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April 9, 2017

Travel Guide: Tulum Part 1

Oh em gee I'm so excited for today's post because... TULUM!

After a few nights in Playa Del CarmenTaye and I decided to head over to Tulum for three nights! Did you know Tulum is only an hour and 45 minutes from Cancun and less than an hour from Playa Del Carmen? I know, I didn't know that until I started planning my recent trip. That means it's really only a hop skip and jump away even if you just want to do an awesome day trip!

I would categorize this Tulum trip under "ladies who leisure"  because we "explored" margaritas, beach clubs, and the food scene. There is SO much to do in Tulum and we really only hit the tip of the iceberg; that's why I call this travel guide part 1, because I'm going back in October and plan to really explore the ruins, cenotes, and a little more of the cultural side.  Keep reading to see where we ate and drank, plus I'm answering all the Qs you asked on my IG photo and via IG stories. Whether you're planning an adventurous trip or more laidback vacation, there's definitely some good 411 below.

tulum travel guide, posada margherita, coco tulum, be tulum hotel,

{where do I stay?}

The reality is: staying on the beach is pricey! If it's in your budget- hey girl hey - if it's not, don't fret because taxis are not that expensive and are constantly running from Tulum town to the beach area. Many hotels and airbnb's that aren't on the beach offer bikes, however, it is a pretty far bike ride to get to the beach destinations and the road gets so crowded with taxes that I honestly wouldn't suggest it. 

We stayed at Hotel Teetotum which is the cutest boutique hotel on the main road that leads to the beach. If you look on the map above, Tulum town center would be up and to the left of our hotel (next time I'll mark it!). We booked that hotel with the intention of exploring Tulum town at some point but ended up spending all of our time on the beach side. It's a great in-between location that's not too pricey, very quaint, with all the essentials. Richard, the owner, used to live in New York then fell in love with Tulum on a vacation and made it his mission to figure out how to live there! He's amazing and is very knowledgeable and helpful. 

{do I need a car?}

For the kind of trip that we did - aka go to the beach everyday - we did not need a car. Getting from our hotel to beach destinations which was anywhere from 4-6 miles cost us $4 - $6 each way. That being said, if we were going to explore the ruins or cenotes MAYBE we would've needed a car but taxis or organized tours can get you there.  I would compare the price of renting a car (take into account parking which is not very easy) vs. taxis. We also saw a ton of scooter rental places which seems like another great option! This leads me to...

{transportation from Cancun}

You can take a taxi for about $60 or ask your hotel to organize a car - everyone is extremely helpful! All of the taxis we came across were legit; never once did I feel scared getting into one. 

{eat + drink}

"When you take the road down towards the beach, take a right and you're at the Rodeo Drive of Tulum. Go left and you have everything else" - Richard, owner of Teetotum

Naturally, all the places I had marked as go-tos sat on the Rodeo Drive side - haha! Here are the places we hit: 

Posada Margherita: insanely delicious pasta. Is it weird to go to Mexico and possibly have the best pasta you've ever had? Like everything in Tulum, this restaurant is SO picturesque and I almost wanted to go back for lunch to see it in the daylight. The portions are generous - get the shrimp pasta. 

Coco Tulum: you've seen this gorgeous beach club all over Instagram - it's the one with the swings. This place is absolutely stunning. Go for a few drinks and some pictures! Their chips and guacamole were pretty good too.  Most of the bars and restaurants that sit on the beach are connected to a hotel and if you're not staying there they typically require a food and drink minimum to let you enjoy the area. I found the minimums to be pretty do-able and totally worth it!

Gitano: cocktails, cocktails! This place does have great cocktails BUT I would say that we are a little spoiled coming from Los Angeles. The LA cocktail scene is amazing, so given the hype of Gitano I thought it was going to have out of this world cocktails and I was not THAT impressed. The atmosphere is cute though and I would definitely go again. 

Hartwood: touted as the best place to eat in Tulum and it did not disappoint! Everyone warned us that even with a reservation the wait was going to be long. We attempted to make reservations ahead of time by e-mailing but never received a confirmation, so the day of we just walked up at 6pm and magically were seated. From discussing with other people this isn't typically the norm - you should go put your name in around 3 or 4pm. Maybe we had some Tulum luck on our side! The cocktails are delicious and served by an older flirty Mexican man named Valentine. He is a hoot and apparently known very well by anyone who has dined there - so many people recognized him from my IG stories! We had white fish, ceviche, fresh tomato salad, a seriously insane plantain, and tequila old fashioned that were delicious but deadly!

Hotel Be Tulum: beautiful beach front hotel towards the end of the Tulum strip. We landed here on our last day to enjoy their food and layout on the beach. I fell in love with their property and am dying to stay during my next trip! (see pics below)

{what's the bug and reptile situation?}

You may have seen on my Instagram Story that Taye and I got eaten alive on our last night. Interestingly neither Taye or I wore bug spray the entire trip and it wasn't until the very last day that we were bitten while grabbing nightcaps at Gitano. The only thing I can think of is that it rained earlier in the day and it was extra humid. That being said, if we would've worn bug spray I'm sure we would've been fine.

Geckos! There were tons of little baby geckos around our hotel which Richard told us was great because they eat mosquitos. They are totally harmless but very small and fast. Other than geckos we didn't see any weird bugs or reptiles.

{should I exchange my money for pesos?}

99% of Tulum is CASH ONLY: pesos or US dollars, so do not expect to use your credit cards there. We didn't find it necessary to exchange everything for pesos because all of the restaurants and boutiques shared what exchange rate they were taking dollars for and it was very cut and dry when purchasing something.

Tulum is pricey! They know what they've got and they're charging for it - prices are very comparable to Los Angeles. Keep in mind all of our activities took place on the "Rodeo" side.

Take me back...

tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
{coco tulum hotel}

tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
{be tulum hotel}

tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
{hartwood restaurant}

tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood
tulum travel guide, where to eat in tulum, tulum best bars, coco tulum, be tulum hotel, hartwood

Honestly as long as you're on the beach sipping a margarita you can't go wrong. Eat ALL the guacamole and ceviche! Until next time, Tulum! I cannot wait to go back and explore the ruins and cenotes.  Also bug bite update: they are healing nicely and almost entirely gone. 

{tulum packing list}





Looking to vacay? See my other travel guides: Catalina GetawayPlaya del Carmen, San Diego, Caribbean Cruise


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