Part one of my Tulum trip recap covered all the basics – what you need to know to plan a trip there and what I wore. Honestly it was so nice to spend the better part of a week not wearing any makeup and using the ocean as my hair styling product… seriously dying to go back already. Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff now – what to do in Tulum anddddd very importantly where you need to go eat!
In terms of things to do, there is something in Tulum for everyone. If you want to lay by the beach all day with a cocktail in hand, you can do that. I’ll admit we spent a lot of time lounging around. If you’re looking to be more active and take advantage of a rental car, there are many day trips you can easily do from Tulum.
And as far as the food goes, the locals describe the scene as similar to Austin or Brooklyn. A foodie’s paradise in the middle of a beach heaven? I was completely sold after my first bite.
What to do:
Mayan Ruins – the Tulum ruins are a quick bike or car ride from the beach. It’ll give you a small taste of some of the larger, more well known sites (such as Chichen Itza or Tikal in Guatemala). There is a small admissions fee of 40 pesos (under $3 USD) and the entire site can easily be walked in under two hours. Next trip, I would love to visit Chichen Itza (you will need a car).
Cenotes – these are natural underground freshwater swimming pools formed from limestone collapsing into the ground. SO refreshing on a hot day. There are several in the area, you will need to take a taxi or a car. We actually did a guided tour that took us to one of the most popular cenotes, Dos Ojos. If you have access to a car, I would also recommend checking out Grand Cenote and Ik Kal Cenote. There are several smaller cenotes where you’ll be able to swim in the crystal clear waters without hordes of tourists around you.
Snorkeling/diving – along with our visit to Dos Ojos, our tour included snorkeling in Akumal Bay and Yal-ku lagoon. I typically avoid guided tours, as I dislike tour buses and the inauthenticity of the spots they take you to. This actually ended being a blast, as we were able to see several sea turtles and many types of fish. We booked through Edventures, which I would recommend if you’re looking for convenience in getting to and from some of the bigger tourist spots in Tulum. We were able to visit the Tulum Ruins, a cenote, and Akumal through this tour.
Salsa at La Zebra – probably one of my favorite activities of the trip, thanks to a recommendation from a girlfriend. La Zebra hosts Salsa Night every Sunday, with a salsa lesson beginning at 6pm, and dancing commencing later in the evening. I’ll spare you the photos and videos from the lesson, but it was an absolute blast. Definitely do this if you are in Tulum on a Sunday evening.
– the boutiques in Tulum are on point
. I’m still lusting over the bikini selection at Posada Margherita. You always remember the things you don’t buy, and this Marysia
bikini continues to haunt me (kidding). Fortunately it’s available on Revolve. Just be sure to keep in mind that prices are on par with boutiques in the states.
If you’re looking for nightlife – Papaya Playa hosts Full Moon Parties every month, but it seemed like a safe bet for any weekend, full moon or not. We were also tipped off on some jungle parties, but by that point I had over 30 mosquito bites and was not eager to get more. Our hotel also recommended Batey in town for the best mojitos. And if you walk the beach, you’ll find a happy hour special for every hour of the day. Go to Gitano for cocktails. Be sure to try their mezcal cocktails.
you may have heard Tulum is a paradise for yogis. Many of the resorts will offer classes. If you’re looking for more, stay at one of the many eco-friendly yoga resorts on the beach, such as Yoga Shala
or Maya Tulum
. Sip on fresh squeezed juices and freshly blended smoothies by the beach or in the jungle. Visit a Temezcal Sweat Lodge
. Tulum is a perfect destination for a yoga retreat. Namaste.
And of course, walk the beach. Take naps everyday. Watch the sunrise and sunset. And smile often, knowing that you are in the beautiful paradise that is Tulum.
Where to eat:
Posada Margherita – this beach front Italian restaurant was my favorite place in all of Tulum. The restaurant is perfect regardless of time of day. Go during the day to enjoy one of their fresh juices and admire every Pinterest worthy corner. At night, the restaurant transforms into the most romantic space. The hand made pasta is to die for. We visited three times over the course of five days.
La Eufemia – another one of our favorite spots on the beach. Cheap tacos, strong margaritas, and major hippie vibes. We loved spending afternoons here, taking turns dipping in the ocean and sipping on watermelon margaritas. We’d forget the time and what day of the week it was – I have some of my best memories from the trip from La Eufemia.
Arca – a jungle side restaurant next to Hartwood. Due to the weather, Hartwood closed during the week we visited. Multiple locals told us to check out Arca instead, and we were so glad we did. All of the jungle side restaurants are gorgeous, and Arca was no exception. Think an open fire grill and craft cocktails.
Casa Jaguar – go for the tuna tostada and catch of the day. Although many restaurants feature similar dishes (we ate a TON of ceviche and grilled fish during the trip), Casa Jaguar’s stunning atmosphere and flavorful dishes made it a stand out for us.
Hartwood is high on the list for the next visit. We also heard wonderful things about Casa Banana and El Tabano. One important note: be sure to bring cash, as almost every restaurant is cash only. Also, if you’re eating in the jungle (which many of these spots are in), bring mosquito repellent! Restaurants will gladly offer you “natural mosquito repellent” which unfortunately did not work for me, at all. I would highly recommend packing your own tried and trued spray (and lots of it).
We honestly loved every meal we ate in Tulum. Going into the trip we heard prices were in line with the US. But, I found the portions to be quite large, making the prices much more reasonable than expected. Entrees were around $15-30 USD and cocktails around $10-$13 USD.
If you go into town, you’ll find prices are less – go to El Camello for ceviche and garlic fish fillet, and La Chiapaneca for al pastor tacos. Suffice it to say, I don’t think we ate a single bad thing during our entire trip. It was more than worth it, although I definitely indulged more than usual, and am still paying for it with extra cardio sessions…
So, there you have it – everything we did, ate, and drank in Tulum (and more)! It was such a memorable trip, and one that I am already dying to take again. If you have ANY questions about Tulum, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d LOVE to hear from you!
As always, thanks for reading!