I haven’t seen much of Tulum but I already fell in love with this city. It has that special something that makes you not want to even blink ’cause you fear that you’re missing out on something. Compared to Cancún, Tulum is a lot less touristic. In Cancún you find huge hotels, fancy shops and luxurious buildings. Tulum however is smaller, cosier and more alternative. It has some places to offer that are extremely unique and special and the beaches make you feel as if you were in Paradise. Plus Tulum has also historic monuments to offer as you can visit Maya Ruins there. And here’s another good point because it’s smaller and therefore filled with less people than the Archeological Zone in Chichén Itzá that is declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Sure, Chichén Itzá is great and impressive but I’m gonna show you why I prefer the ruins in Tulum!
So, let’s just start with the historic part of Tulum. First of all there’s a little train that can get you to the ruins and back. It is not necessary because the it’s really not that far away but for 20 Pesos going there and back (which is approximately 1€) I guess you can do it. However when you arrive at the cash desks to get your entrance tickets, be sure you have a credit card with a PIN number with you. There were so many people queuing that we really regretted not having such a credit card to just go to the electronic ticket machine, get our entrance tickets there and skip the line. So in the end we bought our tickets at the normal cash desk plus two permissions to take pictures as they cost extra. I’d say: screw that. Nobody is even controlling that photo permission at any point of the visit.
Once you’re inside the Zona Arqueológica the view is breathtaking. Not only because of the ruins but also because of the colour of the water on the shore! I’ve never seen water so turquoise-coloured. I’d have built my home there too. I can understand you, Mayan people! And this is exactly why I prefer Tulum to Chichén Itzá: the surrounding sea and the cool breeze you get from there. Plus the entrance fee is a lot lower, there are not as many people as in Chichén Itzá and there are no stands and stalls trying to sell you something every few minutes. A last little hint: don’t miss out on the beach there! Just follow the signs from the Zona Arqueológica to the beach and maybe get a Coco Frío on the way out. The beach is called El Paraíso and that was really suiting! One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to with exactly that colour of water that I already mentioned. Plus: most of the people there are locals, it’s not touristic at all and the Tacos at the Santa Fé restaurant are amazing (and mine even vegan)!
- Entrance Fee Tulum Ruins: 65 Pesos (ca. 3,50€) / Photo Permission 45 Pesos (ca. 2,50€)
- Opening Hours: everyday between 8AM and 5PM
- Prices at Santa Fé: A plate of Tacos about 120-160 Pesos (ca. 7-8€)
What an amazing way to spend our last night on the Riviera Maya! It was perfect, really! Zine is a kind of restaurant combining food with a movie, so basically you have the Netflix-and-chill-experience in the middle of the jungle. This is how it works: reserve in advance, just text them via Facebook or call them and they tell you at what time they have something available. Once you’re there you get to choose a movie and they really have a great range of movies, even some really new ones. They also have them in different languages and subtitles, for example English, Spanish, German, Polish, French and some others. Next you get to choose a food package. As they don’t charge anything for the cabin or the movie, they ask each person to take a food package. The prices are more than okay and the food is super delicious! When they’ve finished preparing your own private movie cabin, they guide you there and start the movie and you are sitting (or better lying, ’cause it’s super comfy couches!) in the cosy cabin, surrounded by the jungle that you can smell, see and hear and enjoy the movie you picked while they bring you the food and drinks you ordered. It was heaven! Really one of the best things I’ve ever done and the people working there were incredibly friendly and kind. I got to know about Zine from a German YouTuber who’s called Nilam. So Nilam, thank you very much for this awesome hint!
- Facebook Page
- Address: Av. 1 Manz. 527 lote 1, 77760 Tulum
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5PM – 10.30PM
- Prices: food packages including a main dish and a dessert between 210 and 250 Pesos (ca. 10-13€)
Papaya Playa Project
Another thing that I am super happy about that we did it! Papaya Playa Project basically is a desgin hotel but you can enter the beach there for free and you just have to pay what you consume (I recommend the Mojito Tropical). The beach is totally worth it! There are cosy stalls with mattresses to lay around and just relax, the bar area looks super cool as there are little indivudal terraces and everything is made of wood. There’s a DJ changing between some funky and some techno tunes and there are wooden swings on which you feel as if you could touch the sky if you’d just swing high enough. This place is magical. Of course you can also stay there and get a room (which I would definitely do next time!) but it’s also great just to spend a few hours there and take in the atmosphere.
A little extra hint: We had a car to go to Tulum, so while we were driving, we realised that the way from Papaya Playa Project to Zine was super fascinating! There was one cute, dimly lit restaurant or bar next to the other, cosy wooden terraces to take a drink, colourful chairs and tables and artsy shops. So when you got enough time, don’t miss out on taking it slowly down that road and maybe stop by one or two places!
If you still can’t get enough from the wonderful Riviera Maya then just check out Flyingfoxy. On this blog by the lovely Katrin you’ll find a great article with more tips and impressions of this beautiful piece of earth