Sep 25, 2020

Pandemic Travel Edit Vol. #1 - Tulum


With the world pretty much on lockdown, and only a few countries accessible to Americans for leisure travel, my bf Marius and I decided to make our way to Mexico and visit the towns of Tulum and Riviera Maya. At the very beginning of the Pandemic when hotels started to close their doors to guests, we were supposed to travel to Europe. Unfortunately our plans changed. So we started researching places and countries to visit to not only celebrate my 30th birthday, but to also enjoy some time off the grid.  We split our trip between two towns and spent two nights in Tulum and two nights in Riviera Maya. 

Tulum is a beautiful eco-friendly town located about 1hr and 45 minutes south of Cancun International Airport. We originally looked into staying at AZULIK Resort, however we learned 3-days before arrival, that the resort closed due to an alleged pandemic violation. The hotel unfortunately never notified Marius, so at the last minute he landed upon the Amansala Resort Hotel. Our room was a standard ocean-front room, but it was a last minute find and we were just grateful that they were able to accommodate us. 


Tulum itself is separated into two parts, the town itself and the touristy hotspot along the beach. If you're a foodie and into authentic mexican cuisine, or even if you're a budget traveler, definitely visit the town. On our visit to Tulum town, we stopped at Antojitos La Chiapaneca where Marius purchased three tacos and a quesadilla for only $3USD and we also had dinner at Yaxx’IK Tulum - the dinner here was amazing and delicious. Our bills came to 300MXN pesos which is only $14USD and that included our drinks. The service at Yaax’IK was excellent. Everything in Tulum town is way less expensive, so the U.S. dollar will go a long way. Now, if you're into the beach, bars, night-clubs, or even the social scene, than Tulum beach is for you. Everything in Tulum beach is way more expensive.
                                                Antojitos La Chiapaneca

Upon arriving to our hotel, I placed an order at the hotel's beach bar for nachos, guacamole, and two margaritas. I was unaware that in Mexico, guacamole automatically comes with "nacho chips", I was pretty shocked to see that a plate of "nachos"in Mexico is actually a plate of loaded nachos” believ you me when I say I was shocked. Overall, my entire purchase at the beach bar came to $40, which I thought was a rip off considering the food in the town was way more delicious and cheaper :( Anyway, we enjoyed our time in Tulum Beach and our visit to Tulum town. 

Marius had the spontaneous idea to book a photographer, so all of the photos you see from "Pandemic Travel Edit: Vol.1 and Vol.2" were taken by Vicente Garo IG:vincente_garo Marius actually found Vincete by searching the hashtag #Tulumphotographer on Instagram. Vincete was great, professional, and worked with us to capture some of the best moments of our trip. 

Since Tulum is close to 2 hours from Cancun, we decided against renting a car, and just reserved a private transfer to take us to our hotel. We used Cancun Shuttle and Tours and our driver Augustin was on time, professional and his van was equipped with A/C. Augustin was even kind enough to let us stop at 7-Eleven to get beverages and snacks before the two hour commute. Since we were staying at two different resorts, I found that booking one-way transfers ended up being less expensive and worked perfectly for our trip. The transfer for Marius and I both to Tulum one-way was only $75 together. We ended up using Cancun Shuttle and Tours oh the second half of our trip to transport us from Grand Velas Resort, back to Cancun International Airport and our driver Mario was prompt and got us to the airport quickly.  

 Overall, our time in Tulum was amazing. We rode bikes (complimentary of Amansala) visited Gran Cenote ( $15 entry fee), swimmed with turtles and fishes, swimmed in a cave filled with bats, visited the famous FOLLOW YOUR DREAM sign which is located at Lolita Lolita (who is pretty sweety btw) ate some delicious food and had dinner at ROSANEGRA which is one of the more popular restaurants in Tulum and  made a quick visit to Pablos Escobar Mansion and had awesome drinks. So if you want to get away from the touristy hotel zone in Cancun, make your way to Tulum, you'll love it and it gives you a chance to connect with the locals. Tulum is definitely considered just one of a few top places to travel this year.  

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