We chose to fly into the Cancun airport ( then took the local bus from the airport to the city). We decided to stay one night in Cancun thinking we would find something fun to get into but not waste too much time in the American tourist “mecca”. Sadly, we found that if you’re not staying at a resort, it is annoyingly difficult to get to the beaches. So, instead, we had a relaxing night planning our trip to Tulum. In the morning, we loaded up all of our belongings and went to the ADO bus station where we bought tickets to Tulum. If I recall correctly, the tickets were around $8 USD.
Where to Stay
Of course, we always look to Airbnb for our accommodations. Our hosts have always been welcoming and generous and we enjoy the personal interactions you can’t get at hotels or resorts.
We arrived in Tulum and decided to eat some food and find wifi so we could locate our Airbnb. After eating tacos and guacamole, we started walking to find our Airbnb. Since our place was located right in town it wasn’t hard to find. When we arrived, two other guests were arriving as well. Right away I suspected they were Australian, and sure enough they were! All of us settled into our rooms and met the hosts. They gave us some general information about the town and showed us around the Airbnb. Our stay in this Airbnb was really great and I would suggest it to others!
What to do
If you decide to stay in the city of Tulum, I would suggest getting bicycles. We rented from Kelly Bike Rental located right in town. Since they do not have a website here is the address: Av. Tulum Mza. 2 Lote 8, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico. It’s easy to bike everywhere in Tulum! Even to the Cenotes and the beach.
Dos Ojos Cenotes
Since we love to dive, we booked a tour with Scuba Tulum. We arrived the next morning and the dive guide loaded all of our gear into his truck and took us to the Dos Ojos Cenotes. He spoke English which made the trip a little easier for the two of us! Traveling with him in his truck felt crazy to me; he was playing Spanish music loudly, singing, and making small talk with us. When we arrived at Dos Ojos, we unloaded our gear, carried it down the stairs and started suiting up. This was my first cavern dive and I wasn’t sure what to expect. At first, I was a little nervous about it being dark but the flashlights they gave us lit the path well. Seeing the stalagmites and stalactites was really interesting. We maneuvered through the cavern from the first ojo (eye) to the next. We surfaced in the second ojo and checked out some bats hanging from the cenotes ceiling! After that, we went back down looped around the cavern some more checking out the structures and the tiny fish that lived down there. Then we made our way back the starting point. The dive was awesome!
The bike path from central Tulum to the main beaches is about two miles. Once you get there they have places which you can lock up your bike. We packed all of our snorkel gear hoping to see some fish. The snorkeling was fun but we only saw a few fish including one giant puffer fish. After the snorkel, we hung out on the beach a little. I swung on one of the resorts swings (even though I wasn’t supposed too)! When we headed back to our bikes we noticed that someone had been in our bike baskets. I had locked a small wallet with 500 pesos ($25 USD) and my phone to my basket and someone came by broke the wallet and luckily only took the money. We were quite upset that we had just lost 500 pesos but we realized after wards that it was our stupidity anyways! We had read that there might be some pick pocketing and to be careful. Besides that incident, the beach is amazing and totally worth going to.
Ruins of Tulum
Both Kody and I wanted to go see the ruins of Tulum. Everything we read said to get there early in the morning because it gets packed quickly. I think we arrived around 10 am because we slept in a little longer than expected. We made our way to the line which was already extremely long. Kody walked towards the front to look at the pricing and we both decided not to go in due to the price and the long line. Plus, we had plans to check out other ruins later in our trip. Maybe we will save the ruins for next time we are in Tulum.
Since we made such great friends our Australian roommates, Tom and Veronica, we all planned a day for going to a local Cenote we had read a little bit about online. It is located only 2 miles from central Tulum, so we loaded up our bikes and headed to the cenote. When we arrived, we immediately noticed that it was a little sketchy compared to other cenotes located in maintained parks. Honestly, it looked like someone’s house who was taking money to get into their back-yard cenote. We all payed and walked towards the cenote. When we arrived, there were a few others. I was impressed to see this amazing swimming hole in the backyard of this random house! It was about a 10ft drop into the cenote and there was a homemade ladder to get back out. Also, there were two small holes which you could also jump through. After about 10 minutes of being at the Cenote, Kody decided to dive head first through one of the small holes. I was in the water when he did and thought it looked like he kicked his leg on part of the rock when diving through the hole. Sure enough, when he came up he was saying that he thought he bruised his ankle. When he started climbing the ladder ahead of me I saw a gapping cut on his leg that was bleeding… I freaked out! Kody had to ask the owners of the cenote for assistance in Spanish. They got out a first aid kit and poured peroxide into the cut. Kody knew right away that he needed stitches. They bandaged him and we hung out at the cenote trying to debate on what to do with Kody. Some others joined us at the cenote and told us to go to the Tulum Red Cross which was located in town. We packed all of our things up got on our bikes and all headed to the hospital. Luckily, they were able to stitch Kody up for a super cheap price of $35 USD. Tom and Veronica had to sit and wait on Kody while I went to the Airbnb to grab some money to pay for the stitches! It was a crazy experience but now we know anytime we are in need of medical assistance in Mexico, the Red Cross is the place to go! In conclusion, Cenote Calavera is a great time, just be cautious about diving!
Where to eat
Flor de Michoacan
By far my favorite restaurant in town! The owners are really kind and the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful. They have a big menu and even sell fruit popsicles. I think Kody and I went here three times while we were in Tulum. The courtyard in the back is a lovely place to have a meal or snack!
Batey’s Mojito & Guarapo Bar
On a night, out with Tom and Veronica we went to Batey’s. They have delicious cocktails and live music in the back! It was a great place for having a few drinks and enjoying a taste of the local culture. The live music was great as well!
Tulum is a thriving place full of great food and fun adventures! Spending a few days in Tulum while traveling the Yucatan is a must. Check out my blog for our next stop at the central Yucatan city of Valladolid.