When the world shut down earlier this year, Mexico, and in particular Tulum, stayed open. People have enjoyed the beautiful beaches, electro parties and laid-back atmosphere of the town since the summer, and it has undoubtedly got the reputation for being one of the trendiest places in Mexico, if not the world.
It’s important to stay safe while traveling, but if you want to travel, Tulum is open. We’ve been and covered Tulum many times, here’s everything that you need to know about this beautiful Mexican beachside town.
Did you know that Mexico has pyramids? There are ruins all over the country, including some pyramids, that date back to the Aztec, Zapotec, or Mayan era (depending on where in the country you are. Quintana Roo, which is Tulum’s state, was populated by a large Mayan group, the ancestors of who still remain there today.
There are Mayan ruins all over Quintana Roo state, but the Tulum ruins are some of the most popular. This is in part because of their breathtaking location – they are perched on a clifftop right by the stunning Caribbean Sea. The Tulum ruins are a beautiful spot to walk around and explore the site’s ancient history – and once you’ve finished, you can sunbathe on the beach!
One of the most notable parts of this area of Mexico is the presence of cenotes. These are dotted all over the Tulum area, and are limestone sinkholes that were formed in the last ice age. Nowadays, they are full of water, and most are safe for swimming. You can even snorkel in some! The light that goes down into the cenotes is striking and makes for some epic photos. Even if you aren’t a confident swimmer, it’s still worth checking out some of these cenotes.
Mexican Food in the Downtown Area
Tulum has its share of trendy restaurants, but it’s also worth trying some authentic Mexican food. If you go to the downtown area, you’ll find some stalls serving up fresh tacos and other Mexican specialties. Don’t worry if you can’t speak Spanish – lots of people in Tulum can speak English and you should be able to negotiate! If you are vegetarian, make sure that you ask for your food sin carne (without meat).
The Best Nightlife
Tulum is famous for having some of the best nightlife in all of Mexico. Whether you want a beach party or casual drinks at a bar, you’ll find it here. It doesn’t have quite as glitzy nightlife as nearby Cancun, but there are some places to go if you want to party somewhere a bit more glamorous. Many hotels in Tulum have sophisticated bars, so head to one of these if you want to dress up a bit. Some hotels also have casinos, which you can visit if you’re feeling lucky.
Gambling in Mexico has not always been legal, but it is now in Quintana Roo and every hotel casino will be above board. Just ensure that you keep an eye on your winnings and take a safe taxi home (get the casino to call you one) rather than walk and read up on the protocols of safe gambling anywhere in the world.
Fun beach bars
If you’re more of a day drinker, the beach bars are great fun! There are beach bars lining Tulum’s waterfront, and you can pay a daily fee to rent a spot and sun-bed at them, which also includes some food and drink.
The diving in Tulum is incredible. The Caribbean Sea is one of the best collection of dive sites in the world, so if there’s one thing that you must do while visiting Mexico’s Caribbean coast, it’s this! There are plenty of shops in the town that will take you to epic dive sites – some of these may be a bit further down the coast, depending on what you are looking for.
The final thing to expect when visiting Tulum is incredible tropical islands. Isla Mujeres, for example, is a scenic island with a chilled out vibe and postcard-perfect beaches. It’s a haven for those who like to snorkel and dive.
Cozumel is equally popular with snorkellers and divers, due to its proximity to the Mesoamerican Reef. And Isla Holbox is a vastly unpopulated island with empty beaches and beautiful palm trees. When visiting Tulum, make sure you get to the islands – they’re some of the best places in Quintana Roo. As you can see, Tulum has plenty to appeal to the trendy traveller. Whether you go for a week or a month, we’re sure that you’ll absolutely love this slice of paradise!