Yucatán Map
Site Index
Contact
Random
Our Travel Books
Advertising / Press

The Azulik Hotel in Tulum

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Located in the Tulum National Park, the Azulik Hotel hosted us for our five day trip to the region. Built atop a natural hill, each cabaña boasts a vista over the shimmering azure waters of the Caribbean, and we couldn’t have hoped for a better home away from home.

Azulik Eco Lodge

Because of its location within the borders of a national park which is frequented by sea turtles, there is no electricity in any of Azulik’s cabañas. Candlelight all the way. Though it’s tempting to see this as an annoyance, it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s actually among Azulik’s chief benefits. No electricity means no TVs. No radios blasting from the neighboring hut. No opportunity to flip open the laptop and work. No entertainment other than sitting on the patio with a bottle of wine and the starry night sky.

An adults-only establishment, Azulik sells itself as a romantic getaway for couples, so there won’t be any screaming kids terrorizing your vacation. The hotel offers yoga and reiki sessions, massages and temazcal, and you can even hold your wedding here.

We stuck to the same schedule for every night of our stay in Azulik. Dinner, followed by a long bath in the wooden tub. Then sitting together on the terrace, chatting about the day or star-gazing in silence. And finally stretching out on the bed, and allowing the sound of the waves to carry us off into sleep. It’s relaxing just to remember it. The Azulik is a perfectly romantic place to escape from the stress of your regular life.

Location on our Map

Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
Azulik Eco Lodge
, , , , , , , , ,
February 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm Comments (2)

The Ruins of Tulum

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

Memorably set on a bluff overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the ruins of Tulum are perhaps the most picturesque on the peninsula. The site itself is small and compact, and none of the surviving buildings are particularly large, but this doesn’t make the place any less impressive.

The archaeological zone can be extremely crowded, especially on a sunny day like the one we chose for our visit. To view certain buildings, or take a picture from the designated vista panorámica, we were even forced to queue up. But that was alright. It was a beautiful day and the ruins were so lovely that not even hordes of other tourists could spoil our moods.

All the buildings in Tulum are small, which was by design. Just as at Cozumel’s San Gervasio, the Maya knew better than to build huge pyramids in zones regularly afflicted by hurricanes. Unfortunately, visitors are kept well away from any of the ruins. Climbing around on them is strictly prohibited, and you can’t even get close enough to look inside. This is particularly frustrating at the Templo de las Pinturas, which contains amazing interior murals.

But the exterior detail on many of the buildings is also stunning, and the best part of Tulum has nothing to do with antique masonry at all. At the foot of the site, there’s a gorgeous public beach. Bring swimsuits and a towel, and you can swim in pristine water with the ruins of Tulum rising majestically on the cliffs above you.

Location on our Map

Find Us On Facebook

, , , , ,
February 8, 2014 at 3:09 pm Comments (0)

Hotel Xixim in Celestún

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

The tiny Gulf Coast town of Celestún was about as remote as possible, but to reach our hotel, we had to continue past its final shack and along a ridiculously bumpy dirt road for another half hour before reaching our hotel. Xixim is truly the back of beyond, and when we pulled into the parking lot, we knew the wearying trek was about to pay off.

More than just a simple hotel, Xixim resembles a reconstructed Maya village. Guests gets their own deluxe Maya-style thatch-roofed hut, complete with a hammock on the porch, welcome cocktails in coconut shells, and comfortable beds outfitted with mosquito nets. During our stay, we felt completely disconnected from the outside world. Which was exactly what we wanted.

Jürgen was still recovering from dengue, so our stay in Xixim couldn’t have been more perfectly timed. This is an ideal place for relaxation. We spent our time moving from the beds to the hammocks, over to the pool or the beach. When it was time to eat, we’d wander into the restaurant found in a massive palapa, and then head back to our hut for sleep. All the while, we were kept company by the sounds of the jungle and wetlands surrounding us.

Xixim is totally off the beaten path, which is its main selling point. When you pass flamingos on your way in, you know you’re in the middle of nowhere. With a friendly and helpful staff, an excellent restaurant, speedy wifi, enough on-site activities to occupy even a long stay, and those wonderful huts, Xixim offers a unique place to enjoy an extended, disconnected vacation.

