Tulum is one of the few places that is everything everyone actually says it is. The food is actually that good, the scenery is like stepping into a very edited instagram, and the hotels are just as dreamy as they look online. I’ve been to Tulum multiple times on day trips from Playa del Carmen, but you truly don’t get to know the adorable little beach town until you stay a few days. We spent Christmas in Tulum and I must say, I now prefer white Christmas’, white sandy ones that is 😉
The best hotels in Tulum are along the beach, about a mile from Tulum’s small downtown. They book up fast since they are all small boutique accommodations with 20 or less rooms. Even booking our Christmas trip in August wasn’t soon enough to grab any of our top choice hotels – but that ended up being a huge blessing in disguise! We decided to stay at a brand new boutique adults-only hotel that was the first hotel on the beach strip if coming from the direction of town. Tata Tulum was such a gem! I’d stay there over and over again. Their rooms are very minimalistic with Egyptian sheets, huge beds, hot tubs, and completely glass walls. Upon first look at the room, I was bummed that it was on the ground floor. That opinion quickly changed as I awoke to the sunrise ocean view each morning and stepped 20 feet onto the beach to retrieve my fresh morning coffee at the ocean front (and complimentary!) breakfast bar with the BEST staff around. Not only were the rooms luxurious, but the grounds adorned with hammocks and handmade outdoor tubs made the entire vibe boho and lavish. After emerging from my multiple-cup coffee mornings in bed, I met my parents at breakfast which is included in your hotel stay. When I saw this little fact online, I automatically thought mini special K boxes and boxed orange juice. I was very, very mistaken! Breakfast is a huge event with 3 courses, green juices, and fresh espresso. We tried many of the different entrees while there, and all were fantastic. I had high hopes of trying a long list of recommended lunch places, but the lunch at Tata was so great that we ended up eating beach front at the hotel almost every afternoon! I can’t wait to go back 🙂 I’d highly recommend trying Tata – the best kept secret in Tulum (for now!)
The food in Tulum is so fresh and naturally healthy that you don’t feel the constant vacation bloat and meal regret. Ladies, you know what I mean! Tulum won’t make you feel like you’ve gained 100 pounds on your week long vacation. Each meal was better than the next..
Eats (Lunch & Dinner):
Casa Jaguar: Fresh fish and beautiful ambiance
Gitano: BEST meal in Tulum if I had to choose. Go family style and order as you eat and drink the night away in this gorgeous jungle restaurant. Many recommended Gitano just for drinks, but I couldn’t disagree more. Each plate was better than the next, and the live band and atmosphere matched that.
Hartwood: Fresh food with rushed service. Make a reservation as soon as you book your trip. The food was as good as everyone and their mother says it is, but no better than the other restaurants we went to in Tulum.
Posada Margarita: The freshest pasta and seafood on the planet. This beachfront restaurant has a chic beachy vibe, with incredible decor. My Dad forgot to bring cash on our first night (which is is a MUST in Tulum, lesson learned!) and the sweet owner let us come back to pay the next day..only in Tulum!! We ended up randomly meeting the owners wife a few days later while at breakfast and she was just as cool as you’d imagine the owner of a place like this to be. She filled up my notes with plenty of recommendations for next time..
Nomade: A very boho restaurant and hotel featuring the best green goddess salmon salad you will eat. Great for lunch with an ocean breeze.
Be Tulum: Delicious and eclectic beachfront restaurant. I loved their fresh tacos and watermelon cocktails while watching the sun set.
Coco Beach Club: A few doors down from Tata Tulum, you can’t miss their all-white decor and bar swings facing the crystal clear ocean. Fabulous tacos and even better cocktails for an afternoon pick-me-up.
*Don’t be afraid to stop at any fun, nameless bars or restaurants you happen to pass by, there are so many special hidden gems in Tulum, with $1 beer deals to be found and outstanding food/snacks.
Matcha Mama: Look out for it or you’ll miss this little roadside cafe.
Raw Love: Tucked away in a beachfront resort, Raw Tulum serves the best vegan and raw eats in town. We loved our coconut fat balls, acai bowls, and green juices. I’ve been craving this breakfast everyday since! The atmosphere is so lovely, it makes you want to stay all day cozied up among the trees with a good book.
Since we’ve previously done cenote swimming and ruin tours during other trips to the Yucatan Peninsula, we did most of what I do best, sipped cocktails on the beach all day while grazing on chips and guacamole 😉 A note worthy adventure from this trip was renting our hotel’s beach cruisers and biking miles and miles towards the end of the beach (or so we thought), which is the opposite way from town if you’re taking the main beach road. Many pot holes later (and much complaining from me ;)) we made it to a secluded lagoon in the middle of nowhere. This was about 5 miles from our hotel, with no signs or many tourists around. What we discovered looked like an untouched oasis. It turns out that tourists can book boat tours to sightsee the abundant wild life in the lagoon. I didn’t read anything on this before going, and let me tell you, I did my Tulum research! Such a beautiful and unexpected adventure.
I’ve spoke about Mexico before, and the country is still at the absolute top of my favorite travel list. I love the culture, food, locals, and hospitality. Every time I visit is so much different than before, and I truly can’t wait to go back again! Mexico is my home away from home. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with Mexico and hope this little guide helps you plan for your next trip to paradise.