Difference between revisions of "Tulum"

From Wikitravel
Quintana Roo : Tulum
Jump to: navigation, search
(Sleep)
(Updated the price of the collectivos.)
 
(133 intermediate revisions by 72 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
[[Image:Tulum.JPG|thumb|right|400px|Tulum]]
+
{{pagebanner|Tulum Banner.jpg}}
'''Tulum''' is on the [[Yucatan Peninsula]], in [[Mexico]]. It is one of the earliest ''resorts'' in Mexico, offering a place of worship and solitude for the Mayan Kings, clergy and Gods in early times. The tropical beach backdrop is the main attraction of this picturesque, much-visited small ruin on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. Shortly after your arrival, you will understand why early Mayans picked this beautiful place to relax.
+
  
 +
'''[http://www.tulumruins.net Tulum]''' is on the [[Yucatan Peninsula]], in [[Mexico]].
 +
 +
==Understand==
 +
It was the site of a Mayan port which was supported by up to 1000 residents before the arrival of the Spanish. The ruin's tropical beach backdrop is the main attraction of this picturesque, much-visited small ruin on the shore of the Caribbean Sea.
 +
[[Image:Tulum.JPG|thumb|right|300px|Tulum]]
 
Be prepared for LOTS of people and tour groups at the archaeological site. To avoid the crowds, it is best to stay overnight and visit the ruins early in the morning before the buses arrive, or later in the afternoon.  Morning is recommended since you can catch spectacular vistas when the sun is rising over the Caribbean.
 
Be prepared for LOTS of people and tour groups at the archaeological site. To avoid the crowds, it is best to stay overnight and visit the ruins early in the morning before the buses arrive, or later in the afternoon.  Morning is recommended since you can catch spectacular vistas when the sun is rising over the Caribbean.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
=== From Cancun International Airport ===
+
[[File:Tulum - Mayan Pyramid.jpg|thumb|300px|Tulum - Mayan Pyramid]]
You can catch an ADO bus to Tulum directly three times a day: 2:10pm, 7:45pm and 8:45pm. Ticket prices are about $15 USD. The ride will take about 2 hours.
+
===By plane===
 
+
From the [[Cancun#By_plane|Cancun International Airport]] you can take the [http://www.ado.com.mx ADO bus] to [[Playa del Carmen]] with departures every :30min to 1 hour for around $156 MXN (about $12 USD). Once in Playa del Carmen you transfer to a second bus (ADO, AU or Mayab) to Tulum for an additional $62 MXN (about $4,5 USD).  
You can also take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen with departures nearly every hour for about $12 USD. Once in Playa del Carmen you transfer to a second bus to Tulum for an additional $5 USD.  
+
  
Rental cars are priced reasonably and are the easiest way to get around the Tulum area. Shop around rates upon arrival, and feel free to haggle. Check with your credit card company to see if they automatically insure you, most do so you don't have to pay the additional insurance that the rental agency often tries to insist you purchase. It is a very easy drive to Tulum. To get there you take the only highway south from Cancun Airport straight down past Playa del Carmen, Akumal, etc. About 90 minutes from the airport you will arrive in Tulum.
+
Rental cars are priced reasonably and are the easiest way to get around the Tulum area. Shop around rates upon arrival, and feel free to haggle. Check with your credit card company to see if they automatically insure you, most do so you don't have to pay the additional insurance that the rental agency often tries to insist you purchase. It is a very easy drive to Tulum. To get there you take the only highway south from [[Cancun]] Airport straight down past [[Playa del Carmen]], [[Akumal]], etc. About 90 minutes from the airport you will arrive in Tulum.
  
There are several companies offering Private, and shuttle services:
+
If you don't have a transportation manner assured it is highly recommended to pre-book a transfer from the airport to your hotel or destination. There are some companies very reliable, safe and professional as:
*[http://www.discoverymundo.com/transportation '''Discovery Mundo''']Private transportation to any hotel in Tulum at excellent rates. They also have VIP service. You need to book online.
+
*[http://amstardmc.com/mexico/destinations/riviera_maya/riviera_maya_transport.php '''Amstar Airport Transfers'''] Deluxe and Private Tulum Transfers from the Airport. More than 20 years of quality service.
+
*[http://www.tucankin.com/ '''Tucan Kin'''] Direct shuttle starting at 24 USD per person. It is a door to door service with no stops between the airport and the Tulum Area. A reservation is required.
+
  
Many of the Hotels in Tulum offer a pick-up service from the Cancun International Airport for an addition $80 to $120 USD depending on the hotel.
+
*Discovery Mundo
 +
*Olympus Tours
 +
*Best Day
 +
*Amstar DMC
 +
*[http://www.cancuntransportations.com  Cancun Transportations] Private Transportation
 +
*[http://www.paradisetransfers.com/tulum-transfers.html  Paradise Transfers - Airport Transfers fron Cancun to Tulum]
  
You can also take a Taxi from the Airport from $145 USD.
+
Many of the Hotels in Tulum offer a pick-up service from the Cancun International Airport for an additional price depending on the hotel.
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
  
Buses from Cancun run quite regularly. There is also an ADO bus direct from Cancun Airport.
+
Buses from [[Cancun]] run quite regularly. There is also an [http://www.ado.com.mx ADO bus] direct from Cancun Airport to [[Playa del Carmen]].
  
Buses from Playa Del Carmen run hourly or so. Bus station is at southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar. ADO Bus stops at Xcaret and Xel-ha enroute to Tulum. Mayab bus stops more frequently enroute to Tulum from Playa Del Carmen.
+
Buses from [[Playa del Carmen]] run hourly or so. Bus station is at southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar. ADO Bus $62 MXN stops at Xcaret and Xel-ha enroute to Tulum. Mayab bus $38 MXN stops more frequently enroute to Tulum from [[Playa del Carmen]]. Both have a/c.
  
 
To visit the ruins, get off the bus at the first Tulum stop at the intersection with the access road to the ruins. It's an easy one mile or so flat walk to the ruins from the intersection.
 
To visit the ruins, get off the bus at the first Tulum stop at the intersection with the access road to the ruins. It's an easy one mile or so flat walk to the ruins from the intersection.
  
An alternative to the buses is to catch a "collectivo" van. In Playa Del Carmen you can find these on Calle 2 towards Avenida 20. One-way trip costs 40 pesos.
+
An alternative to the buses is to catch a "collectivo" van. In [[Playa del Carmen]] you can find these on Calle 2 towards Avenida 20. A one-way trip costs $40 MXN p.p. (2016-Jul). Buses leave when full (a matter of minutes). Make sure to ask specifically for the ruins, as the town of Tulum is another stop. You will be dropped off and picked up at the side of the Federal Highway 307 (the same intersection where the buses stop), from where you can walk the last 850 meters to the ruins.
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
  
If you drive yourself to the ruins before opening time, it may be a bit confusing as to where to go and what to do.  As soon as you park, a man on a bicycle should find you and charge you for parking (50 pesos). You must go through a sort of half open-air mall (which is empty before 8AM).  From there you can either sign up with a tour guide (US$20 per person?), pay for a shuttle ride to the ruins (20 pesos), or walk a mile along a road to the ruins. The guides are reported to be better story tellers than actual experts on Mayan culture.  The walk is on level ground and passes quickly as you admire the jungle and abandoned shops along the way.  If you can walk it, do it and save a few bucks!  As you approach a stone wall, to the left will be a brown wooden building where you can purchase your ticket into the ruins (57 pesos, an additional 35 pesos if they see that you have a video camera).  From there, head along a stone path through the jungle and into the ruins...
+
If you drive yourself to the ruins before opening time, it may be a bit confusing as to where to go and what to do.  As soon as you park, a man on a bicycle should find you and charge you for parking ($50 MXN). You must go through a sort of half open-air mall (which is empty before 8AM).  From there you can either sign up with a tour guide ($20 USD per person?), pay for a shuttle ride to the ruins ($20 MXN), or walk a mile along a road to the ruins. The guides are reported to be better story tellers than actual experts on Mayan culture.  The walk is on level ground and passes quickly as you admire the jungle and abandoned shops along the way.  If you can walk it, do it and save a few bucks!  As you approach a stone wall, to the left will be a brown wooden building where you can purchase your ticket into the ruins (57 MXN, an additional 35 pesos if they see that you have a video camera).  From there, head along a stone path through the jungle and into the ruins...
  
 
===Three Tulums===
 
===Three Tulums===
  
What most folks really need to know, and only manage to figure out once there, is the fact that there are really '''three''' different areas all referred to as TULUM only minutes away from each other, not close enough though to walk to and from.
+
What most folks really need to know, and only manage to figure out once there, is the fact that there are really '''three''' different areas all referred to as Tulum only minutes away from each other, not close enough though to walk to and from.
  
 
'''Tulum Pueblo''' sits split by highway 307 running South-North. "El Pueblo", as referred to by locals, is home to most workers of the tourist industry and where many of the stores, supermarkets, two bus stations, inns, hostels and small hotels are found.  This section of town has a definite feel of existing mostly to cater to the Tulum ruins.  Tulum pueblo is indeed a destination for shopping, great restaurants, a modest night life, studying the language at Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School, booking tours, banking, shopping for food, local vegetables, fruits, cafes, and local flavor.  Do not miss it.
 
'''Tulum Pueblo''' sits split by highway 307 running South-North. "El Pueblo", as referred to by locals, is home to most workers of the tourist industry and where many of the stores, supermarkets, two bus stations, inns, hostels and small hotels are found.  This section of town has a definite feel of existing mostly to cater to the Tulum ruins.  Tulum pueblo is indeed a destination for shopping, great restaurants, a modest night life, studying the language at Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School, booking tours, banking, shopping for food, local vegetables, fruits, cafes, and local flavor.  Do not miss it.
Line 43: Line 48:
 
'''Tulum Playa''' nests along the coastline that leads into the Sian Ka'an Biosphere [Ecological Reserve], the Caribbean white sandy beaches to the east, an impressive mangrove & wetland reserve to the south. Tulum Playa embraces many of the fancier, ecological, boutique and spa hotels, and it has a decent selection of restaurants and night spots.  There are also a number of affordable beach front cabana-type lodging locations.  Walk the beach and simply step in and inquire about accommodations and rates. Always ask to see the available room(s) before committing: cabanas generally look better from outside than inside; bathrooms in particular are often in sad disrepair.  
 
'''Tulum Playa''' nests along the coastline that leads into the Sian Ka'an Biosphere [Ecological Reserve], the Caribbean white sandy beaches to the east, an impressive mangrove & wetland reserve to the south. Tulum Playa embraces many of the fancier, ecological, boutique and spa hotels, and it has a decent selection of restaurants and night spots.  There are also a number of affordable beach front cabana-type lodging locations.  Walk the beach and simply step in and inquire about accommodations and rates. Always ask to see the available room(s) before committing: cabanas generally look better from outside than inside; bathrooms in particular are often in sad disrepair.  
  
It should be noted most of these establishments are Eco-friendly and do not provide electricity past midnight. Toilet paper can not be flushed and it is asked that water and other resources be used sparingly. The hotels in Tulum aim to keep Tulum as it is and stop the ecological problems that have already taken hold in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.  
+
It should be noted most of these establishments are Eco-friendly and do not provide electricity past midnight. Toilet paper can not be flushed and it is asked that water and other resources be used sparingly. The hotels in Tulum aim to keep Tulum as it is and stop the ecological problems that have already taken hold in [[Cancun]] and [[Playa del Carmen]].  
  
