Steps down to the beach at the Tulum ruins.
Backless playsuit by The Reformation.
Vintage cut-offs from Urban Outfitters / Topshop silk camisole / vintage embroidered bed jacket bought in L.A
Our room at the dreamy Casa Violeta
Fish tacos became something of a staple for lunch.
American Apparel bikini bottoms / Topshop T-shirt / vintage crochet beach bag / Astley Clarke, Esotic X Not Another Bill and Kabiri friendship bracelets, Natalie Marie jewellery and Vera Meat rings.
Cocktails caveman-style at Casa Jaguar.
I've almost been back a week from this little slice of paradise in the Yucatan, and the post-holiday blues have yet to subside. Turquoise water, white sand, fresh coconuts on a daily basis, swaying palms and shady afternoon siestas in hammocks; Tulum really is the castaway dream incarnate.
The majority of these shots are from Casa Violeta, our first stop on our 10-day Mexican holiday. Small and perfectly formed, each individual room is subtle and perfectly suited to beach life with breezy white mosquito nets, stone floors and sunken showers. Every room has a designated sunlounger and umbrella which is a real bonus - no towel reservations needed! We loved their smoothies and juices, so much so that by the end of our 5 days there they pretty much had out order down pat (spinach, pineapple and raspberry for me, coconut, blackberry and peach for Jamie). Delicious, fresh food (the best guacamole we had in Tulum), daily yoga and a cool, relaxed restaurant on stilts above the sand completed the picture-perfect set up.
I'll be covering where to stay/eat/visit in full in the second installment so I thought I'd use part one to cover the basics, the kind of things I wish I'd know before I went and some helpful tips I picked up from people along the way. I hope this helps any of you lucky people considering a trip to Tulum.
Tulum: The Essentials
- Tulum is HOT. I tan eaisly and quickly in Europe but I fried on my first few days in Tulum which meant I had to spend the next few days sore and in the shade (not pretty or fun). And that was in factor 30 so be warned! Next time I'll be taking factor 50 or P20 to guard from the super strong rays. On the 2nd day, I caught the sun while in the shade through the umbrella at the hottest part of the day and just 20 minutes in the sea can burn centre-partings so be extra careful between 11 and 3 o'clock. Take lots of good quality suncream with you to save form being caught short; Hawaiian Tropic is the only readily available brand once out there.
- A torch is useful for walking down the jungle road or beach to restaurants at night and mosquito repellent is a must if you're prone to getting bitten.
- Despite looking and feeling like a rustic desert island paradise, Tulum is expensive. Eating out is often the equivalent of average-priced meal in London so go with this knowledge to save from getting a shock once out there. We took advantage of our free breakfasts and often shared a main course at lunch so we could have nice meals in the evening.
- You get a better exchange rate for Mexican pesos but U.S dollars are accepted most places too. We took a mixture to get us going and then got Mexican pesos from the ATMs in town while there. Take out more than you think you need to save from endless visits to town (most of the ATMS along the beach road don't work and lots of the restaurants don't accept cards).
- Coming from the U.K, we found we were waking up at around 7 A.M every morning but it actually turned out to be really nice once you get into the swing of things. Make the most of it with a long walk down the beach, sunrise swim or yoga to wake you up.
- The beach gets better looking the further south you stay with less seaweed and calmer, clearer waters.
- You need very little in terms of packing; I get cold very easily but only needed an extra layer a couple of times at night when the sea wind picked up. We barely wore shoes the entire time and my makeup bag was pretty much made redundant!
- Get a direct flight to Cancun. It might initially seem that you need to fly via the states but we managed to get a very reasonably priced Virgin flight direct to Cancun. It makes all the difference and allows you to make the most of your holiday time.
- If you can, pay the extra for a room/hut right on the beach. Go for a smaller, more basic option if needs be as waking up to that bright blue sea and sky and falling asleep to the sound of the waves is 100% worth it and what being in Tulum is all about.
Part two on its way later this week.
All photos by myself and James Wright