1. The most important, and probably the main reason to visit this Tulum, are the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, whose “Castle of the Sea” is one of the most typical postcards of the Riviera Maya. Reserve a minimum of a couple of hours to complete the visit, as the archaeological zone is wider than it seems. A word of advice: get up early, first thing in the morning (it opens at 8 am) there will still not be tourists from the many tours like this one, which mainly comes from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. In this post, we tell you more about the Tulum Ruins.
2. If the sargasso allows it, you will be able to enjoy the Caribbean beaches to the fullest. And what better way to take a dip in the beach closest to the archaeological zone? We talk about Paradise Beach, where you can swim seeing the Mayan ruins themselves, and with the blue waters of Tulum.
3. The beach next door is Playa Pescadores, and it may also be worth spending some time there, especially if unlike us, you are lucky enough to see it without sargasso, so you can enjoy it completely and fully.
4. Tulum’s sunsets are quite famous, and the light in Mexico is something indescribable! So you know, when the sun goes down, you stay and watch the free show, of course, always better with a beer in your hand and enjoying your favorite snack.
5. There are plenty of options to try Mexican specialties. If your budget is a bit tighter, we recommend you eat some tacos, some nachos or a torta, there are many restaurants with Mexican appetizers, and without a doubt, they are one of the richest and cheapest places in Tulum. The best? The arrachera! And it only costs 2 USD or less.
6. Tulum is an area that is growing very fast, and you can find many small boutique hotels with very interesting offers. We found a super rate on the Solera Tulum, and it was by far the best accommodation we had in Mexico.
7. A very interesting option to spend an atypical night is to go to Zine Food&Films, a restaurant-cinema where you can eat a delicious dish while watching a movie. Isn’t it fantastic? The menu includes several proposals (from 17 to 25 USD), and all dishes come with drinks and popcorn.
And if you are looking for places to eat in Tulum, here are eight recommendations of good and cheap restaurants.
8. It is a unique option, but if there is a pinch of artistic soul, unique and different in you (sure hehe), you will love to get a selfie in front of the famous sign “Tulum”. You will find it in the main street of the town.
9. Have a mojito in Batey, a very interesting place with a luxurious air that boasts the best mojitos in the Riviera. Right or wrong? You only have one way to find out… The price is 5 to 10 USD.
10. The surroundings of Tulum are full of cenotes, my friend. Are you going to miss them? We were advised to visit at least the Gran Cenote and the Carwash, the most impressive and recognized cenotes of all the Mayan Riviera. Instead, we went to the Zacil Ha cenote, which costs 40 pesos and, although it is quite small, we thought it was very beautiful. Try not to go on Sunday because it is a place frequented by locals that day.
11. One of Tulum’s strong points is its position, from where you can go on numerous excursions. One of the most popular is the Coba Ruins, with one of the highest Mayan pyramids in Mexico. We were on our own, but if you don’t have a car, you can sign up for any tour that also includes drinks, food, and a stop.
12. If you prefer the charms of nature to Mayan architecture, then don’t think about it and spend a day touring the Sian Ka’an reserve. This is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and one of the most beautiful corners of the area. Here you will find incredible beaches, coral reefs, cenotes and options for activities not to get bored, besides that there are animals in wild state, we recommend you to be very careful of each specimen that you visualize in this zone since they are in their habitat and you only arrive as a spectator!
13. Do you plan to use Tulum as a base for your trip to the Riviera Maya? Then there is an excursion (The excursion) that you can’t miss: that of Chichén Itzá. It is the most famous Mayan archaeological site in the world (not in vain, does it have the honor of being one of the new wonders of the world). We visit from Valladolid, but you can also sign up for a tour that makes the visit from Tulum, which includes transfers from/to the hotel, entrance, guide, and also the visit, in addition to giving you a bath in the ancient Mayan cenote.
14. About 30 km from Tulum, following the coast to the south, we find Akumal, a good place for a day of beach and snorkeling: in its waters, you can even see turtles, but only see, not touch. They charge only 5 USD to enter the beach. Although if you like, you can use other methods to avoid it: the restaurant Lol Ha offers free parking and access to the beach just for a drink in its bar. It’s not cheap, but there’s no minimum charge (you can have a soda for 2 USD, and you’ll have saved a lot of the entrance fee). Oh, and remember to bring your own snorkel mask because the rental prices are so high!
15. If your visit coincides with the carnival, you are in luck: Tulum is celebrated in the best way. Other interesting festivities are the Alborada Maya (March), a religious celebration that thanks God for good harvests, and the Sea Turtle Festival (October), which takes place on nearby Xcacel beach and consists of celebrating the end of the turtle nesting season.
My great recommendation if what you need is to enjoy everything Tulum and the Riviera Maya offer, but without spending too much on private tours and so on, is to use a transportation service, a Cancun company: eTransfers offers good rates. There are also car rentals, but it’s easy to get lost if you don’t have a GPS or even a GPS.