The Insiders Guide to Tulum & Everything You Need To Know

Traveling to Tulum has truly been one of the most amazing experiences I”ve had  in my 26 something years of living. I’ve spent many trips in tropical paradises like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, The Bahamas but none of them match the experience and adventures of Tulum. My only complaint is that we didn’t’ stay longer! It has taken me weeks to write this blog post but I wanted to make sure that you had a comprehensive guide with the best information so you know all the in’s and out’s of making this trip. Now, lets get started. 

Most of you have seen the Mexican paradise across social media.  Tulum is famous for it’s soft, white sandy beaches, Pinterest worthy scenery and laid back energy. More recently it has become a hot spot for influencers and jetsetters across the world.

There are actually two parts to Tulum: the original sleepy town that has now boomed with restaurants, scuba shops and affordable hotels, and the beach strip which I can only describe as heaven on earth (this is where you see most of the pictures taken). The little boho hippie chic town has my heart and I knew I’d  fall in love the moment I arrived.

If you have followed along on my travels, or are simply reading this because you’re looking for your next adventure, please bare with me as I break-it-down for you. This post is a comprehensive guide to Tulum- where to sleep, eat, drink, travel tips / tricks, and all the exciting adventures surrounding the beautiful town.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BEST TIME TO VISIT TULUM

TRANSPORTATION

WHERE TO STAY

GETTING AROUND

THINGS TO SEE AND DO

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

BEST TIME TO VISIT TULUM


The best time to travel to Tulum is in during Mexico’s dry season from December to April.  If you travel during this time you can expect higher prices and a bit of crowds, since it’s peak season and the beaches are at their best. We went over our Christmas Holiday and while it was busy it did not feel over crowded. The busiest places were the airport, bus stations, and the cab rides to the beach at night. 

Rainy season starts in Tulum around June and lasts until roughly October. Weather wise, it’s pretty much a flat, windless 80 degrees all year. I’ve heard people say there is more seaweed in the ocean during this time, but when we went the hotel staff were constantly raking it off the beach so it was not a hassle. 

TRANSPORTATION


Traveling to a new place can be intimidating. Especially if there is a language barrier. I recommend downloading a translator app on your phone. It will help you brush up on your Spanish before hand, and really helps during awkward moments of travel. We made it around just fine on little Spanish, but many cab drivers speak little to no English.

You will fly in to the CANCUN (CUN) Airport, which is located about 2 hours from Tulum town. From here you will have a few options getting there: 

1. Taking the ADO public bus.
2. Private transfer service.
3. Renting a car.

1.TAKING THE ADO BUS

This is by far the cheapest way to travel to Tulum. I will tell you from personal experience – we skipped this option on our way TO Tulum, but took the ADO bus on the way BACK. Here’s why…

First of all, we were traveling during the Christmas holiday to a country we have never visited before. The last thing we wanted to worry about was getting to our destination, so we opted for a private transfer service to get us there with no hassle. Once in Tulum we were able to get the help of our hotel staff to book our ADO tickets back to Cancun

IF you decide to travel the ADO BUS you will save a lot of money. Tickets to Tulum will average around $25 per person to get there. There are only a few routes that will take you directly to Tulum.  The times are 11:05 am, 12:25 pm, 3:15 pm, 8:00pm, and 9:45pm. If you miss one of these times you will have to take a bus to Playa Del Carmen (45 min) , and then switch bus’s there and take another one to Tulum (45 min). You may pay less $$, but you can expect your travel time to be extended a bit. However, still a great option for solo travelers and budget travel!

2. PRIVATE TRANSFER SERVICE 

Ben and I opted for the Private Transfer service and were SO happy with our transport. We got a great deal from HappyShuttle Cancun. I highly recommend them for couples, families, and groups. We paid $95 USD for our trip from the Cancun airport to our hotel in Tulum town. We had the shuttle to ourselves which had brilliant AC and snacks and beverages you are able to purchase prior to your trip. HappyShuttle had great communication and responded quickly to any questions we had prior to our trip. Once at the airport they were easy to find in their lime green shirts. We were on our way in no less than 20 minutes! 

