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 Year ever! Cheers to 2017!! Tulum has quickly become the hottest destination in the last two years and now I can see why. With warm Caribbean clear blue water, amazing food and lush greenery everywhere you turn it truly felt like paradise. Its my 2017 top destination.
A little background? 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. Here is an ultimate travel guide to Tulum, Mexico.
- There are 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.
- 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 cards.
- US Dollars are accepted at many restaurants and shops.
- I used tour guides for adventures and taxis, but you may want to rent a car if you like exploring on your own.
- Best time to go is from October-December as the weather is still nice but hotel prices are low.
- I had my share of mosquito bites so you must pack 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 this beautiful property. It is the last hotel on the main road which is a bit further down and slightly secluded, but you have the advantage of being away from crowds. There are plenty of taxis so you will not have an issue getting around. Tulum is also bike friendly so you can rent a bike at the hotel and explore the town.
WHAT TO DO
- Swim in cenotes – Cenotes are natural swimming holes that are a must visit when in Tulum. The water is not cold as you would think, it 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 (the top rated cenote), Cenote Calavera & Casa Cenote. A few other cenotes closest to Tulum include Cenote Zazil-ha & Cenote Dos Ohos.
- 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. It takes 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 getting there between 8 and 9am. Don’t forget to bring pesos for the entrance fee and a taxi ride is roughly 200 pesos.
- Visit the Coba Ruins – If you have time, book a tour and visit the cenotes nearby, roughly 45 minutes from Tulum.
- Party at a beach club – Papaya Playa Project has a beach club which is great for anyone looking for a beach party.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset, especially when you have a beach as your backyard.
- Walk along the beach and explore other hotels – All of the beach front hotels are connected so you are able to walk for miles!
- Kitesurfing – You will see plenty of people doing this and there are lots of opportunities along the beach front!
- Day trip to Akumal – Head out for the day 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 kicking back in a hammock.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Posada Margherita – This is at the top of my list and definitely became my favourite! 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. Head there for dinner but make reservations as its one of the most popular.
Gitano – Come here for mezcal drinks, a delicious dinner under the stars and live music, sometimes with live performances.
With thanks to http://tourdelust.com