For the last four years, come January it has become a yearly tradition to beat those post winter, Christmas blues, pack up and set sail for those white sandy carribean shores of the Riviera Maya Mexico- Playa del Carmen and that rainbow infused hippie haven of Tulum. Mixing party with paradise, means the perfect vacay for those of us who have the Peter Pan outlook to life and will never stop seeking the rave, no matter the age! With the fortunate ability to travel to pretty much anywhere on Earth (oh those cabin crew perks) the party world is quite literally our oyster, but theres something about Mexico and its yearly BPM festival [electronic music, for those in the dark] that keeps drawing me and my friends back year after year. And I’m going to tell you exactly what it is.
I have to include though that sadly, after its tenth year running and celebratory anniversary this time round, there will not be another BPM in Mexico next year or for the forseeable future. Which is why i wanted to make this post about how FRICKING GOOD THIS PLACE IS, and the outrageously fun, sprinkled with nothing but magic times I have had there. And basically, why you need to go, festival or not.
MEXICAN FOOD, MEXICAN PEOPLE. FULL STOP.
I mean i guess I’m not really telling you anything new right here, about how unbelievably addictive and tasteful Mexican cuisine is. I’m really no foodie either, preferring usually to walk, ponder [dolly daydream] & catch sunsets rather than dine on most of my travels [then stuff my face with anything i can find in the hotel mini bar because i am usually starved come midnight by skipping lunch] HOWEVER, the food & smiles is undeniably what brings half the people back time and time again I’m sure. Coupled with the friendliness of the Mexicans being that of the highest in the world you can see why it’s had me coming back four years in a row. The freshness (DAMN THOSE AVOS!) the flavour, diversity and oh that hot sauce. Yikes.
Best places to get your quac on in Tulum
Beachside chilli margaritas & one of the best places to try the best ceviche in Tulum. [self aclaimed but wholeheartedly true] Trust me. Not being a huge seafood fan myself, but this is a game changer. A regular at this boutqiue beach club here throughout the day, with its jungle backdrop, palm lined shoreline & beautiful people EVERYWHERE, you will probably find yourself knocking back the Mezcal and taking the day to night here. Reasonable priced food and drinks and blessed with the perfect sunset backdrop imaginable. And hot BODS TO MATCH [those festival faces, my oh my…]
Located at the beginning of the stretch in to tulum town, this is your local authentic roadside cafe with one small kitchen and pina coladas to actually die for. Pleasantly suprised on our pitstop to the cenotes in Tulum, chowing down on tacos costing less than 2 dollars, it’s become our regular haunt. Organic coconut ice cream & everything funky fresh and hipster vegan, no calories gained and stomachs truly filled.
Suggested by a friend, this place is a dream. A great spot for the healthy, nutricious seeking foodies in us all, its highly unlikely you will find a healthier restaurant in Tulum than this! Everything on the menu is coconut based (clue in the title right there) with tastes that make your mouth ooze with satisfaction, fresh, funky & organic paradise. A MUST TRY.
I literally cannot convey how much i adore this slice of hippie paradise. Yes in more recent years it has become a little more expensive, but it is still very reasonably priced for most westerners on their ‘vacay’. Take a bike, complete with wicker basket [oh so beach babe-ing right now] and just cycle, everywhere. I had one of those, ‘is this life right now?’ in awe moments, cycling with dream catchers purchased from the town overflowing in my basket, a huge wooden heart on a stick [no idea what im ever going to do with that, but it had my name on it] underneath my arm following my friend in front. The star lit sky above our head [SO MANY STARS] i just remember thinking I could not love life anymore right now. Pit stopping our way through the various bohemian inspired boutiques, brightly painted murals at almost every corner and every chance you get not looking at the road infront but marvelling at the coastline at the side of you, it’s the best way to navigate yourself around [just not in the dark post fiesta that proves heavily difficult when youre slightly tipsy and cannot see a single thing infront of you, relying on the powers above to get you home safe].
You can take the day tour to Chichen Itza, marvel and stand open mouthed as the tour guide details how the Mayans lived and managed to build such amazing pyramids. If youre in touch with your spiritual side, i think you will love the stories behind Chichen Itza, and the magical powers it trulty bestows. Usually keen to participate in a tour group, as sometimes the things i get to see i have to seriously wiki-pedia it before heading there, its always good to have a tour guide to explain in thorough detail the history to the sight your seeing. The trip costs around 90 dollars, and includes the 3 hour coach journey there and back, the entrance fee to Chichen Itza, lunch including those shots of MEZCAL (YES!) and a stop at the worldly Gran Cenote- Ik Kil. Yes this is all very touristy but you simply cannot come all this way and not experience it. You could hire a car and navigate yourself there, i would recommend the gran cenote sighting in the early hours of the morning to beat the crowd but failing that, take the tour from this place
Within a short distance of Tulum there is a mayan archelogical site located about 15 minutes bike ride towards playa del carmen road, out of tulum. Complete with one of the best beach views, and so many mayan ruins it would take you the majority of the day to wander and take it all in. The entrance costs as little as 10 dollars and its a great break from beachin’, partying, after parting…whatever it is that you’re getting up to ;)
With regards to flight costs, i know that in advance you can get amazing deals on the flight to Cancun from whichever country you are travelling from. We use Air ‘bnb’ or booking.com to find accomodation and if you’re sharing with a number of people, the cost should not be a worry and you could find a pretty decent sized villa (condo)/ or apartment. If you are planning on travelling solo [which i am so yearning to do whenever i get the chance] there are hundreds of hostels at a dirt cheap price. The rest of it is cheap. You certainly wont be paying $30 for a single vodka and coke thats for sure. Tulum is a free flowing, generous world with copious amounts of free tequilas all round. SO MEXICAN.
I have been wanting to write this for a while, as i get messages in my inbox constantly seeking tips for this incredible place, so i hope its given some insight to those pondering their Mexican holiday. And yes, whilst you sadly wont get to experience the beauty of the festival [hence why i have not really included that in this post], there will always some side rave going on, and plenty of parties at beach club Papaya Playa Project to keep you more than entertained.
I could not rave more about this special place, thats captivated my heart from day one.