I’m a lover of the world and far off places who is so excited that you’re here. Looking forward to sharing more of my world with you and all the things I love. I hope this site really does feel like a wellness oasis right here on the internet.
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that Tulum has been a place I’ve enjoyed for years. If you’re new to following along, I’ve been to Tulum 5-6 times over the last few years. When I first went, it was such a hidden gem for East Coast folks who can fly directly to Cancun. The area has gotten a lot more popular, but in my opinion, it’s still magical. For someone who loves boutique hotels, fun airbnb’s, and amazing local culture, it’s a winner. Random note, but you may see the forecast say rain every day you’re there– don’t worry, the rain usually lasts only an hour or two, and you’ll still get lots of sun. This definitely freaked me out the first time I was there, thinking I wouldn’t see the sun at all (there was plenty). Speaking of rain, I would HIGHLY recommend bringing bug spray because I got got by the mosquitoes and wished I did.
This trip started in NYC–I flew United Airlines from Newark directly to Cancun. To check out what they’re doing to keep us all safe as we fly, click here. Loved that they’ve now eliminated change fees and allow you to change your flight online with ease. I actually booked for an 8am flight and needed to change to 7am, which I was able to do in 5 minutes with no extra cost. This is game-changing as we know plans can shift quickly within this new COVID norm. It was super easy, and I’ve done it a few times since which has worked out really well. At the time I went to Mexico, testing was not required, but I’d fairly recently tested negative with no symptoms so I felt comfortable making the trip. I’m lucky enough that typically I don’t cross paths with anyone who is immunosuppressed, but you never know, so I’m always a supporter of getting COVID tested before, during, and after a trip where possible. Of course, I traveled with masks and wore them during the entire airport, flight, and travel experience. Since NYC is requiring tests before you get back beginning 11/4/2020, if you need a COVID test in Tulum, this is one of the best places to go.
In terms of traveling in and through Mexico, expect to fill out travel paperwork online in the airport. If you do it ahead of time, do it on a mobile device and screenshot as you’ll likely be asked at the airport. United did send me an email about two days beforehand to remind me, which was helpful. The survey asked about where you’d traveled and seemed to track, but the agents at the airport weren’t looking for anything specific outside of completion.
Once we touched down, I booked Etransfers from Cancun to Tulum. It was super easy and I booked the day before we left. Loved that they’ve got a price match, and when I booked, it was $65 private transfer (if you split it, that’s not too bad for 2-4 people). You can also take the bus if you’re on a budget, which I’ve done before. The trip is about an hour and a half, give or take! Quick pro-tip, don’t exchange money in the airport if you can avoid it because the exchange rates are usually much lower than what you’ll get in Tulum. Meaning, you’ll get less money for your dollar if you’re switching your money in the airport. Usually I look for an exchange rate of 20+ per dollar, but in the airport I’ve seen 16-18. It adds up! Below are the two places I stayed in Tulum during this recent trip. We did also make a trip to Coba for Coqui Coqui, which was about an hour away from Tulum but SO stunning.
While in Tulum, we stayed at the most amazing Airbnbs. When I travel, I like to find unique cool places to stay, which gives me an extra element that I sometimes can’t get from a hotel. I also find it to be a more budget-friendly option, and most times I really don’t need formal daily service so it works out. If you’re staying for a longer period of time, a lot of vacation rentals also have washer/dryers plus full kitchens which are super helpful for longer trips. I’ve also heard from many of my friends with kids that these features are helpful. When I say unique cool places, I’m talking about treehouses and homes with swings in their pools! If you check out my reels on Instagram, I’ve got tours of all the hotels I stayed at there–plus more photos and info. If you’ve never booked an Airbnb before, you can save up to $65 on your first booking by clicking here. I’ve been booking and staying since 2015!
Amazing geodesic Treehouse:This place was so cozy and really made me feel like I was staying in a jungle, I loved it! The views were amazing, we were within walking distance to the beach and just had an overall amazing nature vibe.
Two Story Penthouse With Private Pool: This place was cool but you’re definitely paying a premium for the pool so make sure you are ready to use it. The views, the vibe, that POOL, it was a great night. As you can see from the photos, I was living my best life in that pool with the swing (getting our money’s worth).
Although I personally love a good unique vacation rental, I know that some people prefer to stay in hotels, and in Tulum there are some really amazing boutique hotels that give you a great experience. If you’re looking to be by the beach, I’d also recommend looking at hotels. There are some amazing beachfront hotels to choose from. Based on some research and chatting with friends, here are some great hotels if you are looking to go that route. If you aren’t staying on the beach, you can go to Ziggy’s beach club and enjoy the oceanfront as long as you spend $30 or more. They have good food, and there’s also Ahau Tulum if you’re looking for a similar vibe in the morning–I really liked their breakfast.
Nomade – This hotel looks incredible! It has so much to offer anyone looking for a chic relaxing place to stay. There are a variety of rooms to pick from, including “tents”, suites and even really amazing treehouses. The wellness experience they offer looks so peaceful & calming when you’re trying to really enjoy a vacation & unplug.
The Beach Tulum: Right on the beach with amazing views, beautiful rooms and activity for everyone. This hotel looks to be a little more traditional but also captures the vibe that is Tulum. Relaxed, fun, beautiful & on the water, what more do you need.
