Destination Guide: Tulum, Mexico
Last year, you may remember my travels to Tulum, MX for a romantic #baecation. I absolutely loved it. We had decided to stay at an all-inclusive and spend our nights driving down the Tulum Beach Road and testing the restaurants each evening we were there. I knew if I ever went there again, I was going to stay in Tulum (as close to the beach as my juvenile 20’s budget could afford!) and continue eating my way through the rustic beach town full of character and colorful locals.
This year when Micah of @medicallymicah and I were planning a trip together, I immediately threw out Tulum. I’d been dreaming of going back ever since I left and since we’d be celebrating Micah’s last month of freedom before starting Howard Medical School, I was already dreaming of tacos, mezcal and hot nights under the Yucatan sun!
Micah and I’s trip was quite the adventure that involved a stolen backpack that started with wild bikini pics on the pool and ended with me waking up in the middle of the night dehydrated realizing I had no passport or laptop ( :( ) - check out my IG story for the full hilarity. Despite the fact that there was an anxiety-inducing situation, there were way more incredible moments that I’ll never forget...dancing under the stars at Gitano after way too many mezcal cocktails, running into the bluest water I’d ever seen with my oldest friend, and watching the sun go down from the hammocks at Azulik.
I think Tulum (when done right!) is the perfect place to recharge, experience natural beauty and have a ton of fun while doing it. Here’s my guide to this fun beach town whether you’re on budget or looking to ball, you’ll find something for you!
Places to Stay
Airbnb is a great option if you're familiar with Tulum or are going with a group. There are some really beautiful properties you can rent that have their own pools and are only a quick drive to the beach road.
There's a ton of incredible hotels in Tulum and you can definitely find one in your budget. The lower priced options will definitely be closer to Tulum city center (about 15 minutes from the beach road) and more expensive places all along the beach. Below are a list of great options ranging from low ($) to high ($$$ )
Breakfast + Coffee
Gluten, Grain and Dairy Free.
Sanara Tulum Hotel, KM 8.2 Carreterra Tulum Boca Paila, Tulum, Quintana Roo, 77780, Mexico
Everything is made from scratch in addition to being free of sugar, dairy, wheat and (except for honey) we don't use any animal products.
Hotel Ahau, Carr. Boca Paila km 7,5, Tulum Q. Roo 77760
Super cute shack on the beach road with swings for taking the perfect instagram. Smoothies, Bowls and Matcha await for you here!
QROO 15 470 Zona Hotelera, Tulum, Zona Hotelera, 77780
Farm to Table
Not on the beach road, but actually in the city of Tulum, Farm to Table is as sustainable as it gets with a zero waste policy. Try their fresh mexican coffee spiced with cinnamon and their version of the avo toast!
Calle Polar Pte., 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Considered the best coffee in Tulum!
Centauro Sur MZ05 LT11 kibok AV.TULUM Y Calle Andromeda, Centro, 77710 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Probably the best and freshest italian food I’ve ever had (side note: I’ve never been to italy!). Please make this place a priority on your next trip. I recommend going during the day or close to sunset so you can enjoy the rustic space with it’s water-side swing and cute cabanas. You can’t get wrong by ordering the pasta.
Km. 4.5, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, Tulum, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
You can't beat fresh seafood in a rustic setting on the beach!
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila km 10, 77880 Tulum, QROO
Organic mexican food in a gorgeous beach front setting. They also have brick oven pizzas!
Carretera Tulum Ruinas Km 8.27, 77780 Tulum, Mexico
Dinner + Drinks
The creme de la creme of Tulum dining, Hartwood is where all the foodies go. Make reservations in advance to ensure yourself a table!
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila 7.6Km, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
This Argentine restaurant is also on many Tulum must-do lists. I've heard the steak and chicken skewers are incredible!
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila Km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
There's nothing I love more than a cool environment and an exceptional cocktail. Set in an open floor plan, this place makes you feel one with the jungle while drinking one too many mezcals.
Carretera Boca Paila Km 7.5 Tulum, Quintana Roo. México.
If Hartwood is at the top of Tulum's best eat's list, then Arca might be tied for first depending on who you ask.
Av. Boca Paila, Tulum, QROO, Mexico
Super fun outdoor spot that’s built around this camper that doubles as the restaurant’s kitchen. I highly recommend ordering at least one of every variety of their tacos and definitely the truffle yucca fries!
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km.8, Tulum
A must do for anyone visiting Tulum. Book a reservation in advance for a fun Friday night out. Get their early and sit in the bar for a couple rounds of delicious mezcal drinks and even more tasty banter with their adorable bartenders! After dinner move things to the back of the party jungle for a night of dancing. NY-ers! They just opened a Gitano in New York so definitely check that out.
Beach Road Km. 7, Boca Paila, QRO, Mexic
Stunning views and a refreshing break from mexican -- Mezzanine serves thai food from a tiny hotel overlooking the ocean. Very romantic and a great place to watch the sunset!
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila km 4.1, Zona Hotelera, 77780 QROO, Mexico
Things to do
I Scream Tulum
Closes at 3am and a fun place to meet locals! Micah and I ended up chatting with this amazing group of friends from all over the states and spend the rest of the trip hanging out with them!
Beach Road Tulum
Kin Toh at Azulik
So this place definitely charges a pretty penny for a cocktail, but between the hammocks with views high above the trees and a restaurant built entirely out of bamboo, Kin Toh is one of those places you'll be in wonder the entire time. Try to get their by sunset - take it from me, it's breathtaking.
Los Amigos Beach Club
Micah and I had an amazing time lazily laying out in one of Los Amigos' countless cabanas. This place is a super fun place to hang out at the beach during the day and has an extensive menu for food and drinks!
QROO 15, Q.R., Mexico
Mayan Ruins + Cenotes
If you're looking for a little advenuture, take a day or two off from from the beach and visit the Mayan ruins or the beautiful crystal blue Cenotes.
The perfect jungle oasis, Yaan Wellness has everything you need to check out of the real wold and check in to some real YOU time. Get a massage, try a moon tezmacal ceremony or get your meditation on..no matter what you do, I'm sure you won't regret it!
Carretera Boca Paila KM 10, QROO 15, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
Hoki Poki Cana
The Shop inside Posada Margherita
- Before you travel abroad, take a picture of your passport, driver's license or ID, and if possible your social security card. In case your U.S passport gets stolen or lost, you'll be able to get back into the states with those forms of identification! ALSO, if you're in a time crunch, save time and go straight to the airport 6 hours before your flight and talk to your airline so they can contact U.S Immigration. If you have a couple of days, try and get a new passport at the embassy. Remember this: don't worry and you will be able to come home!
- If you're staying at an Airbnb, make sure you know how you will get to and from their to the beach/beach road. Don't be like Micah and I stranded in the middle of nowhere with no taxis in sight.
- Always have water, bug spray and sunscreen with you!
- When you leave the airport, decide if you want to rent a car or have a car transport you to Tulum. It's about an hour and a half drive.