 
If you are staying on the beach and trying to save money, it is wise to stock up on food and drinks in the pueblo. There are not too many restaurant options on the beach, and the ones that are operational are comparatively quite expensive.
 
If you are staying on the beach and trying to save money, it is wise to stock up on food and drinks in the pueblo. There are not too many restaurant options on the beach, and the ones that are operational are comparatively quite expensive.
Line 63: Line 68:
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
  
*Taxis are an inexpensive way to get around but for the most part, Tulum 'Pueblo' is so small that walking is a simple, though often dusty, option.  Taxis from 'Pueblo' to the coast is ~70-90 pesos.  It is advisable to either take a taxi or rent a bike when traveling between the 'Pueblo' and the beach, as the walk is rather long, dusty and unattractive.
+
* Taxis are an inexpensive way to get around but for the most part, Tulum 'Pueblo' is so small that walking is a simple, though often dusty, option.  Taxis from 'Pueblo' to the coast is ~$110 MXN.  It is advisable to either take a taxi or rent a bike when traveling between the 'Pueblo' and the beach, as the walk is rather long, dusty and unattractive. Taxis within pueblo is $25 MXN - this is particularly useful when you go to the supermarket...
* Bikes are available for rent from Iguana Bikes in Tulum 'Pueblo.' 150-250 pesos for 24 hours. Bikes are a convenient way to get around town and to/from cenotes and the beach.  Please be careful when riding a bike on the highway. Bring a headlamp/flashlight if biking at night.
+
 
*There seems to be a public bus which leaves Tulum Pueblo around 9am and 12noon and goes to the beach and ruins, and returns from there at 12.15pm and 5pm. Not sure about ticket prices but they should be around 5 pesos one way.
+
* Bikes are a convenient way to get around town and to/from cenotes and the beach.  Please be careful when riding a bike on the highway. Bring a headlamp/flashlight if biking at night. You can rent them from many places for about 50MXN / day. Many hostels also rent their own bikes.
 +
** '''Center Bikes''' - Main Street / Saturno Norte (near Subway) - 50MXN / 24 hours, 40MXN if return in the same day
 +
** '''Iguana Bikes''' in Tulum 'Pueblo' - $150 to 250 MXN for 24 hours
 +
 
 +
* Many collectivos (shared van) leave Tulum Pueblo:
 +
** to '''Playa del Carmen''' (and all cenotes / beaches / resorts in between), they leave every 5 minutes from the main street, near the ADO bus station (price depends on where you stop: $20 MSN for the ruins and some cenotes, $25 MSN for Akumal, etc.)
 +
** to the beach, they leave about once per hour from Venus Ote / Orion Sur - $10 MXN (you can actually see the timetable in Google streetview!). They might refuse to take you in at around 3pm because it's for workers first.
 +
** to '''Coba''' in the main street near the ADO bus station, but they only leave when there's enough people to fill the van/car, so you might wait for hours...
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
  
* Tulum archaeological site
+
* '''Tulum Ruins''' - Tulum Ruins is the biggest ancient building that is standing on the Riviera Maya shore. If you want to avoid the big tour crowds, go before 9h30. The park opens at 8. Entrance fee is 64MXN as of Apr 2016
* Muyil archaeological site
+
 
* Cenotes [http://wikitravel.org/wiki/en/index.php?title=Tulum#Cenotes]
+
* '''[[#Cenotes|Cenotes]]'''
* Sian Ka'an Biosphere - The reserve features acres upon acres of pristine mangrove swamp and wetlands. Just past the information center pull into the dirt lot on the left and walk out to the beach. There are a few fishermen that dock here and are willing to take you on a tour that is much cheaper than the organized tours offered in the area. The fishermen will take you on an hour to two hour boat tour of the reserve any time of day. Near sunset is a great option. They will often work for hire for 100 to 200 pesos or 10 to 20USD.  
+
 
*Coba ruins - Be sure to visit the Coba ruins. They are not in as pristine shape as the Tulum Ruins, however they feature "el castillo" the tallest of the Mayan ruins that juts up above the treetops in the jungle. You can still climb el castillo in Coba and the sight from the top is spectacular. A fun and efficient way of exploring the ruins is renting a bike ($35 pesos); just go to the rental place inside the ruins. You can also rent bikes to get around Coba. Coba is only a 30 minute drive west of tulum on the main road off 307. Just follow the signs to Coba!
+
* '''Sian Ka'an Biosphere''' - The reserve features acres upon acres of pristine mangrove swamp and wetlands. Just past the information center pull into the dirt lot on the left and walk out to the beach. There are a few fishermen that dock here and are willing to take you on a tour that is much cheaper than the organized tours offered in the area. The fishermen will take you on an hour to two hour boat tour of the reserve any time of day. Near sunset is a great option. They will often work for hire for $100 to 200 MXN  (about $10 to 20 USD).  
 +
 
 +
* '''Coba ruins''' - Be sure to visit the Coba ruins. They are not in as pristine shape as the Tulum Ruins, however they feature "El Castillo" the tallest of the Mayan ruins that juts up above the treetops in the jungle. You can still climb el castillo in Coba and the sight from the top is spectacular. A fun and efficient way of exploring the ruins is renting a bike ($40 MXN); just go to the rental place inside the ruins. You can also rent bikes to get around Coba. Coba is only a 30 minute drive west of tulum on the main road off 307. Just follow the signs to Coba!
 +
 
 +
* '''Muyil archaeological site'''
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
Line 81: Line 97:
 
*  '''Kitesurfing'''
 
*  '''Kitesurfing'''
  
:* '''[http://www.extremecontrol.net Extreme Control]''' - the beaches of Tulum in Playa Paraiso, certified instructors, all levels, full facilities and rentals.  
+
:* '''[http://www.extremecontrol.net Extreme Control]''' The original Kiteboarding school of Tulum, teaching since 2005 with bilingual IKO certified instructors to all levels. Also offering Diving courses and fun dives, Paddleboarding rentals and tours. Extreme Control headquarters are located on the main Tulum public beach in front of Hotel Playa Esperanza and beside El Paraiso Beach Club.
  
 
:* '''[http://oceanprokite.com/en.html Ocean Pro Kite]''' - kiteboarding school located on Tulum beach. It provides kitesurf lessons following the most professional and safest method of teaching, known as IKO (International Kitesurfing Organisation). From a one-hour lesson to "ready to go" packages.  
 
:* '''[http://oceanprokite.com/en.html Ocean Pro Kite]''' - kiteboarding school located on Tulum beach. It provides kitesurf lessons following the most professional and safest method of teaching, known as IKO (International Kitesurfing Organisation). From a one-hour lesson to "ready to go" packages.  
Line 89: Line 105:
 
* '''Scuba Diving''' - Scuba diving in the Cenotes around Tulum is an experience not to be missed.  There are multiple dive operators based in Tulum that to both Cenote and ocean dives.
 
* '''Scuba Diving''' - Scuba diving in the Cenotes around Tulum is an experience not to be missed.  There are multiple dive operators based in Tulum that to both Cenote and ocean dives.
  
:* '''[http://www.alwaysdiving.com Always Diving]''' - Our philosophy is about amazing dives and making friends. We build our reputation over 3 decades, our focus is to add more value to your diving experience as anybody else does. Watch our tripadvisor reviews or youtube videos and you will see a diversity of people that I dive with. Courses for all diferent levels, private tours in the sea and riviera mayan cenotes, professional diving guide in your nautic journeys, take advantage of this dives to get your certification levels.
+
:* '''[http://www.lacalypsodivecenter.com/en/ La Calypso Dive Center]''' - Professional, family size dive center, PADI certified instructors and dive masters, highly enthusiastic and with great knowledge of the various cenotes. Snorkeling tours, Cavern diving (cenote diving), PADI courses, Discover Scuba Diving, reef diving. As they almost only manage private groups, they don't have a dive shop open to the public so bookings and information have to be done by email or phone (00521) 984 106 80 02 or (00521) 984 100 73 85
 
+
:* '''[http://www.lacalypsodivecenter.com/en/ La Calypso Dive Center]''' - Professional, PADI certified instructors and dive masters, highly enthusiastic and with great knowledge of the various cenotes.  
+
  
 
:* You can also take your own self guided tour of the reefs right off the beach from the Hotel Zone. Tulum sits on the second largest barrier reef in the world. Be sure to take a tour yourself, or a guided tour of this fantastic reef system. You will be sure to see over 30 species of fish and some spectacular Coral as well. If you must take a guided tour, the cheapest in the area is located at Zamas Hotel. Zamas is located about 10 establishments in from the beginning of the hotel zone.  
 
:* You can also take your own self guided tour of the reefs right off the beach from the Hotel Zone. Tulum sits on the second largest barrier reef in the world. Be sure to take a tour yourself, or a guided tour of this fantastic reef system. You will be sure to see over 30 species of fish and some spectacular Coral as well. If you must take a guided tour, the cheapest in the area is located at Zamas Hotel. Zamas is located about 10 establishments in from the beginning of the hotel zone.  
Line 98: Line 112:
  
 
* '''[http://www.maya-spa.com Maya Spa]''' - Holistic spa specializing in Mayan treatments.
 
* '''[http://www.maya-spa.com Maya Spa]''' - Holistic spa specializing in Mayan treatments.
 +
 +
* '''[http://www.aguaclararproject.com Aguaclara project: Diving, Snorkeling & Eco tours]''' Outstanding tours to the natural surrounding of Tulum in very small groups with great personal service address="Calle Luna poniente MZa 2 lot 1 loc 2" directions="two blocks back from Cancha maya" phone="984 105 40 47" url="www.aguaclararpoject.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">
  
 
===Cenotes===
 
===Cenotes===
Line 105: Line 121:
 
In much of the Yucatan, rainwater collects in a system of underground caves and tunnels. Where these tunnels reach the surface is known as a cenote (pronounced seh-NOH-teh). Cenotes usually allow swimming and diving, and at some you can rent related equipment. They contain fresh water, which is often cool since they are shaded in most cases. Cenotes allow close-up access to fauna such as fish, turtles, and in some cases, bats. Some cenotes are mainly enclosed with only small openings on the surface and a larger above-water cavernous area that extends under the rock covering. Others are more open and allow more natural light.
 
In much of the Yucatan, rainwater collects in a system of underground caves and tunnels. Where these tunnels reach the surface is known as a cenote (pronounced seh-NOH-teh). Cenotes usually allow swimming and diving, and at some you can rent related equipment. They contain fresh water, which is often cool since they are shaded in most cases. Cenotes allow close-up access to fauna such as fish, turtles, and in some cases, bats. Some cenotes are mainly enclosed with only small openings on the surface and a larger above-water cavernous area that extends under the rock covering. Others are more open and allow more natural light.
  
