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Trip List by coloradowanderer

Tulum - Beach Cabanas, Clubs & Comida

5 Jun 2009  Love of Tulum
4.5 of 5 bubbles based on 11 votes

Escape to the gorgeous white beaches, romantic cabanas and Mayan history in Tulum. Budget and luxury accomadtions available. If A/C is a must, look into hotels in town and take a taxi to a beach club for the day. The allure of waking up to the sound of the waves and the closet view to the ocean makes Tulum more popular every year. Local meals are less expensive than meals on the beach and both are worth a try.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Tulum
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Getting to Tulum from PDC & Akumal

    From Playa del Carmen, get an early start on a colectivo from Calle 2 between 15th and 20th Ave. Ask for 'las ruinas" or get out by the sign for Boca Paila Rd to catch a taxi to the beach.
    Another option, depending on the schedule is the air conditioned ADO Bus from the station on 5th Ave and Juaraz to the Tulum station.
    From Akumal, walk out to the highway and cross the white walkway to catch a colectivo going south. Or take a taxi the whole way.
    Getting Back:
    ADO and Mayab buses both run from the ADO station in Tulum located on the main street Highway 307. Second class Mayab buses run 24 hours a day and will stop anywhere along the highway. No need to pay a high taxi fare if staying out of town.
    Rental cars are an option for explorers and sober drivers. For those not staying in Tulum, If not planning on driving often, relying on public transportation is a good option.
    Colectivos, white vans, pick up and drop off passengers in town and anywhere along Highway 307. These shared vans are priced by the distance traveled and are great ways to get to cenotes, Tulum, Akumal and other attractions along the highway to Playa Del Carmen and then on to Cancun.
    Colectivos line up on the main street, HWY 307 in Tulum and operate from 5am until 10pm.

  • 2. Is No A/C Eco- Chic Beachfront Cabana for me?

    Arrival in the town of Tulum hides the treasures found past Boca Paila Rd. Long stretches of white sand, palm trees and about 70 hotels, cabanas and from high end to very budget friendly. Part of the allure of Tulum for me is the lack of All Inclusive hotels, local food, a laid back friendly vibe and some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Yucatan.
    If you need all the comforts of home, then stay at the lovely Ana y Jose or the gorgeous new Be Tulum, both higher end beach hotels with A/C. Some hotels offer limited or 24 electricity run on generators, other places might not have any. Some places have salt water showers. Screens on the windows and mosquito nets are a must for all cabanas no matter the price. La Zebra and Mezzanine offer 24 hour electricity from quiet generators. The cabanas and rooms have fans but do not allow hairdryers. Let the ocean breeze dry your hair for a few days.
    Wake up and fall asleep to the sound of the waves just steps from your cabana door. Candles and lanterns along paths at night add romance and make the area perfect for honeymooners that want a taste of local life instead of an AI.

  • 3. Getting Around Tulum

    Taxis are available along the beach road from cabana hotels, beach clubs and restaurants for rides into town and back. Always ask the fare before getting into the taxi. Chat with the driver, ask where he is from and learn a little about the area.

    Some hotels offer free bikes or rentals. If not, ask where rentals are available to ride to the Mayan site or into town.

    Walking around el centro Tulum is a taste of Mexican life off the beach. It's a couple of miles to the beach on the Boca Paila road but it can be done on foot if one can take the heat.

  • 4. Beach Clubs

    Staying in a cabana along the beach is ideal, but day trippers or those staying in town can still find a spot at the beach. In addition to the formal beach clubs, many hotels will allow patrons to lounge about if drinks or meals are purchased.
    Just to name a few:
    El Paraiso
    Playa Azul
    Ana y Jose
    Ziggy Beach Club (El Bistro Tulum)
    all the way down to Milamores (formerly Casa Magna).
    Be prepared with cash as not all places accept credit cards and sometimes there is an additional fee.
    Massages are available at many hotels and spas along the beach road.

  • 5. La Zebra Beach Cabanas & Restaurant
    La Zebra Colibri Boutique Hotel, Tulum

    One of many hotels along the beach, but what a slice of cielo! Love it so much we got married on the beach here and had our reception in the restaurant. The food was delicious and they took excellent care of us.

    Laid back vibe, hand painted tables in the sand, outdoor dance floor, indoor bar, hammocks and beach loungers. Nine upscale cabanas offer beach views, wonderful king beds in most and rock showers with salt water. The first few cabanas are coveted for the most breeze and best views. Cabanas have fans, flushing toilets and electicity. Candles in the rooms and along the paths make for a romantic feel.

    The restaurant sources as much produce and veggies locally as possible and they have their own garden. Members of the Slow Food movement, opposed to fast food, and it is worth the wait. Watch the watermelon get carved and mashed for your fresh margarita. We find the service friendly. Just ditch your watch, speak some Spanish and try to relax and enjoy your brief time in paradise.

  • 6. Mezzanine
    Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel, Tulum

    High end decor, hip atmosphere for romance and super comfortable beds. Look for deals but it's worth a splurge. No A/C so go in the winter months, bring DVD movies to watch in the Master Suite and your IPOD.
    Be aware of a loud DJ party with entertainers on Fridays during the high season. Thai Restaurant on site for lunch and dinner. Drunken Noodles was the absolute best with fresh herbs grown onsite from seeds from Thailand.
    Loved our honeymoon stay!

  • 7. Cetli
    Cetli, Tulum

    A must do dining experience while in Tulum is to visit Chef Claudia for her inventive and historical Nahuatl creations. Panella cheese with red fruit topping, delightful bread with garlic butter, frioles tartlets, salad with warm proscuitto and phenomenal entrees of tamarind grouper and Chile en Nogada. Claudia loves food and it shows!

  • 8. Charlie's Restaurant & Bar
    Charlie's Restaurant & Bar, Tulum

    Enchilades with cheese in a flavorful mole were the highlight of our lunch visit. The salad was fresh and the margaritas were strong! Great place along the strip in town.

  • 9. Pollo Asados Dona Rosa

    Located across from the ADO bus station along Highway 307 in centro Tulum. Comida Corrida serving up grilled chicken with tortillas, beans, cabbage and a bit of spaghetti and moist chopped pork tacos Michoacan style. The chopped cilantro, onions and salas picante really made the meal. With two bottle of soda our bill came to 79 pesos which is around $6.50 US.

  • 10. El Tacoqueto
    El Tacoqueto, Tulum

    This local restaurant has no menus so we headed into the kitchen with the waiter. The offerings were explained and we chose our meal from pots. Homemade tortillas, salsas, two glass bottles of soda for less than $10 for two.

  • 11. Nitelife

    Tulum can be quiet and isolated but there are still some nitelife opportunities. Live music can be found along the hotel zone.
    Mezzanine has a Friday party every week with a DJ, entertainers and loads of people mixing it up.
    La Zebra throws a popular salsa party every Sunday night. Arrive early to snag a table for dinner before the salsa lessons. The band rocks and will have even the most timid tapping their toes. Be sure to try the fresh fruit margaritas.

  • 12. Mayan Ruins of Tulum
    Ruinas Mayas de Tulum, Tulum

    This is the only Mayan site built along the ocean. No need to join a tour to the site if you prefer to get there on your own and then join a group or hire a guide at the gate. Be sure to bring swimsuits and check out the stretches of white sandy beaches.

    During high season, there are night tours and lights on the sights.