Day 1, Tuesday
We landed in Cancun, rented a car, and after a 3 hour drive (usually it should take 1.5 hours, but we ran into quite a bit of traffic) we arrived at our Air B&B in the Aldea Zama neighborhood. It was the perfect place for us - clean, new, decorated beautifully, and had comfortable king size beds. But the best part was the outdoor spaces, including two balconies, one with a private pool, and the communal pool was even better than advertised. We could have sat by the pool everyday and been happy!
That evening we went out to dinner at Casa Jaguar, one of the oldest restaurants on the Tulum beach strip. The vibe was really cool and we loved our food and drinks. They make bespoke cocktails and we loved our mango + tequila concoction!
Day 2, Wednesday
We woke up the next morning and went straight to our only planned excusion. We booked a tour with Adventure Tours for zip lining, canoeing, visiting three of Tulum's infamous cenotes, and finishing up with a Mayan lunch. Our guide was wonderful and we'd highly recommend doing this!
On our way back we stopped at Matcha Mama, the cutest little juice shop in town (they have other locations as well) for a pick-me-up before heading back to Lumina for an afternoon at the pool. That evening we went into town for a more local flavor and had dinner at Batey. Highly recommend stopping here for dinner, live music, and some salsa!
Day 3, Thursday
Today was our first beach day! We had no idea what we were doing or how we would access the beach since we weren't staying at one of the beach clubs, but we stumbled on the most wonderful beach club, Ma'xanab. For $50 minimum spend per person, we could utilize their gorgeous lounge chairs/beds, towels, bathrooms, pool, and order food and drinks. Ma'xanab was fantastic - we loved the civiche, guac, and coral coladas!
Later that night we had dinner reservations at Gitano, where I probably had the best cocktail (Jungle Fever) and the best guacamole of the trip (the cracker/lavash is to die for). After dinner we walked along the street looking for a place we could get a drink that didn't feel too cluby…and we found the perfect spot - Cortizar - with a DJ playing all the throwbacks and bartenders mixing bespoke cocktails.
Day 4, Friday
Today we hit the ruins in the morning (right after getting our covid tests to travel the next day). We were a little skeptical because of how hot it was and how long we had heard the lines would be. To be honest, this was the only part of the trip we were underwhelmed with. We had heard the water by the ruins was gorgeous, but for some reason, that area was inaccessible that day. If we had more time in Tulum, a tour guide probably would have been the way to go. The lines weren't long, but it was definitely crowded and limited signage.
We made it back to Ma'xanab Beach Club before noon and enjoyed the rest of the day there. Stumbling upon this spot might have been our best find!
We didn't have reservations for this evening when we arrived, but we got a couple recommendations from locals to try a new restaurant, Arca, so we made a reservation for their 9:30 seating. Arca was probably the most modern and creative menu of the places we went to and the decor was very cool, but if I'm honest, I'm not sure I'd recommend it as highly as the other places. That said, this was my sister Hilary's favorite, so it all depends on the person!
Day 5, Saturday
With our flight at 3:30pm, we didn't have time to do too much, but we did get to go to one final brunch downtown at Botanica Garden Cafe. The Broccoli Bagel and Chilaquiles were excellent, as was the Immunity Shot. Loved this cute spot!
We also were able to fit a little shopping in before and after the beach and on our way to and from places. Here are a few shops we'd recommend stopping by: