I want you to take a moment to close your eyes, inhale a deep breath and imagine a far away land.. An enchanted land, where your days are spent laying on your own personal hammock that swings above the ocean, allowing you to admire the turquoise Caribbean Sea and it’s soft waves that crash below you. A land where the jungle and the ocean mix without any distracting sounds, besides the delightful birds of the greens of the jungle, singing in their native tongues all around you. A land where electronics do not exist. A land with no lights besides the soft glow of candlelight that guides your pathway, a land with ancient Mayan baths and nature’s finest flowers, a land with fresh food for every meal and no preservatives, an organic land so simple and worry free. No, this is not a dream, but a reality that I lived at Azulik Hotel and Maya Spa in Tulum, Mexico.
I think it is important for us of to take time out for ourselves. We all work hard and have busy minds. We all deserve and need self-care, love and happiness. What better place to come and use nature to reconnect and heal yourself, than Azulik? Waking up with the warm morning sun rising right in front of your eyes, perched up high on a rocky cliff, your toes just a few feet away from the pale blue ocean water, and falling asleep to the glimmer of a billion stars, I felt at peace. Tulum is the perfect paradise. There is an incredible sense of abundance here. After a few days, your mind becomes open, and your soul becomes rejuvenated, embracing the simplicity that Mother Nature has to offer. I noticed my body had adjusted to the environment around me, waking up at 6:00am right as the sun is about to rise, falling asleep by 9pm. I had reconnected with my body’s circadian rhythm, how lovely this was considering this rarely happens at home, in New York. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you may have one of the few hundred people to reach out to me with questions about my recent visit to Azulik Hotel and Maya Spa. I have tried to answer all of your questions below, please let me know if you want to know something I have not mentioned.
Wearing: Wearing: Bianca Coletti Swim
What to pack: I suggest packing very light. I brought only a carry on bag with me. Azulik is an adult only, clothing optional beach. I knew I would be living in bathing suits and comfortable loose fitting shirts. I packed 1 pair of sneakers for my hikes and activities, and 1 pair of sandals for biking, but I remained barefoot the remainder of the trip. I packed small bottles of shampoos and toiletries, but this was unnecessary. The water at Azulik comes from the sacred cenotes, which are underground rivers for which this area is famous. These waters are considered very healing and incredibly rich with minerals. All this water is recycled, therefore you can not use your own products. Chemicals in your face, hair and body products will contaminate the recycled water. But not to worry, Azulik provides you with their own natural, eco friendly products to use during your stay. This included shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, aloe gel, and a natural mosquito repellent. Again, there is no electricity so there is no need to pack a blow drier or hair tools besides a brush. I recommend to not wear makeup either, this is the perfect setting to let your skin heal and breathe. I did bring my Canon camera and made sure the battery had a full charge. Pack a journal. My best friend and I share a travel journal. I recommend taking time out to write your thoughts and experiences.
How to travel to Azulik: I left from JFK New York, with JetBlue. I previously booked a round trip car service for my transportation to Azulik. The hotel can set this up for you with at least 24 hours notice. I flew direct to Cancun Airport, which is the closest international airport to fly into. Arriving to Cancun, my car service awaited, as the driver was holding up a sign with my name. My car was a Volkswagen limo and had phone chargers, fresh wet towels served on a silver platter and icy cold water bottles awaiting. The ride from Cancun airport to Azulik is 1.5 hours.
What room I stayed in: The Honeymoon Villa. This terrace is the best jungle treehouse Azulik has to offer with a private beach entrance and the only room with a large hanging hammock over the Caribbean Sea. The Honeymoon Villa has perfect panoramic views that are beyond breathtaking. The terrace has more of a sense of privacy compared to the other villas. The walls and ceiling consist of obscured ,woven wood pieces. This villa comes along with an expensive price, but the high rate is absolutely worth it every cent. I enjoy spending my money on experiences, and not “things”.
What to explore: I visited two different Cenotes during my stay in Tulum. What is a Cenote (say-no-tay)? A natural sinkhole that results from the collapse of limestone. The first one called, The Pit. The Pit is beautiful with bat-filled caves and crystal clear water. The Pit is the deepest sinkhole in Mexico. I swam and snorkeled rather than scuba dived (because I am not certified). The second Cenote I explored was Dos Ojos, which means “Two Eyes”. These underground rivers were created naturally over 7,000 years ago. This is an amazing experience and allows you to discover the tranquil beauty of this underwater world. I can spend hours snorkeling between caves. Be sure to visit cenotes early, to avoid many tourists, that usually arrive by the bus loads from other surrounding cities.
