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If you’re looking to get out of the house this winter, look no further than Tulum, Mexico. Maybe you’ve heard of this region, but you’ve been saving this destination for a group trip.
Here’s why you shouldn’t wait any longer: white sandy beaches, snorkeling near the bluest banks of the ocean, authentic Mexican cuisines, and the closest proximity to the centuries-old Mayan Temples of Chichen Itza.
Solo travel may seem daunting, but it’s an experience you just can’t afford to miss. Out of all the beautiful Mexican destinations ready for your discovery, Tulum promises introspection, relaxation, beautiful scenery, and the authentic culture of Mexico’s heritage.
Here are the ten reasons that make Tulum so trip-worthy, even if you’re going solo.
1. Make Memories at the Tulum Cenotes
The beautiful clear waters of the Tulum Cenotes that lie beneath the surface are just calling your name! These underground caverns and caves are ripe for exploring or swimming. The Cenote sinkholes expose crystal clear groundwater underneath that rejuvenates and replenishes your body after a long day in the sun with natural minerals. These are the perfect spot to tap into a relaxing discovery of the natural beauties of Mexico.
The Cenotes of Tulum range in size, shape, and features. Some are completely open, so you can see down below, while others remain underwater or underground entirely. A must-see while enjoying your stay in Tulum is the Gran Cenote, the largest open Cenote in Tulum. This gorgeous attraction is great for diving, swimming, and snorkeling.
If you’re not a big fan of the open ocean, this would be a great alternative to cooling off. Don’t forget to bring a camera to make your friends and family back home jealous of this beautiful scene!
2. Check Out the Chichen Itza
About two hours from the beautiful beaches of Tulum lies the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.
If you’re a history buff, this is definitely the spot to visit in Tulum, as it hosts the large iconic pyramids of El Castillo and El Caracol, once great landmarks of the Mayan city-states over a thousand years ago.
However, this is not all Chichen Itza has to offer. With two prominent historical sites, Old Chichen and Chichen Itza, these historical monuments number up to 26 different ruins and temples to explore. You can take a sightseeing tour or book a tour with a guide for an immersive experience in the heart of the Mayan civilization at its prime.
If you absolutely can’t make it over to Tulum this winter, then you must go in time for the equinox this summer.
On June 21, 2022, Chichen Itza’s incredible architecture casts shadows during the sun’s descent that reveal the figures of the Mayan gods as snakes on the temple walls. This spectacle is a sign of good faith from the gods that the harvest will be profitable. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you can’t miss.
3. Relax at Playa Ruinas Beach
The beach of Playa Ruinas is the crown jewel in Tulum. The beach offers the greatest combination of wildlife, ocean air, and rock formations in Tulum. It will have you stunned for hours by the length and breadth of its beauty. The beach is lined with palm trees to camp out under to carve your own little spot of paradise while you sit reading, napping, or taking pictures to the rhythm of the Caribbean breeze.
As you walk on the white sands towards the ocean, look over your shoulder and see the mysterious and majestic beauty of Mayan ruins towering above. Expect the bluest waters you’ll ever see.
4. Experience Unforgettable Eats
There are many restaurants to sample during your time away in Tulum. You can find several authentic dishes ranging from Pueblan cuisine to specialties of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Explore the variety of choices at your disposal when you step into the vibrant nightlife of downtown Tulum:
• Aca Tacos de Canasta is a local vendor along Avenida Satélite, where you can purchase the most flavorful breakfast tacos in Tulum. Open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM every day, be sure always to grab a bite to eat from Aca Tacos de Canasta when you’re headed out to the beach in the morning or on the way to your next adventure on the mainland.
• Antojitos La Chiapaneca serves the best Yucatan-style cuisine at every meal. The specialty of this restaurant is chicken, beans, and beef with melted cheese and vegetables. It’s open every day from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM. No matter what you choose from the menu, there is no wrong choice. Your stomach will thank you for choosing Antojitos La Chiapaneca when you bite into their delicious made-from-scratch tortillas and cuisine.
• Campanella Cremerie is the hippest café to be any time of the week. Specializing in juices, coffee, espresso, gelato, and the perfect lunchtime paninis, this café is the best spot to take a quiet meal surrounded by friendly faces and take in the warm weather. It’s open from 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM every day.
5. Bike in Tulum
Sure, Tulum is a beautiful place to lose yourself and walk around. If you really need to get somewhere, you can ride a bus or rent a car. However, one of the greatest ways to view Tulum is from the seat of a bike!