* '''El Gran Cenote'''. Admission: 100 pesos. This is the most popular cenote (and therefore the most crowded) in Tulum. A good combination of a deep, cavernous portion, a couple of shallow open-air portions and ample wooden decking with stairs down to the water at several entrance points. This is recommended for first-time cenote-goers.
+
* '''El Gran Cenote'''. Admission: $150 MXN (September 2015). This is the most popular cenote (and therefore the most crowded) in Tulum. A good combination of a deep, cavernous portion, a couple of shallow open-air portions and ample wooden decking with stairs down to the water at several entrance points. This is recommended for first-time cenote-goers. Snorkelling gear is available for rent although prices are a bit steep. As of June 2014 prices were $80 MXN for snorkel and mask rental (snorkels appeard to be non-valved), $30 MXN to rent a locker to store your bags, $50 MXN to rent a life vest and $250 MXN to buy a waterproof camera.
  
* '''Casa Cenote''', in TanKah III Bay is a magic spot. Here the Cenote goes underground some 100 yards before the beach, only to emerge as an 'underwater' water spring about 20 yards of the beach, right in the ocean. Must see. Tanka III Bay is just over 7 kilometers (5 miles) north of the intersection to the ruins. Take a cab. Great places to eat and stay or scuba too.
+
* '''Casa Cenote''', in TanKah III Bay is a magic spot. Here the Cenote goes underground some 100 yards before the beach, only to emerge as an 'underwater' water spring about 20 yards of the beach, right in the ocean. Must see. Tanka III Bay is just over 7 kilometers (5 miles) north of the intersection to the ruins. Take a cab. Great places to eat and stay or scuba too. Admission: about 25 pesos. Extra charge to rent a snorkel or kayak.
  
* '''Cenote Calavera'''. Admission: 50 pesos. This is named "calavera" or "skull" because the entrance has one circular opening of about 9 meters in diameter into which one can jump or descend down a ladder, plus two smaller openings of about 1 meter in diameter. The cenote is mostly enclosed and only partially lit by daylight - there is a large cavernous area that is home to many bats.
+
* '''Cenote Calavera'''. Admission: $100 MXN (September 2015). This is named "calavera" or "skull" because the entrance has one circular opening of about 9 meters in diameter into which one can jump or descend down a ladder, plus two smaller openings of about 1 meter in diameter. The cenote is mostly enclosed and only partially lit by daylight - there is a large cavernous area that is home to many bats.
  
* '''Cenotes Cristal and Escondido'''. 50 pesos buys admission to both. These two cenotes are across the highway from each other. Both are open-air, relatively shallow water, and unlikely to be crowded. Cristal has a diving platform about 3 meters above the surface of the water. The shape of the cenote is semi-round. Escondido is longer and contains an interesting floor of algae-covered rock and wood. Many fish eat the algae off the surfaces. There are small islands around which one can swim, and flexible straw-like tree roots jut into the water. Escondido is a 10-minute walk or a 2-minute bicycle ride down a bumpy dirt road from the entrance gate to the highway.
+
* '''Cenotes Cristal and Escondido'''. $120 MXN buys admission to both (200MXN if you have diving equipment). These two cenotes are across the highway from each other, 3km south of the beginning of the Pueblo. Both are open-air, relatively shallow water, and unlikely to be crowded. Cristal has a diving platform about 3 meters above the surface of the water. The shape of the cenote is semi-round. Escondido is longer and contains an interesting floor of algae-covered rock and wood. Many fish eat the algae off the surfaces. There are small islands around which one can swim, and flexible straw-like tree roots jut into the water. Escondido is a 10-minute walk or a 2-minute bicycle ride down a bumpy dirt road from the entrance gate to the highway.
  
* '''Dos Ojos Cenote'''. 100 pesos for entrance only (good if you bring your own equipment and are ready to walk 3km to the cenote). 300 pesos for a guide, ride to the cenote, snorkel equipment, lamp, and wetsuit if you want. Set aside around 2 or 3 hours total.
+
* '''Dos Ojos Cenote'''. $200 MXN for entrance only, as of April 2016 (good if you bring your own equipment and are ready to walk 3km to the cenote), or $500 MXN for the entrance plus a guide, ride to the cenote, snorkel equipment, lamp, and wetsuit if you want. Set aside around 2 or 3 hours total.
 +
 
 +
* '''Zacil-Ha'''. Admission: $60 MXN (November 15). Beautiful open-air cenote. It looks like a natural swimming-pool, but there are also underwater caves that go very far away. There's a zip-line for $10 MXN, snorkeling gear and life vests rental, deck chairs, tables for picnic, a bar and restaurant. Mostly Mexicans go there.
  
 
==Learn==
 
==Learn==
  
 
If staying for more than just a couple of days, you may want to experience taking some Spanish lessons at the beach or at the Spanish school.
 
If staying for more than just a couple of days, you may want to experience taking some Spanish lessons at the beach or at the Spanish school.
 +
 +
* '''[http://elcaminotulum.com/ El Camino Tulum]''' - Spanish lessons in one, and two week intensive sessions, six week - three days a week classes and private instruction.
 +
 +
* '''[http://meztli.mx Meztli Spanish Language School Tulum]''' - Meztli features morning yoga classes before their Spanish lessons begin. Fresh air classrooms and emphasis on learning through interactive lessons.
 
    
 
    
 
* '''[http://paginasprodigy.com/spanishintulum/ Pink Iguana]''' - Offers lessons to corporate clients only.
 
* '''[http://paginasprodigy.com/spanishintulum/ Pink Iguana]''' - Offers lessons to corporate clients only.
  
 
* '''[http://tulumspanishschool.com Instituto Chac-Mool Tulum]''' - Also, in Tulum is Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School offering Spanish immersion classes year round. Classes may be as private lessons or studying with a peer group that the school arranges based on your starting level of Spanish.
 
* '''[http://tulumspanishschool.com Instituto Chac-Mool Tulum]''' - Also, in Tulum is Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School offering Spanish immersion classes year round. Classes may be as private lessons or studying with a peer group that the school arranges based on your starting level of Spanish.
 
* '''[http://www.kiinspanishschool.com/ K'iin Spanish School]''' - K’iin Spanish School offers courses of Spanish Language Immersion as a second language at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels.
 
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
Line 132: Line 152:
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
  
* Check out Mezzanine on the cliffs (only 40 feet high but nice) overlooking Playa Paraiso. Superb Thai food and great ambiance and a super view. They even make decent drinks too and have good shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
+
===Pueblo===
  
* For the budget minded, try Pollo Bronco in Tulum 'Pueblo'. Pollo Bronco and Pollo Asada both offer chicken that is roasted to perfection that can be ordered by the 1/4, 1/2, and whole.  
+
* For the budget minded, try <eat name="Pollo Bronco" alt="Pollo Bronco" address="" directions="" phone="(984) 871-2656" url="" hours="" price="" lat="20.2112603" lon="-87.4639714"> and '''Pollo Asada''' which both offer chicken that is roasted to perfection that can be ordered by the 1/4, 1/2, and whole.</eat>
  
* It should be noted that most of the restaurants in town are infinitely cheaper than those at the resorts. Most places, with the exception of the italian and japanese restaurants feature entrees for well under 100 pesos, or 10USD. Don Cafetos features authentic mexican and is one of the most popular restaurants on the strip. There are countless little cafes and establishments to get a great bite to eat for cheap.
+
* '''Don Cafetos''' features authentic mexican and is one of the most popular restaurants on the strip
  
* Off the downtown, a few meters ahead on the left of the street entering Villas Tulum is '''Non Solo Pizza''' that sell inexpensive pizzas, pies, tarts, breads, cakes etc (around 20 Pesos). All are freshly baked by the courteous (also English-speaking) lady herself who sells those over the counter. Very simple, homely, tasty unlike the greasy branded template pizzas!
+
*<eat name="El Camello" alt="" address="" directions="On the main road in the southern outskirts of the pueblo" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="20.208067" long="-87.4736775"> (and '''El Camello Jr''') "The Camel" has great (and cheap) seafood (the ceviche is excellent!). Unpretentious but packed with locals as well as tourists. Take a cab to get there unless you are in the southern part of town.</eat>
  
* '''If you are staying on the beach, it is wise to stock up on food and drinks in the pueblo.'''  There are not too many restaurant options on the beach, and the ones that are operational are quite expensive.
 
 
* If you want non perishable items, grab some snacks to supplement your meals at the Super San Francisco Food Mart. You can buy a cooler here which is great for having cold drinks on the beach each day. Just pick up ice in the morning and the cooler will stay cold until night time. This supermarket however is run by locals and hardly anyone speaks english, so if you don't know spanish, be prepared to shop around to find what you need.
 
*<eat name="Oscar & Lalo Restaurant, Bar & Grill" alt="Oscar y Lalo" address="Carretera Federal 307" directions="Playa Del Carmen-Tulum KM. 241" phone="(984) 115-9965" url="http://oscarandlalo.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">“Oscar & Lalo Restaurant - Bar - Grill Welcomes you! We have been serving excellent Specialty Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine since 1984. Have a look at our site, browse our menu, and discover that Oscar & Lalos is your dining destination in the Riviera Maya. Come and enjoy our beautiful tropical Jungle Garden, have a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail, and taste the delicious fresh Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine that has made us the pride of the Riviera Maya!</eat>
 
*<eat name="El Camello" alt="" address="" directions="On the main road in the southern outskirts of the pueblo" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">"The Camel" has great (and cheap) seafood! Unpretentious but packed with locals as well as tourists. Take a cab to get there unless you are in the southern part of town.</eat>
 
*<eat name="" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long=""></eat>
 
 
*<eat name="Cetli" alt="" address="Polar at Orion" directions="" phone="" url="http//www.cetli.com.mx" hours="5-10pm" price="" lat="" long="">Probably the best food in town. Somewhat expensive but well worth it. The young chef-owner Claudia has been trained at Mexico City's premier culinary academy. Unfortunately few tourists ever notice this place since it's not on the main strip.</eat>
 
*<eat name="Cetli" alt="" address="Polar at Orion" directions="" phone="" url="http//www.cetli.com.mx" hours="5-10pm" price="" lat="" long="">Probably the best food in town. Somewhat expensive but well worth it. The young chef-owner Claudia has been trained at Mexico City's premier culinary academy. Unfortunately few tourists ever notice this place since it's not on the main strip.</eat>
*<eat name="El Camello Jr" alt="" address="" directions="on the east side of the main road in the southern outskirts of town" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Great (and cheap) seafood. This place was crowded (mainly by locals) every time we visited (March 2012).</eat>
+
 
 
*<eat name="La Picadita Veracruzana" alt="" address="" directions="Very nice and cheap place located on the opposite of the ADO busstation, corner jupiter street  " phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">local food, cheap and delicious.The service is warmly and friendly.Probably the best (and cheapest) enchiladas in town.</eat>
 
