My favourite place so far… maybe apart from Boracay in the Philippines, but it is close.
It’s a cute little hippie town with tons of incredibly cute places to eat, stay and drink. You will be spoilt for choice but here are some recommendations.
We stayed at Tulum Naa which was cheap, clean and good location in the town of Tulum. However if you can afford it, I’d stay on the beach as it’s stunning and in the centre of the beach restaurants. If you stay in the town you can easily get a taxi (200 peso/£8), a Colectivo (local bus) or we rented bikes for £5 a day. Cycling from Tulum town to the beach/restaurants takes around 20-minutes. It’s not so easy cycling in the dark after a few mezcals however…
Bars at beach
Papaya Beach Project is an incredible hotel/beach bar, perfect for day time drinks and lounging. It also hosts great parties which international DJs. We had to blag our way in for day-time drinks as it gets quite busy but if it’s not the busiest part of the season you should hopefully be fine.
Photo: Papaya Beach Project
I’d recommend sunset drinks at Mateo’s. Ensure you go head up to the roof for the sunset band and a happy hour cocktail.
You do not need to be part of a hotel to use the beach. We sunbathed next to Azulik Hotel, where I wish I could afford to stay. There is an access to the beach near the hotel and a shop to buy some beers to save some pesos!
Restaurants at the beach:
My favourite by far was Gitano. We went twice due to the incredibly cozy lighting and the delicious cocktails and food. I highly recommend.
I also recommend Hartwood but you need to get down early – around 5.30pm or else you’ll be waiting hours and it’s only open Wednesday – Sunday. The menu changes depending on what food is in season but it’s all scrumptious.
If you’re feeling fancy, Wild Tulum is on the other side of the beach restaurants near Casa Malca (Pablo’s House). It’s aesthetically stunning and the owner Karen really knows good food. I’m not sure how strict entry is to Pablo’s house, as a friend sorted out our visit, so I’d double check before visiting. I’d recommend visiting both Wild Tulum and Pablo’s house at the same time, as they are a short walk from each other.
Photo from Mateo’s.
If you stay in Tulum town, you will not be disappointed. It’s littered with incredible restaurants and cute little cafes.
Restaurants in town
We found an amazing Thai restaurant called Thai Tulum – on a corner off the main street. Seriously good food if you fancy cheap eats. You can get starters, a main course and drinks for under £10 for 2 each. I haven’t been able to find a website for it but here is the address: Av. Tulúm Mza 3 Lte 3, Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
El Pollo Broncho – My boyfriend had loads of chicken from there and it did smelt fantastic. Damn my veggie ways..!
There is a great breakfast place next to Hotel Naa. In between El Adadero and Tulum Naa. Don’t know its name but was really nice food – including a hangover special.
The vegan restaurant (I think it’s called Vegans) next to El Pollo Broncho on the corner always looked good for breakfast.
Damajuana is the only after-hours bar in Tulum town which gets started around 12/1am. Oscar the owner is a legend and makes the best Mezcal cocktails.
I highly recommend going to Akumal to see the turtles. You can get a Collectivo (the little white minivan buses) half an hour along to Akumal for about £1.50/40 peso. If you get on a Collectivo, ensure you get on the same side at the Scotia bank in town or else you’ll end up in Belize(!). The Collectivo buses come every minute although sometimes stop at midnight.
We cycled to Caleta Tanka along the highway which was a bit dangerous so I’d get a Collectivo along and spend the day here for 100 pesos (£4/€5). It’s a beautiful hotel spot – the hotel isn’t overly amazing but the beach is gorgeous and there is a small cenote to go swimming in.
Photo: Caleta Tanka
Apparently, the Grand Cenote is the best cenote. We went to the wrong one by mistake (oops) but there are loads and you can go scuba diving in some of them.
The Ruins of Tulum Zona Arqueológica de Tulum are a good day-time activity.
We got a guide for an extra £4 which took an hour.
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❤ STG x