This cafe was a stand out, so much so that we had to make time for a second visit. Their acai bowl was the best one we came across in Tulum, and just what you feel like in the hot Mexican climate. As the name suggests, the food offered is predominantly raw and vegan (except for mayan honey).
We had seen signs for this park and hesitated slightly as there were hints of a ‘theme park’ like feel and we had no recommendations to go. However, after looking at the photos online and the beautiful cenotes, Yaxmuul and Nohoch Nah Chiich (underworld for the Mayans….) we decided to go, and it was an experience we will never forget.
We were treated to a private tour beginning by a four wheel drive deep into the Mayan jungle, where our delightful guide, Victor, took us on an extraordinary adventure. The reverence to nature, respect for the waters, as observed by the Mayans was explained to us. Everyone must shower before entering the waters. We began rappelling (lowering ourselves using a rope whilst attached to a harness) through a hole into the Yaxmuul Cenote, a mesmerising sight. From there we swam out and attended a traditional Mayan cleansing ceremony and blessing by a Shaman.
We then enjoyed an exhilarating zip line through the jungle, finally landing in the water at the beginning of the next Cenote, when we put on our snorkelling gear and swam through the clear waters of the world’s longest underwater cave system, the Nohoch Nah Chiich cavern, between stalactites and stalagmites. The entire experience takes around 3 hours.
Due to the nature of these activities, phones and cameras are left in lockers, although go-pros are allowed. Don’t worry though, your personal experience will be captured in still and video format and available for purchase afterwards.
Mayan Spa Treatment
Included in our Betulum stay was a ‘Healing Waters Circuit’ in the spa, a both relaxing and invigorating experience, beginning with a luxurious steam room complete with exfoliating scrub, followed by a less fun freezing shower (only 30 seconds), then the dry sauna, another freezing shower and finally relaxation time by the pool with a number of water jets to complete the circuit.
- Whilst we did not feel unsafe whilst in Mexico, it was helpful to read the travel advice, that is to pre arrange transfers from any airports, not hire a car and exercise caution.
- Make sure you have a good mosquito repellant (some hotels will provide this) and you may notice the smell of Copa which is burnt to help keep these pests at bay. Remember though, it is the jungle and they [mosquitoes] are hard to avoid.
- Bring adaptors.. you will struggle to find them here. If you do happen to forget (as we did) there is a Kodak store in the main town where you should be able to find one.
- A number of restaurants/cafes only take cash (either pesos or american dollars) and whilst there are a number of ATMs dotted along the hotel/restaurant strip, a storm can knock them all out, as we discovered when we were there.
- Taxis are plentiful in the Tulum Beach area and it is possible to negotiate a good day rate (we did this via our hotel, Betulum) to visit a number of sites, so it may be worth considering this to tailor make your day trips. For the full day it was $100 USD.
- English is not widely spoken outside of resorts, so some basic knowledge of Spanish, or a phrase book (or a translation app) could be useful.