There are plenty of other private transfer services. We got a great deal online, but most private transfers will run you between $100-200 one way.  I recommend asking your hotel if they offer their own private transfer and the cost before booking elsewhere and overpaying!

3. RENTING A CAR

If you are going to be doing some sightseeing and daytrips from Tulum you might want to have your own car. There are many car rental companies at the Cancun Airport where you can get a car and return it after your vacation.

If you rent from the airport it is very easy to see signs leading you to the highway. The 307 “Highway” is the only road that runs through the state, so it is not a true highway, however it is easy to drive. When you get to the highway you only need to go right to Tulum and then it is a straight shot. You will drive through Puerto Morelos, Playa Del Carmen, and Puerto Aventuras. All of these towns have highway bridges that go over local traffic so it speeds your way to Tulum.

My personal experience is that driving in Tulum is not as safe as you may think. While we were always in the back of the cab, I couldn’t imagine driving. People are always bumper to bumper, side to side, and weaving in and out of the lanes at high speeds. I would have absolutly hit someone or been hit. If you do decide to rent a car check out these reads on car insurancegas station scams, and police checkpoints along the way.

WHERE TO STAY


WHOOHO! I’m so excited to write about this part, picking out where you will be spending your nights is so important, and there is much you need to know about the options in Tulum.

There are 4 main options: 
 – Hotel Zone Boutique Hotels  $$$$
 – Tulum Town Hotels $$-$$$
 – Airbnbs & Hostels – $-$$

HOTEL ZONE & BOUTIQUE HOTELS – $$$$ (avg. cost 200+ a night)

The high end resorts are located on Tulum beach, a long north to south strip of land with the best beach access. You actually have to walk through a hotel property in order to get to the beach as there aren’t public access points from the main road. This will be the priciest option but well worth it if you want amazing views of the beach and to be close to all the popular breakfast spots, bars, and some cenotes. 

THE BEST LUXURY HOTELS ON THE BEACH

1 | DREAMS TULUM – Dreams Tulum is a luxury all inclusive with its own spa and views of the Tulum ruins along with scuba diving, amazing rooms and family friendly activities for the kids. Note: it’s not located on the beach strip, but it costs just as much! Absolutely worth it if you’re celebrating a special event or getaway.

Check rates: Hotels.comBooking.com 

2 | BE TULUM – A five star resort at the end of the Tulum Beach strip and highly ‘Instagrammable’. Even if you don’t stay here, come around sunset for cocktails, sit at the bar swings and enjoy the atmosphere!

Check rates: Hotels.com, Booking.com 

3 | COCO TULUM – Another beach front resort that you wont want to miss whether you are staying there or not.  There’s a cafe offering Italian fare and pizzas, plus a casual beach bar with hammocks.  They offer cabanas, massages and yoga classes as well! This resort is in very high demand!

Check rates: Hotels.com, Booking.com

4 | ZULUM TULUM HOTEL- (ecofriendly) A beautiful resort located on the beach strip that focuses on respect for lands, and strives to create an experience that interferes as little as possible with the natural balance of the region. Ben & I were invited here for breakfast one morning and had the most incredible experience! The owners were so friendly and we got to meet their two dogs and the “instafamous” beach donkey Sancho! 

Check rates: Hotels.comBooking.com

TULUM TOWN HOTELS $$ (avg cost. $120+ per night)

If you are looking to cut down on your budget and still get the luxury of a nice hotel, Tulum Town Hotels are your best bet. It shouldn’t cost you more than $10 USD to take a cab to the beach, or you can even ride your bike there in under 30 minutes !

