I have been meaning to get my Tulum Travel Guide up for SO LONG. But better late than never, right? Joe and I were in Tulum back in May, and we had the best time. It was my first time to that side of Mexico, so I was really excited about the trip. Keep reading to see where to stay, where to eat, what to do, what to pack, etc! Check out this post I wrote before we left.
Where to Stay:
We decided to split our stay up between two different hotels. We spent two nights at Azulik, and the rest of our time at Tata Tulum. I wish we could have done ONE more night at Azulik, but I loved Tata, too! Keep scrolling to figure out why we loved each hotel.
Azulik is an eco-friendly hotel and uses minimal electricity. We arrived at night and were led through the property in the dark to our room which was illuminated only by candles. There is no shower or wi-fi in the room, and there is only one plug total in the room. I was a little nervous about this, but it actually was really relaxing. Our room was RIGHT above the ocean and it was so romantic! They have a huge soaking tub inside the room, with a coconut shell that you can use to wash your hair. The outdoor pool and the round bed were my favorite parts! Since phones don’t work at this property, you write your room service order on this tiny sheet of paper, roll it up inside a ball and drop it into a tube. It’s WILD! I would definitely go back here — it’s the perfect place for a honeymoon!
I knew it was unrealistic for me to go on a weeklong trip without wi-fi so we decided to do our second part of the trip at a more modern hotel. The weekend we checked in was the property’s one year anniversary. Everything is really new! It was SO nice to have AC and electricity after a few days without it. This property is right on the beach and the rooms were really spacious and nice. We loved the food and the people here. The location is very central to everything, and we would definitely come back!
Where to Eat:
Hartwood: The only reservation we could get was late, so I didn’t get the chance to get any good photos. But you HAVE to go. I set a calendar alert one month before our trip so we would be able to get a reservation. Definitely do this if you know ahead of time you are traveling to Tulum. Their menu changes every day and is written on a chalkboard. All the food there is local, sustainable and delicious.
Posada Margherita: Cutest Italian place with a very small menu. The food was delicious and the decor was SO cute. We sat right on the beach and it was so romantic!
Arca: It was a tossup between Arca and Hartwood for the best meal of the trip. You have to get the soft shell crab & the bone marrow, OMG.
Rosa Negra: We went here on our first night. It was probably the most expensive meal we had all week. The drinks were AMAZING, and the food was good too. Highly recommend for a group or a bachelorette trip!
Gitano: We meant to go here every single night after dinner for drinks, but I’m kind of a grandma and was too tired every night. Every single local told us to check it out. And we walked by it a ton! Next time….
Mateos: Super chill spot that’s central to everything. Also, the only bar in Tulum with TVs. We went during the NBA finals, so we spent a lot of time here. The burritos are amazing, and they have Wifi.
What to Do:
Visit Casa Malca: This was one thing I was really sad we didn’t get to do. They turned Pablo Escobar’s old house into a boutique hotel, and I seriously drool over the photos of the decor. Next time for sure!
Tour the Ruins: I really regret not doing this, but we really were just trying so hard to actually relax. If we ever go back, we will definitely do this.
See some Cenotes: We only hit up the Gran Cenote but it was so cool. I would like to do some of the ones further outside of town.
We ended up in Tulum because we had a travel voucher that was about to expire from our trip to Italy the previous summer. We flew United from SFO to Cancun. We read a bunch of websites that said to book a ride from the Cancun Airport to Tulum (it’s about 90 minutes away), so we did and it was great. Then the same guy told us to book our ride back to the airport with that same company, well, that was a huge mistake. You guys know it takes a lot for me to complain about a company but this was truly a nightmare. Long story short: we were supposed to call 24 hours ahead to confirm a pick up time, we couldn’t reach this company no matter how hard we tried. Our hotel’s front desk had no luck either. So I started DMing the company on Twitter, they tried to fix it for us, but also couldn’t reach them. Finally they wrote us and said they would pick us up between 1 & 1:30. Well, they never showed up, so we ended up having to take a taxi and the company charged us anyways. It was insane.
What to Pack:
BUG SPRAY! I think this is the first trip ever where I didn’t overpack. A lot of shorts, comfy rompers, swimsuits and coverups. I wrote an entire post about what I packed in my beach bag, so check that out here.