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Tulum Mexico. Again.

Estamos de vuelta.

The last trip to Tulum, Mexico didn't seem long enough, so we planned a return visit. This time for two weeks. It still didn't seem long enough. Something's stayed the same (Hartwood- thank God), and some things got changed up a bit. Here's a rundown-

the villa:

This time around, we rented a villa at Vida Silvestre through The little compound is situated closer to the nice stretch of beach, compared to where we stayed last time. There are a ton of great photos of the places on their website, so I won't waste time by reprinting them here. maybe just a couple:

There's a very secure front gate, but the real protection comes from a ferocious guard dog named Maluco:

The villas are on the jungle side of the street, so no beach view unfortunately. This really only affected my ability to make it to the coast for sunrises. Actually, the weather was pretty crappy most mornings, so catching a sunrise wasn't as effortless as before. They do have a better view of the sunsets though.

One of the nicest parts of staying in the villas is that they have a small kitchen- with a gas powered fridge and stove. We had most breakfasts there which saved some money and wasn't much of a sacrifice.

the food:

Since our trip was during Dia de los Meurtos, most of Chedraui's bakery was filled with bread of the dead- basically a brioche covered in sugar. It was just ok- not nearly as delicious as the "cinnamon roll" from Las Ranitas which was basically a rolled cinnamon croissant.

The sunset happened before dinnertime, so there aren't any amazing shots of the meals we had at Hartwood, or Mezzanine. It's possible that both have gotten better since the last trip. Hartwood especially- a band played some mellow san jarocho during one of our visits, and it was absolutely magical. Naturally we hit up Mateo's again for a sunset, a sampler platter, and quite possibly the only ping pong on the beach.

In addition to the old favorites, there are a few new places on the "must return" list. Starting with Flor de Michoacan, in Tulum puebla. They have fantastic palettas and a groovy garden to enjoy them in.

Lina's Mexican Cantina at La Zebra also treated us well. We had a couple breakfasts and a dinner there. The service is so nice and the food was great- chilaquiles, a cafe con leche, and a refer madness juice is what I need to start everyday.

Also in tulum puebla, is El Camello Jr. It's all the way through town almost at the very end, and totally worth the trek out there. This is not a fancy establishment. There is no whiff of Tulum pretentiousness anywhere.

The food is so ridiculously good, it's almost obscene. Ditto for the margaritas. Every table gets free chips and shark dip- which would make a wonderful meal on its own. But don't pass up the octopus guajillo and fish tikin-xic.

the shopping:

It was a major bummer that my favorite shop in town, La Llorona, had closed. It appears that they may be reopening at the beach? I hope so. Despite that, there is still plenty of shopping in town- as long as you're willing to dig a bit. You can tell right away if the shop has nice quality stuff because the sales people aren't pushy.

This pottery blew my mind, but most was way to large to bring back. Some serious research of this style is in my future.

the souvenirs:

In trying to keep the "precious crap" at a minimum, most of what we brought back is consumable. Most. In addition to 3 bottles of mezcal and two bottles of xtabentĂșn (mayan honey liqueur), we also picked up a jenga grande, 6 glasses with hand painted mexican scenes, a sweet new manuel baumen collage, and a hair calf handbag.

a few notes:

  • The weather this time was nowhere near as pleasant as when we went in february. It rained buckets at least once a day every day. Insane storms that lasted maybe 1-3hrs. There was still plenty of sun, but not like before.
  • Don't forget a flash light!!! It got dark so fast- by 5:30 it felt like midnight. Along the beach road we crossed paths with dozens of crabs scampering into the jungle from the beach (we never figured out why).
  • Don't forget the bug spray!!! There was nary a mosquito in february, but plenty of them in november.
  • And on a pleasant end note, this time we ventured into Dos Ojos Cenote. I didn't bring my camera or phone, but it was amazing. I think better than Gran Cenote. Not quite as scenic, but much bigger with far less people. They have lockers that are free when you rent snorkeling equipment- and you really should rent the snorkeling equipment.

updated map:

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