I just spent a week in Tulum, and cannot stop telling all my friends they need to go. May is the perfect time because it’s the beginning of slow season. Prices are a bit lower and crowds are a bit thinner, but the weather is great.
Day 1 – Saturday
Arrive: Fly into the Cancun airport and grab a rental car at the counter just outside of baggage claim. Don’t forget to get some pesos from one of the ATMs.
Drive: The drive from the airport to Tulum is a straight shot down the 307. When you hit Tulum town you’ll turn left on Boca Paila (the beach road). Another budget-friendly option is to take the ADO bus from the airport to Playa del Carmen, then take the Mayab bus from PDC to Tulum, but having a car will allow you to explore more of Tulum and the Yucatan.
Lunch: Grab tacos in town (try El Camello Jr. or the taco stand next to the bus stop, which is rumored to be delicious) and stock up on some water bottles, or drive straight to the beach and enjoy lunch by the ocean.
Relax: Check into Yoga Shala then walk across to Ahau Tulum and relax on the beach. Grab a Berry Love smoothie from Raw Love to sip as you walk the beach.
Dinner: Walk a short distance on the beach, heading south, to Taqueria la Eufemia for dinner. Tacos are just 20-30 pesos and delicious so order away. When they come you can walk inside to dress them at the salsa bar. When it comes to the drinks, stick to beer (a friend said he got sick from the ice here).
Related posts: Getting to Tulum
Day 2 – Sunday
Sunrise: Wake up early to catch sunrise on the beach. Lay in a hammock while you soak it in or walk along the beach to see all the beautiful properties.
Breakfast: Order an acai bowl from Raw Love and enjoy it in one of their hammocks before walking back out onto the beach.
Relax: Lounge on the beach and read a book all day long. Just make sure to apply lots of SPF and take advantage of the shade. Dip into the turquoise waters when you get hot, which won’t be often with Tulum’s perfect breeze.
Lunch: Go back to Taqueria la Eufemia, because I’m obsessed, and this time order the guacamole. You could also order right at Ahau Tulum (they are supposed to have a farmer’s market on Sundays) or try another nearby hotel. Wander in either direction along the beach after lunch then head back to Yoga Shala to shower and siesta.
Dinner: Grab dinner at any on of Tulum’s popular restaurants on the beach road. La Zebra has a live band and salsa lessons on Sunday nights.
Related posts: Lounging on the Beach in Tulum
Day 3 – Monday
Rise: Wake up early for another beach sunrise or drop into the 8:30 yoga class at Yoga Shala.
Breakfast: Order the eggs benedict at Canopia along with one of their juices. The outdoor seating area is adorable.
Relax: Snag a hammock on the beach and enjoy the salty breeze while you watch the waves and kite surfers. The water in Tulum is amazingly blue and turquoise.
Lunch: Be gloriously lazy and order lunch right on the beach. Try the quesadillas and guacamole at Ahau Tulum. Their frozen cocktails looked pretty good too. When you’ve had enough of the sun, head back to your hotel for a shower and quick siesta.
Dinner: Explore the local shops and eat dinner in town at Pozoleria la Mexicanita.
Related posts: A Rainy Day in Tulum
Day 4 – Tuesday
Breakfast: Drive up beach road towards town and stop at Zamas along the way for breakfast. They have plenty of parking across the street if you arrive early. Order huevos rancheros and the watermelon mint juice as you take in the stunning beach views.
Explore: Getting up early has it’s perks when it means beating the crowds to the Gran Cenote. Be sure to rent a snorkel because while the cenote is beautiful from above, it’s magical underwater. When the tour buses roll in around 11, move over to Cenote Calavera. You should have passed it on the way to Gran Cenote. Calavera is much quieter; you’ll should only run into a few divers. Skip the ladder and jump right into the cenote from above!
Lunch: Grab a Tropical Kiss smoothie at Raw Love then walk down to the beach. When you get hungry order from one of the beachfront restaurants.
Drive: The drive to Coba is really easy and takes just under an hour. Check in at Coqui Coqui for the night. It’s Indiana Jones meets luxury.
Dinner: Eat dinner at the Coqui Coqui restaurant, sip drinks by the pool and play board games in the library. If you’re lucky you may have the whole place to yourself.
Related posts: Coqui Coqui Coba
Day 5 – Wednesday
Breakfast: Enjoy the fruit platter, fresh jam and bread for breakfast at Coqui Coqui. Order their tea as well and sample one of their flavored honeys.