Not only will you find that many hotels in the area offer free bikes for customer use, but also plenty of bike paths and roads for getting in, out, and around the inside of the city. Of course, there are also plenty of options for bike rentals, as low as 100 pesos a day.
Biking provides an opportunity to see the entirety of Tulum much faster than by foot. You get the opportunity to travel unique pathways that a car won’t take you. You may end up exploring parts of the city you wouldn’t have seen otherwise from the bike trails, and it sure does give you some exercise while you’re at it!
6. Dive into Laguna Kaan Luum
About 15 minutes from Tulum lies a curious and often overlooked Cenote that lies in the middle of a lagoon.
With its shallow waters and open, less busy area, this is the perfect spot to laze away the day and take it easy. However, the most exciting aspect of this attraction lies in the very center of the lagoon – a cenote that goes deep into the earth. It is roped off for swimmers so nobody can pass through the crevice. However, it offers a great scuba diving opportunity with a trained guide.
Admission is only 100 pesos, so even if you just plan on staying an hour to have a look around and swim in the water, it’s definitely worth the price of admission to get a look at this strange work of nature.
7. Enter the Jungle
The beaches and the nightlife are a great cultural representation of Tulum, but nothing beats its getaway to truly spectacular nature.
The jungle of Tulum ranges from the beach far into the mainland, and there are many opportunities to explore it all. Hiking trails near Tulum range from a 23-minute stroll to a roughly 328-mile road that drives deep into the jungle with scenic views at every stop along the way to enjoy.
Of course, if you’re planning to travel through all 328 miles of Playa de Tulum – Bacalar – Chetumal, you’ll definitely want to take some rest at a hotel or two along the way- and lucky for you, there’s plenty to choose from! You’ll find lodges and huts aplenty along the road for much-needed rest. When you’ve been exploring the jungle all day, you’ll feel extremely comforted by these cozy beds.
However, if you’d like to keep close to the beach, there are plenty of trails like “The Walled City” that provide a short path where you can walk or jog for a low-intensity exercise. Just remember to be on the lookout for bicyclists who also take these trails!
8. Discover the Street Murals of Tulum
Tulum is quickly becoming Mexico’s street art hotspot due to the sheer number of murals lining the city’s buildings.
While on a leisurely stroll or biking to your favorite restaurant, take some time to venture off the main Avenida Tulum to explore the backstreets, where you will find all kinds of murals, both historical and new visions by current artists.
One of the best ways to experience the local culture of Tulum is to follow the trail of murals and marvel at the beauty and range of each new subject. The quickest way to get to some of the most iconic works of this up-and-coming scene is by taking Calle Sol Oriente, just two blocks off of the main avenue.
9. Dance at Music Venues and Eclectic Bars
Whether you’re looking for a cool place to kick-back, or a lively room to groove to the music, Tulum has a vibrant music scene for all occasions:
At Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar, you can relax with a cool drink on a humid evening and enjoy the locally-sourced music. The excellent reputation of this bar comes from their expertly hand-crafted mojitos, imbued with the locally grown sugarcane that only sweetens the deal. At Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar, you will find yourself in the best company, with the most relaxing atmosphere and opportunities to meet locals and travelers.
If you’re looking for all-night parties in a gorgeous jungle setting, then the Gitano club in Tulum is the right place for you. By 11:00 PM every night, the DJ steps up to pump up the crowd.
In Tulum, you can visit the original Gitano location (Gitano Jungle) and feel the energy and the fast-paced rhythm of the entire Yucatan Peninsula in every beat of the music. For the more subdued and leisurely customer, Gitano hosts live bands with a calmer, more soothing, and groovy influence every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
10. Soak in Nature at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
The beautiful Sian Ka’an Reserve brings the natural beauty of the Yucatan Peninsula ecosystem to you in this environmentally healthy and safe tour of the entire reserve.
For any travelers who are hoping to learn more about the environment of Tulum and of the Yucatan Peninsula, a trip to the Sian Ka’an is a must. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about rich Mexican heritage in a tranquil and engaging environment. You will get in touch with nature, spot wildlife, and expand your knowledge of the region.
Plan Your Trip Today
If you’ve been searching for that special place to unwind and revitalize, Tulum offers you a splendor of natural beauty and tons of fun to keep your mind occupied. These ten attractions can be enjoyed alone. However, it’s likely you may meet some friends along the way.
Pack your bags wisely, and don’t forget sunscreen – you’ll need extra protection from the radiant yet glorious sun in Tulum!