What even happens on a yoga retreat

"So what even happens on a yoga retreat?"

My roommate asked me this question when I arrived home from a weekend yoga retreat this Sunday. It was a good question, especially since I didn’t share any of the weekend on my Instagram account.

Yoga retreats have exploded in popularity in the last 5 years, likely due to an increased awareness around health but also thanks to social media, like Instagram, which gives teachers and students a platform to share these picture perfect adventures.

But yoga retreats are not just for committed "yogis" - they present awesome opportunities to relax, explore and connect with like minded individuals.

This past weekend I assisted in leading a retreat with my neighborhood yoga studio, Jewel City Yoga. It was such a joy to be a part of this experience, and such a pleasure to see how impactful this weekend was on each and every one of the participants, no matter their skill or interest in the physical yoga practice.

Yes, you can enjoy a yoga retreat even if you're a complete beginner, or if you decide not to participate in the yoga at all.

Today I'm sharing a bit more behind the scenes of this yoga retreat so that you can get an idea of what you might expect should you choose to participate in one in the future.

I'm also sharing three reasons a yoga retreat may be the perfect next vacation for you.

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Why go on a yoga retreat

Before we get into the WHAT, let’s talk about the WHY.

Why might you decide to go on a yoga retreat, versus simply traveling on your own?

  1. You prefer to have someone else take care of the logistics. With most yoga retreats, all of the details are handled with the exception of your flight or transport to the retreat location. You can literally just show up and not have to worry about food or outings or figuring out the best AirBnB to book. This can be especially nice when visiting a new foreign city, or if your life is particularly busy.

  2. You’re into health, wellness and/or self development. As I mentioned above, you don’t have to be an advanced yogi to go on a retreat, but you should have a general interest in health and wellness, or an openness to learning about these topics and yoga. I’ve taught at retreats where individuals opted out of the actual yoga, but they were happy to for the vibe of the trip to be health focused.

  3. You’re looking to connect with like minded individuals. In my opinion, the BEST part of retreats are the connections and conversations that co-habitating with other like minded humans for a week or weekend facilitates. Sometimes the retreat leaders initiate reflecting and sharing moments, but often it’s in the in between moments (in between yoga and brunch, during afternoon free time, in between dinner and bedtime) that conversation is sparked and connections are made. Each retreat will attract a unique set of people, all of which are there for a reason.

It’s definitely good if you like yoga, but there’s so much you’ll get out of a retreat regardless!

What actually happens? (example schedule)

Every retreat is unique, but I want to share this weekend’s schedule to give you an idea of what one might look like. With most retreats, the activities are always optional - you can choose to do everything, or decide to sleep in or spend some extra time with your journal (or hop over to the local winery, or whatever!).

The schedule below is for a weekend. Longer retreats usually follow the same flow, often with an adventure or excursion day in the middle of the trip to switch things up.

FRIDAY

5-7PM Arrive + settle in

7-8PM Dinner

8-9:30PM Welcome, intention setting + evening meditation

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SATURDAY

7:30-9AM Light breakfast + coffee and tea

9-10:15AM Morning yoga

10:15-11:15AM Free time

11:15AM-12:45PM Brunch

12:45-3:30PM Free time

3:30-4:45PM Afternoon yoga

4:45-6PM Free time

6-8PM Cooking class + dinner

8-9:30PM Post dinner discussion (we had a more formal chat about non violent communication, but often this will be additional free time)

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SUNDAY

7:30-9AM Light breakfast + coffee and tea

9-10:15AM Morning yoga

10:15-11:15AM Free time

11:15AM-12:45PM Brunch

12:45-1:30PM Free time

1:30-2PM Reflections, closing meditation + departure

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What do you eat? Is it only salads and green juice?

As you may expect, the food on yoga retreats is typically healthy, but also delicious. Sometimes a private chef is brought in to cook for the group, other times the retreat leader will do the cooking and ask participants to lend a hand with small tasks. If the retreat is held at a retreat center, the food is usually handled by their staff.

Most often meals are plant based.

