The Mexican Riviera, specifically the city of Tulum has been a hot travel destination for the last few years. Pictures of its perfect turquoise waters, cream colored sandy beaches and jungle hideouts have been a regular fixture on everyone’s Instagram. My husband and I decided to make it this year’s vacation destination and we found that it had much more to offer than its natural beauty and hippy chic vibe.
Our main reason for visiting this area was the world-class diving in the famous freshwater cenotes and coral reefs off the coast of Cozumel. And to be sure, it was world class. If you enjoy scuba diving or even just snorkeling the state of Quintana Roo (which encompasses Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum) is one of the best in locations in the world.
Of course as a chef, the food of Mexico was also a big attraction. The cuisine of Yucatan Pennisula is of course Mexican, but also heavily influenced by its proximity to the Caribbean as well as its Pre- Colombian Mayan roots. In the upscale area of Tulum, we dined on fire roasted chili tacos stuffed with suckling pig, tamales cooked in banana leaves and whole roasted local octopus at the fine dining establishment, NU. Craft cocktails at the gorgeously lush and candlelit Gitanofeatured mescal with tamarind, chili and cacao. But you shouldn’t go to Mexico and not eat your fair share of tacos, so in the older part of Tulum proper, we dined on Al pastor and steak tacos thinly sliced off the rotating spit, tucked into freshly made corn tortillas and topped with several varieties salsa at Carboncito, and in Playa del Carmen at the aptly named Don Sirloin.
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