Tulum had been on my radar for awhile, and I'd also been really into the idea of finding a weeklong yoga / wellness week somewhere lovely. When my favorite local yogi shared that he was cohosting a weeklong yoga retreat in Tulum, I knew 2017 was my year to make it happen. My sweet fiancé had recently booked a bucket list trip of his own to go climbing in Patagonia, and it was just the motivator I needed to plan a great trip for myself. I rounded up a couple girlfriends and we packed our bags with yoga mats, sunscreen, and pesos. Tulum was even more magical than I had imagined, and I'm already planning my next trip back.
-We stayed at the Papaya Playa Project. It's hard to explain the beauty of this place - it's not really a resort, and it's not a hotel...it's sort of like you're in a little jungle and they've cut away just a bit - just enough to put in some primitive, thatched roof huts, a big beautiful tree house, a few small simple houses, and little pools here and there. There's one big patio area with a bar where you can order food / drinks / sit and enjoy the view on the water (and that's the only place where you could get wifi.) Our room was a small hut - super simple with concrete floors, a nice little patio with a hammock and a couple lounge chairs, and one window. If you're looking for a plush, resort style getaway this would not be your vibe - we slept under a giant net, and there was one dim light in our room and one in the bathroom. I loved the simplicity but it wouldn't be the place to go to enjoy / lounge in your room all day. (But really - why would you do that while on vacation in a beautiful place anyway!?) The food + drinks served here were 100% SO good - everything was super fresh, colorful, and healthy.
See + Visit:
-Visited the town of Tulum a couple times to shop around and get some fun goodies. I picked up these bright colored throw pillow cases, some simple leather flats, and a fun bracelet.
-We stopped for smoothies in town at the Tulum Art Club for super yummy smoothies and a coconut latte.
-While we LOVED the food at Papaya Playa Project we discovered a cafe called Raw Love a few miles away and ended up there for smoothie bowl + matcha tea + golden latte breakfasts a couple days.
-We enjoyed really fresh + unique cocktails at Arca.
-Yoga was a 1-2x daily event for us, under a beautiful thatched roof right next to the ocean.
-We shared a few tapas for dinner one night and sat under what felt like one hundred beautiful glowing lanterns at Gitano.
-Spent an afternoon snorkeling at Cenote Dos Ojos. Picture a cave system filled halfway with crystal clear freshwater - it was beautiful and I even braved swimming into a cave in which its ceiling was a blanket of live bats.
-Pack light! Tulum was pretty casual everywhere - we spent all day in our yoga clothes or swimsuits and realized right away I could have gotten away with packing half as much as I'd brought.
-Book a massage at the Papaya Playa Spa. It was in an open air hut overlooking the ocean, and hearing the sound of the waves crashing while getting your back kinks out makes for a very blissful afternoon.
-Swim in the ocean. The water was mild enough to swim around in for awhile for a refreshing break from the sun.
-Come ready to unplug! It was helpful that wifi was only available by the main entrance area so it really kept you off technology. I zoomed through almost 3 books between reading on the beach and in our room before bed.
-Know that Tulum is a very health and eco-conscious area. Juice shops / smoothie stands / yoga classes can be found all throughout the area. This isn't the place to come if you're looking to party hard and drink margaritas out of a 2 foot tall plastic cup. While we definitely indulged in more than a good amount of chips and guac and some mezcal margaritas, there's a good amount of vegan places in the area, and there's an abundance of fresh, healthy food everywhere you go.
(The daily brunch chow)
(Area on our beach for an afternoon siesta)
(Where I had the best 80 minute holistic massage)
(Nearby raw vegan breakfast spot for the best golden lattes + smoothie bowls)
(Afternoon beach time)