Travel

March 18, 2019

How To Experience Tulum Like A Local

Tulum Mexico is a bohemian dream located just 1.5hrs from Cancun. The town has a laid back and relaxed vibe. While Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Maya Riviera take the top spots for most visited areas in Mexico for tourists, Tulum is not a destination that should be overlooked here’s why.

Local guide of Tulum Mexico

WHERE TO STAY

On my recent trip to Tulum, I stayed at the Aruma Hotel + Boutique. The hotel is beautiful and is situated right in the heart of Downtown Tulum, close to everything, including restaurants and shopping opportunities. The town has a laid-back, bohemian vibe with some of the best service that I’ve experienced on my recent travels.

Aruma Hotel Family Suite Tulum Mexico
Greenery at boutique hotel downtown tulum

EXPLORE DOWNTOWN TULUM

Downtown Tulum is bustling with delicious restaurants, local shops and hip nightclubs. There is so much to see and explore in the downtown area. Spend an afternoon in downtown Tulum and have dinner in town. Downtown Tulum is known for it’s inexpensive and delicious food. If you’re looking for fresh authentic Mexican cuisine, Tulum town is where you want to be.

A few of my favourite spots included Good Burger & La Malquerida.

Deep fried chicken burger Tulum Mexico
Pulled pork burger tulum mexico
Homemade guacamole Tulum Mexico
Homemade pizza Tulum Mexico
Live music at restaurant in Tulum Mexico
Shrimp skewer dinner in Tulum Mexico

EXPLORE THE RUINS

TULUM RUINS

The great thing about the Mayan city of Tulum is that it has its very own ruins, the site is well preserved and is close to the beach! The ruins are made of limestone and feature a 784 meter wall that encloses the site on three sides. Although the ruins in Tulum are small in comparison to Chichen Itza they’re still worth a visit. It’s a great place to check out especially if you plan on hitting the beach. 

CHICHEN ITZA

Guide to visiting chichen itza mexico

Chichen Itza is one of the most important archeological sites in the Yucatan peninsula and one of the new seven wonders of the world. The site is huge, make sure to set aside a few hours to explore all of the ruins. We made the mistake of having a tour guide. While the tour was informative and interactive, I wish we spent more time taking in the breathtaking architectural design and exploring the sites. There were a few spots we weren’t able to see because of time constraints.

Around mid-day, it gets incredibly hot and the ruins tend to get crowded. I recommend arriving early to avoid the mid-day heat and the crowds. Also, be prepared to get hounded by vendors but be aware that many of the items being sold here were made in China. I opted to purchase hand made gifts and souvenirs from locals in town.

Girl standing in front of Chichen Itza ruins

Chichen Itza is open daily from 8am and has two entrance fees, the total cost is 242 pesos.

VISIT CENOTE SUYTUN

Cenote Suytun is one of many cenotes in the area and is arguably the most beautiful cenote located just outside of Valladolid, Mexico. Cenote Suytun has quickly become one of the most photographed cenotes in Mexico and it’s easy to understand why. Suytun translates to “center stone”, this impressive underwater cavern features a walkway towards the centre of the cave where a shaft of light shines though a hole from atop the cavern. I had a lot of fun swimming at Cenote Suytun and learning about Mayan history, culture and people.

Underground cenotes tulum mexico
Woman posing at cenotes Suytun in Tulum Mexico

Cenotes Suytun is open daily from 9am to 5pm and has an entrance fee of 70 pesos per person.

EXPLORE VALLADOLID

Valladolid is the cutest little town in Mexico. This colonial town should definitely be on your list of places to see while visiting the Yucatan. The towns stunning architecture and beautiful pastel coloured buildings make it worth taking the time to explore. The streets are buzzing with life, the historic churches are breathtaking, the cuisine is fresh and simply divine. Valladolid is filled with so much history! I really wish I had more time to spend in this quaint little town. I would highly recommend setting aside a full day to explore all that this town has to offer. There are so many things to do and see. Aside from exploring the town, Valladolid is home to a number of cenotes. 

Colourful buildings in Valladolid Mexico
Unique church architecture in Valladolid Mexico
Girl sitting in front of church in Valladolid

SPEND A DAY AT THE BEACH

Last but certainly not least is the beach! The beach is always a good idea, I mean who doesn’t love the sun and white soft sand? Not only is Tulum beach beautiful, but there are also lots of hotels, restaurants, and boutiques along the beach making it a great place to explore and get lost. The view of the Mayan ruins from the beach is incredible as well. I would recommend renting a bike to explore the beach area. There is no public transportation available in this area and taxi’s can be expensive. 

Boy selling mangoes on tulum Beach
Girl on Tulum beach mexico

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