Welcome to Blue Apple – one of the best beach clubs in Cartagena!
In their own words, “Blue Apple is an independently owned boutique hotel and beach restaurant with a strong focus on fun and also on sustainable tourism.”
Here, you can relax during the week and party and dance on the weekend. Blue Apple always has live music and DJs from Friday to Sunday, whereas the weekdays are more relaxed if you’re looking for a quieter time, maybe a horse ride or simply a delicious organic lunch and some cocktails by the pool.
Included in your day pass:
Round trip transfers in shared boat (departure from Cartagena 10am or 12pm, return from Blue Apple Beach 4pm or 5:30pm) – Make sure to choose the right schedule for you!
2 course lunch (any appetizer, paella for main course)
You may think that Tulum is all about lazing the day away on sumptuous beach loungers sipping mezcal margaritas, floating in the Caribbean turquoise waters, or eating gourmet lunches in quirky little eateries. And YES, you would be right to think that, because it is absolutely all about that.
However, Tulum offers so much choice, it can be difficult to decide which places work best for you. So to help, we’ve selected our Top Six options for things to do in Tulum.
Two Travel can offer a wide variety of customised excursions set up exclusively for your group. From cultural experiences to active adventures and everything in between. Whether you’re celebrating a bachelorette, a wedding, or a family vacation, we help create incredible experiences and unforgettable moments.
Don’t miss out! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Tulum.
Take a dip in a Cenote
A cenote is a magical, deep freshwater pool fed by underground springs, and they are unique to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Many cenotes open up into vast underwater worlds, filled with tunnels and lagoons. Cenotes are number one on many people´s must see list while in Tulum and for good reason! If you’re travelling independently, the cenotes are usually open between 8am and 5pm, and some charge an entrance fee.
Cenote Dos Ojos, translated as “Two Eyes Pool” because it’s formed by two neighbouring circular cenotes, is the most photographed in Tulum. It’s easy to see why, as the sun beams glisten over the rock formations and transform the water into an aquamarine paradise. This place is also popular with divers due to the world’s longest underground water cave, so grab your snorkel and your GoPro, this is one not to miss!
2. The hottest beach clubs in Tulum
As soon as you arrive in Tulum you´ll want to hit the beach clubs. With so many to choose from, where do you start? The beach clubs in Tulum are split across the Beach road and the Hotel road and they range from rustic chic to luxury.
Here are our top three recommendations for beach clubs in Tulum.
For pure opulence and a touch of the bizarre, head to Casa Malca, which once upon a time was one of Pablo Escobar´s homes. Now transformed into a boutique hotel, art sculptures and abstract pieces fill every corner. The draped fabrics, swinging sofas and armchairs dotted around make the perfect backdrop for a photo, before you take the winding staircase to the rooftop for incredible 360 views. For non-residents of the hotel, a day pass is available, so don’t worry, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful grilled seafood lunch with a crisp rosé – the perfect combination.
A relatively new member on the beach club scene, Cinco opened its doors in August 2020. Here you’ll find a rustic laid back beach club full of bohemian charm. Located on the beach road in a quieter part of Tulum, it’s the perfect place for a relaxing beach day with friends and family. With a help yourself beer cooler, sorbet stand and swinging hammocks, plus glamping tepees for an overnight stay, what’s not to love about this beach club!
Papaya Playa Project
Surrounded by beautiful, lush green jungle, Papaya Playa Project is a luxurious eco-friendly beach club in the very heart of Tulum. With guest DJs and beautiful people draped across sun loungers, this is the place to be if you want to party into the night.
3. Rent a yacht or catamaran and explore Tulum by boat
For an unforgettable day out with family and friends, jump on board your very own private yacht or catamaran. There is no better way to explore the area. Spend the day gliding across crystal clear waters and visit some of the most extraordinary beaches and sights in the Mayan Riviera.
Your boat will take you to the best places to swim and snorkel amongst tropical marine life, and if you’re lucky, you may spot sea turtles or dolphins bobbing in and out of the water alongside you. Take in the sights and enjoy an open bar, as well as gourmet lunch, freshly prepared by our chef. For added luxury, choose an onboard DJ and your very own photographer!
4. Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve
Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Tulum and step into the natural beauty of the Sian Ka’an nature reserve, which translates as “Origin of the Sky”. To negotiate the bumpy ride, a 4 wheel drive is essential. Deep in the jungle, with only the sounds of jungle birds and the rustle of a lizard at your feet, fun and adventure awaits!
