Situated less than an hour and a half south of the Cancun International Airport,Tulum offers a “solar-powered,don’t-check-your-email vibe,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek Lifestyle contributor Maridel Reyes,which is one reason this elegant and ancient city has enjoyed a burst of popularity in recent years. Today,Tulum is equally beloved by models,A-list actors,savvy New Yorkers and the world’s fashion elite,as it is by yoga instructors,spiritualists and other colorful characters who help make up the area’s unique bohemian charm.
Tulum is Mayan for “wall” and the city boasts a deep,rich history that dates back to around 1200 AD,when the ancient Maya first built a massive fortress upon these gorgeous white-sand shores. Abandoned about 75 years after the Spanish conquest began,today the area around Tulum is once again home to about 20,000 residents,including Mayans and expats from around the world.
“Its important Mayan ruins,raw landscapes and relaxed vibe attract a colorful crowd,” writes The National. “Exploring the stunning ruins and pristine cenotes amid the festive atmosphere makes for a fun,sun-soaked holiday just a four-hour flight from New York. It’s New Yorkers’ unofficial beach resort.”
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In fact,Tulum can provide the ideal follow-up to winter holiday madness,since here in the Riviera Maya the laid-back beach party never really ends,thanks to the fact that our average winter temperature is around 82° Fahrenheit! Tulum is home to a stunning ancient seaside Mayan pyramid,as well as picturesque ruins of its pre-Mayan city wall,while its endless pristine beaches,buttery white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters are sure to delight even the most seasoned travelers.
“Whether they be locals or snowbirds,sunbathers [in Tulum] know that there’s more to vacation style than flip-flops and sweats,” writes Style.com in a recent article about street fashion in Tulum.
Most of the accommodations in Tulum – from beachfront condos to boutique hotels to rustic cabanas – are a world apart from the massive,all-inclusive luxury resorts of Cancun,but don’t mistake pared-down,rustic simplicity for a lack of comfort and exquisite style. In Tulum,the hotels and other properties for rent are much more romantic and give visitors and expats alike a taste of what life in the Riviera Maya is really like. The options range from swanky to minimalist,so take plenty of time to peruse all the options before making a decision about where to stay.
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Early mornings are an excellent time to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum,which rest upon 12-metre-high cliffs overlooking the stunning Caribbean Sea and illustrate the highly sophisticated economic,social and religious systems established by the ancient Maya. After this,consider cooling off with a delightful dip in one of the many local mineral-rich freshwater cenotes that are just a short drive from the ruins.
Finally,throughout the Riviera Maya you will notice that lush vegetation creates the feeling of moving through paradise and nowhere is this more evident than in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve,which lies near the ruins of Tulum and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Part of the reserve is on land and part is located in the Caribbean Sea,including a section of coral reef that is part of the world’s second largest barrier reef system.