Tulum Mini-Guide

by Jacquelyn Clark

I?ve had the pleasure of visiting Tulum myself on numerous occasions. But if I?m being totally honest, those visits typically involve me plunking myself on the beach and calling it a day. But after reading through?Courtney?s mini-guide to Tulum, I?m feeling the urge to head back and seriously explore! Chock full of dreamy photos, the gallery is the only place you?ll need to be this morning.

From Courtney Perkins Ryan??For our one year anniversary, I surprised my husband with a trip to Tulum. I think I now have brownie points for a year! Since the traditional one year anniversary gift is paper, I revealed the surprise to him by giving him a travel guide/itinerary I had made for our trip (printed through Artifact Uprising). I did a bunch of research on best restaurants, activities and what unique things Tulum has to offer. I planned lots of adventures, as well as scheduled a healthy amount of time for doing nothing on the beach.

For the first half of our trip, we stayed at Zen Serenity, a gorgeous resort on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was beyond stunning and the staff was the nicest out of any hotel I?ve ever stayed in, not exaggerating. They found out it was our anniversary and arranged a private four-course dinner for us in a gazebo overlooking the ocean, complete with unlimited wine service and the sweetest waiter who sang his favorite Mayan songs to us. It was one of the most memorable dinners we?ve had together.


The rooms in the hotel were beautiful and every meal we had was fresh and delicious. We quickly became big fans of this place, not to mention them having yoga classes every morning and a spa that was gorgeous. I would definitely recommend splurging on the couple?s massage. We did it, and it was so worth it.

For the last four days of our trip, we stayed at Coqui Coqui, an eco-friendly boutique hotel on the beach which had a total of eight rooms. We went with the beach suite which had a great little patio overlooking the ocean. The hotel didn?t have any AC, so at night we would open all the windows and balcony door and fall asleep to the sound of the waves. Living in the city, it was so different from what we were used to that it took a night or two to get used to, but then we fell in love with it.

The hotel has a small food/drink selection with limited hours, but all of the good restaurants in Tulum are walking distance from the hotel. Steps from the lobby, is their perfumery where they sell the most delicious massage oils, room scents and perfumes. I couldn?t leave without taking home a bottle of my favorite scent, the coconut. It smells like the beach and reminds me of Tulum every time I put it on.

My husband and I travel a lot but have never been to a place where the sand was so soft and the water so warm and clean. I would do anything to be back there right now. We spent a lot of time just lounging by the ocean and taking it all in. Oh, and eating. We?re big fans of that. Here were our favorites, in order.

Casa Jaguar: Our favorite of the jungle restaurants and probably our favorite in Tulum. The decor had a very bohemian feel. The scene was a super-chill garden with chandlers and dreamcatchers hanging above the mismatched wooden tables. The food was all cooked by an open fire. We had the grilled whole fish with goat cheese, pine nuts and passion fruit. Drinks were equally as good. I?d recommend getting a mezcal drink or a michelada. Wait staff were super friendly and happy to explain the whole menu (displayed on a huge chalk board which the waiter brings to your table). Our last night In Tulum, we went back for drinks and discovered the little restaurant had turned into a Mayan jungle club lit by hanging candles. It was like stepping into a foreign Mayan world full of twirling Mexican hipsters. So. Much. Fun. If you?re there on a Thursday, check it out after the restaurant closes at 11pm.

Hartwood: This place is a must-go-to. Owned by two former New York chefs who made the move to Tulum to open Hartwood. They operate using only electricity generated by their solar panels. The place is just off the main road on the jungle side of Tulum and is lit primarily by candle light. Like many of the other Tulum eateries, they cook everything over a wood-fire oven. We ordered the whole fish for two, and it was amazing and huge, big enough to feed four people. Menu changes daily depending on what they sourced locally that day. Drinks were great and larger than most in Tulum.

Posada Margherita: Our favorite of the beach restaurants. Best ambience/view with a lovely breeze throughout the restaurant offering a much needed reprieve from the heat and bugs of the jungle restaurants. Fresh pastas and fishes and the best margaritas in Tulum. They also have gluten free options,?score.

We also loved Be Tulum for lunch and beach side drinks. They had amazing pina coladas. It?s also a hotel that looked pretty rad. If you?re looking for a good late night spot, go to Gitano. Great bartenders and unique cocktails.


WHERE TO STAY | Zen Serenity or Coqui Coqui

WHERE TO EAT | Casa Jaguar, Hartwood and Posada Margherita

WHAT TO EAT | Whole fish, wherever and whenever!

WHAT TO DRINK |A mezcal or michalada, for sure!

WHAT TO DO | Splurge on a couples massage on the beach


Photography: Courtney Perkins Ryan | Bar: Gitano | Boutique Hotel: Coqui Coqui | Hotel/Restaurant/Bar: Be Tulum | Resort: Zen Serenity | Restaurant: Casa Jaguar | Restaurant: Posada Margarita | Restaurant: Hartwood | Travel Book Printing: Artifact Uprising