36 hours in: Tulum, Mexico

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36 hours in: Tulum, Mexico
...
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8-9, 2014 |
INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK TIMES
21
travel weekend
36 hours in: Tulum, Mexico
BY DANIELLE PERGAMENT
establishment on the jungle side is
more jungly than Restaurare. The
tables are set under a canopy of palm
trees so lush you will think you’d died
and woken up on Gilligan’s Island. The
open-air kitchen serves only traditional
Mayan food — all local, all vegan. The
owners Karla Yoana Gonzales Madrazo
and José Roberto Terrazas Jimenez
tweak the menu seasonally, but if
you’re lucky, they’ll be serving oyster
mushroom ceviche and Mayan curry
with coconut milk. (Dinner for two is
about 700 pesos.)
If You Go
The good news is that you still can’t
flush the toilet paper in Tulum. The
plumbing, like the balmy weather and a
tenacious iguana population, is deeply
rooted in the identity of this town an
hour and a half south of Cancún. But
even a quasi-functional plumbing infrastructure can’t dissuade tourists. Which
leads me to the less good news. If you
haven’t been to Tulum in the past few
years, a heads-up: It’s a whole lot bigger
than you remember. Today’s Tulum has
three things many never thought possible: traffic, crowds and restaurants with
waiting lists. But don’t despair. In fact,
the town (it’s not a village anymore) is
more exciting than ever. The beach is
still stunning. The ruins are still there.
The food is spicy and authentic. And for
those willing, there are secret gems a
long, dusty way from the beaten path.
Hartwood Tulum, Tulum-Boca
Paila Km. 7.6;
hartwoodtulum.com.
Zamas, Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 5;
zamas.com.
Mezzanine Hotel, Tulum-Boca
Paila Km. 1.5;
mezzaninetulum.com.
Chamico’s, Soliman Bay.
Mr. Blackbird, 52-1-984-1277669, Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 7.5.
Josa Tulum, Tulum-Boca Paila
Km. 7.5; josatulum-.com.
Hacienda Montaecristo, TulumBoca Paila Km. 7.5.
La Tente Rose Mexican Wine and
Spirits, Tulum-Boca Paila Km.
7.5.
Gitano, Tulum-Boca Paila Km.
7.5; gitanotulum.mx.
Restaurare, Tulum-Boca Paila
Km. 6; facebook.com/
restauraretulum
Maya Tulum, Tulum-Boca Paila
Km. 7; mayatulum.com.
Aktun Chen, aktunchen.com.mx.
Akumal Dive Center, Akumal
Beach; akumaldivecenter.com.
Sunday 8:30 a.m.
Coming to Tulum
and not taking a yoga class is like
swearing off wine in Tuscany. It’s
everywhere and inescapable. One of
the most serene places to find your
third eye is Maya Tulum. After checking in for a class, make your way down
the sandy path to the yoga studio. A
word of caution: Don’t be misled by
your teacher’s innate calm. Just when
you think he’s about to get too spiritual
for real sweat, you will notice every
muscle below your earlobes straining.
But under a tropical palapa roof with a
breeze blowing through and the light
drenching the room, offering the sun a
few friendly salutations feels less like
working out and more like gratitude.
(Drop-in classes are $15.)
YOGA BY THE BEACH
GERALD SIEVERS FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES, ABOVE; DAVID FREID FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES, LEFT AND BELOW
Tourists snorkeling at Aktun Chen. Below, bathers along the edge of the Tulum archaelogical site. Left, a yoga and paddle board school.
11 a.m.
The Yucatán Peninsula
is full of cenotes (sinkholes in caves),
and they range from small and claustrophobic to enormous and claustrophobic.
Anyone with children will appreciate
Aktun Chen, a combination cenote,
wildlife preserve and zip line. Ask your
guide (you’ll meet him when you check
in — no one goes into the caves without
one) for an abbreviated tour. (Tours of
the caves only are $33 per adult; $16.50
for a child. For the full cave-cenote-wildlife preserve tour, it’s $102.) They’ll try
to talk you out of the shorter tour, but
stand your ground and do what I do:
Point to your kids and shrug — the universal gesture for ‘‘What are you gonna
do?’’ If you do the tour in 30 minutes,
you’ll still see the bats and get to walk
on the creepy underground bridge.
about 250 pesos). Once the shop owners
open their stands and the streets fill up
with fashion editors on their way to yoga
class, it’s your cue to move on.