Alcohol is usually not included, but not always discouraged - it’s simply up to you to purchase if you’d like to have it during your retreat. There was plenty of wine enjoyed this past weekend (not by me personally, but most everyone else had at least a glass or two with dinners).

DO I HAVE TO BE EXPERIENCED WITH YOGA?

The short answer: it depends.

Most often it’s completely fine to be a beginner, especially if you’re excited to learn. The beauty of a retreat is that you’ll get more time with a single teacher, and have the opportunity to ask questions, receive hands on adjustments and personal feedback.

There are some retreats that are geared more towards advanced practitioners and teachers. Likely you’ll know from the website if this is the case. And if you’re not sure, just ask! Get in touch with whoever is in charge and explain that you’re a beginner - would this retreat be a good fit for you?

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How do i find a retreat?

There are tons of companies these days who organize retreats as their full time business. And while you can absolutely find a great trip and have an amazing experience with one of these companies, I do suggest going with a teacher or studio you know if you can.

You’re way more likely to have a positive, enriching experience if you already know you like the teacher’s style (even if you’ve only taken a class or two but were into their vibe). In addition, you’ll meet people who live or work in your local community (which is less likely when going with a big, international retreat company).

That being said… YES, there are absolutely more yoga retreats in my future. Two are already brewing for this year :) Make sure you’re signed up for my weekly newsletter list to be the first to know about future retreat opportunities!




THANK YOU TO FROM THE HIP PHOTO FOR CAPTURING THIS WEEKEND SO BEAUTIFULLY

Lessons from Sedona

Last Tuesday Robyn asked me to share my insights or takeaways from my trip to Sedona with our Rockstar Coaching Collective ladies. I did tons of self reflection during the trip, but as soon as I got back to NYC I jumped into a full weekend yoga training at The Studio and didn’t truly have time to process the experience and my thoughts around it.

As I’ve shared before, creating time and space to “digest” experiences is just as important as creating time and space to digest your food. It’s all connected.

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In addition, verbalizing any reflections, goals, visions, worries or fears with someone else is powerful because it allows those things space to live outside your head. With the more positive pieces (visions, dreams, wishes, intentions), sharing allows others to see those things for you and sort of “co-manifest” - once they know your goals, they can see where they might be able to help you out, hold you accountable, or simply remind you of whatever it is when something else distracts you.

With the fears and worries - divulging helps dissipate the energy, and also allows space for compassion, empathy and support from others. SO often the things that bring us down the most are things that we keep inside, and once we say it out loud we realize “Oh, it’s not that bad!” or we realize that it’s okay to ask for help.

Because my experience last week with the Rockstar women was so powerful (for both me and the women in the group), today I’m sharing some of of the insights I had on my Sedona vacation.

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Insight 1: Don’t underestimate the importance of personal space (especially for my highly sensitive peeps!)

I know how important personal space is for me, but it seems like I’m constantly put in situations (or I put myself in situations) where I have an opportunity to learn it again (and again and again).

Some of you may have seen on Instagram, but our first few nights in Sedona I was sharing a studio room with my parents, where I was sleeping on a pull out couch adjacent to their bed and the kitchenette. For some people this might have been okay, but for me it was not.

There was no where for any of us to go if we wanted privacy or quite time, and no boundaries between any of the spaces (their space, my space, the communal space).

Again, for some people this tight space might have been okay. For me, with my parents (and likely with MOST people) it’s not. I need my own space, when it’s anything longer than a weekend. NOTED for future.

How I tried to create personal space with couch cushions in our tiny studio. We moved to a bigger room half way through the week and it made SUCH a big different.

How I tried to create personal space with couch cushions in our tiny studio. We moved to a bigger room half way through the week and it made SUCH a big different.

Insight 2: There’s not always a lightening bolt moment.

Sedona is known to be a magical, healing place. Pretty much everyone who had visited told me “You’re going to have the BEST time. It’s such a magical place.”

I think I was expecting to show up and physically feel this life-changing vibration, but I didn’t.

