Tulum City Guide

I discovered so many good eats while wandering in the hotel zone in Tulum. I stayed at an airbnb in downtown Tulum but took a taxi and went to Matcha Mama, which is conveniently tucked in a picturesque spot. Another popular place is Raw Love Cafe which has a similar vibe and menu to Matcha Mama. I spent about a couple of hours in the area, walking around and window shopping. A lot of cool, hipster places and I loved how a lot of shops sold products from Mexican designers. I would recommend renting a bike and biking around the area since there are plenty of shops, eats, and sights to see. For some reason I can't find the name of the taco truck where I had ceviche, guacamole, and a taco but it's located in the hotel zone (same strip as Matcha Mama). My advice would be to either yelp, Instagram, or wander into a restaurant and check their menu. Also, a lot of restaurants and cafes have free WiFi which had stronger reception than using my data. 

Staying in downtown Tulum had a different vibe than staying in the hotel zone, but I would have to say I preferred staying away from the hotel zone. You're able to come across locals and have an authentic cultural experience, although Tulum has become touristy over the past years. I biked around everywhere with my friend Sarah from our airbnb which was located next to many restaurants downtown. We didn't have much on our itinerary except to go with the flow and relax. Thank you to everyone who gave me tips on recommendations for my Tulum trip! We yelp'd some places to eat nearby and we ended up going to Burrito Amor three times - it's addicting! Also there are local favorites such as Taqueria Honorio where tacos cost only 8 pesos...which is equal to about 43 cents! 

Luckily we got blessed with amazing weather so we looked up cenotes and beaches to go visit. I would recommend looking up places you're trying to visit on Instagram first so you can see what the place looks like. In my experience google hasn't always been accurate. I went to a beach based on tripadvisor and google's recommendations, but arrived to find out that it was actually a hotel's beach. Also, the pictures on google weren't accurate and was bummed to find that the beach was filled with seaweed. 

The last day was spent in Cancun and my friend and I checked in at a hotel nearby, The Westin, because it was only ten minutes from the airport. The weather was sunny and perfect for just laying on the beach and bumming around. 

Where to eat in Downtown Tulum:
-Taqueria Honorio (cheap, yummy tacos and also a popular local spot!)
-Antojito La Chiapaneca (another popular spot for tacos)
-El Camello Jr. (local favorite)
-Del Cielo (if you're craving some American brunch)
-Burrito Amor (popular spot, more of an American version but still good)
-Raw Love Cafe
-El Pollo Bronco (rotisserie chicken)
-Prieto (lovely cafe)
-Flor De Michoacan (delicious popsicles!)

-Cenotes! I only had the chance to go to two, but I really enjoyed my time. I went to Gran Cenote, a popular spot but heard that Cenote Nic Te Ha is another great spot if you're in Tulum.
-Mayan Ruins (didn't get to go but definitely on my list next time I visit!)

-Exchange money at Cancun's airport - they don't charge a service fee.
-Rent a bike! Best part of my trip was biking everywhere, so fun and a perfect way to get around Tulum.
-Go to cenotes in the morning when it opens or close to closing time. I would suggest to go before noon because it gets really crowded after noon. Also, find out their entrance fee (typically cash only) and hours they're open. Some cenotes don't allow you to enter 45 minutes before closing.
-Check your phone plan and see if you have service in Mexico. I have Verizon and my phone plan covers free talk, data, and text message in Mexico.
-Bring a book to read or download an app so you can listen to an audiobook! I'm currently listening to Tiffany Haddish's audiobook, The Last Black Unicon - a must read/listen! She is seriously so hilarious! People may look at you crazy because you can't stop laughing.
-Stay hydrated! I bought bottled water at OXXO (which you can find easily) and found it to be the cheapest. Restaurants will up-charge for bottled water so I suggest buying water ahead of time, which you can bring around with you.
-Take the ADO bus to Tulum, it is way cheaper than taking a taxi. One way cost me about $15 USD compared to $60-70 USD if I took a taxi. The bus is clean and has AC! Also check the times as it runs about every hour or so depending on where you're trying to go.
-Haggle with the taxi drivers as a lot of times they will overcharge. Also I was told you don't need to tip taxis.
-Say hola! and smile :) Small gestures such as learning short Spanish phrases go a long way and also if you're in another country, why not learn their language?
-Don't carry a lot of money with you. I only brought as much as I would need for that day, about 1300 pesos (about $70 USD) per day. If I was going to go sight-see, I would bring extra money that would cover taxis and entrance fees. A lot of times I had money leftover.
-Wear comfortable shoes and items you're ok with getting dirty. I brought my Birkenstocks, espadrilles, and one sneaker to wear throughout my trip. I also brought totes and bags that I didn't mind throwing away or tossed around.
-Bring an external battery to charge your phone because you'll want to take pictures of everything!

Love, Sharon


  1. Your trip sounds really fun! Thanks for sharing your thorough and detailed guide. I have to visit there someday!

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips on Tulum! Tulum has always been on my bucket list! :)

  3. Thanks, Sharon! Can you tell me more about the ADO bus logistics? Did you purchase tickets in advance online? Did you have to transfer in Playa del Carmen?

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