Mayan Paradise 

 Tulum Mexico 

 TRAVEL LOG | Ecolodge | 2015 

Entering Paradise... 

 

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TULUM, Mexico
Tulum (Spanish pronunciation: [tu'lum], Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá. The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have been the cause of its demise. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.

 Azulik Hotel & Spa 

 Finding our jungle bungalow...

 A hammock with a view...

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AZULIK HOTEL & MAYA SPA
Azulik Hotel & Maya Spa is an exclusive hotel located in the municipality of Tulum in the beautiful Mexican Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, an ideal place to reconnect with ourselves and with our loved ones, by a unique contact with nature. For this we have beautiful Villas, each of them has a specific location to enjoy unforgettable moments, full of serenity and romance in each single detail, that’s why we have light of candles and no electricity, another reason why we do not have it, is because the artificial light affects the turtle nesting on our beaches.
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Maya SPA
We have a Maya Spa, where we take the energy of the sea and jungle of Tulum, focusing on the ancient Mayan tradition to transmit sensations and experiences full of love and serenity, using the energies of the cardinal points as well as chants, prayers, the sacred sounds of the caracol and the healing power of plants, flowers, aromatherapy and enriched mud we restore the natural state of peace, joy, harmony and health.

a private beach for two...

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Riviera Maya
One of the best ways to enjoy nature is to visit the Riviera Maya, a 120 km shore line with spectacular landscape. This area, stretching from Puerto Morelos through Carrillo Puerto (in the heart of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve) to Punta Allen, is full of attractions. Playa del Secreto, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Aktun Chen grottoes, Xel-Ha and Tulum. These, among others, are places where you can find Maya ceremonial centers on the seashore, discover local biodiversity and choose from a variety of water sports in the world's second largest coral reef. Once home to small fishing villages, the Riviera Maya coastline has since been developed into a modern tourist corridor offering the very best of high-end luxury resorts, fine dining, nightlife, spa retreats, shopping and golf in Mexico.

 Sampling the local fare...

 We start our day with juice...
 so that we can end it with tacos...

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POSADA MARGHERITA HOTEL & ITALIAN RESTAURANT
POSADA MARGHERITA Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 4.5, Tulum, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Messico +52 1 984 801 8493

Beauty  in the details...

 Even cultural excursions have beach access... 