TO THE BAT CAVE
11 a.m.
I don’t care how warm
the water is in Corsica or how soft the
sand is in Maui. As beaches go, the
shores of Tulum will impress even the
world’s most discerning snob. Plus, the
water is as clear as a fishbowl and gentle
enough for a nursery school. Drive — or
better yet, bike — away from the main
drag and head toward the Mezzanine
Hotel. On the far side of the hotel, drop
your bike and head down the short path
to the beach. There is a good chance you
will have a wide stretch of sand to yourself. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen — with the dearth of crowds
comes a dearth of places to buy either.
PUBLIC SERVICE
Friday 5 p.m.
GET IN LINE Unless you travel here in a
vacuum, you will be advised many
times over to dine at Hartwood Tulum.
The line to get in can hover around two
hours long. If you didn’t know better,
you would show up, scoff at the crowd
and go elsewhere. My advice: Don’t.
Instead, go early. Hartwood Tulum has
no electrical appliances besides a single
blender — almost all the food is mashed
and blended by hand or thrown on the
grill or in the wood-burning oven. That
means the expat chef Eric Werner’s
roasted whole fish with onions and
herbs one evening; grilled octopus with
roasted potatoes, chile and Mexican
mustard greens the next. The dining
area is as open-air as the kitchen, with
citronella lanterns providing light and
ambience. (Dinner for two without
drinks is about 600 pesos, or about $45.)
1 p.m.
SECRET BEACH Every tropical tourist
destination has a secret beach joint that
locals don’t want you to know about. In
Tulum, that place is Chamico’s — a
beachside cafe so laid back and charming you will swear you’ve seen it in a
movie (you haven’t). Naturally,
Chamico’s has no phone, website or address. To get there, turn off the highway
onto a small dirt road (look for the sign
for the Jashita Hotel) and drive down to
Soliman Bay. Give the guard at the
makeshift gate a look that says you
know what you’re doing. Then drive
past palatial villas until the road ends.
Claim one of the rickety plastic tables in
a thicket of palm trees and settle in. Your
menu choices are fried fish or ceviche of
whatever was caught that morning, followed by icy Sol beer. (Expect to pay
about 300 pesos.) There are only two
rules at Chamico’s: cash only and don’t
tell your friends. (Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
— or whenever the owner feels like it.)
Saturday 9 a.m.
LOCAL COLOR Zamas, a hotel, bar and
restaurant, is the bright, Crayola-colored
center of Tulum. To be in Tulum means
to eat at Zamas, stay at Zamas, drink at
Zamas or just enjoy the pink, blue, yellow and teal tables and chairs at Zamas.
The best time to go is morning — when
the beach is freshly raked, the waves are
gentle and the crowds are thin. Order a
cappuccino and the huevos rancheros —
fried eggs and black beans served on a
crispy corn tortilla (breakfast for two,
4 p.m.
