We decided to spend just 4 short days exploring Tulum Mexico for almost nothing! I called in sick to work and we flew into Cancun Mexico with my sister and two friends from high school. We bought tickets on frequent flyer miles and spend under 150 bucks while we were there! We had a great time and want to go back and spend more WAY more time there! We found an awesome, clean, cheap, fun hostel and the owners were Oregonians. Tulum is a fun little town with a hipster vibe. There are all sorts of cool restaurants and bars directed toward backpackers and Pacific North Westerners. Mayan Ruins overlook the Yucatan Peninsula and are a huge attraction.
Lots of the travelers in Tulum are staying in Cancun and spend the day in Tulum visiting the Mayan Ruins by bus. We enjoyed staying in Tulum to avoid crowds and keep the cost down. We would also like to think that we had a more “authentic” time than if we had stayed in Cancun, although we had rosemary flavored mojitos…so the authenticy may have been lacking.
We stayed at Quintana Roots Tulum Hostel for just 11 bucks a night. For Mexico, this isn’t the cheapest, but it is a fun backpackers destination. It’s a short walk from the city center, where you can eat, shop, walk around and check out the area. There is free breakfast, which consisted of cereal and milk and an occasional banana. The kitchen is open with a fridge, sink and stove top for travelers to use. The kitchen always has a tank of clean drinking water too. We stayed upstairs in one of the mixed dorms, there is a fan but it was HOT in late August. There are several clean showers that only have cold water. In August, the cold showers were a relief from the heat and humidity. One of our favorite things was the rooftop access which overlooks Tulum and in front of our room. Overall, Quintana Roots Tulum Hostel is a great place to stay on a budget.
LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH
We walked everywhere. We had a great time walking and talking but it seemed like the majority of our time was spent walking and talking. I recommend renting bikes. One day in particular, we were walking to find a beach to swim at and got lost. The further we walked, the more we were surrounded by resorts with private beach access areas. After a few hours, we needed a break. Dehydrated and sunburnt, we found a place that looked like they were open and had fresh fruit and veggie juice! We ordered a drink that had cucumber, carrot and kiwi juice. Perfect. What we didn’t know was that it also had tequila. It was delicious, but only made us more dehydrated. Eventually, we gave up and found a private beach area to crash. It was beautiful; with a balcony overlooking the ocean, sunbathing chairs (just in case we wanted to get more sunburnt) and plenty of iguanas.
We spent one day at the Tulum Mayan Ruins. I say one day because we thought it was a reasonable walking distance and it wasn’t. We had a great time but we were all worn out by the time we got there. There is a path to the ruins, but it’s for bikes!
One thing to know about these ruins is that you cannot climb on them, depending on who you are this may be a deal breaker. They are also extremely crowded. We went in the afternoon, but I would recommend early morning to beat the crowds. There is access to a trail that overlooks the ocean, which was beautiful. There is also access to a public beach, but we didn’t swim there because it was extremely crowded. Admission is a few dollars, and you can also pay for a guided tour if you want.
Tulum has such amazing food! Batey Mojito Bar was one of our favorite places. They have all sorts of different kinds of mojitos including their famous basil mojito. There are lots of cute restaurants and cafes as well as authentic Mexican street food. We had awesome street tacos and tamales. And of course coconuts! My favorite!