What to do in Tulum, Mexico?

December 08, 2015

For those who want to head to Mexico for ultimate relaxation and an authentic experience away from tourists, Tulum is a perfect destination. Away from commercialized, Cancun, it is found along the Mayan Riviera, coasting the edge of the beach. Tulum is known as a trendy vacation stay for the fashion oriented crowd.

Here are my TTT (Tried, Tested & True) reviews & tips for your stay in Tulum. Do not hesitate to e-mail me if you have any questions or concerns about travelling there. I'd be pleased to assist!

Which hotel to stay at in Tulum?

During our vacation, we stayed at two hotels since we love to switch up the atmosphere every couple of days. After some thorough research, our two final choices included, The Beach Tulum and Hotel Mi Amor

The Beach Tulum offers spacious rooms with your own rooftop and a private beach, literally two steps away from your private terrace. Upon opening your patio door, the beach is your backyard. This is the best hotel to stay at in Tulum in regards to having access to the beautiful beach at your fingertips. Their rooms are well decorated and dreamy with luxury canopy beds and a huge jacuzzi. Their in-house restaurant is Ziggy's Tulum which is actually impressive and offers a unique menu, even better than some of the restaurants found on the streets.

On the other hand, Hotel Mi Amor is also picturesque, since it is basically at the edge of a cliff, which is so relaxing when lounging on one of their day beds that overlooks the ocean. The only downside is that there is no beach, just the cliff. It does not go beyond that, staying there for a full week would be boring since you would just be sun bathing on their day beds over the cliff, you would have to arrange to go elsewhere to walk on the beach. Each room has it's private jet jacuzzi outside of their room, which is a complete letdown since the water is ICY cold and there is no setting for warm water. Their bathrooms are very small however the rooms are contemporary cozy. Their in house restaurant Unico Tulum is good for breakfast but for dinner nothing mind-blowing, it does not compare to Ziggy's.

Where to eat dinner in Tulum?

Ziggy's Tulum: Unique menu and great food. Absolutely no regrets, my favorite dish at Ziggy's is the grouper curry & apple sauce plate. I ate it all before realizing I did not take a picture. 

For more dinner options in Tulum, Hartwood is all of the buzz, I did not check it out since I wanted to avoid lining up for 3 hours. So, we ended up finding a gem of a restaurant called Cenzontle Jardin Secreto, which offered an intriguing concept of bringing the indoors to the outdoors. Their space is decorated like a vintage living room. Their home made bread is so good, the waiter kindly gave me a second serving. The menu at this restaurant is artistic in their flavors, every dish was great however we were not fans of the Rabbit Stew which was a little too dry and runny.

A major pointer, do not eat at the vegan restaurant named "Restaurare", I am not vegan and this does not shape my negative experience at this place, however for a vegan spot, their menu is not evolved enough, all of their dishes are all too similar in composition and the taste is to be completely revised. This restaurant needs some work, I also noticed other patrons that did not look happy with their meals. Just avoid it.

If you are tired of eating Mexican food all the time and would like a simple change, there is a Thai restaurant named Mezzanine Tulum, I would only stick to their pad thai dish and their fresh juice menu is impressive, I had a nice pineapple, spinach and cilantro mix which was quite tasty and turned out to be the best juice I had in Tulum.

What bars to check out in Tulum?

One of my favorite parts of my trip was discovering Mezcal which is a renown Mexican liquor. We had a tasting with this friendly bartender named Diego from Dragon Turquesa who explained the production behind this liquor; it is made in a cave, therefore the inverted fume process gives it a smokey taste which is very particular.

If you're in the mood for a chill night, I recommend going to Gitano, it is a nice bar for cocktails, infamous for it's disco ball that looks like it's hanging out of the sky.

What activities to do in Tulum? 

Apart from sun bathing, eating great food and canoodling with your lover, here are some ideas for special activities to do:

- Visit the Mayan Ruins in Tulum

- Do a mezcal tasting at Dragon Turquesa bar

- Why not have a fun photo shoot?

- Visit a cenote, suggestion: Cenote Dos Ojos

- Cultivate chewing gum while on "The Chewing Gum" tour.

- Check out a preserved tropical forest

My little tips for vacationing in Tulum...

- Your best bet is to drive to Tulum, it goes with the adventure of going deep into the tropical forest. We rented a car and drove (1.5 hours) from the Cancun airport. This option offers the freedom to explore the area with the least of a headache.

- All the restaurants are outdoors and open concept, therefore a good bug repellent will be your best friend. 

- The roads are very narrow so be cautious if you are walking, it can get tricky with all the cars coming through. 

- When walking after sunset, you really need a flashlight. 

- Shopping is ridiculously overpriced for basic items, it's all tourist driven of course. However, there are some unique places like "La Tente Rose" winery.

What to wear & pack in Tulum?

I packed my favorite swimsuit from Peixoto swimwear for my trip, which I thought fit in very well with the jungle vibe that Tulum offers. It's very hot, so bring alot of sheer beach cover ups to wear over your swimsuits for your occasional lunch. Get ready for sand all over you, all the time. No need for fancy shoes, bring beachy sandals for all occasions.

If you would like to know more about my vacation in Tulum, do not hesitate to contact me on social media. Also, I will be blogging about my trip to Santorini with more TTT (Tried, Tested & True) reviews, so lookout for it! 

Photography: SDB

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