I never would have thought we could do so many things (more than 7, but this is a start) with just 1 day in Tulum, but it can absolutely be done. Thankfully, we had a few days to spare, but we spent most of that time inside our jungle-style tiki huts on the beach!
Trust me, it took everything in us to convince ourselves to leave our magical retreat with ocean views, but it was worth leaving to explore a little more of what Tulum has to offer. We spent the better part of one full day out and about, doing 7 things we both loved and can’t wait to get back to do again.
1. Matcha Mama
First thing’s first, no matter what country I’m in or what the day has ahead, I must have caffeine. I’m not saying this is a healthy or good thing, just that it is 100% a thing – for me anyways.
Matcha mama obviously has delicious matcha green tea, but if you’re not into that kind of thing, you’ll still love it. They offer a variety of fresh juices and smoothies too. We filled up on all 3 to fuel up for the morning; you really can’t go wrong ordering here. Everything was mouth-watering.
Not to mention, it’s the perfect backdrop for an instagram-worthy shot. They have swings around the front and side bars to relax and get cute pics. Plus, it’s right beside a few pop-up style shops with plenty of outfit and closet inspo.
*You can shop our looks here if you’re wanting some casual outfit inspo.
2. Ride Bikes
Most of the hotels offer bike rentals but there are several places near the Matcha Mama spot that you can inquire about. I would definitely suggest checking your hotel first!
Quick warning: there really aren’t any sidewalks around so you’ll be cruising with the traffic. But, it’s the best way to sight-see without having to walk around for hours or pay for parking every couple miles.
3. Grab Lunch at Casa Maria
We stumbled upon this little gem on the way to the Mayan Ruins – which is coming up next! 🙂
We happened to get there for happy hour (2-for-1 margaritas), which I would highly recommend. Well, okay… I didn’t have one, but Haley did and she loved every single sip of it! 🙂
The ocean views are incredible, especially from the beach front hammock. Again, another insta-worthy photo op!
4. Mayan Ruins
Trust me, you will want to save this for the afternoon. The sun feels great by the water, but it can be a bit toasty if you try to walk the ruins in the middle of the day. We were told it closes just after 5 so they stop letting people in around 4:15. Just a heads up!
Also, grab some comfortable shoes. It’s a bit of a hike just to get from your parked car to the entrance, plus another mile or so once you’re in there. We didn’t need a guide, so I wouldn’t be the one to recommend that either. We just perused at our own pace and enjoyed the views. It was a tad cloudy, which made for some interesting pictures and bearable temps.
We ended up going of the beaten path some also – so if you’re into short cuts… take the pebble walkways you see every once in awhile. They cut through to the beach and you’ll get to hang around those routes without a ton of traffic.
5. Tulum Sign in Downtown Area
If you’re wanting a cheesy, touristy shot, you’ll want to stop by this sign in the heart of Tulum’s downtown. While you’re there, take advantage of the affordable shops with panama-style hats and such. Once you get back towards the hotel/resort strip the prices go up.
6. Zamas at Sunset
This place it right on the water with a very rustic, local vibe. It’s on the more casual side, so feel free to take your bikes here for an earlier venture if you’d like. Just know, their sunset on the patio was one of our favorite moments. However, it does get a bit chilly after so take your layers!
7. Dinner at Azulik
This might seem like a bit of a splurge but… hear me when I say that it is so worth it. They do charge a cover, but it goes towards a minimum balance. It was 560 pesos while we were there but the rate may change.
The views from this jungle-style treehouse vibe are impeccable! It’s a bit fancy too which makes it even more fun. But ladies.. beware of your shoes. Take a look at the pictures below so you can see the wooden bridge that you walk to actually get the the restaurant.
Oh! And, for anyone wanting the infamous swinging bridge in their pictures, only guests are allowed until after 7:30pm. So, jus keep that in mind!
I had a few friends mention that most places only take pesos or cash, but we didn’t have the experience. Most of the places we stopped by took cash. If you’re wanting to do smaller activities like the Mayan Ruins, cenotes (caves) or bike rentals/parking, etc.. you’ll absolutely want some petty pesos. Otherwise, most places do take visa/mastercard.
I hope you’ll venture through Tulum one of these days and share your pictures in the comments below. Xo
Also published on Medium.