I am currently on the plane back from Tulum as I write this! It seems like this week went by so fast. This family vacation was filled with sunshine, bikinis, and adventures. I am really close to my family, my sisters are my best friends so getting to travel and spend time with the people I love most is one of my favorite things.
Resort Stayed: Catalonia Royal Tulum (5 star)
Time of year I visited: July
Weather: It was warm (80 degrees F) at night, and in the 90s during the day.
My favorite Highlights of the trip:
We rented jet skis next to the hotel. We got 2 of them (4 People, 2 on each) for $100 plus tip for 30 min. I did not expect this to be my favorite part of the trip. My sisters and dad all decided to do this on our last day before we took off for the airport. I drove one, with my sister (Kierra) on the back. We were hesitant at first because we hadn't been on jet skis in years. However, after a few minutes we were cutting back on our tracks and going over waves as fast as we could. The water was insanely clear, we would stop and check out some of the fish and sea turtles, and then take off again. I definitely got a little too confident in my driving skills which ended with both of us flying off the jet ski into the ocean. We were both happy about it though because we were just saying that the water was so clear we wanted to jump in anyways. I had a smile plastered on my face for at least 20 minutes after we got back to the beach because it was just THAT fun! I will 100% be renting jet skis on every vacation now.
Fresh water cenotes are such a refreshing experience. The water is cool (around 75 degrees F) which feels so good when it is hot and humid. On this trip I went to the Kantun Chi cenote that was only 1 mile from the resort because convenience is everything. The group all decided to do an underwater cave tour. We started by climbing down a ladder about 20 ft into a hole in the ground, and ended up right in the middle of the first of five cenotes. The guide explained how they were found and showed us around, then allowed us to swim in each cenote and explore for 10-15 minutes. In between each cenote we were either swimming through caves, or walking and crouching through caves to the next one. They made us all wear water shoes, life jackets, and helmets; I was not stoked on the helmets until I smacked my head on the cave ceilings a few times and quickly appreciated them. After, the tour we were free to swim in the open sky cenotes as much as we liked.
- Clear water that you could swim in.
- A small 10 foot "cliff jump".
- The underground cenotes were so awesome to see.
- There was so much wild life.
- I was cold in the underground caves. I seemed to be the only one who was cold though so you might not have to worry about that (I am just always cold).
- They didn't allow us to bring our cameras. They did have a photographer but all of their photos were blurry, bad, and not even worth buying.
- This was not the prettiest cenotes I've been to. I went to Cenote Azul a few years back and it was magical (you can read about it here).
- There were mosquitoes everywhere and they will eat you alive so wear a lot of bug spray!
I have been on more Catamarans than I can count. My family likes to go on a lot of vacations to tropical places (like the Bahamas, Mexico, and Dominican Republic) at least twice a year, and catamarans are always one of our go-to excursions. Sometimes we will end up on a sand bar in the middle of the prettiest ocean we've ever seen, or on an iguana island with a tiki bar on a dock where we can feed the sharks.
The biggest lesson from this trip I learned is to carefully read reviews. We booked this catamaran (Smooth Life Catamaran) on a whim and didn't do much research, expecting it to be like the rest. Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, it was a beautiful day, and the crew was super nice; that is why this is still one of the highlights of the trip. However, because I have been on SO many catamarans I would not recommend this one because I've been on many that were much better.
Reasons I wouldn't recommend this catamaran:
- It was way too small of a boat, with way too many people and not enough room to sit or layout.
- It was a 45 minute drive from the resort.
- They were running about an hour behind schedule (which messed up our dinner plans).
- The boat didn't have the big nets to lay out on (they had small ones though)
- When we snorkled they had us do a circle around the reef and it was too fast. Some of the people were having a hard time keeping up in the back. It was more of workout than a leasurely swim.
The hotel had a fresh juice/smoothie bar right on the beach. Everyday I would park myself next to it and drink 2-3 smoothies a day. They had a full juice menu; however, you could easily order custom drinks as well.
My go to drinks were fresh coconut water and the "nutrition" smoothie. The nutrition smoothie was made of banana, coconut, oats, water, agave, and salt; I ordered mine without salt and agave to make it extra healthy!
For the people who drink alcohol these juices are a great way to make a healthy mix drink! Just order your favorite juice, then go to the bar and put a shot of alcohol in it! Rum and vodka both work well in these juices depending on the type you order.
The Catalonia Royal Tulum is a 5 star all inclusive (adults only)hotel right on the beach in Tulum. It has a huge pool, a warm jacuzzi, a lounger pool, day beds, hammocks and more. This is definitely the type of hotel you come to if you want to spend most of the time by the pool and beach.
They were very accommodating to my vegan diet in the restaurants. They would make special vegan dishes just for me and they were all so delicious. My 2 favorite restaurants for dinner were Be Loved and Tao & Cat. For breakfast and lunch I just ate fresh fruit and smoothies all day.
The gym at this resort was the best I have seen in Mexico. I spent about 2 hours in the gym almost everyday and had it all to myself. I also spent a lot of time on my patio practicing yoga.
I did not actually go into the spa, but my mom and sisters loved it and said it was beautiful. They had a jacuzzi, sauna, and all of that good stuff! I did get a massage on the beach and it was so amazing! It was 30 minutes for $35 plus tip.
I plan to come back to Tulum in the near future! If you have any resorts or activites you think I should check out then comment below and let me know! xo