Maya Tulum

»Exotic Luxury«

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Maya Tulum Resort in Mexico offers luxury retreats for yogis who are ready for a high-class getaway. Travel-brochure cliches are in rich supply at the resort: Sparkling ocean waters, thatched yoga shalas, serenity, and gourmet food. Without the distraction of TVs, radios and other electronics, Maya Tulum focuses on recharging the metaphorical batteries of the world-weary rather than the PDA batteries of the permanently switched-on.

The resort is located one and a half hours south from Cancun airport, but don’t be fooled into thinking Maya Tulum is simply another of the soulless beachfront hotels. The property is isolated from its neighbours with a forest at the rear and the cool blue waters of the Caribbean sea at the front. The resort has 45 cabanas, all open to the elements and topped with traditional thatched roofing. There are two large yoga halls (think 3,000 and 1,500 square feet), a dining area by the sea and spa services to really relax you.

Among Maya Tulum’s offerings are all inclusive luxury packages which range from 3 to 7 days in length. These packages are different to the retreats hosted by outside teachers - see below for information. Get picked up from and dropped off at the airport, eat the nutritious food thrice daily, indulge in the Hatha yoga classes, and top it all off with the included spa treatments (deep tissue massage anyone?) as well as the selected day trips.

From March to December, Maya Tulum hosts multiple retreats led by prominent yogis such as John Friend and Shiva Rea. These are for those who are looking for more yoga than luxury-vacation, with the week-long itineraries almost always including yoga as the main focus. Generally the food, accommodation and yoga are included in the retreat cost, however for more information check the Maya Tulum website closer to the date.

Since the resort is deliberately isolated from the outside world everything is offered onsite. Meals are taken in the sea-view restaurant and are vegetarian. A note: Fresh fish is also considered ‘vegetarian’ here. Accommodation is pristine and comfortable with a mosquito net and distilled water pitcher (bring your own bottle to take water out of the cabana), with most of the cabanas facing the ocean. With so much space on the property, the yoga shalas are expansively constructed with thatched roofing and tiled or stone floors and they can easily fit 20+ yogis comfortably. Yes, that means you can stretch out your arms in Surya Namaskar without hitting your neighbour!

Remember we said it was isolated? There are no radios, TVs or Internet facilities in the rooms, and while there may be a time when you get mobile phone reception, it is not guaranteed. Those desperate for a spot of connectivity may find it in the restaurant, where they offer free wifi, however you would have to bring your own device. Instead of trying to get connected why not pop into the onsite spa and get a treatment for those sore yogic muscles with a hot stone massage or any of the other deliciously relaxing treatments they offer?

It is important to know that the resort is powered via a generator, and cannot support hair dryers or irons. Try to remember you’re on a holiday and that you don’t need these modern tools for one week! Also, the resort’s advice is to protect your electronic equipment from damage (specifically computers) by bringing along a surge protector. Or you can choose to leave all your electronics at home and not have to worry about this!

For those curious to explore past the resort boundaries, the resort offers several day trips to the surrounding areas; one can choose between exploring the ancient Mayan city ruins of Tulum and Coba, snorkeling in the clear waters, or taking a trip into the caverns of the Aktun Chen, a natural adventure park with caves. Unfortunately these day trips are not included in your retreat/package unless specified, however the cost for these mini-adventures isn’t too high.

Are you a history or nature loving kind of person? The area the resort is located on is called the Yucatán Peninsula, well known for its natural beauty and ancient Mayan ruins. The most famous city to visit is Cancun which is however also the most touristic. The best time to visit is between November and March, when the weather is wonderfully warm with a touch of humidity.

A little bit of luxury R-and-R never hurt anyone. Throw in some good yoga, order a cocktail as the sun sets behind you and pop your toes into the fresh ocean. Maya Tulum is the exotic luxury holiday which you have been searching for. Sounds divine doesn’t it?

About the area: Yucatan Peninsula

Perched precariously between the over-developed playground of Cancun and the heritage-rich Mexican old world is the Yucatan Peninsula. Despite the upward creep of yearly visitor numbers and the construction of a the accompanying infrastructure, the Yucatan retains most of its beauty. Cloaked in jungles and accessorized by long stretches of clean white beaches, the peninsula offers an escape from the noise and hustle of other tourist-packed spots. The climate is tropical, with temperatures consistently between 18 degrees C (65F) and 29 degrees C (85F) night and day, year round. The only exception to this is the occasional hurricane, which can devastate the area and cause full evacuations. Hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30 and is the time to be extra cautious when booking a visit here.

Image credit: Maya Tulum

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