Three Amigos: Tulum, Sayulita, and Xcalak

Its time to travel as a couple!   As the temperature drops in the states, the price at some of the best resorts in Mexico seem to rise.  Now is the perfect time to book your trip “south of the border”.  We want to introduce you to three magical locations, that are perfect for a couple’s getaway:  Tulum, Sayulita, and Xcalak.

1) Tulum

Mexico beachDescription:  Perched on the southern tip of Mexico and bathed in the warm waters of the Caribbean is our first choice, Tulum, Mexico.  Tulum ranks first because of its wonderful beaches, historical ruins, and slow pace.

Getting there:  The nearest international airport serving Tulum is Cancun, Mexico.  You can catch an ADO bus from the aero-puerto to Tulum three times a day: 2 pm, 7:45pm and 8:45pm. Ticket prices are about $15 USD. The ride will take about 2 hours.  There are also a number of private transfer companies as well as a stable of Taxis at the airport.  We would caution you not to take the first offer.  Shop around for the best deal.

Where to stay:  Our pic: Cabanas La Luna.  One of the most romantic settings imaginable.  The hotel offers a wide inviting terrace for relaxing.  Nearly all of the rooms are just a stone’s throw from the water.  The rates are surprisingly affordable for such a resort community.  Expect to pay $100-130 USD of a nicely equipped room.

Couple’s activities:  Tulum truly is a couples paradise in every sense.   Lets start with the Non-beach attractions:  Tulum is home to the Zama.  It is one of the best-preserved Mayan relics in Mexico.  Pack a lunch and spend the entire day exploring the ruins and sitting by the beach below.

Tulum is a great place to bike as a couple!  Rent a bike from Iguana Bikes in the Pueblo area of Tulum.  You can expect to pay 200 or so pesos for 24 hours.  Cheap!

Let talk water.  Tulum is perfect!  One interesting place to explore is the Casa Cenote.  It is a massive underwater cave system that goes out to the ocean.  The Cenote goes underground some 100 yards before the beach, only to emerge as an ‘underwater’ spring about 20 yards of the beach, right in the ocean!  You can snorkel or even rent  dive gear and explore one of the largest cave systems in the world.

If what you are really looking for is relaxing on the beach, casting your concerns to the wind, you can find no better place than the waterfront of Tulum.


2)  Sayulita

English: Sayulita off the west coat of Mexico,...

Sayulita (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Description:  One of the best resorts in Mexico is in Sayulita.  Sayulita has been transformed from a sleepy little fishing village into one of the up and coming vacation destinations in Mexico.  Sayulita is the perfect place in Mexico to catch a wave.  Surfing is a way of life for much of the town.

Getting there:  The town of Sayulita is roughly 20 miles north of international airport in Pueto Vallarta.  There are a number of different buses that operate between the two.  Expect to pay around $20 USD for the one way transfer.  The bus ride takes about a half an hour.  You can also hail a private car or taxi for the transfer, that will run you northwards of $50 USD.

Where to stay:  Our recommendation for lodging is the Hacienda de la Costa.  First off, one of the great things about this choice is twofold:  It is small (10 guests only) and it takes adult lodgers only.  You won’t have to worry about a bunch of youngsters diving into the pool as all hours.  Rates per night run in the $150 USD range.  Hacienda de la Costa is secluded with great views of the beach.  It is located two miles outside the city and offers a setting that you and your sweetheart will not soon forget.

Couple’s activities:  Sayulita is the Oxford of surfing.  Regardless of your current skill level with catching waves, enroll in one of the many surf schools as a couple.  You will be hanging 10 in no time flat.  If surfing is not your bailiwick, go out on one of the fishing or whale watching charters that operate out of the port in Sayulita.  Hands down the best pastime of all in Sayulita is poolside with your favorite beverage.

3) Xcalak 

couple on beachDescription: Cant decide between a Mexican and Belize vacation?  We have the perfect solution, Xcalak (pronounced SHKALAK). Located on the southernmost border of Mexico, Xcalak borders the Central American country of Belize.  Of the three of our picks, Xcalak is by far the most undeveloped.  Your cell phone will work just fine (as a coaster for your drink.)  The 500 or so natives have successfully resisted the trappings of development.  Fishing is still the main way of life.

Getting there:  It’s not easy.  For the well healed, getting there is a cinch, just charter a plane, or better yet, buy one.  There is a well groomed landing strip just outside the town that can accommodate private aircraft.   Presently there is not scheduled air service into Xcalak.   Most visitors make the trip from San Pedro,, Belize. You can board a boat that will take you into town in roughly an hour and a half.  The bus ride from Cancun to Xcalak can be a trial, but possible.

Where to stay:  Due to its isolated location Xcalak lodging choices are limited and shall we say….rustic.  The Casa Carolina along the beach north of town is a fine choice.  Important to note is that this hotel is “self-sufficient”.  They employ both solar and generator created power.  A word of warning not all lodging choices in the area have this luxury.  Breakfast is included in the price of your stay, which should run you around $75 USD.

Couple’s activities:  Xcalak is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, the Great Maya Reef.  The entire area is a naturalist’s dream.  As such, it is an ideal snorkel and diving destination. Put on your diving masks and enjoy 15 miles of protected reef!

Xcalak’s true appeal is its isolation.   It is the quintessential middle of nowhere.  I would imagine that if we ever robbed a bank, this is where we would retire.  (we are not recommending theft…but if you did, call us and we will meet you in Xcalak.)

The warm sun and sand are calling your name.  Cheap holidays to Mexico are waiting for you.  Pick the location that matches your interests and bon voyage!  Dont miss this chance to travel as a couple.

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6 Responses to Three Amigos: Tulum, Sayulita, and Xcalak

  1. Annette October 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Tulum had one of the most beautiful beaches that I had ever seen. But, now I need to visit the other two :)

  2. 1000 Fights October 22, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Yes! The last one is by far the most difficult to get to. Sorry.

  3. A Nomadic Translator October 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    never heard of Xcalak before!

  4. Ellen & Justin October 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    We visited Tulum this summer … it’s funny, though. Our experience was definitely anything but romantic. We ended up in a disgusting beach cabana that was so dirty and hot … we really were lucky to escape without bed bugs. Justin slept on the concrete floor instead … the bed was THAT bad. I don’t think we fought, though ;)

  5. Adela November 9, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Tulum looks stunning! 3 more places to add to the list :)

  6. admin November 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks Adela!

    There is so much to explore in Mexico. Just wish transport was a little better.

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