Hi babes! I’m here to finally tell you about that trip I took to Tulum over MLK weekend. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get this post up. I’m sorry! There has definitely been a lot that’s happened in the last two months, no doubt about it. Things were getting extremely stressful at my last job, with me taking on more responsibility than I had the bandwidth for. On top of that, there was all the boy drama that I had to tell you about (because I have zero filter, apparently), and I was also crazy busy with interviewing for new positions. Anyway, I’m happy to finally be able to write about Tulum, and tell you about how beautiful it was!
One of my great girlfriends Jen told me back in November that she wanted to do a quick weekend away, and I was SO in! It was just the two of us, which is nice, because it kept things really low-key. Neither of us (especially me) are huge partiers, and we’re both pretty easy-going, so I wasn’t worried about what it would be like to travel together for four days. Luckily Jen is a planner, so I let her take the reigns on basically everything (thank you, Jenny!) and she did an amazing job. Once our five hour flight landed in Cancun, we breezed through customs and had an arranged car waiting for us. Pro-tip: I highly recommend arranging a professional transportation service to and from the airport. We were told by our hotel that it’s not safe to take the cabs there, and that they over-charge by a lot. Our ride from the airport to the hotel was about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Our driver was wonderful, and the car was comfortable, spacious, clean and had wi-fi. For the two of us, it was a combined $200 for our ride to the hotel and the ride back to the airport when we were leaving. Excellent price, in my opinion.
We stayed at Hotel Cabanas Tulum, which is right on the main strip of boutique hotels and restaurants in Tulum. It was so pretty and relaxing! We each had a double bed, the bathroom was really nice (with a HUGE shower), there was a hammock just outside our front door, and we even had our own personal rooftop area with a hot tub. If we’d been on our honeymoon, it would’ve been very romantic haha. We stayed for 3 nights and the total for the room came to $840 with taxes (so about $280 per night). Considering we split the cost for everything, that was totally affordable – our hotel had its own stretch of beach, complimentary breakfast, complimentary bikes you could use to go into town, and was in an excellent location.
As I mentioned, the breakfast was complimentary, and there was lots to choose from. We totally over-indulged. We’d get french toast and eggs and smoothies every morning, because everything was fresh and delicious! They also had beach-side service so that when we were hanging out on the beach and soaking up the sun (or when I was frantically trying to cover myself in shade and SPF 100 to avoid sunburns), they’d come over to take our orders and then bring it over as soon as it was ready. Perfect for when we were in the mood for some Diet Cokes with Chips & Guac.
Another perk that they had was their security. I want to mention that I’ve never traveled to Mexico before this and that I was a little hesitant given the reputation that certain areas have, but I went in with an open mind. The hotel takes their guests’ safety and security seriously and to reinforce that, they have a few security guards placed on the beach to make sure that there aren’t any random people coming over from other areas and that your personal property is secure should you decide to take a dip in the ocean. I never once felt unsafe at the hotel, and would recommend it to anyone. Oh, and the best perk of the beach? Their wildly instagrammable swing set. Seriously, this thing is the definition of “doing it for the ‘gram”. #NoShame
There are dozens upon dozens of restaurants up and down the strip in Tulum, all of them open and airy, half of them right on the beach. Of all the ones we went to, I can’t not recommend the one we went to on our last night, which was called Gitano’s. Forget the food (although yes, it was delicious). The waitstaff is made up on the hottest group of men I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Absolutely no exaggeration, Jenny and I were floored when we saw how goodlooking these guys were. I swear, it must be some sort of requirement. I’ll be the first to admit, I was shameless with my flirting. Our waiter (Bruno <3) was incredible, although he sadly has a live-in girlfriend, ugh. Each night they also have live music playing, which makes the whole experience even better. It was only about a 10 minute walk from our hotel to the restaurant, making it really easy to get to, and completely worth it.
The shopping in Tulum isn’t far from what you’d expect. There are, of course, the classic touristy traps. The shops where you can get the handpainted skulls (which I don’t believe are handpainted, btw), dream-catchers, I ❤ Tulum T-shirts… the basics. There are also some really cool shops where we were able to get beautiful, unique pieces of jewelry, as well as fair-trade products. The fair-trade products are obviously going to be on the pricier side because they’re not made in some awful sweatshop somewhere, but they are extremely well-made, and you can spend your money knowing that it’s going to the person who deserves it. So yeah, I guess that takes the sting out of a little bit haha.
By far the COOLEST thing that we did while in Mexico was the Aventuras Mayas Tour. This all-day excursion picked us up from our hotel at 7am, took us on an hour drive to what I can only describe as a massive campground, and gave us one of the most fun days ever! We did a 7-line Zipline course, repelled down a tree course, snorkeled in the salt caves, visited the Mayan ruins, and shopped in the local market area. We were dropped back off at our hotel around 4pm, absolutely exhausted by it all. The price tag on 9 hours of adventure? $100 each. I know, I can’t believe it either tbh. I really, truly cannot recommend this tour enough. You NEED to go!
The Bottom Line
I noted a few of the price tags above, but as a recap, I spent a total of $787 (not including airfare or any shopping that I did) on this trip… Yes, you read that right…
- Roundtrip airport transportation: $100 each
- Adventuras Mayas ticket: $100 each
- Hotel for 3 nights: $420 each
- Restaurants for all meals (complimentary breakfast): $167 each
IS THAT NOT UNREAL?! A 4 day/ 3 night international trip that I only spent $787 to go on (again, minus the airfare because I had miles). I had such a fantastic time. A massive thank you to Jenny for planning virtually everything for this trip and finding the best of the best for reasonable price tags. I can’t wait for our next adventure! xo, AJ