Tulum is the Mayan Riviera’s hidden gem. you can visit the popular on a day trip and never know a whole different side exists , hidden away . Its long isolated beaches extend into the national heritage protected sian ka’an biosphere are postcard images: the finest white sand that is fine powder / dust not grit , and turquoise waters that join with miles of unspoilt beach about 50km long . uniquely it has small “eco chic” hotels powered by wind and generators and candelight instead of the huge corporate chain all inclusive resorts , and a population in search of a laidback lifestyle . lots of yoga backpackers spiritual types are here as well as rich people and famous people who visit like demi moore , drew barrymore and meryl streep .
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in general tulum can be pricey , but accomodation can be done fairly reasonably in price if you search around in town area , but a lot of places on the beach especially are expensive . they label them “eco chic” and charge $150-400 usd per night . cynics would say a lot of these are just cheap palapas with no water , shared bathrooms , no electricity or sometimes 2hrs a day , no air con , no wifi , no fridges , and are kinda the same huts on the beach you can get for $10 usd pn or less in goa ! they are not sound proofed and are noisy . wildlife lives in the huts with you – spiders gecko frogs bugs and mozzies , and maybe scorpions . in my opinion they are priced 4 times higher than what they should be but people pay it so you cant blame them for charging it . “eco chic” i had to laugh at their catchy terminology to justify price ! rooms in tulum town are $75 upwards . youll find a few hostels cheap like $20 usd pn .
food can be £5-£15 for mains like pasta burgers and pizza on the beach , but downtown you can eat with locals and pay a lot less . if you eat at taco places like chapaneca you can pay 7 peso per taco such as pork chicken or veg and 3 or 4 fill you up . there are supmarkets to get everything . the huge ‘chedurai’ on the beach/downtown link road is excellent , you can buy everything and all brands there … from widescreen tv to groceries fruit alcohol [till 9pm] and has a great instore bakery . restaurants in general are pretty good standard . some real fine dining can be had in places .
tulum is also well cultured area with lots of ecological awareness, and has a united community with a collective goal : to protect their paradise which is sometimes threatened by over commercialisation and touristic destruction.
id really recommend a car to get up and down the beach strip and into town . alternatives would be you can rent a push bike if your feeling fit , or mopeds are expensive at $40 usd a day , u can use the cheap ‘collectivos’ that are useful , and cabs can be affordable and are everywhere … like 40 peso/£2 might be average price for a ride in town or along beach front . a lot of people hitch up and down its that kinda place . we picked up hitchers each day for the few miles into town or back , and we hitched the few days we didnt have a car .
to get to tulum is really easy – fly to cancun and drive 1 long straight road for 1.5 hrs to tulum [passing puetro morelos , puerta aventura , playa del carmen , akumal , into tulum] . the main road to tulum is safe , quiet and wide once you leave cancun .
from the uk we got a brand new 2 bed condo house with shared pool in town for £50 pn which is was good quality . cheap flight to cancun last min £300 . visa on exit is £40 and no forms … just pay on exit . you can eat tacos with locals for 35p each , 3 or 4 of em does you nicely . corona/sol are 50p from supermarket , £1-1.50 in bars . bottle of jose tequilla £5 in supermarket . if you wanna do it cheap chuck all your beers in a cool box n grab tacos and head into your own beach for the day . get a cooler box for £5-10 from chauderai or borrow from landlord .
theres lots to do : you can climb coba pyramid or walk the tulum ruins overlooking the beach , visit chichen itza , play with monkeys , trek in jungle , scuba with turtles or dive cenotes , have your own mile long bathwater white sand beach , feed pelicans , see crocs , enjoy zero litter , party hard in cancun or pdc for a night [then get outta town fast lol] ….and the sian ka’an biosphere in tulum – mile upon mile of untouched protected paradise .
usually mapchick has up to date maps of beach locations & downtown places : http://www.cancunmap.com/tulum-hotels.html