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1.16.2018

How to spend 4 days in Tulum - City Guide

This year, I had a very very special birthday for my big 3-0. I got woken up at 1am by my sister and my boyfriend and they told me I had an hour to pack my suitcase because we were leaving to the airport to a special destination. Until I stepped foot in the airport, I had no idea where I was going. Little did I know I was going to cross off a city from my bucket list: Tulum. I've been dying to go to Tulum for years and my sister, my boyfriend and my amazing family made it all happen. They booked an Airbnb and a car and the rest was planned an hour before our flight by yours truly ;) I told you, I've been holding on to a list for Tulum for years. I received soooo many direct messages on Instagram that I decided to share with you exactly how to spend 4 days in Tulum. 
Firstly, the best way to discover Tulum in my opinion is by living in the pueblo (the village) and renting a car. You can then have access to everything on your own schedule and not depend on anybody. When you are 2 or more this way of discovering Tulum is honestly the best. Tulum is a small city in Mexico that consists of a paradisiac beach, a small little town, ruins, amazing restaurants, cenotes and so much more. We rented an amazing Airbnb owned by french couple that have been living in Tulum for years. When I travel, I really love to discover the local markets and restaurants and that they pointed us exactly in the right direction. Here is exactly how we spend our 5 day trip: 
Day 1
The drive from Cancun to Tulum is super easy and approximately 1h30 min. For those of you wondering about parking in Tulum when you rent a car, no worries, we found parking absolutely everywhere from the pubic beach, to the hotels, to the restaurants, you usually end up on the side of road and sometimes pay a dollar. Everyone is so chill and relax, no parking tickets ;) We arrived at our Airbnb and went straight to lunch at the corner street restaurant called Los Aguachilles, a recommendation from our hosts. Next stop, we had to hit the beach. Since it was almost sunset, we decided to visit the local beach in Tulum called Las Palmas. We finally ended our night as one of the many cool restaurants in Tulum called Gitano, really good food, a bit more pricey, the food was ok, you mostly go enjoy the decor and the whole vibe of the restaurant.
Day 2
Living at an Airbnb means you could hit the local grocery store and have a calm breakfast and coffee in the morning before starting your day! Then, we drove to the Coba Ruins, which is a 45 mins drive. During the drive to the ruins, you pass through small villages and these are the best spots to shop. From hamac stores, to leather bags and shoes, everything is made by the locals and most of the time you visit their studios directly. Arrived at the Coba Ruins, the area is huge, make sure you rent bikes to ride to the ruins and climb to the top for an amazing view of the jungle. Another 45 mins drive back to Tulum and straight to Coco Tulum, probably the most Instagrammed spot in Tulum. One thing you need to know, you can access the hotels for a full day, some of them ask you for a minimum of consommation, like Coco Tulum $25US or other others just ask you to buy something with no minimum required. Honestly, $25US for a full day at a breathtaking beach, lounge chairs, access to everything is pretty amazing in my opinion. We arrived there perfectly on time for lunch. Suppertime, we wanted to try a local restaurant, La Querida was on the list and it honestly was soooo good. Tacos, Quesadillas, Guacamole, tasty Margaritas, you name it! After walking for a couple of minutes in the Pueblo, you quickly realize that the locals in Tulum are mostly expats, Germans, Italians, Americans, who packed their bags and move to Tulum. 
Day 3
My love for brunch is so strong and Tulum is filled with amazing spots. We made our way to Raw Love Café which is situated in a hotel and I had the absolute best açai bowl. The restaurant is vegan and gluten free. On top of my Tulum list was Casa Maca, Pablo Escobar's old estate. Situated at the end of the hotel strip on the main road, it is very hard to find, but once you step foot in this house, you've stepped foot in Paradise. This hotel has the absolute best part of the beach, so calm, gorgeous and you only need to purchase drinks but we decided to have lunch and spend the whole day at this gorgeous hotel. At night, we discovered the prettiest restaurant called Mamasan, the decor and food in this place are amazing. We ended the night at Batey Bar which is known for the best mojitos in all of South America and they were SO so good. 
Day 4
Another day, another brunch, this time at Tunich, a Canadian owned little restaurant on the main road. We followed with a visit to the Grand Cenote, which is breathtaking. Make sure you bring your towels, flip flops and water bottle. It's one of the main Cenotes in Tulum so it can get crowded, try to arrive their early. We followed by spending our last day at Hotel La Zebra which has a really nice beach area and really good food. Once again, another hotel where you only need to purchase food and drinks to spend the day and have access to the day beds. We loved La Querida so much that we had supper there for our last night. 

Tulum is an absolutely amazing city, most tourists visit the city while staying at hotels, however, I truly believe you get the full experience if you stay at an Airbnb in the Pueblo and just hotel hop during your trip. It is so easy to drive around, find parking and you don't need to depend on anybody, you create your own schedule and discover Tulum freely. Don't hesitate if you have any questions, I would recommend you add Tulum on TOP of your travel list!!! We are already planning our return for this year :)  


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