The Less Traveled Tulum

I’m a true traveler at heart. I always find myself wanting to go to the furthest reaches of the planet and the farther, more remote, more undiscovered the place the better! With that said, I’ve never given Mexico much thought. I’ve been all over the world and always considered Mexico to be the close, easy, cheap place where American tourists went when they weren’t brave enough to venture elsewhere. But when I was flown to the Mayan Riviera to shoot a wedding, I was of course excited to see somewhere I’d never been. Being the explorer that I am I took an extra five days to see a little extra. I’d been hearing a lot about Tulum and the thought of yoga, azure beaches, tacos and tequila sounded right up my alley.

Travel always teaches us something new and I am so happy to have put to rest my previous stereotypes of Mexico. I’ve found one of my new favorite places to visit and I hope to return year after year to the magical place that is the Yucatan Peninsula.

Bicycle Cart in Valladolid
Swimming in Tulum
Church in in Valladolid

One of the loveliest things to discover about Mexico was that it’s a great place to take my daughter. She was just one year old at the time and I’ve never been anywhere so hospitable and accommodating to traveling with a babe. I was awestruck to find such a wonderfully warm-blooded and family-loving culture. It truly makes for a great place to travel with kids.

Blue Hostel in Valladolid
Streets in Valladolid
Window in Valladolid
Blue Caves in Cenote Zaci in Valladolid
Shrine in in Valladolid
Menu at Zamas Hotel in Tulum
Taco Stand in Tulum
Poncho Villa Tequileria in Valladolid

Staying at the Zamas Hotel was perfect and my eco friendly, thatched beach cabana was exactly the vibe I was looking for. The hotel had a great beachside restaurant with live music and dancing every night of the week. I was lucky enough to have a word of mouth recommendation to check out both Hartwood and El Tabano as great eating spots (and neither disappointed!). I also found that nearly every street-side taco stand was absolutely delicious and worth the stop. Another recommendation was to drive about two hours inland to Valladolid, a far less touristy colonial town in the heart of the Yucatan. I loved walking the cobblestone streets and taking in all of the pretty pastel architecture. There’s also a great centote in the area called Zaci that again was amazing to discover since it was nearly devoid of other tourists.

Check at El Tabano Restaurant in Tulum
Seating at El Tabano Restaurant in Tulum
El Tabano Restaurant in Tulum
Bar at Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum
Cocktail at Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum
Fresh Vegetables at Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum.jpg
Salad at Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum
Seating at Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum


Helpful Hints

Enjoy a meal at the Hartwood and El Tabano.
Take a day trip to Valladolid.

Vacation Type
Traveler Type


  1. […] Wishing we could be eating tacos on the beach in Tulum. […]

  2. Ruth Avatar

    I love both Valladolid and Tulum. I suggest staying in Valladolid in order to arrive early to Chichen Itza and in that way beat the crowds.

  3. Liz Avatar

    Your photos are beautiful! Can I ask what equipment you use when traveling? I know it can be annoying packing everything! :S

  4. Isabel Clington Avatar

    OMG I just discover your website and its amazing ! congrats on the great pictures , I now this is a year to old but this article is amazing , I’m considering going to Tulum this summer and you just made it all worth it and enjoyable !

    check out my blog if you’d like !


  5. Shevaune Avatar

    So glad I saw this. We are in the midst of wedding planning for Tulum and zamas was an overlooked choice compared to some of the more talked about places. My only question is how was it without AC ? We will be traveling in June of next year and I’m only slightly concerned bc of my then to be 2 yr old son, and aging in laws.

  6. lindsey Avatar

    Love your photos, so beautiful! I am heading to Tulum in 3 weeks and would love to incorporate your taco stand in my production… where is it located?

  7. Emma Brown Avatar

    When you are in Tulum don’t hesitate to try snorkeling or diving in cenotes. You won’t regret it.

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