1 | ARUMA BOUTIQUE HOTEL- THIS IS WHERE BEN & I STAYED AND LOVED IT. Aruma Boutique Hotel is a very new, and modern hotel with great staff! (We were so happy to have AC and a fan)Shout out to Maui for making our trip even better! They offer an complementary breakfast with your stay which was delicious, but if you decide to venture out you are right in the center of all the main restaurants and cafes. You get a free club pass to their sister hotel Agua, where you can head to their beach and use their cabanas and chairs! 

Pro tip: Visit Ki Bok Cafe right around the corner for the most amazing coffee & mochas.  I also recommend grabbing a cocktail and watching the sunset from the rooftop bar and pool area. Excellent location if you want to be in the center of everything. 

Check rates: Booking.com,

2 | HOTEL TIKI TIKI – This is another hotel we look at staying in, but was already booked full for the holidays. Hotel tiki tiki has fantastic reviews, and a beautiful lavish landscape, clean and airy rooms, and a nice cool pool to take an afternoon swim in.

Check out reviews and deals here:  Tripadvisor.com

3 | HOTEL ALUNA – Another highly ranked and saught after destination. The property has an outdoor swimming pool, beach clubs access in sister properties,  and bikes for rent. The property also offers pool views, a terrace, garden , Spa, and a 24-hour front desk. All rooms in the hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Each room has a private bathroom. The units feature a wardrobe. There is an on-site bar and guests can also make use of the business area.

Check rates: Booking.com

AIRBNBS & HOSTELS ( avg price. $50-$100)

AIRBNB’S are a great option if you are visiting during the off season as prices tend to drop. There are many new investment communities and complexes that are strictly owned by airbnb owners that are safe and affordable. Here are a few of my favorites: 

  1.  TULUM PENTHOUSE 
  2.  PRIVATE POOL 
  3.  TOWN HOUSE

HOSTELS 

  1.  EL JARDIN DE FRIDA
  2.  LUM
  3.  LUCKY TRAVELER HOSTEL

GETTING AROUND


The town of Tulum is small and compact, making it easy to get around to most places within town by walking on foot. To visit cenotes, ruins and beaches in the surrounding area, the following options for getting around are available.

TAXI

There are taxis driving around everywhere in town and also parked along the main avenue, making it very easy to find a taxi when you need one. Most cab drivers wont speak a lot of English but know the main spots around town and the beach. If they are unfamiliar with the place you are going, try to have a map or translator app on your phone to communitcate better with them. From Tulum town to the beach you should expect a cab fare of around 150 pesos ($7-8 USD).

BIKES

There are numerous local shops in town where you can rent bicycles,  with most of them being located along Avenida Tulum, the main avenue running through town.  Be sure to ask your hotel if they rent out thier own bikes too. I would recommend avoiding bikes along the main beach road if it is busy season. Always be aware of your surrounds as the cab drivers will come close as they can with out hitting you. A bicycle, however, is ideal for getting from the town to the beach, the ruins and nearby cenotes, all of which are around a 20-30 minute bike ride.

COLECTIVO

Local colectivos can take you from town to the beach area or Tulum ruins. They run all day long starting early in the morning and depart when they are full. You can find the colectivos parked and driving anywhere along the town’s main avenue. To catch one, either walk up to a parked van, tell the driver your destination, and wait until the van has enough people to leave or stand along the side of the street and wave at an oncoming van, which will then stop and let you in. Again, tell the driver your destination and he will bring you there. There are always colectivo vans waiting in the parking lot at the Tulum ruins and driving along the beach road to take you back to Tulum.

THINGS TO SEE AND DO


Tulum has an endless amount of adventures to be explored. Where you stay is the least of your worries in this town, its choosing what you’d rather do with your time that matters most. The most popular things to do and see are the cenotes, Mayan Ruins, and the white sand beaches of course. However, the little boho chic town offers so much more to do! Below I’ve listed a few of our favorite experiences that I hope you will enjoy too: 

SWIM IN A CENOTE

There are literally thousands of centoes scattered across the Yucatan Peninsula. Made of precious limestone, and filled with crystal clear waters, they make for the perfect afternoon dip.  While some of them are at ground level and easily accessible, others are located below ground in cave like forms! Some of the most popular cenotes in Tulum are the Gran Cenote (pictured below), Cenote Azul,  and Cenote Ik Kil. 

