Infectiously Happy

10 reasons you may love Tulum

IMG_20151218_201440After a very crazy fall, Frenchie and I decided that a family getaway was in order. We lost two beloved family members in a short amount of time, had been working opposite schedules and we were heading into the end of my pregnancy and probably several months without being able to travel. We needed some time to unplug and reconnect our little family. Palmer’s birthday was approaching and after some research we decided to head to the town of Tulum for just shy of a week.  It was exactly what we needed!  Our vacationing has had to change in some ways to accommodate naps (for little people and pregnant ladies) and car seats but some things remain true,  we like to be in quiet places, with beautiful water, delicious food and have a chance for adventure. Here’s the top ten things I loved about Tulum that may make it perfect for your next vacation…

1. You understand that dinner is best enjoyed under the stars. Every meal is basically offered al fresco. Even restaurants that are mostly indoors have a completely open front so you can enjoy the sunshine or moonlight, sounds of the street or beauty of the surrounding beach and jungle.

2. You are on a smoothie challenge. The smoothie game in Tulum is lit. Every restaurant has various and interesting options available all day made fresh with local produce. I don’t even know how many smoothies I had but I enjoyed every last one!

3. You want to be appreciated as a vegetarian /vegan diner. I have been about this vegetarian life for a minute so I can go out and make a meal, no worries but Tulum is busting at the seams with options for those of us that have a plant based diet. There are mulitple plant based restaurants and even steakhouses had 3-4 options that have nothing to do with steak.

4. You like your sand like baby powder. There is nothing like soft power sand under your feet next to crystal clear water. These two things can make me love a place all by themselves.  We spent most of our beach life at Playa Paraiso which was quiet with a great little beach club. The sand was truly like baby powder so we enjoyed building sand castles, walking the shoreline and just plain chilling most afternoons.

5. You like to eat well but on the cheap. Oh to always have access to such fresh, real food in such plentiful portions without depleting my pockets! This family likes to eat so we always have a substantial eating allowance, but Tulum didn’t break the bank. We basically ate all day and I would be amazed at how much delicious food could be devoured for so little dineros.

6. You don’t do big resorts. I love people but when I am on vacation I like to be around as few people as possible.  For this reason I prefer small hotels or even a local residence. Tulum is perfect,  it is home to boutique hotels and rent-able houses and condos. We rented a little apartment with a pool and a rooster across the street.

7. You are a bicycle enthusiast. To reach Tulum, most folks fly into Cancun and either rent a car or take a shuttle for the hour and half drive. It’s a straight shot and we rented a car to accommodate car seats and pregnant ladies. (Note: Car seats are not required in most states in Mexico as long as your child is in the back seat, but uh, that’s not how I roll) Once you arrive in Tulum, the most popular mode of transportation is by bicycle. They are for rent everywhere for low prices and the streets are wide enough, with drivers respecting pedestrians on foot or two wheels.

8. You like clean facilities. I have a secret. I am easily grossed out. Wet leaves… food in the sink drain… dirty bathrooms. It’s something that I would like to say I am working on but the truth is, it gets worse as I age. Whenever traveling, a part of me knows that I will be exposed to less than stellar facilities and I just do what I have to do but I was pleasantly surprised the entire time I was in Tulum. The bathrooms everywhere were, at least in appearance, much cleaner than I am used to in the public. Many even had attendants to keep everything on the up and up. One small thing to remember: in Tulum they often ask you not to throw any paper, even toilet paper, into the toilet. There is usually a sign and a trash receptacle for your rubbish.

9. You like paradise with a side of history. One of the things that deeply bonded Frenchie and I is our love of history, one of the others in a love of beautiful beaches. Tulum is a perfect combination of both. The city itself is the site of the archaeological ruins of the Mayan city of Tulum, the only city of its kind uncovered. It sits majestically over looking the sea with the jungle at its back. Additionally, just about an hour away, you can easily reach the city of Coba, which is home to the tallest Mayan temple in Mexico and is the start of a major trading highway across the Yucatan. Coba sits deep in the jungle and has only been partially uncovered. We spent part of two different days, wandering and learning at both sites.

10. You seek a kid friendly but not kid centered experience. I love my baby. He is a very important part of my life. He is not, however, the center of the universe or of our vacation plans. Palmer has been hitting the road (or air) for his entire two years so he adapts well to travel. Tulum was interesting because no one was bothered by our toddler, in restaurants or at beach clubs, but sometimes there were no high chairs, definitely no kiddie pools or playgrounds. We are readily raising a person who knows how to have fun everywhere and I loved how kind and friendly folks were to us as a family. Sometimes I run into grown ups who forget that children can eat in a restaurant or have the right to fly on planes. We were informed upon arrival that not many children visit Tulum, but everywhere we went Palmer was treated like the human he is. Our hosts even provided a life vest for our adventuring.

So that’s Tulum. The trip provided us with much needed time together and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive and quiet piece of paradise.

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