Tulum is a town on the Caribbean side of Mexico. It has a fun downtown, nice beaches, cenotes (swimming holes) and ancient Mayan ruins (the main reason why tourists visit Tulum).
The ruins are right on the beach, so you can tell that the ancient city was a port/fishing city.
What I liked: I had visited other Mayan ruins while in Central America, and these ruins seemed to be quite different than others. Tulum’s ruins really seemed to be like an old city where people used to live (whereas other ruins seemed to be where people went to worship, but not actually to live…. Although I’m no 100% – I could be completely wrong)
What I did NOT like: There were WAY too many tourists! I was almost claustrophobic and anxious because there were sooooo many people! But of course, the easier the place is to get to, the more tourists there will be – I know this.
Cenotes are naturally forming limestone sinkholes. Water seeps through these sinkholes and fills them to make natural swimming holes.
There are a LOT of different cenotes around Tulum – each one costs some money to enter (I guess they are privately owned??). The costs ranges anywhere from a few dollars to US$10 to enter.
I visited Gran Cenote, which was $10 to enter. It was just ok. Again, WAY too many people and it was completely built up for tourists – it was like entering an amusement park. I did not like how built up it was, but perhaps that’s my own fault because in my head, I envisioned it to be a hike through the woods and then a swimming hole in the middle of no where. It wasn’t like this at all. It’s right off the main highway, with a huge parking lot, and once you pay the entrance fee, you enter through a metal turnstile (really, like entering Disney World).
Where to Stay
Lobo Inn! This is where I stayed and it was really great.
- Breakfast included
- Free bicycles to use all day!
- Private Tree-house bungalows (US$30 for 4 people = $7.50 per person!)
- Closest Hostel to the Ruins
- Closest Hostel to the “Collectivo Bus” pick-up area (to leave town)
- Locked gate at night (but they’ll give you a key if you tell them you’ll be out late)
- Parking spots (inside the locked gate) if you have a rental car
- Swimming pool
The free bicycles are such a great perk! My travel mates and I rode all over town! Downtown to shop and grabs some drinks, to the beach road to get lunch, to the beach to hang out and swim, etc.
The locked gate, with a key, is really great. It’s safe and secure, but you’re not locked in all night. If you want to go hang out downtown, then just tell the nice girls at the desk know that you’ll be “home” late, and they’ll give you a key.
The one thing that was semi-annoying: the WiFi was kind of slow, if I could get it at all. The best place to pick up WiFi is any room near the front desk (not in the back).
We stayed in the private tree house bungalow one night, but I couldn’t get the WiFi AT ALL. The next night, we moved to a room near the front desk and it was much better.
Share Your Thoughts!
Have you been here? There are so many restaurants, cenotes, and other things to check out while in Tulum. Please, share what you’ve done and how you liked it!
If this article helped you plan at all, please share with others! Cheers! =)