Azulik: This hotel is BEAUTIFUL and so different than most that I just had to add it to the list. Their welcome slogan “Welcome to a sanctuary for reconnecting and wellness, where the jungle meets the sea” really grabbed my attention and made me want to know more and see how fast I could head back to Tulum to stay here. A stunning hotel but you definitely pay for a very unique. luxurious experience.
Casa Pueblo Boca Paila (Beach): If you do a quick google you’ll notice that there’s a casa pueblo downtown and one that’s also by the beach. I was able to enjoy a day at the beachside location and the food, ambiance and pool were wonderful. Overall, such an amazing vibe. If you’re looking Hotel Panamera they seem to be one in the same. Just be sure to know which one you’re booking!
Ahau Tulum: Ahau is known for it’s amazing entryway and great breakfast options. I’ve been a few times and it’s a super cute spot that is a mix of luxury-meets-approachable and eco-friendly. The hotel is rustic but in a very purposeful way which I love. The reason I stumbled upon this hotel the first time was because of Tulum Jungle Gym. Definitely a fun place to go if you’ve not been.
Copal Tulum: Solid option with some really nice pools in room. I’ve heard great things about the location and the experience overall. Good value for the experience plus a plunge pool always gets me.
Aribnb Vanilla III: A great budget option that has a kitchen and appliances which you’ll need if you’re staying longer. The value is amazing and you’re getting a lot for a low price but the reviews speak for themselves and you won’t be disappointed.
Larger Airbnb Option: This is a great two bedroom option that’s spacious if you need more room during your trip than the standard studio or one bedroom setup. Great reviews and a really stunning space.
Villa (Sleeps 10): If you’re traveling with friends or want more space to spread out with a family, this is a really amazing option with four bedrooms. The pricing is fair for the space you get which is lovely!
Penthouse with Pool: These days I’m a sucker for a private pool option especially because Tulum can be quite hot. This Airbnb has gotten amazing reviews and looks like it would be really great.
Apartment with Pool: Another solid option that has come highly recommended by those that have stayed.
Although some of the options above are on the pricier side, I have some great tips for budget-friendly options. Staying in town is usually cheaper than staying on the beach and there are so many Airbnb options in town! I look on the map to see how far it is from the water and the main town strip, but usually you can find solid options around $100 if you’re on a budget and there are some hostels as well. I’d recommend if you’re going for a holiday or a popular time period to book in advance. I found a couple cute Airbnbs with a great location and good price point.
Jungle Cabin: This jungle cabin is one of five you can pick from that is located in a private jungle oasis in the heart of Tulum. It looks like an elevated jungle experience that I would highly consider for my next trip to Tulum.
Exclusive Jungle Eco TreeHouse steps to cenotes: We went to the cenotes this trip, and it was beyond beautiful! The fact that this Airbnb is within walking distance is perfect, it’s also not too far from town so you can still go to all the amazing beaches and restaurants.
Tulum has always been one of my happy places, but I’ve not been in years. Partly because I fell in love with Mexico City, but as one last trip before getting my passport renewed, I knew I had to make it happen. Thankfully, since most things are outside overall, I was still able to have an amazing, safe experience while following all of the COVID-19 precautions. We all know that I love a good meal, so when I travel, I am always looking for the best food. If you’re visiting Tulum, here are my top recommendations that felt safe during current times–plus a few others I wish I had time to try. I’ve gone to Burrito Amor EVERY time I’ve been in Tulum, and they just moved into a larger space with a bar that’s so cute. Highly recommend going, I get the chicken burrito and add cheese if I’m in the mood for it. The fish and steak burritos are also amaze from what I hear! Some of these like Gitano and Taboo are expensive ,but I’d recommend going once for the experience.
Burrito Amor (every time I’m in Tulum I go at least once, the coconut water and chicken burrito are my jam)
Mamasan (really good breakfast and lunch options, lovely selection of juices)
Taqueria La Eufemia (inexpensive with beach access)
Antojitos La Chiapaneca (known for their tacos)
Grupo Gitano (expensive but you’ve got to go for a drink at least to enjoy the unique vibe)
Ahau Tulum (great breakfast, lots of options for someone who doesn’t eat egg)
The Pitted Date (amazing vegan option)
Le Pebeta ( a great spot with breakfast options)
Taboo Beach Club (go for the vibe)
Botanica Garden Cafe (super cute garden vibes, great drinks)
Rincon Poblano (simple, authentic and good quality plus they’ve got 2 for 1 drinks)
Encanto Cantina (amazing breakfast)
Taqueria Honorio (go early, it’s a local spot and they can run out of food)
Nao (typically not my go-to when in Mexico but when the cravings hit, you can get good ramen and sushi here)
If you’re heading to Cancun/Tulum, visiting cenotes should definitely be on your list. Cenotes are essentially underground limestone caves and there are thousands around the Yucatán Peninsula. Here’s a short list of a few amazing cenotes, but of course, there are many many more:
Gran Cenote (keep in mind this one is super popular so there may be crowds)
Cenote Ak Tun Ha
Cenote Dos Ojos
Cenote Sac Actun
Cenote Jardín del Edén
Cenotes Casa Tortuga
Cenote El Pit (Perfect for a Dive)
Laguna Kaan Luum
Clan Destino (Bar & Cenote)
Cenote Acro Amaya
Cenote Choo-Ha (Near Coba)
Aside from the Cenotes, which is a must do if you go to Tulum, here is a list of a few other must dos while there.