Tucked in-between ocean and tropical forest about an hour (145 km) South of Cancun lies Tulum. A bohemian wonderland…
Cancùn, Playa Del Carmen, and Puerto Aventuras often take the center stage for folks heading to the Yucatan Peninsula, as there are several wonderful attractions surrounding Quintana Roo’s East coast. From cenotès, to the explorable underwater rivers (Dos Ojos), the Mayan ruins, and natural eco-parks such as Xcaret & Xel Ha. But I challenge you to venture a little further South to Tulum as those great natural wonders are all still in proximity, and you get to experience a cultural town wonderfully in harmony with nature!
From the Cancun airport, David and I rented a car… Let the
fiesta fiasco begin… HEADS UP, Mexican car rentals are not super fun and there are often some kind of hidden costs associated with it. There is mandatory insurance and it isn’t included in your initial car quote. The insurance will increase the daily cost of your car from $30-50 US dollars. Also, keep your receipts to check for additional charges. Try to pay for gas in pesos as we experienced A LOT of sketchy activity. They will charge your card, and then tell you the card is not working, so you pay them cash. That makes for a lot of extra headaches when you return home… #lessonlearned
This was still more efficient and afforadable (as we found out later from hitchhikers). Taxis can get expensive.
Tulum is divided into three different areas, the Hotel Zone, the Town and the Archaeological Zone. In the hotel zone, there are some of the most beautiful white sand beaches on the Caribbean coast. The village or town of Tulum and the Hotel Zone are about 3km apart. The hotel zone is distinguished by its simple architecture, which validates a profound respect for the environment: thatch roofs, open air restaurants, rustic cabins and small hotels. The village was built to keep the harmony & natural beauty of the surroundings.
The Town of Tulum is located alongside the state highway 307, where there are all the amenities of a town. Supermarkets, post offices, etc. To get to the hotel zone, we had some difficulty at first, but once we figured it out, it was simple! My google maps struggled in Mexico so have a backup plan if you’re going to be relying on your cellphone!
To get to the hotel zone, take highway 307 South from Cancun towards Tulum/Coba. This isn’t a traditional highway, there are checkpoints every so often, about 5-8 to Tulum from Cancun. We never had to stop at any of them, but just slow down and nod at the officers in passing. There are also TOPES, or annoying ass speed bumps as we like to call them. There aren’t always notifications of these topes so try not to speed over them… Once you see the sign for Tulum/COBA, and you enter the town zone, you will come to an intersection with a 7-11 on your left. That is where there should be signs for RT 109, and thats what you take to the hotel zone but there aren’t any, at all… Once you take that left, you will pass a hostel, a few boutique hotels, a supermarket, a police station, & some lush forests. You will come to an intersection where in the center you will see several signs, take a right and keep going. At first you will come to a bunch of village shops and you will think, “that’s it?!” But keep going. You should pass a small beach & Turtle Cove—that’s when it gets bijou & bohemian…
The culture and vibe of Tulum is enchanting. People are sipping on red wine in open air restaurants by candle light, with bare feet and manicured toes. Incense is casually dancing in the air, and music ranges from sweet vibbing reggae, to latin influence, to throw back 50 cent. Yes, I did hear Candy Shop by fiddy play in Tulum… Decor is eco and artful, playing with light and inspiring the shadows. There is a visible contrast that promotes balance.
Wellness, yoga, fashion, foodies, hippies, escapists— Tulum has a fascinating and palpable combination. I love that restaurants don’t lock up the furniture at night, and you rarely see police– it is a very laissez-faire vibe! People are pursuing pleasure in Tulum, among other things– but there is this colorable balance within the environment that you can’t help but feel in yourself.
We met some rad people from Sweden, Israel, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, & the US. Of all ages! The BPM music festival was going on in Playa Del Carmen so lot’s of wild children!
El Tabáno, Hartwood, Gitano, Casa Banana, Zulum, Ziggy’s
El Tabáno was our favorite. We went back for seconds…
Where to stay?
Stay at BE Tulum. Hands down.
I really should just write a whole other blog post on BE Tulum… but since that isn’t on the agenda yet, here are some of my favs from it. With twenty gorgeous rooms, and individual private pools, this hotel is absolutely from my dreams. The decor, the music, the vibes, all of it was magnifique! They even chill red wine…
DZ and I had a fucking blast swimming with the turtles. I highly recommend snorkeling in Akumal. We got a great recommendation from a friend who has a place in the area. Akumal Dive Shop! It was about $20 bucks USD for an hour. SO amazing!
GO FIND CENOTES
& SWIM IN THEM.
Ik Kil Cenote
Jardin Del Eden:
Make sure you have pesos on you– 60 pesos to enter!
Tulum is a rad place, good people & good vibes!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABE <3
Photo Cred: David Zucker