If you want to beat the crowds and travel the local cenotes (like we did) , check out my blog post TULUM CENOTES: THE LOCALS GUIDE and view Tulum’s best kept secrets. 

EXPLORE THE MAYAN RUINS

Tulum’s ruins may not be the largest Mayan ruins in Mexico, but their spectacular location on a cliff overlooking the beach makes the Tulum ruins a marvelous site to behold. I recommend getting there early to beat the crowds, and head down to the beach or a cenote afterwards for a swim. 

If you have a few days in Tulum, I highly recommend heading inland about 2 hours to check out the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins( ONE OF THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD).  This tour will cover the ruins and a cenote swim in the middle of the Mayan Jungle! Click here to read more about the ruins!

CHAMPAGNE SUNSET AT KIN TOH 

Alright guys if you get to do one “fancy” thing in Tulum let this be it. I found out about Azulik Hotel through the power of social media. It’s one of the most beautifully crafted, luxurious, ecofriendly accommodations in all of Tulum and dare is say – all of Mexico. The resort itself is extremely expensive to stay in, so if you want a look around be sure to check out their restaurant Kin Toh. Research before my trip suggested that we skip the extremely costly meal and head to the bar for some cocktails at sunset. The restaurant opens at 5pm but if you want to be in line first and take some pictures in their famous nests and nets over looking the Mayan jungle – get there at 4:30. Ben & I went up for some cocktails which cost us about $30 USD for two.I’ll let the pictures do the speaking but you MUST put this on your Tulum Bucket List. 

LISTEN TO LOCAL MUSIC & SIP MOJITOS AT BATEY

As Tulum’s nightlife scene explodes, the same unassuming bar still remains the go-to place to start your night out. At Bateys (prounouced (bah-tays) you’ll find live music in the late eveneing and an energetic crowd spilling into the streets with tropical drinks in hand. This is located right around the corner from Aruma Hotel we stayed in, and directly next to Kin Toh, our favorite cafe. 

DISCOVER CASA MALCA (PABLO ESCOBARS ESTATE) 

Casa Malca is actually a 41 room luxury resort that sits at the end of the hotel zone. It’s difficutlt to find as the only identifying marker is a big railroad like “X” sign on the left hand side of the strip – about a 5 minute drive past Agua. Gallery owner Lio Malca ibought the property in 2012 then renovated the building and created a new boutique hotel that he filled with valuable pieces from his art collection, including works from Keith Haring, KAWS, and Marion Peck.

RELAX AT THE BEACH

Most hotels or beach clubs charge for chairs / cabanas on the beach, so unless you are staying in a hotel there expect to have to pay for your visit. You’ll be using private property, so will need to pay or buy food/drink or some combination. You can avoid this by bringing your own towels and blankets, walking along the beach and finding an empty spot in between. Our hotel had a sister property that we were able to enjoy food/ drink service in their cabanas. Ziggy’s Beach Club is a popular option for a beach day. You will pay a flat rate for your beach beds and additional charges for food and drink. It’s quite pricey $$$ but worth the cost if you want a relaxing day and being catered to. 

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK


This is a section that I need to write a entirely separate post about. It’s nearly impossible to list all the amazing options Tulum has to offer. Right now I’m working on a more comprehensive food / drink guide – but in the mean time I will show you guys a few of our favorite Tulum spots to grab a quick eat and drink at. 

POSADA MARGHERITA

Considered to be one of the most “instaworthy” spots in Tulum, Posada Margherita features declicous Italian fare with even tastier views! You can enter by street or walk up on the beach which is what we did. We grabbed one of the best views in the house sitting at a long bench and low rise table that stared out into the ocean. 1st picture shows our view! The pasta is made in house and is quite delicious – we ended up spitting an appetizer and small plate (pictured above) and enjoyed one of the best meals on our trip! Make sure you bring pesos as they don’t accept credit cards. 