The stuff going on in my family didn’t miraculously shift. The challenges going on in my own brain didn’t either.

And I realized healing doesn’t always happen in a miraculous way, just like insights or big ideas don’t ALWAYS come in one dramatic flash. Change can happen in small ways, over time.

Sure the dramatic moments exist: Love at first sight, lightening bolt AHA moment, a song that triggers a memory and a wave of cathartic tears. But most of the time it’s small, gradual shifts that create real change.

Those small changes are what I noticed on this trip. He acted differently. I reacted differently. She said something differently. There wasn’t a 180 with anything, and that’s totally okay.

Insight 3: Nature is so healing

Healers and healing practices (like yoga or meditation) are great. But there’s something so fundamentally healing about nature - maybe it’s the space, maybe it’s the quite, but simply BEING with trees (or sky, or sun or ocean) is sometimes enough.

So note to self: MORE NATURE IN MY LIFE!

Me feeling calm and clear after a hard (but beautiful) hike!

Me feeling calm and clear after a hard (but beautiful) hike!

Insight 4: When you feel safe in your body you’re able to handle the harder situations.

This was less of an aha moment, but rather an aha that dropped IN.

I teach people to treat their bodies as their homes. To take care of this place, to be comfortable in it, to make peace with it. But this still isn’t something I feel all the time myself.

I KNEW it in my head, but it hadn’t dropped down into my being until this trip.

One night of the trip (while still in the small space) things were hard. There was an argument, some not nice things were said. I was hurt and angry.

In the past, I’d choose to escape - go for a run, watch a show, make food, work, etc. Avoid the feelings for fear that they were too much for me to handle.

This time instead of avoiding my feelings, I chose to go IN to the discomfort and pain. I did some yoga (mostly child’s pose) and connected to my breath.

I heard the mantra: I am safe in my body. And more than heard it, I FELT it.

And I realized I was safe. I could feel the tough feelings, but not let them consume me.

Insight 5: Sometimes people or situations are meant to teach us how not to act or what not to do in the future.


This is a cliche saying but I GOT IT. There were some pieces of the trip that didn’t go as planned or how I would have liked. Instead of getting resentful or angry, I allowed myself to see the lesson.

In the future, I won’t book a flight like this.

In the future, I won’t agree to these sleeping arrangements.

In the future, I won’t eat that food.

Instead of stewing on the less than perfect present moment, I saw the thing that felt off and THANKED situation for it’s lesson, and thanked myself for being able to see that lesson.

I didn’t listen to my gut and this meal didn’t settle right. NOTED for future.

I didn’t listen to my gut and this meal didn’t settle right. NOTED for future.

Insight 6: There’s a BIG shift happening within me.

And it’s TERRIFYING. But it’s also so precious and I don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to get clearer on who I am and what I want out of life.

I’ve been feeling this for a few months now - like there’s a re-working of my insides happening. I know that some big changes are coming in my life this year, but right now it feels more like the shift is happening within me.

The outward direction of my ship isn’t completely changing, but the inner compass is recalibrating… and the destination will be different over time.

This became even more clear to me on this trip, and it’s why I’ve felt the need to disconnect from social media, to have more quite time, and to spend more time with ME.

Insight 7: I AM tuned into myself.

Towards the end of the trip I met with a psychic. She was recommended by a friend and *almost* everything she said felt spot on but nothing was WOAH OMG.

After sharing this with the Rockstar group, I had the insight: Wow, cool, I AM tuned into myself.

I do a lot of self work, I spend a lot of time journaling and being introspective. It’s cool to see that that works and that I can trust my intuition and myself.

I know myself! Cool!

I know myself! Cool!




Well there you have it folks - my 7 insights from 7 days in Sedona.

I’d love to hear if anything I shared above resonated with you - leave a comment below and let me know!

And if you’re curious to read more about what I did on the trip, check out this post: Sedona Travel Guide.

 

Healthy Travel Sedona

Last week I spent 7 days in the magical Sedona, Arizona with my parents. It was an epic trip on many levels - if you were following along on Instagram you know we were in a studio room for the first few nights so that was interesting (or an “opportunity for awakening” as my therapist would say) to say the least.

