I had the opportunity to live in Tulum from January 4 through February 2 of this year, and it was an adventure. I visited Tulum back in May of 2022, however five days down in that part of Mexico wasn't long enough for me. The culture and nature needed to be explored more! Half a year later the chance to go back to Tulum came to life, and the adventure began again.
If you're planning to visit Tulum, Mexico, I have some suggestions on activities you need to add to your itinerary. There's so many amazing things to do, but here are the things that have stood out to me and have left a lasting impression.
Cenotes, Cenotes, Cenotes!
I absolutely cannot emphasize this enough. The vast amount of cenotes found in the Yucatan Peninsula highly outnumber the rest of the world. Just in Mexico, you can explore over 6,000 locations. Cenotes are formed when limestone collapses, exposing the groundwater below. Just a few of the cenotes I visited in Tulum were Casa Cenote, Gran Cenote, Corázon Cenote, Cenote Escondido, and Dos Ojos Cenote. Each of these were so beautiful with their crystal clear waters and green vegetation, that I can't wait to go back and see them again.
Dine at the Mom and Pop Restaurants
The food in Tulum is something I still crave in the States. From the empanadas to the chilaquiles to the natural juices, you can't get enough! In Downtown Tulum there are so many places to eat, but my personal favorites always ended up being the smaller family businesses. My friends down there own Crazy Fish Tacos and Happy Hippie, and I LOVED those places! If you get a chance to visit those spots, do it!
Sunrise at the Beach
Visiting the beach is always a must, but there are better times in the day than others to go see and smell the salty waters. I've visited the beach morning, afternoon, and dusk, and I can tell you the best time to go is in the morning. You beat the heat and the crowds, and everything is so peaceful as you watch the sky turn orange. This of course could be more difficult for those who are opposed to waking up before the sun is up, but at least a rule of thumb: visit the beach before noon!
Try out a Local Gym
Now you may not be like me in this sense, visiting a gym while on vacation. Why would someone workout while they're out traveling?? Well, I'm one of those people, and maybe you're a gym rat yourself! There were plenty of incredible gyms to visit to get a pump in, including the well known Tulum Jungle Gym. It's so unique as they use wooden dumbbells, bamboo barbells, stones, and wooden and rope contraptions to get in a jungle workout! This is a must if you enjoy the gym; you need to visit Tulum Jungle Gym at least once. But there are other gyms as well, including martial art gyms. Tulum Fight Club has incredible boxing and Muay Thai classes, along with classes just dedicated to women's training. Lots of ways to get exercise in while visiting another country!
There's amazing history to explore while in Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula is no exception. The history you can witness for yourself is incredible! There are different types of ruins to visit in the area, but the one I visited during my stay in January was the Tulum Mayan Ruins in Tulum National Park. It's inexpensive to visit, just 90 pesos for an entry ticket (roughly $5 USD). Of course you can hire a tour guide to give you more information about the history, but as for myself I just paid the entry fee and loved all of it. There were signs along the walking areas to learn about the history, so if you're a baller on a budget, this will work perfectly for you.
Meet New People
If you know me, you would describe me as a people person. And whether you yourself are a people person or not, I highly encourage to get to know some people in Tulum better. You of course don't have to become best friends with someone during a week trip, but saying "hello" and "how are you" to the barista you see every morning can lead to a wonderful conversation! Also there are so many travelers from all over the world that visit Tulum. During my stay, I met people from South Africa, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Canada, and so many other places. I've also made friends with some of the locals and learned more about the Mayan language, along with learning more Spanish. There's much to explore and new people to meet. A genuine hello to someone could lead to learning amazing things!
These are only a few things compared to many activities you can do in Tulum, but what I have shared has left a lasting impact on me. I can guarantee that I will be returning to Tulum again, and if you need a photographer/videographer to capture your visit, shoot me a message! I know lots of amazing people down there, and I'd love for you to see the beauty this Mexican city has to offer.