"Tulum" Top 5 Page for this destination Tulum by Kaspian
Tulum Travel Guide: 451 reviews and 1,321 photos
Travel Dates: August 18-25 2002, February 2003, July 13 2004, March 15-16 2005, March 6 2007, February 20-21 2008, December 5 2011.
Tulum isn't just Mayan ruins with a small beach! It's 7 kilometres of fine white sand, beautifully quiet oceanside cabanas and restaurants, and a charming little downtown. It's a place to completely get away from the rat race and chill out. Time stands still in Tulum.
That was my cabana in the background, #10, where I stayed for a few days in 2002 after watching too many episodes of "Survivor" on the tube. I lasted 3 days and 2 nights before voting myself out of the tribe and into an air-conditioned room in Playa Del Carmen.
I stayed overnight at Papaya Playa again in 2005 and found the same calm laid-back atmosphere but with many improvements to the facilities.
See my Tulum Travelogues for more photos of Papaya Playa.
I've visited the ruins at Tulum twice. Visiting Mayan ruins is hard to get bored of, there's always something you missed on previous visits. Or something new they've uncovered, archaeologists are always working on these sites and yet somehow they remain highly invisible.
See my Tulum Travelogues for more photos of the Tulum Ruins.
My Suggested Internerary to Really 'Get' Tulum:
Length of Stay Required: 1½ Days, 1 Night
Cost: $120 USD (approx.)
Difficulty Level: Easy
8:00 AM: Pack all the stuff you'll need for an overnight stay.
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM: Take a coach or collectivo van to the entrance to the Tulum Ruins. Plan to arrive early in the morning so you can tour the ruins while it’s cool and miss the large crowds that come later. Tulum gets too hot and humid to do much of anything ambitious in the afternoons. ($15 USD)
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Tour the Ruins. The tour will only take you a few hours, so you should be finished by noon. ($5 USD)
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Walk down the coastal road beside the ruins to El Mirador. Have a swim and lunch overlooking the beach. ($15 USD)
2:00 - 2:30 PM: Find yourself a cabana to stay in overnight. There are lots around the area of El Mirador, or you can take a cab to the more secluded and quiet area further down the road. Cabanas further away such as Cabanas Copal or Papaya Playa are very quiet and relaxing. You won't need advance reservations unless it is Christmas or New Years. Don't try to walk because the sun will literally kill you. ($50 USD)
2:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Check into your cabana and spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Have a late siesta nap.
7:00 PM - 11:00 PM: Get up and have a shower under the open stars. The cabanas all have restaurants and most play some music during the evening. Have dinner and enjoy the atmosphere.
11:00 PM: Go to bed early because there's really nothing else to do. Enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing at your doorstep.
9:00 AM: Sleep in, slowly get up, and walk out to the beach right in front of you.
11:00 AM: Usual checkout time at the cabanas. Have them call a taxi and head downtown. ($10 USD)
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM: Spend some time shopping downtown.
12:30 PM: Have lunch at one of the many restaurants downtown. Go for traditional Mexican cuisine at a place such as Don Cafeto. ($15 USD)
1:00 PM: Walk to the bus station and depart. ($15 USD)
- Pros:Come for the ruins, stay for the beach. Quiet, quiet, quiet...
- Cons:Too quiet maybe? Not much nightlife.
- In a nutshell:A fascinating place to stay a few days. You'll think about it often afterwards and wonder why it's stuck in your heart.
She says, "I don't like this cenote! It's spooky and I tell you there's something big down there!" My tanned friend has... more travel advice
I think Don Cafeto is one of the oldest established restaurants in Tulum. I first visited this place years ago when... more travel advice
Kaspian's Related Pages
Tulum Travel Guide
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