TAKE ME TO TULUM
Updated: Jul 13, 2021
I recently got back from an *amazing* vacation to Tulum and i'm so excited to share all of the details with you! I've spread out my itinerary day-by-day, but if you only want the quick highlights you can scroll down for the itinerary recap. As always, let me know if you have any questions!
We landed in Cancun around 9pm. I scheduled a private pickup with USA transfers and they were waiting our arrival at the ground transportation pick up area. I 100% recommend this company! They sent confirmation emails and texts before/after our pickup. The first thing our driver did was sanitize our bags before putting them into the car, and then offered us some drinks for the ride! The drive was an hour and 45 minutes; a little quicker than usual since it was so late at night (usually takes 2 hours). We arrived at our first hotel, the NEST, at 11:15 PM. The front desk was already closed but they were keeping in contact with us via WhatsApp to make sure we had a great arrival. Lazaro, the security guard was waiting for us and took us to our room. They left us some quesadillas, tacos and guacamole because they knew we were traveling late and thought we would be hungry. I already like this hotel.
We woke up in Tulum! We finally got a chance to walk around our hotel and it was amazing. It’s a small hotel with only 12 rooms so the service was impeccable. We stayed in the Tulik Suite and the size was perfect. One thing to note; the AC only runs from 6PM-9AM. So if you’re a late sleeper, this might not be the place for you.
After having breakfast (which is included) we rode our hotel bikes (also included) to Casa Malca. The price tag to get in was a lot; $100USD per person but $50 went towards our tab. I’ve heard nothing but great things so we decided to go for it. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t think it was worth the $100 price tag. We ordered 4 drinks at the bar and we only had a $26 credit left, so $13 left per person. We ended up spending around another $200 for the whole day. Granted, we drank A LOT and had small bites to eat. The food was eh and there was nothing special about the beach beds. The art was cool but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already seen on Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on it, but it wasn’t my favorite spot.
After Casa Malca we went back to the room to shower, and headed to dinner. I made reservations at Moro, inside of Habitas at 7:45, hoping to catch the sunset because I knew there was an outdoor seating area but the sun set way earlier than that. It was pitch-black by the time we got there, but the vibe was really nice. The service was great, and the food was good, but nothing was so drool-worthy that I needed to remember what I had.
6AM wake up call! I scheduled a taxi to pick us up at 7AM because this is the day we went to the cenotes. We rented a car for the day (we used Avis) to drive around to the different cenotes. My original plan was to visit Gran Cenote at 8AM because this was the first one to open, and the drive to either Dos Ojos, or Cenote Calavera; then go visit Coqui Coqui Resort. We tried finding a breakfast spot in the town of Tulum around 7:30AM but with no luck, we picked up some pastries at a gas station.
We got to Grand Cenote around 8:30AM and we were the first ones there. There was an entrance fee of $10USD per person and they were kind of annoying about what we could bring inside. I had to leave some stuff in the car, but they assured me there was security watching the car. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be the first ones there! We had the entire place to ourselves and it was magical. We had the whole experience, the birds singing, the quiet waters, it was so peaceful. A family showed up not too late after us and I felt like the vibe was ruined.
The water was pretty cold, so after a few times of going in an out, I decided to just stay out. This is when I got ATTACKED by the mosquitos. Seriously, not even joking when I tell you I got bit everywhere. If you follow me on insta you might’ve seen my story. I brought mosquito spray because I’m prone to bites but everything had to be rinsed off of your body before going into the waters to protect the turtles and fish inside. I get it, but OMG I was dying. It was so bad, I told Nic I didn’t even care to go to the other cenotes because it just wasn’t worth it.
We decided to drive straight to Coba to get to Coqui Coqui. It was around a 35 minute drive and as we arrived into Coba, we saw some billboards for 3 cenotes. We thought “why not” and followed the signs. I’m so glad we did because these cenotes were totally different than the first one we went to. There are 3 cenotes in Coba, Choo-Ha (1), Multum-Ha (2), and Tankach-Ha (3). All 3 are underground and cave-like, with the same beautiful blue waters. Each one had an entrance fee of 100 pesos per person, so about 5 USD. 1 and 2 are right next to each other so we checked those out first. These waters were FREEZING so I only went in up to my knees. 1 was really cool and had a pretty big swimming area. 2 was really adventurous and had two “diving boards” (wooden planks) to jump off of. This was Nic’s favorite. It was a lot a lot bigger in size and a lot deeper too. I wasn’t crazy about 3, it was the exact same as 2 but without the diving boards. We literally walked down and walked straight back up.
While we were at 2, a really cute older woman drew a map for us and told us about an authentic Mayan village we should visit. She seemed really proud of her Mayan culture and the fact that she drew us a little map with directions sold me. The name was Aldea Maya (or Zoologika y Aldea Maya if you search is on tripadvisor) and it’s just a wooden sign on the road. As soon as we arrived, there was a gentleman there to greet us and started showing us around the village. And by village I mean small little path with huts. He showed us the bees that they consider healing Gods, all of the different plants they use, some artifacts, a shaman (who blessed us), and we ended the tour in their kitchen with home-made Mayan food made right then-and-there. We were also able to buy the healing honey produced by the bees and do an additional cleanse with the shaman. The tour had no price, they were just very happy that they were able to show us around. We tipped the shaman, the women in the kitchen and we gave a larger amount to the tour guide. I think it was a cool experience and it was really great to visit genuine people and get a little taste of their history.