Walk along the pontoon to your private lagoon boat, perfect for couples, families or large groups of friends. Cruise through the lagoons where the sea water meets with freshwater and you may even see a manatee, as wild birds swoop overhead. For added fun, pop on your life jacket, jump in and let the current gently pull you through the mangrove lined waterways.
After the lagoon tour, explore the gorgeous secluded beaches. The Sian Ka’an is completely untouched, and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Think white powdery sand and crystalline turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. As the sun sets, your food and drinks platter is served on the beach, brimming with fresh fruit, pastries, pasta salads and fresh juices, maybe even a bottle of fizz for that special occasion.
5. Spa and Detox Day in Tulum
Your vacation is all about balance. Too many midnight tacos might have you and your BFFs craving a detox. Rejuvenate your mind and body with a sensual spa day at the luxurious Yaan Healing Sanctuary spa in the hotel zone.
Here you’ll find a healing water circuit, with warm and cool massage pools, sauna, steam room and marble stone hammam. The spa uses natural waters from the crystalline springs of the Yucatan’s natural cenotes. Expect offerings of delicate herbal teas, made from herbs freshly harvested from the rooftop garden, followed by a natural scrub to stimulate your senses, and that’s just for starters.
Two Travel can help arrange unique spa experiences that will purify and cleanse your body, mind and soul. Choose from many different treatments including reiki, sound healing and traditional Mayan massages.
6. Tulum Cenote Adventure by zip line and ATV
For the adrenalin junkies, this activity is for you! Glide through the jungle on a zipline, ride an ATV through dense jungle before jumping into cool cenotes and crystal-clear waters. Experience the top adrenaline sports of the Riviera Maya on a trip that combines off-roading, ziplining, and snorkelling in a cenote.
These are just some of our top recommendations for your trip to Tulum. You can find more experiences here, or get in touch with details of the kind of vacation you’re looking for, and we’ll help you craft your dream trip to Tulum.
You are not alone if you’ve never heard of the Rosario Islands before. Most people who’ve not visited Colombia have no idea that just off the coast of Cartagena, there lies an archipelago of nearly 30 protected islands to rival the picture perfect Caribbean islands of your dreams.
The Rosario Islands are nestled in a national park just an hour from Cartagena. The national park protects this important coral reef and the biodiversity that thrives in it. They are a must see for anyone coming to the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Despite being a protected area, the experiences you can have in the Rosarios are as varied as the sea life you’ll find here.
This Two Travel guide to the Rosario Islands will help you decide what kind of trip you want to take when you visit, the best things to do in the Rosarios, and the things you need to know, before you go.
What kind of Rosarios Islands trip are you looking for?
The Rosario Islands offer a wealth of options for visitors who want to explore this beautiful Caribbean setting. Before you book, it’s important to know what kind of trip you want.
Party Vibe with Friends
The party you can have in the islands with friends all depends on your time and budget.
If you’re on a budget with just one day to spare, hire a speed boat for an island hopping party.
For parties of 4 up to 15 people, a skipper will take you to a number of spots in the Rosarios to swim, snorkel and hit the beach. You´ll enjoy a traditional fish lunch and some dancing on the boat. And you´ll have time to explore some hotspots like Cholon which is THE party place in the Rosario Islands. Or maybe the hotspot where locals are flocking these days. It’s called La Piscina.
For a simple upgrade, choose a yacht or catamaran instead of a speed boat and hire your own DJ and chef. This is a great option for bachelor and bachelorette weekends or a pre-wedding event, or for friends looking for a spring breaks style day trip.
For a more exclusive party, or if you have a little more time, you can rent a villa on a private islandand really kick back and relax, or adventure and party. Staying the night in the Rosario Islands really gives you the chance to enjoy the turquoise waters and perfect sandy beaches. If you have a private boat, you can explore at your leisure, then come back to the villa to relax, or continue the party.
Tell us what you need and our concierge will make sure everything is arranged for you – be it the boat you want, a DJ and bartender for the evening, or drinks and snacks for the ride.
