Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts

Check Out: The Tulum Beach Strip

Visiting Tulum, there are two different places you can choose to stay - either the Tulum Beach Strip or Downtown Tulum. About 10-15 minutes away from each other, in my opinion you just can't go past the beach strip. With the most luxurious and unique hotels, beautiful boutiques, bikes everywhere and some of the best food you can find, you really can't go past the beach strip! Whether you decide to make the strip your homebase or not, make sure you take the time to take a walk or bike ride along the sandy road and check out all the real Tulum.

Beach Luxury: Staying at Coco Tulum

It is the perfect Instagram accommodation. Straw roofed beach huts, sitting on the edge of the ocean, with everything as crisply white as can be. Coco Tulum was one of those honeymoon accommodation options that just seemed to picture perfect to be true. It was pictures of the hotel's beachfront bar that originally caught my attention on Insta, it seemed like somewhere that was just too pretty to be true.


Where The Ancient City Meets The Sea

Mexico has no shortage of ancient Mayan ruins, but the ones in Tulum are unlike any other. Sitting proudly on the edge of a cliff and overlooking the azure ocean waves, the Mayans that built the Tulum Ruins really found the prime location. If you're visiting Tulum you really can't miss a trip to these iconic ruins, it is a beautiful way to learn more about the history of Mexico and the Mayan people.

Para Para, Paradise

I can't really explain how excited I was to not only find a pretty beach I had seen on Instagram, but also direct us to a specific palm tree. Might not sound like a lot in the days of geotagging, Google maps and Instagram places, but when you find a tree you're looking for it really does feel like a big deal! Ranked as the best beach in Mexico, Playa Paraiso (paraiso obviously meaning "paradise") is a huge stretch of white sand, covered in tall palm trees with turquoise water from the Caribbean Ocean as far as the eye can see. This palm tree is located at the edge of the beach that belongs to El Paraiso Hotel Tulum, just before the public beach.

Cenote Hopping Around Tulum

One of the absolute best and most unique things about Mexico has to be the cenotes that can be found all thoughout the country, particularly along the Riviera Maya on the east coast. A cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone that exposes the crystal clear water underneath. The sinkholes are the perfect place to cool down and enjoy the long summer days, and if you're lucky you might even get some of the smaller ones all to yourself. On our last trip to Mexico we visited Ik-Kil Cenote, found near Chichen Itza, and it was one of our favourite days. So this time around, we dedicated a whole day to visiting local cenotes around Tulum.

The Essentials: Tulum

Location: Riviera Maya, Mexico.  

Time Zone: Central Time Zone UTC -6.

Getting There: The closest airport to Tulum, when flying both internationally and domestically is Cancun International Airport (CUN). Tulum is located about 1 hour and 40 minutes away from the airport. You can easily organize a transfer or shuttle bus when you arrive at the airport or rent a car if you would like to drive. Private shuttles are probably the most comfortable way to make the trip between CUN and Tulum, check out Cancun Airport Transfers to organize your transfer in advance. Makes for a much smoother and faster trip.

Language: Spanish. Most people working in restaurants, cafes and hotel will be able to speak some if not good English.

Climate: That perfect warm weather all year round. Can get a little sticky and humid during the warmer months.

Getting Around: If you're planning to get away from the main strip of hotels you will most likely need a car, it's definitely the easiest way to get around. Renting cars is cheap and easy, our hotel even organized it for us and had the car delivered to our hotel so we didn't have to go anywhere!

The Money Sitch: ATMs are very hard to come by on the Tulum Beach Strip and are often broken or empty when you come across them. Make sure you have cash when you're dining and shopping in this area as not many places take credit card and you might have to walk over half an hour to find an ATM that works (like I did).

Internet Access: We had wifi in our hotel room, although it was a little slow and would often cut out. Not many restaurants and cafes we went to offered wifi the way had found in other parts of Mexico, so to be honest it is the perfect place to disconnect and switch off.

The Main Streets: Tulum Beach Strip is where you will find most of the beach front hotels and restaurants. It also leads right up to the Tulum Ruins and the main public beaches such as Playa Paraiso.

Best Time To Go: Tulum has beautiful warm weather all year round, often sitting around the low 30s (celsius). There is not really any bad time to go, however September and October are known as the rainy months.

Can't Miss: Tulum Ruins, visiting cenotes (there are so many to choose from), Playa Paraiso, Sian Ka'an Bisphere, Xel-ha Eco Park. If you have some extra time and/or Tulum is your only stop on the Yucatan Peninsula make sure you visit Xcaret, Chichen Itza and Ik-kil Cenote. Check out Travel Yucatan for all the activities in Tulum that you can't miss!

Good To Know: If you're looking for souvenir and gift shops, you will find the most options out the front of the Tulum Ruins. Apart from that you are more likely to find boutiques along the beach strip and more generic shops in the main town.