After the Mayan village, we headed to Coqui Coqui. When we showed up, I told them that I wanted to shop at the boutique and have some lunch. They were very welcoming, but I also think it helped that there was nobody there. We sat outside by the pool, and when we ordered a bottle of wine, they brought us out some pool towels and pool beds. We ended up spending a few hours here and really enjoyed our time. The place is undeniably beautiful and also a crazy great picture spot.
Once we were back in Tulum, we headed to Gitano for dinner. There was definitely a good vibe going on and the place was kind of packed. This had been the most crowded place I’d been to since Covid. But, our temperature was checked before entering and hand sanitizer was given to us before we were walked to our table - this is something that happened at every restaurant and hotel we went into. The food was really delicious, my favorite was the tuna tostadas and the chipotle meatballs - so good we ordered them twice. The drinks were also great and the service was nice and quick.
Since we booked the trip last minute, and with Covid happening, the hotel room availability in Tulum was a little limited. So this was the day we checked out of the NEST and into Be Tulum. It was just one hotel over, so it wasn’t a bad transfer (we just walked). We had a few hours until our room was ready so we spent the early afternoon at Nomade beach. We ate at La Popular and the food was great. The ceviche classico was my favorite!
Checking into Be Tulum was a breeze. Our room was the Tierra Suite and it was the most serene hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. The entrance opened up to a small bridge over our own private plunge pool and we had a private outdoor tub amongst the jungle leaves. The room was really spacious and perfect for us two.
It being Friday, I made late night reservations at Rosa Negra. We were supposed to get there at 9:15PM, but we ended up showing up at 8 because we were starving. The food was good, but not as good as Gitano. What makes this place really great is the vibe and crowd – it’s definitely more of a party place. Great for bachelorette trips! I would suggest making reservations in advance as this is definitely a more popular spot. In the beginning, the service was amazing. Literally every 5 minute someone walked over to us to see if we needed anything. Cut to an hour later, it started to down pour. I was seated right next to the edge of the restaurant so of course I was getting soaked (like actually, I had to dry my hair with a towel). They immediately moved our table to a spot in the back near the server screen where they input the orders and the service just went downhill from there. It took them SO LONG to bring out check, even though we were literally right next to the machine. Point of the story, if it starts to rain, wait it out. It passes really quickly.
Our last full day in Tulum! We decided to visit Matcha Mama this morning because I really love matcha and didn’t want to miss out on this spot. We left our hotel around 8:45AM on bikes and got there in about 5 minutes. When we got there, there were two other people there, but the picture swing was open so we sat there and placed our order. Right after we got our drinks, 3 different groups of girls (definitely just wanted to take pics with the swings – no hate I feel them) showed up all within 5 minutes of each other. Needless to say, I think you should get there before 9AM if you want to take a picture with that swing. If you don’t want to take a picture with the swing, the matcha is still worth it.
We headed back to our hotel and hung out in a beach bed at Be Tulum’s beach the rest of the morning/early afternoon. We had great service, and it was definitely more of a relaxing day. It was also one of our more pricier days as we were ordering bottles instead of drinks. If you’re into this kind of chill vibe I would 100% recommend it. Note that our waiters at Be Tulum were much more attentive than at Nomade. The fact that we got there pretty early (around 11AM) might have helped.
We had a light but late lunch at Raw Love Café this afternoon. We rode bike over and I knew we were there when I saw a huge line outside the *really cool* entrance to take pictures with. Neither of us felt like waiting in line so we skipped the pic opportunity and headed straight to Raw Love. I got the stomach soother and I wasn’t the biggest fan. I kept finding chunks of ice in my bowl which made it really annoying to eat. I also found it kind of watery. Nic got the cacao bowl and he loved his.
Our final dinner in Tulum was at WILD. I have to preface by saying that Nic and I really enjoy good wine, great food and an enjoyable atmosphere during dinner. I can’t say enough good things about this place. It’s an outdoor restaurant and the tables are pretty spread out so we didn’t have to scream over the table to hear each other. I also really loved that the menu was small and curated, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with all of the options. Everything we ordered was absolutely delicious and the bottle of wine we had was the best one we’ve had in a while. Our server was also really great and explained each dish that was presented at the table in great detail. At one point, he brought us individual umbrellas because they said the forecast predicted a light shower. They came in handy when that 5-minute shower hit. Overall, this was our favorite dinner spot in Tulum! This is also a nice venue to keep in mind for a welcome party if you're getting married in Tulum!
I don’t think I’ve ever been so sad to leave a place. Our check out time was noon, so we enjoyed an early beach day and our breakfast at Be Tulum. Once we checked out, we had our private shuttle waiting for us ready to take us to the airport. One thing I wondered beforehand was how cold Cancun airport was going to be, and it’s just as cold as an American airport. I’m glad I opted for a sweatsuit.
SHOP MY LOOKS
QUICK ITINERARY RECAP
- La Popular
- MORO at Habitas
- Rosa Negra
- Raw Love
PLACES WE VISITED:
- Casa Malca
- Coqui Coqui Resort & Spa
- Mayan Village
- Nomade Beach
- Be Tulum Beach
- Matcha Mama
- Gran Cenote
- To get to Tulum you must fly into Cancun airport.
- A private shuttle transportation got us to and from Cancun airport. We used USA transfers and round trip it was $175. USA transfers sent me confirmation emails, along with the map of the Cancun airport and directions on where to find our shuttle driver. They sent confirmation texts once we got into the shuttle, and a text with a tracking link when our driver was coming to pick us up at our hotel to take us to the airport. They also have an app that I downloaded.
- We rented a car for one day to see the cenotes and visit Coqui Coqui. We used Avis and it was about $18 for the day.