7 Reasons Tulum should be your magical next trip

By now you’ve almost certainly heard of Tulum, that leafy green wonderland on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Tulum is eco-friendly and trendy

By now you’ve almost certainly heard of Tulum, that leafy green wonderland on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Tulum is eco-friendly and trendy: It’s known for postcard-perfect ruins that sit right on the ocean, hip yoga retreats and a buzzy, upscale restaurant scene

But true travelers will tell you that staying in Tulum is much more than downward dog and cocktails: A visit here affords a slate of off-the-beaten path adventures you may not have heard about in the latest fashion mag. Sure, a few of them require some trekking, but those are precisely the kinds of adventures that let you truly get to know a place.

Here’s why you should visit Tulum, for reals.

1 There’s a hidden nature reserve you’ve gotta see.
Away from the tourist beaches is Sian Ka’an biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage site right on the coast with tropical forests, marshes and more than 300 species of birds.

2 Even some ruins are under the radar.
You’ve probably heard about visitors taking day trips to the ruins of Chichen Itza. Meet Ek Balam, its lesser-known but equally impressive neighbor. The tower in this temple complex is one of the largest in the Yucatan.

3 The best food looks alive, in the best way.
It’s (almost) locals only at Chamico’s, a beachfront cafe where the seafood is top-notch. There’s no exact address, so this place is your little secret... yours and the New York Times‘, of course.

4 You can swim with turtles in Akumal...
A relatively short drive takes you from Tulum to Akumal, where you can swim with turtles galore in stunning Akumal Bay. Join a tour if you must, but we recommend going it solo and swimming right up to your hard-shelled friends, completely free. (Just don’t pet them, of course.)

5 ...or chill at a cenote all day.
The Tulum region is known for its cenotes, naturally-occurring sinkholes home to some of the clearest water you’ll ever see. Some are more popular than others: Find a less crowded one, like Cenote Azul, and join local families for a picnic by the shore.

6 If you want Cancún, you can have it.
Cancún’s nightlife is world famous, and it’s less than two hours away. Tack a wild night in Cancún onto the start or end of your tranquil Tulum trip — it’s near the airport! — and you won’t regret it.

Have we mentioned yet that the water here is divine?! If nothing else, Tulum’s crystal-clear water will always live up to the hype.

Huffington Post | Suzy Strutner

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