This post was sponsored by Travel Yucatan. 
Make sure you visit to find out everything 
you need to know about your trip to the Mexican Coast! 

Island Secrets: The Kings Bath

If you're staying at Mia Reef you have to make sure you visit the King's Bath. This tiny little rockpool of water is for hotel guests only and is hidden at the very back of the hotel. Make sure you go for a walk to find it, because you won't come across it accidentally. It's so peaceful and beautiful, but it was quite windy when we were there so it wasn't a good time to swim.


Have You Tried Renting A Golf Cart?

If you want to visit the whole island of Isla Mujeres and not just the main town, the only way to do it is with a golf cart. Pretty much the main and only form of transport around the little island, golf carts are by far the most fun and relaxing way to experience and explore the island. I heard a whisper that there are only 500 golf carts on the island and they ALL get booked out every single day. Isn't that crazy?! 

Exploring the Island of Isla Mujeres

Despite my new found appreciation for relaxing, I was still a beginner and still needed to get out and do at least one activity each day. The beauty of renting a golf cart on Isla Mujeres meant that we could take our time exploring the island at our own pace. It's quite amazing how much is jammed onto this little Mexican paradise in the Caribbean Sea. We spent our days cruising around the island, stopping to enjoy the stunning views. Here are some of our favourite places you should be sure to visit.

The Ultimate Island Life

There are a couple of different luxury resorts on Isla Mujeres but none of them take the cake like Mia Reef. Located on it's own little island off the main island, Mia Reef was the first of our much awaited "fancy" honeymoon accommodations. The tiny island that is the home of Mia Reef is at the northern tip of Isla Mujeres and is an all-inclusive property, the first that I have visited. It really set the standards high... 

Island Sunsets: Relaxing 101

I'm definitely not going to pretend that I am a good person to talk to about relaxing. If you've been reading for a while you will know that relaxing is not something that I am very good at or enjoy doing. I am normally go go go go go on holidays, trying to see and do as much as I can. But when we arrived on Isla Mujeres, stop number three on our honeymoon, we found ourselves on an island with not a lot to do, and as island life goes the best thing to do is kick back, relax and enjoy the sunshine. It was definitely the first time I felt like I was relaxing, with all of the stress of having a perfect wedding starting to leave, and that sunshine starting to soak in. So if you think you're highly strung like me, here are some tips to relaxing for non-relaxers! 

The Essentials: Isla Mujeres

Location: Riviera Maya, Mexico 

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time UTC -5

Getting There: The closest airport to Isla Mujeres is Cancun International Airport (CUN). From Cancun airport you will need to get a taxi, shuttle or private transfer to the Gran Puerto Cancun ferry dock, about 25 minutes away from the airport. The Ultramar ferry is the easiest way to get to the island, the direct service only takes about 20 minutes to arrive on Isla Mujeres. For the easiest way to get to the ferry I would definitely recommend a private transfer. Not only is it the most direct, but it also means you won't have to drop other travellers off at their hotel on the way to the ferry! To find the best deals on private transfers check out Cancun Airport Transfers and organize your transfer before you arrive to save you time!

Language: Spanish. People working in hotels or the tourism industry will often be able to speak good English, but don't expect it in smaller stores/cafes/restaurants.

Climate: Year round sunny warm weather and amazing temperatures.

Getting Around: There are very few motor vehicles to be found on Isla Mujeres - the only few we saw were taxis or construction trucks. The most popular and most fun way to get around the island is with a golf cart. There are only 500 golf carts on the island, so make sure you either make a reservation the day before, or get up early to secure one!

The Money Sitch: To be honest, our hotel was all inclusive so we didn't need to spend too much money on the island. We got some cash out from the ATM at the Ultramar ferry dock before we arrived on the island, so we pretty much just used cash and didn't need another ATM while we were there. Being prepared made things super easy on the island, so I would suggest getting some cash our before you arrive to avoid hassles.

Internet Access: Our hotel had an excellent wifi connection, as did a few of the restaurants and beach clubs found on the beach. Most of the restaurants and cafes around the streets are quite small and authentic, and I wouldn't rely on them all to have a good wifi connection.

The Main Streets: Av Rueda Medina where you will find the ferry wharf, Av Juárez and Av Guerrero and the street crossing over them for food and shopping. Carlos Lazo for the best beach access.

Best Time To Go: Year round.

Can't Miss: Just sitting on the beach and doing absolutely nothing, what else is an island for?! Playa Norte Beach, Acantilado del Amanecer, Garrafon Natural Reef Park & Tortugranja. Check out Travel Yucatan for a complete list of everything you need to see in this beautiful region, including day trips you can take from the island.

Good To Know: Book accommodation in the Centro Supmza, 001 zone as this is where you will find the best resorts, beaches and shopping/dining options. The rest of the island is largely a residential zone. It's awesome to go down a check out during the day, but definitely doesn't have as many options within walking distance.

