I don’t even know where to begin with this post because tbh, Tulum was an absolute dream! It’s been my favourite place in Mexico so far and we’ve visited multiple places in the country. We had five full days to relax and enjoy Tulum but I wish we had five more as there was so much to see and do!
We flew into Cancun and rented a car for the drive down to Tulum, which is about a 1.5 hour drive. If you’re thinking about going to Tulum I would definitely suggest renting a car. The locals were saying it’s about $100USD cab ride one way, so renting a car was definitely the more affordable option and we had a vehicle to explore the city!
We were lucky enough to partner with the MangleX for our stay in Tulum which was an amazing experience in itself! The MangleX is made up of 4 eco-cabanas perched on top of a mangrove with a large cenote at the back of the property. If you don’t know what a cenote is it’s a natural pit or sinkhole which is the result of the collapse of limestone bedrock, exposing the groundwater underneath. Cool right!?
The staff at the MangleX were so friendly, welcoming us with fresh coconuts and offering so many helpful recommendations during our stay. It’s a bed and breakfast hotel which we would receive every morning on our private porch- they definitely spoiled us. As I mentioned before, it is an eco-hotel so there was no tv in our room which was actually so refreshing to disconnect! Luckily, our room did have a fan to keep us cool during the humid nights and our bed had a bug net to keep all the critters out (side note-definitely pack some bug spray!). We did see the odd gecko crawling on the wall but hey, it’s Mexico, you kind of expect those little visitors from time to time.
One of the best parts of Tulum was the food! Typically when we’ve vacationed in Mexico it’s been at various all-inclusive where the food has been pretty lacklustre- but not Tulum! I probably had the best bowl of fresh pasta in my life, and I’ve even been to Italy! And of course, the tacos were to die for- my mouth is literally watering just thinking about them.
Ok, instead of rambling and making myself hungry in the process I figured listing off our favourites would be the easiest way to share our recommendations…
Hotel Nomade “The Beach” Restaurant
We ate here on one of our first nights and it was an experience Josh and I will never forget. I can’t remember the name of it but if you go to the hotel Nomade and ask for “the beach” restaurant they’ll know exactly what you mean. Guys, this restaurant is literally on the beach! The set up was so fun with moroccan rugs and pillows everywhere for you to cozy up on the beach looking out at the ocean.
This is a seafood restaurant, which we probably should have guessed with it being waterfront, but Josh actually doesn’t like seafood (I know, he’s loco) but he ordered a steak which ended up being out of this world! I had the prawns which literally tasted like they had been caught that day, so fresh!
This meal was a bit of a splurge but SO worth it. However, if it’s a little out of your price range I would still suggest going there for a drink to at least enjoy the beach vibes.
I’m pretty sure this place was just called Gelato, but if I’m mistaken you really can’t miss it as it’s the only place on the strip serving the yummy treat! No matter where we ate for dinner we would make our way down to this gelato spot for dessert. It was so refreshing and flavourful! You definitely have to try the Ferrero Roche and my personal fave, pistachio :)
If Italian food is your thing (and why wouldn’t it be??) you seriously have to check out Posada Margherita because it’s no joke! This was probably one of my favourite meals of the whole trip in Mexico and it was Italian! How crazy is that!? Not going to lie, I was a little sceptical at first but after the first bite Josh and I were completely shocked and immediately hooked. They serve seafood as well but I would highly suggest ordering their pasta, which is made fresh daily and mind blowing to put it mildly.
The only thing is I wish we went while it was still light out as the walkway up to the restaurant is so dreamy and filled with plants and cute decorations. Definitely an instagram worthy spot if you’re into that kind of thing
With our hotel being on the jungle side we would hit up beach clubs during the day and our go to spot ended up being Hotel Ahua. If your hotel isn’t on the beach various hotels will offer beds and umbrellas to the public as long as you order a drink or something off their menu which is fair. Our hotel, the MangleX, recommended Ahua for it’s laid back vibes and we discovered some pretty yummy tacos as well! Definitely order yourself the shrimp or pork tacos- so delish! The staff was so friendly and welcoming so all around it was a great spot to spend the day enjoying the beach.
Random fact- we even had a celebrity sighting there! Do any of you remember Jesse McCartney? Well, that beautiful soul (get it? his one hit wonder) was staying at the hotel and we were literally a few feet away from him. All of my pre-teen dreams finally came true!
If you love a good morning smoothly and more specifically matcha, then you definitely need to check this place out. Not only is it cute but the smoothies are so fresh! We spent one morning here just hanging out on the swings and sipping our smoothies, it was a great way to start the day!
I have to admit we actually didn’t eat here which I am so sad about, but I had to throw it on the list because we had boat loads of people recommending this place to us. We showed up around 8 o’clock one night and by that time they were already fully booked and were closing the next day for a week- so sad! There was always a line up to this place out front- a good sign that the food must be delicious.
As I mentioned earlier I wish we could have stayed in Tulum longer! There really were so many places to see and things to do- I feel like we barely scratched the surface on our trip. Anyways, moving on from the food, here are some things I would definitely suggest doing during a weeks stay in Tulum…
Tulum beach is about a 10km stretch of pure bliss and the main spot where all the tourists stay and hang out. The main road isn’t very wide so you can imagine how busy it can get with all the taxis, maintenance crews, and tourists! Luckily they offer a handful of bike rentals in the area which I would definitely suggest doing to get around. Plus, its a great way to sightsee and makes for the cutest photo op along the way ;)
Vist A Cenote
We were lucky enough to have a cenote on the property that we took full advantage of, but if you’re not staying at the MangleX there are plenty of other cenotes in the Tulum area to enjoy. I think the Grand Cenote would be the most popular one, and it’s free to the public. We didn’t visit it but heard that you should go early in the day to beat the rush.
We visited the ruins on our first day which was a lot of fun and super convenient to get to which made things easy. I’ll admit if you’ve visited Chichen Itza, then these might not be the most impressive ruins, but they’re still fun to go to and experience a bit of the Mayan history. The one cool thing about the Tulum ruins is that there is also a little beach there. Just a heads up when we were there the beach was packed so we ended up going back to the main beach to spend the rest of the day.
This one is for all of my fellow instagram addicts! If you have a chance stop in at the hotel called, Coco Tulum as it’s seriously an instagrammers paradise with all the white and of course, the swings! We spent an afternoon here enjoying the beach club and taking photos but because it was at the other end of the beach from where we were staying so we didn’t end up going back. However, it was definitely worth the long walk of the photos alone!
Josh and I really aren’t the biggest partiers but who doesn’t like to have a little fun when they’re on vacation?? If you’re looking for a fun night out definitely check out Casa Jaguar on a Thursday night. They had DJ’s playing really great music and it ended up getting pretty busy by the end of the night. Josh and I even hit the dance floor together, which is so rare for Josh to bust a move. It must have been the great music…or the cervezas!
If you made it to the end then you seriously deserve a medal because this was a loooong post! I hope you guys found it helpful and if you have any questions about Tulum feel free to reach out.
Thanks again to the MangleX for an amazing stay and making our trip that much more enjoyable, you guys are the best!