With an upswell of
fashion editors and stylists in Tulum,
there’s an upswell of places to spend
money. The hardest part will be parking — if you’re up for a walk or a bike
ride, this is the time. Otherwise, drive
to Hartwood restaurant, and pull in between any two palm trees that don’t
have a No Parking sign. All the shops
are within feet of each other: Mr. Blackbird is a tiny boutique — you can almost
touch both walls at the same time —
with a sandy floor, elegant jewelry,
strappy leather sandals and well-edited
FASHION BREAK
CROSSWORD | Colorful Characters
Across
1 Extremely
attractive bodies
6 Bird found in
this grid’s lowerright corner
13 Building
material in Oz
18 Female surfer
19 Words from a
Latin lover
20 Byproduct
of petroleum
refining
22 1996 Olympic
tennis gold
medalist
23 Suffer remorse
24 U.S.S.R.’s
Brezhnev
25 Sharp
26 Side of a diner
28 Background
color of a $100
bill
30 It might be
stained
31 Hikers’ snacks
34 Facetious unit
defined as
the amount of
beauty needed
to launch one
ship
36 Young musician?
37 Nail holder
39 Libby’s bagful
40 “That old” stuff
of song
42 Sodium ___
(potato chip
flavoring)
46 World’s first
national park
49 Dog’s plaint
50 Leading
52 Whitney who
went to Yale,
appropriately
54 Quaking ___
57 Body of water
found in this
grid’s upperright corner
58 Lawn tool
60 Performing, say
62 Plagued
63 Vitamin used to
fight Alzheimer’s
65 X contributor
66 Puts on eBay,
say
68 “What a ___!”
69 “Methinks,” in
forums
70 Instruments
in the Beatles’
“Norwegian
Wood” and
“Within You
Without You”
72 Hawaiian
verandas
74 Prey for a
cheetah
75 & 77 When
combined into
one word,
national trivia
championship,
e.g.
78 Hardware store
or nursery
purchase
79 Gels
80 Beverage found
in this grid’s
lower-left corner
82 Ending with may
85 Injury found in
this grid’s upperleft corner
87 Bereavement
88 Placeholder?
90 Prey of the
Morlocks
91 Give the
go-ahead
94 Relative of a
panpipe
97 Common
muffin flavor
101 Jai ___
102 Impersonal
notes … or
what four groups
of this puzzle’s
answers do
(totaling 11
words)
104 “Mon ___!”
105 Josh
106 ___ 6
107 Fundamental
109 Unit named for
a telephone
pioneer
110 Crass
112 Substance in
some signs
116 Inclined (to)
118 Eponymous
Bloomer
119 Tranquil
120 Print up?
121 Owner of
Columbia
Pictures
122 Baby bird?
123 Super-rare
occurrence
Down
1 Helga’s “horrible”
husband
Solution to puzzle of November 1-2
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H R E E P
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P E R C H
A D O R E
N E X U S
to teeter through the jungle on five-inch
stiletto heels. When my husband and I
went there with friends, drinks for four
(one round each, mind you) plus an appetizer of guacamole, pico de gallo and a
Mayan pumpkin seed salsa came to
about 700 pesos. But you’re paying as
much to be there as you are to drink the
house cocktails. Grab a table somewhere
near the disco ball, if only because seeing a disco ball bouncing off palm fronds
is as amusing as it is unexpected.
Tulum’s beaches are
world class, but to get closer to the action underwater, head to Akumal.
Twenty minutes up the coast, Akumal is
Tulum’s less bohemian cousin, and its
public beach is wide, clean and dotted
with overpriced quesadilla joints. Right
in the middle is the Akumal Dive Center.
It offers plenty of group classes — but no
one ever stood on a beach with a dozen
sunburned strangers in flippers and
snorkels, walking backward into the water without feeling ridiculous. Instead,
my husband and I rented the gear ($18
for flippers, mask, snorkel and life jacket), skipped the class and followed the
advice of a guide: ‘‘Swim to the right.’’
Then we spent the next hour following a
very friendly sea turtle throughout the
tiny bay — until he finally dove deep and
left us, presumably to go home to his
family. And we did the same.
9 p.m.
ONLINE: BEST OF TULUM, MEXICO
TURTLE WATCHING
1 p.m.
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121
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106
118
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79
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102
105
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100
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108
116
109
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120
122
27 Rapper ___
Wayne
29 View from
Neuchâtel
32 What you might
bow your head
to receive
33 Like some wine
glasses
34 Have good
intentions
35 Sunburn
preventer,
maybe
38 Idle
40 “Koala bear,”
e.g.
41 Modern
purveyor of
Scrabble and
Monopoly
42 “___ we done
here?”
43 Who said “I
can’t prove it,
but I can say it”
44 Trial site
45 Pittsburgh-toWilkes-Barre dir.
47 Honeymoon
attire
Everything in Tulum is
either beach side or jungle side, and no
JUNGLE FEVER
PEOPLE
High/low temperatures, in degrees Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit, and expected conditions.
