Worth getting out of bed for
When you’ve had enough beach time, hit the road and head to the UNESCO World Heritage site Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve, a stretch of protected land lined with lagoons, beaches and a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Study the flora and fauna with bilingual guides (+52 984 871 2202; www.siankaantours.org). Stop by the quaint fishing village of Punta Allen two-and-a-half hours from Tulum. Be warned, you’ll need a four-wheel drive for the treacherous roads. Tour the ruins of the walled city of Tulum just a few minutes from the hotel. Believed to be the home of the 40,000 Maya, the ruins of pre-Columbian Cobá – about 27 miles from Tulum – are usually less packed. You’ll find two lagoons and the tallest pyramid of the Yucatán amid this jungle-fringed site.
The light traffic of Tulum and well-marked paths keep bikers pedalling to surrounding beaches. Rent some wheels from the hotel and cruise solo or take a guided tour through the jungle at Iguana Bikes in downtown Tulum (+52 984 119 0836). Get adventurous: explore cenotes on a dive (we especially love Dos Ojos and the smaller Gran Cenote) or spot giant snapper on a snorkelling trip, just a five-minute drive from the hotel (+52 984 807 8805). From basic courses for beginners to refresher sessions for seasoned boarders, adventurous travellers will love pulse-quickening kitesurfing classes (+52 984 745 4555).
One of the hottest dining dens in town, Hartwood, run by New York natives Eric Werner and Mya Henry, offers contemporary American cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients. Seafood and steak are served on cast-iron dishes and chunky cutting boards. The restaurant is just steps away at Boca Paila Km 7.6. Belly up to the whitewashed bar and order a spicy grapefruit margarita. The menu changes daily.
Make your way to the jungle garden-surrounded El Tábano, where Mexican-meets-Mediterranean-meets-Caribbean flavours will have your mouth watering as soon as you arrive. The menu changes daily and is written on a large chalkboard – as are the day’s margarita flavours (+52 984 134 8725).
Located inside the eponymous hotel, Posada Margherita serves hearty home-made pasta and wine from Chile, Argentina and Italy (+52 984 801 8493). For Argentinean steaks, live-music-packed weekends and a solid wine selection, head to Casa Banana, just down the street from the hotel at Boca Paila Km 8.5 (+52 984 806 2871). Casa Violeta hotel’s restaurant serves wood-oven-baked pizzas and freshly caught fish. Try the mixed grilled seafood platter, and sit at a table with a view of the water (+52 984 879 0294).
Open only for dinner, Hechizo will satisfy serious gourmands. Run by chef Stefan Schober and his wife/pastry chef, the name of this tucked-away restaurant means enchantment – one taste of the amuse bouche and you’ll realise why (+ 52 984 879 5020).
If you want to branch out for breakfast, or are just craving some healthy fresh juices after your morning swim, go to Il Barino, a palm-shaded vegetarian café behind a yoga studio (+52 984 168 0226).