City Guides

Tulum Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Mexico’s Chicest Beach Town

If I could hop on a plane and head to Tulum every single weekend, I would. There’s a reason why Tulum is constantly flooding your social media accounts – it’s paradise!

Mexico has always been one of my favorite places to travel. There’s something so unique about the culture, plus the beaches truly are amazing! Living in Dallas, it’s so easy to fly down to Mexico for a long weekend, so I’ve loved getting to visit so often over the years! Each beach town in Mexico has its own special vibe, but nothing compares to the charm of Tulum.

Tourism in Tulum has been expanding rapidly, but what makes it so unique is how it still has that boutique feel. Playa del Carmen and Cabo offer so many large, all-inclusive resorts for guests, but Tulum Beach is patterned with unique boutique hotels that offer an ultimate sense of serenity.

What I love most about Tulum is the unique vibe unlike the other popular Mexico destinations. You’ll find travelers visiting from all over the world in Tulum, and the overall feel of Tulum is undeniably chic. You’ll see some of the most stylish and beautiful people in Tulum, but the laidback atmosphere maintains that casual Mexico feel! Keep reading for my complete guide on how to navigate Mexico’s chicest beach town!

How To Get There:

Tulum is a little less than two hours from Cancun, so it’s a pretty easy journey to get there! It’s basically a straight route, and it’s fun because you pass so many of the popular hotels from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Mayakoba on the way!

The easiest option is to book a shuttle from the Cancun Airport to your hotel. There are so many options available, and I’ve heard great reviews about Happy Shuttle. We stayed at Coco Tulum this time, and the hotel coordinated our shuttle with Tucan Kin. They provided nice Suburbans for the route, and it was a breeze! We emailed our flight info, and they coordinated everything! Most hotels provide transportation options, so I recommend checking with the concierge before you book.

Another option is to rent a car and drive to Tulum! I did this last time, and it was such an easy drive. Renting a car in Mexico is a bit different than renting in other countries, so click here to read my post on what to know + safety tips!

Where To Stay:

I’ll be honest, I got a little overwhelmed trying to choose my hotel the first time I went to Tulum. There are SO many small/boutique hotels in the area, and the photos online never do them justice. I usually only stay in 4 or 5-star hotels when I travel (especially out of the country), but Tulum is a unique spot where some of the most popular are 3-star!

I recommend choosing a hotel on Tulum Beach (rather than downtown), because it’s so fun to hop from hotel to hotel on the beach, or bike along the beach road. There are so many hotels at a variety of prices, so you can have an amazing Tulum experience on any budget! We were rarely in our hotel, so don’t stress too much about finding the perfect place!

Azulik – Azulik is one of the most popular and exclusive hotels in Tulum, and it’s no surprise you’ll always find interesting people at the hotel. (Dan Bilzerian and his female tribe were there during our trip). There’s a really cool art exhibit in the hotel as well, that I recommend checking out! Azulik is most famous for its rooftop nests for the ultimate sunset.

Coco Tulum Lynlee and I stayed here on our recent trip, and we absolutely loved it! We had a little beachside bungalow with a thatched roof, and hearing the ocean breeze all night when we slept was a dream! Plus the hotel has a great restaurant, cute beach bar with swings, and it was a great location!

Outfit details: Romper

Casa Malca – After staying in two bungalows in Tulum, I will say I was wowed when I saw the rooms at Casa Malca. Two of our Dallas guy friends stayed here during our trip, and the room was definitely luxurious compared to the rest of the town! Casa Malca was Pablo Escobars home, so it has a super unique history! You have to check out the underground pool, as well as all of the artwork inside.

Villa Pescadores – This is where I stayed on my last trip to Tulum, and I loved it too! It was the same feel with a beach bungalow and thatched roof, plus it had an amazing restaurant! This hotel is further down the beach (as far as I’d recommend if you’re in Tulum), but it’s a close bike ride to town and walking distance from the ruins. I loved my stay here! Click here to read more about it.