C ..................... Clouds
F .......................... Fog
H ........................ Haze
I.............................. Ice
PC.......... Partly cloudy
R ......................... Rain
Sh ................. Showers
S .......................... Sun
Sn ...................... Snow
SS....... Snow showers
T ........ Thunderstorms
W ...................... Windy
Saturday
˚C
˚F
Abu Dhabi
Athens
Bali
Bangalore
Bangkok
Beijing
Berlin
Brussels
Buenos Aires
Kolkata
Chengdu
Chicago
Dhaka
Frankfurt
Geneva
Hanoi
Helsinki
Hong Kong
Hyderabad
Islamabad
Istanbul
Jakarta
Johannesburg
30/19
20/15
31/25
29/18
33/25
12/-1
11/4
11/8
28/15
31/25
13/11
7/-2
30/23
11/4
13/2
22/20
4/2
26/22
28/15
23/10
19/12
34/25
25/14
86/66
68/59
88/77
84/64
91/77
54/30
52/39
52/46
82/59
88/77
55/52
45/28
86/73
52/39
55/36
72/68
39/36
79/72
82/59
73/50
66/54
93/77
77/57
S
Sh
PC
PC
C
S
S
PC
S
PC
R
W
C
S
S
C
PC
R
PC
S
PC
T
T
Sunday
˚C
˚F
30/17
20/14
31/26
29/18
33/25
15/0
10/6
12/7
27/18
31/24
15/12
9/3
30/22
11/5
13/6
25/22
7/4
27/22
26/16
24/10
18/12
33/25
26/16
86/63
68/57
88/79
84/64
91/77
59/32
50/43
54/45
81/64
88/75
59/54
48/37
86/72
52/41
55/43
77/72
45/39
81/72
79/61
75/50
64/54
91/77
79/61
Karachi
Kiev
Kuala Lumpur
Lagos
London
Los Angeles
Madrid
Manila
Miami
Moscow
Mumbai
Nairobi
New Delhi
New York
Nice
Osaka
Paris
Riyadh
Rome
San Francisco
Seoul
Shanghai
Singapore
Sydney
Taipei
Tel Aviv
Tokyo
Vancouver
Vienna
Vladivostok
Washington
S
Sh
PC
PC
PC
S
PC
R
S
PC
C
PC
Sh
PC
R
C
Sh
PC
C
S
PC
T
T
33/21
15/7
30/24
31/24
13/7
31/17
14/7
31/25
27/20
9/6
36/25
29/16
32/19
10/7
20/12
19/11
13/8
21/8
21/11
23/13
14/2
17/13
31/25
27/17
26/21
28/17
14/14
12/6
11/6
7/-2
13/8
91/70
59/45
86/75
88/75
55/45
88/63
57/45
88/77
81/68
48/43
97/77
84/61
90/66
50/45
68/54
66/52
55/46
70/46
70/52
73/55
57/36
63/55
88/77
81/63
79/70
82/63
57/57
54/43
52/43
45/28
55/46
S
PC
R
T
R
S
PC
PC
Sh
R
PC
PC
H
S
S
PC
PC
S
PC
S
C
R
T
W
PC
S
C
PC
R
S
S
33/21
14/3
32/24
31/24
12/5
30/15
14/2
31/24
26/16
10/4
36/26
27/16
32/17
11/4
16/13
21/12
12/6
23/11
20/14
23/12
15/2
19/14
32/25
24/16
25/20
28/18
17/14
11/3
13/9
9/-2
15/6
91/70
57/37
90/75
88/75
54/41
86/59
57/36
88/75
79/61
50/39
97/79
81/61
90/63
52/39
61/55
70/54
54/43
73/52
68/57
73/54
59/36
66/57
90/77
75/61
77/68
82/64
63/57
52/37
55/48
48/28
59/43
A video of Tulum’s highlights and tips
from local residents. nytimes.com/travel
S
PC
PC
T
PC
S
Sh
PC
R
PC
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PC
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PC
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PC
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PC
The hit Broadway comedy ‘‘It’s Only
a Play’’ has a new star. The show’s
producers say MARTIN SHORT will take
over the role played by NATHAN LANE when
Mr. Lane departs the production on Jan.
