Ahh, Tulum. Just typing those words make me feel relaxed. After taking vacation during the summer last year, we decided to wise-up and take a tropical trip in the winter this year. We couldn’t have picked a better time to jet off in search of the sun! We left from Boston Logan just a day after the “bomb cyclone” snowstorm hit the city. We were so lucky that our flight left on time, and we’ve never been so happy for a change of scenery. I think a winter vacation is going to be a new tradition for us going forward.
We spent 8 days in a lovely Airbnb in downtown Tulum. We enjoyed a week filled with delicious meals, dips in the ocean, cenote swimming, and splitting our time between exploring and kicking back. Tulum is a wonderfully interesting mix of hostels, high end hotels, and campsites along a pristine public beach. Bikes are the preferred method of transportation and there’s a 3 mile long bike path from the downtown area to the beach.
In town and along the beach there are seemingly endless delicious options for dining out. I have a gluten and a dairy allergy so typically which can make traveling really difficult. Tulum was an exception! There are so many healthy eateries and you can find smoothies and cold pressed juices almost everywhere you go. There are several dedicated vegan & vegetarian restaurants, and surprisingly plenty of vegan ice cream! Here are some of our favorite spots from the trip:
The Real Coconut
The Real Coconut was my favorite spot for a nice meal out. Everything they offer is organic, and gluten, grain, and dairy free. They’re located at the Sanara Tulum and the decor of the restaurant matches the aesthetic of the hotel. We loved their creative cuisine and the stunning ocean view. I’ll dream about the Coconut Quesadillas made with coconut flour tortillas and coconut cheese served with guacamole and pico de gallo and the fluffy brownie.
Matcha Mama Tulum
A sweet little roadside hut, Matcha Mama made for the perfect pre-beach stop! We popped in multiple times throughout the week for matcha lattes, coconut ice cream, and smoothie bowls. We had many smoothies throughout the week and theirs was my absolute favorite. Their smoothie bowls are served in cute little coconut bowls and the “Papacito” is something I’m going to try to re-create at home. Although it’s small, all of the details at Matcha Mama are thoughtful. They have swings for seats, tropical hand painted patterns all over, and a surfboard out front.
Having dinner in the middle of the jungle at night is a pretty incredible experience and the ambience at Casa Jaguar made it that much better! Along the the beach strip there are many wonderful restaurant options and you can’t really go wrong. Of course, Hartwood has rave reviews, but it can be difficult to get a reservation, so we went just down the street to Casa Jaguar. They offer plenty of fresh seafood, accented with tropical flavors, as well as craft cocktails. The evening here was a really memorable one for us and we highly recommend adding it to your list if you’re traveling to Tulum.
When you’re hot, sweaty, and covered in sunscreen there’s only one remedy — ice cream! Buena Estrella is a mobile vegan ice cream cart, conveniently parked at the end of the bike path, right before the town center. When it comes to ice cream, this is as artisan as it gets. You get to choose up to 3 flavors, and they mix and freeze the ice cream right in front of you. Be warned, it’s a process and you’ll be waiting a while, but patience pays off. I loved the mix of coconut, cacao, and mint. They’re open most days from 1:30 PM – 7:30 PM.
We started and ended our trip at Burrito Amor, and incredible spot in downtown. After a long day in the sun, you need something filling and their delicious burritos do the trick. They offer options for vegans and for meat eaters so it was the perfect in between for Kyle and I. I had their vegan burrito made with nopal (cactus), chaya (Mexican spinach), black beans, avocado, pico de Gallo, and rice. YUM. Their breakfast is heavenly as well with offerings from egg filled burritos, chia pudding, coconut yogurt, and fresh juices.
In addition to lots of delicious meals, we also enjoyed stops at the Tulum Ruins, snorkeling at Casa Cenote, and daily swims in the ocean. We took a day trip to Chichen Itza, with a lunch stop in the town of Valladolid, which reminded me SO much of my time in Peru. On the drive back we also stopped to see Cenote Suytun which was truly unbelievable. There were plenty of other stops on our list that we didn’t have time for, so I guess we’ll just have to go back! I highly recommend a trip to this Bohemian beach destination. Have you been to Tulum? What are your favorite spots to visit?
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