One of my favorite hobbies is to lounge by a pool in a bikini, soaking up the warmth from the sun with a cocktail in my hand. Yes this is considered a hobby in my book. I got to do exactly that for my birthday this year in Tulum, Mexico. Tulum is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, with the best preserved Mayan ruins. Located just a short ninety minute drive from Cancun.
I was lucky to spend seven days in Tulum, relaxing on cabana beds at Mi Amor
, sipping cocktails and snacking on chips and guac. Read my full blog post on Hotel Mi Amor, A Romantic stay at Mi Amor
Check out what I did and ate at this beautiful intimate adults only hotel.
After 5 days of pure relaxation at the hotel, Ben and I decided it was time to leave the hotel to go play tourist for a day. Simon, our concierge at Mi Amor
recommended a private tour guide to take us to explore Tulum. The tour included transportation to the Mayan ruins, swim in a cenote, and lunch with the Mayan village. We booked our tour and Simon told us to be ready to go by 7:00AM.
When 7:00AM Sunday morning rolled around, Ivan Gutierrez of Primitive Expeditions
was promptly waiting for us in the hotel lobby, ready to take us on an adventure!
The first stop on our Tulum adventure was the Mayan ruins in the city of Coba. Coba is an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatan peninsula, about 45 minute drive from Tulum.
Ivan is a great tour guide, he explained the Mayan history, culture, he showed us maps of Coba, where the Mayans migrated and showed us a ruin they used to play a sport on. We jumped on bicycles and rode around the village. There were lots of incredible ruins and tombstones. One of the tallest ruins we were allowed to climb to the top, at the top was the most breathtaking view.
After the tour of the Mayan ruins, Ivan offered us some water, I was expecting him to hand me a plastic bottle of water, but instead he handed me a reusable metal bottle. Tulum has a terrible plastic waste problem. When you’re driving down the street, you can see plastic bottles everywhere. I love that Ivan and his company recognize this issue and are doing their part by using reusable water bottles for their guests.
Our next stop was the cenote. A cenote is a natural collapse of limestone that exposes water underneath. There are many in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. The cenote was about a 15 minute drive into a small community.
This was my first time experiencing a cenote. I’m not going to lie, I was so scared because there were bats flying in the cave, and the water was dark. It looked like a deep dark hole and I could see the fish and the turtles swimming in it.
The water was pretty cold, but bearable. I did get in it for a photo but that was it. I went to the top to jump in but I chickened out last minute. The cenote was beautiful, and very surreal that this is a natural, freshwater swimming pool.
Vegan Lunch with a Mayan Family
After a quick dip in the cenote, it was time for lunch! We dried off, and headed to another small village. Once we arrived, we were greeted by Enrique and his family and immediately welcomed into their home. Enrique is a father of seven children and a hard working entrepreneur. He started growing a garden on a plot of land that his father left to him, he said people in the village thought he was crazy. Today, with the success of his garden, he is able to share his fresh vegetables with tourists like us!
During lunch, Enrique and his seven year old daughter, Ximena, put on a musical show for us. Ximena sang while Enrique played the guitar.
Enrique and his family prepared a full vegan meal for us. We started with a sauteed mayan spinach paired with tortilla chips and fresh lime water. Next, came fresh tortillas with beans, rice, and fresh pico with a pumpkin puree. And lastly for dessert, boiled papaya with honey. Everything we ate for lunch came from Enrique’s garden.
After Lunch, Enrique took us to his garden and gave us a tour of all the fruits and vegetables he has proudly grown. He explained that he wants to pass on his knowledge of gardening to his children and hope they continue on with his business.
In the near future, he plans to open a farm to table restaurant experience right next to his farm. Enrique has spent the past few years building the restaurant himself and hopes to have it up and running soon.
Visiting with the Mayan community was such a great experience. I learned a lot about their culture. It was an eye opening experience to see how little they had but were very happy people. I highly recommend checking out this amazing experience with Primitive Expeditions
Interested in what else I ate in Tulum that is vegan? Check it out: Vegan in Tulum