I’m excited to share some of the highlights from the trip here with you!

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getting to SEDONA

There’s a small airport in Sedona, but most people fly into Phoenix and then rent a car to drive the 2 hours to Sedona. We stayed the night in Phoenix which I highly recommend to split up the trip - there are plenty of hotels and cute AirBnBs not far from the airport.





Tip: I also recommend making a pit stop at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West (about 40 minutes from Phoenix and just under 2 hours from Sedona). Whether you specifically love architecture or not, Frank Lloyd Wright was quite a genius - you can see this in his work but also in how he created a school of architecture that required more than just drafting building plans.



where to stay

We stayed at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort - my mom was gifted a week stay from someone who has a timeshare with Diamond Resorts. This resort was perfectly comfortable (after we moved out of our studio room that is) and very quite.

Where we were was about a 20 minute drive south from true Sedona center, which wasn’t bad but it did make for more time in the car. If I visited in the future, I’d probably choose to stay a little closer to town, likely in West Sedona as most of the food spots and hikes I enjoyed were on that side of town.





I will note that while we were visiting, the resort’s spa was closed. The pool and Jacuzzi were operating, but it was a little disappointing not to have a sauna / steam room on site as MOST hotels and resorts in Sedona include these and it’s one of the biggest perks of choosing a resort over an AirBnB.

 

what to do

  • HIKE! - In my opinion, the nature is WHY you visit Sedona. Yes, it’s cool to have a crystal shop and psychic in every shopping mall, but the real magic of this town is the nature. There are SO many trails within a few minutes of the center of town, and something for every level of hiker. I recommend downloading the Hiking Guide: Sedona app - it gives good descriptions of the trails and how to navigate to the trailheads.

    These are the hikes we did in addition to the vortex trails listed below: Doe Mountain** (quick climb, spectacular views at top with plenty of space to explore), Templeton Trail (flat but great views of Bell Rock, the Courthouse, etc) and Devil’s Bridge (largest natural bridge in the area, some steep parts).

  • VISIT THE VORTEXES - Sedona is known for it’s vortexes. Vortexes are the powerful and transformational energy centers located at the intersections of natural electromagnetic earth energy. You can book a tour to visit the vortexes, which can be fun to get more history and be guided to feel the energy at each spot, but we decided to see them on our own. The four major vortexes in Sedona are Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, Boynton Canyon** and Airport Mesa** - there are great hikes around all of these, but most you can also park near so you don’t have to do a full hike if you don’t want.

    ** = my personal favorites

  • SHOP FOR CRYSTALS - As previously mentioned, there is literally a store selling crystals and other metaphysical items in every shopping center in Sedona. Part of the fun of working with crystals is letting them choose you, which is why I always buy them in person rather than online. Especially if you’re a crystal newbie, this can be a great opportunity to visit a few stores and see if any particular stones call to you. These were the specific shops I felt had better energy and better quality goods: Mystical Bazaar, Peace Place Gifts + Crystal Gratitude.

  • HAVE A HEALING SESSION - It wouldn’t be a true trip to Sedona without at least one session with a healer or psychic! There are many different types of healing and energy work sessions to be experienced in Sedona: aura photography, energy healing, massage, reiki, tarot, psychic work, and more.

    A full post on my experience working with psychics is definitely overdue, but for now my advice is this: be open, but also skeptical. Trust your instincts. If you don’t get a good vibe from someone or something they’re telling you doesn’t resonate, you don’t have to do a session or believe what they say. I’ve had only positive experiences, but I’ve learned to only work with people who I trust and get a good gut YES from.

  • STARGAZE - Sedona is an International Dark Sky Community which means there are regulations on street and city lights, so the star gazing here is EPIC! With most things, you can surely book a tour or guided experience, but you can also just go outside on a clear night and LOOK UP. It’s wonderful, especially for us city folk who don’t see stars too often.

