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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Eat Locally in Tulum

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5. Oddball Day


The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve offers kayak tours of the Caapechen Lagoon.  

Turn your focus away from food to get in some outdoor activity. Start the day with coffee and a crusty chocolate croissant (about $1.50) at Mot Mot Café (Avenida Tulum between Orion and Beta Sur) before driving fifteen minutes north on Route 307 to Dos Ojos Cenote, a constellation of flooded sinkholes filled with clear, temperate water. Grab a snorkel and check out the stalagmites and stalactites, or suit up in scuba gear ($130 for a two-tank dive) and explore the networks of underground caves and lakes. Then ride back to town and stop for a quick snack at Tacos al Pastor (Avenida Tulum near Luna, just past the Weary Traveler Hostel), where hunks of pork are sliced off a vertical spit kept moist with the juice of fresh pineapples. Follow it up with one of the 50 types of fresh fruit paletas (about 50 cents to $1) from Flor de Michoacan (Avenida Tulum, between Calles Alfa and Jupiter), where you’ll find unique flavors like mango with chili and lemon-pineapple-jicama. Once you’re full, cruise along the beach road toward the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, but watch out for potholes along the dusty road which becomes a bit rough past the gates. Once inside the site’s 1.3 million acres, embark on a three-hour, naturalist-led kayak tour ($50) to spot tropical birds and cross the Caapechen Lagoon. As an alternative, just hike along the lagoon to spot sea turtles at your own pace and stumble upon still-unexcavated Mayan ruins. End your adventure with a mound of tangy ceviche ($13) and a couple of Negra Modelos ($4) from the bar on the third floor of the ecological center (at km 4), a prime spot for watching the sun set over the tropical canopy.


Published on Jan 20, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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