Tulum has the nicest beach I’ve ever seen, with perfect pure white fine sand and bright clear turquoise warm water, surrounded by lush jungle. It is a little eco-resort town about an hour south of Cancun. It’s a hipster destination, with lots of juice places, yoga, and ‘eco-chic’ resorts. Eco-chic may also mean ‘we don’t have consistent electricity or running water and we will charge you extra for that.’ The resorts are beautiful though! Tulum has two parts- the beach area, which has been recently developed to have restaurants (mostly healthy food, not local Mexican food sadly). The one road that runs along the beach has resorts all along the beach side and restaurants and little shops on the jungle side. It’s only two lanes and the going can get a little slow as there are tons of people on bicycles. If you drive inland about 15 minutes you hit the main town, which is a pretty standard Mexican small town (and finally some decent local food, yay!).
Where we stayed: There’s a lot of trendy places in Tulum I kept seeing mentioned, and after our first night we had to switch hotels so I checked them out. Papaya Project was one that always came up. We went there and asked to see a room and it was so over-hyped. The room was tiny, had plastic wrap covering its windows, and cost about 4 times the amount of any other hotel. We were really happy with the two hotels we stayed at:
Coco Tulum has beautiful decor, with a stunning black and white decor theme. We stayed in one of their tower rooms, on the second floor. It had a gorgeous ocean view. They have an Italian restaurant there that was delicious (I wanted tacos but was too lazy!). I got the gnocchi, mostly because that was such an odd thing for them to have. They brought me out seafood pasta instead, but then they did correct it. It was very decent gnocchi! They have very good wood-fired pizza there as well.
We then moved to Rosa del Viento, a slightly fancier resort further down the beach. It had such a nice beach area! Perfect chairs and palapas. Their restaurant had a great breakfast too, and was right on the waterfront. The room was beautiful, with an unobstructed ocean view.
What to do: There’s lots of stuff to do around Tulum. Quite a few cenotes are nearby. There’s boating tours. The Tulum ruins are really pretty and have a great beach. And of course, just lying around.
Eating! The most important part. On the beach part of Tulum it was mostly very American food with tons of pizza places. We ate at a place called Casa Banana that was recommended, but it was just decent. We headed into the town part of Tulum for some Mexican food, and it was delicious!
The tastiest chicken ever, El Pollo Bronco.
Fantastic al pastor tacos. This places was super busy with lots of locals. They don’t open until 5pm, so make sure to go late.