Curated by: Lucas Santos & Ben Dumas
Travel Period: February 2016
Traveled With: Lucas SantosBen Dumas, Julian Labagh, Jen Leiweke, Matt Farley, Dayna Buckley, Ryan Buckley
Typical Weather: Hot, sunny with mild nights, cool mornings
Getting There: NYC - Cancun direct in only 4 hours. Rent a car to get from Cancun to Tulum, it's very affordable (as low as $9/day)
Getting Around: Once you're in Tulum, you can bike around or walk anywhere on the main strip

This was our second time in Tulum - the first time, we went for our friend's birthday with a large group of 12 friends but this time we went with just 7. Two of our girl friends and their husbands were down in Cancun for a wedding and were planning to meet us after, but me, Ben, and Julian went a few days ahead to Tulum so we could spend 5 nights in paradise. There's nothing better than Tulum for a quick, easy, relaxing, yet boozy trip. It had been a rough few months at work for all of us so we were ready to let loose and disconnect which meant lots of beach, cocktails, food, and dancing. The best thing about Tulum for us is that you don't need an itinerary and you just go with what you're feeling like doing at the moment. There will always be a special place in our heart for this place <3

STAY

Casa Violeta - The most magical quaint Tulum boutique hotel. It feels extremely rustic and authentic to Tulum, but the rooms have everything you could want or need. Their host and owner Karla is beyond delightful and makes you feel like her home is yours. With stayed in the Jasmin room, which is perfect for a group of  close friends. It's one of the closest rooms to the beach, other than Magnolia; however, Jasmin has more privacy for the front porch.  Make sure you try the Paloma cocktail while lounging on the beach, it was our favorite!

Other Recommendations:

  • Be Tulum - One of the best spots in Tulum. A little pricey, but most rooms have private pools and the rooms are air conditioned, Even if you're not staying at the hotel, you can make a dinner reservation and enjoy the night there. 
  • Posada Margherita - Super cute boutique hotel run by an Italian couple in the beginning section of Tulum road. The rooms are nice and very well decorated for those looking for a little more style and design during your stay. The restaurant is so amazing and they serve some of the best Italian food we've ever had. Get the fish of the day for dinner and then cozy up with your friends and a bottle of wine or five at the table that is a bit separated from the restaurant before heading out for the night. 
  • Sanara - New modern health-conscious hotel with incredible food, yoga, and beach-front lounging spots.

See & do

  • Gran Cenote - This is the main snorkeling cave that is an easy drive from Tulum. The water is crystal clear and its such an amazing spot to enjoy a few hours of your day.
  • Ruins - The Tulum ruins are the only ones built by the sea, so wear your swimsuit and head down to the beach for a beach break. There are a few other options too that are a little more inland and a little more of a drive away. 
  • Beach -  The Tulum beach is picture perfect, with something for everyone.  The beach itself if basically a pedestrian highway lined with small hotels, restaurants, and beach bars that you can pop into while taking a stroll.  Our time is Tulum is always spent almost entirely on this amazing beach!  You can also rent bikes if you prefer to use the actual road to get around.  

EAT & DRINK

  • Gitano - Great after dinner spot.  Think jungle disco - incredible live music, vibe, people, and drinks. Try the Jungle Fever drink - they are known for their mezcal. This was also the only place that took reservations over the holiday week.
  • Hartwood - One of the best restaurants in Tulum, if not the best. They do not take reservations ahead of time so you have to line up around 3PM to put your name down for that night's dinner. They have incredible drinks with fresh juices that makes it less guilty to be drinking as much as you probably will be. Also their seafood (especially their octopus) is amazing and caught that very day. 
  • Kitchen Table - Such amazing food and incredibly friendly staff that makes dinner really fun. 
  • Cenzotle Secret Garden Restaurant - This really cute spot has an amazing setting (think candle-lit open-air gardens) with amazing traditional Mexican food. 
  • Casa Banana- Great for a casual Mexican jungle dining. 
  • Mezzanine - Happy hour spot with great beach views and the thai food there was delicious! 
  • Mateos - Chill vibe, further north up Tulum road. Great tacos and micheladas. 
  • Casa Jaguar - We had a private dinner here.  Meat was great, but the rest of the food was decent. Strong cocktails.  
  • Papaya Playa Project - Very cool beach club literally cut out of rock. It's really great and they play awesome music. Don't eat there though - the food is weird.