Although we have been to Cancun many times, this was our first time being in Tulum. As soon as we got there, we fell in love with the vibe and aura of the town and kept wondering why we never came before! It has a very charming and had a very Greek vibe, there were tons of open concept resorts, little shops and restaurants…I felt like I was transported back to Mykonos. Unfortunately due to work constraints our stay was super short (only 2 days/nights) but we look forward to going back again.
How We Got There:
We arrived at the Cancun airport and instead of taking a shuttle which is about $50 usd per person each way, we decided to rent a car to go to Tulum instead. We loved having the flexibility and it actually came up to be cheaper. We used SIXT Cancun because we have used SIXT in the past and have found their prices to be the best among other competitors and their service is always impeccable as well. However the best part is that with SIXT there are no surprises, what you see is what you get, no hidden fees, no extra deposits etc.
TIP You can decline the insurance offered by the car rental companies but only if your credit card provides international car rental protection for damages to the rental car.
Where We Stayed:
For the first time ever, we opted out of booking the traditional hotel and going with a vacation home instead and we had absolutely no regrets! We stayed at a private beach front villa which was located right on the Tulum beach and it was a really different and amazing experience. Our home (Casa Gaia) was a studio style villa which had a beautiful interior which really captured the beauty of Tulum. The studio offered a king size bed, open style kitchen & shower, and a beautiful balcony with breathtaking views. The best part of the home was that we could enjoy the turquoise ocean and hear the sound of the waves right from our bed.
- They offer a collection of beachfront homes so whether you are coming with friends or just as a couple there are plenty of different options to chose from.
- Its a full service rental home which means there is staff to greet you, daily housekeeping and managers to ensure your stay is a comfortable one.
- Personal chef service and massage are also available by request
- Tons of restaurants and bars walking distance. We loved the location it was right on the strip
- All the villas are located directly on the beach, you literally don’t have to wear shoes!
Check em’ out- Mahayana Tulum Beach Homes
What We Ate (all walking distance to where we stayed):
- La Zebra – This was right next door to where we were staying. Their guacamole is so yummy – must try. This is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor – check here.
- Posada Margherita- Good for seafood and Italian cuisine. Its a beachfront restaurant, super romantic. Here we had the shrimp pasta which was really flavorful and generous portion. This is also rated 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor- check here.
- Casa Banana- Cant remember what we had here but they had pretty good guacamole ( can you tell we love our guac? hehe) This is rated 4 out of 5 on Trip Advisor- check here.
- Ziggy Beach- Went here for breakfast and really loved it for just $5 we had Heuvo Rancheros and Eggs Benedict- This is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor- check here.
We also tried a few other random places along the strip but the above was our favorite, We also really wanted to try Hartwood but didn’t get a chance. If you are a meat lover apparently its a must try!
What We Did:
To be honest we went to Tulum without an itinerary, it was our first time there so we wanted to just get acquainted with the town and go with the flow. Often times our schedules are so packed with `must see and must do“activities that we don`t get to immerse ourselves in the culture of a place. So knowing we had 2 days in Tulum we told ourselves we will definitely check out with Tulum Ruins and perhaps a Cenote if we get a chance. We only ended up doing the first but that’s because we were being beach bums and also restaurant hopping for the most part. Although I wish I had seen a cenote since that whole area is known for it I don’t have any regrets. Next time we will definitely check out one or two. (Here is a list of some of the best ones if you plan on visiting one!)
- DOS OJOS
- EL PIT
- IK KIL
- GRAN CENOTE
- CENOTE CALAVERA
Anyways…as I said above, we did make it to the Mayan Tulum Ruins. So if you are planning on visiting the Ruins, take a look at the tips below.
1. Head to Tulum early in the morning to avoid crowds also the SUN! The earlier you go the better, I would reccomend 7am-8am.
2. Bring cash! The entrance fee to the national park is $3 USD (admission is free for children under 13), and they don’t accept card. There is a ticket vending machine there but its not always working so be on the safe side.
3. Use a guide! We didn’t get a guide because we felt that the ruins weren’t that large and we would be okay to read the boards and listen in on other groups to get a jist of it but we were wrong. If you want the trip to Tulum Ruins to be worth it, I would definitely recommend getting an experienced guide. There are tons of guides by the entrance so it shouldn’t be too hard to scout someone speaking your language.
4. Don’t forget your water & Sunscreen! The heat and humidity at the Tulum ruins is higher than on the beach or in town. By 10-11am its almost unbearable so bring lots of water and make sure you have sunscreen on (Even better wear a hat!)
5. Bring a swimsuit! The Tulum beach is iconic.. the turquoise water, white sand and the ruins in the background are the perfect place to take a dip. You can swim in the little stretch of beach in the ruins or drive a few minutes from the ruins to the famous public beach. Its always crowded but the beach is massive and the water is very inviting. P.S Wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes because you wont find any change room!