*<eat name="La Picadita Veracruzana" alt="" address="" directions="Very nice and cheap place located on the opposite of the ADO busstation, corner jupiter street  " phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">local food, cheap and delicious.The service is warmly and friendly.Probably the best (and cheapest) enchiladas in town.</eat>
 +
 +
*<eat name="Co.Conamor Restaurante" alt="Vegetarian Healthy Restaurant" address="Road to the Beach" directions="In front of Chedraui" phone="9848712600" url="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g150813-d7350041-Reviews-Co_ConAmor_Restaurante-Tulum_Yucatan_Peninsula.html" hours="10:00-19:00" price="12usd" lat="" long="">Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan Meals in an open chill environment. Super Foods, Home Made Bread, Germinated Seeds, Aloe Vera, Slow Food, Smoothies, Cold Press Juices and a Biodegradable Bulk Food Store. </eat>
 +
 +
* <eat name="Pizzeria Manglar" alt="Pizzeria Manglar" address="Calle Asuncion, Manzana 38, Lote 2. No. 6" directions="" phone="(984) 120-0770" url="https://www.facebook.com/Manglar-1429371193984017/" hours="Wed-Mon 5pm-11pm" price="$100 MXN" lat="" lon="">One of the best pizza in town. They have delivery. The menu is in one of the photos on the Facebook page.</eat>
 +
 +
* <eat name="Antojitos La Chiapaneca" alt="Antojitos La Chiapaneca" address="Main Street / Beta Norte" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="$7 MXN" lat="" lon="">Best tacos al pastor! And very cheap ($7 MXN as of November 2015). Try also the sopes.</eat>
 +
 +
* <eat name="Tamales" alt="" address="" directions="Main Street / Centauro Norte" phone="" url="" hours="" price="$12 MXN" lat="" lon="">Tamales stand on the street. Very tasty and cheap.</eat>
 +
 +
===Beach===
 +
 +
It should be noted that most of the restaurants in town are infinitely cheaper than those at the resorts. Most places, with the exception of the italian and japanese restaurants feature entrees for well under 100 pesos, or 10USD. There are countless little cafes and establishments to get a great bite to eat for cheap.
 +
 +
You can also go to one of the two big supermarket at the entrance of Tulum to stock up on food and drinks: '''Chedraui''' and '''San Francisco'''. You can also buy a cooler here which is great for having cold drinks on the beach each day. The mini-vans and taxis will get you there. Chedraui is more English-friendly than '''San Francisco''' (and it's also closer to the beach).
 +
 +
* Check out '''Mezzanine''' on the cliffs (only 40 feet high but nice) overlooking Playa Paraiso. Superb Thai food and great ambiance and a super view. They even make decent drinks too and have good shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
 +
 +
*<eat name="El Tábano" alt="" address="Carretera Tulum, Boca Paila Km.7" directions="" phone="984 134 8725" url="http://visitroo.com/place/El_T%C3%A1bano_2354" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Family warmth, exquisite taste, fresh and creative food prepared right in front of you.</eat>
 +
 +
*<eat name="Canopia" alt="" address="Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 7.5" directions="By the Yogashala hotel on the road to Punta Alen." phone="" url="www.yogashalatulum.com" hours="8AM-10PM" price="$$" lat="" long="">Great juices, their organic, every day brunch menu is to die for. Lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options to choose from along with the nest eggs benedict you have ever tasted. Friendly service along with a relaxed atmosphere makes this restaurant true gem. They also serve lunch and dinner with an amazing and diverse menu.</eat>
 +
 +
*<eat name="Hechizo Restaurant" alt="Hechizo Restaurant" address="Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 10" phone="(984) 879-5020" url="http://hechizotulum.com/" hours="" price="$$$" lat="" long="">Featured in Food and Wine magazine. Only open during the high season. Reservations must be made prior.</eat>
 +
 +
===Road to Playa del Carmen===
 +
 +
*<eat name="Oscar & Lalo Restaurant, Bar & Grill" alt="Oscar y Lalo" address="Carretera Federal 307" directions="Playa Del Carmen-Tulum KM. 241" phone="(984) 115-9965" url="http://oscarandlalo.com/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">“Oscar & Lalo Restaurant - Bar - Grill Welcomes you! We have been serving excellent Specialty Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine since 1984. Have a look at our site, browse our menu, and discover that Oscar & Lalos is your dining destination in the Riviera Maya. Come and enjoy our beautiful tropical Jungle Garden, have a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail, and taste the delicious fresh Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine that has made us the pride of the Riviera Maya!</eat>
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
Line 163: Line 203:
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
  
The sleeping options have a poor price-performance ratio. In the zona hotelera (at the beach) really simple rundown cabanas with shared bath and without seaview are sold for $50 USD. If the place doesn't have a proper reception desk, don't stay there or, at least, don't trust the anonymous gatekeeper with your credit card.
+
===Pueblo===
  
===Budget===  
+
====Budget====
  
* '''El Jardin de Frida''' Hostel [http://www.fridastulum.com/] Offers shared rooms with communal bathrooms for 200 Pesos a night. You can also get private rooms and/or studios. Quiet, relaxed place to hang out. with a fantastic large central garden area with hammocks, chairs, etc. perfect for relaxing.  In house Bar/Restaurant that servers excellent, healthy food and makes the best Mojitos in town. Simply the best showers (hot water, awesome water pressure) of any hostel in this author's experience.
+
*<sleep name="Casa del Sol" address="" directions="3 blocks south of the ADO bus station, off the main avenue" phone="" url="http://www.casadelsolhostels.com/" price="$120 MXN">Rustic hostel with huge rooftop terrace and common areas with shared kitchen. Breakfast is provided. Dorm rooms, doubles, and singles. Most of the double rooms are in Mayan style palapas. Garden atmosphere. Great for rainy season. Rooms can be loud at night.</sleep>
  
* '''Casa del Sol''' Hostel [http://www.casadelsolhostels.com/]. . - 3 blocks south of the ADO bus station, off the main avenue. Rustic hostel with huge rooftop terrace and common areas with shared kitchen. Breakfast is provided. Dorm rooms, doubles, and singles 120 pesos and up. Most of the double rooms are in Mayan style palapas. Garden atmosphere. Great for rainy season. Very Noisy at night and Bedbugs in the Dorms (12/2012)
+
*<sleep name="Hotel Casa Rosa" address="" directions="1 block west of ado bus terminal" phone="" url="" price="$400 MXN">King size bed, a/c, wifi, wifi is best in the center rooms. Recently renovated rooms looks brand new inside, very clean, worth every peso. 3 story pink hotel. Friendly staff but don't speak English.</sleep>
  
* <sleep name="iTour Mexico" address="Avenida Coba Crucero Avenida Tulum, Col. Centro C.P." phone="(0052) 984 80 25 593" url="http://www.itourmexico.com" price="Best rates on official website start at USD 35.00">iTour Mexico is located at Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It offers 6 air-conditioned rooms with cable television, Internet, and shower with bath. Some of its offered activities include kiteboarding school and rental, car and bike rental, and massage service.</sleep>
+
*<sleep name="Hostal La Cigana" address="Beta Sur / Venus Oriente" phone="" url="" price="$125 MXN">Hostal La Cigana is an adorable hostel with a maze of nicely kept gardens. The caretaker is a chilled out middle aged hippie who has lived in the area for more than 20 years. He has great suggestions and knows the area really well. Also, he has a knack for initiating philosophical conversations when the beer flows (which it usually does after 8 oclock or so). There are hot showers, and guests are allowed to use the expresso bar (including free freshly ground coffee) all day. Also one of the cheapest hostels around, you can get him down to 125 on low season.</sleep>
  
* '''Lobo Inn''' Recommended only if you are in a real budget (they offer beds for 130 pesos; private double 450 as Feb 2012). Otherwise look for different options; they offer cramped, smelly dorms with equally smelly and cramped bathrooms with cockroaches. However, they offer free use of rather old bikes.
+
*<sleep name="Day Tripper Hostel" address="Calle 4 Pte between Satelite and Centauro Nte" directions="" phone="+52 (984) 160 0744" url="http://www.daytripperhostel.com/" price="11 USD (Nov 15)">Semi-private dorms with curtains / personal light / outlet / locker, A/C. Full kitchen, hammocks, outdoor terrace, rooftop lounge, free purified water. Clean, cool staff, chilled-out vibes!</sleep>
  
* '''Mayab Center''' offers unique yurt palapa accommodations right on a secluded beach just .5 km inside of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, located at the far end of the Tulum beach area. They have built the small retreat center with high eco-standards- composting toilets, grey water treatment system and low impact structures. Breakfast is included in nightly yurt rental, which is as low as $70 US (double occupancy) in the summer months. http://www.mayabtulum.com/
+
*<sleep name="El Jardin de Frida" address="Main Street / Chemuyil, in front of El Camello" phone="" url="http://www.fridastulum.com/" price="$200 MXN">El Jardin de Frida offers shared rooms with communal bathrooms for 200 Pesos a night. You can also get private rooms and/or studios.  Quiet, relaxed place to hang out. with a fantastic large central garden area with hammocks, chairs, etc. perfect for relaxing.  In house Bar/Restaurant that serves excellent, healthy food and makes the best Mojitos in town.  Simply the best showers (hot water, awesome water pressure) of any hostel in this author's experience.</sleep>
  
* '''Playa Condesa''' Offers private cabanas on the waterfront starting at 200 pesos. Located near Diamante K, but considerably cheaper. About 3 kilometers from the ruins.
+
*<sleep name="Lobo Inn" address="" phone="" url="" price="$130 MXN (Feb 12)">Recommended only if you are in a real budget (they offer beds for 130 pesos; private double 450 as Feb 2012). Otherwise look for different options; they offer cramped, smelly dorms with equally smelly and cramped bathrooms with cockroaches. However, they offer free use of rather old bikes.</sleep>
  
*'''Posada los Mapaches Hostel''' [http://www.posadalosmapaches.com] (0052) 984 871 2700. Bed and Breakfast hostel with new deals for groups, shared bathrooms, delicious breakfast, nice bikes to get around, cozy cabins for maximum 4 or 5 people. Nice place with garden and hammocks. Located on the main highway in front the entrance to Tulum Archaeological site.  
+
*<sleep name="Una noche más en Tulum" address="" directions="From the ADO bus station, across the street, then half a block in the Jupiter street" phone="" url="https://www.facebook.com/Una-Noche-Mas-En-Tulum-One-More-Nigth-In-Tulum-583234678484800/" price="$150 MXN (Dec 15)">Nice staff, free water, rooftop terrace, kitchen.</sleep>
  
* '''The Weary Traveler''' Hostel. 1 block south of the ADO bus station. Relaxed hostel with outdoor communal area and kitchen. Breakfast (DIY), water, cooking facilities, beach shuttle bus and internet provided. A nice place for young people that wants to party. All rooms are facing out to the common area, so lots of noise at night until 11pm. Also not the cleanest place and bed bugs are a common thing. Private rooms in a better state, now situated in a separate building about 200m from the main one, also quieter since avoiding the loud music from the bar at night. Dorm room single beds: 150 pesos with Fan and 175 with A/C. Dorm room double beds: 325 pesos. (200 pesos deposit for blankets, or give your ID as a deposit). Discounts available for stays longer than one night, up to 20% off a 5 night stay.
+
*<sleep name="The Weary Traveler Hostel" address="" phone="" url="" price="$150 MXN">Now in new location 10 mins walk from the ADO bus station. Relaxed hostel with outdoor communal area and kitchen. Breakfast (DIY), water, cooking facilities, beach shuttle bus and internet provided. A nice place for young people that wants to party. All rooms are facing out to the common area, so lots of noise at night until 11pm. There have been complaints about cleanliness and bedbugs in the past, unsure if this applies to new premises. Dorm room single beds: 150 pesos with Fan and 175 with A/C. Dorm room double beds: 325 pesos. (200 pesos deposit for blankets, or give your ID as a deposit). Discounts available for stays longer than one night, up to 20% off a 5 night stay.</sleep>
  
