We recently came back from our first international vacation together. We went to MEXICO! Flew into Cancun and then hopped on a van shuttle to a small town of Tulum!!!
Over the last few years it has become a tradition to go camping during the July 4th week/weekend. This year we braved ourselves and decided to “camp” in another country. A friend recommended Tulum to us, and by chance I found this amazing fusion of camping and luxury, GLAMPING, at Uno Astro Lodge.
Uno is a hotel/community that hosts guests in their six private, off the grid, front ocean view cabanas.
If you cannot dish out a
not so small fee for a cabana, they have other affordable options, one of them being – you bring your own tent to live in and help out with the grounds upkeep. Not exactly sure how that works, but hey, that’s a cool option.
For example, one permanent resident on the property received food and lodging, and in return he provided security services to the property. I think his name was Phoenix, but someone hashtagged him as a #hornypeacock on Instagram once.
Fun story: He put his beak in the sand and let me massage his neck, slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep. When he woke up, there was some sand on his beak, so he sneezed to get it out. It was a real human-like “apchew” type of sneeze. Never have seen a bird sneeze before. Possibly a highlight of the trip. 🙂
In the mornings, he’d go to the entrance and shake his feathers at passerbys to scare them off. But, of course, it had an opposite effect on people- everyone wanted a picture with peacock Phoenix. I think he was getting tired of all the attention.
Speaking of the entrance to Uno, if you’re heading to there soon, take a good mental picture, as your driver will surely miss it (or just remember that it’s right after Shambala, and if you see Ahau, you’ve gone too far, back up!) As soon as you pass Shambala, just scream at your driver “Izquierdo aqui!” You can add a “por favor” somewhere in there, but hey, don’t stretch yourself.
Unfortunately, since we traveled during the offseason, the ocean and the beach were not as beautiful as the reputation of Tulum has it. There was A LOT of seaweed and the waves were high(ish), thus murking the water. But I did a lot of research
(stalking Uno on TripAdvisor) prior to the trip, so I was prepared. Some hotels were even closed for the summer.
View of Shambala, east of Uno.
And view of Ahau, west of Uno.
Every morning we were treated to a beautiful, delicious, and healthy breakfast: first course consisted of a fresh fruit salad (I’ve never tasted papaya that I liked until Uno!) and freshly squeezed orange juice; second course consisted of a choice of bread spread or oatmeal and a choice of chai tea with ginger or coffee. Samon, one of the staff members, took great care of everyone in the morning, very attentive and nice.
Each of the six cabanas is unique and has its own name and story. We stayed in Gaia, one of the larger cabanas. It was set furthest back from the ocean (but is still directly on the beach), had an open wall, with private outdoor bathroom and shower, and a deck with two hammocks.
Oh, and if you haven’t picked up on it from the pictures yet, Uno is a yoga retreat. We’ve done and enjoyed yoga before, but we definitely looked like nubes next to local yogis so we shied away from any public yoga experience. I slightly regret that, I wish we’d join one of their classes, but we honestly didn’t have time/energy.
Even though you are on the beach, keeping your home clean is important. Bathe your feet before entering. But if you forget, don’t worry, the cabanas were swept every day.
Sink and shower were completely outdoors, uncovered, which was amazing! Thankfully it didn’t rain. 🙂 Toilet was modern in a separate palapa attached to our cabana.
Did I mention that Uno is completely off the grid? A small solar panel on the roof of the reception provided a way to charge your phone. But make sure you wake up and plug-in early as the charging space goes up for grabs quickly.
This is it for now. I’ll cover Mexico in several posts since I have so much to share!
Pro tip: If you stay at Uno (and really, anywhere in Mexico, but especially in Tulum), be prepared for nudity.