ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO TULUM MEXICO

I spent my last day of 2016 in Tulum, Mexico celebrating the new year and let me tell you it may have been the best New Years ever! Cheers to 2017!! Tulum has quickly become the hottest destination in the last two years and I can see why. With warm Caribbean clear blue water, amazing food and lush greenery everywhere you turn it truly felt like paradise.

Tulum is a very small town in the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula. It is roughly 2 hours south of Cancun. I spent a total of 3 days in Tulum and it was not enough! I’m still dreaming about the clear blue waters and already want to go back! If you have plans to visit, here is an ultimate travel guide to Tulum, Mexico.

 HELPFUL TIPS

  • No direct flights to Tulum. You will fly into Cancun and will need to either rent a car, book a private shuttle or use public transportation. Here’s a great post on how to get to Tulum from Cancun.
  • Always have cash! ATMs have high fees and many of them were broken when we tried to use them. Most places do not accept credit card!
  • U.S. Dollars are accepted at many restaurants and shops
  • I used tour guides for adventures and taxi’s but you may want to rent a car if you like exploring on your own
  • Best time to go is from October-December as weather is still nice but hotel prices are low
  • I had my share of mosquito bites so don’t forget to bring Insect Repellent!

WHERE TO STAY

There are plenty of amazing hotel options but I highly suggest choosing one along the hotel zone with beach front cabanas! You will not regret it one bit! I stayed at Rosa del Viento and loved the beautiful property. It is the last hotel on the main road which is a bit farther but we felt secluded and was mostly away from crowds. There are plenty of taxi’s so you will not have an issue getting around. Tulum is also bike friendly so you can always rent a bike at the hotel and explore the town.

Other great hotel options I was looking into during my research: Ahau, Be TulumCoco TulumLuv Tulum, Nomande & Papaya Playa Project

WHAT TO DO

Swim in cenotes – Cenotes are natural swimming holes that are worth a visit when in Tulum! The water is not cold as you would think, the water is extremely clear and if you’re a dive enthusiast, exploring the cenotes is a magical experience! You can explore them on your own by purchasing entrance fees which are only a few pesos. I opted for a tour with Adventure Tour Center where snorkeled and I visited 3 cenotes in 4 hours: Gran Cenote (top rated cenote), Cenote Calavera & Casa Cenote. A few other cenotes closest to Tulum include Cenote Zazil-ha & Cenote Dos Ojos (top rated cenote).

Visit the Tulum Ruins – I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of photos of the Tulum ruins perched on high cliffs facing the Caribbean Sea so this is a no brainer. I suggest visiting this site on your own, you don’t need a tour guide. We spent roughly 20 minutes to walk the entire place.

Travel Tip: Go early!! We arrived around 10am and it was already getting crowded so I suggest going between 8-9am. Don’t forget to bring pesos for the entrance fee and a taxi ride is roughly 200 pesos

Visit the Coba Ruins – I wish I had time to visit the Coba Ruins but I didn’t. If you have time, I suggest booking a tour and visiting cenotes near by, it is roughly 45 minutes from Tulum.

Party at a beach clubPapaya Playa Project has a great beach club which is great for anyone looking to party on the beach.

Watch a sunrise or sunset – When you have a beach as your backyard you need to watch a sunrise or sunset!

Walk along the beach and explore other hotels – All of the beach front hotels are connected so you are able to walk for miles and explore other hotels!

Coco Tulum

Zulum Hotel

Kitesurfing – You will see plenty of people kitesurfing and if you’re into this I suggest trying it. It looked like a lot of fun!

Day trip to Akumal – Take a day trip to Akumal and snorkel with the turtles. Akumal is roughly 25 minutes from Tulum, you can swim with large sea turtles or visit the Monkey Sanctuary.

Relax and enjoy paradise – There is nothing better then relaxing on a beach and of course on a hammock.

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Posada Margherita – Obsessed with this place! They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they have the freshest seafood/pasta and juices! The owners take great pride in the look and feel of the place and it really shows! The beach front restaurant serves for a great view for any meal.

Hartwood – Probably my favorite meal in Tulum. It’s very popular so make sure you make reservations for dinner.

Gitano – Come here for mezcal drinks and delicious dinner under the stars and live music and sometimes they even have live performances!

Taqueria La Eufemia & Antojitos La Chiapaneca – For the best tacos in Tulum!

Raw Love – Best organic raw food and smoothie bowls (think Acai bowls). It is located inside Ahau Hotel.

Shop my Tulum favorites: 

Have you been to Tulum? Tell me what you loved most about it below!

 

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18 comments

  • Diana

    January 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Perfect timing! 😉😉😉 can’t wait to go see what’s the fuss is all about!

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      You will love it Diana!

  • Anne

    January 17, 2017 at 12:34 am

    I visited Tulum a few years ago on a cruise. The sea was beautiful and the ruins were fascinating. I also bagged a yoga blanket at one of the stalls there and absolutely love it as it has great colour but keeps me lovely and cosy too

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

      That sounds amazing!! They do have amazing shopping in Tulum!

  • Christina Pfeiffer

    January 17, 2017 at 4:03 am

    That swimming hole looks very inviting. I bet the water was really refreshing. Tulum looks great. Thanks for the tip about carrying cash but are credit cards widely accepted?

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      The water was so fresh and refreshing for sure! Credit cards aren’t accepted in most places so cash is best!

  • Soraya

    January 17, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Tulum looks and sounds incredible! Your tips are good to know. I always tend to forget to bring cash, because of how easy having a card is…but you forget that there are places where ATMs have super high fees or many don’t even work. I would love to experience swimming in cenotes! It looks so cool and like a lot of fun.

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:24 pm

      You’re welcome Soraya! We had to go to the ATM twice so always bring enough cash to small towns like this.

  • Daphne of Girlswanderlust

    January 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Great guide! It is good to know that the ATMs have high fees and that many of them are sometimes broken. The Cenotes and Tulum Ruins look great. Would love to check it out one day. Perhaps during a trip that is longer than your 3-days trip.

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      I agree Daphne! Definitely try to go longer if you are able to.

  • Khansa

    January 17, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Tulum looks amazing, and so inviting. I have heard a lot about it! Your pics tell a lot about the place. I hope to be there someday

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you Khansa! I hope you get to visit it’s truly a magical place.

  • Findyourhappyplate

    January 17, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    This is super informative! I love the pics too. Everyone in nyc loves to take long weekends in Tulum!

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      OMG YES!! Everyone I met was basically from New York!!

  • Christina

    January 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    YESS!! Tulum really is the most perfect place. Looks like you had a wonderful time 🙂

    1. Tour de Lust

      January 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      I sure did! I can’t wait to return!

  • Agness of Fit Travelling

    February 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Mexico is on my bucket list and I admire your experience there, Christine! Keep us posted and providing amazing travel guides.

    1. Tour de Lust

      February 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      Aww thank you so much Agness!! I hope you get to visit soon and check it off your bucket list!

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