Tulum, oh Tulum. The village itself is not particularly pretty, and is full of tourists. However, it seems like every single annoying, loud or snobbish tourist was sent straight to the luxury resorts further down the road and they didn’t bother us at all. What’s left are lovely laid back people, way too many dive shops, and some of the best little restaurants and bars we’ve encountered. Ever. A week in Tulum. What to do? Make sure to also read our itinerary of our 3 week trip around Mexico.
It’s what the area around Tulum is famous for, and most of the cenotes truly deserve attention. There are hundreds of cenotes to be discovered in the area of Tulum, so we advise to rent a scooter and draw a map of 4 or 5 very good ones to visit. We actually used this blog to make the most of our day, and our favorites are
- Cenote Azul
- Cenote Cristal: great for a swim
- Cenote Escondido: very calm cenote and great for snorkeling
- Cenote Calavera: a very small one, but the lack of tourists make it great for diving and swimming.
They aren’t as majestic or as beautiful as most of the historic sites in the jungle, but they are still worth a trip if you’re staying in Tulum. Just rent a bike in one of the dive shops and you’re there in 10 minutes. If you’re staying near Cancun, it’s not worth the touristy bus ride. Try to think away all the tourists from Cancun, and you’ll have a great day if you combine it with one of the beaches near the ruins. And don’t forget the obligatory picture.
Eat a lot
Tulum is a paradise for cheap and good food. We’ve asked advice from locals, checked lonely planet, Tripadvisor, and these we’re our favorite restaurants in and near Tulum:
- Sabor de Mar. The place looks like shit, but they serve the best fish taco’s and towers we’ve tasted for a good price.
- Taqueria Honorio. Wonderful tacos for close to zero cash. As it should be.
- Pizzeria Manglar: Cosy place with a lovely garden with the best pizza we had in Mexico.
- Kai Tulum beach bar: Cosy bar with some great and affordable food in one of the best beaches in Tulum, Playa Pescadores.
Laguna Kaan Luum
Not for the entire day, but we spend a great couple of hours in Laguna Kaan Luum. Try go as early as possible to avoid too many tourists. They make this place lose its magic a little bit. We’ve heard it’s a wonderful place for free divers as well.
Cenote Choj Ha
This is a very special one. Of you ever have a day to spend around Tulum, go here. This recently discovered cenote will not dissapoint. It’s as big as a decent football stadium, you pay around 3 euros to get in and you need to rent a car to reach it. It’s not close to Tulum, but that also keeps the tourists away and makes this place keep its magic for hopefully a very long time. We arrived in the afternoon and most of the time we had the entire place for ourselves. I don’t think my jaws have ever dropped so low as the moment we entered cenote Choj Ha.
Go diving in Tulum
We took dives in a cenote and at the reef near the coast of Tulum. It was my first dive ever and it didn’t dissapoint. Diving a cenote is something special and the seeing a coral reef from close by has always been on my list. You pay quite a lot for the instructor, the boat and the equipment, but everything else in Tulum is so cheap 🙂
We hope this overview will make sure you make the most of your stay in Tulum. And if you don’t know what to do, just ask some locals or one of the many laid back tourists in Tulum city centre. They’ll show you the way with a big smile on their faces.