December 8, 2022

Westside People

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Authentic Experience in Tulum | Pres

Tulum needs no introduction now. The city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its yoga retreats, mythical places between sea and jungle, and gourmet alfresco restaurants. But is it still possible to live an authentic experience there?

Posted at 11:30 am.

Catherine Maisonneuve
Special cooperation

Originally, Tulum Beach was an undeveloped place where people slept in huts and practiced yoga on the beach. Today, Tulum’s nerve center has certainly grown and expanded. The main street is now divided into two sections, the “hotel zone” and the “downtown,” where restaurants and shops line the dense Mayan jungle.

But the Tulum spell still works. It has also been designated a “Pueblo Magico” by the Mexican government (a magical city that preserves its authenticity).

Photo courtesy of HABITAS TULUM

The city’s hotels often offer a unique concept to the destination.

The human dimension

You still don’t see any big resorts or McDonalds or Starbucks. Most of the city’s hotels offer a unique concept for the destination, recognized as wanting to promote a sense of belonging to a community and living in harmony with the surrounding nature.

In Tulum itself, we ride our bikes and sleep in luxury ready-made camping-style tents (Shine) and we disconnect.

The hotel is actually a universe in which one decides whether to dive into the time of stay or not. This is the magic of the place, the feeling of losing one’s bearings a little bit, mixing in the minimalist lifestyle and returning to one’s roots, “the earth is sacred”.

Photo courtesy of HABITAS TULUM

We sleep in luxury ready-made camping-style tents.

Habitas Tulum is a perfect example of this, one of the main institutions in Tulum beach called “community” – it has become the norm. When you book a stay there, it’s not just a simple tent rental, you truly join a community! The daily activity program and common areas are designed so that guests spend as much time as possible together, exchanging and living together.

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At Habitas Tulum, you’ll be invited to participate in talking circles, sound therapies, meditation sessions, and guided yoga classes.

The “tents” offer air conditioning, showers and outdoor bathrooms, but no electronics.

Photo courtesy of HABITAS TULUM

It is always possible to have an authentic experience in Tulum.

To return to sources, Traditional Azulik Healing Spa offers ancient treatments and well-being rituals inspired by ancient Mayan traditions, including energy therapy, chakra alignment, and the “Desmagal” ceremony that cleanses the body (and mind). A true architectural feat carved out of wood in the heart of the forest, this site is a must.

Photo courtesy of PEPE MOLITANO, ARCA

Arca offers an outdoor dining area.

Unique experience

Finally, among the many restaurants that follow one on Calle Principal, Arca stands out. Offering a unique Tulum concept: al fresco dining, carved wood tables, chalkboard menu and torch lighting, not to mention the smell of palo santo—common in Tulum—wafting in the air, you can dine on creative Mexican cuisine inspired by the surrounding area. Nature. Forget Open Table here, the reservation system is, let’s face it, still a little archaic, and it’s not unpleasant.

Although some say that Tulum has become too popular, it is always possible to have an authentic experience in Tulum. It’s not wrong, because Tulum has become bigger, more expensive, busier, but the essence remains the same: a bohemian destination focused on well-being that wants to reconnect you with nature (you-same).