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Tips & Pics: Tulum

Most know the Mayan Riviera for Spring Break’s ultimate destination: Can Cun; but just 45 minutes south is a little town known as Playa del Carmen, which is one of my favourite places to go for a chilled-out beachside vacation (read about it here).

Another 45 minutes further south is somewhere even more incredible – Tulum, one of the most-visited Mayan ruin sites.

“Tulum 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.” – Wikitravel

Tulum is broken into three areas: the town (Tulum Pueblo), the beach (Tulum Playa), and the ruins (Tulum Ruinas). Although, I would add in a fourth: the cenotes.

From what I’ve seen of Tulum Pueblo, it’s pretty dusty and ugly. It sits on the highway, “making it feel more like a truck stop than a tropical paradise.” (Lonely Planet) This area is purely for necessities at the supermarket, and/or cheap meals and accommodation.


Tulum Beach

The pure white Caribbean beaches are lined with a mass of fancy spa resorts, boutique hotels, as well as cabana-style lodging for an affordable stay. This is one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen.

The locals take great pride in trying to preserve the beauty of this area, so most places are eco-friendly and may not provide electricity past midnight. Also remember that toilet paper can not be flushed, which you’ll find is the case in most Mexican beach towns.

Looking for a place to stay?

Looking for a place to stay?

Tulum Playa

Tulum Playa

Lunch!

Lunch on Tulum Playa at Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa

Tulum Playa

Tulum Playa


Ruins

Tulum Ruinas is the archaeological site where the Maya ruins stand, from the days when Tulum served as a point of defence. Every tourist in Tulum visits this site, so be warned: it gets busy. I suggest that you stay in Tulum overnight, and then visit the ruins early in the morning before all the tour buses arrive.

Not only is the site breathtakingly beautiful, with the ruins perched atop of a cliff that sits over the turquoise waters, but the energy here is exceptionally peaceful – no matter how busy it gets.

What a spot... The Mayan Ruins of Tulum

What a spot… The Mayan Ruins of Tulum

The Mayan Ruins in Tulum

The Mayan Ruins of Tulum

The Mayan Ruins in Tulum

The Mayan Ruins in Tulum


Cenotes

A cenote (pronounced seh-NOH-teh) is the opening of a site of rainwater that collects in underground caves and tunnels. They are fresh water, so often quite cold, and most allow for swimming and diving, with major sites renting the required equipment.

There are many cenotes in and around Tulum. Most are great to take a refreshing swim and snorkel, while other deeper sites are a haven for divers. We hired a car from Playa del Carmen and stopped at Cenote Azul along the highway to Tulum. The sites are easily missed, with most having nothing more than a small handmade sign stuck in the ground.

Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

Entrance to Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

The crystal clear, freshwater of Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

The crystal clear, freshwater of Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

The crystal clear, freshwater of Cenote Azul, Riviera Maya

 


Where to Stay in Tulum?

If you want to splurge on your visit to Tulum, then I HIGHLY recommend Ana y Jose Charming Hotel and Spa. This hotel is absolutely incredible, and ideal for a romantic getaway. My words cannot describe how incredible it is, so I will let the pictures do the talking:

Ana y Jose Hotel & Spa in Tulum, Mexico

Ana y Jose Hotel & Spa – Tulum, Mexico

The view from our balcony at the Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa in Tulum

The view from our balcony – Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Our beachside villa at the Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa in Tulum

Our private villa on the beach – Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Our private villa - Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Our private villa – Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

The Restaurant - Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

The Restaurant – Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Lunch on the beach - Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Lunch on the beach – Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

The Spa - Any y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

The Spa – Any y Jose Hotel and Spa, Tulum

Don’t forget to check out my comprehensive guide to Playa del Carmen.
LG x

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Tips & Pics: Playa del Carmen | Lynn Gilmartin
    August 12, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    […] del Carmen, and its neighbouring paradise of Tulum, is one of my favourite regions on earth. I could stroll up and down Playa’s 5th Avenue all […]

  • Reply
    Photo Blog: Playa del Carmen & Tulum | Lynn Gilmartin
    January 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    […] so grateful to have bid adios to the most exciting year of my life, in one corners of the world, Playa del Carmen and […]

  • Reply
    Tips & Pics: Playa del Carmen | Lynn Gilmartin
    January 2, 2014 at 11:52 am

    […] But if you’re looking for something a little more “untouched”, I would suggest Tulum as a better option, just 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen (or 1.5hrs south of […]

  • Reply
    almacelina
    June 25, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Lynn, you have an awesome site! I was browsing the net and came across this post. I am actually involve in building a site that would be intended for people who are planning to visit Mexico, atleast for the first version. 🙂 And you post gave life to these places. 🙂 I hope that you can check it out once live and would really like to hear your experiences. 🙂

    Thanks Lynn! Surely be back to read more of your posts! Have a great day!
    Alma

    • Reply
      Lynn Gilmartin
      June 25, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Hello Alma! Thank you so much! I would love to stay at your place! Please keep me updated on its progress – I’ll take any excuse to return to this paradise!! Thank you for stopping by, and for your kind words 🙂 xxxxx

      • Reply
        almacelina
        June 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm

        Hi Lynn, that’s great to hear! I would be happy to update you on its progress 🙂 In the meantime, I am looking forward to see and read more of your posts. 🙂

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