Sakara's Insider Guide To Tulum
Sakaralites are bright, bold, and most often found busily manifesting their dreams. However, deep-diving into your best self — the one that’s grounded, confident, and fearless — sometimes calls for a change of scenery to coax out its shine. This is why we love ourselves a well-earned vacation, and were inspired to share with YOU, Sakara’s Insider Guide to Tulum!
If you have yet to visit Tulum (or even if you have!) read on and book yourself a ticket as quickly as you can. Even with all the buzz that surrounds this magical place, it is 100 percent worth the trip and I can promise you won’t be disappointed. A big promise, we know, but with this beautiful slice of heaven, it’d be next to impossible to leave feeling underwhelmed.
From the moment I arrived I felt like I had landed on another planet, or maybe even universe. Before even settling into the first of several incredible hotels and tasting some of the freshest food I’ve ever eaten, I already felt the energy of this little strip of the Yucatan peninsula was going to have a lasting impact. The locals and pioneering travelers have both done their part to keep that special vibration alive and thriving, assuring future visitors can experience this amazing place where beach meets jungle, music meets soul, and breath meets wind.
The most posh of the bunch, this expansive property was once the home of the infamous Pablo Escobar. From its grand entryway to the world-famous art (curated by owner, Lio Malca), this hotel is the epitome of beach luxury. Unlike most hotels in Tulum, this property’s amenities are only open to guests, lending itself to a celebrity heavy clientele. After checking in, take time to explore the world renown art collection, toast your arrival at one of the beach side cabanas nestled in sand as fine as flour, take a nap in one of many strategically placed hammocks and finally, at sunset, climb up the stairway to heaven that offers one of very few views of the sun setting over the Yucatan jungle. The cool, industrial feel of each bungalow is a welcome retreat from the heat and each room’s considered aesthetic that will have you seriously contemplating staying in for the night. After waking up rejuvenated, enjoy breakfast beachside. It's always a familial scene as most guests stick around for the strong coffee and sweet pastries (which are complimentary with your stay!) before a day of exploring cenotes and ancient ruins. Casa Malca’s beach was one of the most beautiful, so be prepared to ditch your day plans and stick around the cabanas for delicious margaritas and frequent swims. This stunning piece of Tulum heaven is tough to leave, so feel free to make zero plans when staying here!
An Eco Resort set in a stunning maze of palm trees interwoven with Robinson Crusoe-esque walkways and bridges, this hotel is as romantic as it gets. No electricity offers romantic evenings by candlelight, with the one modern amenity being access to an outlet in each room, ensuring you won't miss the opportunity to snap that insta worthy sunrise from your private terrace (whether you woke up, or stayed up, for it.) Because you’re not just on the beach, you’re practically in the ocean on this cliff side property, the sounds of the waves crashing onto the shore below will quickly push aside the stresses of everyday life, offering one of the most serene and relaxing experiences one can have. The private beach to the side of the hotel is clothing optional, making it the perfect spot for those looking for a reprieve. After soaking up the rays, rinse and unwind by taking a dip in the outdoor, ceramic tiled bathtub on your patio while marveling at the view.
The name of this hotel means “to heal” and if you are looking for a way to hit the reset button, than we have found the perfect place. Central on the Tulum strip this stunning eco-friendly hotel has perfected every detail of a wellness experience. The property offers all-natural body lotions and salt scrubs in every room, world-renowned wellness center (you’ll be staring at the morning sunrise over the ocean while in your downward dog), and a Michelin-worthy, beachside restaurant. As a Sakaralite, I was so excited about the food at their restaurant The Real Coconut. Every dish was gluten-free, plant-rich and free of added sugars. A favorite of mine was their avocado toast on plantain bread, paired with a shot of phytoplankton tonic! To top off your Sakara- approved meal, head down to the beach for an afternoon margarita (also Sakara approved!) made with all fresh ingredients and local tequilas. Whether you take a grounding stroll around the beautiful property, enjoy a cocktail beach side, or choose to spend your day rejuvenating in the spa, Sanara will leave you feeling like your best self, inside and out.
Papaya Playa is an amazing property that hosts a monthly Full Moon Party. Check their events calendar and plan accordingly. Accommodations here are bit more budget friendly, too! If you’re less concerned with plush accommodations you can find beach side tents to rent for as little as $35 US dollars a night!
AND NOW WE EAT!
AHHHH! There were so many places that amazed me; I had a difficult time narrowing them down. I DO suggest you explore on your own, and try anything you find appealing, but here are a few of my favorites.
