Ok, everyone knows that Tulum is a little touristy but that really shouldn’t put you off visiting!
Our first stop after spending 7 weeks in Cuba was Tulum. After being without most modern luxuries in a socialist country we decided that Cancun (where we flew into) would probably be too much of a shock to the system! With Tulum being only 4 hours by bus directly from Cancun airport we thought it would be the perfect place to start our Mexico adventures!
It really was & we loved our 3 days there, let us tell you why…….
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1) The Ruins
The obvious reason to visit Tulum & they are definitely worth it!
The Mayans could not have picked a better spot to build upon, the place is literally picture perfect! The ruins sit right on a ridge above a beautiful coastline that boasts pure white sand & crystal clear seas. If you are really lucky you might get to snap a pic like this complete with posing iguana 🙂
We spent a good couple of hours exploring, taking pictures & even took some time to just sit on the grass & take the whole place in!
The entrance to the ruins cost us 70 pesos each, arrive early when it opens at 8am to avoid crowds! If you really want to see the ruins with nobody around you can pay an extra fee (220 pesos per person) to visit from 6am until 8am or from 5pm until 7pm.
If bringing your own or hire car the parking fee is an additional 100 pesos.
2) La Playa
If you like beaches, go to the beach in Tulum! It is a stunning stretch of coastline that goes on for over 10 km, the stretch that extends right up to the ruins is national park & is perfect for swimming or just lazing around.
To use the sun loungers at one of the beach resorts you can buy food & drinks there or you can just take your own towel & enjoy the beach for free! Something to remember in Mexico is that a hotel/resort cannot legally own a beach, once you are on the beach you are free to sit anywhere on the sand. Privately owned sun loungers or furnishings however people can request that you move from!
The day we spent on the beach in Tulum was unfortunately pretty rainy, although that still didn’t stop us enjoying the perfect setting. We found ourselves a nice beach bar to have lunch & cocktails in whilst waiting for the rain to pass!
3) Bike Hire
The best way to get around Tulum & to see the ruins is, by bicycle!
Almost every place that you stay in Tulum will have bikes or somewhere nearby that you can hire them! We have also heard that some hostels include free bikes in your stay!
We hired ours at the hostel we stayed at for 100 pesos each for the day. Tulum is flat so it’s a real fun & easy way to get around!
4) Accommodation Options For All
If your thing is a luxury 5 star hotel, beach front cabanas, a mid-range guest house or budget hostel you’ll be able to find it in Tulum!
We went for the budget hostel option & stayed at Hostal Che, it was a bargain at £7 per night each including breakfast & free water! The location of the hostel was great, it was just off of Tulum’s “main strip”. The owners & staff were really helpful & friendly & had daily & nightly activities arranged to keep us entertained! The best thing for us though was the pool at this hostel, it was the perfect place to just take some time to chill!
5) The Main Strip
Tulum’s main road is pretty busy, it has a lot of traffic pass through & is also where most of the budget accommodation options are located.
As well as hostels there are also a wide range of shops offering beautiful Mayan crafts & textiles, haggling here I would say is essential!
The main road also has a good selection of bars (with pretty decent nightlife) & restaurants to suit all budgets. After eating quite unhealthily in Cuba we loved the health food cafe’s which their wide choice of smoothies, salads, freshly made breads & cakes.
We also loved sampling some Mexican food after eating pretty blandly for 7 weeks, we found the tacos delicious & very affordable at the more local style restaurants.
For us arriving in Mexico after Cuba was honestly like a taste sensation! The other thing we were amazed at was the amount of choice when we went into a store, after being very limited for almost 2 months we found we spent almost an hour in the OXXO just marvelling at what they had, we must have looked very strange to everyone else around us!!
6) It’s Easily Accessible
Tulum is dead easy to get to, we arrived at Cancun Airport & booked a ticket at the ADO desk in the airport for 250 pesos each. It was an easy 4 hours bus journey from there & when you arrive in Tulum the bus station is right in the middle of town so it’s easy to get to where you need to go & also get back out again.
You can also take trips to other sights such as Coba, Chichen Itza, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere & other places. Tours can easily be booked through your hotel/hostel or you can easily visit places solo by taking public transport or hiring a car.
7) Enjoy Some You Time
Tulum is the perfect place to kick back, unwind & just relax as the town & surroundings have a variety of health & well-being options to help you do so.
If you’d like a Yoga or Pilates class, a visit to the temple of positivism or taking some time for one of the therapies or relaxation options at one of the spa resorts on Tulum beach, there’s the option to do them all!
All In All
Well, we think that Tulum is a great place to visit for a while. especially if you love the idea of having loads to do close by once your done with lazing on the beach or by the pool!