La Estancia Jujeña 

Ben & I loved this restaurant so much we went back twice and brought friends. This delightful Arginentian restaurant was situated directly next to our Hotel in the center of Tulum town. The ambiance was breathtaking as we dined by candle light, with beautiful lights lining the canopy, and live music serenading us into the sunset. We sipped cocktails and dined over Beef Wellington and yummy empanadas. Highly recommend the steak here!! Everything about this place is 5 star with great food, quality service, atmosphere, and being one of the few places that accept credit cards. We loved this place so much and recommend it to everyone who visits! 

I SCREAM BAR

This was another restaurant / bar we visited multiple times on trip. I Scream Bar is by far one of the most popular restaurants and bars on the hotel strip – it attracts most of Tulum’s night life in the evening. We enjoyed a late night here tossing back tequila, but during the day we ate some of the best guacamole and tacos we had during our trip! 5 stars for their amazing service as well! Make sure to drink their caperanios 

Casa Jaguar 

A nice dinner spot that serves a little twist on classic Mexican dishes, known as one of Tulum’s most popular restaurants. They serve rustic wood-fired proteins and veggies, along with ceviches and salads. The restaurant and bar  boasts a bohemian- chick vibe and jungle atmosphere- prime grounds for pre- or post-dinner drinks. 

 GITANO

If you’re in the mood for a night out defined by pretty people and creative cocktails, Gitano is it. The lush outdoor lounge takes on a magic feel with its canopy of twinkling lights and disco balls,  making it the ideal locale to see and be seen. There’s a full menu of fresh, modern Mexican plates like basil guacamole and truffle mushroom tacos, but what everyone is really here for is the bar’s fruit-forward cocktails — most of which incorporate Mexico’s signature smoky spirit, mescal! To save some money I personally recommend checking Gitano out after dinner hours and grabbing a few cocktails!

LA EFUEMIA 

La efuemia was a recommendation to us from a local airbnb host who knew the owners. Not many travelers know about this local taco joint on Tulum’s beach so I’m here to give you the exclusive. La Efuemia is the locals taco joint. As one of the original taco joints in Tulum this is the premiere destination for all the locals and the waitstaff to go after their shifts. It soon became so popular by word of mouth that they opened a new destination on the beach. At La Efuemia you will find easy tacos, cheap beer, and amazing views as you dine on the beach overlooking the sea. Truly one of Tulum’s best kept secret. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Planning a trip to Mexico, and Tulum in general is overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on this beautiful location. Rest assured that no matter what you choose to do or where you choose to stay you’ll have a beautiful time. 

How To Paint An Arch Accent Wall

Before beginning your wall, make sure you patch any holes and have as smooth a surface as possible.

Clean & Prep & Measure Your Wall

Make sure to get rid of any imperfections. Wipe away any residual dust, scratch marks, and dust off the trim of your baseboards.

Start with measuring your wall. I started with little tick marks where I wanted the edges of the arch to be. I measured in 2 1/2 feet evenly from both ends of the wall to assure my arch would be centered. Once I marked my edges, I measured the distance between them and made another mark for the middle. This is where you will be putting your string to complete the top of the arch.

Begin prepping the wall with your painter’s tape, starting at the trim, then working your way up the edges about halfway up. This is where basic geometry comes in.  I used a pencil tied to a string attached to a pushpin. For this particular shape, I tacked my string at the middle point of my arch, so my string only measured 1/2 the width of the arch. Then starting at the corner of the arch, move the pencil on the string up the wall to draw the curve. (See above in video)

Prime (if necessary)

My walls were white, so I was able to skip this step by using a two-and-one paint and primer product. But if you are going from a dark color to a lighter color for your arch, you’ll want to prime your wall, following the manufacturer’s instructions on coat and dry time guidance.