Explore: Walk or drive over to the Coba ruins (parking costs about 50 pesos). From the entrance, walk back towards the left until you reach the biggest pyramid. You can climb this one all the way to the top for stunning views of the jungle. Grab a bike taxi back to the front entrance (you earned it). Plus, as a bonus, the biker will probably give you some of the history you missed by not hiring a tour guide.
Lunch: Before you leave town, grab lunch. We stopped at one of the last restaurants in town, sandwiched between a chicken vendor and a construction store, because it was the only one serving locals (and you know what they say: eat where the locals go). Order fajitas and a Mexican coke. The house salsa was ridiculously delicious.
Drive: On the drive back to Tulum, buy dream catchers, hammocks and blankets. You’ll get a better deal if you stop where there are lots of stores since these vendors have competition and are more likely to negotiate prices. When you arrive back at Tulum with your car full of new goodies, check in at MangleX.
Dinner: Grab dinner in town, then stop by Todos Santos or La Gran Mosca Verde for a drink before calling it a night.
Day 6 – Thursday
Breakfast: Go early and order the bread platter and the vanilla and date smoothie at Casa Banana while you wait for your huevos rancheros. The marmalade is delicious and the smoothie is delivered with a kabob of fruit and a burning stick of cinnamon sticking ceremoniously out of the top.
Explore: Drive up the beach road (going to the right past the roundabout that takes you back to town) until you reach the Tulum ruins. Do a quick walk through then hang out on the beach below the ruins.
Lunch: Drive into town and grab lunch at Burrito Amor. Order the hibiscus and chia water with one of their burritos. The vegan burrito has cactus and chaya (Mayan spinach in it)! Make sure to try their homemade verde sauce.
Relax: Lounge on the beach in front of Mezzanine. This strip of the beach is seriously the most beautiful stretch with mossy rocks and the bluest of blue waters (we didn’t know it could get any bluer than what we saw near Ahau Tulum!). And the water stays shallow so you can wade out forever.
Dinner: Walk the beach until you find a restaurant and sit down for dinner, or stay and eat at Mezzanine; they specialize in Thai food!
Day 7 – Friday
Breakfast: Wake up early to check out of MangleX, then hit the road. Order huevos rancheros and a limonada con chia at La Coqueta on the way out of town.
Drive: The drive from Tulum to Valladolid is almost a straight shot via the Coba road, and signs regularly update you along the way so you know you’re headed the right way. Check in at the Meson del Marques right in the middle of town.
Explore: Wander around Valladolid, the 500 year old colonial village that was once the capital of the Yucatan Penninsula. Make sure to see the church and then walk over to Coqui Coqui to discover the scents of the Yucatan.
Lunch: Walk back to the Bazar Municipal and order lunch from one of the many vendors. The cheese empanadas topped with cabbage and pickled onions are out of this world. Grab some churros in the park across the street afterwards.
Taste: Pop into the mescal shops for a sample or take a tour of the chocolate factory to taste the Mayan chocal haa flavors. You could also order Xbentun, an anise liquor local to this part of the Yucatan, from any of the bars around town.
Lounge: Hang out at the pool, kick up your feet and order drinks with dinner from the hotel restaurant.
Day 8 – Saturday
Breakfast: Take advantage of the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. If you have to leave before 7 am to catch your flight, ask the friendly staff to pack your breakfast to go.
Drive: The drive from Valladolid to the Cancun airport is quick on the new toll road and their are tons of signs along the way.
Depart: Don’t forget to return the rental car before flying home.
Have you ever been to Tulum? Let me know if I missed any of your favorite spots!
Fantastic blog! Thank you I’m planning a holiday to Tulum next May. This is very helpful x
Thanks Rachel, glad to hear!
Aloha! I just got back from Tulum and I can seriously say that my heart is still there… I’m scheming on ways to go back soon and stumbled upon your itinerary. I just have to say that it’s a MEAN one! Like as in SUPER good. 🙂 I wanted to compliment you and tell you that I’m bookmarking it for my return trip. I recognized a lot of places on there that I saw, but wasn’t sure if I should spend time checking out. I did, however, spend a night at Coqui Coqui Coba and FELL. IN. LOVE… Thank you for posting your spots for the Centre, which I did not get to explore. Lots of love and aloha to you! And thanks again!
Oh yay! I have been itching to get back to Mexico! Tulum is awesome.