Spotted: oodles and oodles of blue-eyed, brown-haired hunks + one very esoteric Mexican wedding ceremony
I wasn’t expecting much from a day gazing at ancient Mexican artifacts, but the great thing about life is that I’m constantly surprised by how often I’m wrong. Not only did I find copious amount of gorgeous guys milling about the town of Tulum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, but they were all one specific type: tanned, toned, blue-eyed and brown haired. If this is the kind of man you’re into, you’ll be like a kid in a candy store, I swear.
Tulum itself is an adventure. The heat is oppressive, and there’s nowhere to hide from the blistering sunshine (so make sure to load up on heavy doses of high-SPF sunscreen and a hat lest you end up a shame-faced lobster like myself); after ten minutes touring the Mayan ruins you’re going to be burnt, uncomfortable and very, very sweaty. That said, I didn’t do much boy-scouting at the site itself — I was too busy wondering when I’d finally find a beach and some reprieve from the warmth. I did, however, learn that Mexicans think the 2012 prophecy — the Mayan calendar supposedly claims the world will end come Dec. 21, 2012 — is BS. They simply believe that the Mayan calendar stopped being written, and has no reflection on the way the world will end (not with a whimper, but with a bang). So that’s a relief…but I digress.
It wasn’t until I finally hit Tulum’s beach that I finally sought what I was looking for (research-wise, of course). There were definitely some lookers milling about, including a dreaded, hard-bodied sexpot who resembled a hippie version of Jared Leto. Re: no guyliner in sight. His eyes were as blue as the ocean. His body as hard as a rock…OK, I’ll stop before I get corny, but he was simply beautiful, and my girlfriends couldn’t take their eyes off of him. Sigh. You’ve forced me to admit my hand — I was appreciative as well.
But there were more of his type at my second destination of the day, a totally charming beachside boutique hotel called Al Cielo, for a faux mystical Mexican wedding ceremony. What does this entail, you may ask? I’m still not really sure. There was a shaman-type woman blowing smoke, men holding penis-shaped husks and a lot of bongos. There were also some serious hotties hanging around the wedding pyre, including the hunky bloom groom, a drummer/DJ named Bruno and Rodrigo, a charming blue-eyed, brown-haired (natch) hottie from Mexico City. You’ll hear/see more about him in a future post, so get excited.
The wedding experience was just weird enough to be cool, and although I like odd occurrences, Al Cielo was the real treat. It’s an awesome insider secret, a four-bedroom hotel/bungalow on the ocean, at approximately $220 per night. Although that might sound expensive, if you’re looking for a stunning spot that isn’t as aggressive as the all-inclusive resorts, this is it. Plus, the restaurant is a draw on its own — it’s always packed on the weekends with locals because of the stellar food and picture-perfect views.
Although I wasn’t totally sold on the Mexican wedding ceremony — believe it or not I haven’t ever given my own nuptials more than a passing thought — I did really enjoy one aspect of the experience. As I was leaving, the shaman stopped me and gave me a handful of ‘blessed’ beans, telling me to bring them home to the States and immediately put them safe somewhere in my bedroom. She said they were wishes, that they would bring me love. I want to believe her, so I will.
With her words still fresh in my mind, I headed on to the third and final destination of the day, the seemingly fun-filled town of Playa del Carmen. It was heaven. Apparently, visitors fall so in love with Playa del Carmen that they can’t stop returning to the town over and over again…and that include celebrities. I did the typical tourist thing after grabbing some delish food at Bites (try the tuna tartare nachos, they’re amazing) and, later, a flaming Mexican coffee at La Tortuga Hotel (which is an absolute steal at $120 a night in the low season) by walking up and down 5th Avenue, which is really just a tourist trap of cheesy bars and market stall shopping. It’s worth seeing though, just to say that you’ve done it. And, as most people head to PDC to drink, it would be almost wrong to go there and not take a tequila shot, right?
Anyhoo, the dudes in Playa are divine, and they are everywhere. Sure, some of them may be spring breakers, but in all likelihood most are actual residents.If you’re more into the local men, try New Town Playa; if you’re more into the cheap & easy bar scene, Old Town is your thing.
If you want specifics for you man hunt, this is what I can suggest: start off at the retro restaurant bar Diablito Cha Cha Cha before moving on for some dancing at Mandala or Kartabar if you’re in need of somewhere a little quieter. The Blue Parrot is a must-do; although it’s a bit touristy, it’s still loads of fun as well as being the oldest bar in Playa. It’s also one of the city’s top hookup spots…and there’s a fire show, if I haven’t already sold you. Hopefully you’re feeling seductive (and drunk) at this point, which is clearly when you should head to the Mojito Queen for some salsa dancing. When those bars shut (you thought I was done?) at 2 or 3 in A.M., head towards 12th St. for the real party at La Santanera, which has a chilled-out lounge upstairs and a club downstairs. Yeah, it shuts at 8 A.M. Aggressive! If you still haven’t met someone, I’d call it a night…there’s always tomorrow, as Scarlett O’Hara might say. Start the process all over again at Mamitas Beach Club or the Kool Beach Club.
I can’t sign off on this post without mentioning CoCo Bongo. Why? One, this ‘show & disco’ is being hawked all over the Riviera. At almost every single place I’ve visited thus far, at least two people have mentioned the Playa nightclub. Men say it’s awesome, women say it’s aggressive — but they go anyway. There are drinking competitions, there are dancing competitions, there is allegedly some serious debauchery. Yet, CoCo Bongo terrifies me — as does its no-dispute $60 entrance price tag. However, this $60 is going to buy your drinks for the entire evening — and certainly seems like it’s going to buy you a roaring good time after the place shuts, as well.
Sorry I can’t give you a play-by-play on CoCo, LoveTrekkers, but chances are that I wouldn’t remember it anyway! But should you go, make sure no one’s videotaping you…because this seems to be like a spot where a Girls Gone Wild kind of moment could inevitably occur.
With that happy thought in mind, I’d advise you to stick to the bars on 12th St. — and the more low-key blue-eyed (or brown-eyed, whatever works for you) locals that hang out there. Either way, if you’re heading to Playa, you’re going to have a good time, so you better plan on sleeping in very, very late the next morning…