On the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, about an hour and a half south of Cancun, Tulum‘s glorious beaches are nestled between the edge of the jungle and the Caribbean Sea’s warm, turquoise water. I recently spent a week camped out in a thatched-roof bungalow on a small limestone cliff above the ocean at Papaya Playa Project, an eco-friendly DESIGN HOTELS resort. Every night I fell asleep to the thunderous sound of the surf and woke up at 6am each morning as sunlight poured into our little hut.
The first full day of our trip, we spent the afternoon getting tree-top massages at the luxurious Yaan Wellness Spa. A massage was the perfect way to relax after a busy event season and to ease into a week of Mayan ruins, margaritas and sunshine. The smokey smell of burning copal, aromatic tree resin incense, wafted throughout the spa and noisy jungle birds flittered through the palm trees. After the massages, while relaxing in the pools filled with water straight from Tulum’s cenotes, natural sinkholes, we were brought hot tea with the most fragrant honey. I had never before had an experience that felt as indulgent at this day at the spa and I am afraid I will be hard pressed to find any place as magical.