Here are some pictures from our activities:

where to eat

COFFEE, TEA + BREAKFAST

  • LOCAL JUICERY - Definitely my favorite (and most visited) food spot of the trip! Come here for epic smoothies, juices and other healthy eats. Make a point to get the gluten free waffles - they are literally the BEST I’ve ever had.

  • CREEKSIDE COFFEE - A popular bakery and coffeeshop. Open early for your pre-hike caffienation needs.

CASUAL EATS

  • CHOCOLATREE - Organic, gluten free and vegetarian eatery with tons of raw options, as well as a full raw chocolate factory and marketplace. Come for a hearty, healthy meal or just for chocolate and tea. I did both. Purchase a loaf of their gluten free and vegan bread to take home.

  • THE SECRET GARDEN CAFE - Quaint little cafe in the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts village. Great for ALL dietary preferences - there are gluten free and vegan options, but also burgers, pastrami sandwiches and lots of desserts.

  • THAI PALACE - A local recommended this Thai spot and it did not disappoint.

  • PICAZZO’S HEALTHY ITALIAN KITCHEN - The name says it all: healthy Italian (including gluten free and vegan pizza and house made gluten free foccacia). Come during happy hour for a meal that’s delicious and incredibly affordable.

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  • CREEKSIDE AMERICAN BISTRO - One of the nicer dinner spots we ate at with gorgeous views of the red rocks and a fabulous outdoor patio overlooking the creek, when the weather’s right. Something to please everyone here from blackened salmon salads to decadent steaks.

  • DAHL & DiLUCA - Picazzo’s fancier sister restaurant. Similarly they have TONS of gluten free options, but also all the traditional Italian dishes.

Here are a few pics of yummy food I ate:

I hope to visit Sedona again some day - it truly is a magical place with healing energy… and THE best gluten free waffles ;)

 

 

Have you ever been to SEDONA? what was your favorite activity, restaurant or experience?

Share with us all in the comments below!

 

My non-negotiables

As I write this post I’m in the middle of a 10 day trip with some of my best college girlfriends. We’re doing a lot of hiking at some beautiful national parks and also making a weekend stop in Vegas. It’s been an amazing trip so far because I’ve been able to spend quality time with friends I don’t see that often while still sticking to my “non negotiables.”

What’s a non negotiable? Its a practice, routine or ritual that you do every day that makes you feel your best. These are the things that keep you grounded even if everything else around you feels way out of the norm.

Like me, maybe you spent this past weekend celebrating. Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season - a time where we travel more, stay up a little later, spend more time outside, and likely eat and drink a little more loosely since it’s summer and it’s time to relax and have fun.

Me and my girls in the middle of an amazing hike in Zion!

Me and my girls in the middle of an amazing hike in Zion!

Personally I know I don’t feel my best if I let all my healthy habits fall by the wayside (even when I’m on vacation), but I also know I need to enjoy life and have a little wiggle room, especially in the summer.

This is where non negotiables come in.

Your non negotiable may be meditation, eating at least 1 green vegetable a day, journaling, etc. They can change over time with you, or adapt to the situation.

 

 

Right now my non negotiables are:
1. Water first thing when I wake up
2. Morning meditation
3. Getting in plenty of movement AND exercise every day

These are things I’m committed to, even on vacation, even on the weekends. They’re especially important on trips with friends and family because they keep you grounded and connected to yourself, the YOU that you are now and that you’re working to become, versus the YOU you may feel pulled to be around old friends or your fam.

Morning "me" time is one of my non negotiables. Usually this means water, meditation and tea.

Morning "me" time is one of my non negotiables. Usually this means water, meditation and tea.

I first learned about the idea of non-negotiable from Robyn, and it’s something she teaches in the first week of her online coaching program, Your Healthiest You.

I helped Robyn create this program and have had many of my clients, family and friends go through it. The course covers much of the material both Robyn and I start on with our 1:1 coaching clients - it will help you create (or redefine) your healthy foundation.

