If you’e been following me on Instagram then you’ll already know that I went traveling for most of January (and the beginning of February) with my sister Briona. It was the perfect time for us to take a much-needed break, and Mexico was on the top of our list for so many reasons, so we started there. We also travelled to Belize and Cuba, but this post is directly focused on Tulum, where we spent the first 10 (or so) days of our trip.
Firstoff, I cannot recommend Tulum (and Mexico in general) enough, so if you’ve been thinking of going, you gotta do it! It’s got beautiful beaches, amazing food, incredible marine life and coral reefs (for fellow SCUBA enthusiasts) and it’s super affordable too. The best time to go is usually during winter, as their temperatures are just right, so it’s perfect for those of you in desperate need of some winter sun.
We flew to Canucn from London via British Airways (flights were under €700) and went straight down to Tulum rather than spending any time in an often over-touristy Cancun. I’ve been getting so many messages asking about tips and recommendations for Tulum, so here you go! I hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to watch the video below for a better look at what we got up to during our time in Tulum:
Where we stayed:
Accommodation in Tulum can vary greatly depending on what you want, but there really is something for all tastes and budgets. Most of the beachside resorts can set you back €100+ per night, and as our stay in Tulum was part of a longer trip overall, we wanted a place that was affordable but still central, clean, and private. After some research online (Tripadvisor is a godsend!) we chose to stay in The Weary Traveler Hostel (we booked using this website which I really recommend) after seeing it’s fantastic reviews and affordable prices, and we were not disappointed. We booked a private twin room, with it’s own bathroom, and air conditioning and for about €20 per night (per person) it was exactly what we needed! The hostel itself is fantastic – it’s clean, super central, and with the most lovely and helpful staff you could ask for. The resident cook Sylvia makes a mean morning omlette, and Phillipe who works the bar serves up free Caipirinha’s at happy hour, what’s not to love?
Were we ate:
- Don Cafeto (Cheap, delicious Mexican food with live music)
- La Nave (Delicious Italian food & chilled atmosphere)
- Mateo’s Mexican grill (Great food, cocktails & live music)
- Raw Love (Healthy vegan food & instagrammable acai bowls)
- El Gourmet (fresh juices & smoothies)
- Piola (The best pizza in town!)
Things to do:
- Get the Collective bus to AKUMAL beach and snorkle with the beautiful sea turtles
- Cycle to the Tulum Ruins (which overlook another beautiful beach)
- Swim in the Cenotes (We swan and snorkeled in the Gran cenote and Cenote Cristal, both have a small entrance fee but are totally worth it!)
- Dive the Cenotes with Koox Diving ( We did the Casa Cenote, Dos ojos, Car wash cenote and did a deep dive in “The pit” Cenote to 30 metres!)
- We also visited the ancient Mayan Ruins at Coba and the nearby Nature Reserve Punta Laguna on a day-long trip with Koox Adventures (keep and eye out for the spider monkeys!)
- Take the trip to Chichen Itza, the most famous ancient Mayan ruins to soak up the history. The trip takes a full day but it’s totally worth it to see this historical wonder.
Koox Diving and Adventures:
If you are interested in SCUBA diving, I can’t recommend Koox diving enough. I did lots of research before leaving to find the right dive shop for us (when it comes to diving, safety is SO important!) and no only were the reviews fantastic, but the website was a doddle to use and they were easy to get in touch with for more information. They offer lots of different diving and snorkeling excursions both in Tulum and nearby areas, but we decided to focus on the Cenotes as they were so specific to this area. Our dive leader Sebas was fantastic, he took such good care of us, as well as being great fun to dive with! Because we had such a great experience with Koox diving, we decided to book in for a day trip (referred to as “ground tours”) with them also, to the famous Coba ruins, as well as the Punta Laguna Nature reserve. They organised everything for us including transport, food and tour guides, which was a welcome change from panning itineraries ourselves. I would definitely recommend getting in touch with them if you are planning a trip and looking for some advice, they are so helpful!
Other things of note:
The best way to get to Tulum from Cancun airport is via the ADO bus service, they are constantly running and there’s no need to book ahead.
- Rent bikes ( we got ours from iBike Tulum) and cycle everywhere, it’s THE best way to get around in Tulum.
- If you’re going anywhere farther than cycling distance, the local Collectivo buses are super safe and inexpensive.
- Taxis are available and not too expensive, but best kept for nights out if you want to save money.
- The currency is Pesos, and the exchange rate is about 20 pesos to 1 Euro.
- Many of the Cenotes and beaches will require you to wash off any suncream (or bug repellent) before entering the water, as a way of preserving marine life, so if necessary pack a light cover up with you to avoid sunburn.
- We never got sick from any food we ate (including streetfood) but it is recommended not to drink the tap-water, and avoid using it to brush your teeth if you want to be extra careful.
We found Tulum (and Mexico in general) to be very safe, and as two young female travellers we didn’t have one bad experience or scary moment. As always when traveling, use your common sense and you should be absolutely fine. The Mexican people are very friendly and always willing to help.
Watch the video:
Thanks for reading,