Feel the wind in your face as you weave between the palm trees that lean over the winding bike path. Smile as people pass by, breathing in the salty sea air that rides with them. There’s a liberating feeling of freedom that overwhelms you as you pass sign after sign reminding you why you’re here: ‘If not now, when?’, ‘Follow that dream’, ‘Be present’.
The cycle path has to be one of my favourite things about Tulum. Connecting the town to the beaches, it’s more an activity than a way to get somewhere. It’s part of the experience.
Formerly known as the City of Dawn, Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya. The beachfront ruins that stand today were left abandoned after the community perished of diseases brought by Spanish settlers. The area remained largely untouched from the 15th Century until recent years.
In the past 10 years Tulum has grown from uninhabited jungle lined beaches to one of the world’s most desirable destinations. It attracts a beautiful blend of backpackers, hippies and fashionistas. People flock from all over to bask in the sun on incredible beaches, energise at yoga retreats, and to indulge in the epic food scene. Anything goes here, and that’s part of the charm. Fresh coconuts and acai bowls are everywhere, and so are tacos and beer (be sure to stop by Euphemia!)
There’s one place in Tulum that’s perfect for a bit of everything. Teetotum sits along the cycle path, close enough to town that you can walk there in a few minutes, and part way to the beach so you can enjoy just the best bit of the ride each time. There’s a chilled restaurant and bar at the front, an elegant garden in the back, and a gorgeous boutique hotel to top it off.
It’s the perfect place to retire after a day in the sun. The spacious rooms have everything you could think of and more, from beach towels and card games to portable Bose speakers.
There’s a modern yet retro theme throughout, with amazing colours and patterns weaved into the design. Teetotum offers a really unique experience with an incredibly relaxed atmosphere.
The open front lounge invites you in, but the warm welcome and laid back vibe keep you there. Get there for happy hour, grab a beer, and sit up on the roof top for sunset. It’s the perfect start for a night on the town where live bands offer a satisfying hit of everything from reggaeton to rock, with Batey’s bar reliably hosting the main event.
Some may find this a little cliché, but as with a lot of places you visit it’s the people that make the place. I’ve never met so many like-minded people in one spot. Conversations go beyond the typical ‘how long have you been travelling for?’ People here share the drive and determination to follow their dreams and live a life doing what they love.
Teetotum was actually founded on such dreams, when owner Richard moved to Tulum and redesigned an old rundown building, turning into the impressive place it is today. Hearing about the development gives you an even bigger appreciation for the design. And as with every big dream, there are more plans in the pipeline, with hopes to develop and expand in the future.
If there’s one thing you’ll take from a trip to Tulum, it’s that there’s no time like the present, to follow that dream, to take the leap or any other inspirational quote to go after what you want in life.