Hi friends! Excited to share everything Tulum with you including, where we stayed, ate, what to see/do, and our personal experience traveling to Tulum!
Where We Stayed:
Our first night we stayed in Cancun, since that’s where we flew in and Tulum is another 1.5 to 2 hr drive south from there. We stayed at the Canopy by Hilton. Really affordable and extremely nice stay! Beautiful pool and gym!
The next day we arrived in Tulum and stayed at the Beautiful Hotel Panamera! This was our favorite stay and was relatively affordable for what it was! We wish we would have stayed here a lot longer than 3 days. Amazing food, beautiful beach front restaurant/lounge. The pool is STUNNING! It was the main reason we chose it all in the first place. The staff are also so sweet and helpful! Only 2 complaints about the stay and that is on the weekends they have a DJ and play very load music that even in your room you can hear. Also the hotel is located on the more southern area on the Tulum Hotel Zone and on days with heavy traffic it can take forever to get anywhere. Also the location of the hotel itself is close to quite a few shops, but not really a ton of options when it comes to food. 90% of the time we stayed here we ate at the hotel’s restaurant itself, which had a ton of options for everyone including picky eaters like me! If I ever travel back to Tulum we will be staying here again!
Our next stay which was for 5 nights was at Akkuun Tulum. It was nice, but extremely expensive for what it was. Other than the restaurant’s breakfast, we were not too thrilled about the food/options. Luckily this hotel was located much farther north than the last stay and was walking distance from a TON of amazing restaurants. We wish we would have stayed more days in the last place and less here, but it was fun to experience a different area of Tulum!
Where we ate:
Just a quick note, if you are not a fan of seafood you are going to struggle with food a bit here like I did. It feels like 90% of all the food in Tulum was fancy expensive seafood restaurants or sushi. We kind of found a couple really good places and then just kept going back haha!
- Hotel Panamera: has amazing food, something for everyone! I ate scrambled eggs with bacon, fruit plates, truffle fries, and pizza almost everyday we stayed here!
- Matcha Mama: Smoothie bowls and drinks! Also is the cutest spot for photos! This was located just a short walk from Hotel Panamera.
- Mateos: we walked and ate here probably 3 times from our last hotel. LOVED their burritos! I still crave them!
- Juanita Diavola: Amazing pizza and Pasta! Also walking distance from our last hotel! I believe we ate here 3 times.
- Hosteria Del Marques: this was located in the City of Valladolid. Probably our most favorite restaurant of them all and the most affordable! Highly recommend coming and eating lunch in Valladolid if you go to Chichen Itza! We both got traditional plates and they were so yummy!
Things To Do:
- Chichén Itzá: A must see! Not only is there the one pyramid but ruins all over the grounds! Such a cool experience! Wear your SUNSCREEN!
- Cenotes: Also a must see! There are too many to count around Tulum! We only had time to see two. The first one is called Suytan Cenote! We were able to get in 30 mins early by paying a little extra and scheduling an open day! So worth it! NOTE: this place gets crazy busy around noon because there is a big sunbeam that will hit that platform perfectly! They also provide life jackets in case you want to swim around. Also at certain times of the year this platform isn’t underwater and you can just walk out on it! The other Cenote we had time for was Cenote Calavera. We got there around 3:00pm and it was a bit busy and we had to wait about 10 mins ish to be able to take a photo on the swing. This Cenote is right outside of Tulum and honestly is would be such a fun spot to just hang out for the day! They have bathrooms, a snack shack that serves drinks and food! As well as chairs all around the Cenote to just sit and relax!
- Have Lunch and Explore Valladolid : At some point during the day if you make the trip to Chichén Itzá/Coba you have to make the stop at the prettiest little town Valladolid! Have your Guide drop you off at the town square and eat at one of the beautiful restaurants for lunch! Highly recommend Hosteria Del Marques! Then spend some time just walking around the town square and finding the prettiest buildings!
OTHER THINGS TO DO: that we didn’t have time for:
- Tulum Ruins
- Paradise Beach (Playa Paraiso)
- Coba Ruins
- Gran Cenote
- Cenote Tak Be Ha
Our Personal Experience:
Honestly had such an amazing time in Tulum! Another beautiful location checked off the bucket list! I guess we are considering this our belated honeymoon due to covid pushing off our 2 week Bali Honeymoon another year. This was also my first trip to Mexico, unlike Nick who has been to Mexico City, Chihuahua, and also on a Church trip to Mexico when he was younger. Tulum in a lot of ways was more beautiful than I expected and in other ways is not as great as everyone on social media makes it out to be. I feel like the Ruins and Cenotes went above my expectations! Also I did feel extremely safe everywhere we went which was something that I was worried about for the trip. Part of the trip that was not necessarily the greatest was even though Tulum is full of money and has some of the most expensive resorts the streets themselves (mainly talking about Tulum Hotel Zone specifically. Which is supposedly the safest part for tourists in Tulum to stay) are covered in trash and glass, and have no sidewalks. You are basically walking on the road. The streets are tiny and basically when you walk anywhere you have taxis, vans, bikers, and four wheelers zooming past you only a foot away. I would say Tulum is NOT family friendly. There was actually only one real time I even saw a family the whole time in Tulum and all the kids looked like they were high schoolers. If you have small Children and want to visit this area Nick and I feel like staying in Cancun in an all inclusive resort on the beach and then do a private tour with the fam to see Chichén Itzá, Coba ruins, and some Cenotes would be the best plan. Also although we felt very safe everywhere we went, while we were there, there were actually several shootings in Tulum. One of which was only a few mins south of our last hotel right in front of a restaurant. Social media has definitely made Tulum seem like the most perfect place where it is not even close to that. If you are just focused on going somewhere tropical, safe, and with a beach and not focused on seeing the ruins or Cenotes, honestly I would just suggest to go to one of the Hawaiian islands. Kauai Blogpost HERE.
Going back to the topic private tours, we highly recommend Emmy! I will link her Instagram HERE. She is the absolute sweetest and honestly made the whole trip! She is the one who drove us around to go see Chichén Itza, Valladolid, and some Cenotes! As well as drove us from Tulum to the airport on our last day!
Overall it was an amazing trip and experience! A much needed break from our busy lives! This trip was so different than all of our other trips together which are typically just jam packed full of exploring and seeing everything. If we ever go back we would probably just go for maybe 4-5 days at most instead of the 9 days we did. You really only need 4-5 days in Tulum to feel like you have seen and done it all as well as relax. By day 6/7 we felt like there really wasn’t much else to do and we felt very stuck. If we had rented a car or mopeds we might not have felt so stuck in one place. But do to the nature of Mexico, and a few scary stories from family and friends who got pulled over in Mexico by the police, we decided it would be better to just walk to taxi everywhere. Luckily we made the most of it and just enjoyed each others presence and stayed in bed most the time and watched movies!
Linking as many of the clothes I wore below or similar pieces! Hopefully this guide helps you plan your next trip!