Off to Tulum We Are, Are We
December 17, 2009 7:29 PM   Subscribe

Suggestions for must see/do/experience in Tulum?

Mr. Duck and I are going to Tulum for the Christmas week, and are looking for suggestions on what to do and see while there. I have reviewed some of the other threads, but as most are a few years old I thought I'd revisit the topic and learn if there are any new thoughts.

We are flying into Cancun, staying at Cabanas Copal in Tulum and will likely rent a car to get to and from all points. I'm interested in good food; he's interested in snorkeling/scuba diving; we're both interested in ruins and artwork and generally neat stuff. Any advice is appreciated!
posted by DuckGirl to Travel & Transportation around Tulum, Papua New Guinea (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Check out the Sian Ka'an Biosphere, the third largest protected natural site in Mexico. Great birding, interesting mangroves, maybe even a chance to spot jaguars or crocs.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:08 PM on December 17, 2009

My Mom and I went sky-cycling with this group last winter - - and had fun. Not heart-stopping excitement, mind you, but an enjoyable time.

I'd also recommend checking out the ruins of Coba. They aren't in great shape, but visitors are allowed to climb the main pyramid (at least you could last year), and the grounds are nice and shady, which makes a difference. The ruins at Tulum are also in rough shape, but a visit is still worth it for the view. In both cases I'd suggest going early to beat the crowds. (And if you go to the ruins at Tulum, bring towels and wear your swimsuit under your clothes - the beach is lovely).

If you decide not to rent a car, it's worth mentioning that public transportation is fairly good in the Riviera. Between the colectivos (minivans that pick up and drop off passengers along the main highway) and the buses, you can easily get to the ruins on your own, and Hidden Worlds is just off the highway. Resorts generally offer tours to Coba and Tulum, which is easier, but they're also more expensive and less flexible, time-wise.
posted by nicoleincanada at 8:11 PM on December 17, 2009

@nd nicoleincanada. Coba and Tulum are worth the visit, and the beach at Tulum is awesome. Chichen Itza is a hike (@3 hours), but truly awe-inspiring if it interests you.
posted by gnutron at 10:46 PM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thirding going to Coba to see the ruins and swimming at the beach below the ruins at Tulum. You could also go to Xcacel beach or go to a cenote.
posted by gudrun at 11:53 PM on December 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

definetly go to a cenote. has lots of info regarding that area. they are a travel agency of sorts but the forums are great for restaurant and activity reviews.
posted by domino at 6:37 AM on December 18, 2009

If you're into snorkeling, go to the hostel in Tulum to find out about the guided tour of the Sian Ka'an. Part of it involves snorkeling on an amazing reef.

Some of the best food we had in Tulum was from street carts- one night we were there (I think it was on a weekend) there was a bunch of youth athletics going on at the main park (it's on the main drag in town, you can't miss it), and a bunch of locals brought out their delicious homemade food to sell.

And definitely check out the cenotes- there are several of them around.
posted by mkultra at 8:15 AM on December 18, 2009

The several meals I ate at El Tabano may be some of the most fantastic food I've eaten in my life. It's a tiny operation, run by the nicest, most personable couple ever. I discovered it on day 2 of a 4 day visit to Tulum and ate every single meal there for the rest of the stay.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2009

Dona Tina restaurant was delicious, did not give us food poisoning, and cost under $30 for 5 people. The horchata and sopa di lima were my family's favorites. The restaurant is on the main drag of Tulum not far from the ruins. Looking online, it seems others have had good experiences there too and you could find better directions if needed.
posted by lilbizou at 1:53 PM on December 24, 2009

We loved the Mariache taqueria.

Also the gelato place on the main drag... can't recall the name but it sold fruit in the front and has an amazing garden in the back. They handmake their own fruit bars. YUM.

There is an Italian place down near the Eco Chic area of town - expensive but totally yum.

Go to the Tulum ruins early or deal with cruise ship madness.
posted by k8t at 9:03 AM on December 26, 2009

If you're still reading this- the restaurant at Zamas, where we stayed (it's on the beach, not on the main drag) has, IMO, the best food in town.

There's also a drink made from a green plant called Chaya that grows down there that's quite delicious and invigorating (we had it mixed with fresh fruit juice; some drink it straight).

lilbizou: did not give us food poisoning

That's a really crude and ignorant thing to say.
posted by mkultra at 12:04 PM on December 26, 2009

Zamas is good, but you're paying for the view. More authentic food in town.

if you like snorkeling, Akumel has a great lagoon. Akumel is a weird gringo zone, but worth a half day.

if you have a acr, the Mayil ruins are a bit of a drive but they were way cool. Almost as cool as Coba.
posted by k8t at 4:44 PM on December 26, 2009

oh - and best shopping in town IMHO is mexit - 1 location across from Zamas and another on main drag of Tulum.
posted by k8t at 4:46 PM on December 26, 2009

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