Noticed your friends checking in to “Tulum” or “Quintana Roo” on Instagram lately?
As the 3rd most visited Archeological Site in México after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza, Tulum is a very trendy place to visit….and for good reason! Located in Quintana Roo, the state that’s also home to Cancun, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres, Tulum can be accessed by flying to Cancun. The drive to Tulum is then about an hour and a half, but can be easy as most hotels offer a shuttle service for a flat rate and may include water and beer during the ride.
A few Hari Mari Everyday Explorers, Clay, Summer, and Zach, have recently visited Tulum, so we have some insider info for you to start booking your Tulum trip!
There are many options for hotels in Tulum. Our explorers stayed at Ma’xanab. The staff was friendly, accommodating, and hospitable. They also offered complimentary in-room breakfast every morning with bookings through hotels.com. One tip during your hotel search is to check to see if the hotel staff clears the hotel beach of seaweed daily. The beaches of Tulum battle Sargassum build up in the Summer months and that can definitely affect your beach day! This also means that a pool needs to be on your hotel must-have list.
As far as food goes, our crew says their best meal was at Parole. The Gorgonzola Gnocchi is “to die for.” The service was great, ambience eclectic and romantic. Other options to check out are Negra, Kitchen Table, and Taboo.
Cenotes...What are they all about?
A Cenote is a water-filled sinkhole that naturally occurs in limestone rock when an underground cave collapses in on itself exposing the groundwater underneath. They were not only sacred to the Mayans, but also their only source of fresh water. There are over 6,000 in the Yucatan Peninsula...so there are plenty of options for exploring. Centoes are great for swimming and snorkeling...and of course Insta-worthy photos!
The most popular cenotes include Grand Cenote, Cenote Carwash, and Cenote Zacil Ha. However, the highways are scattered with signs to cenotes, so feel free to pick an off-the-beaten-path cenote for exploring. You can also combine a cenote or two with a visit to one of the Mayan ruins in a day trip. As with any travel plans in 2020, be sure to check for COVID updates, as some of the ruins and cenotes may be closed.
We highly recommend renting a bike to explore Tulum while feeling like a local. You can rent bikes basically anywhere in Tulum or at your hotel and explore the main area. You can even check out Casa Malca. Once a property of Pablo Escobar and since has been bought by an artist and turned into an artsy boutique hotel. You can also visit the famous Ven a la Luz. The name of this 32-foot statue means, "Come into the light" and was constructed by Daniel Popper as part of an arts and culture festival in 2018.
"The piece symbolizes our deep connection with Nature and ourselves." - Daniel Popper
If you are on the beaches during the Summer months, you can often spot a giant mother turtle coming to lay her eggs on shore. If you are in the same area in late September or October, you might even be lucky enough to watch the eggs hatching!
You may notice small sectioned-off circular plots on the beach where the eggs are laid. There’s a big push for turtle conservation in Mexico, so they work really hard to protect them. Do some research to see if you can find a local turtle conservation and go help them release their baby turtles into the ocean.
The mosquitos here are bad. Bring plenty of bug spray so you don’t have to buy it while you’re there. Same goes for sunscreen.
Clay and Summer both agreed that there were actually more safety precautions being used to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the Cancun airport compared to airports in the US. “Every person went through a full body temperature scan as they walked through the airport. Every employee had on face shields, masks, and gloves. They required all passengers to wear masks while in the airport. Our driver even sprayed down the seats before we got in his vehicle and he wore his mask the entire ride. All areas of hospitality in Tulum followed suit and wore face shields and masks our entire trip. We had our temperatures taken at every restaurant before being allowed to dine. I will say that the hotels did not require their guests to wear their masks while in the resorts. They were only operating at 30% which meant we were able to keep a safe social distance at all times with other hotel guests, plus all of the staff had masks and face shields on, so there was never any point where we felt unsafe.”
If you’re looking for an adventurous getaway with white sand beaches, ancient ruins, and beautiful swimming holes... go ahead and book your Tulum Adventure! Be sure to tag us while you’re #EverydayExploring, we want to hear all about it!