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Life's a Beach in Riviera Maya
The photos don't lie: the water really is that incredibly blue; the sand really is that stunningly white. Visitors to the Riviera Maya are always dazzled by its remarkable beaches. Whether you are looking for underwater adventures, learning about the flora and fauna of the area, or simply wish to while away your vacation in a hammock, there’s a resort to suit you on this paradisiacal coast. Travelers and locals agree that Punta Maroma is one of the most beautiful beaches on the peninsula. The translucent water is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving and there are several upscale resorts where guests enjoy first-class pampering in one of the world’s most stunning locations. Sea turtles return year after year to lay their eggs on the beaches of Akumal, a small town on Half Moon Bay. Learn about this endangered species and help to protect them by participating in a turtle release program organized by the Centro Ecologico Akumal. The sleepy town of Majahual springs to life when a cruise ship pulls into the port. Cruise passengers enjoy the impressive array of services offered by the small town, plus diving excursions to the nearby Chinchorro Atoll. And when the ship sails away, peace and quiet return to Majahual. However you choose to spend your day enjoying these exquisite Mexican beaches, the best way to end your day is by relaxing in a lounge chair, sipping a cold drink and contemplating just how many shades of blue there can be on this Mayan Riviera.
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Adventure Park Thrills in Riviera Maya
You could spend your entire vacation lazing on the powdery white sands of the Riviera Maya’s beaches. But when you’re ready for some action, be assured that there’s no shortage of exhilarating activities to be found in the region’s fantastic adventure parks. The Riviera Maya’s unique landscape with its caves, cenotes (sinkholes) and underground rivers, as well as jungle, mangroves and beaches, provides a spectacular setting for a multitude of active adventures guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. Ride through the jungle on an amphibious all-terrain vehicle, go underground rafting in a water cave studded with stalactites, soar over the jungle on 13 different zip-line circuits, or swim in the park’s gorgeous river at Xplor park, south of Playa del Carmen. The cave at Rio Secreto is part of an elaborate system of underground caverns and waterways. Wearing a short wetsuit and helmet, you’ll alternately walk and swim through the silent depths as your expert guide teaches you about the geology and biodiversity of the area. Hidden Worlds park offers Avatar, a “roller-coaster zip-line,” the first in the world of it’s kind, which will take you on a thrilling ride up, down and around a series of bends at breakneck speed through the dense foliage of the jungle, then dunk you in a cenote for a splash landing. Another option at Hidden Worlds is the Skycycle: pedal on a cycle suspended from a wire over the treetops at your own pace. Whether you’re looking for soft or extreme adventure, the Riviera Maya’s adventure parks offer a variety of exciting options, both on land and in water.
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Tulum Riviera Maya
Tulum holds the honor of being the most picturesque archaeological site in the Riviera Maya and the only one to have been built overlooking the ocean. A visit here offers spectacular views of the Riviera Maya beaches, Caribbean Sea and surrounding coastal region. Tulum was an ancient Mayan fortress city that rose to power toward the end of the Classic period. The most iconic of its structures, the Castillo, is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the clear turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. The cliff-top Castillo, with its beachfront location and lush green landscape, is the image most often associated with the Mayan Riviera. You’ve probably seen the postcards. An expansive walkway extends out around the ruins and a staircase nearby leads down to the beach where you can swim and sunbathe. Tulum is one of the few archaeological sites in Mexico where it really does make sense to bring a swimsuit. The best way to experience Tulum is to combine a tour of the ruins with some beach time—maybe even a refreshing dip. Most travelers choose to visit the ruins at Tulum on day trips and organized tours. If you’re traveling independently, you’ll find that mornings are the best and least crowded time to plan your visit. Keep in mind that Tulum is also an enchanting place to spend a few nights, so consider checking into one of the beachfront cabanas or boutique palapa hotels located near the ruins. The coastline along this southern stretch of the Riviera Maya remains relatively undeveloped. It offers a relaxed change of pace from the resort cities to the north and serves as a great base from which to explore more of the region, including the ancient Mayan ruins at nearby Coba.

 A storm rolls in, time to find food...

 Hartwood Restaurant 

 Sampling the local fare... 

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HARTWOOD RESTAURANT
Wood-fired restaurant rooted in the ingredients of Mundo Maya. On a jungle road along the Caribbean Sea in Tulum. By necessity, we consider sustainability first and foremost in all our work and in every decision at the restaurant. Solar panels, power our lights and music and every other little thing that keeps the restaurant running. We break down our waste with zero carbon footprint, creating 100 percent organic compost that is used in regenerating the mangrove environment and interior farming. All cooking is done by open fire within our hand made wood burning oven and grill. Every single ingredient that we touch is deeply rooted within Mundo Maya. All fish are properly hunted and spear caught within the Caribbean and the Lagoons of the Boca Paila. We harvest our colorful, exotic produce from communal Mayan farms called Milpas where we work with the Mayan community in all aspects of our education of organic polyfarming.

 Back to exploring... 

 A boat outting to a hidden cove?
 What could be more romatic?

 Back to the resort, just in time for sunset 

 The beach comes alive at night with activites
 New friends and bonfires...

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HORSE RIDING
One of the ultimate experiences you can have in Tulum is to ride horseback along powder-white strands of virgin beach with only you, the jungle to discover a beautiful Cenote where we will take some time off to swim in its crystal clear fresh waters or simply relax. After riding your well-fed, well-cared-for horse along this awesome scene, you'll have full access to our private beach club, where you can eat, drink, relax, and swim for the whole day and relax with the staggering beauty of the Caribbean Sea as far as the eye can see. You can also choose to do another activity at this same site during your day.

 The perfect ending to a perfect day. 

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