===Mid-range===
+
====Mid-range====
  
*<sleep name="Zamas Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.zamas.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">ZAMAS' thatch roof bungalows are right next to the beach. The hotel is 10 minutes from Mayan Ruins, Cenotes (fresh water pools), Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and deep-water sportfishing. Snorkeling is available in the ZAMAS cove. </sleep>
+
*<sleep name="iTour Mexico" address="Avenida Coba Crucero Avenida Tulum, Col. Centro C.P." phone="(0052) 984 80 25 593" url="http://www.itourmexico.com" price="Best rates on official website start at USD 35.00">iTour Mexico is located at Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It offers 6 air-conditioned rooms with cable television, Internet, and shower with bath. Some of its offered activities include kiteboarding school and rental, car and bike rental, and massage service.</sleep>
  
*'''Hemingway Eco Resort''' Features 8 rooms on a secluded section of beach about a mile down the road from EcoTulum Resorts. The beach is pristine and the sea is a bit calmer here offering snorkeling right off the beach. Stop by the restaurant for some of the best Italian food out there!
+
*<sleep name="Teetotum Hotel" address="" phone="" url="" price="">Teetotum is a boutique hotel situated between Tulum town and the beach offering: king sized beds, '''a/c''', '''ipod docks''', continental breakfast, free bicycle use, free high speed  '''wi-fi''' and a restaurant open from 8AM-11PM daily.</sleep>
  
* '''Azulik Villas''' [http://www.azulik.com] is a series of beachside villas sea-fronting, rustique built specially designed for honeymooners and couple seeking a romantic retreat in the wilderness. It has many relaxation alternatives like different types of massages, esthetic treatments (body and facial scrubs), reiki, the temazcal (copal sweat lodge- is based on traditional healing methods used by indigenous Mexicans to purify the soul and body) and the chamber of flotation. It is clothing optional.
+
====Splurge====
  
*The '''Diamante K''' [http://www.diamantek.com/] features cabañas ranging in quality from 2 all the way up to 5 stars on a private beach front. An interesting feature of the Diamante K is the '''hanging beds''' in the cabañas. A restaurant is on site, and you can relax in a hammock and just soak up the tranquility. Electricity is supplied by a generator and hence is switched off after around midnight. Candles are supplied in the cabañas.
+
===Beach===
  
* '''Tankah Inn Bead and Breakfast''' [http://www.tankah.com]  Offers 5 neatly furnished rooms, all with ultra silent A/C and ocean view, a great upstairs airy restaurant and terrace, free breakfast, wireless internet, great ambiance, quiet and quaint. Situated on beautiful Tankah III Bay, only seven minutes from the ruins and just 200 yards from world famous Casa Cenote (sink-hole).
+
The sleeping options have a poor price-performance ratio. In the zona hotelera (at the beach) really simple rundown cabanas with shared bath and without seaview are sold for $50 USD. If the place doesn't have a proper reception desk, don't stay there or, at least, don't trust the anonymous gatekeeper with your credit card.  
  
* '''Cabanas La Luna''' [http://www.cabanaslaluna.com] is a magical collection of romantic eco boutique ocean front cabañas, hidden away on the beach near Tulum. Just sit back, unwind and enjoy the Caribbean experience at Cabanas La luna!
+
====Budget====
  
* '''EcoTrotters Tulum Page''' [http://www.ecotrotters.com/City/index.aspx?city_id=2464761]. Check out eco hotels, spas resorts and lodges. Share your reviews!
+
*<sleep name="Playa Condesa" address="" phone="" url="" price="$200 MXN">Playa Condesa offers private cabañas on the waterfront. Located near Diamante K, but considerably cheaper. About 3 kilometers from the ruins.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
====Mid-range====
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Azulik Villas" address="" phone="" url="http://www.azulik.com" price="">Azulik Villas is a series of beachside villas sea-fronting, rustique built specially designed for honeymooners and couple seeking a romantic retreat in the wilderness. It has many relaxation alternatives like different types of massages, esthetic treatments (body and facial scrubs), reiki, the temazcal (copal sweat lodge- is based on traditional healing methods used by indigenous Mexicans to purify the soul and body) and the chamber of flotation. It is clothing optional.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Diamante K" address="" phone="" url="http://www.diamantek.com/" price="">The Diamante K features cabañas ranging in quality from 2 all the way up to 5 stars on a private beach front. An interesting feature of the Diamante K is the '''hanging beds''' in the cabañas. A restaurant is on site, and you can relax in a hammock and just soak up the tranquility. Electricity is supplied by a generator and hence is switched off after around midnight. Candles are supplied in the cabañas.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="EcoTrotters Tulum Page'" address="" phone="" url="http://www.ecotrotters.com/City/index.aspx?city_id=2464761" price="">Check out eco hotels, spas resorts and lodges. Share your reviews!</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Hemingway Eco Resort" address="" phone="" url="" price="">Hemingway Eco Resort Features 8 rooms on a secluded section of beach about a mile down the road from EcoTulum Resorts. The beach is pristine and the sea is a bit calmer here offering snorkeling right off the beach. Stop by the restaurant for some of the best Italian food out there!</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Cabañas La Luna" address="" phone="" url="http://www.cabanaslaluna.com" price="">Cabañas La Luna is a magical collection of romantic eco boutique ocean front cabañas, hidden away on the beach near Tulum. Just sit back, unwind and enjoy the Caribbean experience at Cabanas La luna!</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Mayab Center" address="" phone="" url="http://www.mayabtulum.com/" price="$70 USD">Mayab Center offers unique yurt palapa accommodations right on a secluded beach just half a km inside of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, located at the far end of the Tulum beach area. They have built the small retreat center with high eco-standards- composting toilets, grey water treatment system and low impact structures. Breakfast is included in nightly yurt rental, which is as low as $70 US (double occupancy) in the summer months.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Om Tulum Hotel Cabanas & Beach Club" address="Carretera Tulum-Punta Alen, KM. 9.5" phone="(+52) 1-984-157-7903" url="http://www.tulummexicohotel.com/" price="">Minimalist in design, the  private cabanas are quiet, beach-inspired, and furnished with the following common features; Deck/ balcony – opens up to a garden panorama a Private toilet and bath.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Playa Azul Tulum" address="" phone="" url="http://www.playaazultulum.com" price="">Playa Azul Tulum Hotel is a group of cabañas located between the jungle and the Caribbean sea in one of the most wonderful beaches of Tulum Mexico.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Retiro Maya Tulum" address="Carretera Tulum-Punta Allen, KM 5" phone="" url="http://www.retiromaya.com" price="">A sacred space for couples & families, conscious people and fellow seekers, Retiro Maya is a grassroot Eco-haven for the nature loving traveler. Private cabanas with terrace, hammocks and private bathroom, free wi-fi, delicious restaurant, daily yoga classes and charming attention.</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Tankah Inn Bead and Breakfast" address="" phone="http://www.tankah.com" url="" price="">Offers 5 neatly furnished rooms, all with ultra silent A/C and ocean view, a great upstairs airy restaurant and terrace, free breakfast, wireless internet, great ambiance, quiet and quaint. Situated on beautiful Tankah III Bay, only seven minutes from the ruins and just 200 yards from world famous Casa Cenote (sink-hole).</sleep>
 +
 
 +
*<sleep name="Zamas Hotel" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.zamas.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">ZAMAS' thatch roof bungalows are right next to the beach. The hotel is 10 minutes from Mayan Ruins, Cenotes (fresh water pools), Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and deep-water sportfishing. Snorkeling is available in the ZAMAS cove.  </sleep>
  
* '''Om Tulum Hotel Cabanas & Beach Club''' [http://www.tulummexicohotel.com/].  (+52) 1-984-157-7903  , Carretera Tulum-Punta Alen, KM. 9.5 Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico 77780  .Minimalist in design, the  private cabanas are quiet, beach-inspired, and furnished with the following common features; Deck/ balcony – opens up to a garden panorama a Private toilet and bath.
+
====Splurge====
  
* '''Retiro Maya Tulum''' [http://www.retiromaya.com]. A sacred space for couples & families, conscious people and fellow seekers, Retiro Maya is a grassroot Eco-haven for the nature loving traveler located in Carretera Tulum-Punta Allen, KM 5. Private cabanas with terrace, hammocks and private bathroom, free wi-fi, delicious restaurant, daily yoga classes and charming attention.
+
*<sleep name="Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa" address="" phone="" url="http://www.dreamsresorts.com" price="">Dreams Tulum is on one of the most unique beaches in the Riviera Maya surrounded by lush tropical acres, sugary white sand, two beach-adjacent pools, and magnificent colonial architecture. Five minutes from Tulum, it is one of the only resorts in the Riviera Maya where you can view (several miles away) the ancient ruins of Tulum from the beach.Services offered (all-inclusive) include the Explorer's Club, a top notch kids activity center with mini climbing wall, mini stage, games room and more. Luxury Spa. 5 Star PADI Dive Center [http://www.mayadiving.com] on site offering daily Tulum area diving and snorkeling excursions to local reefs and cenotes as well as all levels of scuba diving courses. Access to off-site golf.</sleep>
  
* '''Playa Azul Tulum''' [http://www.playaazultulum.com]. Playa Azul Tulum Hotel is a group of cabañas located between the jungle and the Caribbean sea in one of the most wonderful beaches of Tulum Mexico.
+
*<sleep name="Sueños Tulum" address="" phone="" url="" price="">You truly cannot experience Tulum staying in an all inclusive. Try staying at a hotel along the beach or even in the pueblo. Upscale resorts with rustic but elegant rooms.</sleep>
  
* '''Teetotum Hotel''' [http://www.teetotumhotel.com].  Teetotum is a boutique hotel situated between Tulum town and the beach offering: king sized beds, '''a/c''', '''ipod docks''', continental breakfast, free bicycle use, free high speed  '''wi-fi''' and a restaurant open from 8AM-11PM daily.
+
===Road to Playa del Carmen===
  
===Splurge===
+
====Budget====
  
* '''Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa''', [http://www.dreamsresorts.com]. Dreams Tulum is on one of the most unique beaches in the Riviera Maya surrounded by lush tropical acres, sugary white sand, two beach-adjacent pools, and magnificent colonial architecture. Five minutes from Tulum, it is one of the only resorts in the Riviera Maya where you can view (several miles away) the ancient ruins of Tulum from the beach.Services offered (all-inclusive) include the Explorer's Club, a top notch kids activity center with mini climbing wall, mini stage, games room and more. Luxury Spa. 5 Star PADI Dive Center [http://www.mayadiving.com] on site offering daily Tulum area diving and snorkeling excursions to local reefs and cenotes as well as all levels of scuba diving courses. Access to off-site golf.  
+
*<sleep name="Posada los Mapaches Hostel" address="" directions="Located on the main highway in front the entrance to Tulum Archaeological site." phone="(984) 871-2700" url="http://www.posadalosmapaches.com" price="">Bed and Breakfast hostel with new deals for groups, shared bathrooms, delicious breakfast, nice bikes to get around, cozy cabins for maximum 4 or 5 people. Nice place with garden and hammocks.</sleep>
  
* '''Ocho Tulum or Suenos Tulum''' - You truly cannot experience Tulum staying in an all inclusive. Try staying at a hotel along the beach or even in the pueblo.  Two upscale resorts with rustic but elegant rooms would be Ocho Tulum or Suenos Tulum.
+
====Mid-range====
  
* '''Hechizo Restaurant''' - Featured in Food and Wine magazine. Only open during the high season. Reservations must be made prior.
+
<sleep name="Catalonia Royal Tulum" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="1-877-226-7495" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">It is just 25km from Playa del Carmen and Tulums archaeological site, and 85 km south of Cancun International airport, in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. All guest rooms and suites offer brand premium amenities. </sleep>
  
 
==Contact==
 
==Contact==
  
 
* '''CLICK-C@RIBE''' - At the entrance of Tulum. State of the art internet technology at $14 pesos por hora.
 
