los salbutes, Mayan cuisine

Salbutes & Panuchos

Salbutes & Panuchos are very common snack or small meal food found around the Yucatán area, rivalling even the ever-popular tacos. What are they? Unlike tacos, salbutes’ base isn’t taco-style tortillas, but fried masa much like a sopé. Masa is a white corn that has been boiled with lime (the mineral) and then ground into a flour. It is the …

tacos al-pastor are a classic in Tulum

Tacos Al-Pastor

Tacos Al-Pastor, which means literally “shepard-style”, is a type of taco where the meat is cooked on a vertical spit, and shaved off with a knife by hand into the tortilla. It is quite common here in Tulum, and you’ll know who sells al-pastor as the cooking meat is often visible. What is “al-pastor”? It is almost exclusively pork, which …

Aerial Beach view

Best Beaches of Tulum

Best Beaches in Tulum Many consider the coastline of Tulum to contain the best beaches in the Riviera Maya, so it’s no surprise there are several areas to choose from. Technically, all coastline here connects and beach names are superfluous, but useful when determining where to meet up. Which Beach is Best? Playas north, directly next to the ancient ruins …

Xcaret Park celebration of Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Día de los Muertos is a longstanding Mexican tradition that is becoming increasingly well-known throughout the world. There are aspects of similarity to its counterparts of Halloween, All Saints Day, or Samhain, but this celebration is different. Spanish Catholicism brought by the Conquistadores combined with ancient traditions from thousands of years to create Día de los …

Best Bars in Tulum

Best Bars in Tulum

There are so many great bars in Tulum that it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start! Hopefully, you’ve given yourself ample vacation time to take advantage of such great spots. Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar “Here we share tables!” announces a sign on the inside seating area. A beautiful seating area in an outdoor courtyard under faerie-lights …

Ki'bok cafe in tulum

Best Cafes in Tulum

Ki’bok Located just off the main drag, bars and popular restaurants flank this unassuming spot in the evenings. However, Ki’bok is the best spot for an espresso and breakfast/lunch before partying in the evening. The food is great, and definitely has a unique flavor compared to most of the local spots, but the espresso is the crowning achievement here. The …

Cochinita Pibil, Mayan food

Cochinita Pibil

This classic Yucatán dish is all about the extremely tender pork. It is served dish alongside refried beans, the ever-common pickled red onions, rice, spicy habanera-tomato salsa, and tortillas for convenience of eating. The cooking process Like some other dishes popular here, cochinita pibil is a time-intensive dish. Cochinita means “baby pig”, so it can be an entire suckling pig, …

sea turtle held in hands at festival of the sea turtles

Festivals of Tulum

Carnaval of Tulum Carnival (spelled Carnaval in Spanish) is a widely celebrated Catholic holiday, known for its Caribbean celebrations and wild colors. Comparable to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it generally takes place a week before Ash Wednesday in the Catholic calendar. The holiday exists to celebrate fun before the strictness of Lent. There are Carnaval celebrations all over the …

Mayan ceremony

Traditional Maya Music

Music was a critical part of the ancient Maya lifestyle, featuring in every event from ceremonies, war, celebration, and even ritual sacrifice. The Spanish conquistadors worked hard to end ritual Mayan music, and executed dancers and musicians first in their conquest. While we don’t have much information about original ancient Maya, we know some things about their music. Instruments of …

Soliman Bay on the Riviera Maya

Soliman Bay

Soliman Bay is a unique spot on the Riviera Maya, and a must-see for anyone looking for the perfect Caribbean beach. This spot, found along the coast between Akumal and Tulum, is the best-kept secret of the area. It is a pristine beach with all the white sands, warm waters, and palmtrees one expects of a tropical paradise. But Soliman …

el poc-chuc yucatán food

El Poc-Chuc

El Poc-Chuc, or Pok Chuk Bak, is an integral part of Yucatán cuisine, though its origins are a little hazy. Poc-Chuc is a dish containing marinated pork, served with rice, refried black beans, sliced avocado, and often pickled onion, cabbage, and a spicy salsa made from habanero. How it’s made There is some debate on the perfect way to make …

The Maya Language

The Maya Language While the most widely spoken language is Mexico is Spanish, there are several native language still spoken here. The Mexican Government officially recognises 68 local languages. The Maya culture is still very alive here in the Yucatán, most of all through the Maya language itself. While technically called Yukatek Maya, speakers know it only as Maya. Those …

Whale shark & swimmer

Whale Sharks

The Gentle Shark Explorers and locals have been sighting the whale shark in the tropics for centuries, but only recently have they become another major tourist attraction for the Yucatan area. Despite an intimidating name, whale sharks are completely harmless. They are filter feeders, meaning they only feast on plankton and have no teeth. They also prefer to be in …