Tulum, where the jungle meets the ocean.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a Maid of Honor and wondering how to honor your bestie as she prepares to get married…or you could be curious to see what Tulum is like.
Well you’re in luck, because I just finished completely spoiling my BFF in Tulum, Mexico and happy to share!
- Think of a creative name for the party. Since we were going to Mexico, and my bride’s name is Vy, we came up with “La Vyesta” a play on “la fiesta” (which means party in Spanish).
- Encourage the bride to choose a location that is special to HER. I’ve seen a lot of bachelorettes thrown out of convenience for the guests, when I believe this once-in-a-lifetime event should be where the bride is the most happy.
- I found that the surprise element is crucial! If your bride is okay with being off-hands with planning, surprising her with all her favorite things can make the event so much more special.
- Spoil her and try to personalize as much as possible. Etsy and Amazon should be your right hand while preparing for the party. Everything that I ordered is listed with links below.
- Make it as easy for the entire party as possible. Do the research yourself, then only ask the crew for preferences/ budget for a few activities. When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, too many opinions, it can be much harder to plan.
- Bride to Be accessory box: Sash, tiara, veil, bridal party gold tattoos, banner
- “The Bride” one piece bathing suit
- “Bride” flip flops
- Personalized banner
- Personalized sunglasses
- Personalized champagne flutes
- Recipe cards for each guest
- Korean facial sheet masks
- Cads About Matrimony game- it’s the marriage themed Cards Against Humanity
- Bachelorette straws
T U L U M
Tulum is a small beach town on the Yucatan peninsula, 90 minutes south of Cancun. It’s a jungle on a turquoise beach, filled with top notch restaurants and zen-filled yoga studios on the sand. It’s green, eco-friendly town with mostly wind and solar power.
- Fly into Cancun International Airport, then pre-book USA Transfers (approximately $100 USD/way for the 90 minute drive to Tulum. The van can fit up to 10 people, paid via PayPal beforehand, private, and extremely punctual! Great customer service, they even have beers in a cooler ready for your long drive!
- Everywhere is cash only. Use your debit card to withdraw Mexican pesos in order to get the best exchange rate as well as skip the Currency Exchange lines and fees. Many places will accept USD cash, however you end up losing money as their rate will be much higher to compensate.
- Don’t expect Air-Conditioning, which means leave your hair curlers, straighteners, etc at home. The humidity and heat just melts the makeup and hair product right off. I don’t think my hair ever fully air dried the entire trip. It was glorious!
- Bring extra bug spray– Zika cases have been reported in Mexico so try to be extra careful with reapplying the DEET. For 6 days, I brought 2 large cans and a Citronella candle.
- San Francisco de Asis– grocery store in Tulum where we picked up ingredients, beer, liquor for the week. We also went to Chedraui, which is more like a local Walmart, but it had a smaller food selection.
- Taxi driver- For large groups, send a What’s App to Shakira +52 1 984 130 4218; Santiago for short drives around town +52 1 986 119 1879.
I found that the most authentic homes to rent (non-hotels) never came with air-conditioning. This was an amenity I was willing to forego, because the moment you step outside the humidity overcomes you anyway. If AC is a non-negotiable, be ready to pay more for a hotel such as Nest or Be Tulum.
WHERE TO EAT
The only reservation you need to make, and make it as soon as you book your flight. Books out early, as it is the best restaurant in Tulum.
An Italian joint in Mexico? Sounds a bit odd, but this beachfront pasta place is one of the best restaurants in Tulum. The Italian owner will sit down with you before your meal and describe how each dish is hand made to order. It was our first meal in Tulum and it should be yours too!
A fun place on the beach with music and an enthusiastic staff. Come for the cheap eats ($1 tacos), stay for the party.
Best tacos in Tulum. It’s not located on the beach, but the 15 min taxi ride will be worth it for the Cochinita (pork) tacos with the pickled onions. Again, these tacos are $1 USD each but get there before lunch as it tends to sell out before noon!
An open-air locals joint known for its seafood, where the portions are huge and the prices are low.
Inside the jungle of Tulum, but still steps away from the beach is Raw Love. The entire time I spent at this zen-ful outdoor restaurant was reminiscent of my time in Bali. Organic, raw and natural foods prepared in a peaceful setting dotted with hammocks and swings.
Mango with chili salt: my favorite “street” (or beach, in this case) food that is sold by locals walking up and down the beach. Pre-cut fruit in bags, and don’t forget to have them sprinkle on the chili salt!
KI’BOK – for a hipster high end coffee shop
As you walk along the beach in the Hotel Zone of Tulum, you will find that every restaurant looks beautiful and inviting. There just wasn’t enough time to eat at all of them, but on my next visit I would definitely eat at:
ANTOJITOS LA CHIAPANECA
WHERE TO HANG
If Raw Love is Bali meets Tulum, then Be Tulum is South Beach meets Tulum. Chic and cool, spend the day at the beach here having drinks and apps (~$35 USD minimum pp, credit cards accepted, priciest in Tulum).
Another day at the beach can be spent lounging here, where there is no minimum.
Where the turquoise chairs match the turquoise waters. There’s also a minimum spend here, however it’s lower than Be Tulum and credit cards are accepted. It was convenient to Aldea Tulum (across the street from where we stayed) however a tourist bus dropped off at least 30 people who swarmed the beach midday. They only stayed about an hour, but beware if you’re looking for a different crowd.
WHAT TO DO
The most beautiful yoga studio in town, with floor to ceiling windows on two sides where you can hear the waves crash during your practice. $20 USD/class, with a green juice shot included afterwards.
Come on Sunday evenings for the live salsa band with dancing, terrific dinner and service on the beach. Free salsa lessons start at 6pm, then dancing at 8pm.
Dos Ojos: We arrived early in the morning and spent 600 pesos for the full tour of the cenotes and bat cave, with guide and all equipment.
Gran Cenote, near Dos Ojos.
Cenote Dzitnup, Ik Kil on the way to Chichen Itza (1800-2000 pesos with Santiago)
Full Moon Party: On the Saturday of the Full Moon each month, Papaya Playa throws a huge party on the beach. Entrance costs $25 USD pp and goes from 10pm- 4am. The party was fun, but beware that it gets extremely crowded!
Coco Tulum– the cutest swings on the beach
Temazcal ceremonies take place in a sweat lodge, as a traditional practice dating back to ancient Mayan and Aztec people using heated volcanic rocks. It’s a cleansing experience, leaving you transformed. At Yaan Wellness, the ceremony starts at 6pm, lasts 2.5 hours and is $75/pp.
We cooked a few meals at the Airbnb, here are the recipe cards I also distributed to the guests.
Here are the customized games I made:
If you’d like me to make you any of these games for your event, let me know! It was so much fun coming up with it. Good luck planning your future bachelorette, or even apply these things to your next birthday or event!
Today (July 22) also happens to be Vy’s birthday, so Feliz Cumpleanos to the best!
All photos by Melllypoo via Canon 6D.