4. Mr. Short’s first performance will be
on Jan. 7. The producers also announced
that the show has extended its run at the
Schoenfeld Theater on West 45th Street.
Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody
are returning to the big screen. Disney
Pixar says it will produce ‘‘Toy Story 4,’’
with a release date in June 2017. The
chief creative officer of Pixar, JOHN LAS-
123
PUZZLE BY TOM McCOY / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ
2 Butler’s maiden
name?
3 Banning from
future work
4 Nitrogen
symbols
5 Earth-shattering,
maybe
6 Quaint way
of sending
documents
7 Lerner’s partner
on Broadway
8 Beehive Stater
9 Long, narrow
fish
10 Insult
11 Centuries-old
instrument
12 Peak
performance?
13 Lily-livered sorts
14 Course: Abbr.
15 “Fingers
crossed!”
16 Illusory sight on
Mars
17 Robotic dog on
“Doctor Who”
18 Bit of power
21 Paradise lost in
“Paradise Lost”
59
68
85
95
53
64
73
84
48
52
78
81
92
47
58
66
80
46
63
71
There’s a decent chance
that drinks at Gitano could cost more
than dinner. This is the new Tulum — the
kind of place where it seems reasonable
HAVE A DRINK
39
62
70
75
91
38
7 p.m.
Traveler’s forecast
17
30
57
65
69
16
35
51
61
60
15
21
29
34
50
54
14
wraps and shawls. Across the street,
Josa Tulum carries sundresses in
happy, vibrant prints. Hacienda
Montaecristo is the place for bags, tops
and bohemian dresses with leather details. Or skip clothes entirely and indulge your newfound appreciation of
mezcal at La Tente Rose Mexican Wine
and Spirits, a liquor shop where the
bottles are displayed like works of art.
0
THE NEW YORK TIMES
48 110, to Bilbo
Baggins
49 Sports star with
size 18 shoes
50 “Ginger ___”
(1952 Newbery
winner)
51 Bill
53 “NO!”
55 End of the
Bible?
56 Scottish
negatives
58 Some ovines
59 Director
Guillermo ___
Toro
61 Swindles
64 Like some
councils
66 Tabula ___
67 Ignore
71 Start of a round
73 Rapt
76 Home of India’s
Red Fort
79 Went down a
slippery slope
81 “… just
kidding!”
82 Web file format,
for short
Burn alleviator
Be winded
Frosty’s pipe
Decorative
bands
89 Chillax, say
91 Future imago
92 Alternative
name for Troy
93 Anne’s home,
in literature
95 Court locale
96 Desist
98 Top prize
99 Film archive
100 December
celebrations
102 Incursion
103 Beaver State
capital
106 Chief
108 Long ride
111 Day-___
113 Go (for)
114 Modern
beginning?
115 Long, narrow
fish
117 Blood type
system
0
0
83
84
86
88
0
5
MARTIN SHORT, JOHN LASSETER
10
5
15
15
10
15
SETER, will direct the animated film. He
directed the first two ‘‘Toy Story’’
movies and says the fourth installment
will ‘‘open a new chapter’’ in the lives of
Woody, Buzz and their pals. (AP)
10
20
15
25
5
30
20
35
25
35
30
30
30-35
Meteorology by AccuWeather.
Weather shown as expected
at noon on Saturday.
WARM
COLD
T-STORMS
RAIN
SHOWERS
STATIONARY
ICE
FLURRIES
TYPHOON
COMPLEX
SNOW
HIGH LOW
MOSTLY
CLOUDY
TROPICAL
STORM
The most serious of the charges facing PHIL RUDD, the drummer for the Australian rock band AC/DC — that of attempting to hire someone to murder two
others — has been dropped, The New
Zealand Herald reported on Friday. But
the other charges, which include threatening to kill a third person and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis,
remain. Mr. Rudd, 60, could face seven
years in prison if he is convicted of making death threats. The charges were
dropped less than 24 hours after Mr.
Rudd was arrested after a raid at his
home in Tauranga, New Zealand.
INVISION/AP; AFP

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