Last week, I traveled to Tulum, Mexico with a couple of girls for a fun trip! I grew up visiting Cancun in the summers but this was my first time going to Tulum. Wanted to break all the details down for y’all in case you’re interested in going or maybe you’ve booked the trip but want some recs.
Getting there + Getting around:
We booked direct flights into Cancun through AA which was about a 2.5 hour flight from Dallas. Once you land, we booked a private shuttle through USA transfers that picked us up, let us drink, and got us to our hotel safely. The drive from Cancun to Tulum is about an hour and a half depending on traffic.
Travel time: About 5 total hours from airport to hotel (grabbing baggage and getting shuttle in between too)
A lot of people do recommend to rent a car and I can see why! If you feel safe doing that, I would rent one. However, you can also get around by motorbike, bicycles or by taxi. We used taxi’s which was great since we were all drinking all day but it gets EXPENSIVE. Especially at night FYI!
Where to Eat + What to Do:
- Acai Bowls + Juice: Matcha mama
- Nice Dinner Out: Tseen Ja Azulik (The most incredible sashimi we’ve ever had!)
- Mediterranean: Meze
- Dinner + Club: Rosa Negra, Taboo, Tora, Chambao
- Drinks: I Scream Bar , El Tabano.
- Beach Clubs: Papaya Playa Club, Coco Tulum, Taboo,
- Bike around town and the hotel zone area
What To Know:
Book dinners and beach clubs ASAP…. especially if you are visiting on the weekend. Most of the ‘popular’ places book up weeks out.
The beach clubs are all about $30-$50 food + drink minimums per person (you can pay with card) and the bars close at 1am in town!
Lastly, we learned on the first night that it’s a thing in Tulum to “party where you eat”… literally verbatim what we were told by girls living there haha. So the dinner + club places I mentioned above, I would book a dinner for like 8 or 9pm and then it flips into a club around 10:30pm-11pm. It is SO MUCH FUN. It’s the places with the sparklers, dancing on chairs, everything. Fun fact: all of those club places are owned by the same company and they’re all near each other.
Where to Stay in Tulum, Mexico:
We stayed at the Kimpton Aluna Tulum. It was quaint, calm, beautiful, quiet, and boutique-style. It’s not exactly in the hotel zone but super close by to it. It had two gorgeous pools, an amazing restaurant called, Parallel 20, and pretty spacious rooms with balcony’s.
The staff was lovely, and I would absolutely recommend this place. It’s very quiet and would be especially perfect for a couple or even a honeymoon.
They also have a nurse who comes on site as well to offer COVID-19 tests.
Tulum, Mexico Prices:
- Flight: $250
- Shuttle: $80/person round trip
- Hotel: $200/night
- Food: $50 – $100 a person per meal. (Could be way less if you go to less popular spots)
- Taxis: $10-$15 during the day / $25-$30 at night
- Covid test: $40-$45
Ways you can save:
Stay at an airbnb with a group, take a cheaper group shuttle or go by bus, bike around town instead of taxi, stay in Tulum town rather than the hotel zone, skip the beach clubs with minimums,
What To Pack:
- Cheeky swimsuits (wear whatever you want girl! but the cheeky, sexy swimsuits are definitely the popular there)
- Bug spray!! A MUST. We got eaten alive at night. Most restaurants have bug spray you can use though.
- Water bottles (would be nice to have so you don’t have to keep asking staff if you can have or buy one)
- Little white dress – tons of white dresses and neutral pieces seen there.
- Beachy boho pieces – the town reminds me so much of Bali. Super boho, free-spirited, and fun. Definitely bring pieces that fit that!
- Cash- bring tons of cash for tipping and taxis. I should’ve brought more. I always tip in american dollars, I never exchange my money. I’ve visited Mexico so many times over the years and have had many people tell me that they prefer American cash than pesos. We just converted their prices on the spot.
Things I didn’t get to do:
You definitely need like four full days in Tulum to do it all I feel like! We could’ve used one more day. Here’s some things I had on my list but didn’t have time for:
- Cenotes (Grand Cenote)
- Raw Love Tulum
- Tulum Jungle Gym
- Oko Spa
- Gitano bar
- La Zebra
- Casa Malca
- bike to Follow that dream sign
- Be Tulum
- The Ruins
My husband and I visited Bali in 2019 and it’s hands down my favorite place in the world. Tulum, Mexico had so many similar characteristics that Bali had too and it’s NOT a 24-hour flight haha. Such a magical place and super easy to get to from Texas. Highly recommend a trip there!