In the 6 week course you’ll learn:

  • How to identify YOUR non negotiables
  • What to put on your plate at every meal
  • What your cravings may be trying to tell you (it’s likely not as simple as you think)
  • How to create a meditation practice
  • What’s up with your hormones (focused on my ladies, but also super informative for my male friends!)
  • And so much more!

Whether you’ve been on a health kick and want to keep momentum behind that as we move into summer or MDW indulgences already have you feeling less than sparkly in your bikini or swim trunks, this course is for you.

 

 

Because I know how incredible this course is, I’m offering a special bonus when you enroll: in addition to the bonuses listed on the course website, you’ll also receive a 25 minute laser focus coaching session with me ($250 value)!
Head here to learn more + enroll: Your Healthiest You Group Coaching Program.

Healthy Travel Tulum

I spent 5 glorious days last week in the magical town of Tulum, Mexico. Since I was doing my social media detox, I didn't share much about my trip so in this post I'll be recapping where I stayed, what I did and (of course) where I ate!

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getting to tulum

Tulum is a town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. It’s known for its beaches and ruins of an ancient Mayan port city. I chose Tulum because it's relatively easy to get to from NYC (about a 1/2 day of travel) AND because it's got all the wellness things: healthy food, yoga, spas, healers, etc.

The easiest way to get to Tulum is to fly into the Cancun airport. From there you can take a bus, shuttle, or taxi to your destination. You'll find the ticket counters for all of these options immediately when you leave customs, and you can pay for your fare with pesos or dollars.

 

 

Tip: Contrary to what I read online, I found that the exchange rate at the airport was the most favorable. There are banks and ATMs all around Tulum, and many places do accept US dollars and major credit cards, but I would recommend exchanging some money before you leave the airport.

 

The cheapest travel option is of course the bus. ADO bus runs about every 40 minutes to Playa del Carmen where you’ll need to change buses. The trip will take about 2 hours from when you're picked up the airport, with various stops and transfers. You'll be dropped at the bus station in Tulum town where you'll then need to catch a quick taxi to your hotel.

I loved the inspirational signs along the Tulum beach road.

I loved the inspirational signs along the Tulum beach road.

You can instead opt for a shuttle or private taxi. Shuttles run a bit more frequently than the bus (you may only have to wait 20 minutes) and carry fewer passengers, and will usually drop you directly at your hotel. Taxis (the most expensive, but quickest and most convenient option) will pick you up immediately and drop you off directly. Both rides will take about 1.5 hours from the airport.

Since I was traveling alone and looking for convenience (and I wanted to get to the beach STAT), I took a taxi.

 

where to stay

From my experience there are three main areas you can choose to stay in Tulum: in town, on the quieter end of the beach (near the ruins) or on the more popular end of the beach.

I chose the quieter end of the beach and booked an ocean front bungalow at Diamante K which ended up being PERFECT for my trip. This eco hotel is small (only 30 cabins, many of which share a common bathroom). There's one restaurant with a bar that looks out over the ocean and small private beach. It was peaceful and beautiful. Because it's no frills, it is one of the most affordable places to stay on the beach.

Here are a few pics of Diamante K:

While this was perfect for me, if you're looking for a resort with more amenities (yoga, activities, full spa, more nightlife, etc), I'd recommend staying on the other end of the beach. Here are a few places to look into (or look around):

  • HABITAS - About halfway between two sides of the beach, known for being a haven for wellness seekers. One of the few places not open to the public.

  • AHAU - Home to the RawLove Cafe (see below), beautiful beach side resort that still keeps the jungle bungalow feel, kid friendly.

  • SANARA - Luxury hotel on the beach, home to my favorite restaurant (The Real Coconut) and ocean view yoga studio.

  • BE TULUM - Luxury hotel. Connected to the world class Yaan Wellness spa and treetop yoga (again, see "what to do" below).

 

 

Tip: Many of the hotel activities are open to the public so even if you choose to stay on the quieter end of the beach, in town, or at an AirBnB, you can still take part in the yoga, sound healings, etc (at a cost that is).