A Romantic Trip for Couples
The Rosario Islands are the perfect weekend away for couples and there are some beautiful places to relax, reconnect and recharge. Even if you don’t stay on a private island, if you choose a weekday trip to a small island, you may well be the only people there after the day trippers leave. Go for a sunset stroll or take in the sunset with a cocktail on the deck of a beach-side cabin, before an intimate dinner for two in the most gorgeous of surroundings.
Exploring and Adventure
If you’re keen to explore the biodiversity of the Rosarios, there are a wealth of options to suit any visitor. See the wildlife, coral reef or the mangroves in a kayak or on a paddle board.
Take a trip out for some excellent snorkelling or even better, scuba diving, and you will find yourself swimming with shoals of tropical fish in a unique coral wonderland. And if you’re staying the night, local residents will often offer you a chance to see and swim with bioluminescent plankton!
Relax for the day on a Caribbean beach
If you’re in Cartagena, without a doubt, you’ll be offered a trip to Playa Blanca. Although it’s true that the beach has idyllic white sand, tropical palms and incredible turquoise waters, it can also get VERY busy. If you don’t know the best spot, you will (most likely) be hounded by vendors. That’s not to say it can’t be enjoyable, but we know some better spots if what you’re looking for is an Instagram shot to keep or a day to chill away from everyone.
As well as the villas that are available on private islands in the Rosarios, we recommend a day pass at Gente de Mar, Isla Arena’s Bendita Beach, and Isla Marina’s Islabela Beach. Perfect for those iconic Caribbean Instagram shots in the warm, turquoise-jewelled waters, or on incredible white-sanded beaches. You’ll need to arrange a day pass or stay the night at these island hotels, but we can guarantee that they’re worth it if you’re looking to relax for a couple of days. We can help you get the best price – just get in touch.
What you need to know before a trip to the Rosario Islands
Although a day trip is great for a boat party trip to the Rosarios, to really kick back and relax, we recommend you stay at least one night to enjoy more of what makes these islands so very special. Most boats, whether you go on a tour or hire a private boat, will leave from the main marinas in Cartagena between 7.30am and 9am, returning at around 4pm, before the sea gets too choppy.
As you can see from this post, there are plenty of options for places to stay and things to do in the Rosarios, but do your research. If you’re looking for a quiet relaxing day, don’t head to Cholon or Playa Blanca. Instead, up your budget for a more luxe affair that you won’t forget.
Also, beware of gringo prices. Some tours, boats and lunch options are blatantly overpriced, but when you’re out in the islands, there’s no choice to go elsewhere, so please choose a trusted operator who can tailor a trip to what you’re looking for.
Because there’s one thing we do know – the Rosario Islands are a great option for every visitor to Cartagena.
If you enjoyed these recommendations, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more inspiration for your next trip to Cartagena or Tulum. And get in touch if you need help with a boat, island or in building your journey.
If you’re yearning for a slice of tropical paradise, the bohemian beach town of Tulum in Mexico may well be the answer to your vacation daydreams. This Caribbean coastal stunner is a delicate mix of picture-perfect beaches and thick luscious jungle topped off with a cool boho vibe. Located on the east coast of Mexico, this former fishing village is home to some of the world’s most Instagrammed beaches. So if you’re looking for crystal turquoise waters and sugar-white sand, there are ten miles of exquisite Tulum beaches for you to explore.
Tulum has two main areas: Tulum beach (playa) and Tulum town (pueblo). It’s a 90-minute drive south of perennial spring break favorite — Cancun — and although Tulum’s not as bold and busy as its northern neighbor, your Tulum vacation can be as social or as chill as you please. This idyllic spot enjoys a reputation as a nature lover’s paradise — an eco-chic destination brimming with yoga retreats, organic smoothies, and a burgeoning foodie scene. It’s also known as a music event hot spot, with big-name DJs drawing large crowds to epic jungle raves and full moon parties.
Where to find Tulum’s Top Beaches
When it comes to experiencing the natural beauty of Tulum, you can’t go past its breathtaking Caribbean surrounds. Tulum’s beaches stretch for more than 10 miles south of the spectacular Mayan ruins in Tulum National Park to the World Heritage-listed Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. So you’ve got plenty of choices regarding where to stay and where to play along the Tulum coast.
Less development in the north means fewer hotels and beach clubs and easier access to that silky-soft sand. The further south you go, you’ll find luxury accommodation and beach clubs and more of a party vibe.
