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Planning a Tulum vacation? We’re here to help!

If you have an Instagram account, you may have seen a new phenomenon over the last couple of years: Pictures of white sandy beaches and gin-clear oceans with bronzed limbs and ice-cold margaritas, all featuring the same hashtag, #Tulum. This Mexican hot spot, situated on what is known as the Mayan Riviera, is fast becoming the go-to vacation destination for clued-up vacationers looking for a relaxing break, filled with cultural activities, wellness options galore, and plenty of sizzling nightlife. At Luxury Retreats, we have the villas to fulfill all of those wishes and so much more. All you have to decide is which part of paradise you are going to call your very own.

Food to tempt your senses

Every single meal you consume during your Tulum vacation is a feast for the senses. The fresh local ingredients, seafood caught daily, and ice-cold beverages all serve to tantalize the taste buds. There are many open-air bars and restaurants in which to while away your evenings, each with ocean views, white sand as flooring and thatched roofs. The most popular restaurant is Hartwood, an alfresco eatery serving Mexican-Caribbean food, run by a husband a wife team from Brooklyn. The queues to secure a table are legendary, so be prepared to wait. We promise the food is worth it.

For cocktails using local ingredient mezcal head on to the bar at Hotel Tiki Tiki or Bar Arca, where the drinks as a strong as the views are striking. Another great option is Gitano, a mezcaleria hidden in jungle surroundings. Friday nights there are legendary, so remember to bring your dancing shoes.

If ceviche and fish tacos are your foodie passions, make a track to El Camello or North Beach’s Bar Adelita, both are famous for serving these traditional dishes just right. Night owls will enjoy dancing under the stars at Papaya Playa, a hotel which moonlights as an open-air nightclub, and La Zebra, whose Sunday Salsa nights get the blood pumping. Finally, when heading out for the night or grabbing a bite to eat during the day, remember to bring cash. This community still hangs on to its boho, laid-back ethos so credit card machines are something of a rarity.

Into the blue

With its location right on the Caribbean, it’s no surprise that water features heavily in any Tulum vacation. From the pristine beaches to the freshwater cenotes (natural sinkholes-turned-swimming pools), and ecological parks, prepare to spend a lot of time in and surrounded by H20. Playa Paraiso or Paradise Beach is widely considered the best beach in the area. With turquoise waters, silky sands, and undulating palm trees, it’s easy to spend a day lolling in the shade with quick dips in the ocean.

The most popular experience for visitors to Tulum is cenote swimming. Grand Cenote, Calavera, and Carwash are the most famous but be warned, you have to navigate caves and passages to get to some of the cenotes, which can be a claustrophobic experience for some.

For those who love to snorkel, make a day trip to Akumal beach. It’s the place to spot a wide variety of sea life, including manta rays and barracudas.

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve just south of Tulum boasts over 1.2 million acres of pristine landscape and is a fabulous place to experience the natural beauty of this location. Keep an eye out for monkeys and jaguars as you explore. Baco Paila, set within the reserve, is loved for its undeveloped beauty. This beach doesn’t have many mod-cons but what it lacks in amenities it makes up for in peace, quiet and total tranquillity.

On a slightly smaller scale, Parque Ecologico Labnaha offers jungle zip-lining, snorkeling, cenote swimming and kayaking opportunities for adventurous travelers.

Living history

It’s still not really known why the ancient Mayan civilization died out. Asteroid or mass epidemic; you can ponder this for yourself as you walk through some of the best preserved historical sites from this period right in Tulum. The 800-year-old walled city in Tulum boasts panoramic views of the ocean and is easy to reach. Further afield you can visit El Castillo, the iconic pyramid building, alongside the Temple of the Frescoes and the Temple of the Descending God in the UNESCO world heritage site at Chichen Itza. The Mayan temple Coba is also worth visiting as its jungle backdrop makes for an affecting experience.

Where to stay – Tulum vacation rentals

There are many Tulum villas on the beach to choose from at Luxury Retreats. All have panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and are situated on some of the area’s most sought-after locations, including Tankah beach. These oceanfront properties all exude a quiet, understated elegance, with modern interiors that blend effortlessly with the expansive outdoor living spaces.

Wherever you choose to relax in the villa, inside or outside, your comfort and relaxation needs are met with every single feature. From the infinity pools with attached hot tubs to the covered gazebos, outdoor kitchen, cocktail deck, and rooftop patios, every inch of the villa has been considered for your benefit.

Whether you are planning a romantic mini-break or a large family gathering, Tulum caters for every type of vacation. Just outside your villa’s door, you’ll find breathtaking beaches, backed by jungle canopies, Mayan ruins, and enticing eateries and late-night bar stops. Water sports fans will love the variety of activities on offer, with paddle boarding, surfing, and jet-skiing, just some of the options.

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