Earlier, I wrote here about past mixed experiences with while exploring Mexico’s cenotes, an ancient system of caves and underground rivers only found in this part of Mexico: Dzitnup was a dud, but Aktun Chen was a major must-do.
Now, in my latest installment of Homebody in Motion’s Unofficial Guide to Cenotes, I bring you dispatches from Cenote Dos Ojos near Tulum, a great pick for a couple-hour adventure.
Just back from Tulum for the first time since 2008, I have been reflecting on the ways in which the little city on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula has changed — that much-discussed evolution of Tulum from sleepy beach town to New York trend-story fodder.
That reflection led me to plumb the endless depths of the Internet for my now-defunct blog from back then, in which I described that first trip to the region. What I found was 1) such novice blogging I’m actually embarrassed, and more importantly 2) actually a pretty great template for a Yucatán Peninsula road trip that can be replicated in just five days of travel, and on a budget.
Because of that old post’s legit travelogue value, I’ve decided to repost it here (with some edits for clarity and comparison, and to minimize the meandering writing). A swiftly moving five-day outline on a reasonable budget, with a healthily balanced itinerary including relaxation, adventure, and culture, it can be a source of trip-planning inspiration for would-be Yucatán Peninsula road trip goers — or just fodder for wanderlust daydreams!
Without further ado…
When a very best friend of 20 years announced she was getting married in Tulum, it was a huge deal. First, because this friend is our George Clooney (but even ol’ George figured out this year that marriage rocks). And second, because she’d be getting married at Mezzanine, which is the very same hotel where I stayed during my only other trip to Tulum, on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, back in 2008.
It was a very different trip back then. For one thing, I was with an ex-boyfriend and not my husband. So there’s that. But also because, so I’d heard, Tulum had rapidly become a very different place than it was only five or eight or 10 years ago.
In my last post, I talked in detail about our glorious experience at the St. Regis Punta Mita, one of the luxe resorts in the gated Punta Mita enclave, where a vacationer could easily wile away endless hours at the sprawling pools and beach.
But we were also near enough to a couple of other fantastic options for day trips from Punta Mita that I’d love to share here.
When is a vacation more than a vacation?
I’m going to tell you straight up. It’s when you have seven-month-old twins, and you’re getting on a plane for a getaway without them for the first time since they were born. It’s when you watched with major FOMO other people’s travels on Instagram during the summer your babies were born and you were post-op and in the weeds with two newborns and in love with the new cuties, but also in WTF-is-going-on mode. It’s when you’ve never in your entire life needed or deserved another vacation as badly.
Those were the circumstances behind our trip to Punta Mita, Mexico, such that I was literally skipping through LAX on the way out of town. Of course, we were going to miss our sweet babes madly, but they would be safely in the care of four deeply doting grandparents.
So on this trip, we were off to the St. Regis Punta Mita, a getaway planned for pure luxury — no camping, no remote locations, no crazy string of planes, trains, and automobiles this time for obvious reasons. Just the most luxurious beach-and-pool vacation we have taken since our honeymoon in French Polynesia. Just sheer luxury romantic travel this time, thank you very much.