For those of you that know me, you know Tulum is one of my favorite places that I have visited. I went there three years ago with a friend and automatically fell in love with it. I told myself that I would be back one day no matter what it takes and I sure made my way back 🙂 This time I went with my mom on our annual mother daughter trip. We were supposed to go to Hawaii but it was still closed off due to covid so we made arrangements to go to Mexico instead.
Mexico is one of my favorite countries and when my mom suggested Mexico, I automatically shouted let’s go to Tulum! We had such an amazing time and it felt so good to unwind and get away from it all. The best part of it all, we felt 100% safe traveling to Tulum. Whenever we were inside we wore masks as you are supposed to and anytime we were outside we made sure we didn’t crowd around a lot of people. So it is safe to say, that travel is still very possible despite everything going on right now.
I thought I would take the time to outline a little bit of how it was to be traveling during covid and outline what to see and do in Tulum.
From what I have been hearing, traveling to and from a place has been one of the biggest things people are concerned with during this time. I personally felt really comfortable the whole time. The only part that at first was very surprising was the flight as United Airlines had a full flight with no blocked off seats or anything. But I did read an article that it is actually really safe to fly because of all the precautions that airlines are taking. But let’s go back to the beginning… arriving at the airport. The airport was way less crowded than normal which is nice for plenty of reasons. Everyone seemed to be following the rules and wearing a mask. Everything seemed cleaner than usual as well. Not sure if it is because of less crowds or just because of the fact that they are taking a lot of extra precautions. My recommendation (if you can of course) is to splurge on one of the lounges. You will be surrounded by less people which is more reassuring for those that are really worried about crowds. Another new thing the airlines are doing is seating people by seat numbers and not groups. This allows less crowding around seats. The airline also gives you a little baggie with sanitizing wipes, water and a snack. Overall, I felt really safe during the flight and most people were really respectful and followed all guidelines.
Once we arrived to the Cancun Airport in Mexico (which is the airport you arrive to when traveling to Tulum), the same rules were followed as the US. Everyone still had to wear masks and follow social distancing when able to. Honestly, it was so nice to travel because there were no lines. Anyone that has been to Mexico before knows how long the lines can be sometimes so it was nice to be able to surpass all that. I would recommend getting a transfer ahead of time when traveling to Mexico. I always see all these vendors at the airport advertising their transportation but it just seems so stressful and overwhelming to me that I think it is just easier to reserve one ahead of time. You have nothing to worry about except for finding your ride once you walk out of the airport which is pretty easy to spot. The transportation company was really great too. They sanitized our luggage and everyone had to wear a mask the whole ride. Again, felt really safe and did not feel uncomfortable at all.
This was my second time visiting Tulum and this time I stayed in the outskirts of Tulum (about 25 mins away). My first time in Tulum, I stayed a lot closer to the hotel area. Below are the two resorts I stayed at and some others that I felt were worth a mention because I just loved them when I visited.
Catalonia Royal Tulum – this was an adults only all inclusive resort and this is the one I stayed at during the Covid season. Everything was really clean and the staff followed Covid guidelines. The hotel had beautiful landscaping and had some fun animals that were hanging out around the resort. The only thing that I was not in love with here was the food as it was limited due to covid (which was also understandable). Also, the hotel was only at 25% capacity so you had plenty of space and did not have to deal with crowding. The beach chairs were sprayed and you needed reservations for dinner to allow for social distancing. Overall, I think they did a great job.
Price Range: $$
Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort – also an adults only all inclusive resort closer to Tulum. I stayed at this resort during my first trip to Tulum and I loved it. You can read more about my time there in my other Tulum post: Tulum Vibes!
Price Range: $$
Delek Tulum – I did not stay here but had an incredible lunch. The hotel was stunning so this is one I will definitely be looking into staying at next time.
Price Range: $$$
Casa Malca – this one is super popular and is a bit pricey. This used to be Pablo Escobars old mansion and is now a boutique hotel. It is absolutely gorgeous and if you are looking to splurge, this is a good one to splurge on. This is also a hot spot to go see but I heard that now they are charging people an entrance fee due to something being broken at the hotel with so many people wanting to come and take picture here.
Price Range: $$$
Ahau Tulum – had lunch here as well and the hotel looked really nice. It is an upscale, rustic and eco-friendly resort (what more could you want). I think it is worth checking out for a unique experience. The location is also pretty prime as it is in the middle of the hotel area of Tulum which in my opinion is where you want to be.
