Viva Mexico! But no seriously. For the third time in my life I have fallen madly in love with the Yucatan's Mayan city by the sea, Tulum. This magical seaside town sits right on the Caribbean and has become a popular destination for those looking for a boutique experience in Mexico. Far removed from the glitz and parties surrounding Cancun or the all inclusivity of Playa del Carmen, Tulum is the perfect place for those looking for a spiritual and grounding visit.
How To Get There From the US
Getting to Tulum from the USA is pretty easy peasy, you literally hop on a flight to Cancun and go. Flights to Cancun International Airport from the US are very inexpensive and if you're lucky direct. Immigration for US travelers is also fairly simply when entering the country, and contrary to other terminals in Cancun International getting to ground transportation is quick and easy.
Flight Deals going on right now
Currently Direct United Flights for the last week of April are set at $289 round trip from Dulles International. (Find here)
Once you've landed in Mexico you have three options to making the one and half hour trek to Tulum down the Federal Highway 307: Bus, Car Rental, or Transfer Service.
Rental Car: If you want to have a car on your trip I'm not sure I'd recommend getting a rental, in all honesty I'm weary of driving in an unknown area, and even though it's a straight shot down to Tulum from Cancun you have to deal with police stops and speed limits you might not be aware of. Also, if your boutique hotel doesn't have parking then you'll have to pay a daily lot.
Bus: From the airport you can actually take a large commercial bus down to Playa Del Carmen, but then you'll have to transfer to a smaller bus that will take you to Tulum Pueblo. From there you'll either figure out another bus, that's tiny and more like a VW bus, that can take you to the beach area or catch a cab from the bus stop. This mode of transport is probably the most economical but would will also take the longest and have a lot of logistics involve.
Transfer Service: Ok so this is my favorite mode of transportation from Cancun to Tulum. It's really safe, it's pretty private, and it's probably the fastest. I use Transfer USA every time I travel in this part of the world. This company is an Operation. From the greeter at the Terminal door who checks you in to the driver, to Jorge at the office this team gets you from point A to point B and then returns you to the airport with incredible service. I know there are other services out there in this area but this one is top notch and not to mention super clean. If you do decide to travel and book with them shoot me a message I'll send you an email to a direct rep that can get you squared away. (This is not an ad I just trust this service!)
Where to Stay
Tulum has a ton of hotels, a ton! Wether you're staying in the old pueblo or in the beach zone there are so many options to choose from. Generally speaking if you can stay at the beach, in particular the less congested part I'd go that route. You can always rent a bike to get to the pueblo, take a small bus, or grab a ride in a cab. Here are my top two places to stay:
Yoga Shala: This eco friendly boutique hotel is in the nicer part of the beach, in my opinion and sits on the jungle side right across from the Ahau resort. I actually really enjoy staying in this hotel. It's very cozy in a spacious way and has a very calm scene. This hotel also has a yoga studio with literally every kind of yoga you could want from Vinyasa to Kundalini. The staff is very friendly and the security guys are really on top of and also super friendly. The hotel has a Thai restaurant, Canopia. Yes a Thai restaurant and guys....it's so good. They also serve breakfast which includes freshly made juices....can I get an amen?
Full disclosure this hotel doesn't have air conditioning and you know what it's great. They are an eco hotel and provide you with fans. (Reserve your room here)
Nomade Tulum: I first heard of the Nomade when the most famous girl on insta blogged about, Gal Meets Glam.
The Nomade hotel is removed from the busy chic part of Tulum and down toward the quiet end of the road. The Nomade describes itself as a human centric place, "It is a space in a sacred land where the mind, body and soul will be delighted and fulfilled by mother nature." I couldn't agree more with this statement. When you first arrive at Nomade you immediately know this space is so much more, it is more than a place to rest, its a place where the soul can meet the sea and know for that moment that the world can stand still and everything will be ok. Rooms at the Nomade range from $232-$839. Yes it's pricy, but again you're taking in the experience.
The Nomade also is home to not one but two of the most popular restaurants in Tulum, the Macando and La Popular. Macando situated in the heart of the hotel is a holistic restaurant that is housed in a sunken dining room with pillows everywhere and exotic carpets, as well as a more private dining area off to the side. More on the Macando in our food guide. The other restaurant at Nomade is La Popular, sitting right in the sand and next to the Ocean I see the appeal of this gorgeous spot. The fresh fish market captures the essence of being near the sea and the view...well the view is amazing.
If you got the funds...stay at the Nomade Tulum. (Reserve your room here)
Side note: I am not including any all inclusive hotels. A because Tulum has soooooooo much to offer. Leave your hotel and go explore. The food scene is crazy good. And B because the same reasons of A. K....bye!