Man is a fragile god. And the world is only a series of suns: here no confinement, no compulsory mask either. The Covid exists, all Mexicans wear a mask, but here it’s as if there is no beginning and no end.
WHERE TO STAYHOTEL HOLISTIKA i DOUBLE ROOM ABOUT €142 I CHECK AVAILABILITY
A paradise on earth. The place is sublime, it’s a place out of time. You could spend months without seeing time go by. An incredible experience. Everything is beautiful, you can wander endlessly in this jungle, and the restaurant is delicious…
If you are checking into a hotel in central Tulum, the reception will likely consist of a hammock. If you are sitting at the bar, the bar stools will likely be swings. The town, 20 minutes by bike from the beach, and full of travellers, light bulbs, and old people eating ice cream from cones. In all this folklore, it’s nice to be here.
Radically different city life. There’s no point in getting up too early. Around 11am, I walk along the main avenue to find a fresh juice, passing the many souvenir shops. In town, there are bicycle repair shops, pharmacies selling non-prescription drugs that are obviously banned in Europe, mango and juice vendors in trailers, a grandmother listening to lazy salsa on a red chair. firefighter and next to her a young man who sells bracelets and some extravagances whose name I will not mention. Welcome to my decorum for a few weeks.
WHERE TO EATENCANTO CANTINA I RESTAURANT I MEXICAN FOOD I €€€
Worked and original cocktails at the Encanto Cantina in a beautiful beach setting, illuminated at night. We were immediately attracted by the address in front of the bus station. Super guacamole on top with fresh coriander…
“Cenotes”, this word is on the lips of locals and travelers alike. The question is always the same: “Did you do this cenotes or this one …?” Before coming here, I had never heard of cenotes. Now, the cenotes are one of Tulum’s biggest attractions. I understood them to be inland lakes when in fact they turn out to be deep natural pits, or sinkholes, resulting from the collapse of the limestone bedrock that exposes the groundwater below. Basically, they force you to make potholes. I always said I was ready for anything. But not caving. Absolute black. Icy water. And stalactites and stalagmites everywhere, so that at one point there is only enough room for our heads and at another we have to crawl over rocks on our stomachs to climb into the next cave. There are bats everywhere, clinging to every surface, sometimes howling and descending low. Underwater, I can’t control my breathing. I light my torch. It’s terrifying. Impossible to imagine that. It will be without me.
I stay at Ki’bok a bar in the center where they serve trendy coffees and chocolate balls. There is never anything that the map indicates, but the gist is there. Here, I collect the anecdotes of each other from the first floor …
We necessarily meet a person seen the day before or who is looking for a contact. A woman and a man probably a couple approaches. The woman smiles at me and the man asks me where I come from. They tell me their stories and explain that they once met “an old guy with a lot of stories” in Tulum who turned out to be Jim Morrison’s shaman. “He had intense things to tell us”, they explain to me firmly. “They quit their job the next day, have been living here for ten years and have never been back to Canada since. “What kept you in Tulum for so long?” I ask the couple the question, immediately realizing that it’s a stupid question. And besides, I can’t help but say the word. Tulum. It sounds like honey on the tongue. “We were looking for something mystical”, frowns the woman’s eyebrows, “and we have received a beautiful gift from life”.
FOR SHOPARUMA HOTEL + BOUTIQUE I SHOP I www.arumatulum.com I €€
Without a doubt the shop offers a complete line of clothing for men and women in a bohemian chic spirit. The clothes are of good quality and the prices remain correct…
Everywhere there are people with stories and tales (and often lots of smiles and rather lots of hugs). You have to take your time, sit and watch, listen. In a shop where clothes hang high, I look at embroidered porcelain ponchos, red suede cowboy boots, cloud-coloured silk dresses and carpets with cross stitch quotes from Walt Whitman. (“Hey mister”, say the vendors in town along the main street, “come and buy something you don’t need”.
Public Beach, the difference
With a very close friend (well ok very close) we head towards the public beach. I was septic at first after more than 15 days completely out of touch in the hotel area. We get into a taxi for 150 pesos. It drives on a straight and empty road at 25 miles per hour. He is probably 18 years old. His girlfriend is next to him. An 18-year-old boy driving a car at 40 miles per hour? in Mexico. The country is known to have the highest number of road deaths. Maybe a chance for us. But I feel like I’m trapped in this speed, in this car. Luckily I am accompanied by my sweet Adri. With her perfect English she always has a funny story to tell. This woman feels life. Time stands still with her. I don’t need much anymore. I get lost in her big blue eyes as I listen to her. We’ve already arrived, I wish we’d never stopped.
We walk along this long, almost full beach with a diverse population of locals and travellers. Of course, it is Sunday and it is Valentine’s Day. Mexicans love this date.On this side of the beach, the look goes more towards Jack Sparrow than Jeff Bridges and the atmosphere is freer. The speakers are spitting out reggaeton here. A small band is already in love with electro. I’m talking to a diving instructor who knows this place for several years already. “Oh, the desire to travel”, he says laughing, explaining what brought him to Tulum. His outfit – a black waistcoat, cream-cut trousers – makes him look like one of Fletcher Christian’s mutineers. His forearms are soaked with freckles.”Actually, I came to make a farm in the middle of the jungle, not far from here, but it didn’t work,” he admits. Remembering his difficult beginnings in the small trades of Yucatán. From Tunkas to the markets of San Juan de Dios, then to the state of Quintana Roo, where he stayed with a family who taught him how to slingshot iguanas and roast them over a fire. He says that being in Tulum is like “living in a state of madness”.Inside, a kind of dream woven of poinsettia and mezcal and the shining eyes of pretty girls.
WHERE TO EATlos morros I RESTAURANT I ONLY FISH I €
Los Morros prepares the local Tulum peach with the flavours of Sinoloa, a northern Mexican state known for its seafood dishes. A recommendation from someone very close! In his words, “inexpensive and really delicious!”… It’s true
But Tulum as a whole is like that, really, like a post-apocalyptic wonderland where all the huts sit next to each other on the beach, seemingly constructed from pieces of banana leaf and rope. And the survivors are those gorgeous hippies, who stretch or bead endlessly, do some hardcore capoeira, or open a juice store.Used to this notion called service in Europe, you shouldn’t be too demanding in Tulum or even in the whole region. Often times, they won’t bring you the fan you requested. And they’ll forget to tell you that they’re out of ice. You may need to change rooms. But yeah, it’s still the best place to spend a completely exotic stay.
For the worst things to do in Tulum. I’m opening this WhatsApp band.