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hi friends!

Welcome to LifestyledbyART! I’m Ashley... a Maryland girl living life the Los Angeles way in sunny California. I’m fun, free-spirited + full of hacks on living life vibrantly + eating healthy. This is where I share all of that good stuff with you! Thanks for dropping by :)

Mexico Part II: Your Travel Guide to Tulum

Mexico Part II: Your Travel Guide to Tulum

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Tulum is such a GEM! Just an hour and a half south of the busy city of Cancun but so different and laid back. We stayed in the Boca Paila area which was a few miles past the town area in Tulum. Everything there is locally run, eco friendly and "boutique style". The businesses there even generate their own electricity through the use of solar panels which I found so cool and unique. Our hotel Kira's Beach House was literally just that... a beach house. It was perfect.

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Kira's is family owned and so cute and quaint. We were greeted by the nicest staff who showed us to our rooms and gave us the ins and outs of the town. Adjacent to the hotel is a little corner shop that sells necessities, fresh breads and pastries and cute little hats for like 7 bucks each! There was no air conditioning at the place, but it was cool enough at night that it wasn't needed and there was a ceiling fan for the hotter days.

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I really loved the serenity of the place and how we were just tucked away into what felt like our private little jungle. The hotel was reasonably priced and we had the beach in our back yard which allowed us to hear the ocean water as we slept at night. They have a community kitchen that was open to the guests as well.

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The entire atmosphere in Tulum is laid back and relaxing. This is not the type of place you come to "turn up" or party all night long. But there are plenty of restaurants and bars with fantastic food options, the best margaritas and mojitos and a beautiful beach to soak up all of the vitamin d that you need! The wifi at the resort was only good in the lobby area, but I loved that! I mean, who comes to Tulum to scroll social media or be on the internet all day anyway!?

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We spent plenty of time walking the endless beach and exploring our neighborhood. The artwork was beautiful and original, many of which featured Frida Khalo - who I love! A couple of doors down from our hotel, we stumbled across a restaurant for lunch called La Zebra. They had such a cool setup with an outdoor patio where we dined on pillows... my dream!

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Chips and homemade salsa are given with every meal, of course. The fish tacos and burritos were great options there!  Our checks came in the cutest little boxes.

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We spent the rest of the day laid out in the sun! My boyfriend climbed a small coconut tree and picked some for us, then a great guy at the hotel chopped them open! They put boxed coconut water to serious shame. After we drank them half way down, we poured up the tequila!! Directly next door to our hotel was a small bar that has a daily 2 for 1 happy hour on all of their drinks. SCORE!

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Day 2, we woke up REALLYYY early to catch the sunrise. When I say this was the most perfect moment! Just wow. I took a ton of pictures over the course of about 45 minutes that showed the transition of the sun peeking through the clouds. It was the perfect time to just relax on one of the outside beds next door and appreciate life!

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Everyone in Tulum seems to start the day very early. I mean can you blame them?! There's just so much to experience and take advantage of. We went on a serious hunt for coffee and then took a cab to venture into town for some shopping and exploring. Everyone said we had to try the gelato (which was SO GOOD!) and my friend got a fresh juice for $2! I loved that everything was made fresh and full of healthy ingredients. Surprisingly this place is so veggie and vegan friendly!

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Since we only had 2 full days in Tulum, we wanted to see as much as we could. While shopping, we tried this really cool Fish Pedicure Spa where little fish eat the dead skin off of your feet and ankles. It was insane!!! It was such a weird tickling feeling that babe wasn’t too thrilled  of lol but I loved it! Our feet were so smooth and soft afterwards.

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Our next stop was the Gran Cenote which was indescribable!! These sinking holes that were created naturally thousands of years ago and are all over Tulum. Cenote means “sacred well”, and these are truly a sacred and special thing to see! We got equipment to snorkel and the views of the formations of the rocks underwater are breathtaking! The water was super clear and you could see little adorable turtles just chillin on the sides. The beautiful freshwater didn’t leave my skin dry like salted beach water!

Since we were "on holiday" celebrating my birthday and our friend’s anniversary, for our last evening, we wanted to do a special dinner. Just a couple minutes up the road from Kira’s we found Simple. Man! When you walk in, the first thing you see are the chefs throwing down on a wood fire oven and a case with all of the fresh seafood that comes in daily. As a huge seafood lover, this made me happy to see what I was about to eat before it was cooked!

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Each of the dishes came with a choice of fresh rubs and salsas full of garlic, fresh herbs, and locally unique peppers like chipotle, cascabel and guajillo. All of us ordered the 'catch of the day' except my boyfriend who got the jumbo prawns. They were all so delicious!

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On the prowl for a late night drink and a good latte, we wandered into Banana Leaf which was way too crowded and on an hour wait, so we went back to La Zebra. We heard great things about Banana Leaf though, so we will def be returning there! We ordered a cheesecake and my friends ordered the dulce de leche cake which they pour fresh cream over table-side.

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Our time spent in Tulum was simply magical! I loved every moment of being there and appreciated being away from the hustle and bustle of life and other major cities. I think this is definitely the way to vacation! This will be a place that I return again and again for years to come!

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It is our God given right to see the world! 

#styleyourlife

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