Paint Your Arch

The bulk of this project’s time is spent on taping the arch. So now that you’ve taped the outline, you’re ready to paint! I only painted one coat with my Sahara Sands, but you may want to apply two depending on the color desired. It’s important to let the paint dry completely before pulling off the tape.

As with any arch wall, the end result is not going to be perfect. I recommend taking your time in taping the arch in small sections. This will leave you less touch-up work to do once you take the tape off. After your wall is painted in dry, remove the tape and take a small angled brush and smooth out any rough edges. It’s also helpful if you have a bit of paint on the hand of your original wall color. That way if any of the paint bleeds under the tape, you can go back and touch up the edges.

If you’ve seen arches or circles or other shapes online and thought it was maybe too difficult to pull off, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. I’m sure there are plenty of ways to do this DIY, but this is the easy method I used for my arch.

All and all arch accents wall are easy to do, budget-friendly, and add both form and function to your space.

XO,

Amanda Jo

The Most Instagram-worthy Spots in Tulum

January 22, 2019

If you want a slice of heaven, pack your bags and head to Mexico. Drive 2 hours south and you’ll find yourself in Tulum, Mexico,  one of the most “Instagrammable” destinations in the world. I visited Tulum over the holiday break and can see why so many people race to get there. Everyone’s doing it for the ‘gram. I mean who doesn’t want a photo of themselves feeding a donkey on a tropical beach, or gazing out of a tree house resort into the tree tops of the Mayan Jungle? 

If you are a fellow blogger, photographer, or globetrotter looking for the perfect backdrop, Tulum is the destination.  Don’t stress about going out of your way to get a perfect shot, more than likely it will come to you. 

Below are some of Tulum’s top IG Worthy destinations you won’t want to miss on your next trip. 

Gitano

Gitano is the type of place you go to wind down after long day of sun bathing and swimming in the sea. You may come for the delicious food and cocktails but you will stay for the trendy decor, and laid back atmosphere. A Gitano is a great place to dine and stay for a light night party as the restaurant becomes a place to dance in the late evening hours. Be sure to grab a few pics at the entrance in front of the neon sign where the “I still love you” sign illuminates the wall. Whether your relaxing in the bohemian lounge in the candle light  or sitting outside on the lush patio, you’ll want to bring your camera and snap away. 

COCO Resort

We weren’t able to visit all the resorts since most of them charge a resort fee. But walking along the shore we stumbled upon CoCo, complete with swinging chairs by the bar, gorgeous covered cabanas, and the cutest hammocks. We grabbed a quick drink at the bar and sat on their seaside swings enjoying the view.

Aqua

A hotel worth visiting at the end of the Hotel Zone strip is Aqua Tulum. We were able to access their beach chairs and cabanas for free through our hotels partnership with them. We enjoyed multiple seaside breakfasts and hours napping under the straw huts. Plus theres a big piece of driftwood in the ocean that seems to be ‘gram worthy for those who walk by.

Matcha Mama

Matcha Mama

If you’ve read about the delicious food at Matcha Mama in Tulum, you just have to know how cute the shop is! The swings right in front of the order window, the giant surf board sign and the powder-soft sand between your toes lends some of the best photos (and food) around! Grab a smoothie bowl and get your Instagram ready!

Photography: Sophocles Blog

Casa Malaca – Pablo Escobar’s Estate

We met a couple at the beach who told us that Casa Malaca is a must see spot in Tulum, however it can be tricky to find because there are no signs, except for an ‘X’ that looks like a railroad crossing sign at the end of the hotel zone strip. I feel like that’s part of its appeal, but you may find yourself passing it a few times before finding it. If the giant front doors are open a little and you can see inside, look for massive potted plants. You’ve found the right place. Ask around and when you do find it go in and hang a left through some trees and the main building will be on your right. This is where you’ll find the hanging furniture, go in and snap a few photos while you learn about the history. If you look closely you’ll realize that the large curtain in the photo below is made from wedding dresses! 

