Tulum, Mexico – travel tips
Tulum is a magical place. We didn’t get sick, the weather was great, food excellent and everything went so smoothly. It was a relaxing and perfect holiday for us all.
We traveled with our 3 yrs daughter and I can really recommend Tulum for a family holiday (if you are not into that “all inclusive resort thing”).
We didn’t stop traveling after our daughter was born because traveling is our passion. Traveling fuels your soul and gives perspective to your own life and its ups and downs.
Our daughter’s first trip was to Stockholm when she was 3 months old. After, she’s been around Europe, Asia and lastly in Mexico.
There are more than 5 reasons to visit Tulum but I will give you my 5 reasons why you should travel to Tulum with a kid.
Why we chose Tulum, Mexico this time?
Already years ago I was dreaming about a trip to Tulum but it never felt right timing. I preferred Asia over Mexico. I preferred easy European vacations over Mexico. And I even wanted to go to New York City more than to Mexico even though I have already been in NYC tens of times.
The reason behind our choice was purely cheap direct flights to Cancun and some great hotels in Tulum that I found via browsing the internet.
To be honest, my travel plans usually start with a cool hotel that I’ve found somewhere. That is also why I love Bali so much. The hotels there are just divine.
When traveling with a kid my top priority is to get a direct flight or if not a direct one, a flight with only one stop.
Our daughter is a perfect travel companion and she usually do not mind being on a plane for 9 to 11 hours if only she has some food, snacks and something to do (books, iPad, toys). I’ve noticed that it is the adults that have more difficulties with long flights than children.
Anyway, I wanted to plan a pretty smooth and easy trip so that there will be no extra hassle when traveling to and from our destination.
Tulum is located on the Caribbean sea and it’s approximately 1,5 – 2 hours drive from Cancun airport.
Tulum is basically one long strip of beach. It’s really easy to navigate around either with a bike or with a rental car if you want to go a bit further as we did.
Along the beach strip, you can find cute little shops, restaurants, spas, and yoga places. Everything is relaxed and the pace of living is slow.
Tulum is pretty trendy at the moment. New hotels and restaurants are opening constantly. It is not anymore just a chill out place for backpackers. There are beautiful, sun-tanned young Americans and some Europeans strolling around the Tulum beach and occupying the hip hotels.
I like the atmosphere. It is not too posh but bohemian. It is boho luxury at it’s best.
Why should you travel to Tulum with a kid?
I had doubts before our travel to Mexico whether it is a suitable destination for kids. After we arrived Tulum I realized that we could not have found a better place to be with our 3 years old. My initial thoughts were so so wrong!
MY 5 REASONS TO TRAVEL TO TULUM WITH A KID ARE QUITE OBVIOUS ONES FOR ME:
1.Tulum is the best place to be on the beach with a kid. The beach is beautiful, calm and the white fine sand is just perfect for having fun and playing. And do I even have to mention that crystal clear aqua and turquoise ocean?
I also love that there’s a regulation that no higher than 2 stories tall buildings (or higher than the palm trees) are allowed which means that no huge resorts will ever get there. Peace and tranquility!
2. It is easy to go nearby cities and villages by a rental car. We visited just briefly Cancun (the beach and one of the malls) but several times Playa del Carmen. There are cool adventure parks nearby Tulum and Playa del Carmen but we didn’t go to those this time. We had so many other things to do and wanted to spend some time at the beautiful Tulum beach.
After spending a week at the Tulum beach we drove to Valladolid which is a cute colonial town with great cheap shopping and pastel colored houses.
The food in Valladolid was not so great but our hotel was one of our trip’s highlight.
My heart is pumping faster when I think about that place. A shame that I didn’t have time to try out their spa. That place was a magical and affordable luxury.
3. The weather in January and February was mild. There were a couple of rainy days but after that, it was mostly sunny. Perfect weather to walk and play at the beach. No constant fear of sunburn but you definitely get tanned.
The colors were the most beautiful I have ever seen anywhere. I mean they really can take your breath away. Turquoise clear waters, emerald green palm trees, and baby blue sky. And the pink and rose sky at the sunset and sunrise! So beautiful!
4. The food is pure bliss in Tulum. I was amazed how many really good restaurants are around Tulum beach strip. We ate Mexican, Indian, Argentinian and Italian food there and all was top notch.
We didn’t try the most famous restaurant Hartwood as we didn’t like the idea of queuing with a hungry kid. It looked nice, though.
I will write a separate blog post regarding the restaurants that we tried in Tulum.
There are also really cool looking hotels just for adults if you want a kid-free environment.
We couldn’t try Coqui Coqui Tulum even though we’d wanted because it was already fully booked (reserve really early if you want to experience it!) but maybe next time.
There are lots of great hotels but don’t expect ultimate luxury as the feeling is more of a bohemian luxury than 5 stars hotels. I love it that way!
Tulum is a bit expensive place. Even with European standards. The food is pretty cheap but everything else is pricey.
You can find beautiful, handmade clothes, bags, home decor, and other accessories with a bit steep prices. If you want that hip feeling and handcrafted souvenirs that are not from like the mainstream tourist shops, be aware open your wallet.
Clothes are mainly done with good quality materials, linen and leather are used a lot. One item that I was really into was a huge dreamcatcher but our suitcase was too small for that. Next time, next time…
With regards to shopping (and if you are not so much into those expensive Tulum beach shops) try Tulum center instead. It has small inexpensive shops selling souvenirs and local handcrafts. There are lots of leather sandals, hammocks (I wish I could have bought one of the beautiful lace hammocks), dresses, jewelry, dreamcatchers, and pottery. You have to bargain to get the best price in those shops.
And if you are thinking whether to rent a car or not. I highly encourage you to do it. Driving in Yucatan is easy and we didn’t have any dangerous situations or anything like that.
Pack your flip flops or buy them from Tulum. If you are staying at the beach, you don’t need even the flip flops. We were most of the days just barefoot.
And remember that in many places and hotels in Tulum, you cannot flush your toilet paper but you should put it into a separate waste bin instead.
We will definitely go back. It is just a matter of time and money. As a conclusion, I’d say that Tulum really surpassed my expectations with everything. It became one of our dream destinations!