Tulum is one of those places you keep hearing about everywhere. It’s all over Instagram, all your friends have visited and are talking your ear off, so what’s the hype all about? Tulum is town in the Yucatan about 2.5 hours from Cancun. It’s trendy right now because of it’s “hippie” nature and the abundance of things you can do. We had to see what Tulum was all about so when we booked our trip to Mexico, we made sure to add Tulum to our itinerary.
How to get to Tulum
You’ll have to fly into Cancun since that’s the closest airport, and from there you have a few options. You could take a cab or drive to Tulum, but that’s a bit expensive. We decided to take the Ado Bus and had a really great experience. The bus was around $8 per person and it was a very smooth ride. Tulum is very walkable and bike-ride-able so once you get there you won’t need a car.
Where to Stay
A lot of the accommodations in Tulum near the beach were pricey, so we opted to stay near the Tulum Ruins instead. We stayed at Lucky Traveler Hostel and it was actually our first time staying at a hostel. The hostel was in a great location because it was walkable to the beach and the Mayan Ruins, plus it was right across the street from the station where the bus drops you off. The hostel was also all inclusive including alcohol and you could rent bikes for free which made it even more bang for your buck. It was definitely a good price for the location and if you’re on a budget, we would recommend staying here.
Best Things to Do
Visit the Tulum Mayan Ruins
Relax on Playa Paraiso
Swim in a Cenote (there are a bunch near Tulum, we went to Grand Cenote)
Rent a bike and go adventure around
Walk around the shops in downtown Tulum
Explore the Coba Ruins
Where to Eat
La Hoja Verde
Things to Note
Watch out for the seaweed. When we visited Tulum in March 2018, you couldn’t swim in the water because there was so much seaweed. It wasn’t avoidable and there were tons of flies on the beach near the water because of it. We were kind of disappointed we hadn’t read anything about this issue before going to Tulum because it was so bad. We’ve heard that there are some parts of the beaches you can swim in now but just make sure if you’re visiting Tulum and want to go to the beach that you research about this seaweed problem to see if it’s been cleared up!
Wake up early for the Mayan Ruins. We got to the Ruins when they opened at 8:00 AM and we were so happy that we did! It costs about $4 to enter and there was no line and hardly any people once we got in there. When we left the ruins a few hours later we saw there was a huge line to get in! If you want to avoid the crowds definitely go early.
So many Cenotes. Tulum has a ton of cenotes nearby so it can be hard to choose which ones to go to. Some of them are free to enter and the rest cost about $5. The only cenote we visited was Grand Cenote. That one probably the most popular but it’s popular for a reason, it’s stunning. Swimming in the cenote was our favorite memory of Mexico so we highly suggest visiting a cenote if you ever come to the Tulum area!
So was Tulum worth the hype for us? We’re gonna say no. It’s a beautiful place to visit and we had a great time, but not being able to swim when the beach is a major draw was a bummer for us. A lot of photos on Instagram portray Tulum as this gorgeous paradise and it totally has the potential to be. If they fix the seaweed problem we can definitely see ourselves going back and having a different experience. If you want to see our Tulum experience first hand, make sure you check out our Tulum travel vlog below!