 

what to do

There's so much to do in and around Tulum! While I didn't do much apart from a few yoga classes and a trip to the ruins, here are some recommendations for what to do if you're into more activities:

  • TAKE A YOGA OR WELLNESS CLASS - Many of the hotels and resorts offer daily yoga classes, and some offer other wellness classes such as sound healings, mindfulness talks and meditations.. The easiest way to find out when the classes are is to rent a bike and ride along the road - most of the places with activities that are open to the public will have signs out front with the daily offerings. I took classes at Sanara (beautiful oceanfront studio) and Yaan (cool tree top studio) and they were great. All classes were in English by the way.

  • TREAT YOURSELF TO A DAY AT THE SPA - Again many of the more upscale resorts have their own spas. I chose to do a treatment at the world famous Yaan Wellness Spa and it was worth every penny. Sanara also has a great spa, or you can opt for a simple massage from one of the many options on the beach. If you're looking for a more traditional experience, I'd suggest checking out Mayan Clay Spa & Bathhouse.

  • CHECK OUT THE MAYAN RUINS - The 13th-century Mayan archaeological site at Tulum National Park overlooks the ocean and is an interesting spot to visit while you're in town. I recommend getting there EARLY (I got there at 9AM and it was already busy). I just paid the park entry fee and wandered around eavesdropping on different tours, but next time I'd sign up for a tour myself because I think the experience of the place is more powerful with context.

  • SWIM IN A CENOTE - Cenotes are freshwater sinkholes that offer a different way to spend a day (or morning) in the area. Many of these are not too far from the town and are absolutely beautiful. Here are a few specific cenotes that were recommended to me by friends:  Cenote Cristalino, Cenote Escondido and Cenote Dos Ojos.

  • EXPERIENCE A TEMAZCAL CEREMONY - Many people chose to participate in a Mayan sweat lodge known as a Temazcal when in Tulum. Translated as “house of heat,” the ancient ceremony led by a shaman originated with the pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica to purify the body and mind, heal the sick, or provide a spiritual haven for women to give birth. Many resorts (Casa Violeta, Ahau and Yaan to name a few) host these in conjunction with the full and new moons, or you can book a private ceremony.

The view from Sanara's oceanfront yoga studio.

The view from Sanara's oceanfront yoga studio.

 

where to eat

COFFEE, TEA + BREAKFAST

  • RAW LOVE (inside Ahau resort) - smoothie bowls, raw desserts and a few raw entrees. Supposedly the raw pizza is bomb but I didn't try it!

  • MATCHA MAMA - cute roadside matcha shop with matcha, smoothies, and matcha ice cream. Good, not great. And not cheap either. Go for the cute Instagram shots.

CASUAL EATS

  • BURRITO AMOR - One of my favorite spots in town. Burritos on housemade coconut tortillas. Good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They have WiFi.

  • LA HOJA VERDE - I stumbled into this place and had a yummy and cheap smoothie. Vegan/vegetarian.

  • TAQUERIA LA EUFEMIA - Where the locals go for tacos and beers on the beach.

  • SAFARI TULUM - Casual but delicious eats.

  • CAFE CIELO - Cute cafe in town for breakfast or lunch.

NICER RESTAURANTS

  • THE REAL COCONUT (inside Sanara resort) - Nicer but on the beach so you can be casual (nicer meaning $$$). Don't waste your money on the smoothies - get the real food, its good. Feels like LA in Tulum.

  • KITCHEN TABLE - Farm to table Tulum.

  • CASA JAGUAR - Trendy spot for dinner and music. Thursday night is the night to go here.

  • GITANO - Didn't go but this place gets good reviews for food + mezcal.

  • POSADA MARGARITA - Beachside spot for Italian food.

  • HARTWOOD - Again didn't go but came highly recommended. May be tough to get a reservation so book in advance.

Here are a few pics of yummy food I ate:

Overall I had an amazing vacation in Tulum, and I will definitely be back to check out some of the experiences and food I wasn't able to fit in on this trip!

 

 

Have you ever been to tulum? what was your favorite activity, restaurant or experience?

Share with us all in the comments below!