What was meant to be a holiday for a week or two, became my home. Welcome to Tulum, a magical beach-town on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Come here with an open mind and this energy vortex will take you on a journey.
Join my Tulum world in this curated guide for a real adventure.
Where to stay
For the Mayan jungle experience
- Holistika -
Holistika is a hotel and holistic center located in the Mexican Jungle, about 5 min drive from town. I stayed here for four months and I can guarantee you’ll have the ultimate jungle experience. They have different room categories, making it possible to stay here on most budgets. Splash out and choose their private Art Deco poolside rooms or stay in the “Beehive” together with other curious travellers.
The weekly class schedule offer a wide range of yoga classes and workshops. It has become known as one of the best studios in Tulum and local yogis attend classes regularly. Make sure to grab a healthy bite and smoothie at their restaurant “Tierra” which serves the most delicious vegan and vegetarian food. A must try is their Cacao Bowl, Avocado toast on gluten free toast and Immune boost shot.
Get lost on the Art Walk among paintings, murals and installations created by different artists that has stayed at the hotel. Book a massage with one of the therapists or a healing session with Avelino or Pablo for a spiritual experience (email me for introductions). Holistika is like nothing you have seen before and must be experienced to be understood.
For the adventurer
- Habitas -
Habitas is the perfect resort for the adventure traveler. Stay in beautifully decorated lush bell-tents and wake up overlooking the ocean or the green jungle. All rooms have outdoor showers and kingsize beds so don’t worry about comfort. They also have the most beautiful infinity pool in Tulum and a private beach.
The restaurant at Habitas is one of my favourites and can be highly recommended. Habitas organise live concerts and events during high season, so its a great place to be located to secure your spot - trust me it’s popular. Make sure that you attend the Mardeleva Concert if you’re lucky to be there for one of their events.
For the lush vacationer
- Sanara -
Sanara is my personal favourite hotel on the beach, all categories. What I love about the hotel is that they offer the best of all worlds. Be one of their special guests and wake up in their very few, carefully decorated rooms, making it a lush vacation option. The yoga studio is well known to be the leading studio on the beach. Not only do they have great teachers on the schedule but the yoga shala is also beautifully located, overlooking the water. Their restaurant, The Real Coconut, offer dairy free, gluten free and sugar free food for the healthy eater. You could easily spend your whole vacation here as its hard to leave the hotel due to their fantastic offerings.
I teach Slow Flow every Friday at 5pm and Jivamukti Open Class every Saturday at 8:30am. Come join class and stay for brunch even if you’re not one of their lucky hotel guests. A visit to Sanara is a must for a real Tulum experience.
Where to eat
- Raw Love at Ahau, KiBok or Del Cielo -
Raw Love is the spot for smoothie bowls, smoothies and Raw food lunch dishes . The cafe is located on the beach at Ahau. Go for a swim, order your bowl and soak up the sun. Raw Love is an old school favourite by local healthy Tuluminatis and a must during your stay. My favourite is the Vanilla Maca bowl - make sure to ask for peanut butter as a topping.
Del Cielo is a great option if you’re in town and looking for a casual bite. Come here for brunch to get some shade from the sun. It’s also a great spot to catch up on some work if you need to, wifi is decent and coffee great.
KiBok is your to-go for really good coffee and foamy lattes. They offer a simple food menu with mainly egg dishes and some pastries. This place is crowded by locals and will show you a different side of Tulum, beyond the fancy hotels on the beach. Pass by for a quick espresso when you crave a little caffeine and to experience Tulum as a local.
- Casa Pueblo, The Real Coconut or Charly’s Vegan Tacos -
Casa Pueblo is by far the most stylish hotel and restaurant in town. I get inspired by simply entering the building. Spend some time here, read your book, have brunch and go for a swim in the pool. Their kitchen serves fantastic food, enjoy everything from eggs to salads to banana bread. I always order the Dove Bowl and Agua Fresco infused with ginger and mint - highly recommend it. This is also a great option if you need a place to stay in town for a couple of nights.
Head down to The Real Coconut at Sanara for a nutritious breakfast and swim. This is the restaurant for the healthy diner as everything they serve is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. I love the vegetarian tacos served in lettuce leaves with plantain & hemp falafel and grilled vegetables with a Healing Green juice. Explore their fresh juice menu for a vitamin kick. Big plus - their coffee is delicious and they make the best flourless, sugar-less chocolate brownie in town.
Charlys Vegan Tacos is a Tulum institute and should not be missed. They serve mouthwatering tacos and simple Mexican dishes. Pass by for a casual bite when you need to escape the heat on the beach. Make sure to order the Signature Trio Tacos and Guacamole for starters.
- Arca, Humo, Nomade -
Arca is hands-off the best restaurant in town if you are looking for a culinary experience. Their menu is micro-seasonal and is a current representation of the flora and fauna around us. Their “Fire to Table” concept is nicely presented on the jungle side of the beach road. It is always a nice, buzzy vibe in the evenings, making this the perfect dinner option. Book in advance or show up early if you’re looking for a last minute table.
