Top ten tips for tulum
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Tulum is an oasis, a vision ripped from Instagram.
Real talk. It’s easy to forget where you are in Tulum. Keep in mind that you are in Mexico; you still cannot drink the water, you need to be mindful of where and what you are eating (avoid anything that would be washed under a tap) and know who you are with. A lot of people will hitch hike around Tulum so be mindful of who you let in your car, if anyone.
And now, lets have some fun!
RENT A CAR
Honestly, this was such an awesome perk for us. We’re not ones to choose the easier option (sometimes that works to our disadvantage), but having a car once we landed in Cancun (that would take us to Tulum and back + 4 days to explore at our leisure for just $300 CDN dollars) was SO WORTH IT. Even if you don’t use it much during your stay in Tulum, an airport transfer is about the same cost so it’s totally worth it. Do remember to obey the speed limits as the cops have a reputation for being unforgiving. The car will not only help you get to and from the airport, it will make driving to cenotes, the beach, any errands you need to run, so much easier!!
A taco a day in Mexico is a must! But, sometimes it’s nice to start the day off on a refreshing foot. Especially when your stomach doesn’t always leave you feeling as blissful as the surroundings around you do. Matcha Mama was right across from our hotel in town and wow were we thankful. They offer every type of bowl or smoothie you could ever imagine. Plus, their iced americano is one of the best we’ve EVER had. And we drink a lot of coffee. Stay tuned as we’ll be highlighting some wonderful ladies from Matcha Mama in one of our upcoming Woman Crush videos!
FIND THE FREE PARKING
Parking is pretty easy to find in Tulum, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled. If you see the sign above, DO NOT PARK THERE. The ‘E’ stands for ‘No Estacionar’ which translate to ‘No Parking’. The cops can compound your vehicle and that would be a damper on the holiday. If you are visiting any of the South Beach resorts there are lots of parking lots that need proof of a minimum spend, but if you just keep driving a little farther away, chances are you can find a little spot to ditch your rental that is free!
STAY IN TOWN
Want to save some cash? Stay in town rather than along the beach. There are plenty of boutique hotels, AirBnBs and hostels just a short 5 minute drive or a 20 minute bike ride away from the beach. You’ll be paying half the cost and can still easily access the beach and the best bars. We cannot recommend our place enough! Plus, there’s an incredible poke spot #hashtagepoke downstairs with some beautiful boys behind the magic. It’s worth checking out even if you end up staying somewhere else.
COLOURS FOR GOOD
Tulum is a shoppers paradise. From jewelry to designer dresses, blankets to kitschy souvenirs, you can find it all. Downtown Tulum (away from the beaches) are the least expensive shops and of course the prices go up once you start exploring the beaches to the south, where all the big resorts are. If you find yourself there, please pop into Colours for Good. This shop works to empower women from all over Mexico by giving them employment. They create the bracelets and keychains available for sale in the shop and the proceeds go to helping these women gain independence.
RULES ON THE RUINS
Every blog on Tulum will tell you to go early, we couldn’t agree more. They open at 8am everyday, a perfect time to go before all the cruise ship tourists get in around noon and sun gets to its hottest temps. It costs 170 pesos (cash only) to enter and then you have the option to get a guide. So this is up to you; do you want to take your time and soak in lots of historical facts from a local? Then get a guide. There is very little signage throughout the site so you won’t be leaning too much on your own. If you are on a budget and don’t mind researching on the wifi or just want to take in the lush landscape and the beautiful views, then skip the guide. Either way, go early!
LA ZEBRA HOTEL
We’ll be straight up with you. Tulum is full of gorgeous beach clubs and oceanside bars. Hanging by the ocean with a margarita in hand will be an amazing part of your trip, trust us. But, keep in mind that many spots charge a hefty fee to use their facilities; up to $120 for the day to have a few drinks. If you’re on more of a budget, skip the fee and find yourself at La Zebra. We found this gem in another travel blog before landing in Tulum and we are so glad we did! The beach was beautiful, you could lay in the sand or find yourself a bed for a very reasonable price. We ended up spending maybe $50 each and had a fantastic day with drinks and meal included! Plus we scored and were there at the same time as the Mulberry Project Tulum. Check them out right now!!
If you have your car, you can skip the over priced tour packages and make your own cenote journey. Although, if you are a solo traveller, a tour may be the best way to make some new pals! We didn’t hit up as many cenotes as we had planned, but we made it to two that we absolutely loved. Cenote Carwash is a quieter one, located about a 30 minute drive from the downtown core. It has a rope swing and a fun jumping off point. We went mid day and there were only about 10 other people, exactly what we wanted. Other cenotes that were on our hit list were: Casa Tortuga, Cenote Manatee, Zachil-ha, Dos Ojos and of course Gran Cenote. The other cenote that we stumbled upon was in a bar called Clan Destino. Right in the middle of this tiki oasis is a decent sized cenote that you can jump in at anytime. We ended up there on a Wednesday, of course it was karaoke night, and anyone who sings gets a free shot of Mezcal! Why not!?
THE PUBLIC BEACH
Playa Paraiso <3 Not into paying fees for some quality beach time? No stress! Head on down to the public beach and enjoy some relaxation at no cost. If you’re coming from town, once you hit the roundabout into the national park, take a left and go straight for about 2km, you’ll see the appropriate signs. Now, be aware the public beach isn’t as pristine. Harsh reality time, the seaweed buildup is a real problem in Tulum. Global warming is not a joke, and it’s awful. (Though if you’re one of our readers, you already know that). Many of the beach clubs will have their workers clean up the seaweed for hours on end so the guests don’t have to deal with it. At the public beach? Not so much. What you see is what you get.