Tulum is a small town in the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.
In the past, it was a small coastal Mayan city, today is a hype city. The city had undergone such a tremendous development in terms of tourism, which you cannot even imagine.
Because of Instagram, it became the most photogenic city in Mexico and the place to be.
Tulum is divided into three parts:
It is the name of the city center and is located more inland, about five kilometers from the beach.
Here most of the locals are living and here is the place where you can also find cheaper accommodations and restaurants.
It is a nice town but there is certainly no gem.
Tulum Archeological site
It is near the Tulum pueblo and it is one of the most beautiful Mayan sites in Mexico.
It is where the hotel zone is. All along the coast, one very long street. Here, you will find upscale hotels, shops, and restaurants.
First, we visited the Tulum Mayan site.
No Mayan site in Yucatan can match this Tulum spectacular location right on the rocky cliffs.
Tulum was used to be called “Zama” translates as “place of the dawning sun”, because it had the perfect view of the rising sun and was a major trading and religious center between the 11th and 16th centuries.
They were trading goods like cotton, food, cacao beans, turquoise or jade.
We arrived in Tulum at about 15.00 on a rainy afternoon, but we were more impressed by this ruin than the Chichen Itza.
A visit to the ruins takes place along a kind of circular route that takes you to all important structures in Tulum. Somehow, the building of the site doesn’t impress us much, because we were more obsessed with the impressive landscape.
We recommend that you schedule around 2 hours or more to visit Tulum because on the site there is a small beach where you can swim.
Below the main structure is a turquoise beach where you can actually swim while you’re visiting the site.
Swimming under Tulum’s ruined fortress is a pretty cool experience.
We recommend you to come early in the morning, around 8.00, you’ll get a much more “magical” experience.
Tulum can get much crowed after 10.00.
And don’t come on Sundays. Mexicans have free entry on local sites and it gets crowded.
Entrance: 8.00-17.00 every day
Entrance fee: 75 pesos cash only
Parking: 50 Pesos
In Tulum, there are several different beaches. One of the best beaches is Playa Paraiso and this was the beach first visited by us. Paraiso is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tulum and large enough to ensure that it’s never overcrowded. Here there are also plenty of restaurants.
Beach road Tulum
Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of Tulum is the enchanting, jungle beach road on the shore of the Caribbean sea. It is a 10 km narrow road winding from Maya ruins to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.
Along this road, there are many boutique hotels, beach clubs, bars, and restaurants.
It is the most Instagrammable place in Mexico.
The accommodations and boutiques in Tulum Beach are expensive and tourist-oriented. Because Tulum has become the in-destination for “high society”.
Later on, we moved along the beach road, parked the car and started to walk along the famous street.
Raw love and Ahau Tulum boutique hotel
First, we stopped for a coffee in the most perfect coffee place that we could find called “Raw Love”, where we enjoyed the surroundings.
Little cabins in the jungle, close to the beach, lots of hammocks, cute little spots to sit, and a fun vibe make Raw Love a place you do not want to miss.
Near the hotel entrance, it was a famous sculpture “Ven a la Luz” made by South African artist Daniel Popper.
We walked down the street and we next stopped to one very cute little cabin where we drank the best coconut milk. Space here is unfortunately very limited. There are only six swings and a few isolated stools to sit on.
Tulum Beach road is a narrow street that winds for several kilometers along the coast. Unfortunately, there is a ridiculous amount of unexpected traffic and the road conditions can be rather catastrophic in some sections.
Also, the price level here is very high. Hotels and restaurants can be extremely overpriced.
But we loved Tulum! We finally understood why so many people prefer to stay in Tulum. It is magical! When next time in Mexico, we decided to stay in Tulum at least for a few days.