I'll be there for about 2 weeks in December with my family. I've certainly heard about the ruins, the beaches, and the whale sharks (I believe north of Cancun).
So, I'd love to know specific beaches, restaurants, how to tour the ruins, snorkel/scuba companies, zipline places, and anything else that was worth it.
I've been to Mexico a few times, but not this part of it, and this will be the first time my Mom has left the US!
Hi Nathan, a good day trip from Tulum is Coba and the Mayan ruins there. You can get a bus direct from Tulum Centro, and it takes about 45 minutes. The Coba ruins can be explored on foot, or you can rent a bike to cycle around them too. Lots of fun!
In the town centre of Tulum (ie the inland town, rather than on the beach), there are some good locals restaurants as well as more tourist-oriented places. I had a wonderful welcome at a locals' seafood place (sorry, can't remember the name) and marvellous ceviche there.
From Tulum you could also do a day trip on the bus to Valladolid, a truly authentic Mexican town, and one of my faves.
Have a wonderful time, it's a great part of the world.
Tulum is awesome! Don't miss Playa del Carmen for the beach and 5th Ave. for great nightlife/restaurant/shopping experience. Visit Xcaret (Xcaret) and Xel Ha (Xel-Ha) for the easiest way to get "family fun" all in at one stop...cenote diving, ziplining, snorkeling, dolphins and shark swim, food, shows, etc.
One big consideration that was not indicated is your mode of transportation. If you're staying at any of the the resorts in the Tulum/Cancun area, most offer great options. However, I firmly believe that renting a car either from the airport or the resort is best for seeing this part of Mexico the best. So much of the experience is off of the "tourist" trail. Be sure to try to visit Chichén Itzáat night...which is about 1.5 hr away.
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