Paulina & Clark

General tips

 

What To Know

  • SPEAK THAT SPANISH (even just a little), it will help a lot! Especially when it comes to negotiating souvenir prices and restaurant deals. If you speak Spanish, most restaurants will give you %15 off. If you are a local you get the locals discount.

  • BRING CASH. Most places are CASH ONLY. For people in Tulum: do not get money at an ATM on the beach. It’s extremely expensive ($10 + 8% extra fee of whatever you take out)! Get money at ATMs at a bank (Scotiabank) somewhere in the city center, it’s much cheaper. Also be careful with street ATMs because a lot of them get hacked by thieves and they steal credit card numbers.

  • TIPPING: It’s a tipping culture, so leave a little something if you’re happy with the service.

  • PARKING: Parking around Tulum town and Valladolid is generally free. Tulum beach parking spots tend to be paid, but rates are reasonable.

  • DO NOT SPEED. Also, WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS. Seriously, the po-pos here like to catch tourists who are careless. That said, if you follow the rules, it will be very chill. It is extremely safe and pleasant to drive around. Highways are new, clean and perfectly paved.

  • DO NOT DRINK FROM THE TAP! Don’t brush your teeth tap water too. And try not to open your mouth in the shower. You don’t want to ruin your trip with an upset stomach! Make sure to ask if the ice in your drink is made from filtered water as well.

  • MAPS: Download the general Cancún area as an offline map, just in case. Here’s how. You don’t wanna get lost in the middle of nowhere when you lose your internet connection.

  • AIRPORT WIFI: There’s no wifi until you exit immigration at Cancún Airport. The wifi post-immigration is the Google wifi network.

  • AIRPORT BUSES: If you are arriving solo and taking a bus from the airport, please use ADO (red logo), they have the best reviews. Don’t be fooled by bookers that offer you ‘better deals’, best to stick to ADO. Their booth is out on the right side as you exit Cancún Airport Arrivals.

  • AIRPORT SERVICED TRANSFERS: If you don’t wanna rent a car or take the bus, We highly recommend pre-booking a transfer from USA Transfers. Do not get a car from Super Shuttle at the airport, it’s really expensive.

  • CAR RENTALS: Car rental booths are in the airport, straight after immigration. If you’ve pre-booked online, go there to claim your car. If you haven’t, this is where you book it. Be sure to leave space on your credit cards for a damage deposit. You get all this back, of course, unless you damage the car. But just know that you will need space on your card for this.

  • SIM CARDS: You cannot buy SIM cards at Cancún Airport. Just be prepared and use the wifi first. That said, you can buy SIM cards at any OXXO (their version of 7-Eleven) or gas station convenience store. TELCEL is the most recommended network. If transiting through the US, you can typically buy a SIM there.

  • SUPERMARKET: If you are heading straight to Valladolid, there is a supermarket called SuperChe right as you enter the town. You can get bottled water and stock up on Adobo Lays chips there. Heh. If you are headed to Tulum, head for Chedraui supermarket, it’s a huge one that will have everything you need.

tulum 

 

Where to Eat/Drink

A million amazing places around Tulum beach and Tulum town. These are just a few!

Pro-tip: Tulum town establishments tend to be cheaper and more local than ones along Tulum’s main beach strip.

*If you’re driving down the coast from Cancun airport, make sure to stop by Los Aguachiles for some fantastic seafood and tacos. It’s right off the highway!

  • Hartwood - institutional place in Tulum. Grilled food. Usually impossible to get a reservation but they take walk-ins if you come early (as in 430PM for dinner)

  • Posada Margherita - Great date spot! Hand pulled pasta, amazing seafood/italian food, great martini’s! Cutest setting. Sit out by the beach after, they have benches and lounge chairs.

  • Arca - a new beautiful restaurant in Tulum beach that’s been highly recommended to us by many people

  • Gitanos - good food and custom cocktails, disco ball in the jungle!

  • Tacos La Eufemia - Taco shack on the beach. Best spot for lunch, hanging out with tacos and micheladas or beer

  • La Popular - in the Nomade Hotel, cool fish shack on the beach, another great spot for dinner

  • Chamico’s - Ugh, one of our favorite spots! It’s a secret beach that’s super chill, not fancy, but serves amazing food (like bomb ass ceviches), and is great for swimming/relaxing.

  • Papaya Playa Project - Fab for drinks and a bit of a lounge / day-time beach club vibe

  • La Chiapeneca - Tulum town, cheap and good tacos

  • Taqueria La Riviera Costean - Late night taco eats. Super cheap and legit tacos

  • Ki’bok - next to Batey’s bar. Great local coffee and delicious breakfast!

  • Tulum Art Club

  • Manglar Pizzeria - Haven’t been but apparently the pizzas are amazing

  • Batey’s - amazing cheap mojito bar!

  • Damajuana Mezcaleria - boogie and mezcal!

What To See

Cenotes

  • Grand Cenote - Super near Tulum. Worth going. Make sure to get a mask / bring goggles, the underwater view is breathtaking.

  • Cenote Ik Kil - This one is huge stunning! But honestly DO NOT go midday (12-2pm) it gets a little gross and overwhelming with too many people there. Near Chichin Itza. We’d recommend going early or later (closes around 5PM).

  • Cenotes Samula - Near Coba. Huge open Cave type with a hole. Quite amazing to see!

  • Cenotes Labnaha - Also looks stunning. Cave type

  • Dos Ojos Cenote - A park of a few different types of cenotes; cave, open water, bat cave. You have to go with a guided tour. Friends who have gone to the cave one say it’s a bit scary but super amazing!

  • Cenote Akutun Chen

  • Kanlum Lagoon

  • Here’s a guide with all the cenotes near Tulum.

Mayan Ruins

  • Mayan Ruins de Tulum - Right by Tulum beach, very convenient to get to. But not as beautiful as the others closer to Valladolid.

  • Coba Ruins - highly recommend to check these out if in the area. Right next to the Welcome Merienda venue, Coqui Coqui Coba.

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valladolid

General tips

  • It’s a small, quiet, colonial town, so it’s definitely a change of vibe if you’re coming from Tulum.

  • Valladolid is extremely charming and is littered with great local eateries, and some beautiful boutiques, mostly along Calzada de los Frailes.

  • There are a lot of small-scale local vendors along the drive from Tulum to Valladolid. They create beautiful embroidered tapestries and dresses, woven textiles, and gorgeous Yucatán hammocks. Highly recommend stopping by, talking to them and getting some goodies to bring home.

Where to Eat/Drink

  • Here’s a good resource for the best restaurants in the town, as of 2019. It’s a small town though, and we encourage you all to explore!

  • We’ll add our personal recs in the coming days!

What To See

Cenotes


Ruins

  • Chichen Itza - MUST SEE. If there is one set of ruins you should visit this trip, this is it. Incredible huge pyramid, Mayan library and market ruins — it’s a sprawling compound. It’s closer to Valladolid, so we’d recommend you go from there, versus Tulum. Lots of souvenirs to shop for here too!

  • Mayapan Mayan Ruins - MAJOR. Only if you have time to go all the way to Merida (closer to Valladolid than Tulum). Looks as huge and significant as Chichen Itza.


Merida

  • If you’re spending some time in Valladolid, we highly recommend you take a day trip to Merida. It’s the capital of the Yucatan and is a bustling beautiful town. The markets are meant to be the best - with huaraches and hats to die for.

  • Be sure to check out the Coqui Coqui Merida property for a drink or a coffee (or a stay) as well!

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