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  • Iva Zlatkovic

Pandemic Travels: 1st Up Tulum (Pronounced Too-Loom)

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Getting ready to join the crowd and head to Tulum? Let Festiebesties give you the top 5 tips you must know when traveling to Mexico!

Take me back! Tulum is mini paradise that we have to revisit very soon. I don't know if it was due to the Coronavirus, the stressors of 2020, or just being stuck in the house that made this trip one of the best! But with only having to endure a 2hr flight there from Miami, Tulum will very well become our new vacay spot just to get away.


Upon arrival we were met by a host of people trying to solicit taxi rides and excursions. We were greeted by our driver just on the other side of all the madness and off we went to our next destination Copal Tulum. When traveling to Tulum you will arrive in Cancun, so just be prepared for the drive. Tulum is just under a two hour drive from the airport. Our ride was pretty dope, the driver let us Bluetooth our music to the stereo, and he had water, beer, and snacks. Disclaimer, the snacks are Mexican snacks. So although the cheese puffs had Chester the Cheetah on them they are not the same as American cheese puffs try at your own risk.


Copal Tulum was our home for this visit, the hotel was very modern chic and clean. It is surrounded by jungle and sits in the middle of the beach (touristy area) and town. Zina was like the concierge their, she was very informative and made suggestions on where to go and the best excursions to book. She was sweet and very helpful, especially when I misplaced my phone in the airport transfer! Yes, I know...don't do that. The best part about staying at Copal was the view from the rooftop pool and the handsome private chef that made us breakfast.


Let's talk about the food. I cannot lie...we were not a huge fan! I'm not sure if we just did not eat at the right places or what was going on, but the food was just really bland. Except for the food at Casa Malca and the street tacos we found on the beach. But everything else was not so great. First up Casa Malca, so first off they charge a cover to enter which includes a food credit, and I believe recently they must have decided that all of the IG worthy picture spots within the house should be open only to those who stay there, so we were unable to get any of those shots on the swings, in the chandelier room, or in the underground pool that we had planned. But we enjoyed the beach, the vibes, and met some really cool people there. The food was good they definitely have options since they had 3 restaurants on site. We were there early for breakfast and was introduced to the green juice, listen, get the green juice! It's a staple for breakfast there you must try it. This was by far one of the better meals of our trip.


We had several reservations that we missed, like Rosa Negra, Taboo and Gitano, so I will not speak on them. But we did have a chance to visit Parole on a Friday night, who shares the same owners as Rosa Negra, so I assumed the food would be similar. Parole is an Italian inspired restaurant that has a violinist who was amazing, and a very nice ambiance for the bougie crowd and they did have great Octopus. When in Mexico, try the Octopus it was actually delicious & the eggplant parm was okay. But other than that it was just okay, nothing I would revisit.


Breakfast Saturday by the chef at Copal was the best!!! He made a traditional Mexican breakfast including chilaquiles & breakfast tacos, Can't even describe the satisfaction of eating this food after being disappointed by Friday night's picks. On our next visit we will definitely look into hiring a chef. Last but not least I can't forget about the street tacos that we were able to stumble across on the beach Saturday night, I don't remember the name of this gem in Tulum. But the shrimp and ceviche were fresh and tasty, and the chicken tacos weren't bad either.


Mid Saturday we decided to partake in the ATV, zip lining, and cenotes excursion booked through the hotel, Before we left every blog and story I read prepared us for the heat and the mosquitoes, but no one prepared us for the flies! Flies are everywhere and you will be swatting like they are still swarming around you even once you return to your hotel. Also, if you are thinking about doing the excursion make sure you bring water and stay hydrated. A few people got sick while we were out there, the excursion is long lasting about 6hrs, hot, and you'll be hungry unless you eat the departing meal they serve. Which was not the best so make sure to eat lunch before you go or book your excursion for early morning. Overall we enjoyed the experience, but we will definitely skip the excursion and just visit the cenotes on our own next trip.


Tulum is a party! Well during the pandemic everything has to shut down at 11pm. However they seem to have a thriving nightlife when they are operating during normal times. We fell in love with a small bar by the name of Makech Hookah Bar (aka smokehouse). With swings at the bar, the dj playing a mix of hip hop, Latin music, & reggaetón it certainly felt like home. We partied here for three nights straight as it was conveniently located so everyone migrated to this one bar. Super fun nights if you want to get lit in Tulum. I can not wait to explore other clubs once Tulum is fully open!


We certainly had a great girls trip this time around and I can not wait to go back and explore so much more! A toast to Tulum for being a little getaway and paradise in the middle of a pandemic. Until next time forever we love Tulum.


Tulum Tips

  • Visit the cenotes on your own: You'll have more freedom to get the pictures you want. So wake up really early and beat the crowd.

  • Do not exchange your money for pesos: We exchanged our money in Miami and once getting to Tulum realized we really could have did without. $1 pesos = $22, everywhere we went they took pesos, American dollars, and even card. We just felt like it was a waste.

  • Get an Airbnb: Although we loved Copal Tulum. we believe you can get a lot of bang for your buck with an Airbnb. Especially if you go with a large group.

  • Visit town & eat in town: The beach was very touristy and can get really busy on the weekends. We heard the best food was in town, and while we didn't get to explore town we definitely believe that's where the good food was. Because most places on the beach were "fine dining", expensive and nasty. Save your money, try the street food.

  • Visit Makech Hookah bar(smokehouse): There is a great little hype man that turns the crowd up, the waiters are super sweet, and the vibes are unmatched, that is if you are looking to party.



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