(Photos by Casey McCune)
It is said the asteroid which was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs and the ice age struck earth in the region of the Yucatán Peninsula some 66 million years ago, in the specific area known today as Tulum. The energy from the impact and that of the cosmos is believed to still reside in Tulum, making the eco-friendly town an energy vortex of magic, love, beauty and awe. Not to mention it was also home to a portion of the Mayans, one of the most advanced ancient civilizations on earth with a deep connection to the cosmos and mother earth.
Before visiting Tulum, I only knew that it was close to where BPM festival was held, making it a dance music destination at certain times of the year. While also being popular among the yoga community with may eco-chic hotels and yoga retreats. It was just my style, so I assumed I’d enjoy the area, this was really the only premise on deciding to go. Little did I know I’d be receiving more than I could have ever imagined on a short visit to Tulum.
Arriving directly from a resort in Cancun and feeling a bit car sick, Casey and I were both immediately captivated driving through the town center and the beachside hotel row admiring the street art and eclectic style of the many hotels and restaurants. Once we finally made it to our beachside boutique hotel Luv Tulum, we both instantly felt better the moment we walked in. Carlos the hotel manager, greeted us with the warmest welcome and invited us to relax and enjoy a drink on the house at the onsite outdoor restaurant as we got settled. We enjoyed handcrafted Jalapeño Margaritas made by the bartender Mauricio, as we chatted with Carlos on the history of the family owned boutique hotel and the Mayans that built and restore the hotel every year. That spicy margarita was the first of many delicious drinks enjoyed by the talented and super friendly Mauricio, or as we were calling him by the end of our stay, Tio (uncle) Mauricio.
As our bags were taken up to our palapa style room, we walked no more than a few yards to Luv Tulum’s private beach area complete with comfy day beds and plenty of lounge chairs shaded by palapa umbrellas. The sun had just set leaving hues of baby pink and lavender in the sky across the horizon as I dipped my toes in the warm water with the perfect breeze flowing softly against my skin. I felt the energy of the ocean permeating my body, mind, and soul as tears of happiness ran down my cheeks. I immediately knew this was a very special place. I was exactly where I needed to be.
The next three days consisted of much time spent enjoying our beautiful room and picturesque balcony, walking along the beach, lounging on the daybeds sipping smoothies and cocktails, great conversations with Carlos and his lovely wife Paola, and stuffing our faces with the best veggie tacos we’ve ever had made by the onsite culinary mastermind, Chef Andres. We’re both vegetarian and love us some veggie tacos (probably too much), so this is saying a lot.
Keeping true to being ecologically responsible to the land, Luv Tulum runs 100% on solar energy and therefore doesn’t have any refrigeration. This may seem a problem to some, but it actually causes all produce to be fresh daily since they can’t save food for the next day. The freshness and quality are apparent in everything we ate and drank at Luv. All ingredients are sourced locally, and the fruit is grown by indigenous local farmers. Complimentary breakfast is included every morning, with the coffee being organic and delicious. If you’re a coffee addict like me, you already know this is a very important factor.
Although we would have been completely content staying at Luv the entire time and as hard as it was leaving the beach behind, we knew there was so much more of Tulum to experience. After receiving a relaxing Thai yoga massage on the beach, we did a sound healing at a neighboring yoga retreat space, which took place in a zen-like room steps from the ocean. We had transcendent experiences in sound healing that left both of us feeling the magic of Tulum at a deeper level. We ended the night falling asleep to sounds of the ocean breeze flowing and delicate waves crashing.
The next morning we rented bikes from the hotel and biked the 45 minutes to the Mayan ruins which still stand today cliff side on the clear blue beachside of Tulum that are open to the public daily. Get there early to avoid the crowds and mid day heat. Carlos later on recommended we go in town for freshly made mojitos at a bar named Batey, and then Papaya Playa Project at night for the popular monthly full moon party. That we did, and of course the mojitos were phenomenal. There’s even a guy standing outside the bar hand churning the sugarcane stalk right in front of you, fresh as fresh gets!
The full moon party at Papaya Playa was of course, incredible. People from different corners of the world grooved together to techno, house and funky disco under the moonlight next to the ocean. Disco balls draping over the dance floor seemed out of place in the jungle setting, but also perfectly placed at the same time because I believe no dance floor is complete without disco balls. For those who work up an appetite dancing, delicious tacos and small plates are available all night. Seemingly we only experienced a portion of all that Papaya Playa has to offer, including a restaurant, beach club, accommodations and more.
The next day, we spent as much time as possible on the beach soaking up our final hours at Luv Tulum. The last few days had been truly magical and it was daunting knowing that we had to leave that evening. The hotel staff treated us like family and this small jungle oasis was beginning to feel like home. Waiting for our taxi, we chatted with another couple who return to Tulum year after year just for the Luv experience. It was hard to say goodbye, but we left knowing we will be back soon. After an experience at Luv Tulum, it’s impossible not to return as many people do!
To make a reservation at Luv Tulum visit their homepage.