Location on our Map
Hotel Xixim – Website

Best Prices For Car Rentals In The Yucatan

, , , , ,
December 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm Comment (1)

An Underwater Paradise Off Cozumel

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

With iridescent waters and one of Earth’s best reefs just offshore, it was no coincidence that we choose to spend a week on Cozumel immediately after obtaining our scuba certifications. The Caribbean island has long been regarded as one of the world’s premiere diving destinations.

There’s an almost unlimited variety of diving possibilities at Cozumel, with spots along the reef that are suitable for any skill level. Although we had been invited to join an advanced dive, descending to 30 meters with the goal of watching a migrating group of spotted eagle rays, we decided on a much more shallow excursion. This would be our first real dive, and we wanted to take it easy. And besides, this easier dive was to a place called “Paradise Reef”. With a name like that, it’s hard to go wrong.

Stretching from the tip of the Yucatán all the way to Honduras, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef is the world’s second-longest reef system, behind only the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. And Cozumel is home to a great section of it, protected since 1996 as the “Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park”. The number of possible dives around the island is amazing; just take a look at Reefs of Cozumel, an excellent online resource which describes 38 of the most popular sites.

After a short boat ride, we dropped into the water and sank to the ocean floor. Jürgen and I were the only newbies among a large group of lifelong divers, and I had been worried that they’d be bored at this “beginners” section of the reef. But the minute I saw the coral formations, those fears vanished. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been there; something as beautiful as this reef simply can’t get old.

How many fish did we see? Hard to say… hundreds? Thousands? There were large, colorful fish that seemed content to float along with us, a school of snappers performing a synchronized dance, moray eels and big black groupers. And what’s that whiskered beast hiding under a rock? A splendid toadfish! Totally endemic to Cozumel, I had never even heard of it before. And there… hovering comfortably in the distance with a school of smaller fish swimming around him, a barracuda, at least a couple meters long and terrifying to behold.

We stayed down for about 45 minutes before our tanks ran low. Not bad for our first real dive, though I was shocked to learn how much air the experienced divers still had left in their tanks. We’ve still got some learning to do. But it was a memorable day out; and we didn’t have to wait long before the decision to become certified divers paid off.

Video and pictures taken with this underwater camera!

, , , , , , , , ,
December 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm Comments (2)

Puerto Morelos: Chilling in the Shadow of Cancún

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

After a week in Mérida, we took our first road trip, venturing east to the neighboring state of Quintana Roo. But unlike the majority of visitors to Mexico’s Caribbean coast, our destination wasn’t the party mecca of Cancún. Instead, we hopped a bus headed for the quiet village of Puerto Morelos, about a half hour south.

Puerto Morelos Yucatan
The Leaning Lighthouse is Puerto Morelos’ most well-known sight

With an agreeable blend of locals, expats and tourists, the small town of Puerto Morelos is found directly between Cancún and Playa del Carmen. But in spirit, it’s worlds away from either. No clubs in Puerto Morelos will blast their speakers until dawn, and there’s not a theme bar in sight. And since we were hoping to complete a scuba certification course, a task requiring a lot of study, work and rest, the relaxed vibe was exactly what we wanted.

Puerto Morelos is split cleanly in half by the highway which runs north-south along the coast. The side closer to the beach is the tourism zone, with restaurants, souvenir shops and a large population of American and Canadian expats who have moved in for good. The other half, referred to as La Colonia, is where the majority of locals live. We were usually on the beach-side of town, but spent our nights in La Colonia, in the Casitas Kinsol. The division between the two sides of town is real; moving between them requires a trip of two kilometers through a swampy marsh, but a taxi only costs about 25 pesos ($2 USD) each way.

Although we eschewed our characteristic program of sightseeing in favor of learning how to dive, we became very familiar with Puerto Morelos during our week there. It’s not a town which will appeal to those looking to dance the night away, enjoy a luxurious weekend at a high-end hotel, or mack on sexy bikini bunnies. But if you want a quiet vacation on a gorgeous beach, delicious and affordable food, friendly locals and excellent diving, you could hardly do better.

Location on our Yucatán Map

Great and affordable place to stay in Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Casitas Kinsol
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
Puerto Morelos Yucatan
, , , , , ,
December 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm Comments (4)
The Azulik Hotel in Tulum Located in the Tulum National Park, the Azulik Hotel hosted us for our five day trip to the region. Built atop a natural hill, each cabaña boasts a vista over the shimmering azure waters of the Caribbean, and we couldn't have hoped for a better home away from home.
For 91 Days