* '''CLICK-C@RIBE''' - At the entrance of Tulum. State of the art internet technology at $14 pesos por hora.
* TUCAN-KIN - Airport Shuttle tucankin@gmail.com / 984 134 75 35.
 
  
 
Note: You may encounter problems if you try to make '''phone calls''' from the beach.  Payphones are sparse and often broken, and they are all owned by one company.  These phones require you to purchase a special proprietary card of at least 100 pesos, and the cards cannot be used at regular payphones.  A better alternative is to use a normal payphone in the pueblo, or use a Mexican cellphone (There is reception on the beach, but make sure to recharge in the pueblo beforehand).
 
Note: You may encounter problems if you try to make '''phone calls''' from the beach.  Payphones are sparse and often broken, and they are all owned by one company.  These phones require you to purchase a special proprietary card of at least 100 pesos, and the cards cannot be used at regular payphones.  A better alternative is to use a normal payphone in the pueblo, or use a Mexican cellphone (There is reception on the beach, but make sure to recharge in the pueblo beforehand).

Latest revision as of 13:20, 26 July 2016

Tulum is on the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mexico.

Understand[edit]

It was the site of a Mayan port which was supported by up to 1000 residents before the arrival of the Spanish. The ruin's tropical beach backdrop is the main attraction of this picturesque, much-visited small ruin on the shore of the Caribbean Sea.

Tulum

Be prepared for LOTS of people and tour groups at the archaeological site. To avoid the crowds, it is best to stay overnight and visit the ruins early in the morning before the buses arrive, or later in the afternoon. Morning is recommended since you can catch spectacular vistas when the sun is rising over the Caribbean.

Get in[edit]

Tulum - Mayan Pyramid

By plane[edit]

From the Cancun International Airport you can take the ADO bus to Playa del Carmen with departures every :30min to 1 hour for around $156 MXN (about $12 USD). Once in Playa del Carmen you transfer to a second bus (ADO, AU or Mayab) to Tulum for an additional $62 MXN (about $4,5 USD).

Rental cars are priced reasonably and are the easiest way to get around the Tulum area. Shop around rates upon arrival, and feel free to haggle. Check with your credit card company to see if they automatically insure you, most do so you don't have to pay the additional insurance that the rental agency often tries to insist you purchase. It is a very easy drive to Tulum. To get there you take the only highway south from Cancun Airport straight down past Playa del Carmen, Akumal, etc. About 90 minutes from the airport you will arrive in Tulum.

If you don't have a transportation manner assured it is highly recommended to pre-book a transfer from the airport to your hotel or destination. There are some companies very reliable, safe and professional as:

Many of the Hotels in Tulum offer a pick-up service from the Cancun International Airport for an additional price depending on the hotel.

By bus[edit]

Buses from Cancun run quite regularly. There is also an ADO bus direct from Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen.

Buses from Playa del Carmen run hourly or so. Bus station is at southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar. ADO Bus $62 MXN stops at Xcaret and Xel-ha enroute to Tulum. Mayab bus $38 MXN stops more frequently enroute to Tulum from Playa del Carmen. Both have a/c.

To visit the ruins, get off the bus at the first Tulum stop at the intersection with the access road to the ruins. It's an easy one mile or so flat walk to the ruins from the intersection.

An alternative to the buses is to catch a "collectivo" van. In Playa del Carmen you can find these on Calle 2 towards Avenida 20. A one-way trip costs $40 MXN p.p. (2016-Jul). Buses leave when full (a matter of minutes). Make sure to ask specifically for the ruins, as the town of Tulum is another stop. You will be dropped off and picked up at the side of the Federal Highway 307 (the same intersection where the buses stop), from where you can walk the last 850 meters to the ruins.

By car[edit]

If you drive yourself to the ruins before opening time, it may be a bit confusing as to where to go and what to do. As soon as you park, a man on a bicycle should find you and charge you for parking ($50 MXN). You must go through a sort of half open-air mall (which is empty before 8AM). From there you can either sign up with a tour guide ($20 USD per person?), pay for a shuttle ride to the ruins ($20 MXN), or walk a mile along a road to the ruins. The guides are reported to be better story tellers than actual experts on Mayan culture. The walk is on level ground and passes quickly as you admire the jungle and abandoned shops along the way. If you can walk it, do it and save a few bucks! As you approach a stone wall, to the left will be a brown wooden building where you can purchase your ticket into the ruins (57 MXN, an additional 35 pesos if they see that you have a video camera). From there, head along a stone path through the jungle and into the ruins...

Three Tulums[edit]

What most folks really need to know, and only manage to figure out once there, is the fact that there are really three different areas all referred to as Tulum only minutes away from each other, not close enough though to walk to and from.

Tulum Pueblo sits split by highway 307 running South-North. "El Pueblo", as referred to by locals, is home to most workers of the tourist industry and where many of the stores, supermarkets, two bus stations, inns, hostels and small hotels are found. This section of town has a definite feel of existing mostly to cater to the Tulum ruins. Tulum pueblo is indeed a destination for shopping, great restaurants, a modest night life, studying the language at Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School, booking tours, banking, shopping for food, local vegetables, fruits, cafes, and local flavor. Do not miss it.

Tulum Playa nests along the coastline that leads into the Sian Ka'an Biosphere [Ecological Reserve], the Caribbean white sandy beaches to the east, an impressive mangrove & wetland reserve to the south. Tulum Playa embraces many of the fancier, ecological, boutique and spa hotels, and it has a decent selection of restaurants and night spots. There are also a number of affordable beach front cabana-type lodging locations. Walk the beach and simply step in and inquire about accommodations and rates. Always ask to see the available room(s) before committing: cabanas generally look better from outside than inside; bathrooms in particular are often in sad disrepair.

It should be noted most of these establishments are Eco-friendly and do not provide electricity past midnight. Toilet paper can not be flushed and it is asked that water and other resources be used sparingly. The hotels in Tulum aim to keep Tulum as it is and stop the ecological problems that have already taken hold in Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

If you are staying on the beach and trying to save money, it is wise to stock up on food and drinks in the pueblo. There are not too many restaurant options on the beach, and the ones that are operational are comparatively quite expensive.

Taxis have a near monopoly on transport to and from the playa. Buses come from time to time, but hitchhiking can also get you where you need to go.

The beach area hotel zone sees considerable trade in and use of illicit substances. Keep in mind that for some visitors this is the area's main attraction, so if you choose to attend a bonfire or rumba party use common sense. The street running parallel to the coast where most of the cabanas are is unlit and curvy. Exercise extra caution after dark. There are no sidewalks.

Tulum Ruinas is the archaeological site where the Maya ruins of Tulum stand. It is conformed by a-mile-long road leading into the ruins from highway 307. The road is flanked by several restaurants, a commercial area geared to one-day visitors, a huge parking lot, a small bus station that operates part-time and a handful of middle range hotels.

Archaeology[edit]

Tulum

Tulum is mostly known for its ruins, which strike an impressive image next to the sea, but were constructed during a time period of Maya culture that was waning. The site is notable for a small cenote (albeit dry during Jan 2009), beautiful beach below the ruin laden cliffs and some well preserved stellae in only one of its structures. After visiting other ruins in the area such as Coba, Chichen Itza and Ek Balam, Tulum's main claim is the sea-side setting. It is best visited on a clear, bright day or at sunrise. Bring your swimming suit. At the time of writing, one of the best sections was closed to visitors and covered with plastic bottles and other refuse.

A standard to telephoto zoom lens does well if you must photograph during times of peak tourism. This strategy will keep people out of your shots of the ruins. Tripods are allowed only with a permit that is exclusively available in Mexico City for a $500 fee. A monopod may be a possibility.

Get around[edit]

  • Taxis are an inexpensive way to get around but for the most part, Tulum 'Pueblo' is so small that walking is a simple, though often dusty, option. Taxis from 'Pueblo' to the coast is ~$110 MXN. It is advisable to either take a taxi or rent a bike when traveling between the 'Pueblo' and the beach, as the walk is rather long, dusty and unattractive. Taxis within pueblo is $25 MXN - this is particularly useful when you go to the supermarket...
  • Bikes are a convenient way to get around town and to/from cenotes and the beach. Please be careful when riding a bike on the highway. Bring a headlamp/flashlight if biking at night. You can rent them from many places for about 50MXN / day. Many hostels also rent their own bikes.
    • Center Bikes - Main Street / Saturno Norte (near Subway) - 50MXN / 24 hours, 40MXN if return in the same day
    • Iguana Bikes in Tulum 'Pueblo' - $150 to 250 MXN for 24 hours
  • Many collectivos (shared van) leave Tulum Pueblo:
    • to Playa del Carmen (and all cenotes / beaches / resorts in between), they leave every 5 minutes from the main street, near the ADO bus station (price depends on where you stop: $20 MSN for the ruins and some cenotes, $25 MSN for Akumal, etc.)
    • to the beach, they leave about once per hour from Venus Ote / Orion Sur - $10 MXN (you can actually see the timetable in Google streetview!). They might refuse to take you in at around 3pm because it's for workers first.
    • to Coba in the main street near the ADO bus station, but they only leave when there's enough people to fill the van/car, so you might wait for hours...

