We were supposed to have a baecation/vacation in Tulum this summer. The plan was to do a couples trip with some of our favorite people. Flights and accommodations were booked. I had an itinerary with all the Instagram-worthy activities, restaurants, and locations listed out. Y’all… I even brainstormed activities like what you see on the Real Housewives shows. I was probably doing too much, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused us to cancel the trip anyway. Probably saving our friends from me haha! I was really disappointed, but it was the right decision.
After a few months of quarantine, more and more people started popping up in various parts of Mexico (one of the only countries that would allow us Americans to enter their territory). The more photos I saw on Instagram, the saltier I became because WE were supposed to be in Tulum. I pouted and pouted, then Keenan agreed that we should go together because this year has been A LOT. We wanted to get away to simply relax with a change of scenery.
All of my little plans REALLY went out of the window because we made a decision to do our baecation in Tulum about a month before we left. I have a bad habit of wanting to be in control of most things. When traveling, I prefer to be organized (surprise) and know what’s on the agenda. I feel like God basically took my itinerary, ripped it up, then told me to just let go and wing it. So that’s what I did. There was no real plan and I think that was for the best.
NOTE: I was extremely intentional about living in the moment and minimizing screentime on my phone. So intentional that I don’t have many photos to share. Sorry, not sorry.
Where We Spent Our Stay
There was a super dope house we’d originally found on AirBNB. Since we canceled, there was a credit available for us to use. In a time crunch, I was able to find a cute spot at BOHO Tulum Apartments. It’s located in Aldea Zama, which is a residential neighborhood close to downtown and about a 15-45 minute drive from the hotel zone/beach area. Yes, that’s a huge time range. The travel time increases as the day get later (ESPECIALLY FOR DINNER). Most taxis were about $20, but I still wouldn’t rent a car. Roads and drivers are terrible.
The apartment was Instagram-worthy, very spacious, and great price. However, I wish there were more amenities on the property as well as in the room. There was no concierge on-site and the staff didn’t speak English. Getting taxis and our questions answered was difficult. It’s also hard to find. After a 90-minute drive from the airport, our driver spent 15 minutes circling the neighborhood. I had to look up directions to help him. This happened to several of our taxi drivers and was extremely annoying. We did find a great taxi driver named Geraldo and relied on him to pick us up or coordinate other drivers for us. He was great!
Long story short, I’d pass on it again…
If there was more time beforehand, I would have booked La Zebra Hotel Tulum or another spot on the beach. Close to all the restaurants and nightlife if that’s what you’re looking to do.
Where We Ate in Tulum
Ever had air for dinner? We did the first night. Long story short, we arrived at the AirBNB around 10 pm. Tried to change clothes and meet one of Keenan’s friends in the hotel zone. That’s where all the nice restaurants are, but most of the kitchens close around 10 or so. We learned that the hard way. By the time we arrived… all of the kitchens were closed. AND we were talking thru huge potholes full of muddy water from rain earlier in the day. I don’t suggest heels after rain showers. We were so frustrated and tired that we just went back and got in bed.
Woke up and started fresh. I had traditional chilaquiles for breakfast at La Zebra and it was AMAZING. Walked down the beach to make our reservation at Taboo Beachclub. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there on our daybed. There is a charge/minimum to get a spot on the beach. Prices vary based on the seating you choose. Music, food, drinks, and vibe were all great. I even randomly met one of my followers there! Definitely recommend making an early reservation right when they open.
I’d heard about Rosa Negra so many times that I had to make SURE we went….so I made two reservations for Saturday and Sunday. Always overprepared. I’m glad I did because that fillet and risotto were made by Jesus himself ok!. We went back Sunday night just for that steak. Cocktails were decent but overpriced for the amount of liquor.
Sunday Brunch with Our New Family
We had Sunday brunch at Loco Tulum and it was such a great time! When we arrived, I noticed it was an event hosted by Black In Tulum. The music was on point, but the DJ let us make requests. I obviously had to represent Houston, so I requested Southside by Lil Keke and Mo City Don. Never thought I’d hear Beatking on vacation in Tulum either lol. I did the electric slide with a group we met from Dallas. Then I danced until my knees hurt with another group of girls. Black people can become like family with strangers within 2 minutes of meeting each other. That’s why I love us. The shakshuka was the best I’ve ever had. I ate the entire thing myself, plus tacos and everything else they brought out.
A few other mentionables
- Gitano – Really cute spot, but overpriced for portion sizes.
- La Popular
- Mur Mur
- Casa Banana
- Any taco spots that are outside the supermarket in town.
The great thing about Tulum is that pretty much everything is outdoors. It was really easy to social distance. We didn’t do any nightlife, so it was easy to avoid crowds. As people were arriving to start their night, we were heading out to chill at home.
What We Did in Tulum
The purpose of this vacation in Tulum was to relax and recharge. That’s exactly what we did. There wasn’t much adventure like normal vacations. Most of our time was spent on the beach, at the pool listening to music, smoking cigars, eating, and drinking. We also had a few photoshoots because I had to wear the 10 swimsuits I overpacked lol. I hardly wore actual clothes now that I think about it.
We did spend Monday morning doing a few adventurous activities. Ziplining was on Keenan’s bucket list. Well not really, but he wanted to conquer his huge fear of heights. The view from the last zipline was absolutely beautiful. My thighs were on fire the next day after climbing stairs 90 feet high, but it was so peaceful being on that zipline talking to God for 2 minutes. We were able to book a $120 half-day outing that included ATVs, ziplining, a cenote tour, food, and transportation for both of us. Contact iTours on WhatsApp to book (+52 984 247 7672).
On the last day, we spent time in town with the locals before heading to the airport. Had authentic tacos that were super cheap and delicious, then walked down the main road on a hunt for souvenirs. One thing to note about Tulum is they aren’t very big on souvenirs like most vacation spots. Most of the shops didn’t appear to sell items that were actually made IN Tulum.
We ended up stopping in a liquor store that sold a wide range of mezcals and tequilas not found in the States. Apparently, free samples were unlimited so of course we tried several. Every single sample was extremely smooth. Almost dangerously smooth. Each one was flavorful, but there was absolutely zero “bite” or aftertaste. The owner also had a really nice personal collection on display that included a bottle of tequila worth $2500. I settled on a reposado tequila and a bottle of mezcal that will only be pulled out for special occasions.
I can’t wait until our next baecation. We had a great extended weekend vacation in Tulum mostly doing nothing. I think that’s how vacations should be. No more getting back from vacation and needing even more rest. We spent time laughing, talking, being silent, and having photoshoots. Keenan was really patient with me for photo ops and turned into the creative director. I was so grateful! Get a man that’s your biggest supporter! To say he’s a blessing is an understatement.
If there’s anything I missed, questions you have that would help plan your vacation in Tulum, or anything else please drop them in the comments! Most of the items I packed were old, but a few are linked here on my LikeToKnowIt page.