Nomade – This one of our favorite hotels to explore during our trip. The hotel has lots of free holistic events if you’re looking for something different to try while you’re there! They also have a really fun Moroccan restaurant to try!

Papaya Playa Project – If you’re looking for a good time, you’ll definitely find it at Papaya Playa Project. This hotel hosts really fun events – from weekend Full Moon Parties to concerts like Widespread Panic – so you’ll always have a good time! We spent the afternoon on the beach here for lunch, and the hotel had a daily DJ and some of the most fun servers you’ll find in Tulum! Easy entertainment.

Other hotels to try: Sanara, Be Tulum, Nest, + so many more!

Outfit Details: Black Bikini (less than $20 and it’s my favorite!) // Sunglasses // BudhaGirl Bracelets

Where To Eat/Drink:

The food in Tulum is SO good, so trying to narrow down places to eat during your trip will be tough! Tulum is such a healthy town, so most of the restaurants are organic.


Posada Margherita – Delicious Italian restaurant on the beach. Loved for lunch! Cash only.

Papaya Playa Project – Fun lunch spot on the beach with a DJ and good vibes

Matcha Mama – Cute little spot if you’re looking for a quick and healthy bite

Taboo Lounge – If you’re looking for a fun spot on the beach to hang with friends, grab a cabana and enjoy a some hookah on the beach!

The Real Coconut – Healthy lunch spot on the beach with great views

Outfit Details: One Piece Swimsuit // Sunglasses

Gitano – This is a must-visit spot! Delicious food, fun spot for drinks

Azulik – If you’re looking for the best sunset in Tulum, reserve a “nest” at Azulik for dinner! The minimum is pretty steep for two people so we skipped it, but it’s perfect for groups!

Hartwood – One of the most popular spots in Tulum, but it’s usually packed!

Arca – When we couldn’t get a reservation at Hartwood, we went to Arca and it was AMAZING! The vibe was awesome and the food was delish – definitely recommend it.

Mezzanine – If you’re craving Thai food, this place is the best!

El Diablito Cha Cha Cha – We stopped by for drinks after Gitano, and it was such a fun spot!

Casa Jaguar – If you’re looking for a lively spot out, definitely check out Casa Jaguar. Thursdays are their big nights, and we had so much fun here! Live music, friendly people from all over, great food. Good vibes overall!

What To Do:

Outfit Details: Crochet Coverup

Swim in a cenote – Swimming in the ocean is fun, but swimming in a cenote is even better! There are lots of cenotes around Tulum to explore.

Visit the Ruins – I recommend going when they first open! Tour groups visit during the day, so get there early to miss the crowds!

Hotel Hop – Ok I know I have a strong obsession with hotels, BUT hotel hopping in Tulum is so much fun! We had a blast waking up in the morning, walking down the beach, and popping in and out of hotels to explore and grab drinks/bites. All of the hotels are so welcoming, plus each hotel has it’s own vibe – Highly recommend it!

Outfit Details: Floral Dress

Yoga – Sanara and Amansala are two popular yoga spots, but almost every hotel offers yoga! CoCo Tulum offered free yoga every morning at 8AM on the beach. So peaceful!

Bike around town – Tulum is such a charming town, so grab a bike and spend the day exploring! You’ll find so many little markets all along the way!

What To Pack:

If you’re heading down for a weekend, a carryon is all you need! I spent everyday barefoot in a bikini and coverup, and wore flat sandals and a casual dress every night – note: I NEVER wear flats out… trust me, you won’t need your heels! Pack yoga clothes if you plan to be active. Also, a cute hat, fun headband, and lots of sunglasses are essential!  


Outfit Details: Snake Print Coverup

Cabs are safe and easy, super affordable

Shopping is AMAZING! You’ll find more luxury boutiques here than other Mexico beach towns. If you’re looking for typical souvenirs, the little market across from Maria Del Mar is great!

Lots of europeans visit Tulum, so don’t be surprised if you see lots of topless sunbathers…

Hope you love Tulum as much as we do!