ojos (Two eyes).

3. Snorkel with Sea Turtles

Riviera Maya Akumal

The protected bay of Akumal is the feeding ground for a number of sea turtles. All year round, these majestic creatures feed on grasses growing from the sandy sea floor and don’t seem to mind inquisitive visitors watching them eat. Snorkel gear can be hired onsite.

4. Step Back in Time at Coba

Riviera Maya Coba

The ancient Mayan city of Coba makes a great day trip from Playa del Carmen. Take a guided tour and learn about ancient Mayan prophecies, hire bicycles to explore the vast grounds, then climb to the top of the main pyramid and imagine yourself as a powerful Mayan king surveying a great kingdom.

5. Chill out in Tulum

Riviear Maya tulum

The beaches of Tulum are famed for their underdeveloped shores and turquoise waters. Grab a good book, spread out a towel and soak up the laid back vibe.The Mayans who inhabited the city in ancient times certainly had good taste in real estate!

6. Dive the World’s Second Largest Barrier Reef

The waters off the Riviera Maya are home to one of the world’s most spectacular reef systems. Most dive companies are located in Playa del Carmen or the nearby island of Cozumel, and can arrange a tour to suit you.

7. Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Xcaret

Day of the Dead Playa Del Carmen

Xcaret is an ecological themed park offering excellent activities all year round, but its ‘Festival of Life and Death’ in early November is not to be missed if your visit coincides. Funerary exhibitions, ghoulish face painting, excellent theatrical performances and a variety of food stalls are just some of the highlights of the festival to mark the famed ‘Day of the Dead.’

8. Discover Untouched Natural Treasures at Sian Ka’an

South of Tulum, discover ‘Paradise on Earth’ at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a protected area of untold natural and ecological beauty. Take a boat ride through the lagoon to discover manatees, dolphins and unique bird life, then feast on fresh lobster at a water front restaurant in the tiny town of Punta Allen.

9. Become a Beach Afficianado at Xpu-ha and Xcacel

playa del carmen beach club

Discover the lesser known beaches of Xcacel and Xpu- ha south of Playa del Carmen, then decide which is your favorite. Is it the natural, rugged beauty of Xcacel, or the laid back beach bars and aquamarine waters of Xpu-ha? You decide.

10. Slip into ‘Mexico time’ in  Puerto Morelos

Riviera Maya Puerto Morelos

A sleepy fishing village just north of Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos retains a relaxed atmosphere whilst offering great restaurants and one of the best English book stores on the Mayan Riviera. Pick out a great book then read it over fresh ceviche or seafood tacos and forget about having a ‘To Do’ list at all.

For more information on transport options and tours for the above activities, contact our concierge service.