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Icing & Glitter Spends 72 Hours On The Shores Of Tulum

Tulum has been on my travel bucket list for the past year, so when the trip was finalized, I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. I visited Cancun about three years back, and as much as I enjoyed it, I had no plans of making a trip back there, primarily because I found that all it really had to offer was the all-inclusive experience. Tulum, however, is a completely different ball game. There is no shortage of things to do and there’s truly something for everyone. From the Mayan ruins to the Cenotes, to every single Instagrammable restaurant I visited, Tulum truly holds a special place in my heart. I put together a travel diary for those of you who decide to visit, which I highly recommend you do!

How to get there: Tulum is about an hour and a half away from Cancun. You can get there using either a private car or shuttle service, but be sure to book in advance to avoid any confusion once you get there. My hotel organized a car for me, which cost about $190 for a round trip.

Where to stay: Tulum isn’t the place for you if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience. Most hotels are small, secluded and have an eco-feel to them. I stayed at Mi Amor Hotel which I cannot recommend enough. It’s located about five-minutes away from the main hotel strip, with a stunning view of the ocean. Although you can’t go into the ocean on account of the hotel being located on top of rocks, the beach is a two-minute walk away. The staff are extremely warm and helpful, arranging everything from transportation to snorkelling equipment for me to borrow.

Where to go: There are an endless amount of places to explore in Tulum. Since I was only around for three three nights, I barely touched the tip of the ice berg and would happily go back in a heart beat.

Cenotes are arguably the best part of Tulum. I visited two while I was there, the first being Cenote Dos Ojos which was an otherworldly experience. It’s a natural freshwater body located within a cave where you’ll find bats and fish, and the water is quite literally clearer than that in a swimming pool. This was a particularly memorable experience for me as I faced my fear of water in order to explore it. The Cenote is actually quite deep, so you can even dive there if you’d like to, although I was pretty sure my heart would stop beating if I even tried. Next to Cenote Dos Ojos is Cenote Nicte-Ha which is an open waterbody. Nicte-Ha has a bit of a whimsical feeling to it on account of the leaves and lily pads floating about.

You cannot leave Tulum without exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. They are located on the beach and take about an hour and a half to walk through. I personally didn’t get a tour guide, choosing instead to read through while I walked around. Be sure to arrive early as it becomes jam-packed with tourists as the day progresses. The ruins open at 9, and although I arrived at 10 it was still a tad too crowded for me.

Where to eat: The food was quite possibly my favourite aspect of Tulum. On my first night, I dined at Unico, which had excellent ratings and was conveniently located within my hotel. The food was absolutely delicious, I highly recommend the Wild Snook.

On my second afternoon, I ate at Posada Margherita, a shabby-chic Italian joint located right on the beach. With the food, you can hardly go wrong with everything – it’s all prepared fresh and bursting with flavour. I tried two of the pasta dishes, both of which were delicious. Afterwards, I visited the beach right outside, and out of all the beaches I visited, this was the cleanest one in Tulum.

The most memorable dining experience I had, however, was at Gitano, a Mezcal Bar and restaurant. The interior has a rustic feel to it, with wooden tables and boho-chic tapestry. Gitano is located in the jungle side of Tulum, and at night, the whole restaurant is lit up with fairy lights and chandeliers within the trees, giving it a dreamlike quality. I went on a Friday night, which I think is the best night to go. There was a live band unlike anything I’ve ever heard – the manager, Seth (who is truly wonderful) described it as Indian Jazz on account of the sitar player. At 10pm, there was a DJ who played the most incredible music which was sort of a transition between the soothing live band and a harder DJ who comes on later at night. Now regarding the food, I ordered the ceviche, and three types of tacos (beef brisket, fish, and shrimp), all of which blew me away. The beef brisket one in particular was unforgettable. The drinks here are also to die for – it will put anything you’ve had in the past to shame. I ended my meal with guava cheesecake, something I never thought I would enjoy but could have happily gone to eat seconds of.

On my last night, I visited Safari for dinner, which was recommended to me by the manager of Gitano. Now if you’re after a super luxe experience, Safari isn’t for you. It’s a very basic restaurant, completely bare bones – the operations are conducted out of a food truck, but my goodness the food is to die for. The Shrimp A Mole Verde tacos were the best I’ve had in my life, and the rice and beans gave a new meaning to the dish. The owner, Luis, has been in the food industry forever, having worked everywhere from New York to Australia, so he really knows what he’s doing.

Tulum Travel Diary
Tulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel Diary

Warm & Wonderful Vacations In January

These are our top spots for getting in a January holiday, and doing it right.

Despite having returned from some much needed vacations, many of us are looking to escape the cold and head somewhere sunny. If you’ve been meaning to take that bucket list adventure, now’s your chance to make right with your resolutions.

Not only will your vacation be more affordable in January, but you can navigate your way through markets, galleries and the like without swarms of photo-happy tourists cramming you into every corner.

