As I mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I planned this trip to Tulum to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. This place is a dream come true, I have no words to describe how peaceful it is. Before getting there, my hubby was in charge of the trip schedule, and let me tell you he did an amazing job!I really recommend you to plan your trip beforehand and make a list of the different places you want to visit. Tulum has great things to do, the beach is the main one, the cenotes, the Mayan ruins and the food (of course!). We were surprised by the variety of top-notch restaurants offering a fusion between Mexican and worldwide cuisines. Surprisingly enough, the vegan restaurant plays a big role, which is not typical in most places in Mexico. I decided to share with all you this travel guide to Tulum, Mexico to give you tips and ideas on where to stay, eat, drink and go; but most importantly to help you have a wonderful time during your stay.
We arrived at the Cancun International Airport, which it is located about an hour and a half from Tulum. We previously rented the car online to save money and just picked it up at the airport car rental. Most shops and restaurants only accept cash, you will find ATMs around Tulum, there’s no need to worry. However, if you would like to save money on excessive ATM fees, just exchange your dollars to Mexican pesos at any of the currency exchange locations.
Let’s have fun and start with the Travel Guide to Tulum!
Where to Stay
Hotel El Pez – Our room view
- Sanara Hotel – a magical place. They offer daily yoga and meditation classes, both in the beachfront studio and on the beach, outside guests are welcome too. Ideal for people that like meditation and would like to completely relax and disconnect from the world.
- Nomade Hotel – One of my favorite hotels. It has a Moroccan style with very nice vibes. DJ’s play lounge music at the beach restaurant and cocktails are very creative.
- Azulik – This luxurious eco-friendly hotel is made for a “romantic getaway”. Categorized as an adult only hotel. Would definitely recommend at least visiting the restaurant.
- Ahau Tulum – hotel located in the jungle and next to the beach. It’s absolutely beautiful and relaxing.
- Hotel El Pez – We stayed at this hotel because of the amazing oceanfront views and the relatively cheap price we found online. It is a 4-chain hotel which owns La Zebra, Mezzanine, and Mi Amor. You get complimentary cocktails at all hotels.
- Papaya Playa Project – the perfect combination between the jungle and the sea. This hotel is ideal for party people. Known for their “full moon parties”
Where to Eat
Paletas – Flor de Michoacan
- Raw Love (Ahau Tulum Hotel) – superfood smoothies, vegan dishes, and healthy desserts. This place is perfect for vegan lovers, everything is so fresh plus it’s located in a beautiful jungle. I ordered the Berry Love bowl and the Matcha Green Tea Latte, both were so delicious. My hubby had the Acai bowl and the Q-cooler drink. This place is perfect for breakfast.
- The Real Coconut (Sanara Hotel) – gluten and grain free healthy food. They only cook with organic extra virgin coconut and avocado oil. We had breakfast here, the beach view is stunning. Try the Ranchero Eggs and Eggs Benedict, so good! Don’t forget to order the best cappuccino in town, haha! Sorry, I’m a coffee lover.
- Restaurare – this place is out of this world, best vegan cuisine! We had dinner here for our first wedding anniversary. It’s perfect for a romantic dinner. We ordered a lot of food to try everything haha! You need to try Mushroom Ceviche, Pibil Tacos, Salbutes and Mayan Curry. I recommend you to go with open mind, my hubby is not even close to being vegan; but he absolutely loves it. Don’t forget to ask for the natural bug repellent 🙂
- La Popular (Nomade Hotel) – it’s a beach restaurant with Moroccan vibes, low tables and bean bags for sitting. One of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever been. We weren’t too hungry when we went there, but the fresh tuna salad and mojitos were really good.
Taqueria Eufemia – it’s a little beach club and taqueria. Perfect place for having tacos, cold drinks and cocktails. We ordered grilled shrimp (my favorite), arrachera (beef) and al pastor tacos. Great prices and cool vibe.
- Flor de Michoacan – this place is perfect when you are walking around the Town of Tulum and want to grab a refreshing snack. Known for their delicious ice creams, paletas (popsicles), juices, smoothies, and coconuts. Our favorite paleta was the coconut one, yum!! It’s a nicely decorated hotel with a beautiful courtyard surrounded by plants.
- Posada Margherita – beachfront Italian restaurant with a beautiful atmosphere. The food is good, but it’s not spectacular. This place is relaxing, you can walk to the beach from the restaurant and rest in the beds and chairs they have. However, it’s kind of pricey so we aware of that.
Where to Drink
- Coco Beach Bar (Coco Tulum Hotel) – perfect place to spend the entire day at the beach.
- Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar – located in the Town of Tulum. They have the best mojitos especially the maracuya/passion fruit mojito (WOW!), they also offer amazing cocktails. They use freshly cut sugar cane in all drinks. Great place, be prepared to have a great time. They have live music; we came to this place on a salsa Friday’s night. We had so much fun!
- Gitano – restaurant, and mezcal bar in the jungle. They offer handcrafted cocktails and live music. Magical setting and delicious drinks.
- Papaya Club – if you’re lucky and visit Tulum on a full moon, they offer the best full moon party. However, on the weekends the club hosts late night events with great music. If you visit this place in the daytime, you can enjoy the beach and have light food and drinks accompanied by music.
- Bean Bags Pastry and Bagette Café – if you’re a coffee lover like me, you will definitely enjoy going to this place. Excellent coffee and amazing service. They also have a great variety of tea.
Where to Go
- Mayan Ruins – breathtaking place! The best tip I can give you is to be there as soon as they opened, in that way you can really enjoy your time there. It’s amazing how these structures were successfully created without the machinery and tools that exist today.
- Cenotes – we only visited Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, Cristal and Escondido. They are absolutely a must go. They’ are around three hundred cenotes within Tulum and they all magically connect throughout underwater tunnels. Cenotes are a mystical place and a huge symbol for the Mayan culture.
- Beach – the coolest thing about Tulum is that they have public access beaches where you can jump from one hotel to another.
- Akumal beach – perfect place to dive in with sea turtles and stingrays. I recommend to bring your own snorkeling equipment and save the expensive fee they charge by the local. Don’t get fooled by all the people selling you tour packages just tell them you have a reservation at the Dive Shop and when you get there to rent a life jacket and jump into the water.
- Town of Tulum – it’s minutes away from the Tulum beach strip where the hotels are mainly located at. We rented a car as soon as we arrived; however, everyone gets around by walking, biking or taxis. The Town of Tulum is a great way to spend a few hours, there are plenty of small shopping stores offering Mexican handcrafts and authentic Mexican restaurants.
I hope you find this travel guide very helpful 🙂 Please let me know if you have any questions. Besos!