Trip Back to San Pedro & An Ode To Tulum, Mexico

I am back in San Pedro.  After four nights at the Secret Garden Tulum, we headed back on the 10.30am bus to Chetumal.  A very easy 3 hour 15 minute ride.  Menzies Car Service picked us right up at the station and took us to the border.  (You need to call or email – www.belizetransfers.com – them ahead of time, they are in Corozal, Belize.  Super friendly, super nice, super easy to work with.  Makes the whole process a total breeze).

We crossed the border.  As a resident of Belize (kinda the equivalent of a green card in the US), I didn’t have to pay the exit fee for Mexico.  My mom and my brother paid $262 pesos or $20 USD each.  (If you are in Mexico more than four days and are not returning, visitors pay this exit fee.)

We had a quick lunch at Tony’s Resort in Corozal (it’s a nice spot on the water…the food is okay) and  popped over to the air strip for our 5pm flight to San Pedro.  15 minutes later and I was back home.  Mom and bro in tow.

I’ll miss you Tulum.  I love you for so many reasons, let me count the ways.

1.  You are so close to San Pedro, Belize (only about 4 hours away in total).  And the combination of the two, San Pedro and Tulum, would be one stellar vacation.  Perhaps the perfect one.

2.  The beach is just fantastic.  Not the sharp drop off of Cancun, the pink sand of Tulum slowly dips in.  Perfect for swimming.  I could spend hours in this water at a time.

Not only is the actual beach gorgeous, but the buildings along it are just what you’d want on this sandy strip.  Most made of wood and palapa, only 2 stories high by regulation…very eco-lodge chic.  I know that they plan to open an international airport in the next few years in Tulum, but I hope they try to keep this feel as long as they can.

Look how cute.

3.  Accommodations are cheap.  If you stay in town, a great room, usually with breakfast is around $40-70 usd depending on the time of year.  Hostels are INCREDIBLY cheap.  And you get some great deals with your budget accommodation.  No wonder backpackers tend to spend weeks and weeks here.

Free water?  Free breakfast?  Free transportation?  A big open courtyard with lots of communal stuff going on?  Sounds perfect to me.  If I wasn’t such a privacy freak, I’d be all in.

4.  The Food is Excellent:  For breakfast, Azucar at the north end of town is ridiculously good (SO GOOD that you need to make a point in finding it).  Fresh baked bagels.

The cafe next to the Weary Traveler Hostel (below) is also great and very reasonable.  The $25 peso (about $2 usd) cappuccino is the best I’ve had in a while.

For dinner, La Nave (Italian and Seafood) or Antojito’s for the tacos al pastor and gringas al pastor (below) should not be missed.  Hungry?  Get 2 gringas and two tacos and you will be in heaven. 

There are enough great restaurants to keep you busy and fat for an entire week.  Or more…

And what a fun idea at one of the restaurants in Tulum.  Wouldn’t this be a great idea in San Pedro – maybe once a week at a restaurant with a decent sized kitchen?  A cooking class for some local foods.  Maybe substitute rice and beans and rum punch?

5.  A cute little downtown with just enough little stores and funky places.  And delicious gelato.

6.  THE RUINS!  Not only are the Tulum ruins right there and SPECTACULAR.  But Coba, Ek Balam and more are close by.

And at Chichen Itza.

7.  The cenotes.  Just outside of Tulum (all within a $8 USD taxi ride) are 4 or 5 cenotes.  Natural limestone caves/holes in the ground dripping with stalagmites and -tites and filled with cool fresh water.  Most are available for swimming, snorkeling and sometimes diving.  A perfect few hours after hanging out at the beach all day.

8.  Beach Clubs.  Also a great idea, I think, for Belize.  I totally think that BC’s should set up some beach lounge chairs and call itself a beach club.  People would hang out all day.  Again, though, I digress.  Tulum has quite a few small hotels with gorgeous beaches that call themselves “beach clubs”.  If you buy drinks or food, you can claim some beach loungers.  I have tried three.

Puerto De Cielo Beach Club.  Great beach, big food menu, free use of chairs, bathrooms and showers.

Ohm/Om Beach Club is my favorite (OM Tulum).  Very comfortable chairs, great pizzas, showers and bathrooms.  VERY friendly staff.

Ana Y Jose Beach Club:   Huge.  They charge you for chairs, up to $100 pesos per lounger.  And in the afternoon, huge tour buses pull in.  I would avoid this one.

Ok…enough about Tulum and my love for it!  I’m back in San Pedro and will let you know what’s going on here.  But if you can make it to Tulum, before the big airport opens, I definitely recommend.