This post was sponsored by Travel Yucatan. 
Make sure you visit to find out everything 
you need to know about your trip to the Mexican Coast! 

Cruising in Los Cabos

The best way to see everything Cabo has to offer on the water is by boat. Cabo San Lucas is famous for it's incredible rock formations which can only be seen from the water. You might have heard of them before, the most famous are known as Lovers Beach and The Arch. We first caught a glimpse of both when we set off on our Whale Watching Adventure, but decided to return later that afternoon by renting a glass bottom boat from the marina. 

10 Things in Cabo I'm Obsessed With

The undisputed celebrity hot spot of Mexico has to be Cabo San Lucas. You hear about it all the time on entertainment channels, the Kardashians are always there, and since it's only a two and a half hour flight from Los Angeles, it's an extremely quick getaway for the stars! But Los Cabos has so much more to offer than I would have ever thought. From the beautiful ocean views, wildlife encounters, crazy delicious food and abundance of cactuses lining the streets, Cabo exceeded every expectation we had before arriving. Here are some of my favourite things about Cabo San Lucas, that I am still obsessed with and will definitely have me coming back for more.

Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas

What an adventure whale watching is!! It was something that I had never seriously thought of - it wasn't something that I planned trips around, monitored the seasonality of or planned for, it was just a happy accident. It was only when we arrived at Los Cabos airport and someone gave us a flyer and told us it was whale season that we thought why not!! It turns out, from mid-January to mid-March is actually the best time for whale watching in Cabo San Lucas, when humpback whales and gray whales often get really close to the bay and the coastline. And we were visiting in February, what a fluke.


The Essentials: Cabo San Lucas

While I love sharing experiences and activities around the world, I think it's also really important to share the important stuff - the break down of what to expect in each city, what might be different or difficult, or just things you might not be able to find super easily in a travel guide. So before I share my adventures with you from each place, I am going to share a destination guide in a new series called the essentials. Let's begin with Cabo San Lucas. 

Location: Baja California, Mexico

Time Zone: Mountain Standard Time GMT -7 

Getting There: The closest airport is SJD Los Cabos International Airport. You can find direct flights from many major airports. The airport is located about a 45 minute drive from Cabo San Lucas. You can either rent a car on arrival at the airport or grab a shuttle (private a little more expensive than shared) to your hotel. I would recommend also booking a return trip with your shuttle company, as catching a taxi from Cabo San Lucas back to the airport can be 2 to 3 times more expensive. 

Language: Primarily Spanish, but you will find that many people in the tourism industry will speak English. You might find a bit more of a language barrier in local restaurants and shops or market stalls.

Climate: Cabo has a desert climate, with a dry heat most of the year.

Getting Around: You can pretty much walk around everywhere in Cabo. The main town is small, close to the beach and marina and within walking distance of most of the major hotels. If you plan to get out of Cabo you can rent a car either at the airport or downtown.

The Money Sitch: ATMs can be found everywhere, offering both USD and Mexican Pesos. Credit cards are accepted widely, as is US cash.

Internet Access: Excellent. Internet offered in almost all restaurants, cafes and bars around Cabo. Check with your hotel for wifi offers and connections.

The Main Streets: Lázaro Cárdenas for the most authentic food & Blvd. Paseo de la Marina for clubs, souvenirs and local shopping.

Best Time To Go: Cabo is a great destination all year round, with hot summers and warm winters. Shoulder season - May to June and October to November - are great times to visit because the weather is perfect and the summer and winter holiday crowds are dying down.

Can't Miss: The Arch, Lovers Beach, Whale Watching, El Squid Roe, Cabo Wabo Cantina

Good To Know: You will find March and April are extra busy months, as spring breakers from USA flock to Cabo to enjoy the sunshine and tacos. If you're not into the party scene I would reconsider visiting at this time.

Check out all of my Cabo San Lucas adventures here.

If there's anything else you would like to know or you think is important to add to this breakdown, let me know in the comments below. I really want to make sure these guides have as much helpful info as possible!

3 Day Trips To Take From Mexico City

Just outside the boarders of Mexico City is a whole different world. From ancient pyramids, to caves, volcanos, water holes and even a creepy island of dolls, you could easily feel like you're in a different country every day just exploring the outskirts of Mexico City. If you're looking to get out of the city and explore more of the authentic Mexico City, here are a few ideas for you.


24 Hours in Mexico City

The adventure began in Mexico City. A busy, vibrant city, with something different in every district! Arriving in Mexico City I didn't quite know what to expect. As I have mentioned, I had booked everything for the honeymoon, but I hadn't put as much time into researching the cities and what they had to offer because I was always distracted by the wedding. It was actually fun to turn up and not know what we were going to to do or what to expect. I absolutely loved the colour and street art of Mexico City, with so many of the buildings and walls covered in beautiful art work. Here's a super quick guide for anyone spending just 24 hours in Mexico City. 
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