Tulum is no longer the sleepy backwater beach village it once was. In recent years, it's become Mexico's chicest beach destination, drawing in fashion insiders from around the globe. And it just so happens to be one of my favorite vacation spots! Here, you'll find my ultimate travel guide for navigating the best places to eat, sleep, and relax. Get your passport ready!
» Getting There «
Since you can only fly into Cancun, so you will need to find the ADO shuttle bus counter before you exit the airport. The ADO shuttle bus should only cost about $30 per person; it's a super comfy two-hour ride that will take you directly to Tulum City, where you can rent a car or catch a cab to your final destination. Don't forget to grab a tasty Pina Colada for the ride. It's the appropriate thing to do in Mexico!
» Getting Around «
You have two options when staying in Tulum—the city center or the beach. While the city option is more affordable, you will definitely want to reserve some cash for a rental car, scooter, or cab to visit all the beach strip has to offer. We did a mixture of all three and found that the scooter was the least practical because the roads are less than ideal so it made for a really bumpy and uncomfortable ride. Most hotels also have complimentary bikes, which are a great way to get around. However, bare in mind the weather can get very humid and hot during certain times of the year. We only managed to handle one day of biking in the 90 degree heat!
» Staying There «
There is a vast amount of hotel options in Tulum. We spent two weeks researching each and every hotel online before we made our choice. While there are many stunning options along the beach, like Nomade Tulum
, The Beach Tulum
, or Be Tulum
, they will run you a pretty penny at $500+ per night. Also, bare in mind the beach can get very windy during certain times of year, and there is also an abundance of seaweed that takes over most of the shore from March to August. We did find a little hidden beach across from the Aura Boutique Hotel
, where they have tasty gelato, complimentary lounge chairs, and bar service as long as you're buying drinks. They had minimal seaweed and perfect white sand. It was a true little gem. After facing the reality that we were travelers on a budget, we opted to stay at the Coco Hacienda Hotel
in the city. We couldn't have been more pleased. The place was even more beautiful than the pictures. It was quiet with an amazing restaurant and friendly staff. You felt like you were in a little oasis jungle every day. We paid only $130 per night for a Villa (opt for the Villa, very private!) and we were thrilled.
» Must Do «
Kaan Luum Lagoon - Beautiful clear turquoise waters.
(Cage Front One Piece, $88, Shop Here
Chichen Itza - One of the 7th Wonders of the World.
(Isabel Hi Waist Shorts, $42, Shop Here
Ik Kil - One of the most famous Cenotes in the area.
Valladolid - A historical town with original Spanish mansions and cobblestone streets.
Tulum Ruins - Cliffside beach ruins dating back to 564 A.D.
» Where to Eat «
Ah, the food! My favorite part of every trip. My standard policy is when in Mexico, eat Mexican Food. However, we did happen upon an adorable little burger joint called Bonita Burger
located right in the city center.
(Villa Pant, $92, Shop Here
; Ezra Bralette, $38, Shop Here
They offered delicious fries with an artichoke dipping sauce that was out of this world! Another true culinary delight for us was Bejuco. Beautiful atmosphere right on the beach (you can literally sit at a table or teepee in the sand) and the food was divine.
My advice? Try the caramelized pears. You'll be in heaven! If you're looking for a great burrito, but you're gluten free like me, Burrito Amor
will take care of you. They offer a coconut flour tortilla that is so dang yummy, my boyfriend actually preferred it to the regular tortilla.
We had such an amazing time in Tulum. We can't wait to go back and explore some more. Happy travels!
Did we miss an epic spot you've seen, place you've stayed, or fabulous restaurant you've tried? Comment with your favorite place in Tulum!