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Popoyo instead of Tulum

Unlike Tulum, which has been teeming with influencers for a decade and now has a serious seaweed problem, Popoyo is still relatively undiscovered. It boasts Nicaragua’s most consistent surf, and what it lacks in archeological ruins, it makes up for with sunsets (something east-facing Tulum never sees).

Instead of snorkeling in crowded, cold cenotes, soak in Popoyo’s natural hot springs or explore its tidal pools. And while Tulum has the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Popoyo is just 50 miles from Apoyo Lagoon Natural Reserve, an ancient crater lake with equally impressive flora and fauna.

Between its garden casitas, ocean-view homes, luxury villas, and cozy inn, the 2,700-acre Rancho Santana (from $300 per night) caters to every style of traveler. And who needs Akumal? One of the property’s five beaches is the birthplace of 6,000 sea turtles annually.

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