One of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life, this beautiful little slice of Italian heaven has been around for over 15 years. Located beachside (notice a theme here?!) down a long winding path of tropical plants and soft lights, the intimate multi-tiered room is packed each evening with its global tribe of enthusiasts, nearly every table speaking a different language. The food was so fresh yet comforting that we couldn't help going back more than once in our few days in Tulum! If you're an Italian food lover like myself, make sure you make this gem a priority! (The day time vibes are equally as appealing, and hey!, it'll give you an excuse to visit at least twice!). Also make sure you stop at the shop Daria Tulum for amazing jewelry, sexy bikinis and curated treasures.
Small, serene, and just low-key enough to detract anyone looking for a “scene”, the 200 square feet of sand it's nestled on was equally quaint and delicious. From the fresh caught fish to the huge vegetable platter, everything is prepared in their small brick oven over a wood fired flame. The menu is written on a chalkboard wall illumunated by the ambient light of their twinkle-wrapped columns. Great option for a low-key, delicious dinner post or during sunset.
Set on the jungle side of the strip, this little oasis is the perfect place for a romantic dinner. While enjoying a delicious meal, you sit amoungst a million candle lit leaves, nestled under a blanket of starts. Try one of the house cocktails and a veggie-based entrée for the perfect cap to a Tulum beach day.
This little roadside shop is the perfect quick stop for a fresh, handmade juice. The colors of the juices here are SO vibrant that they caught my eye while whizzing past on my bike. My favorite was her turmeric/pineapple blend. The owner offers a discount too, when you bring your glass jars back for a refill!
A delicious little enclave where you can find everything from kombucha, hand crafted chocolate, salads and smoothies. Everything is raw, and made with love; You can tell because the sand covered space around this quaint thatched hut exudes nothing but pure amor. I opted for an avocado based green smoothie, a quinoa salad, and a heart chocolate, and left remembering how powerful fresh food made with love really is—Hello Sakara!
Hartwood is one of the most famous restaurants here. Check it out for amazing chef crafted dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.
Gitano is the spot to hit to be seen having a midnight dance under a starlit disco ball. They had amazing artisanal cocktails, too!
Arca has a cool, California vibe with some of the freshest bread and butter I’ve ever had!
Mur Mur is located at the front a very cute shopping area. Their roasted beets are to die for. Take a stroll after your snack to see all the amazing shopping behind the restaurant.
SEE AND DO
Las Ruinas (The Ruins) are breathtakingly beautiful and steeped in history. Go with a guide for a more in depth exploration of Aztec history, or on your own if you want to research yourself. Either way be sure to bring your suit and a towel for a dip beachside next to the ruins. It can get hot, so bring a hat, sunscreen and opt for early mornings rather than afternoons. I recommend using Front Desk concierge service. They’re amazing and very trustworthy! We used them to book our taxi’s from Cancun as well.
If you’re looking for something extra special, head to Yaan Wellness, the epicenter of health and wellness in Tulum. This magical (not to mention breathtakingly beautiful) spa is designed to rejuvenate, heal and cleanse the mind, body and soul. From moon temazcal ceremonies, mediations and yoga to energetic massages, glowing body scrubs and herbal detox baths, Yaan is not to be missed.
So much good stuff in Tulum! Check out La Llorona Tulum for amazing local tapestries and other random treasures. Caravana has beautiful clothing designed for chic comfort in the heat. The shop Daria Tulum is located in Posada Margherita and has a beautiful curation of clothing, jewelry and thoughtful, all-natural goodies. Cavo is located next to Gitano (shop while you wait for a table) and has a beautiful selection of high-end silks and flow-y dresses.
*Salsa at Le Zebra
Gitano on the weekends is always fun. Check out Casa Jaguar on Thursdays for a chic, local music and dance vibe. Head into the town of Tulum for an extra late and fun night—Fridays at Fruity Friday and are as amazing as they sound, and will allow you to party with the coolest locals. Le Zebra has a live salsa band as well as a dance floor and salsa classes on Sundays. Also keep an eye out as there are often world-renowned DJ’s that travel to Tulum and host evenings at various properties.
Most hotels offer bikes either for rent or loan. Take advantage and explore all the Tulum strip has to offer.
Check out Sanara and Amansala, but so many other hotels also offer daily yoga and meditation. And for a truly special experience, Nina Endrst, is the go-to woman for private yoga sessions. Browse the strip and see if anything speaks to you!