Cenotes – Any of them

I don’t want to name many names here, because really all the Cenotes in Tulum are worth visiting. You can check out my guide on 7 Must Try Adventures in Tulum or the Locals Guide to Tulum Cenotes here. Be sure to ask your cab driver for their recommendations because they know the best local cenotes with less crowds.

Coba & Tulum Mayan Ruins

Google Tulum and this is where most of the pictures will be from. The beautiful coastal ruins pair up against the vibrant ocean waters. I regret that we did not have enough time to visit the Ruins, although it is on our itinerary for our next trip. Many locals gave us the recommendation to visit the inland Coba ruins (about 2 hours from Tulum),  it’s one of the 7 wonders of the world!

 

La Estancia Jujena

La Estancia Jujena is a beautiful Agrgentinean Restaurant located in the heart of downtown Tulum. We enjoyed it so much that we invited new friends to come and enjoy a second night of dinner with us. I highly recommend this restaurant. We sat on their outside patio at sunset with a beautiful floral backdrop, while we enjoyed a wonderful candle lit dinner, with strings lights hanging over the walkway and a live band playing in the distance. It was perfection. Be sure to try their meat, the Steak  Dish and Beef Wellington are to die for. They also get another brownie point for accepting credit cards.

Azulik / Kin Toh

If you’ve looked up spots in Tulum, there’s no doubt you’ve seen this one before. Slap the hashtag #tulum into your search bar and you’ll find a majority of the pictures at this restaurant. Kin Toh offers one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in all Akumal and Tulum. There are seating areas are high above the trees called nests, although they will run you about $1000 USD just to reserve the space. My suggestion is to skip the nests unless you can afford them. If you want to keep it a rather inexpensive trip, line up at the doors at 4:30 (there is always a line to get in) and just go to Kin Toh for a round of cocktails. I read the reviews on the food and it sounds like your best option is to get in, have a quick drink, then go have dinner elsewhere on the strip for 1/2 the price. During your cocktail hour at Kin Toh you will be able to explore the restaurant, bar, and the instafamous nests where you snap away for the perfect shot. You can also ask the wait staff if they will take you a picture of you and your boo, they do this daily and know the best spots to shoot. Be sure to swing by the art gallery on the way out, you can see how amazing the architecture design is in the last photo above!

To be honest: The shot on the bridge I had to almost didn’t get! The bridge was closed off and I had to ask a staff member 3 times to let me go on the bridge just to take a quick picture. Bring some extra money to tip them if you want to go the extra mile for a good pic. 

Posada Margharita

Posada Margharita is a beautiful boutique beach front restaurant that stays at the top of everyone’s must see list. Not only is the view spectacular, but so is food! They serve homemade pasta, exotic fresh juices, cocktails and wonderful fish. One of the owners stopped by our table and explained the dishes on the menu – the pasta was one of my favorite dishes on my trip. Located right in the center of the hotel zone of the left side of the road, it’s also a hotel so it’s hard to miss!

I Scream Bar

Came for the view, stayed for the service and caipirinhas. If you’re going here just to snap a photo of the bar, consider staying for some guac and cocktails. The atmosphere, the people, the vibes and the live music are incredible! We came back on three separate occasions, twice for daytime food and drinks, and once on our night out. A wonderful laid back restaurant and bar that turns into Tulums favorite discoteca at night. 

Follow That Dream Sign

The most instagramed sign in Tulum. This one is easy to miss unless there are a few people already snapping photos outside on the street.  Rent a bike, go on an adventure down the hotel zone, and find the Follow That Dream sign next to the cute Lolita & Lolita boutique across from Sueños Tulum.

