Once you get down to pure blue water and perfect white sand of Tulum’s beaches, its hard to leave. Having started the week in town, on the fourth day we were ready to feel the sand in our shoes and packed our bags to head to our next guesthouse, Zamas
With most of the swanky, raw, vegan, healthy, fancy, boozy hangouts closer to the water, I would really say the beach is the place to make your base. Here you can find any number of vegan cafes, taquerias, cocktail bars as well as higher end restaurants like Arca and famous hotspot Hartwood right on your doorstep, or at the most a rickety bike ride away.
Zamas really is in the heart of it, halfway along the beach, on the never ending road to nowhere (just a lot of beautiful boutiques, bars and hotels) It is a family run hotel and restaurant, which has grown from a few tents, on the beach, to series of bungalow beach huts over the last 30 years, since the owners first made their home here in the 80s. Unlike a lot of the larger establishments it has a real feel of home away from home, with comfort and cosy vibes in bundles. The food there is also sublime. Head chef Jesse (originally from Dallas) being an absolute whizz with seafood.
The variation in their menu is exciting and pleasingly varied. Classics like ceviche, guacamole, nachos (with the freshest tortilla chips) were outstanding, not to mention the more creative American-ised fish collar, glazed in chipotle butter with fresh lime, jicama salad with grapefruit and purple basil, as well as roasted Brussels sprouts
So…something tells me the reason you are here is to hit up some of the best eateries in the area. Well I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you where to get the best food in town. But first and foremost I wanna start with drinks and where better then at the most picturesque (and outrageously stylish) boutique eco hotel Azulik, captured in these amazing pics by Emma. Made almost entirely of sticks, it is a bit of an architectural masterpiece, with one of the most impressive yoga domes ever seen. Tucked in the middle of the jungle, all their canopies, platforms and terraces are all made out of wood, evoking a tarzan style experience. The tree house bar is particularly impressive, here you can sit in nets whilst slurping a refreshing marg, overlooking the ocean. It is definitely worth planning this ahead, as bookings are a must.
So, for food, I am going to start with the biggest and possibly (if the queues are an indicator) the best. Hartwood. A tulum destination resto, run by American ex-pat chefs Eric Werner and Mya Henry. Rated as one of the best in the country, it was naturally not a place we wanted to miss out on. Annoyingly it happened to also be the day I was hit with a dose of dodgy tummy, so I didn’t get to enjoy the dinner with my usual gusto. Even so the remarkable grilled local fish with roasted garlic, candied pineapple and wilted greens, fresh tomato and queso freso salad with oregano oil and charcoal roasted beet with avocado crema didn’t not fail to impress each and every tastebud.
For those looking for the best beach/ sunbathing spots, they can be found at each end. Nearer our third and final guesthouse, Casa de las Olas and the the more northern public beach. Away from the resorts and fancy beach clubs, the white sand here is beautifully kept and the vibes far more chilled. Drinks the the public beach side are also more affordable.
One of my favourites bits was the final part of our trip, staying in Casa de las Olas. More of guesthouse than a hotel, it is hidden from the road with nothing (not even a sign) indicating its existence from the sandy road. Every morning we had fresh fruit, eggs or pulled pork and tacos made by the lovely Lulu, the cooking mama. Her fresh spreads of food (available for breakfast and lunch) the on site free yoga classes and amazing staff were beyond hospitable. Even just writing this I am getting a wistful feeling thinking about it. Argh if only teleporting were possible. If you aren’t already sold…. here a few more photos to tempt you.