A new hotspot along the Caribbean coast, Tulum is a must-do if you are going to visit Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. In a short period of time, this small town transformed from a quiet hippie retreat that only a few people knew about into a bustling destination with a variety of restaurants, hotels and commercial activities that draws visitors from all over the world. I recommend visiting Tulum during one of the low seasons such as September through October when crowds recede and prices at hotels and restaurants go down.
What to do in Tulum
Tulum has plenty of things to do. The town is a unique blend culture and pristine nature with places such as Tulum Ruins, biosphere reserve Sian Ka’an and countless cenotes in the area.
1. Tulum Ruins
One of the most popular places is Tulum Ruins, the archaeological site just north of the city. Tulum Ruins open at 8 a.m., however, I highly recommend arriving there about 15-20 minutes before it opens, as lines in front of the ticket office get really long by 9 a.m. If you happen to be one of the first visitors to enter the area, you will have the place to yourself for about 15 minutes before most visitors start to arrive. The entrance to Tulum Ruins costs 75 pesos.
2. Sian Ka’an
Sian Ka’an is a biosphere reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site just south of Tulum. Even if you are in Tulum for a short period of time, take a day out of your trip to marvel at the amazing biodiversity of this place. A tour to Sian Ka’an costs about 125 USD and includes a tour of the area, wildlife watching, snorkeling, lunch at a restaurant and a quick walk through a small coastal village.
Pronounced (sey-noh-tays), cenotes are sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The Yucatan Peninsula is home to thousands of cenotes, however, there are a few famous ones located near Tulum such as Gran Cenote, Cenote Calavera, Cenote Car Wash, and Zacil-Ha. They are located along the highway to Coba and take about 15 minutes to get to from Tulum.
Healthy Food guide to Tulum, Mexico
Tulum has no lack of restaurants. Here you will find tons of eateries from high-end expensive restaurants that offer gourmet meals to small cafes with vegan and vegetarian options. The beach area has the highest concentrations of places to eat, but downtown Tulum also has plenty of places where you can treat your taste buds to delicious food. While you can find many cuisines in Tulum’s restaurants, it’s especially known for its trendy eateries that offer health-conscious options.
1. Co. Conamor
Co. Conamor is an outdoor restaurant near downtown Tulum. It boasts a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of healthy options including vegan and vegetarian meals. Here you will find a wide assortment of smoothies, kombuchas, probiotics and organic drinks in addition to a variety of traditional Mexican foods and drinks that can be made vegetarian or vegan.
While the restaurant is near downtown, it’s conveniently tucked away from the main thoroughfare, which makes it a nice and quiet place to relax and enjoy your meal after an active day.
Calle Polar Pte., Tulum Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico.
2. Raw Love Cafe
One of the most trendy spots among healthy eaters in Tulum, this cafe is a true paradise for those who love raw vegan food. The menu consists entirely of gluten-free items, and you have countless options when it comes to acai bowls, healthy shots, and machas.
Raw Love is located in the jungle away from the busy road along the coast. The cafe is complete with boho unique interior and plenty of shade for a quiet retreat.
Raw Love Cafe
Tulum Beach, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
3. La Querida
This casual restaurant offers mouth-watering vegetarian options and a vibrant bar scene. Conveniently located on a busy corner in downtown Tulum, La Querida is a convenient place whether you want to have a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner.
It’s especially known for its assortment of Mexican and Italian food including pizzas and spaghetti. If you are looking for delicious and affordable food, La Querida is your place. The restaurant usually stays busy, so if you want to check it out, head out earlier rather than later.
Av. Tulum, Tulum Centro, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico.
4. La Hoja Verde
La Hoja Verde is another popular establishment in the middle of downtown Tulum that combines a restaurant, a cafe, and bar. Its menu offers reasonably-priced vegan and vegetarian Mexican dishes in addition to gluten-free options. Here you will find a big selection of appetizers, main dishes, desserts, juices, and smoothies – all made in-house from scratch. La Hoja Verde is perfect for conscious eaters as well as those who want to try something new.
La Hoja Verde
Beta Sur S/N, Tulum Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico.
Located near Cabanas Tulum, Fresco’s offers a mix of delicious Mexican food and ambiance. Some of the signature items on the menu are home-made bread, ceviche, salads that are prepared with locally grown ingredients. Other items on the menu include smoothies, healthy drinks, and juices.
Fresco’s is a great option for a healthy breakfast or lunch. The restaurant is vegetarian-friendly and also has vegan options.
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 7.5, Tulum Beach, Zona Hotelera, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico.
Where to stay in Tulum
As Tulum has transformed into a popular place and is one of the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula, you can now find accommodations in the beach area that cost up to $1,000 per night. Still, there are plenty of affordable hotels especially in the downtown area that are priced between 50-70 USD per night.
While Tulum is relatively small, it’s quite spread out. The beach and downtown areas are pretty far from each other, so you would have to rent a car, get a cab or take an e-bike if you want to get around.
Those who want to save some money should look into staying at one of the properties downtown Tulum. While you will be a drive away from the beach, you could save up to a few hundred dollars a night.
However, if you want to be near the water, look into one of the beachfront properties. The area offers tons of options such as high-end resorts, beach houses or cabanas, and clamping. All these properties are located along the road that runs down the coast. The area is home to trendy bars, restaurants, clubs, and stores.
By the way, my friend Lesley has put together a great Mexico packing list for this year. Don’t you think?
About Author – Daria – The Discovery Nut
The Discovery Nut is a website about traveling the less discovered locations and encouraging others to get out of their comfort zone. Daria Bachmann has founded The Discovery Nut as she wanted to share her passion for traveling to the less known places through writing and videos that can be found on her website and YouTube channel. She hopes to inspire others to venture out into the world and discover new destinations. Follow Daria on Facebook , Twitter & Instagram.
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