La Popular is the beach restaurant at Nomade, which is one of the best hotels on the beach. They serve grilled fish, meat and veggies. There is also vegan menu at their other restaurant called Macondo. I always order the Fiesta Bowl or Vegetarian Sushi rolls. For a real Tuluminati experience, make your way down here for sunset and stay for dinner on the low tables in the sand while enjoying their live music and some people watching. Their Full moon parties are always busy and fun.
Humo is a favourite among locals and we head here for a casual bite when we are in town for the night. They serve tacos, fish, meet and veggies in all sort of creative ways. You will be pleasantly surprised by the delicious food, beautiful presentation and also the friendly bill. Get cozy on the cushions on the floor and lean back for a chilled dinner. Wanna try my all time favourite dish? Order the mushroom ceviche with cashew nuts, its divine.
Swim in freshwater pools
Cenotes are natural freshwater pools underwater caves and caverns that make a great place to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. There are the more famous and grand cenotes, like Dos Ojos and Car Wash. For a more local and intimate experience, visit Cristal and Escandido. Another cool option is Sac Actun. Be aware, the weekends are busy so try to go on a weekday. My personal favourite one is the cenote hidden at La Nativus, which is a glamping hotel on the end of the beach road.
Release stress with sound healing
Let the vibrations of sound open up chakras and release blocked energies. A session for fatigue, stress, anxiety , anger, fear and many other conditions caused by a lack of balance and harmony in the body and mind. Nothing is required from you, simply relax into the experience by laying down flat on the floor while an ocean of sound will heal your mind and body. I go weekly to Alessandra’s sessions on Friday and Saturday night at Sanara. She creates the most powerful experience with a wide range of instruments. Cynthia Kendall is another fantastic woman who does Crystal Bowl healing and she operates at La Zebra among other places.
Discover energetic love-making
Bibi teaches a weekly class at Nomade on Tuesday where she will give you an introduction to energetic love making. Energetic Lovemaking, also described as Sacred Sexuality, Conscious Sex or Tantra, allows human beings to use sexuality not only for pleasure and reproduction but also for reaching higher states of consciousness. Come with an open mindset and learn how two human beings can reach a transcendent experience by combining love’s energy with erotic energies. Keep an eye on Nomade’s weekly events, they always offer interesting workshops in the Gratitude Tent.
Dive deeper into yoga
Dive deep into the practice of yoga on your vacation. I take bookings for private yoga classes or small-group privates in the jungle at Holistika or on the beach at Sanara. These sessions are tailored to your exact needs and will improve your practice wherever you are - beginner to advanced. Hands-on adjustments and personal guidance will be provided.
Try the Mexican ritual Temezcal
This ceremony translated into “House of heat” and is traditionally lead by a shaman to purify your mind and body. You will sit in a sweatlodge for about two hours, heated by volanic stones, and go through a ceremony. It is a strong and quite demanding ritual, not for the light hearted. For the most traditional and authentic experience, contact Casa Violeta for details on their next event.
Explore the power of Cacao
Cacao has been used historically by the Mayans for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. It actually means “food for the Gods” and it was believed to have been sent from the heavens as a gift to mankind. Discover the health power and sacred properties of cacao in a traditional ceremony at Nomade or check Facebook for the latest events.
Staying up late
Make sure to visit Azulik’s restaurant for a drink and look over the jungle from their nest like space. Head up Gitano for a cocktail and late night dancing. There are plenty of big parties during high season, check what DJ’s are in town before you arrive to secure your tickets. There are plenty of weekly events, live concerts and gathering happening and most of them are advertised on Facebook or by word of mouth.
My favourite clothing brands are La Troupe and Caravana. The store at Azulik is well worth a visit, even for just the experience. They stock these stunning goddess like dresses handmade in Mexico by woman from a brand called Kasia. There is a natural skincare store in town called Madre Tierra where I buy a lot of my skincare.
Transportation - There are plenty of taxis around but make sure to agree on the price before you go. Uber does not work in Tulum but there are a few taxis that offer service via WhatsApp if you ask them. It might be a good idea to rent a scooter or a car but parking is difficult along the beach during high season. The roads are also very bumpy, be careful if you don’t usually drive a scooter.
Payment - Most places accept MXN and USD. Go to the Santander or HSBC bank in town to get MXN as the cashpoints along the beach only withdraw USD. Most restaurants and hotels accept card payment but always carry cash to be safe.
Grocery Shopping - The biggest supermarket is called Chedraui but there is a really nice organic store that I prefer called Gypsy Market in Holistika.
Beauty treatments - Pretty Nails is a salon in town that offer most services: mani & pedi, waxing and blow-dry. This is where I get my appointments done.
Medical Support - If you need a doctor, get in touch with Gabriel Duprat. He has always been helpful and very professional.
Air BNB - Renting an Airbnb is a great option if you're a bigger group or on a budget. Search in the area of Aldea Zama, La Valeta or Holistika for a convenient location between the jungle and the beach.