Tulum: Beachward Bound for a Cabana
Our holiday accommodation in Mexico was divided up between the island of Cozumel, Tulum pueblo, and Tulum beach. The idea being to sample a few different experiences without traveling too far. Although we were enjoying staying in ITour, it was time for us to move on and check out the beach resorts along the coast of Tulum. We delayed the move until we’d had more yummy Italian paninis in El Gourmet for lunch, but then we hailed a taxi and went to see what the beaches around Tulum had to offer.
The beach resorts along the coast road are what most tourists probably know as Tulum.There are hundreds of businesses dotted along the coast that cater to all the sun-worshipping tourists. The cheap cabana accommodations that were plentiful here once upon a time may still exist, but you’d find it hard to locate them easily amongst all the others. Our taxi journey from Tulum pueblo took about 15 minutes and then we were entering a resort that was indistinguishable from all the others that can be seen from the road. The accommodation around here is mostly posh cabanas – fairly basic dwellings for which you are ironically charged a small fortune for living at a standard lower than you would at home. But they have fancy touches here and there to help you ignore that you’re kind-of living in a shed, albeit a very nice looking shed.
Our resort was no exception. We had booked that one cheaper cabana far from the beach, and much more basic than the others… which most probably has other flaws that we’ll discover later. Still, at first glance it looked pretty cool. A large wooden structure buried in the jungle growth that hides behind a big sand dune, completely out of view of the beach where all the fancier plastered structures strut their stuff. Two beds with mosquito nets (finally!) and a toilet that doesn’t accept toilet roll – but the sink does have a fancy tap made out of a large shell, so that’s all good then! Strange masks adorn the walls, and I do believe there’s a hammock outside, just waiting for one of us to make a fool out of ourselves trying to get into it. Two minutes away from our door (and over the hill) is the main attraction – a gorgeous beach with white sands and blue waters. I think we can manage to make ourselves a home here for a few days…
By the time we’d explored our surroundings and figured out how to turn on the shell faucet, dusk was falling and further exploration became hazardous in the dark. We didn’t fancy the look of our onsite beach club restaurant, so we risked our lives stumbling up the dark road to Posada Margherita – a highly rated restaurant that apparently also has a very high price tag. It was early in the evening so we had no trouble getting a table. Apart from the guy that read the only copy of the menu to us, the service wasn’t great. A lot of the staff frankly looked bored. I ordered a fish dish which was nice, Brodie ordered a pasta dish that was really bland. I struggled to eat much of it when we swapped plates halfway through to try both dishes. A beer, water and the two mains amounted to a higher bill than any of the other places we’ve eaten – where we ate and drank lot more. It was worth trying, but wasn’t good enough value for us to be returning again. We’ll be returning to the pueblo for future dinners. We stumbled back via the unlit beach this time, to read in our fancy shack until it was lights out time. Literally – did I mention that these Eco hotels also like to switch the electricity off by 11pm?