See[edit][add listing]

  • Tulum Ruins - Tulum Ruins is the biggest ancient building that is standing on the Riviera Maya shore. If you want to avoid the big tour crowds, go before 9h30. The park opens at 8. Entrance fee is 64MXN as of Apr 2016
  • Sian Ka'an Biosphere - The reserve features acres upon acres of pristine mangrove swamp and wetlands. Just past the information center pull into the dirt lot on the left and walk out to the beach. There are a few fishermen that dock here and are willing to take you on a tour that is much cheaper than the organized tours offered in the area. The fishermen will take you on an hour to two hour boat tour of the reserve any time of day. Near sunset is a great option. They will often work for hire for $100 to 200 MXN (about $10 to 20 USD).
  • Coba ruins - Be sure to visit the Coba ruins. They are not in as pristine shape as the Tulum Ruins, however they feature "El Castillo" the tallest of the Mayan ruins that juts up above the treetops in the jungle. You can still climb el castillo in Coba and the sight from the top is spectacular. A fun and efficient way of exploring the ruins is renting a bike ($40 MXN); just go to the rental place inside the ruins. You can also rent bikes to get around Coba. Coba is only a 30 minute drive west of tulum on the main road off 307. Just follow the signs to Coba!
  • Muyil archaeological site

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Tulum Sports Festival - A sports event held annually at Tulum Beach and is open registration. Fun and sports for everyone with live music, beach volleyball, paddle boards, kayaks, swimming, kite boarding and more. A great weekend of fun activities to celebrate the beauty of the beach and wind. There's something for everyone!
  • Kitesurfing
  • Extreme Control The original Kiteboarding school of Tulum, teaching since 2005 with bilingual IKO certified instructors to all levels. Also offering Diving courses and fun dives, Paddleboarding rentals and tours. Extreme Control headquarters are located on the main Tulum public beach in front of Hotel Playa Esperanza and beside El Paraiso Beach Club.
  • Ocean Pro Kite - kiteboarding school located on Tulum beach. It provides kitesurf lessons following the most professional and safest method of teaching, known as IKO (International Kitesurfing Organisation). From a one-hour lesson to "ready to go" packages.
  • Snorkeling - There are great guided snorkel tours from the public beach near the ruins, which cost 200 pesos each in Nov 2009 and lasted about two hours.
  • Scuba Diving - Scuba diving in the Cenotes around Tulum is an experience not to be missed. There are multiple dive operators based in Tulum that to both Cenote and ocean dives.
  • La Calypso Dive Center - Professional, family size dive center, PADI certified instructors and dive masters, highly enthusiastic and with great knowledge of the various cenotes. Snorkeling tours, Cavern diving (cenote diving), PADI courses, Discover Scuba Diving, reef diving. As they almost only manage private groups, they don't have a dive shop open to the public so bookings and information have to be done by email or phone (00521) 984 106 80 02 or (00521) 984 100 73 85
  • You can also take your own self guided tour of the reefs right off the beach from the Hotel Zone. Tulum sits on the second largest barrier reef in the world. Be sure to take a tour yourself, or a guided tour of this fantastic reef system. You will be sure to see over 30 species of fish and some spectacular Coral as well. If you must take a guided tour, the cheapest in the area is located at Zamas Hotel. Zamas is located about 10 establishments in from the beginning of the hotel zone.
  • Hidden Worlds Cenotes Park - Offering unique jungle adventures to suit everyone, Hidden Worlds is situated on the most extensive system of underwater caves and caverns on Earth. The park is home to some of the most incredible cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula, as featured in the critically acclaimed 2001 IMAX movie Journey Into Amazing Caves and the 2007 BBC Planet Earth series.
  • Maya Spa - Holistic spa specializing in Mayan treatments.
  • Aguaclara project: Diving, Snorkeling & Eco tours Outstanding tours to the natural surrounding of Tulum in very small groups with great personal service address="Calle Luna poniente MZa 2 lot 1 loc 2" directions="two blocks back from Cancha maya" phone="984 105 40 47" url="www.aguaclararpoject.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">

Cenotes[edit]

See also: Cenotes of the Yucatán

In much of the Yucatan, rainwater collects in a system of underground caves and tunnels. Where these tunnels reach the surface is known as a cenote (pronounced seh-NOH-teh). Cenotes usually allow swimming and diving, and at some you can rent related equipment. They contain fresh water, which is often cool since they are shaded in most cases. Cenotes allow close-up access to fauna such as fish, turtles, and in some cases, bats. Some cenotes are mainly enclosed with only small openings on the surface and a larger above-water cavernous area that extends under the rock covering. Others are more open and allow more natural light.

  • El Gran Cenote. Admission: $150 MXN (September 2015). This is the most popular cenote (and therefore the most crowded) in Tulum. A good combination of a deep, cavernous portion, a couple of shallow open-air portions and ample wooden decking with stairs down to the water at several entrance points. This is recommended for first-time cenote-goers. Snorkelling gear is available for rent although prices are a bit steep. As of June 2014 prices were $80 MXN for snorkel and mask rental (snorkels appeard to be non-valved), $30 MXN to rent a locker to store your bags, $50 MXN to rent a life vest and $250 MXN to buy a waterproof camera.
  • Casa Cenote, in TanKah III Bay is a magic spot. Here the Cenote goes underground some 100 yards before the beach, only to emerge as an 'underwater' water spring about 20 yards of the beach, right in the ocean. Must see. Tanka III Bay is just over 7 kilometers (5 miles) north of the intersection to the ruins. Take a cab. Great places to eat and stay or scuba too. Admission: about 25 pesos. Extra charge to rent a snorkel or kayak.
  • Cenote Calavera. Admission: $100 MXN (September 2015). This is named "calavera" or "skull" because the entrance has one circular opening of about 9 meters in diameter into which one can jump or descend down a ladder, plus two smaller openings of about 1 meter in diameter. The cenote is mostly enclosed and only partially lit by daylight - there is a large cavernous area that is home to many bats.
  • Cenotes Cristal and Escondido. $120 MXN buys admission to both (200MXN if you have diving equipment). These two cenotes are across the highway from each other, 3km south of the beginning of the Pueblo. Both are open-air, relatively shallow water, and unlikely to be crowded. Cristal has a diving platform about 3 meters above the surface of the water. The shape of the cenote is semi-round. Escondido is longer and contains an interesting floor of algae-covered rock and wood. Many fish eat the algae off the surfaces. There are small islands around which one can swim, and flexible straw-like tree roots jut into the water. Escondido is a 10-minute walk or a 2-minute bicycle ride down a bumpy dirt road from the entrance gate to the highway.
  • Dos Ojos Cenote. $200 MXN for entrance only, as of April 2016 (good if you bring your own equipment and are ready to walk 3km to the cenote), or $500 MXN for the entrance plus a guide, ride to the cenote, snorkel equipment, lamp, and wetsuit if you want. Set aside around 2 or 3 hours total.
  • Zacil-Ha. Admission: $60 MXN (November 15). Beautiful open-air cenote. It looks like a natural swimming-pool, but there are also underwater caves that go very far away. There's a zip-line for $10 MXN, snorkeling gear and life vests rental, deck chairs, tables for picnic, a bar and restaurant. Mostly Mexicans go there.

Learn[edit]

If staying for more than just a couple of days, you may want to experience taking some Spanish lessons at the beach or at the Spanish school.

  • El Camino Tulum - Spanish lessons in one, and two week intensive sessions, six week - three days a week classes and private instruction.
  • Meztli Spanish Language School Tulum - Meztli features morning yoga classes before their Spanish lessons begin. Fresh air classrooms and emphasis on learning through interactive lessons.
  • Pink Iguana - Offers lessons to corporate clients only.
  • Instituto Chac-Mool Tulum - Also, in Tulum is Instituto Chac-Mool Spanish School offering Spanish immersion classes year round. Classes may be as private lessons or studying with a peer group that the school arranges based on your starting level of Spanish.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Markets catering mainly to the bus loads of tourists are situated on the road leading to the entrance of the archaeological site.

There are also markets in town on 307 in the main stretch of town. Many cater to tourists however be sure to give them a look anyway. There are a lot of beautiful hand crafted Mexican pottery and fabrics. If you turn off of 307 and vere into town away from the main strip you can discover tons of tiny establishments and get a feel for the truly sleepy town of Tulum.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Pueblo[edit]

  • For the budget minded, try Pollo Bronco (Pollo Bronco), (984) 871-2656. and Pollo Asada which both offer chicken that is roasted to perfection that can be ordered by the 1/4, 1/2, and whole. (20.2112603,) edit
  • Don Cafetos features authentic mexican and is one of the most popular restaurants on the strip
  • El Camello, (On the main road in the southern outskirts of the pueblo). (and El Camello Jr) "The Camel" has great (and cheap) seafood (the ceviche is excellent!). Unpretentious but packed with locals as well as tourists. Take a cab to get there unless you are in the southern part of town. (20.208067,-87.4736775) edit
  • Cetli, Polar at Orion, [1]. 5-10pm. Probably the best food in town. Somewhat expensive but well worth it. The young chef-owner Claudia has been trained at Mexico City's premier culinary academy. Unfortunately few tourists ever notice this place since it's not on the main strip.  edit
  • La Picadita Veracruzana, (Very nice and cheap place located on the opposite of the ADO busstation, corner jupiter street). local food, cheap and delicious.The service is warmly and friendly.Probably the best (and cheapest) enchiladas in town.  edit
  • Co.Conamor Restaurante (Vegetarian Healthy Restaurant), Road to the Beach (In front of Chedraui), 9848712600, [2]. 10:00-19:00. Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan Meals in an open chill environment. Super Foods, Home Made Bread, Germinated Seeds, Aloe Vera, Slow Food, Smoothies, Cold Press Juices and a Biodegradable Bulk Food Store. 12usd.  edit
  • Pizzeria Manglar (Pizzeria Manglar), Calle Asuncion, Manzana 38, Lote 2. No. 6, (984) 120-0770, [3]. Wed-Mon 5pm-11pm. One of the best pizza in town. They have delivery. The menu is in one of the photos on the Facebook page. $100 MXN.  edit
  • Antojitos La Chiapaneca (Antojitos La Chiapaneca), Main Street / Beta Norte. Best tacos al pastor! And very cheap ($7 MXN as of November 2015). Try also the sopes. $7 MXN.  edit
  • Tamales, (Main Street / Centauro Norte). Tamales stand on the street. Very tasty and cheap. $12 MXN.  edit

Beach[edit]

It should be noted that most of the restaurants in town are infinitely cheaper than those at the resorts. Most places, with the exception of the italian and japanese restaurants feature entrees for well under 100 pesos, or 10USD. There are countless little cafes and establishments to get a great bite to eat for cheap.

You can also go to one of the two big supermarket at the entrance of Tulum to stock up on food and drinks: Chedraui and San Francisco. You can also buy a cooler here which is great for having cold drinks on the beach each day. The mini-vans and taxis will get you there. Chedraui is more English-friendly than San Francisco (and it's also closer to the beach).

  • Check out Mezzanine on the cliffs (only 40 feet high but nice) overlooking Playa Paraiso. Superb Thai food and great ambiance and a super view. They even make decent drinks too and have good shows on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • El Tábano, Carretera Tulum, Boca Paila Km.7, 984 134 8725, [4]. Family warmth, exquisite taste, fresh and creative food prepared right in front of you.  edit
  • Canopia, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 7.5 (By the Yogashala hotel on the road to Punta Alen.), [5]. 8AM-10PM. Great juices, their organic, every day brunch menu is to die for. Lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options to choose from along with the nest eggs benedict you have ever tasted. Friendly service along with a relaxed atmosphere makes this restaurant true gem. They also serve lunch and dinner with an amazing and diverse menu. $$.  edit
  • Hechizo Restaurant (Hechizo Restaurant), Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 10, (984) 879-5020, [6]. Featured in Food and Wine magazine. Only open during the high season. Reservations must be made prior. $$$.  edit

Road to Playa del Carmen[edit]

  • Oscar & Lalo Restaurant, Bar & Grill (Oscar y Lalo), Carretera Federal 307 (Playa Del Carmen-Tulum KM. 241), (984) 115-9965, [7]. “Oscar & Lalo Restaurant - Bar - Grill Welcomes you! We have been serving excellent Specialty Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine since 1984. Have a look at our site, browse our menu, and discover that Oscar & Lalos is your dining destination in the Riviera Maya. Come and enjoy our beautiful tropical Jungle Garden, have a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail, and taste the delicious fresh Seafood, Mexican and Yucatecan Cuisine that has made us the pride of the Riviera Maya!  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Habana Cafe - If you're craving a taste of Latin life with a touch of Cuban spice, the atmosphere at Habana Café in Tulum Pueblo will satisfy. Habana’s Cuban inspired design is permeated with beats from Latin-infused reggae, Son, Latin house and Merengue. The street level bar brings a style reminiscent of the elegance and opulence of "The Havana 50s" to Tulum. Upstairs in the Sky Bar The scene is even more impressive on the massive, rooftop bar. With its elaborate rooftop garden, 10 foot palm trees, a huge palapa bar, lanterns, and attractive bartenders, the Sky Bar may be the swankest place in Tulum for imbibing outdoors.

