My trip to Tulum
Travel Diaries

My trip to Tulum, Mexico. How to see Tulum and Chichen Itzá in 3 days.

As I mentioned in previous posts, my trips are meant for resting, I try not to stop and so I can take advantage of the time I have in my destination city and see everything possible. Last week we took a leap to Mexico. We found a last minute flight from Miami and traveled to Cancun. In this post you can find all the information you need before flying to Cancun and everything you need to visit Tulum.

Our flight departed from Miami to Cancun on Wednesday night and we returned on Sunday morning. We would have liked to extend it a little longer, but we did not have other options. We paid $ 195 for the flight.

When we booked the flight we started to investigate about the different transport possibilities in Cancun. Tulum is located 1h45m away from Cancun, so we would have to find how to get around. There are several options:

  • You can rent a car from Cancun Airport.
  • Rent a shuttle from Cancun to Tulum for $150 per person.
  • ADO bus (public transport) to Playa Del Carmen and from there another one to Tulum for $7 (running from 8.00h to 23.00h).
Renting a car in Cancun

After reading and reading a lot about these options we decided to take a chance and rent a car. Renting a car can have its pros and cons, but we do not regret it. We read a lot about the scams that occur with the rent a car in Cancun, we got informed about the different companies and everyone warned us about not renting with a company known as Avis or Hertz for their additional costs and their charges after the return of the vehicle. Finally, after reading such good reviews we decided on Easyway Rent a Car. Click here to access its website. The cost from Wednesday night to Sunday morning was $170 approx. In another post I will talk about this rental company and our experience.

You will find a straight road if you drive to Tulum. It’s called Carretera Federal 307. It’s not dangerous to drive, it’s in a very good condition. However, you have to be careful because there are areas where there are stops on the road, they are like huge potholes. You can destroy the car if you do not see them. You have to be very attentive to the signs.

We were very careful because we had heard many opinions about the police in Cancun concerning corruption. If you do not exceed the speed, everything will be fine.
 

Most people who do not rent a car use a bike as transport in Tulum. It is a very good option if you do not plan to leave Tulum. They are for rent in all the hotels at about $8 a day. It’s comfortable because you don’t need to worry about the parking, but with it gets hot and the state of the road on the tulum beach makes it an adventure. At night I advise against the use of bicycles as there are no lights in Tulum at night, only those of hotels, restaurants, etc. Therefore, it is sometimes dangerous to go at night on a bike, since the road is narrow and cars pass in both directions. 

Dónde alojarse en Tulum

We stayed at Hotel Villa Pescadores.  Click here to go to the website.  As we booked everything at very short notice, the best quality-price hotels were already taken and those that were not, were excessively expensive. When I talk about expensive, I mean $800 a night.

If you are going to visit Tulum you can stay at the beach or in the town. If you go only a few days, stay on the beach. All the activity is there and it is not a comfortable area to be moving all the time with the car.

Our hotel was fine, but in my opinion a bit expensive for the quality it offered. It was a hut with a palapa roof on the beach. The location was not ideal because it was next to the Mayan ruins, that is, in the National Park of Tulum. This whole area has very little movement at night and if you do not have a car I do not recommend it. As I said, there are areas without light in Tulum and this is one of them. Arriving at night with a bike is a bit dangerous. You do not really see anything.

Mi viaje a Tulum
Hotel Villa Pescadores
Mi viaje a Tulum. Itinerario de 3 días en Tulum
Villa Pescadores

This tourist destination has increasingly become more and more famous. Tulum is really only composed of a straight road of a few km where there are hotels, restaurants and shops with a lot of movement.

When we arrived at the hotel we went to bed. The next day we woke up at 7:00 am to make the most of the day. We left the hotel on our way to two of the cenotes we wanted to visit.

But … what are the cenotes ?. The cenotes are natural lagoons that were formed millions of years ago. When the sea level dropped, the existing coral barrier was exposed. This limestone was gradually filtering the water creating caves and tunnels. The limestone collapsed giving rise to the cenotes. In the Yucatan Peninsula there is a network of 10,000 cenotes.

Both opened at 8.00am and it is very advisable that you go soon if you do not want it to be full of people. The first one we went to was Gran Cenote. We arrived at 7.50am and there were already 7 more people at the door waiting for it to open. 5 min later 2 buses appeared full of Asians. This cenote has two different parts, so although there are many people you can enjoy the surroundings and take pictures.

TIP: If you want to take pictures, the second one is more beautiful, just when entering the background. I will make a post dedicated to the best places to take photos in Tulum.

Gran Cenote in Tulum
Best cenotes in Tulum

When we finished enjoying this cenote and its characteristic crystal clear water we went to the second one called Cenote Calavera. This one scares a little bit as you cannot see the bottom because of its depth so you will find very good spots from where you can jump into. This is another must in Tulum if you want to take pictures too.

Cenote Calavera en Tulum
Cenote Calavera
After spending an hour enjoying this cenote we went to have breakfast at Raw Love. We were enjoying this area, walking through Tulum and then we went Tulum Archaeological Zone. These are on a cliff facing the sea. The views are beautiful.

 

After spending an hour visiting the area, we returned to the hotel to take a shower and go to have lunch at Nomade Tulum Hotel. We ate at the Macondo restaurant. A beautiful place.