And although Mexico’s beaches are public by law, many of Tulum’s resorts limit beach access to resort guests. Some beachfront hotels and beach clubs offer daybeds and cabañas for rent, as well as access to the beach if you dine or drink at their restaurant.
The Two Travel team are experts in all that Tulum has to offer, so to whet your appetite for your next visit to Mexico, we’ve put together a guide to Tulum’s 10 Best Beaches.
1. Playa Ruinas
The spectacular 13th-century Mayan ruins are one of Tulum’s biggest drawcards. These well-preserved structures sit high on a clifftop, overlooking a dazzling beach called Playa Ruinas. This secluded cove is all glistening blue water and powder-white sand and can be accessed via steep steps down from the viewing platform.
Arrive early at the ruins to beat the crowds and the midday sun, and make sure to bring a towel and your swimsuit so that you can cool off in the crystal-clear waters below. The striking contrast of the tropical jungle, dramatic ancient architecture, and baby blue water of the Caribbean makes this one of Mexico’s most photographed locations.
2. Playa Santa Fe
The beautiful white sands of Santa Fe Beach are just a 10-minute walk south of the ruins. Playa Santa Fe is a public access beach, and its long, vast stretch of sand is the perfect spot for a day lazing in the Caribbean sun. You can still see the Mayan ruins from this stunning beach, and there are a handful of beachfront restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or rent a lounge chair on the sand.
3. Playa Pescadores
The next beach heading south along the Tulum coast is gorgeous Playa Pescadores. This long stretch of sand gets a little busier at times because the local boat tours depart from here; it’s also pet-friendly so expect to see some four-legged friends frolicking in the shallows. Playa Pescadores is the kind of beach where you can just throw a towel down on the sand and spend the day bathing in the calm azure water. If you’re up for some adventure, you can head out on a snorkeling or fishing tour with one of the boats moored offshore, and make sure you sample the freshly caught seafood at one of the local restaurants.
4. Playa Paraíso
Named one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches, Playa Paraíso (Paradise Beach) is all crystal-clear water and pure white sand. It’s one of Tulum’s most popular beaches and has become an Instagram hotspot, with its famous leaning palm tree taking prime position on influencer feeds.
You’ll find this slice of paradise just over a mile south of the ruins, and although it’s long and wide, it’s best to get there early to secure a good spot on the sand.
Paradise Beach has become popular with daytrippers, and while it’s a public access beach, you can also rent a sunbed and fill up on food and drink at one of the local beach clubs.
5. Playa Las Palmas
The last of the beaches along Tulum beach road’s northern stretch is Playa Las Palmas — one of Tulum’s more secluded places to laze away a sunny day. This public access beach is the perfect spot to settle in for a day of sun, sand and baby blue water, and although it’s less busy than some of the other spots along the Tulum coast, you’ll still encounter local vendors selling their wares. Playa Las Palmas also has an outdoor beach gym resembling the one in Muscle Beach, California!
6. South Playa
South Beach is where you’ll find the majority of Tulum’s luxury hotels and eco-boutique resorts. Most of Tulum’s beach accommodation lines either side of the Tulum beach road, and South Beach is the go-to for open-air clubs and lively beach parties. The Tulum beach strip is brimming with fine dining options located within instagrammable interiors — think sand floors and rustic decor — as well as high-end boutiques stocking bohemian-style fashion, handcrafted accessories, and organic skincare.
If you’re coming to Tulum and want advice on where to stay and what to do, get in touch.
We manage some gorgeous houses and can offer great rates on unique experiences.
OK, let’s get back to those amazing beaches…
7. Sian Ka’an Biosphere
If you’re dreaming of lazy days on a secluded beach, get off the beaten track and venture into the wilds of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. This UNESCO World Heritage nature reserve is south of Tulum and spans more than one million acres! Home to thousands of species of fauna and flora, Sian Ka’an is tricky to get but worth it. Sian Ka’an boasts an abundance of stunning places to swim — we’re crystal-clear waters with not another soul in sight. There are miles of coastline to explore, and while some of the beaches are rough and rugged, others are protected and serene. The reserve beaches are not like Tulum’s developed areas, so bringing supplies is essential.
8. Soliman Bay
If you head back in the other direction — that’s north of Tulum towards Playa del Carmen — you’ll discover a hidden gem called Soliman Bay. This tranquil tropical hideaway has escaped the development found along other parts of the Riviera Maya, so you won’t find large beachfront hotels and loud bars along this stretch of sand.
