Touchdown in Tulum, FINALLY. With retreats up and down the beach, fresh food and music for miles, this might be the Mexican Motherland of wellness, y’all. It makes me wonder how it took so many years to get over here:-)
Apart from the unsettling sight of seeing dark tinted, air conditioned SUV’s speed down the bright beach road (hello, Justin Beiber?) the “Hollywood” vibe that I was warned about was more or less non-existent. Instead I was welcomed warmly by business owners, locals and tourists alike. I made a lot of great connections and am currently working on a few projects to get me (and you) there soon.
In the meantime, here are a few of my faves. Cenotes, ruins, and the beach of course are a must.
Tulum Top 10
I had no idea how big “bici” culture was in Tulum, cruiser bikes to be specific. It seems to be the vehicle of choice, with even the more fit folks making the 10 km ride back into the “city” part of town. I made the mistake of doing this in mid-day heat (for a grocery run)… making me more foolish than fit!
PRO TIP: Be sure to rent a bike with a basket
My first food stop was the open air spot Burrito Amor located in the main town area. The waiter was a nice Chicagoan and their food (and smoothies) were even nicer. I had a vegan burrito stuffed with veggies, beans and the protein packed, iron rich Mayan Spinach (Chaya). Their creative salsa selection ranged from the classic verde to a cool coconut oil-ish type of concoction.
PRO TIP: Nutritional analysis has shown Chaya richer in iron than spinach and is a good source of potassium and calcium. Chaya is not yet readily available in health food stores. But, it’s easily to grow in the southern latitudes of the United States. Chaya contains small elements of cyanide poisoning, so it should not be eaten raw. Boiling leaves for at least 5 minutes releases the cyanide and makes the leaves safe to eat.
If you weren’t aware, Tulum is definitely one of the yoga/detox/retreat capitals of the world! I took some tours and a couple of classes and hopefully will be collaborating on retreats there later this year. A Week at the Beach has a great post listing all of the Tulum yoga hotels and retreats. This was super helpful to me as I made my rounds to meet the community. Thanks Sarah!
PRO TIP: When booking your stay, make sure to be clear on the menu as many places unfortunately (and strangely) don’t always offer the cleanest food to compliment their classes.
I arrived right at the end of Playa del Carmen’s 10 day BPM Dance Music Festival (which is an hour north) so I was able to get some vibes that made its way down to Tulum. The super chic design hotel Casa Malca hosted a 24 hour party that I caught before bed and rejoined later on the next morning. But even without the festival, you can find lovely laid back beats everywhere year round from the restaurants to the taxis, music definitely sets the mood here. Some of the best DJ’s in the world visit Tulum year round so be sure to keep an ear out during your trip.
PRO TIP: Get in the groove (wherever you are) with my Spotify Tulum Mix
I’d read good things about Restaurare Vegan Cuisine and they definitely cooked up to the hype, their savory Mayan Curry entree was ridiculously delicious and the chocolate cupcake just as good. The ambiance is great too, it’s set in the jungle with a really cool rustic decor.
PRO TIP: Don’t expect to save much money eating in Tulum, as the prices are pretty comparable to USA and Europe…but totally worth it.
With so many lovely living options in Tulum, the biggest choice is whether to stay on the beach or 6 miles away in the cheaper part of town. Although I didn’t stay here, I did take a tour of the Maya Yoga Hostel ($30 USD/night) in town and it looks like a good place to stay on a backpacker budget. It’s located right at the beginning of the road to the beach. I’m loving the beautiful Sanara ($300 USD/night.) You can also get off the grid and on the cheap “jungle camping” at Cenote Encantado 1320 ($15 USD/night) also located in the beach area with free access to their private cenote! Uno Astrolodge ($150 USD/night, below left) is a very cool concept that offers yoga retreats as well and if you’re with a small group my Airbnb pick would be Casa Mandala ($750 USD/night, below right). My friends’ recent stays at Posada Punta Piedra ($125 USD/night) and Nomade ($250 USD/night) gave good vibes as well.
PRO TIP: If you pack light, bouncing around to different places may make your trip more interesting.
Even after that 6 mile midday sun bike ride for groceries and making dinner for 10 (originally 3) with no time to clean up and change, I happily accepted the invitation to the grand opening of the Tulum Art Club. The international exhibit featured American artist Olivia Steele, performance art and some of the best carrot cake this side of the Mexican border. It’s the only contemporary gallery around so for all you art lovers its definitely worth a look.
PRO TIP: The gallery also doubles as a bar and internet cafe
It was love at first (web)site with Sanara Tulum‘s photos and I stayed in love once I arrived. The barely one year old place is truly a “Caribbean Gem.” The floor to ceiling beachfront yoga studio is seriously breathtaking and the guests are everything you would expect of a place like this, fashionable, international of all ages and races. The restaurant, The Real Coconut is open to the public and features a beautiful local plant based menu. Try their superfood smoothies + the charcoal activated lemonade and enjoy the view.
PRO TIP: Book a free consultation with Rhiannon, Sanara’s in house wellness nutritionist
Believe it or not with all the “wellness” running around, there is only ONE fully raw restaurant in Tulum so of course that was at the top of my to-do list. I found Raw Love Tulum hidden inside the Ahau Hotel. I went for the pesto pizza then ended up sharing dessert with a lovely stranger in town on a yoga retreat. Only a year old, business is booming for the lovely American/Argentinian couple who I got a chance to meet and hopefully collaborate with in the future.
PRO TIP: Go raw for lunch and enjoy Tulum’s booming dinner scene at night, not to be missed!
Even though retail therapy was the furthest thing from my mind, I was welcomed at the magical Lolita Lolita with open arms. The level of synchronicity was through the roof, the owner Tanya and I had so much in common, so I knew I was in the right place. Her shop features handmade organic skincare which you can also find in hotels, spas and shops throughout Mexico and USA.
Lolita Lolita is much more than just a shop, it is truly a community that hosts events from bikini waxes to traditional Temezcali (sweat lodge detox) to even hangover parties. Be sure to follow on Instagram.
So, Tanya and I are making plans on a cool culinary collaboration that will hopefully have me back in Tulum soon and sharing with you! We’ve already sealed the deal by hosting our first dinner: (featuring my now world famous) Coconut Curry Cabbage Salad and her essential oil waters.
PRO TIP: Stay tuned!
Live Lynnette x Lolita Lolita Dinner #1