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Travel in Style: Tulum in 5 Days

Tulum to me is Boho Beach Heaven. I first visited Tulum in October 2015 with my husband during our honey year and lovvveed it. Me being fun employed and also feeling bad that my mom couldn’t travel with us to Asia – I booked a ten day trip to Me-Xi-Cooo for March 2018. The last 5 days were spent livin the “Beach Life.”

I have so many pictures to post but I really wanted to quickly write a snippet to help those who are heading there soon.

How I arrived in Tulum

First the options:

  • Shared shuttle
  • Bus
  • Private shuttle
  • Rent a car

From QTO, Mexico we flew to Cancun, Mexico and hired a private shuttle called Happy Shuttle to head to the beach town. I didn’t rent a car from the airport to reduce the possibility of being pulled over by the cops. In 2015, I didn’t see any cops, but in 2018 I literally saw at least two check points before reaching Tulum City.

I wasn’t so happy with Happy Shuttle. We waited at least 30 minutes for them to arrive. There are attendants who call the driver once you actually step out of the airport. In 2015, the van (another company) was already waiting for us in the parking lot. If they know what our flight # is they should at least know when we land and not wait to pick us up when we actually step out of the airport which is then at around 1 hour from when we actually landed.

In general, it didn’t ruin our trip or anything, I just dunno if I would recommend them to anyone – unless they are the cheapeast hahaha. The drivers were super nice and the cops didn’t bother us so it can’t really complain.

Traveling around Tulum

Not my rental car lol

I rented a car – but you can also take cabs.

Reasons why I rented:

  • Driving around is super easy – the beach town itself consists of one street and the town is not difficult to maneuver. Just a FYI, I’ve driven in French Polynesia, New Zealand, Barcelona, and even driven a manual IN THE RAIN on hills of Italy. Tulum was nothing compared to that.
  • It was cheap – spent $7 to rent the car for 5 days. Yes, SEVEN DOLLAAASSS. But my mom made me pay for the insurance – even though my credit card covered it. Oh mom – whatevs, it was only $122 after that. $24 a day. I’ll take it.
  • No need to negotiate – man some of those taxi drivers take you for a money ride. If you know me, I’m a tough cookie and I will negotiate and call them out of they are trying to rip me off. Didn’t feel like dealing with that for 5 days though.
  • Do what I wanna do – since I had a car I didn’t have to think ohhh I have to hail a cab or did I bring enough pesos to pay? I just hopped into my car and drove to wherever our heart desired. If I was to think about it, I might have called the cab at least 6 times in one day if I didn’t have a car – so renting pays off.
  • My hotel had free parking – okay sweet, no brainer then.

Would I rent again?

Yea probably, we just went during a time when cops wanted to pull people over. Yall know how it is. Kinda like the states – the time of the month thing lol. Would I rent if I was with a big group of people? Probably not.

To stay on the beach or not

  • Okay I am a firm believer that if you are going to the beach you should stay on the beach, but sometimes it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, priorities, or within budget

Staying in the city

  • Food: There are local cheap food as well as nice restaurants. Food shouldn’t be a huge issue, but I still recommend heading to the beach town because there are great restaurants there as well.
  • Tours and excursions: If you plan to be out and doing activities all day like cenotes, tours, biking, and etc then this is a plus to stay in the city. Bc its cheaper to stay in town and you wont even need to stay on the beach for these activities.

Staying on the beach

  • The leisure of walking straight onto the lounge chair is amazing
  • Waking up with the sun rising over the ocean – beautiful
  • Being near all the cute boutiques and restaurants

Hotel Budget

  • For hotels on the beach I would budget $250 to $600 a night (and easily more)
  • Beware of eco-friendly hotels aka they are cutting the AC on you during the day

Biking

  • I have read that people love biking in Tulum – I am going to be very honest. I WOULD NOT BIKE IN TULUM. But I also don’t like to be under the scorching sun, biking in general, and sometimes I am just lazy.
  • A bike path isn’t always available on the Tulum beach street, and when I went it was super packed with cars, trucks, pedestrians and bikes. Every time I drove I’m like these people are nuts. But then again if you love to bike and don’t mind sweating (because it’s really humid there) then it may be great for you.

Shopping on Tulum Beach

Make sure you pack enough clothes because the shopping in Tulum Beach is pricey. Which is understandable, but hot dang can I find a cute dress for under $100 please? The boutiques are designed and decorated incredibly cute and I loved wandering from one store to another. This in itself was a fun activity.

Bring Yo Pesos

This is me happy before the waiter (a local) tried to jip me

The conversion at the restaurants and stores from US dollars and Euros to Pesos isn’t great. And sometimes the waiters (I’ve noticed it was the local waiters not the ones who come from other countries) will jip you. The waiter who was from Cancun told me it was 15 pesos to 1 dollar. Called him out on that baloney and he goes oh I mean 17 to 1. Too late dude, you’re on my crap list now. By the way many places already include tip in the bill so this guy was trying to get more money out of me….

Many restaurants don’t accept credit card and couple of the ATM machines on the Tulum beach only dispensed US dollars. You might have to go into town to attain Pesos. We already had tons of pesos from earlier on the trip (we went to other cities) and didn’t need to exchange or go to the atm in Tulum. We actually ran out of Pesos on the LAST day. whew. So instead of exchanging it for pesos we used US dollars.

Book restaurants in advance

Book the popular restaurants in advance. I went with my mom so our dinners run early, I didn’t have a problem not reserving a table for 2 at 6pm. But I do know that any time after that – it would be impossible. Please book Arca, hands down legit.

Pick up after yourself

I didn’t see ALOT of trash, but enough to catch my eye. Please everyone pick up after yourself. I would hate to see Tulum being trashed by tourists.

Mosquitoes

I went in October and March and yes there were mosquitoes both times. I’ve been to beach destinations where I didn’t see any…but nope not in Tulum. I’m still scratching away! So please be careful, esp if you’re trying to have a baby. I hear that males should wait 6 months after being in a Zika environment and females 2 months after to start trying.

Knowing Spanish

Out of all the cities we went to in Mexico, Tulum had the most English speaking locals. So don’t worry if you don’t know a lick of Espanol.

Okay these were the basics.

Will dive deeper into what hotel I stayed at and more!

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