Raw Love

Although it feels like the popular boho photo ops are moving towards Nomade (below), Raw Love is still on people’s list for photos and for good reason. It is all plant based, including some of the best (and most photogenic) smoothie bowls in Tulum. We didn’t have the chance to eat here but I was able to snap a few photos! Be sure to enjoy the rope swings, hammocks, and laid back jungle vibes. There’s a ton of tree cover in here so you don’t necessarily need to worry about bad lighting, it’s a great place to stop in for a afternoon snack!

Nomade

Probably ranked number 1 for the best boho vibes in all of Tulum. It’s reminiscent of Morocco and the Sahara Desert, one of my favorite destinations I’ve visited during my travels.  

La Popular is the restaurant on the beach, and I’ll warn you it is pricey, this is why we ended up not eating here because our budget had been mostly spent by the time we stopped by. Honestly, most of the hotel zone is pricey, so be prepared to pay for meals / drinks like your in San Fran or New York.

Macondo is the restaurant you see in all the photos with the poufs on the floor. It’s the first restaurant on your left when you’re coming into the hotel. As usual, get there super early if you want the place to yourself or just hang around the hotel until you see it’s relatively empty. It’s a vegan plant based restaurant (but you can add some meats on the dishes if you wish). Worth the visit if you want the best boho vibes shot.

FREEDOM OF THE DRESS EXCLUSIVE 

You won’t find these extra tips on other Tulum Instagram Guides. If you want to attempt a photo with Sancho the donkey, visit the hotel Zulim on the beach strip. A beautiful yogi hotel where Sancho lives. We made a new friend who was staying here and she invited us for breakfast (with the most amazing view and food I may add) and to meet Tulum’s cutest beach pet! I was able to snap a quick picture with him while he visited the beach! Also, This cute pink buggie is also parked outside the front of the hotel. I’m not sure if it was someones that parked there or a hotel staff’s car, but it sure makes the perfect backdrop.

Spaghetti Carbonara

You may think a food truck is a step down from a normal restaurant but in the case of Mobile Gourmet you’d be so, so wrong. The Mobile Gourmet Food Truck is indulgent, tasty, and as good as any sit down place I’ve been to in my life.

The focus of the Mobile Gourmet is Venezuelan street food: arepas, cachapas, patacones, and of course empanadas! The arepas are served on a pair of smaller corn patties. They’re super crispy and far easier to eat. You can choose from fried cheese, pulled chicken, pulled beef or roast pork. (I think the roast pork is the best in the city, you’re allowed to disagree… but you’ll be wrong.) 

For a real treat, get a hot dog, served with fried potato shreds, cheese, choice of sauces, and lettuce. Be ready though, unless you’re ordering an actual hot dog there won’t be a hot dog in the bun, instead the meat of choice. It’s a bit misleading as it’s really just referring to the buns, but they’re delicious nonetheless. 

They also make an amazing sandwich, the pepito, a popular Venuezualan sandwich with your choice of grilled chicken, pork, or sirloin in between a baguette and topped with cheese, house sauce, “pink sauce”, fried potato shreds, and lettuce.

Confusing? Just think of almost everything on the menu as the same toppings and meat that are in the arepas, but just wedged Arepas (fried corn cakes), Perros (hot dog buns), or Pepitos (french baguette). That’s how I explain it to my friends.

Now, why am I reviewing them for my dessert blog? THE BEST SWEET DRINK EVER. The decadence of this wonderful menu extends into the drinks. Aside from the usual sodas, juice, and water, they offer Chicha – a thicker horchata that’s delicious to start with, then gets even more sugary when topped with condensed milk, and served iced. I admit going to the truck just to get a Chicha and I’ve never been able to finish one… but maybe you can!

This is not the place for you if you’re on a diet. It’s the kind of food you want after a night on the town or, in the case of my father, if you’re extremely hungry and want a meal that will immediately throw you into the couch. They’re open 6 PM to Midnight from Wednesdays through Saturdays. You can find them at Founder’s Square at the main entrance. You can smell the food a mile away, you won’t miss it. Remember, they’re a food TRUCK so be prepared to wait for your food if the park is busy and especially after the clubs close.