#WeekendWarrior - Tulum
When I initially decided to plan this trip to Tulum it was a girls glamping trip. I have such a great support group that helps me center myself and make sure I keep going in my endeavors. It ended up only being two of us but it was still a glorious trip. We arrived on a Sunday around 5:00pm. A quick nonstop flight from Houston. The total roundtrip cost was under $200 (yasssssssss).
My friend Desi is the one person who will have you running through the airport as they call your name to catch a flight. It's happened in in New Orleans and it damn near caused her to miss this flight for this trip. People, for an international trip, be sure to include your passport information when booking your flight. Because she didn't have hers at the time of booking they wouldn't allow her to check in for the flight at the 24 hour mark. So, the day of the flight she was in line waiting to check in and she checked in after the hour mark. For international flight, you need to check in two hours before your flight. They literally told her she couldn't check in and if she tried to go she couldn't check her bag. Lord, I almost had a heart attack. I was the third one to board and I didn't want to get on if she wasn't going to make it. At that point I called her about 10 times with no answer. I started sweating and getting nervous (cussing her out in my head), and just panicking. Finally, she emerged on the plane and with two suitcases. How she did it is beyond me. All I can say is a smile and being friendly can go a very long way. She did the impossible. Time to takeoff!
The best way to get to Tulum, which is an hour and half south of Cancun, is by private transfer. It's easier and safer. We purchased it online before we left to avoid scams at the airport. Thank God we did because it was like a vultures den once we tried to get to ground transportation. We stayed at a beautiful lamp site called Harmony Hotel and Glamping. I fell in love online and it was just as beautiful in person. Now, we said we were going to become one with nature but those mosquitoes got one taste of all the chocolate and brown sugar we had to offer and went to town. Luckily, for a small fee (under $20) we were able to upgrade to the master suite for the first night and the junior suite the next night. Both had air so we were happy. The tents, as cute as they were, just weren't going to work for us. They offered communal showers for the tents and I just don't know how I feel about going outside after I shower...
Once we got settled into the hotel, we ventured out to find food and mix and mingle with the locals. The one thing to keep in mind when venturing outside of the tourist city of Cancun is people really don't speak English and they really shouldn't have to. I'm in your territory so it is not your job to give me a sense of what I feel in normal. So between a lot of smiling, nodding, and drawing things in the air we managed to exchange money, get a taxi, and get to downtown Tulum that night. We ate dinner in this cute little restaurant that had this beautiful outdoor patio under the trees. It drizzled a tiny bit but not enough to ruin anything. The on thing we came to Mexico for was some good Mezcal. This place had a great Mezcal menu and the food was bomb! I had the Shrimp Pastor which was served over the sweet potato puree and grilled pineapples...DELISH! Desi had the ribs and we about killed them all but it was too much and of course we had shots of mezcal.
This is the part of the blog that's going to get a little heavy but not too heavy. We went to a local Karaoke spot that was packed. Everyone was drinking and having a good time. They were very inviting, offering us seats and asking us to dance. At some point, their kindness became aggressive. A little too aggressive for two American women in a foreign place not knowing the language and surrounded by tons of people. The lady on the mic even made a few American and Trump jabs and folks started staring a bit. At this point, I mentioned it to Willow via text and that's when he told us. Sometimes, African American women who are abroad can be looked at as prostitutes! These men thought we were prostitutes! Apparently, in the eyes of others, you cannot be a black woman who travels and afford with without selling your body. At that point, we kindly paid our tab and got the hell out of there. So ladies, please be aware of your surroundings, don't drink too much, and just be cautious.
After the eventful night we had, we woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to get the day started. We strolled through the garden at the hotel and just took in the beauty of the place.
After we hung out, we hit the streets again but this time we were heading to the Mayan Ruins. We wanted a real tour of the ruins, not just look and take pictures so we hired a private guide. It was $50 for the both of us and included transportation (train) because it's quite a walk when it's hot out and a guide for an hour. It was amazing. The Mayans and how they worshipped the earth and the sun and moon and water...it was everything. To get more information on the ruins and their history click here.
I really wanted to get to a Cenote but after the time we spent in the sun at the ruins we were ready to really get to some water and chill in the shade so we grabbed a taxi to the beach. Can we say POPPIN? It's probably one of the the best beaches I've been to. People chilling, dancing, playing volleyball, drinking...just enjoying MORE LIFE! We found a nice beach bar in the shade and took a seat. From there, it was drinks galore and good food. Nothing too fancy but the staff was fun and we had a really good time.
Ya'll know I'm a dessert lover but I didn't indulge as much as I thought I would. There was a gelato spot in downtown Tulum so I stopped in for a scoop or two.
Our last day in Tulum was relaxing. We ventured off for some breakfast. We were heading back into Cancun to spend the day and get ready for our flight to next day. We found a hostel with a restaurant attached to it. It was called El jardin de Frida and it so cute. The inside had tons of history on Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican painter and feminist. We took a walk through their outdoor area and ate a pretty interesting breakfast. I ordered a smoothie bowl which tasted like mother earth, not all the sugar I'm used to having in a smoothie bowl.
Next stop, Cancun! We made the mistake of arranging our transportation at the last minute but it was a suv taxi with wifi and he played music videos. There was some confusion/language barrier with the price but it was resolved thanks to a translator. Now here comes the fun part of the trip (if you can believe it). We checked into Oh! An Urban Oasis once we arrived. It's a small adult only resort. It was gorgeous. Especially for the price ($111) for the night. They also had a sister property that allowed us to play $30 per day to use their all inclusive amenities. SO we dashed to the room, changed clothes, and took the bus over. Taking the bus was so weird. They literally had a someone ride the bus to try and get you to get on. It was like legal hustling of tourists. Some little kid changed us down but the bus he was working for had too many people and they all looked depressed. Once we got to the other resort we only had 3 hours to get it popping so we sat at the bar and with a nice tip from Desi, the bartenders were our best friends and kept the drinks flowing. Instead of taking the bus back we got a taxi.
Our hotel had a beautiful pool area and they had a DJ and individual hot tubs so we climbed in and watched the sunset and just enjoyed out time. Again, the bartenders were our best friends. We felt extremely safe and after about the 5th shot of Don Julio it was time to call it a night. The one thing we didn't like about the hotel was the air went out. We woke up at 3am to a hot room and that was terrible. They attempted to fix it but it was clearly an older hotel that was remodeled (nicely at that) but the air conditioners were just too old.
All in all, Tulum/Cancun was a great getaway. The flights were cheap, the accommodations were even cheaper, and the cost to have fun was low. All in all, I spent under $600 for everything and that is magical consider how much I drank. If you ever get a chance please give Tulum a visit. I'll definitely be going back. Cancun is still worth a day trip but Tulum is where the magic is.