Disconnecting is never a bad idea and Tulum is one of my favorite places to go off the grid. Even though Tulum has been found (and loved) by the New York fashion and Hollywood crowds, it still hasn’t lost it’s Mexican roots, Caribbean charm or beautiful bohemian soul.
1. THE BEST TIME TO GO
If you want to be there for the party go during high season, December though April, but make your reservations 6 to 9 months in advance. May through July are generally quieter and it’s starting to get much hotter and more humid.August through October is the rainy season and everyone is refreshing and renovating for the high season crowds.cDuring this time you might find restaurants and shops closed.
2. WHERE TO STAY
It is so hard to choose my favorites, but here are a few top picks:
- Be Tulum: One of the hottest hotels in Tulum where luxury and earthiness coexist in a beachfront hideaway. I love meandering through the property on the plank – pathway down to the infinity pool and settling in to the two-story restaurant that overlooks the shimmering sea. This peaceful place is all about privacy and relaxation.
- Mi Amor: This romantic hotel is new on the north end of the beach road and an easy bike ride from the Mayan ruins. Designed by hip Mexico City firm Muro Rojo, it is stylish and filled with details like woven swings inspired by Mexican yo-yos and has the coolest infinity pool in town.
- Couqui Couqui: A small 5 room boutique hotel, inspired by the coconut trees and the white sand beaches of Tulum. Even in this town of unrelenting prettiness the chic Coqui Coqui is ridiculously pretty and I love lounging in the daybeds that open up to the Caribbean sea. Be prepared, the open air perfume boutique will tempt every one of your senses.
3. VISIT THE SIAN KA’AN
Just to the south of Tulum is the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere: The Reserve is over 1.3 million acres and has thousands of different species of plants, birds, animals and marine life. Sian Ka’an, in Mayan, means “where the sky is born” and is definitely worth visiting. There are several ways to get there and you can stay overnight if you want to explore for more than one day. There are a number of companies offering tours that leave from Tulum and Playa del Carmen. However, if you want to take this adventure on your own just head south on the Beach Road for about 15 minutes and you will see the stone archway entrance. Once inside you will find a boardwalk that will take you out to a lagoon where you can hire a boat to take you through the area. The 2 hour boat trip includes swimming and floating down a mangrove canal. Check out Travel For Wildlife Sea Turtle video
4. SO MANY RESTAURANTS, SO LITTLE TIME
Over the last few years Tulum culinary creatives from around the world have landed here to cook the night away under starry skies.
- Hartwood: Always my first stop when I get to Tulum. This restaurant cooks the kind of food that makes you think all of the other food you’ve been eating up to now is pretend food.
- Posada Margherita: The Italians have created some of the best hotspots in Tulum and the charming owner of Posada Margherita, is the leader of the pack. The menu is built around homemade pasta and stunningly fresh fish. After dinner, I love kicking off my shoes (if I actually wore them to dinner) and taking a walk along the beach.
- Coqui Coqui: My favorite spot to eat lunch right on the beach! The view of the ocean is beautiful, the snacks are delicious, and the people watching is the best for miles around.”
5. HOW TO SEE THE TULUM RUINES
For a different perspective, jump in the ocean and see the ruins that are perched on the edge of a 12-metre limestone cliff overlooking the Caribbean coast! My advise when visiting the ruins, make your way straight for the steps to the beach, dive in and look up!
Spending a few hours at a Tulum Spa always makes layers of stress disappear!
- Yaan Wellness Center: I have never experienced anything like their spa treatments and they are located right across the road from one of my favorite hotels, Be Tulum. They incorporate all the elements of water, air, fire, and wood into their treatments and will work with you to create your own unique spa experience. It has been ranked one of the top luxury spas in the world and you are going to want to spend all day here.
7. ATTEND A FULL MOON PARTY
“In my defense, the moon was full and I was left unattended”
- Papaya Playa: The Full Moon Party is not to be missed if you are in Tulum during the full moon.During high season many of the best DJs perform live until sunrise.
8. RENT A BIKE
Planning on renting a bike the whole time you’re there (BE TULUM has bikes for guests). Unless your staying in town, you won’t need a car because you can bike everywhere in Tulum. They are easy to rent and cost about 150 pesos a day (less if you rent for multiple days). The road along the beach is flat and you can sail right along past the traffic to your destination. The road is pretty dark at night so biking to town for dinner is not a great plan, but there are plenty of cabs!
9. PACK LIGHT AND BRING AN EXTRA SUITCASE
Pack light and bring an extra suitcase…you’ll be coming home with all sorts of fun stuff. Tulum has a mix of chic, well curated shops with artisan goods from all over Mexico and high end boutiques with the latest beach fashions. My favorite way to shop is hopping on a bike and wandering in all the shops along the beach road.
- Coqui Coqui: I love the luxurious linen dresses, leather sandals and straw hats found at their boutique, Hacienda Montaecristo side by side with their line of exotic perfumes. The signature Tulum scent is dewy coconut and inspired by the palm trees scattered along the white sand beaches.
- Posada Margareta: They have the cutest beach shop tucked away inside their restaurant.
- Caravana Montaecristo: It is always a treat to pop into their Tulum Tent on the jungle side of the beach road and see the latest collection of airy cotton ponchos and whimsical hand-made pieces.
10. PLAN TO PRACTICE A LOT OF YOGA
Tulum is one of the best places on the planet to practice yoga and there are lots of studios, so you will be able to find one that has the right vibe for you. I love getting to practice with different teachers, but my favorite place is on the beach at sunrise.
- Amansala Resort and Retreat: This is the place you will find intense yoga filled with energy.
- Yaan Wellness Energy Spa: For a more laid back practice, head over to their Tree Top Yoga Shala!