This year is all about checking things off of my bucket list, so when two friends of mine indicated that they were also interested in going to Tulum, I wasted no time booking a flight. Tulum has been on my bucket list for quite a while mainly because it reminds me of Bali with the bohemian vibes without having to take an18+ hours flight to Asia. Our travel dates were August 15th – 19th, which I thought was the perfect amount of time to spend there and we stayed in the town area vs. right by the beach because it was more cost effective.
We also rented a car, which I would highly recommend doing if you're not staying right by the beach.Having a car was very convenient and gave us the freedom to go where we wanted to go without racking up on taxi fares. The closest airport is in Cancun, and from there Tulum is a 2hr car drive. The pesos fluctuated every day, but I would recommend changing your cash outside of the airport because the exchange rate will be higher at a bank or a money exchange establishment.
Where we stayed at :
While doing some research, I found a lot of affordable Airbnb's and hotels that were also in the Tulum town area, but ultimately went with the Airbnb we stayed at because of the aesthetic. Below are a couple of the other options we contemplated staying at, which were all affordable.
The airbnb we stayed at
Airbnb option 2
Airbnb option 3
The Strabon Tulum
Orchid House Tulum
Where we ate at :
Being a true foodie at heart, I was most excited about exploring the different restaurants Tulum has to offer. The restaurants there are very ascetically pleasing with good food. Keep in mind that Tulum is very eco-friendly, so the majority of the restaurants do not have AC and are located outside. Below are some of the restaurants we ate at .
Del Cielo – We ate there three times for breakfast, so it's pretty safe to say we enjoyed the food
El Pez Nativo
Swoon Rooftop – We had dinner here twice
Below are restaurants that we didn't get the opportunity to check out, but wish we did
Casa Malca - Could we even say we went to Tulum without visiting Pablo Escobar Mansion? The mansion is a work of heart, and they have a minimum of 500 pesos to enter, which you can spend on food and drinks. I don't believe this policy is being strictly enforced because we only got one drinks and was free to explore the property after.
Cenotes – We only went to two cenotes because Ik Kil was a two hr drive from the Grand Cenote, which is the first one we visited. Below are the other cenotes that we contemplated checking out and are located in the Tulum area.
(Ik Kil Cenote)
Cenote Dos Ojos
Ik Lab – Art Gallery (Located at Azulik)
Kin Tok ( Located at Azulik)
We didn't visit any ruins, but the Ruins of Tulum is a 12 minutes drive from the town, so would be worth checking out or Coba Ruins.
Everyone we met recommended going to Papaya Playa Project on a Saturday night for the full moon beach party. We went, and it was expensive and honestly a waste of money. They played the same techno song the entire time ( well at least it sounded like the same one to my untrained ears). Granted the setting was perfect because who doesn't like a beach party, but I would suggest skipping going unless you're a techno fan.
Gitano on a Friday night
Batey's, which is located in the town area
Kiki, which is also located in the town area
If you're planning a trip to Mexico, you should be aware that they're currently experiencing a seaweed problem, which entails the seaweed piling up on beaches and turning turquoise waters brown. Personally, this didn't dissuade me from going, and neither was it an issue for me there, so it just depends on how you envision your Tulum vacation going. Tulum can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be, with that being said, I would highly recommend visiting and look forward to going back again in the future.