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Tulum - Just another day in Paradise


It was my second visit to Tulum last month, and I enjoyed it even more than the first. Tulum, however, is hard not to enjoy. I've compiled a list of 12 tips to make your trip more enjoyable and recommendations for restaurants, activities, spas, and beach clubs. Enjoy :)




Here are 12 tips to help you make the most of your trip to Tulum:



1. Getting there: Tulum can only be reached by flying into Cancun International Airport. The drive from Cancun airport to Tulum takes less than two hours.


2. Transportation: It is 10/10 recommended that you rent a car. Tulum was easier to get around and more cost-effective for me both times I rented a car. There is only one downside to driving in Tulum: the roads are unpaved. Additionally, if possible, I recommend renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle.


3. Police: Tulum police are notoriously corrupt, so refrain from drinking and taking drugs before driving in general and especially in Tulum.


4. Wifi & Cell service: Tulum has limited cell service and wifi, particularly by the beach.


5. Payment accepted: Both US dollars and credit cards are accepted in Tulum. Bring cash with you – there are ATMs available, but they often run out of money. Also, don’t be afraid to haggle! It’s expected when you’re shopping for souvenirs and I must say I have mastered some great negotiating skills while doing so.


6. Knowing the language: You can get away with speaking english in Tulum but I recommend brushing up on your Spanish



7. Beach vs Town: You have to choose between staying on the beach or staying in town. The beach zone can be very expensive during certain times of the year both to stay overnight and to shop. Additionally, most of the beaches can only be accessed through hotels.


8. Drugs: Stay away from drugs and drug-related activities. People will try to sell to you by the bathrooms at any of the beach or night clubs.


9. Parking: Parking is rough on the main beach strip and valet is common since the roads are narrow. Be mindful of what you leave in your car.


10. Don’t drink the water: Unless you want a terrible stomachache ache, don’t drink the water. It can put a damper on your vacation time. Some hotels are known to use a water filtration system. So that could be safe. Otherwise, brushing your teeth, washing your toothbrush, drinking water, etc. should be with bottled water. If you’re staying in a great hotel, they would provide this complimentary.


11. Solo Travelers: If you're traveling solo, avoid going to secluded places at night. Bicycling is pretty tempting when you're in Tulum, taking the bike out during the day is great but avoid bicycling around at night. Take a taxi if you're alone. Try to stay in Tulum town or one of the resorts at the beach.


12. Maps.me: Maps.me will be your best friend while traveling. Be sure to download the app and the region you are visiting before arrival. Since the phone service can be spotty, it can be easy to get lost on unpaved roads. I believe AT&T and T-mobile both offer free roaming data charges although, I would double-check with your cellphone providers.



Places we visited - Food, water sports, spas & parties:




Restaurants

Kin Toh by Azulik


Kin Toh by Azulik - One of my favorite stops on the trip was to Kin Toh!


When I was preparing for my first trip to Tulum, I came across Azulik. The stays were around $2k per night and I decided not to invest in that. I had no idea that my next trip to Tulum would include dinner, drinks, and dancing the night away on the hotel rooftop.


Maybe one day I will stay overnight but it was a magical experience nonetheless. Upon entering, you feel as if you are walking into a Disney book. Everything was pretty amazing to look at. The structure is made of over 90% wood. It was as if I was a fairy in a treehouse.


We arrived a little early to watch the sunset on the rooftop, which was a great vibe. The music perfectly suited the ambiance. The food was alright and so was the service. However I liked that we were never rushed anywhere.


As long as you have a dinner reservation, there is no minimum consumption. However, they do ask walk-ins for a minimum consumption of 600 MXN. The same amount applies whether you wish to stay for dinner or just go for drinks at the bar.




Del Cielo


Del Cielo offers an excellent breakfast or brunch if you want to fuel up before a long day. Before going to the spa, we stopped here for lunch and felt like the portion and quality of the food were exactly what the body needed.



