I went to Tulum, Mexico for a last minute girls weekend. My best friend Joanna (and one of my bridesmaids) had planned a trip with another one of her friends Alexa from Houston, Texas. On New Year’s Day they both decided they needed to get out of the cold weather and planned a trip to visit Tulum, Mexico. Luckily they ended up having room in their Airbnb and so I bought a last minute plane ticket to join!
I’d previously visited Tulum in 2013 with my husband and his family. We stayed in a villa on the beautiful sandy beaches of Soliman Bay, about 20 minutes north of Tulum in Riviera Maya. For a family vacation, I highly recommend renting a house as it’s great to all spend time together rather than having 5 different hotel rooms. But, for a girl’s weekend our Airbnb in Tulum was absolutely perfect! Our Airbnb was located outside Tulum and about a 10 minute drive or 20 minute bike ride to the beach.
How to Get There
The best airport to get to Tulum is through Cancun. However, make sure you plan extra time accordingly for travel. Traveling to Tulum takes about a full day. I took an 8:30am non-stop flight from Atlanta and then met Joanna and Alexa at the Cancun airport. As you need to go through Mexican customs you may wait a bit before getting through the airport. Then, Tulum is about 1.5 hours south of Cancun. We rented a car, which is going to be the most economical. Tulum is fairly spread out and having a car provides more flexibility to travel and explore places. After flying and then driving, we got to our Airbnb around 3pm on Friday.
Things to Do in Tulum
Below are some recommendations of places to eat and drink, things to do and places to stay in Tulum. We packed in a lot of activities for a long weekend. We took off a Friday and a Monday for our visit to Tulum. However, the last time I visited with my husband’s family we stayed for a full week.
- Taqueria La Eufemia: We had a late lunch here Friday after getting into town. The tacos and drinks are super cheap and you’ll definitely get a local experience!
- Posada Margarita: We ended up eating here Friday night and it was amazing Italian food. I know, sounds weird having Italian food in Mexico, but the homemade pasta was to die for.The wine selection is also topnotch! Plus, the location is just gorgeous on the beach. So, definitely stop by here for dinner one night!
- Papaya Playa Beach Club: After visiting the cenotes on Saturday we had lunch here and laid out on the beach. This is a definite must see.
- Hartwood: Everyone raved about this restaurant and said it’s the best food in Tulum. However, you need a reservation. Both Joanna and Alexa tried to make a reservation weeks in advance but they were already booked up. When we got into town on Friday we asked how we could try to get seated as walk-ins. The hostess said we’d have to get in around 5:30pm when they open or 8:30pm before they close to try to get seated. Our plan was to get their early for dinner on Sunday for our last meal of the trip, but the restaurant ended up being closed for maintenance! So, try to eat at Hartwood the first night you get in!
- Mateos: This is a great place for happy hour and to watch the sunset. It’s also randomly an NFL and sports bar.
- Camellos: This restaurant is in town and we were told was the most authentic and delicious place in Tulum. We didn’t make it over there, but could be cool.
- Gitano: Mezcal bar, known for drinks and tacos. We walked through on Sunday and it was gorgeous, but completely dead. So, would have been a great spot on a busier night.
- Casa Jaguar: This was another spot that came highly recommended. However, we also tried to go on a Sunday night after Gitano, but was closed. Next time we visit we’ll definitely want to try Gitano and Casa Jaguar for drinks on Friday or Saturday.
- The Real Coconut: This restaurant is located within the Sanará boutique hotel. We had amazing breakfast, and I would also definitely stay at the Sanará boutique hotel with my husband.
- The Restaurant at Zamas: After our Mayan Clay spa massage, we had our farewell breakfast at Zamas overlooking the ocean. This is a must see!
- Mezzanine: This is a Mexican and Thai fusion restaurant. We ate here Saturday night and surprisingly had amazing Thai food!
- Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar/Tulum Nightlife: The bar with the freshest mojitos! Also, the town of Tulum is the best area to go out at night. The beach area shuts down around 9pm.
Things to Do
- Mayan Ruins: I went to the Mayan Ruins back in 2013 with my husband’s family. We didn’t visit the Mayan Ruins this time, but it’s worth the visit. Just make sure you get there early before all the crowds.
- Mayan Clay Spa: We got the popular 90 minute full body Mayan Clay application and soothing back massage treatment applied from head to toes! The three of us were in our own private bungalow. It was amazing. After you get oils and clay massaged onto your body you take a hot shower in the jungle to wash off.
- Shopping: There is plenty of shopping in Tulum, Mexico so make sure you keep some extra room in your suit case. There are so many cute boutique shops down by the ocean.
- Cenotes: Definitly visit some of the cenotes. My husband and I got our scuba diving license back in 2013 and started our training in the centoes. One of the most famous cenotes is the Cenotes Dos Ojos.
Places to Stay
We stayed in an AirBnb but if I went back there are so many cute boutique hotels I’d stay with my husband
Hope this helps anyone who is thinking about heading to Tulum, Mexico.