12 Things You Must Do + Places to go in Tulum, Mexico
Tulum has become all the rage, and for good reason. It's a beautiful beach town adorned with foodie treasures and so many fun Instagrammable spots and stops.
For 12 of the must-see Instagrammable (and delicious/fun/memorable) spots, here you go, friends.
If you're looking for a boutique travel agency to book an epic trip to Tulum, I highly recommend booking with NOMOON Travel. They'll help coordinate transportation, activities, eats, etc.
1. Ki’bok Coffee (@kibokcoffeebar): The best coffee in Tulum. They have non-dairy options and their hot mocha is to dieeeee for. Head to the back to check out their colorful, palm tree-lined courtyard.
2. Batey's Mojito and Guarapo Bar (@bateytulum): These are the tastiest mojitos in all of Tulum. Try one of their unique flavors, like watermelon or mango. There's often live music throughout the day, and they press the sugar cane in front of you to use for the mojitos.
3. Matcha Mama (@matchamamatulum): One of the hottest Instagram playground spots in all of Tulum. Fun swings. Great drinks. And, in a great location, near plenty of shops and eats. A stop at this little hut is a “matcha.” Location here. Insta inspo here.
4. Artehelado Tulum (@artehelado_helados_artesanales): The yummiest vegan ice cream in the area, with a shipping container-like backdrop. Order the strawberry basil vegan gelato or anything that suits your fancy–you really can’t go wrong.
5. Casa Banana (@casabananatulum): This Argentine restaurant calls on the flavors and styles of Mexican cuisine using wood-fired ovens. Their jungle dining atmosphere, side dishes, and wine list full of well-aged wines from Argentina are worth mentioning.
6. La Flor de Michoacan: This paleteria is popsicle HEAVEN. They have a variety of paletas, aka fruit popsicles, made daily with fresh fruit, juices, agua frescas, coffee, and desserts.
7. Casa Jaguar, I scream bar, and Ak’iin beach, and Gitano Tulum –I didn’t make it to these spots, but jotted them down, as they were recommended a couple of times while we were on our trip. Check them out for yourself and see what you think!
8. Papaya Playa Project (@papayaplayaproject): PPP is a resort with nature and community at the core of its concept. And, it’s also known as the place to party in Tulum! We didn’t stay here, but we had brunch here one morning and sat in cabanas on the beach. Definitely Insta-worthy!
9. Nest Tulum (@nesttulum): A nine room hotel and private villa built with natural simplicity on the beautiful beaches of Tulum. We didn’t stay here either, but checked it out one afternoon for cocktails on the beach and loved the decor and all-around vibes.
10. Tulum Ruins: Exploring the ruins is a must when you’re in Tulum! Bike around the top of the ruins, and if you’re feeling daring, bring your swimsuit to take a dip in the beach below the ruins. Hours are 8am-5pm and it costs approximately 40 pesos/person.
11. Casa Malca (Pablo Escobar’s House) - This one was on our list, but we didn't actually make it there. Apparently, it's a bit trickier to find, so here's the inside scoop (from a friend). “There are no signs, but it's right past Nomade. Look for the giant doors and massive potted plants. If you see that, you're likely in the right place, so try going in. Walk inside and take a left through some trees, and the main building is on your right, which is where you’ll find the iconic hanging furniture and couch. Because the light can be pretty harsh during the day, aim to arrive early in the am or later in the afternoon for the most ideal shot.”
12. Chasing Cenotes: Cenotes are one of the most spectacular sights to see in Tulum. A cenote is “a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.” These can be tricky to find, so I advise hiring a travel company like Nomoon Travel that can point you in the right direction to ensure you maximize your time, trip, and opportunities to create content!
Tulum is a 2-hour drive from the Cancun airport, so you either need to rent a car or take private transportation. If you need help coordinating your travel, I highly recommend my friends over at Nomoon Travel. Tell them I sent you, and they’ll take good care of you!
Go to the supermarket to use the ATM to get pesos vs. using the ATM at the airport. Many places take debit and credit cards, so withdraw pesos in small amounts, as needed.
AC and Wi-Fi aren’t always a given. If it’s important for you to have AC throughout your trip, I’d suggest checking with your Airbnb or hotel before booking.
The hotels along Boca Paila can get expensive so if you’re on a budget, downtown Tulum (called “Pueblo” by locals) has cheaper accommodations and many more of my favorite local hotspots.
Tulum is solar-powered and there are very few streetlights–consider bringing a flashlight. The restaurants and nightlife are mostly open-air and in the jungle, and while they have a lot of natural methods of repelling bugs, I’d advise stocking up on bug spray, garlic pills, essential oils, or whatever does the trick for you!