After spending a day in Coba, we returned to Tulum. This time we stayed at MangleX, a low key eco-hotel consisting of four cabanas. Each cabana sleeps two, so while Summer and I settled in, Geoffrey booked a tent at the campsite next door. Both our hotel and the campsite share a private cenote that we would have loved to explore if we’d had the time.
MangleX, like some other hotels in Tulum, generates its own power with solar panels and only runs the power at night. So in the morning we woke to warm air hanging thick around us. I turned over to flip on the fan and remembered it wouldn’t work, the power had shut off for the day.
Summer couldn’t stay asleep in the heat either so we rolled out of bed and walked across the street to the beach. We grabbed a few sunbeds and a hammock and dozed off in the cool ocean breeze.
Once the sun had risen we loaded into the car and drove up Boca Paila looking for a breakfast place. We ended up finding Casa Banana and started out with a round of their vanilla date smoothies.
They were presented with a big stick of cinnamon burning ceremoniously on top. They were so good we almost went back for seconds in the afternoon. We also shared a bread plate, which was delicious (I liked the banana bread best!) and I ordered huevos rancheros, my new favorite breakfast dish. It came out to 270 pesos each.
Fueled and ready to go we drove north along the beach towards the Tulum ruins, hoping to beat the tourist crowds. The road dead ends when it reaches the ruins and rather than pay for parking, we joined the line of cars parked on the side of the road. Even though we arrived early, there wasn’t much street parking left! (If you find street parking make sure your car is all the way off the road so you don’t get ticketed.)
We walked along the path towards the ticket office and realized bus loads of tourists had arrived before the site had even opened. Fortunately the ruins are spread out, keeping the crowds thin, but it seemed like avoiding the crowds all together wasn’t an option.
Stepping out of the palm trees and into the ruins, we were greeted by the stiff heat of midmorning. No gentle sea breeze, just the sun blazing down. While tour groups stopped to learn about the different structures, we whizzed by looking for the beach access. When we found it we discovered a pleasant surprise. The platform overlooking the beach has a sort of wind tunnel effect going on. It was instantly cooling.
We decided that the best place to take in the Tulum ruins would be from the ocean below, and so that is were we spent the rest of the morning.
And we stayed put until out stomachs told us it was lunch time. On the way out we grabbed paletas.
Summer didn’t want to spend a moment away from the beach so on our way into town for lunch, we dropped her off at Mezzanine. Geoffrey and I continued on, and on the main strip spotted an authentic little place I’d read good reviews for. Unfortunately the family style meal they were serving wasn’t vegetarian, so the two of us walked down the block to Burrito Amor.
I got the hibiscus and chia water to cool off while we waited for our burritos. I ordered the vegan one and Geoff ordered the vegetarian so we could each try half.
The vegan burrito (on the right) was unique with grilled cactus and chaya (Mayan spinach) but I preferred the classic flavor of the vegetarian burrito (on the left). The housemade hot sauces were delicious. We kept going back and forth trying to decide whether we loved the green sauce or the red sauce more.
After lunch we returned to the beach road and found Summer on the stretch of sand in front of the Mezzanine hotel. It is by far the most beautiful expanse we found, with mossy black rocks and too many shades of turquoise to count. Best of all, the clear shallow water went on forever so we could walk out pretty far into the ocean. I totally lost my sunglasses playing with the GoPro in the waves. Another pair bites the dust.
Since it was our last evening in Tulum, we decided to quickly drop off our belongings at the hotel before heading back out onto the beach for sunset. As we walked along we found the most adorable beach bar.
You can’t visit a tropical beach without drinking straight from a coconut! I was just saying I wish we had some way of cracking the coconut open so the meat didn’t go to waste when we ran into a few friendly locals fishing on the beach…
Who just happened to have a machete! Casual, right?
We were just grateful we got to use it before they caught anything, so it was still clean.
Just after the sun dipped behind the trees we reached our favorite dinner spot, La Eufemia. You’ve got to load up on the tacos while you can!