Tulum was my first stop here in Mexico, with me only originally booking 6 days of exploration here. Yet nearly three weeks later, I am still here and still unwilling to leave.
There are many wonderful reasons for my prolonged stay here but the thing I love the most, is the way this town can instantly make you feel at home and at ease. The town itself is located a couple of miles away from the actual beach, yet personally I much preferred staying in the town, rather than the ‘trendy’ beach strip.
You will find the food much cheaper in the actual town and things a lot more accessible. For the last week of my stay though, I am working at a yoga retreat and hotel, helping them set up their Instagram and although the place is amazing, I feel a little more disconnected from the World here as a solo traveller.
Ok, so a few things not to miss while you are here in Tulum;
Just taking a walk around the town itself is a must, so many run down yet inquisitively quirky buildings, old Volkswagen beetles are a favourite and will be found on many or most streets but the street art, is the thing I love the most.
Located just a 15-20 minute drive away heading south you will find a jungle oasis. For the fear of it being discovered by too many, I am going to keep It’s location quiet but it is easily found if you explore. It is said that many years ago, a meteorite hit, causing a huge hole to fill with natural water over time. It costs (at the time of visiting) 40 pesos to enter and is yet to be discovered by many tourists. Take a cool box full of goodies, a snorkel and explore this hidden treasure.
There are dozens of cenotes just a short ride away from Tulum, all so different from each other. If you like jumping from heights then try the Garden of Eden Cenote, also a great spot for those post ‘late night’ recovery swims.
Dos Ojos Cenote is great for diving and snorkelling alike and the Gran Cenote is probably the most popular and famous. I recommend hiring a scooter if you are a short on time yet want to cram in any many cenotes as you can.
So this may be a 30 minute collectivo ride away but it is totally worth it. Hire some cheap snorkels in Tulum (Iguana Bike Shop do great cheap bike and snorkel rentals) and you can grab a collectivo on the main strip heading north, just say you are heading to Akumal when you get on and they will tell you when you need to get off.
Here you can swim with turtles (for free, so don’t let anyone make you believe you have to pay for anything!) and see many other wonderful things. I recommend going early morning to beat the large tourist crowds that gather midday.
Food & Drink
I don’t even know where to start, there are so SO many incredible bars and foodie joints here in Tulum, you are really spoilt for choice. I could go on for days about all the great food here but instead I will just bullet point a few great places to check out if you are here;-
-Bateys Mojito Bar (they make their own sugar syrup on site, in the back of a converted beetle)
-La Eufemia (For lazy, beach tacos)
Where to Sleep
OK, I know I may be very biased but Mama’s home hostel is the place to stay. I booked just 6 nights here and ended up extending a further 10 days. Jose (the owner) runs an excellent hostel, with breakfasts you would expect from a high end hotel, clean private rooms and dorms and a great atmosphere.
If hostels are not your thing then there is plenty in Tulum to choose from hotel wise. Azulik is leading the way, hugging the beach and offering a clothing optional approach. There are also plenty of new and great Air bnb rentals popping up in Tulum that can offer a cheaper alternative to the boutique hotels on the beach.