Also try a few other cool spots in Tulum that offer fun drink specials with a hip tropical flair:

  • Acabar offers live music and djs in a trendy atmosphere.
  • Teetotum offers weekend rooftop movies, a cool lounge and drink specials, try the Razzleberry Daiquiri!
  • Ak'iin offers weekend parties with live music or djs, no cover and drink specials on a beautiful stretch of beach.
  • Divino Paraiso, (Ave Tulum). On a Wednessday evening they have Salsa Lessons from 9 PM and DJ playing assorted mix of Reggae, Reggaeton, Bachata, Salsa, Merenge and Cumbia.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Pueblo[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Casa del Sol, (3 blocks south of the ADO bus station, off the main avenue), [8]. Rustic hostel with huge rooftop terrace and common areas with shared kitchen. Breakfast is provided. Dorm rooms, doubles, and singles. Most of the double rooms are in Mayan style palapas. Garden atmosphere. Great for rainy season. Rooms can be loud at night. $120 MXN.  edit
  • Hotel Casa Rosa, (1 block west of ado bus terminal). King size bed, a/c, wifi, wifi is best in the center rooms. Recently renovated rooms looks brand new inside, very clean, worth every peso. 3 story pink hotel. Friendly staff but don't speak English. $400 MXN.  edit
  • Hostal La Cigana, Beta Sur / Venus Oriente. Hostal La Cigana is an adorable hostel with a maze of nicely kept gardens. The caretaker is a chilled out middle aged hippie who has lived in the area for more than 20 years. He has great suggestions and knows the area really well. Also, he has a knack for initiating philosophical conversations when the beer flows (which it usually does after 8 oclock or so). There are hot showers, and guests are allowed to use the expresso bar (including free freshly ground coffee) all day. Also one of the cheapest hostels around, you can get him down to 125 on low season. $125 MXN.  edit
  • Day Tripper Hostel, Calle 4 Pte between Satelite and Centauro Nte, +52 (984) 160 0744, [9]. Semi-private dorms with curtains / personal light / outlet / locker, A/C. Full kitchen, hammocks, outdoor terrace, rooftop lounge, free purified water. Clean, cool staff, chilled-out vibes! 11 USD (Nov 15).  edit
  • El Jardin de Frida, Main Street / Chemuyil, in front of El Camello, [10]. El Jardin de Frida offers shared rooms with communal bathrooms for 200 Pesos a night. You can also get private rooms and/or studios. Quiet, relaxed place to hang out. with a fantastic large central garden area with hammocks, chairs, etc. perfect for relaxing. In house Bar/Restaurant that serves excellent, healthy food and makes the best Mojitos in town. Simply the best showers (hot water, awesome water pressure) of any hostel in this author's experience. $200 MXN.  edit
  • Lobo Inn. Recommended only if you are in a real budget (they offer beds for 130 pesos; private double 450 as Feb 2012). Otherwise look for different options; they offer cramped, smelly dorms with equally smelly and cramped bathrooms with cockroaches. However, they offer free use of rather old bikes. $130 MXN (Feb 12).  edit
  • Una noche más en Tulum, (From the ADO bus station, across the street, then half a block in the Jupiter street), [11]. Nice staff, free water, rooftop terrace, kitchen. $150 MXN (Dec 15).  edit
  • The Weary Traveler Hostel. Now in new location 10 mins walk from the ADO bus station. Relaxed hostel with outdoor communal area and kitchen. Breakfast (DIY), water, cooking facilities, beach shuttle bus and internet provided. A nice place for young people that wants to party. All rooms are facing out to the common area, so lots of noise at night until 11pm. There have been complaints about cleanliness and bedbugs in the past, unsure if this applies to new premises. Dorm room single beds: 150 pesos with Fan and 175 with A/C. Dorm room double beds: 325 pesos. (200 pesos deposit for blankets, or give your ID as a deposit). Discounts available for stays longer than one night, up to 20% off a 5 night stay. $150 MXN.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • iTour Mexico, Avenida Coba Crucero Avenida Tulum, Col. Centro C.P., (0052) 984 80 25 593, [12]. iTour Mexico is located at Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It offers 6 air-conditioned rooms with cable television, Internet, and shower with bath. Some of its offered activities include kiteboarding school and rental, car and bike rental, and massage service. Best rates on official website start at USD 35.00.  edit
  • Teetotum Hotel. Teetotum is a boutique hotel situated between Tulum town and the beach offering: king sized beds, a/c, ipod docks, continental breakfast, free bicycle use, free high speed wi-fi and a restaurant open from 8AM-11PM daily.  edit

Splurge[edit]

Beach[edit]

The sleeping options have a poor price-performance ratio. In the zona hotelera (at the beach) really simple rundown cabanas with shared bath and without seaview are sold for $50 USD. If the place doesn't have a proper reception desk, don't stay there or, at least, don't trust the anonymous gatekeeper with your credit card.

Budget[edit]

  • Playa Condesa. Playa Condesa offers private cabañas on the waterfront. Located near Diamante K, but considerably cheaper. About 3 kilometers from the ruins. $200 MXN.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Azulik Villas, [13]. Azulik Villas is a series of beachside villas sea-fronting, rustique built specially designed for honeymooners and couple seeking a romantic retreat in the wilderness. It has many relaxation alternatives like different types of massages, esthetic treatments (body and facial scrubs), reiki, the temazcal (copal sweat lodge- is based on traditional healing methods used by indigenous Mexicans to purify the soul and body) and the chamber of flotation. It is clothing optional.  edit
  • Diamante K, [14]. The Diamante K features cabañas ranging in quality from 2 all the way up to 5 stars on a private beach front. An interesting feature of the Diamante K is the hanging beds in the cabañas. A restaurant is on site, and you can relax in a hammock and just soak up the tranquility. Electricity is supplied by a generator and hence is switched off after around midnight. Candles are supplied in the cabañas.  edit
  • EcoTrotters Tulum Page', [15]. Check out eco hotels, spas resorts and lodges. Share your reviews!  edit
  • Hemingway Eco Resort. Hemingway Eco Resort Features 8 rooms on a secluded section of beach about a mile down the road from EcoTulum Resorts. The beach is pristine and the sea is a bit calmer here offering snorkeling right off the beach. Stop by the restaurant for some of the best Italian food out there!  edit
  • Cabañas La Luna, [16]. Cabañas La Luna is a magical collection of romantic eco boutique ocean front cabañas, hidden away on the beach near Tulum. Just sit back, unwind and enjoy the Caribbean experience at Cabanas La luna!  edit
  • Mayab Center, [17]. Mayab Center offers unique yurt palapa accommodations right on a secluded beach just half a km inside of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, located at the far end of the Tulum beach area. They have built the small retreat center with high eco-standards- composting toilets, grey water treatment system and low impact structures. Breakfast is included in nightly yurt rental, which is as low as $70 US (double occupancy) in the summer months. $70 USD.  edit
  • Om Tulum Hotel Cabanas & Beach Club, Carretera Tulum-Punta Alen, KM. 9.5, (+52) 1-984-157-7903, [18]. Minimalist in design, the private cabanas are quiet, beach-inspired, and furnished with the following common features; Deck/ balcony – opens up to a garden panorama a Private toilet and bath.  edit
  • Playa Azul Tulum, [19]. Playa Azul Tulum Hotel is a group of cabañas located between the jungle and the Caribbean sea in one of the most wonderful beaches of Tulum Mexico.  edit
  • Retiro Maya Tulum, Carretera Tulum-Punta Allen, KM 5, [20]. A sacred space for couples & families, conscious people and fellow seekers, Retiro Maya is a grassroot Eco-haven for the nature loving traveler. Private cabanas with terrace, hammocks and private bathroom, free wi-fi, delicious restaurant, daily yoga classes and charming attention.  edit
  • Tankah Inn Bead and Breakfast, http://www.tankah.com. Offers 5 neatly furnished rooms, all with ultra silent A/C and ocean view, a great upstairs airy restaurant and terrace, free breakfast, wireless internet, great ambiance, quiet and quaint. Situated on beautiful Tankah III Bay, only seven minutes from the ruins and just 200 yards from world famous Casa Cenote (sink-hole).  edit
  • Zamas Hotel, [21]. ZAMAS' thatch roof bungalows are right next to the beach. The hotel is 10 minutes from Mayan Ruins, Cenotes (fresh water pools), Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and deep-water sportfishing. Snorkeling is available in the ZAMAS cove.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa, [22]. Dreams Tulum is on one of the most unique beaches in the Riviera Maya surrounded by lush tropical acres, sugary white sand, two beach-adjacent pools, and magnificent colonial architecture. Five minutes from Tulum, it is one of the only resorts in the Riviera Maya where you can view (several miles away) the ancient ruins of Tulum from the beach.Services offered (all-inclusive) include the Explorer's Club, a top notch kids activity center with mini climbing wall, mini stage, games room and more. Luxury Spa. 5 Star PADI Dive Center [23] on site offering daily Tulum area diving and snorkeling excursions to local reefs and cenotes as well as all levels of scuba diving courses. Access to off-site golf.  edit
  • Sueños Tulum. You truly cannot experience Tulum staying in an all inclusive. Try staying at a hotel along the beach or even in the pueblo. Upscale resorts with rustic but elegant rooms.  edit

Road to Playa del Carmen[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Posada los Mapaches Hostel, (Located on the main highway in front the entrance to Tulum Archaeological site.), (984) 871-2700, [24]. Bed and Breakfast hostel with new deals for groups, shared bathrooms, delicious breakfast, nice bikes to get around, cozy cabins for maximum 4 or 5 people. Nice place with garden and hammocks.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

Catalonia Royal Tulum, 1-877-226-7495. It is just 25km from Playa del Carmen and Tulums archaeological site, and 85 km south of Cancun International airport, in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. All guest rooms and suites offer brand premium amenities.  edit

Contact[edit]

  • CLICK-C@RIBE - At the entrance of Tulum. State of the art internet technology at $14 pesos por hora.

Note: You may encounter problems if you try to make phone calls from the beach. Payphones are sparse and often broken, and they are all owned by one company. These phones require you to purchase a special proprietary card of at least 100 pesos, and the cards cannot be used at regular payphones. A better alternative is to use a normal payphone in the pueblo, or use a Mexican cellphone (There is reception on the beach, but make sure to recharge in the pueblo beforehand).

Get out[edit]





This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!