Located just south of the highly touristy Cancun beachside front destination is tucked away the small resort town of Tulum. What has become a very popular destination with the fashion crowd (don’t be surprised to bump into a VS model or two over Christmas and New Years), is still one of the most precious and untouched places in the Carribean. This once unspoilt beach town is definitely worth a visit for a relaxing holiday with your S.O. or with friends, mainly for the following 3 reasons:
1. Tulum is one of Mexico’s more eco-friendly escapes, with a great variety of nice hotels to choose from.
2. The food is to die for and very friendly for the ‘Gram. Expect fresh fish, ceviches, delicious Italian food and plenty of organic and vegan options.
3. Tulum has some of the country’s best nightlife.
Also please note that even during the hurricane season the weather is great (it might rain for 1-2 hours but will mainly be very sunny and hot).
WHERE TO STAY
There are so many amazing and cool hotel options in Tulum, both in the town itself and situated along the beach. Our favourite picks are Nomade and Be Tulum next to each other.
Be Tulum*****: This chic beachfront hotel is like stepping onto a beautifully executed canvas—each room is a pure work of art, some with a private pool. The nearby beach is scattered with daybeds and palm-thatched palapas that offer shade. There is also a pool for those are pool fans.
Nomade ****: The boho spirit is strong here. Amazing views of the Caribbean and the food is delicious also if you are vegetarian/vegan this hotel is the DREAM – so many options to chose from. Quite similar to Be Tulum in terms of style.
Papaya Playa Project***: For a cheaper option PPP is great. PPP has become very popular for eco-conscious travelers and behind-the-scenes fashionistas with a taste for fresh ceviche.
WHAT TO DO
Watch the sunrise – The sunrise in Tulum happens anywhere between 6:10 and 7:30 depending on the time of year you visit. No matter the weather and no matter the beach you choose, you will have a magical view.
Visit the Tulum Ruins – This is an obvious choice as it is one of the things Tulum is most known for. The former port city of the Mayan empire is in relatively good condition and situated on tall cliffs overlooking the sea. The standard entrance fee is around 60 pesos (USD not accepted); guided tours are also available.
Visit the ruins of Coba – Another impressive archeological site located roughly 45 minutes from Tulum by car. Buses depart from the main terminal every morning, or you can easily hire a taxi.
Swim in a cenote – Cenotes are limestone sinkholes that leave groundwater pools exposed and are often connected by underwater “river” systems. These natural swimming holes are characteristic of the region and have become popular destinations for locals and travelers alike.
Yoga and Massage at Yäan wellness spa: It is a center of wellness and healing where you will find your inner and outer beauty in the integration of mind, body and soul. Tulum is very well known for yoga (most hotels offer free yoga classes) Both Nomade and Be Tulum offer access to Yaan wellness spa, which is the site where regular yoga class takes place.
WHERE TO EAT
– Hartwood: somewhat of an institution in Tulum, it’s supposedly the hardest table to get in town. Make sure to book a table well in advance via email (2-3 weeks during high season).
– Gitano: Another hot spot on the jungle side of the beach road! This is the place to see and be seen. Gitano is particularly popular on Friday nights with live music and a fantastic boho-glam atmosphere. Dozens of candles make the place so magical! Best to have a reservation!
– Casa Jaguar: looking for a sense of the jungle? Then this place is for you. Expect fresh fish, delicious cocktails all in a cool space with an artisanal feel and high-raised lanterns.
– Posada Margerita: one of the most delicious Italian meals we’ve had outside of Italy, this cozy restaurant features low-key decor in a friendly atmosphere. Make sure you try the lobster pasta and take a look at the restaurant’s boutique.
– The Real Coconut: located inside the Sanara hotel, this beachside restaurant offers all sustainable, organic and vegan plates. Expect the most delicious alternatives to your favorite classics such as tacos, in vegetarian form!
Make sure you to bring enough cash with you. Most restaurants and bars in Tulum are cash only. Withdraw money in Tulum village at the main square, or at one of the many ATMs along the beachfront (however most of them dispense US dollars only).
Get some good sunscreen and don’t forget to bring a mosquito spray as most restaurants and bars are outdoors and mosquito prone.
Taxis between Tulum town and the beach (anywhere on the beach, generally, unless it’s really far) should cost 70-80 pesos each way. Ask for the price before you get in (and try to negotiate), as they will assume you don’t know the standard pricing. .
Book a taxi from/to the airport in advance as there is no taxi lane at the airport (we recommend USA Transfers).
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Images: Eva Karagianni, Discovery Mundo
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