Tulum Jet Lag Journal: Cenotes + Comida
Does everyone know Joan Didion? Please say yes, I’ve been receiving so many blank stares lately and it just hurts my book-lovin’ heart. A+S deeply admires her, and has been dreaming for a few years of a trip to Quintana Roo (the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula) to sit in the sun and read her work. When Joan adopted her little blonde daughter, she and husband John Dunne looked at a map, pointed to the coast of Mexico, and named her Quintana Roo. Et voilà, this year’s A+S trip was dreamed up.
So. What’s there to do in Tulum? Let’s start with my favorite part of the trip: cenotes. A cenote is a natural sinkhole or pit that becomes a freshwater swimming hole. We went to a cave system called Dos Ojos where we dipped into crystal clear, very cold water and swam over and around the drooping growths of limestone. Scuba divers with their headlamps come whooshing out of the underwater caves at you, waving in their futuristic wetsuits and gear. It’s a gorgeous, adventurous place to spend the day. Just ignore the bats!
Tulum is a super bohemian community – bare feet are acceptable at all times, and are usually paired with long, flowy dresses and armfuls of golden bangles. Yoga is prevalent here, as is remarkably fresh seafood and a cocktail with every meal. Everywhere we turned were beautiful hand painted signs for yoga studios, and candlelit offerings to the Tibetan Buddhist gods and goddesses. Namaste.
Do you know what topes are? A little confusing, yes?
Shopping here is a dreamy indoor/outdoor experience. Beautiful jewelry makes a great souvenir from Tulum, as hammered golden rings and bracelets are everywhere. But what I chose to bring home was perfume made locally in the Yucatan. I have been curious about the hotel and perfumery Coqui Coqui since reading about it in Vogue so it was exciting to visit in person and experience all the scents. Plus, they sold beautiful bone bracelets with gold fasteners. The restaurants were so delicious, designed perfectly, and quite popular with the gringos. Below are our favorites: Hartwood (you’ll wait in line for this one! but it’s worth it….oh, that grilled spicy octopus), Casa Jaguar (oh so friendly, with a hot fire pit for the flatbreads), and Posada Margherita (an Italian spot on the beach with beautiful food and beautiful people).
And for some additional relaxation and luxury, I experienced a mushy gushy Mayan clay massage, in the jungle underneath an enormous screened hut like I was a bird of paradise on display. During the massage, the rain came pouring down in Quintana Roo, but I was safe and dry and covered in clay under the thatched roof, relishing the natural noise machine.