Please note: This is definitely more of a American/touristy scene.




Spa



A trip would not be complete without a spa experience. The Mayan Clay Spa & Bathhouse was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.was unlike any other spa I've been to. The experience was $215.00 per person but I truly feel it was worth the price.



It was a four hour experience in the jungle. This venue was amazing. Open air showers with exfoliating scrub to prepare, a lengthy massage using their warm papayan clay, a soak tub filled with cantaloupe and hot tea, followed by an oil treatment. Our massage therapists were so kind and patient and guided us throughout the whole 4-hour process. All of us left with soft, moisturized hair (those who got their hair wet) and skin. It was the experience I did not know I needed.



Please note: 1) I wouldn't recommend this experience if you have never been to the spa or had a massage before, and 2) everyone has a certain spa experience preference, and this may not be for you.


For me, it was a magical experience, and I would definitely like to experience it again in the future!




Water activities



A very relaxing way to start your vacation is at the Kaan Luum Lagoon, a clear, shallow lake with a deep central pool surrounded by hammocks and swimming piers. It costs $15 (about 285 pesos) to enter and if you have a drone, they will charge you a little extra to fly it.


The weather was perfect and the water was clear. They offer paddleboarding and snorkeling for an additional fee, as well. Locals try to maintain this magnificent place as less crowded as possible to guarantee that the lagoon keep its natural colors. The staff that supervises the lagoon recommends to stay away from the cenote located in the middle of the lagoon. It is secured by a cord that surrounds it, as there are currents that can pull you down to the bottom of the cenote.



Yax- Muul Cenote


A Tulum trip isn't complete without a visit to the cenotes. Here is my post explaining what cenotes are if you are new to my blog. The Yax- Muul Cenote was unforgettable! The entrance fee was $20, (about 380.80 pesos).


During my first trip to Tulum I went to about 6 different cenotes in 6 different parks. Yax-Muul, in particular had four different cenotes within one park; one of which we weren't able to explore due to the fecal contamination.



Our experience at Yax-Muul cenote park started with a Mayan blessing before entering the cenote, then we were paired with a complementary tour guide who walked us through each cenote, explaining its history. We also enjoyed rappelling into a cenote and snorkeling through the rest of it. We had a wonderful time.


Underwater life is awe-inspiring to me every time I snorkel or scuba dive.






Party Scene

Beach clubs and bars are generally quieter on Mondays and Tuesdays in Tulum. are generally the quietest nights in Tulum, same goes for days of the week at the beach clubs.



Taboo Beach Club


Taboo Beach Club is a day a night club. Reservations are welcome but we went during the off/rainy season and were able to find a table easily. We were not charged an entrance fee. However, the cost of a bed is $2500 pesos, but you get $1500 of that to spend on food and drinks. Dress code is beach casual.


Like any other beach club, there are cabanas, servers serving drinks and food on the beach, and lively music to get you moving. It was beautiful to watch everyone do their own thing.



In any beach club, I recommend arriving by 1pm. This will give you about 4-5 hours of daylight before the sun sets. Due to the fact that it was our first day there and everyone was moving at a different pace, we did not make it to the beach club until it was just before sunset. Despite the beauty of the view, it soon became cold and we were ready to move on to the next spot.






Rosa Negra Beach Club


From the moment you enter Rosa Negra Beach Club, you are immersed in a wonderful atmosphere. In my opinion, this beach club was the most fun for everyone on the trip. The vibe and food were amazing and the staff was extremely attentive and thoughtful.




We arrived at 1:30pm, received a free cabana on the beach, and received free drinks. After a while, we had the beach club to ourselves. Although we racked up quite a bill between drinks and food, it was still a lot of fun. Each hour we were treated to a performance and even got up to do the zumba style choreo, macarena, and cha-cha line. Need I say more...




I hope this blog post provided all the information you need for an exciting and safe trip. Have you been to Tulum? What tips would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments :)

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