Coba & The Maya Ruins: About an hour drive from Tulum, I had a personal tour guide from Azulik take us to Coba, once to be a place of worship for ancient Mayan Kings a few centuries ago. The original ancient ruins, pyramids and 26 mile historic site, is particularly famous for their sculpted stone that scripts evidence that the Maya calendar ends December 21, 2012. That date did not represent the end of the world (I wish I knew this earlier in life to save myself from anxiety New Years Eve 2012), but an end of their long counted calendar and a beginning of a new era.
Nohuch Mul, is one of Coba’s highest temples, with extremely steep stone steps. It is an ambitious, heart-pumping hike especially in the heat of Mexico, and quiet dangerous (wear appropriate sneakers), but once you reach the top the view is beautiful. This was the temple, the Mayans prayed to their Rain God. We biked the rest of the ruins and explored all the ancient structures.
Places to eat: The food at Azulik was fresh and delicious. Since there are no telephones in the room, if you want room service, you write on a small note your food order. You place the note in a small ball with your room number, and send the ball into a tube that makes it’s way down to the kitchen. Within the hour, a staff member will arrive at your door with your order. The Cenote Cafe had a good selected menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The desserts were also divine (cremé brûlée). For breakfast every morning, I had egg omelets, fresh toast with avocado, and fruit. I also had different variations of freshly squeezed juices every day. There is also a beach bar that serves sushi and fish. Next to the beach bar is a bbq. Since I don’t eat seafood, the chef cooked me some delicious chicken wings and grilled pineapple. I love condiments, so he even created a spicy, coconut siracha aioli dip especially for me!
Mi Amor- A mile down from Azulik is this fantastic French and Italian cuisine. The cocktails and food are so flavorful! I ordered goat cheese and bacon ravioli, which melted in my mouth. Mi Amor was kind enough to create a platform overlooking the ocean about 5 feet away from the waves, and our table was lit up by the twinkling stars and soft candlelight. I’m not much of a drinker, but I did enjoy the cocktails.
Mateo’s Mexican Grill- Only a quick 5 minute bike ride from Azulik will lead you to this fun, hip Mexican restaurant/bar/lounge. The tacos were really satisfying.
Spa: In terms of healing the mind, body and soul on a physical and spiritual level, I feel it is a necessity to get a spa service. I recommend the Mayan Rebirthing Ceremony which I received. Regardless of which service you receive, your therapist will use different techniques, tools, wraps and ingredients for your treatment and healing. The Mayan Rebirth Ceremony a charge of $300 consisted of a series of rituals, and according to the Mayans traditions, it works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. This included a warm foot bath, a deep exfoliation and body scrub, followed by Mayan enriched clay lathered all over, and topping it off with a body wrap in banana leaves. During the ceremony the therapist is praying, chanting and clears your energies and chakras with permission. After the wrap is removed, you take a lovely healing spa bath, filled with basil, lavender, mint, jasmine, rose, eucalyptus leaves, essential oils, and other herbs. The Mayans believed these baths had true healing powers. When your done with the most incredible bath of your life, you receive a body massage. Finishing the service, you walk out into the ocean with your therapist and a bowl of fresh flowers. You set your positive intentions into the flowers and toss them into the ocean. My face and body were glowing and I felt so light. This ceremony lasted 2 hours and was beyond relaxing, allowing me recharge. It is suggested to be alone and to stay away from people afterwards. I wrote in my journal and fell asleep on my hammock, looking up at the stars to the sound of the waves underneath me. Talk about relaxing in nature!
Azulik offers free yoga every morning.
Wearing: my favorite Pandela sundial, compass watch
Best way to travel: I enjoyed taking the bikes out to explore the local town. Azulik has bike rentals right out front for a small fee. If you want to explore the cenotes or ruins then I suggest setting up a car service through the hotel.
Keep this in mind when planning your trip: This place is not for everyone. If you are looking for a luxury resort, this is not for you. Keep in mind there are no air conditioning and the temperature is hot and humid. There is a fan above the bed, but it didn’t always work.There is no electricity (because of this the beach is frequented by sea turtles), no refrigerators, no room service. There are many mosquitos. There are mosquito nets around all the beds, but I still got eaten alive. You can use bug spray, but please be mindful of the environment. Cell phone service is very limited. The bathrooms are organic, meaning toilet paper goes in the trash not the toilet. The hotel is adult only. Tulum is considered to be a very safe area.
If your looking to connect with the simplicity and beauty of an organic lifestyle, wake up every day to the sounds of the ocean waves & not your shrilling iPhone alarm, and live in an eco-friendly tree house, this is your place!
During this incredible journey in Tulum, one thing has remained constant which is my desire to fulfill lightness. When you see how the rest of the world lives, life gets simpler. I find myself packing less and living more for the moment. Since I have been home, I find myself wanting to get rid of more “things”. I have never felt lighter. By traveling a little lighter, you are able to manifest that feeling into something much greater. I know that is what this journey has been intended for… Finding more lightness.