Honestly, whatever you choose in Tulum, you cannot go wrong. Once you see how stunning all the hotels are you will know exactly why I say that. I cannot say how they are all operating during covid because I haven’t stayed at them so make sure to look into it before booking.
The food is one of my favorite things about Tulum. I had some of the most mouthwatering, delicious, and unique meals I have ever had in my life. There are so many amazing places to grab a bite to eat but I narrowed it down to some of my faves below:
Ahau Tulum – I mentioned this place in the accommodations section but Ahau’s beachfront restaurant was not only delicious, but had such a fun vibe to it as well.
Tatewari at Delek Tulum – order the tuna burger!! I have never tasted a better tuna/fish sandwich ever in my life. Just thinking about it now makes me wish I didn’t live over 2000 miles away from Tulum. The view wasn’t too shabby either 😉
Posada Margherita – this place is incredible. If you are looking to have an amazing meal on the beach, and watch a stunning sunset then this is the place for you.
Nomade Tulum – such a unique experience. It is on the pricier side but you get to sit on pillows on the floor and have an exquisite meal.
Mur Mur – this place is fun to get some drinks at. They have swings you can sit at by the bar. It has a really fun atmosphere as it is in the middle of everything.
Gitano – the place to get some Mezcal! This is a Tulum hotspot but it is such a fun place to get drinks or grab a bite to eat.
There are endless amount of restaurants to eat at in Tulum. I think this is another one of those situations where you cannot go wrong with where you pick. Just know that Tulum in general is a pricier destination so you will be spending a bit.
See and Do:
Tulum has a lot to offer. Listed below are some of my recommendations. Also, do not be afraid to venture out and visiting some neighboring towns as well if you have the time. If you are traveling during covid, make sure to double check that things are open before going to the attractions.
Visit Cenotes – there are so many to choose from. You can do some guided tours or take a cab to one yourself. My recommendation is to go early in the morning as they get really crowded with tours and people through out the day. Some of the most popular ones are the Gran Centoe, Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Jardin Del Eden; just to name a few. Tip: ask a local what is a good one to go to. They might be able to give you one that is just as stunning with less crowds.
Coba/Mayan Ruins – if you are a history buff, this is for you. Coba is an ancient city that you can walk through and immerse yourself in all the sights. At the end of town you can climb up the Coba Pyramid. The Mayan Ruins are stunning because of the incredible views. The ruins are located on cliffs overlooking stunning blue waters. There is not a lot of shade here so prepare for a very hot day! Bring lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat.
Attend a Beach Party – covid makes this a bit difficult these days but once the world goes back to normal, this is a must! Who doesn’t want to party right on a beach! Papaya Playa Project is one of the best beach parties too so make sure to check them out once we are able to live a semi normal life again haha.
Go Shopping – everyone in Tulum is absolutely stunning and their fashion sense is equally just as stunning. There are a ton of stores to find some unique pieces that no one else will have back in your hometown guaranteed. Most of the shops are located on the main street of the hotel area in Tulum. If you want more of the touristy, souvenir type shops, you can find those in downtown Tulum.
Beach All Day – it is Mexico after all so this is a given. If your hotel isn’t located on the beach, make sure to head out to Playa Paraiso (paradise beach). There are a ton of restaurants along the beach and water toys you can rent out as well to have some fun in the sun.
Rent a bike and ride around town – a lot of people bike around Tulum as it is one of the best ways to see everything. I would highly recommend renting out a bike one morning and bike around town.
Visit Playa del Carmen – about an hour away from Tulum but totally worth seeing for the day. There are a ton of shops and restaurants to check out. Make sure to go La Quinta Avenida (5th avenue) for a fun experience. Tons of shops, vendors, restaurants, and nightlife. If you are looking for a great place to grab a bite to eat check out Porfirios! The food was amazing and they have a live mariachi band every night.
Tulum as some of you already know is one of my favorite destinations and I will be back for a third time some day for sure. It is one of those destinations you have to see for yourself. It has become a pretty popular spot especially with some celebrities and influencers so be prepared for a pricey trip but I think it is so worth it. Overall, traveling during covid is totally do able. Just make sure to stay safe and take care of yourself while traveling.
Happy Travels – xoxo Dre <3