When we finished we walked around the area and returned to the hotel. We rested a little and at 5.30pm we went to the Azulik Hotel. If you are going to visit Tulum you can not miss this visit. This hotel is known for its magnificent architecture and its eco-friendly motto. It is a hotel made as if they were wooden and treehouses in the middle of the jungle. Tulum represents an ecological tourism and many of its hotels avoid the use of air conditioning. This one doesn’t have electricity, they only use candles and the water for showering is taken from a well. Definitely a challenge.

We went over to see it, from that time you can access the Kin Toh restaurant, take a famous margarita with mezcal and enjoy the beautiful sunset. These were the results.

Azulik Tulum
Azulik Tulum
Azulik Tulum
Galería Azulik

When it got dark we went to have dinner at Taquería la Eufemia, on the road to the beach in Tulum. The tacos and the guacamole were very tasty.

The next day we woke up at 9.00h am and went to have breakfast to DelCielo. It’s the place I liked the most for breakfast. It’s in the town of Tulum. From there we went back to the beach road to take a walk and try the famous açaí bowl of Matcha Mama Tulum.

Açaí Bowl Matcha Mama
Açaí Bowl at Matcha Mama

Our next destination would be the famous Cenote Dos Ojos. It is named like that because it is formed by two cenotes connected by one of the longest underground galleries in the world. Many divers come here because they say it’s an underground show accompanied by bats. Right there you can book snorkeling or scuba diving tours.

After enjoying this wonder we went to Akumal beach to swim with turtles. The beach is private nowadays. You have to pay an entrance fee of 100 pesos and there you can rent a tube and glasses. You do not have to go with any guide or pay anything. You get in the water and start looking. We saw stingrays and a turtle. Undoubtedly!

Sea Turtles in Akumal
Nadando con tortugas
Tortugas en Akumal
Playa de Akumal

When we got tired of swimming we changed and went back to Tulum, to have lunch at Hotel Sanará. A beautiful place with a restaurant called The Real Coconut. They have an incredible menu for vegans and celiacs. Highly recommended

Sanará Hotel en Tulum
Sanará Hotel

Finally, after lunch we went back to the hotel to have a  shower, rest and go to dinner at Kitchen Table. A restaurant in the middle of all the flora of Tulum. The kitchen is open to the outside and you can see how they cook. In addition, it does not use electricity and they cook everything in a wood oven. Exquisite.

The last day we got up very early to get the car and drive to Yucatán. We were tired, but we pulled out and at 7.30 am we finished breakfast at a place called Tunich and we set off. At 8.15am we had already reached the Suytun Cenote, a marvel. There was no one when we arrived, the silence there was magical.

Cenote Suytun
Suytun means «stone center». This cenote is placed underground, has a walkway and a vault with an entrance of natural light. I recommend not to miss it if you’re in the area.

After spending half an hour enjoying the tranquility of this cenote we went to Chichen Itza. But before arriving we wanted to go through the cenote Ik Kil, because the later we went, the more people there would be. It is much better to enjoy a cenote with few people. This cenote is located about 40min from the Suytun cenote. We arrived at 9.30am and there was already a tour bus there. We were lucky because when we entered, they left.
Cenote Ik kil
Cenote Ik kil

This cenote also has an area to jump into the water, there we spent an hour between ups and downs. Much appreciated when it is hot. When we finished we took the car again to drive 10 minutes to Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Many people advise you to visit Chichen Itza first to avoid all the excursions that arrive at 10.00h am / 11.00h am. We preferred to enjoy cenotes without people, so we did it the other way around.

I think it was a very good decision, because Chichen Itza is so so great, that even with many people it is beautiful. I even got a space to take a good picture. The trick is to have patience and find the time and place.

Chichen Itzá en Yucatán
Chichen Itzá

I highly recommend visiting this historic wonder built in 525 AD, it has no waste. We left here wanting more, so we went back to Tulum and on our way we stopped by the Archaeological Zone of Cobá. When entering you have to walk a bit until you reach a bike stand. I recommend renting one to move to where the pyramid is located.

It is a beautiful and very nice place. This pyramid is very different from Chichen Itza, but it has nothing to envy. In addition, you can climb to the top and the views are impressive.

Mi viaje a Tulum. Pirámide de Cobá
Cobá

That was our last stop. When we arrived in Tulum we went straight to eat although it was a bit late. We ate at the La Zebra Hotel. It was very good. At first glance it is another hotel that I would recommend. It has a very good beach area, it is in the middle of the whole movement of Tulum and apparently it is very good.

When we finished we went back to the hotel and we took a bath on the beach that we had not yet stepped on with so much tourism. We showered and went to dinner at Rosa Negra, a place that I had been recommended. Definitely, I recommend it to others again.

Restaurantes en Tulum
Gitano
Ahau Hotel
Ahau Hotel
Matcha Mama Tulum
Matcha Mama
Tienda en Tulum
Gitano Tulum
Gitano Tulum

This has been a summary of my trip to Tulum. I still have a lot to tell about Mexico, because I know that many questions arise when you are organizing a trip. My intention is to write posts about all the aspects that should be taken into account if you are going to visit Tulum. I will talk about driving in Tulum, the police, the best hotels in Tulum, I will recommend restaurants in Tulum, the best cenotes, tips, what to know before traveling to Tulum and much more.

I hope you liked this first part.

If you have any questions or recommendations, please leave a comment.

See you soon!

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Ahau Hotel
Carlaafonsoiz
Travel & Lifestyle Blog
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"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Spanish native translator & interpreter with passion for travel, fashion & lifestyle

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