Tulum is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited, perhaps being on my honeymoon helped it feel that little bit more magical but overall I just can't praise it enough. A small town in the Quintana Roo area of Mexico and us just one hour from Cancun which is where you will find Tulum. Mexico was never really a priority on my list of travel destinations, I always just assumed it was going to be built up, over touristy and resort only, boy, was that a mistake. Mexico is so incredible, there is just so much to do and see. the food is out of this world and the people may just be the friendliest I have ever encountered. Bold statement, I know but seriously they were genuine, kind and friendly people that really left a mark on Dan and I. There is something for everyone to do in Tulum, first of all it is an Instagrammers dream destination, every where you turn there is something beautiful to take a photo of, lush greenery, beautiful beaches and colourful design you are literally spoilt for choice. Today after numerous requests on my Instagram I thought I would share a few of my personal recommendations for things to do when in Tulum.
Where to Stay
Without realising it we actually didn't book to stay directly in Tulum, our hotel Catalonia Royal Tulum was actually based in the area of Xpu-Ha and about a 20 minute bus ride into the town. As it was our honeymoon we opted to go all inclusive, something I personally wouldn't do again, not because it wasn't good quality or a good option of choice, but because it just isn't mine and Dan's kind of thing. We like to explore, try new food and different restaurants and bars and when we were in all inclusive we missed doing that. That said the if it is your kind of thing The Catalonia Royal Tulum
was such a beautiful hotel with the most stunning beach front, wonderful staff and perfect beach front. The food was really lovely too, lunch being a particular favourite of mine with fresh paella and tacos made on the beach front! If you want to stay somewhere directly in Tulum my advise would be to check out the ever affordable Air Bnb or if you after something a little more luxe try some of the local boutique style hotels. Some that came highly recommended:
Hire a bike
The first thing you should know that Tulum town is not where the beach is, if you aren't staying directly on the beach and decide to get a bus in they will drop you off in the Town area not the beach which can be confusing if you don't know in advance. If you want to then get to the beach you can take a 10 minute cab or do what we did which was hire a bike. There are a few bike rental shops on the Tulum shopping strip and they are very reasonably priced, we hired ours for just 400 pesos a day ( £4 in English money) If you get there early you can get a really cute looking vintage bike, but if you arrive after the morning rush you may be left with something a little rickety. For the price you are given the bike and a lock and usually you have to leave a passport or driving licence as a deposit or if you aren't comfortable with leaving that you can leave a cash deposit. Hiring a bike was one of the best things we did on the holiday, there is something so lovely about slow cycling down winding paths, with the refreshing breeze offering a wonderful cool down from the intense Mayan sun. Plus when you cycle you can go at your pace and can hop on and off when you want to get where you want to go along the beach. Places to hire a bike from:
Get a massage
I mean why would you say no to an afternoon massage on the beach? Reasonably priced at as low as $15 for an hour it is a deliciously indulgent way to spend an afternoon. You can find a number of massages on the beach. Or if you after something a little more luxurious you can always book into one of the snazzy hotels on the beach too. One place that I would have loved to have had one was Coqui Coqui
a stunning spa and perfumery (which has design to die for ) although do note it is on the higher end price wise.
Visit a Cenote
Cenotes are naturally formed swimming pools found in many areas of Mexico they vary in size and types. Some are open like this and some are cave like and underground, but what can't be denied is how amazing they are. I mean guys, this was real life paradise, just look at that water! This particular Cenote is called Casa Cenote
and was located just outside of the main Tulum town. There was a small entry fee of I believe 100 pesos and you could pay to hire snorkels or a kayak if you didn't fancy just swimming for an additional amount. We arrived super early in the morning to avoid the rush and hired a couple of sets of snorkels to explore the area, it was so much fun and incredibly clear making the experience even better. Just across the road from the Cenote was a small beautiful little beach where we enjoyed a delicious lunch of fresh fish tacos and home made margaritas, when in rome aye. Other Cenotes to check out:
Wander and Shop
After a lot of beach lazing and cocktail drinking Dan and I enjoyed walking along the beach strip exploring all the kitchy shops in Tulum again an intagrammers dream with boho beauty at every turn. The design and the style in Tulum is exquisite and quite honestly exactly how imagine my dream home to be, tropical prints, dark woods, natural tones urgh just perfection. I'll keep it real with you though, some of the stores did sell items at a higher price point but so many of the products were hand crafted and unique you can completely see why. My biggest regret was not buying this amazing bag I spotted in this cute store but hey, ho there is always next time ;)
Next up I will be sharing all the best things to eat when in Tulum, don't miss it!