1/ Anguilla , British West Indies:

If it’s white sand beaches, scenic bays and crystal clear waters you’re after, look no further. Between the laid-back island vibe and picturesque sights at every turn, this is one vacation spot you would feel grateful to spend some time at.

Where to stay: Cé Blue Anguilla offers everything the discerning traveller craves. From luxurious villas complete with personal salt-water pools, to 5-star worthy food and a fitness centre that boasts better equipment than your boutique gym, this experience is truly epic.

2/ Barbados:
This sophisticated travel locale is brimming with culture and creativity at every turn. If you’re looking to indulge in a few of life’s little luxuries, your January holiday has just been sorted. Uncover the history that comes alive once you stroll through the streets, and nestle into a warm beach that offers beautiful views at all hours of the day.

Where to stay: The Crane is an elegant hotel that offers outstanding service, sprawling space and stunning amenities for both adults and children. If you’re looking for romance or family-friendly fun, book a reservation here.

3/ Dominican Republic: Between the hundreds of miles of coastline, to the postcard perfect beaches and warm people, this destination is a favourite for both novice and distinguished travellers. In this geographically diverse country you will find mountain scenery, desert scrublands and outstanding architecture that will sincerely convince you to buy a beach house here and never leave.

Where to stay: When you’re somewhere so beautiful, truly embrace the peaks and points of interest. We recommend finding a private villa and enjoying the sprawling and truly stunning views all-around.

Gansevoort Hotel in Turks & Caicos

4/ Turks & Caicos: While this is a significantly smaller island than most, this gorgeous country packs a punch in terms of experiences. With a population of around 32,000, this tropical paradise will prove to be the perfect place to unplug. Enjoy the stunning white sand beaches, or luxurious resorts that boast some of the best amenities money and a week off work can buy.

Where to stay: If you’re headed to this slice of 5-star heaven, we suggest staying at the Gansevoort Turks & Caicos. This boutique property is a beachfront retreat that boasts some of the best food, views and services on the island.

4 Health Habits To Swear By On Vacation

While a vacation is a holiday from the hoopla, it should not be regarded as a free pass for your health.

That appetite to frequent the buffet bar, or to sample one too many cocktails needs to be kicked to the curb.

We’ve absolutely been there, and while entirely relatable it’s deplorable for your health. We know you’ve substituted your sandwiches for kale leading up to the trip, so don’t let that hard work go to waste.

You deserve to toss your cares to the wayside, but take a moment to recognize that once you’ve returned to reality the desire to jump on the wellness wagon will feel impossible without that impending motivation. It’s time to take your salad consuming self to your resort with a focused eye on healthy options in all aspects of your life. Avoid falling into the trap of staying up too late and consuming too much.

Cashing in your vacation days to recuperate from your vacation is entirely taboo.

4 Healthy Habits To Take On A Trip

1/ Indulge the Right Way: It’s understandable that a gourmet buffet could awaken the inner food lover in all of us, but take the time to make use of the nature around your resort. Whether you’re visiting New York, or you’re headed somewhere entirely new – eat like the locals. Spring for fresh food, indulge in a beautifully prepared meal and let your taste buds enjoy everything that your holiday has to offer.

We love: The Chester NYC – This contemporary American restaurant attached to the Gansevoort Meatpacking District is a quintessential cool meal. If you’re seeking decadence married with a lively ambiance, this restaurant requires your reservation. Sample some of the finest foods New York has to offer with a seasonal menu and handcrafted cocktails.

4 Healthy Habits To Take On A Trip

2/ Remember to Breathe: In between your beach trips and excursions, remember to shift the focus back onto your well-being. It’s entirely effortless to get lost in the magic of the moment, but take a step back, unwind and truly soak in the sights and sounds.

We love: Sign up for a yoga class on the beach in the Dominican Republic. With endless resorts to choose from, we just know a routine excursion hosted by the hotel is calling your name.

4 Healthy Habits To Take On A Trip

3/ Unwind Responsibly: There’s no worse feeling than having a heavy head and a splitting migraine come morning. We understand that the drinks and flowing and the music is near magical, but treat yourself right. Rather than springing for a bottle, try a few curated cocktails that were designed to inspire your palette. These drinks often pair perfectly with food offerings that can tickle your taste buds too.

We love: Indulge in a tall glass of crisp champagne at the Dom Pérignon Bar housed in the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Located in the hotel’s famous Palm Court, this first of its kind in all of Canada boasts custom-designed black decor that evokes all sorts of emotions upon entering. Sip and be served by some of the best that this bar has to offer.

4 Healthy Habits To Take On A Trip

4/ Expand your Horizons: A trip would be a waste if you fail to immerse yourself in the local culture. Of course we’re not suggesting that heli-painting is the way to go, but perhaps exploring the waters and making new companions is crucial. These additions in your life will prove to be a window to many more memories and adventures down the road.
We love: Take a trip with TradeWinds for an experience of a lifetime. Set sail and explore islands and waters that you never thought possible. Watch the sun rise and set as you indulge in beautiful meals with the best kept company.