But if you’re seeking sunshine and serenity against a tropical backdrop, this pristine piece of paradise is ideal. Soliman Bay is a semi-private gated community, so to gain access to the beach, you’ll need to refuel with an ice-cold drink or some tasty ceviche at one of the small beachfront restaurants.
There’s an outer coral reef that protects the bay’s calm turquoise waters and provides snorkelers with an amazing underwater world full of marine life. Make sure to pack beach shoes or flip-flops to avoid mishaps with broken coral and seashells.
If you’re a wildlife lover, then a day trip to the town of Akumal is essential. Akumal is known locally as ‘Place of the Turtle,’ and it’s famous for giving visitors the chance to swim with wild sea turtles. It’s a small inlet, about 30 minutes north of central Tulum, that boasts brilliant underwater visibility and warm, calm waters thanks to the surrounding coral reef. As well as the juvenile sea turtles, snorkelers are spoilt with an incredible abundance of marine life, including manta rays, parrotfish, and pufferfish. This popular beach vacation destination was officially founded in 1958 as a scuba diving community and is quite commercialized compared to other beach towns along the Tulum coast.
10. Paamul Beach
For a stripped-back beach experience, travel a little further north towards Playa Del Carmen and make a stop at Paamul Beach. This crescent-shaped bay is less developed than other spots along the Riviera Maya. But what it lacks in beach clubs and facilities, it makes up for with calm blue-turquoise water and plenty of swaying palm trees to protect you from the midday sun. A favorite amongst locals and visitors, Paamul boasts superb snorkeling thanks to the offshore coral reef, and you can indulge in delicious local cuisine and an ice-cold beer at the resident beach restaurant.
For real freedom and the chance to explore at your own pace, there’s no better way to travel than by bike. Spend a day beach and bar hopping by bike to really feel the vibe and connect with the locals. We can organize bike hire by the day or for your whole trip.
We work with a number of Tulum yoga teachers, and can arrange yoga sessions to suit your needs and experience. We highly recommend an early morning session on the beach, and can also organize private yoga session at your villa, whenever is most convenient.
For the more adventurous, we can offer exhilarating day trips. Take an ATV into the jungle for a zip lining experience – it’s the best way to see the jungle from above. Hold on tight and explore the rain forest in a whole new way, followed by a short trek to a fantastic cenote for an end of day swim, and an ATV race back to the beach!
The freshwater pools, or cenotes, around Tulum are some of the most beautiful in Mexico, and we can take you to the best spots for a photo or a refreshing dip. Don’t forget your swimsuit! We’ll bring water and a light snack.
Cenote hopping with a break for a Mayan lunch
With breath-taking jungle backdrops, many cenotes in Tulum are high on the Instagram hit list. Float between lily pads or dive deep into ancient hidden caves. With over 200 cenotes in Tulum, it can be difficult to know which are the best to visit.
The cenotes are spread out around the area and so, you’ll need some form of transportation. Our day trip to the best cenotes in Tulum takes you from pool to pool in a luxury air-conditioned minibus, which means you can sit back and relax. Enjoy a typical Mayan lunch and try traditional handmade corn tortillas accompanied by chicken pilbil and Poc-chuc pork with salsas and guacamole.
What could be better than a day sailing along the coast, exploring lagoons, reefs, islands and swimming spots? Catch some rays on the deck. Cool off in Tulum’s turqoise waters. Spend a day at sea with your friends or family.
Rent a private boat for the day and we’ll take you to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Rosario Islands. We start early to get to some swimming and snorkelling spots, then head to the beach for a fresh fish lunch and an afternoon of lounging or liveliness – you choose your vibe and we’ll live up to your expectations.
It’s your boat for the day and you can always manage your schedule, however we recommend going early in the morning (9 or 10 am latest). It takes an hour to get out to the islands on speed boat and another 30 minutes to go around and see all the beautiful islands, But we know there are many swimming spots you’ll want to enjoy throughout the day.
We can arrange catering on board or lunch at a beach club giving you enough time to enjoy your day without rushing back. Sometimes the water gets choppy in the afternoon and the captain will have to return earlier than expected in order to keep everyone safe. All boats have to be at the dock at 5pm in Cartagena.
For a more extensive trip, we can help you find a place to stay on an island, and get you the best rates for a beach club near Cartagena.