It was love at first sight.
Tulum in Quintana Roo, México quickly became a favourite, it’s a very special place. Ok, it might not be a true Mexican experience but definitely a place where everyday can be a new experience. Beaches, Mayan Ruins, cenotes, yoga and many more.
If this sounds appealing to you, here are the reasons why Tulum should be on your backpacking bucket list for 2017.
Swim in a different cenote every day
There is no better way to cool yourself down in hot weather than in a beautiful crystal clear cenote. There are hundreds of cenotes in and around Tulum. Open air cenotes, hidden underground cenotes, cenotes in caves with spectacular stalagmites, there is literally a cenote for every day. If you want to upgrade this adventure, grab your snorkel or diving gear and explore the beauty of the underwater world. A few of the cenotes are easily accessible by bike, and the less crowded are Crystal Cenote, Escondido, Car Wash or Santa Cruz. For the others, located further away such as Multum-Ha you will easily get a collectivo from the town centre. For the full list of amazing cenotes, check out the blog of our fellow traveller Annaeverywhere.com
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Visit Mayan Ruins
Thousand of years of history is lying here in Mayan ruins. Beautiful architecture will bring you back to ancient times. Tulum Ruins are located on the cliff overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean with quick access to an amazing beach.
Coba is the second one worth a visit and the only one you can still climb to the top. If you feel like learning more about the Mayan history, go for a tour guide, but use your negotiating skills after you enter the paid area, the price may drop to half.
Chitzen Itza and other ruins are worth visiting with an organised tour as their location is further from Tulum city.
Photo Credit: http://www.tulumruins.net
Coba Mayan Ruin
Swim with turtles at Akumal Beach
The Caribbean style beach is located just less than an hour from Tulum centre. If you are a swimmer with snorkelling gear, you can experience meeting turtles without an organised tour. You will be warned at the entrance to the beach that it’s not possible to snorkel without a life jacket or a guide, but don’t get scared into forking out a lot of money, Akumal is a public beach and free snorkelling and seeing turtles is possible just outside of the designated area.
Enjoy the food culture and nightlife
To experience the Mexican food scene with a Tulum twist head down to La Eufemia for a day session. A hip bar located right on the beach is surprisingly affordable even on a backpacker budget. $25 pesos for amazing tacos, $35 pesos one litre of beer and 2 for 1 happy hour cocktails.
For great live music, amazing guacamole and delicious mojitos head to Batey – Mojito & Guarapo Bar. Live music is pumping every night, and the Mojito will be one of the best you’ve ever had.
If you are after a local food experience, there are plenty of opportunities to taste good street food. Walk around the Main Street or turn down little side streets where the locals gather and enjoy cheap tortas, tacos & quesadillas.
Vegans & Vegetarians will be also satisfied in Tulum, from vegan ice cream made right in front of you to amazing healthy restaurants such as El Vegetariano, you will have troubles choosing.
Together with healthy food, yoga quickly became part of Tulum. However to find a cheap class is a bit of a challenge. Most of the classes I visited were for $15USD, however you can enjoy a great view like at Hotel Ahau. Backpackers on a budget may enjoy a class at hostel Maya Hostel.