Hola, que tal?
Tulum is a boho/hippie chic/laid back destination with white sand beaches, a variety of yoga retreats, eco friendly hotels and cute restaurants and shops and. I went there for New Year’s and I fell in love with the beautiful town, located in the Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. I know this post is overdue but I want to share some travel tips that may help if you are planning a trip there.
HOW TO GET THERE
We flew into Cancun’s Airport and rented a car to go to Tulum. It’s about 1 1/2 hour drive and the roads are well kept making the ride pretty easy.
Tulum is small and it’s easy to get around by biking, walking or taking a cab. You can find places to rent bikes in the main avenue and at hotels. There are many taxis, but make sure to negotiate and settle on the price before you get in.
WHERE TO STAY
Tulum has many hotels options, but if you are going on a holiday weekend I recommend to look for accommodations asap. We started to look for hotels in May and we didn’t find many options available. Because we were a group of six, we ended up renting a condo on Airbnb, which ended up being very convenient.
I suggest to stay in the beachfront hotels located in the hotel zone, which gives you easier access to the beach. My top recommendations are Nomade, Be Tulum, Alaya, Habitas, Cabanas Tulum. If you are looking for a unique experience, try Azulik, an adult-only eco-friendly treehouse. The luxurious resort is romantic and has no light in the room.
WHAT TO DO
Tulum is a perfect place to relax, swim at the beaches, practice yoga, explore the Mayan culture and the beautiful surroundings like the ruins and the unique cenotes. Here are my recommendations of what to do in Tulum:
♥ SUNSET + DINNER AT KIN TOH – Kin Toh is Azulik’s restaurant located at the top of the treehouse. It has hammocks/nets and private nests overlooking the jungle and the sea, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset and have dinner under the stars and the moon light. Good food and drinks. The place is pricey, but totally worth it.
♥ YOGA CLASS – my plan was to practice yoga every day while in Tulum: at the beach, sunrise yoga, sunset yoga… In reality, I didn’t have enough time. I went to one class only at the Azulik dome and I was amazed by the energy of that place. It was such an incredible practice. Classes cost around $20.
♥ BREAKFAST AT CASA BANANA – Casa Banana is an Argentinian restaurant known for their meat, but they also have many healthy options for breakfast. I went there after my yoga class and had a very flavorful green smoothie.
♥ BEACHFRONT LUNCH AT NOMADE – Nomade became my favorite spot in Tulum for many reasons: love the Moroccan/boho decor, the relaxed vibe, the delicious fresh food and drinks, the music… and the most good looking crowd. We had lunch at La Popular, a beachside restaurant. Afterwards, we sunbathed in the beach beds sipping rose and enjoying the dolce far niente.
♥ GITANO – we had a dinner reservation at Gitano, but getting there we found the place is more like a club with jungle vibes decor. There was a live band playing Mexican music and DJ spinning afterwards. The food and cocktails are good. Definitely, a place to go if you are looking for party.
♥ COCO TULUM – Coco Tulum is a beach club with a relaxing and fun vibe, where you sip good cocktails and eat fresh seafood, while chilling in the wooden swings.
♥ DINNER AT HARTWOOD – the most famous restaurant in Tulum is a must go place. The food at Hartwood is cooked in an open wood oven and the ingredients are fresh and earthy. Fantastic food and tasty drinks. Cash only place.
♥ TULUM RUINS – the Tulum ruins are one of the most famous local attraction. The beach view from the cliffs is breathtaking and worth it the visit. My advice is to go early in the morning, when is not too hot. Don’t forget to bring water to keep yourself hydrated. And watch your step, you will be surprised with giant iguanas running everywhere.
♥ BEJUCO TULUM – Bejuco Tulum is one of a kind place with a very unique concept. The restaurant is surrounded by the jungle and the beach, with fire pits and little huts where you can eat and enjoy the sea view.
♥ POSADA MARGHERITA – the charming beachfront eco friendly hotel has the best Italian restaurant in town. Posada Margherita‘s restaurant is a very popular place and there’s always a waiting line. They don’t take reservations.
♥ NYE CASA MALCA – the stylish hotel is the former Pablo Escobar beach house and it’s the place to go for a laid-back/artsy/luxury environment. Casa Malca host one of the most exclusive NYE parties in Tulum. The party takes place at the beach with DJ’s spinning until the sun goes down the next day.
The New Year’s week is a peak time and places get booked up quickly in Tulum. We had our reservations to popular restaurants booked months before, which I highly recommend for some places.
TIP: A lot of places in Tulum are cash only, and it’s best to pay with Mexican Pesos.
WHAT TO PACK
Tulum is a very relaxed and laid-back place and we spend most of the time chilling by the beach. To avoid overpacking, I always try on my outfits, take pictures and pack them in individual bags.
My packing essentials:
» bikinis, swimsuits and cover ups
» shorts and tops
» caftans and dresses
» white dress for NYE (it’s a Brazilian tradition)
» workout clothes
» flip flops, flat sandals and espadrilles
» accessories: jewelry, scarves, bags
» beach essentials: sunnies, straw bag, sunscreen
» travel size toiletries
If you are looking forward to shopping, Tulum has many nice local shops in the main avenue. You can find souvenirs, artwork, boho style clothes and accessories, beach dresses, swim wear… I got crazy with all the pretty things!
Tulum is a place with such an amazing vibe and I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully, with enough time to visit the cenotes and do yoga (almost) every day!