Travel: Tulum

Oh what I would do for a little beach getaway right about now. Below my cousin shares her amazing trip to Tulum, Mexico:

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  • Travel
    • Arrange for a shuttle or private car from Cancun to Tulum, it is a lifesaver and the company is wonderful. Tucan Kin: tucankin@gmail.com
  • Essentials
    • Bug spray! I cannot stress this enough! Lather up!
    • Flash light! There are no street lights or lights on the beaches because of the turtles.
  • Hotels
    • Coqui Coqui: 1st choice
    • Coco Tulum: 2nd choice, but stay in one of the private towers
  • Restaurants
    • HARTWOOD: AMAZING. Must go… a few times. It opens at 7pm, get there 15 mins because the wait is usually long.
    • CASA BANANA: Outstanding Italian food.
    • EL TABANO: Beach Road Tulum, Boca Paila KM. 7; gourmet Mexican food, mexcal margaritas, secret fish tacos, tortilla soup, stuffed ancho pepper.
    • POSADA MAGRITA: Tulum Quintana Roo. One of the best in Tulum. Fresh pasta, great seafood, delicious breakfast (Eggs in a hole).
    • CASA JAGUAR: Carretera Tulum Bocapaila; HOT spot, cool out door vibe. Great breakfast, get avocado toast and fresh juice.
    • MATEO’s MEXICAN GRILL: Zona Hotelera Tulum; Fish Tacos, go early it gets packed.
    • JUANITA DIAVOLA: Wood oven pizza, great breakfast (at Coco Tulum Hotel).
    • PURA CORAZON: Carretera a Boca Paila Km 7, Tulum beach zone. Try the eggs ahau or squid.
    • ZIGGY’s: Road Tulum-Boca Paila; breakfast on the beach.
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Rancho Pescadero: the rooms

We stayed at Rancho Pescadero for a total of four nights and stayed in three different rooms. This wasn’t by choice (we aren’t loco) but it ended up being a great way to see all the hotel had to offer. All of the rooms were so different. What remained the same: every morning a pre-breakfast basket full of fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and a surf report was delivered to your room. The rooms had zero electronics–no TV, no phone, no wifi*. No problemo!!

Room 22: The Honeymoon Suite
The deck was massive and we slept with the doors open and fell asleep to the sounds of the crashing waves (perfect for John who can’t sleep without his sound machine). The bathroom was complete with a his and her farmhouse sink, soaking tub and shower.

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Room 2: Milagro Suite 
We loved this room and spent two nights here. It came with an expansive deck plus a winding staircase that lead to a private rooftop with a day bed. The best place to whale watch and see the sunset.

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Full disclosure: I got pretty sick on our last night. Too many lime Frito-s and a long day out on the choppy sea perhaps? This room was also a dream. I loved the baby blue mosquito net and the table on the deck with the animal hide chairs. The free wifi* from the pool area was also available to this room due to the proximity.

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Todos Santos: an afternoon trip

John and I spent a fun afternoon exploring the little artist colony, Todos Santos–a quick 20 minute drive from Rancho Pescadero.

Todos Santos is one of the most unique towns in all of Baja, maybe even all of Mexico. A quirky mix of locals, fishermen, surfers and New Age spiritualists, the town of ‘All Saints’ has thus far escaped the rampant tourism of the other Cape towns but still has all kinds of things to see and do. Think Taos, New Mexico, before Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keefe brought the world there. – Lonely Planet

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  • Peruse the art galleries and walk the cobblestone streets. I bought a beautiful hand-painted blue and white porcelain jar (it reminds me of this Pin). 
  • Grab a hibiscus habanero margarita from Hotel California (no relation to the Eagles song but it does play on repeat:)
  • Check out the beautiful embroidered blouses, shirts, dresses and espadrilles at Etnica (where I purchased the above dress). The Swedish woman that owns the shop studied abroad in Mexico and never left!
  • Enjoy the courtyard setting (and hummingbirds) at Todos Santos Inn, built in the 1870s.
  • Get your taco fix at Boyitaco or have a nice dinner at Michaels at the Gallery (gallery by day and Asian/ Mexican fusion restaurant by night).

Rancho Pescadero: a different kind of dude ranch

Rancho Pescadero, a boutique hotel, is an easy 1.5 hour drive from Los Cabos airport. El Pescadero and the surrounding communities are located on world-class surf break, making it a destination for surfers and those who want to get away from the Spring Break atmosphere of Cabo San Lucas. After a bumpy drive down an unpaved road about a mile from the newly paved highway, we passed lush fields and gardens until we arrived at the main gate of the hotel.

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It usually takes me a day or two to unplug and to truly slip into vacation mode. At Rancho Pescadero, the effects were immediate. The laid-back vibe was noted from the moment we were greeted at the entrance and whisked off to the poolside bar: “leave your bags and have a welcome margarita on us.” The hotel is small- only 27 rooms- so the staff knew exactly who was who (and so did we by the end of our trip). There was no waiting for bills, no signing for food or drinks, no credit cards. We were a “guest” in every sense of the word. The staff or “dudes of the Ranch” were incredibly approachable and friendly; giving me free tequila when I beat John down in an intense backgammon tournament.

The food was a high-point of the trip. Much of the ingredients are grown in the gardens on-site, making all the dishes super fresh and flavorful. The Garden Restaurant, where we dined every night, had a beautiful and incredibly romantic setting, complete with an open kitchen and wood-burning oven and grill. We enjoyed local wines from the Baja region and the fresh catch of the day. After dinner we’d meet our new friends at the fire pit for some nightcaps.

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Lisa Harper, the former CEO of Gymboree, designed the entire hotel herself and really thought of everything: complimentary sunscreens, magazines, straw sun hats and cucumber infused water by the pool, sarongs and binoculars to whale watch in your room, fire pits if you got chilly at night on the beach or happened to be craving a s’more. The decor on property had a Baja boho chic feel to it– I loved all the pillows, animal hides and rugs. Daybeds and beach bungalows were abundant, making it easy to curl up with a book or watch the whales swim by. The staff laughed at me when I asked if I should wake up early to reserve a spot by the pool. At times, it felt like we were the only two people on property. Another perk: free daily yoga in the 2,000 square foot yoga pavilion #OMontherange.

Harper tells The New York Times, “This is unspoiled Mexico. It’s relatively undeveloped and we have an amazing water culture; it’s what Cabo was like 20 years ago. There’s nothing left to discover in Cabo. Here, we’re on the edge of being discovered, but we still have great little nooks that are untouched.”

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John and I became completely enchanted with the region and I made him promise that we’d return to Rancho Pescadero yearly. It’s that special. Stay tuned for more on our Mexican adventures.

Pescadero on my mind

Hola! We’re back from our happy holiday in Mexico. The trip was a dream. How is it already Monday? Time is a thief. I’ll be sharing some more details and pictures soon but here are a few snaps from my trusty iPhone.

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