A couple of millennials out here breaking the stigma that Black people can't and don't like to travel the world. Two years into the pandemic and we decided to get some trips back on our radar. This was our second trip of the year and here's what we did.....
First off, I’d like to preface this by saying this was STRICTLY an R&R trip, so we did not go a ton of places and participate in a lot of activities. However, if you’re interested in reading about the basics of our trip… stick around (I’ll try not to be too long).
Travel to Tulum/Travel in Tulum:
Tulum does not have an airport at the moment, so you have to fly into Cancun International Airport and then find your way about 1.5-2 hours south to Tulum. There are many options to get from Cancun to Tulum. You can take a bus, or shuttle, book a private car, or rent a car. We booked a private car through Guate Go (linked). It was about $200 roundtrip for the private ride.
Before I go any further, I want to say if you are comfortable driving in foreign locations, rent a car. Getting around Tulum is expensive. The taxis are nothing less than predatory! One taxi tried to charge us the equivalent of 30 USD to drive us 1.3 miles around the corner (with no traffic). But if you’d prefer to not worry about driving while in Tulum, you still have taxis as an option or you can bike or use a scooter if you’re open to traveling anywhere from 5 to 35/40 mins (depending on where you’re going).
If you choose to drive, bike, or take a scooter around Tulum, I recommend downloading offline maps (maps.me is a good one) to assist you with getting around. Cell signal in Tulum is absolute trash no matter what carrier you have (the locals said it as well...but maybe your experience will be different).
I'm sure you already know, but if you don't - Mexico's currency is pesos. It's best to exchange your USD currency before arriving in Mexico. There are ATMs in Tulum, but to save yourself the hassle of paying for expensive taxis and searching for ATMs and currency exchange facilities - do it beforehand. So you have an idea of the currency exchange rate, $ 1 USD is equal to about 20.12 MXN.
Where We Stayed:
We stayed at two places while in Tulum and I’ll give details of them individually (both were Airbnb's). We never like to stay in a tourist area...we always like to stay where the locals are to get the full experience.
The first place we stayed was Casa Libre (linked)
Casa Libre is located in a booming area in Tulum with plenty of bars and restaurants. There’s also lots of real estate and development happening. The apartment was located on the 4th floor and upon entering, we saw the bedroom to the left with large wooden sliding doors, the bathroom was equipped with double sinks, a glass shower, and a partial glass ceiling. There was a kitchen area and there was a patio with a private pool and seating area (video below to see it in detail).
The second place was called Altar Tulum (linked)
This place was like having your own little private minimalist oasis. It was a studio-type layout with the bed elevated above the common living space. It came complete with a private pool and terrace, all the appliances you need to cook meals, washer/dryer, tv, and they provided complimentary wine and fruit.
The hosts were incredibly responsive (Arturo, Alexander, and Oscar). I had a million requests before and after we arrived and they always got back to me immediately. I would highly recommend staying here if you ever decide to visit Tulum.
Anyone who knows me knows that whenever I
go somewhere, I will always do a tour or some form of an educational activity to learn about the culture/history. Being in Tulum, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit the Chichen Itza.
This place is about 1.5 hours outside of Tulum. I booked a tour via Airbnb experiences and it was amazing (booking for tour linked here). It was about a 10.5-hour day. Our tour guide (Allondra) picked us and a few others up from our individual locations and we were on our way. The Chichen Itza was the sociopolitical center of the Mayan civilization. It served as a place where they held large ceremonies, observed the stars & planets, held games between warriors to determine who would go into slavery and who would be sacrificed to the Gods (which they considered to be the highest honor), and (what we all know best) where they performed executions and beheadings.
The tour provided transportation there and back, water, lunch at Meson del Marques (linked), a tour of the ancient Mayan ruin grounds, and ended the trip with a hangout session at a sacred cenote. My husband was the only one who got in the water here since my swimsuit was not family friendly and there were children around. lol.
Our second best experience that we booked was having a personal chef come to our Airbnb to make us dinner (experience linked here). Chef Oswaldo arrived on time with a friendly demeanor and was ready to make us a great meal. Some of the food he had pre-prepared just so it wouldn’t take too much time. He was very personable and we talked about where in Mexico he's from, how he got started as a chef, and he explained each part of the meal that he prepared. If you're ever in Tulum, I highly recommend booking an experience with Chef Oswaldo.
I could not come to Tulum without visiting the well-known SFER IK art museum that I've seen all over social media. If you are a neutral/minimalist lover...you would've been in heaven visiting this place. Tickets were $24.48USD for the two of us.
*I do not own the rights to this music. Music Credit: Queen Naija, Hate Our Love
Finally, we went to Leaf Spa (linked) and paid for their hydrotherapy circuit which included jacuzzi's, a pool area, aromatherapy shower, steam room, reflexology pebble pathway, pressure shower, and a steam room for 550 MXN = about $31.42USD per person.
Where We Ate:
I will say the food was hit or miss here. We didn’t go many places for food and mainly ordered using their version of DoorDash/Grubhub called Tomato.mx. I have no pictures of the food we did eat because I was starving every single time we ate and literally inhaled my food. smh. My fault, guys!
Los Bros - When in Mexico, there's no better place to get tacos if you're a taco lover like I am. This is a taco joint. I loved the tacos. We got 6 beef rib tacos (theeeeee best) and 2 steak tacos. The beef rib tacos were 40 MXN per taco and the steak were only 35 MXN per taco.
Funky Burrito - This place had great reviews, so we decided to try it out. People were saying you absolutely have to go. I was disappointed to say the least. The burritos weren't good, the drinks were watered down, and they were overpriced. I would not recommend... regardless of their reviews.
Creamin Pastelería for sweets - The husband always needs sweets as his nightcap, so we used the tomato.mx app to order. Everything was super affordable. We ordered a small vanilla cake for 115 MXN, 1 slice of apple pie for 60 MXN, and a large cookie for 85 MXN. These sweet treats were super good and exactly what we needed.
Y'all know I can't come on here and at least show you a few of our fits while we were on vaca.
If you’re interested in Tulum or have questions about our trip, feel free to drop them in the comments or send me an email! I've dropped my social handles below if you want to follow along. I'm also dipping my foot into the TikTok pool (TikTok is also linked below). Here are some TikTok videos I posted which you can also find on Instagram.
*I do not own the rights to this music. Music Credit: J Balvin and Sech, Una Nota
*I do not own the rights to this music. Music Credit: WizKid, Blessed
*I do not own the rights to this music. Music Credit: King Combs ft. Kodak Black, Can't Stop Won't Stop
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