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Tulum Travel Guide

Tulum Travel Guide

My second trip to Tulum didn't disappoint. A couple new things have opened and there were a lot more families but still an incredible trip. Here is my deep dive in where to eat and drink in Tulum, Mexico - as well as some activities for good measure. 

Before You Leave

  • Picking the right place to stay, you want to make sure you stay as close to the oceanfront as possible. The peak time to travel is November - February so expect fantastic weather and higher prices. The Tulum "downtown" has some good deals but that's a serious bike ride or short taxi ride from the heart of Tulum. I rented a villa on the beach at Nueva Vida De Ramiro on my first trip and really liked it. On the second trip I went a little more economical with an airbnb and enjoyed it just as much.

  • Pesos run supreme here but are hard to get once you are in Tulum. You can easily have your bank get you some pesos before the trip. Or when you land at Cancun airport use an ATM there. Once you are in Tulum the ATMs are sparse and often don't work. If they do they often only dispense US Dollars. Most places now take card but a few notable places don't. Most places will take either pesos or dollars but you get a better deal with pesos. So I would recommend getting some to start the trip. Then using your card whenever possible.

  • Does your place come with beach towels? If not I would recommend bringing a Turkish towel with you on the trip. Then you can bring this with you to the beach clubs to hang out during the day.

  • Bug spray some people complained about bugs especially when you aren't on the beach. The jungle is intense.

Eat & Drink 

La Zebra Hotel & Restaurant

They have an amazing beach club! You can just walk on the beach and essential you can sang any of the chairs in the back or even one of the comfy outdoor mattress set ups in the back. Many places charge a "cover" for non-guests but here you just have to spend a 500 peso/person min which is like one cocktail and some food. THE FOOD IS SO GOOD HERE.

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Ahau & Raw Love

Another awesome resort -- I loved getting breakfast here and watching the waves crash. They also had some fun live music at dusk. They also have this really great "raw love" acai health place for anyone looking... 

Matcha Mama

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If your like me you are just as likely to throw back a tequila shot as well as fresh pressed juice before a work out. Matcha Mama is cute roadside stall offering fresh juices and instagram moments of course before your bike ride to the ruins. Heads up the service is pretty slow so relax and enjoy. 

Taqueria La Eufemia (Permanently closed*)

This is like hipster SF bohemian heaven. It's sort of a dive right on the beach but really fun. We would go close to dusk order a bunch of food and drinks a little cheaper than the fancy places and fun vibe. 

Gitano

The cocktails here are everything and the vibe. I would put this on your place to go get late night cocktails and chill. My food experiences here were meh. Also many of these places on the jungle side of Tulum are like a maze. If you wander toward the back there is more stuff to discover. My go to cocktail at Gitano is the, Jungle Fever, made with mezcal, chili, lime, and cilantro this has a spicy refreshing kick.

Casa Jaguar

Another awesome restaurant in Tulum - similar to Gitano late night parties can start in the way back. We ordered a bit of everything but especially love their whole roast fish dishes. 

Clan-Destino

Northern end of the main strip this place is owned by the same guy that stared Taqueria La Eufemia. Similar hippy vibe but what's really cool is it's 24/7 and in the middle of the bar is a fucking CENOTE. They have DJs and even karaoke some nights which was a big hit with my friends.

MAXA Camp (Closed*)

I read about this on my own and stopped by on my recent trip. This was a burning man group that created a installation camp in Tulum. People stay there but you can also just visit and go to the beach or party at night. I really loved the design, music, and vibe. 

Hartwood

If you've done any research you know that Hartwood is the place to eat in Tulum. The first time I went to Tulum in 2017 you didn't need  reservation and I dined there three separate times in one week using my life hack, dine by yourself. I know it sounds crazy but honestly it's fun and you usually make friends with staff or other patrons.

On my most recent trip in 2018 I found out you have to get a reservation, usually a month in advance. It's totally worth it. I've eaten there 4x. It's incredible. American ex-pats started it. You could go ham ordering food/drinks probably still only $50-75/head. I also love using their cookbook back in the states. 

Arca

So I've never been but this place was where the NOMA pop-up was over winter 2017/2018 and I guess one of the sous-chefs stayed behind. So it's getting a ton of press. It's first come first serve I think. So if you want to try it go on the early side and put your name in.

Pasha

Is a new Turkish restaurant that just opened up there. It looked really cute and my friend who ate there liked it but I didn't have time to try it. 

Some other recomendations I got from local friends but didn't try:

Kin Toh at Azulik for dinner (two people said this to me)

Posada Margherita, a famous Italian place in Tulum. I've never been but I've heard countless people rave about it. 

Things To Do

Beach x Beach Clubs

Cenotes

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Mayan Ruins

If you don't want to do the big Cenote day trip this is an easy half day excursion. You can take a car to the ruins to save time. Once you are there you only need like an hour to get in, walk around, explore, take pics and get out. You can also rent bikes and ride from where you are all the way to the ruins. I did this on both trips and found it enjoyable but it's a good ride. 

Interview in the Washington Post

Interview in the Washington Post

A Summer Rooftop Supper

A Summer Rooftop Supper