Tulum is an ancient wonder turned eco-chic haven for travelers, expats, and locals. It’s a vortex of mystique, natural beauty, upcoming trends, adventure, and history. Set on the Caribbean side of Mexico, Tulum’s coastline is spectacular! Small palm trees line the white sand beaches, the turquoises ocean is almost bath water, and it is all situated next to an ancient Mayan ruin. It has become a jet setters hot spot, and one of the most spiritually abundant beach towns I have had the pleasure of visiting.
Tulum was one of the last cities built by the Mayans, able to survive 70 years after the Spanish occupation of Mexico.
Fly into Cancun international airport. Tulum is a 90-minute drive from here. I suggest renting a car from a respected well known rental company. You will have to purchase insurance in Mexico at the rental company, so I wouldn’t bother purchasing it beforehand. If you do not want to rent a car, USA transport is a reliable safe service that will drive you from Cancun airport. It is typically $175USD round trip or $100 one way.
The best way to explore is riding your bike from your hotel, but bring a bike light! There is a lot of traffic and no street lights so if you are walking or riding a bike you need to be well lit. No one wants a hospital trip while on vacation.
There are so many great boutique hotels in Tulum it’s hard to choose which one you like best. Here is a run down:
Banco Santander is a Bank of America affiliate. There is no fee for taking out money. There is an ATM at the superstore on the left when you turn down the road to get to the beach from town. Only go to ATMS in town, the ones at the beach will not work and charge ridiculous fees!
Take your bike or hike to the Mayan beach ruins. The hike takes about 1.5 hours. Get there before 10am to avoid the morning rush.
Cenotes are freshwater swimming holes that the ancient Mayans believed were portals to the Gods. There are thousands of cenotes around Tulum. Some are best for snorkeling, some for diving. All cenotes charge admission fees and are open between 8am and 5pm.
Sac Actun Cenote: Less touristic than others. Bring pesos if you can. The tour is guided, usually with a few others and it’s 1 hour exactly.
Dos Ojos: And underground labyrinth river system. You can snorkel on your own (10USD) have a guided snorkeling tour (40USD) or scuba dive (130 USD for 2 tank dive)
EL Pit: This cenote is the deepest one in all of Mexico at 370ft/110m. You descend through a hydrogen sulfide cloud at 30m. When the cavern floor becomes visible tree branches eerily protrude. There are stalactites of all sizes and laser beams of sunlight. Personally this was one of my favorite dives. Other cenotes you can dive or snorkel:
Yaan spa is world famous, located across from the Be Hotel. They offer various wellness services that are not found at your average spa. Bobby Klein is an intuitive at Yaan Spa He holds private session and a two-hour group workshop. Bobby books up so plan ahead the day you arrive. Yaan also offers yoga classes, has pools both in and outdoors, a steam room with body scrub and a sauna.
Sanara has a beautiful studio with classes from 8:30, 10:15, and 5pm every day. Yoga Shala has incredible instructors. Utopia offers ocean front yoga classes. Uno Astrolodge offers ocean front classes.
When buying gifts I recommend you go into the pueblo to the main strip for small gifts. It’s cheaper than the beach. The beach road is lined with sophisticated boutiques giving you a glimpse of the chic style of Tulum.
Check out this great Tulum Guide to make sure you are completely covered!