tulum: a few favorites.

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

ahhhh, tulum. i have to say that it’s as magical a place as i had imagined, and even surpassed my expectations. i was there last week teaching ace camp with rena tom of makeshift society and i felt like one happy camper to be able to teach in such an idyllic spot. tulum is on the caribbean sea, just two hours drive from the cancun airport and once you arrive you feel as far away from the larger touristy areas as you can get. it’s one long strip of beach with small boutique hotels and wellness spas (nothing higher than two stories tall) and charming restaurants and shops you can easily walk or bike to. we stayed at the hip hotel, a small 22-room hotel smack dab on the beach — cute little beach huts, complete with individual decks and hammocks. be forewarned, there’s no air conditioning so i’m not sure what it’s like it the warmer summer months, but our ceiling fans and the fresh breeze off the ocean was perfecto. it’s just a little slice of heaven.

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

i want to give a shout out to some great people who provided gift bag goodies for our students — thanks to the always fun ban.do for the cute totes, drink holders and sunglass straps; photojojo for providing us with some fabulous iphone lens accessories; and to the lovely aesop for keeping us safe from the sun!

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

now let’s talk about where to eat. There’s the go-to spot hartwood, which people line up for every day at noon for evening reservations. It’s well worth the wait. Situated outdoors, under whitewashed pergolas, with a wood burning oven & grill, you can watch hartwood’s chef eric werner and team preparing the evening’s fresh catch of the day, along with other deliciousness like ceviche, plantains, and some of the best fall-off-the-bone pork ribs I’ve ever had. oh yeah, and some tasty signature cocktails, too. it’s a kind of be seen, be seen eating & drinking kinda place, so wear your best flip flops.

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

My personal favorite was posada margherita, and it’s not named after the Mexican cocktail concoction, but is actually an amazing rustic Italian restaurant (shop and hotel) on the beach. It doesn’t get more charming than this – envision a kind of anthropologie-looking space with walls made from repurposed shutters and windows, tables that sit with the prettiest ocean view I’ve ever seen, under sparkling globe lights and swaying palm trees. I had the best burrata salad I’ve ever eaten and some divine grilled prawns. Oh, and the fresh baked foccacia they bring to the table is irresistible. down the road along the beach we had a really fresh tasting lunch at casa violeta – delicious ceviche, fish tacos and mediterranean platters, too. another favorite meal was at casa banana — a really stunning outdoor restaurant that serves Argentinean tapas and killer cocktails.

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

as far as the shopping goes, definitely hit tulum centro (the main street in town) — it’s full of wonderfully inexpensive shops (mostly without names that I could find!) but you can find great leather goods, beautiful hammocks, embroidered linens and dresses, jewelry and pottery. most places will bargain, so don’t feel you have to accept the first price. in tulum along the playa, my favorite shop was coqui coqui, which i mentioned last week and a close second was la troupe — which has beautiful home goods, jewelry and clothing. i got some wonderful linen pillows for my new place. another spot for mexican handcrafts and folk art was la llorona – i found some gorgeous handmade table linens here, too. and then, when you’re not shopping and eating — it’s amazing to just lay there and soak up the color. i’ve never seen a lavender sky and aqua-colored water so beautiful, and that was my very favorite thing about tulum above all!

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

tulum: a few favorites / sfgirlbybay

30 Responses to “tulum: a few favorites.”
  1. Jeanatte says:

    The colors are amazing. Something I feel is always missing when you’re in the states. I bet the water was fantastic. No waves when you’re not in Pacific! Its so crazy!

  2. Zinnia says:

    Such inviting, gorgeous photos! It looks like it was a beautiful trip. Thanks for sharing where to stay, shop and eat. I’m putting it on the getaway list for sometime during Minnesota’s next winter. Mil gracias!

  3. Roxana says:

    if youre still there check out Paraiso Tulum restaurant. everything is amazing!! We visited the last wo weeks in april and have been checking out properties since!!! so beautiful!

  4. What a beautiful place! I have always wanted to visit, hopefully this summer. Those huts look super cute and cozy too.

  5. matt says:

    ana y jose

  6. Kat Smith says:

    YES! You captured Tulum perfectly! Can’t wait to go there again next year!


  7. This is not at all what I was thinking about when you said you were going to Mexico. Thanks for blowing my preconceived notions out of the water! I was hoping that it was going to be driving distance from LA but alas, Tulum is on the other side of the country :(


  8. Denise says:

    Stunning post, and the colors of Tulum are amazing! We tried to get a flight there for June – sold out. Dying to go to visit, lay in the sand and eat the food!

  9. I absolutely love Tulum. I went when I was a kid and it has been on the top of my list of places to see again as an adult. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos and tips. I will definitely be using them when I go.

  10. Mona says:

    Super nice Tulum post, indeed!

  11. Toni Marie says:

    Wow! This place looks so beautiful and relaxing. Great post :)


  12. Cindy says:

    Your post is great and the pictures are lovely though I would have liked to see more of the authentic Mexican culture and food. It would be nice to see more posts on how people in the region are striving to keep their cultural identity and customs alive despite a booming tourism industry.

  13. Cate says:

    Whose UGLY feet do you keep showing?????

  14. Kelly says:

    There is also a great art scene there too, a particular great one is Emma Rubens, check out her paintings of the cafes and bars of Tulum: http://www.emmarubens.com

  15. tina says:

    Nice post and great photos! In Croatia tulum means party :)

  16. Anna says:

    Looks amazing. Lovely pictures<3

  17. jen says:

    Adore your take on places! Beautiful. Excited to visit tulum in november. Love your SF book, by the way… lovely lovely.

  18. Susan says:

    Victoria, your feet are not ugly. Assuming you don’t listen to ugly people’s comments anyway.

  19. Mick says:

    Is it easy enough to get around not speaking spanish?

  20. Jesse says:

    What was the hotel that you loved?

  21. Jay says:

    Tulum looks great, you took some great pictures. Planning a trip soon as I noticed that it is cheaper to fly to Tulum than it is to fly to New York City. Accommodation is also cheaper in Tulum than NYC.

    Jay from http://EclecticElite.com

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