The Yucatan

I wasn’t sure what to think of visiting the Yucatan with all the talk and caution of going but when it comes to visiting family, you just go. And with wine in hand, we packed our bags and ventured out.

Here are all the things I noticed about their food and the location but most of all this is a take on all the recommendations we got…from the locals. From Richard’s cousin who actually lives there.

Playa Del Carmen, 5th Avenue

Playa Del Carmen, 5th Avenue

The only thing I can say about the wine is to bring your own. A lot of their wines are from the northern region of Baja California and even at one of the choicest restaurants in Mayakoba, Casa Amate, the wines from Mexico were from Ensenada. And of course more often than not, if you’re going to Quintana Roo, it will most likely be so hot it’s best to take the lighter wines.

We took a Napa Rombauer Pinot Grigio from Napa and one of our most coveted wines, a 2016 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir that paired nicely with ceviche at one of the hottest ceviche restaurants in Playa Del Carmen, Cassa Ceviche.

What a perfect way to enjoy a light wine with their Mayan Ceviche; a Peruvian and Mexican mix paired with a pre-hispanic fusion of flavors. (It’s what their menu says.)

Mezzanine , Tulum

Mezzanine, Tulum

This is a cup of yellow soup made with Huauzontle - a native plant of Mexico

This is a cup of yellow soup made with Huauzontle - a native plant of Mexico

Who knew that the wine maker in Napa’s perfect blend would go so well with pre-historic Mayan dishes?

The gastronomy in the Yucatan is a fountain of unique flavors. The foods are sometimes pre-historic, bringing to mind how these earthy flavors may have been originated in a bygone era: an era in line with the pyramids.

Don’t just consider visiting relics but eat foods originated from thousands of years ago. It’s a reason alone to continue exploring the Yucatan.




Tulum

If you haven’t discovered what is supposed to be the most fascinating place to a lot of young bohemian crowds that flock there several times a year; if having a hippy, Bohemian flair is your bag, I would suggest to make this your next trip if you haven’t done so already.

Ceviche at Tulum’s  Mezzanine ; have lunch here and drive up the road to visit Zona Arqueologica de Tulum.

Ceviche at Tulum’s Mezzanine; have lunch here and drive up the road to visit Zona Arqueologica de Tulum.

It’s no wonder the town of Tulum is a not just a free-spirited favorite but a favorite for those who invest in their health and well-being as as much as their Prada and Channel bag.

It’s the allure of the tropics here.

Tulum is definitely a tropical mix of East meets West where exotic lives. You can easily feel like you could be somewhere on an island in the Phillippines on a dusty road full of bikes, mopeds, and pedestrians and yet be look for a great ceviche.

Everyone whizzes by with not a care that at anytime they can be hit by passing motorists but maybe that’s my old self talking.

And it certainly pays to have a cousin who lives in Playa Del Carmen.

Richard and his cousin Roxana.

Richard and his cousin Roxana.

Here are some of the places she recommended throughout Playa Del Carmen and Tulum:

Playa Del Carmen

Cueva del Chango - Great breakfast spot. Sit in the back by the streams of water that flow through the patio and order a fresh juice.

Cafe Tikal - Look for the hut. They serve up delicious fresh juices.

Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen - This place has a grand entrance alright. It’s a great place to have lunch or just tea.

Coco Bongo - As we drove around one night, we were told this is a great place to take anyone of all ages. Their shows were great and if we returned, we should see a show there. It was highly recommended for dinner and a show.

Rio Secreto - this was a great place to discover the cenotes. These are basically huge water holes that expand into caves. There are a few parks who take you through where you can swim, discover and be taken back centuries ago within about an hour. It’s a nice day trip. I asked where we take the bus and she said just to drive up the street for about 10 minutes.

Tulum

Hartford - What can I say? This is one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world and we were told to “come back tomorrow.” They don’t take reservations and it is a first come first serve basis. And we were late to dinner.

Mezzanine - This was the perfect spot for a light lunch. If you’re headed to see the relics, stop here first. Don’t let the unassuming hotel discourage you.

Azulic - We were told this was the most beautiful hotel in all of Tulum. Of course we missed it. We drove up and when we told them we were there for a drink, they said the bar was not open yet and to come back in about an hour. So we just kept going.

Casa Banana - They specialize in suckling pig and have a remarkable warm beet salad. I probably should have ordered the beet salad.

Betulum - A nice place to relax and have a glass of tonic and cucumber and take your blouse off. If that’s your thing.

Casa Malca - What was once a summer home for Pablo Escobar, this force of nature resort is definitely reminiscent of a militarized compound and certainly worth a visit.

More on Tulum and Playa here.