Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tulum Ruins

The Yucatan Peninsula is dense with ancient Mayan ruin sites - most of them located in the jungle. The Tulum ruins are special and were of great importance because of their location on the water. 

I was captivated. There's so much mystery. How did they build these grand structures? What did they look like in all their colorful glory? What really happened to the Mayans?  It was humbling and awe inspiring to be in the presence of these magnificent temples and homes.

Get here early in the morning (9am-ish). We only spent an hour here (that is really all you need to see everything) and as we were on our way out, the place was flooded with tourists - and this is the off season. It would certainly have detracted from the experience had we gotten there even a half hour later. 

Also, the weather this morning was incredible. We woke up to a passing storm and watched as it cleared out to the North. The skies in these photos were constantly changing as the heavy clouds passed over. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Retiro Maya | Tulum

Defined by thatched roofs, stucco walls, concrete terra cotta floors, bright hippy-chic curtains and bedspreads, the bed surrounded in a mosquito net; Retiro Maya was rustic and earthy and one of the most relaxing places I've ever stayed. We fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing, and woke up with the sun as it rose over the sea and streamed in through our double glass doors and bohemian orange curtains. Our raised patio, home to a hammock and two lounge chairs, was surrounded by lush vegetation and sandy pathways. 

Being here was also a little mysterious. I know I keep using that adjective to describe everything Tulum, but it was a constant for me. Retiro Maya is a small resort to begin with, and probably a quarter of the cabanas were empty. The common breakfast area was bustling around 8am, but generally Retiro was calm and quiet. Their awesome beach bar was never open. Neither was the open air yoga studio. I can attribute the mystery to an overall combination of the vast jungle that stretched out behind us, certain abandoned resorts and beachfront property nearby, the Mayan presence, the quiet spiritual ambiance, the dark road that we walked down at night with headlamps, the crazy storms that passed through...

This was such a cool vacation. Tulum is amazing. If you are traveling to Mexico, definitely consider this area of the Riviera Maya. Eco-friendly beachfront cabana accommodations are where it's at.

For additional details, read my review on trip advisor here

Friday, November 21, 2014


From the beach to the ruins to the frozen margaritas and the dos equis, there was a prevalent theme of green and blue happening in a lot of my photos from Tulum. Hopefully these add a little warmth to your week. 

I'm struggling to find time in this space, but I do have so much more from this trip and other local happenings to share. Stay tuned friends. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hartwood | Tulum

Hartwood won. 

This was our favorite meal in Tulum.  

It wasn't by a landslide, because we had really good, really impressive dinners all eight nights. Hartwood is truly remarkable and not to be missed.

Get there early like everyone says. (5:15 to line up for the 6pm opening.) One night we showed up at 7pm and they were booked solid through closing time.

My most memorable octopus dishes to date were consumed in Santorini, Greece and at Prezza in Boston's North End. Hartwood's Pulpo Platter makes my top three. Life changing. (Sort of like the sand and the cenotes.) 

So in Tulum:
1) snorkel Dos Ojos
2) fully embrace the sand
3) eat grilled octopus at Hartwood

I would also highly recommend the amberjack ceviche, the costillos al agave (pork ribs with a sticky agave bbq sauce, which are their house specialty), the sweet corn ice cream and the coffee mezcal.