Tulum, Mexico

DRINK

BATEY MOJITO AND GUARAPO BAR
Pop in for fresh mojitos and stay for the live music! They have someone crushing sugar cane in a repurposed Volkswagen Bug … so you know it’s real damn fresh. (cash only)
Calle Centauro Sur (Tulum Town)
+52 1 984 745 4571

THE MULBERRY PROJECT
This beach bar is a real find. The Mulberry Project is a “pop-up” with seven locations from Brazil to Keyna. Visit this spot for bespoke cocktails from friendly bartenders ready with a shot of tequila and a good joke. I’m sad that I wasn’t able to spend more time here as they close somewhat early, so be sure to get there early(ish) to really enjoy it!
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2 (Hotel Zone, on the beach at La Zebra)
+52 1 984 115 4726
mulberryproject.com

WILD
By far our favorite bar on the trip in overall experience and quality of cocktails. The staff is friendly and the space is oddly breathtaking thanks to towering cement canopies. Like many of the outdoor restaurants and bars in Tulum, you’ll get whiffs of copal, a natural mosquito repellent, that colors the experience further.
10km, Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila
wildtulum.com

NÔMADE
This.place.is.gorgeous. One of the most breathtaking beach resorts we saw also made thoughtful cocktails served up by an incredibly friendly staff. Make a plan to enjoy a cocktail and a couple appetizers and watch the spectacular Tulum sunset. Even more, move inside to experience their second bar that has a sexy, darker feel to it.
Carr. Cancún – Tulum KM 10 (Hotel Zone)
+52 984 803 2243
nomadetulum.com

LA ZEBRA
The main bar here was a real surprise. We found one of the Bacardi Legacy winners slinging cocktails and had a great chat with him as he crafted some really intriguing cocktails for us.
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2 (Hotel Zone)
+52 1 984 115 4726
lazebratulum.com

TODOS SANTOS BAR
A crafty-ish cocktail spot for the finer palates that can also make a vodka soda to another’s liking. Look out for ladies night when the ladies drink fo’ free.
5G2R+RJ Tulum

AZULIK
This resort’s unique, earthy design is the embodiment of eco-chic. Their cocktails are some of the more creative we saw in town, so whether for a late night drink or a brunch, this spot needs to be experienced.
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, KM 5 (Hotel Zone/Beach Road)
+52 984 980 0640
azulik.com

GITANO
GIT your butt here for a slightly more elevated dinner experience. Make sure to visit the gorgeous bar in the back and enjoy the architecture along with the meal.
Beach Road Km. 7, Boca Paila
gitanotulum.com

CASA JAGUAR
Laid back, creative cocktails in an open-air space make for a nice spot for dinner or drinks.
Carretera Boca Paila Km 7.5
+52 984 202 2464
casajaguartulum.com

Bolas de Postre I Scream Bar
Hold on to your bar stool (or you hat if you walk by) … this irreverent bar is a good stop for a quick drink at almost all hours (8am-3am). It’s a simple spot where you can get your 1-and-1 or a decent margarita. (And if you don’t stop at the bar, after a certain time number of drinks, you’ll probably be jovially harassed by the staff and whichever guests they can get to chime in with them on your way by.)
Hotel Zone

PASITO TUN TUN
This late-ish night spot in Tulum Town is a change from Beach Road, but still laid-back. Don’t miss their beer and mezcal shot special or their “besos de mezcal” neon sign.
Calle centauro, Av. Tulum esquina (Tulum Town)
+52 984 688 8550

EAT

CASA BANANA
This spot makes for an incredible meal! Their vegetarian options are tops and their meats are cooked over an open fire.
Carr. Tulum-Boca Paila Km. 7.5 (Hotel Zone)
instagram.com/casabananatulum

SAFARI
They do the “food truck” thing really well here. In fact, they do it so well that the truck doesn’t even have to move. The kitchen of this outdoor eatery is an Airstream with a fire out front where you’ll watch some of your food be prepared right next to a small patch of herbs they use regularly. The cocktails are simple, but incredibly well done. Ceviche, tacos, and a margarita … simple and perfect.
(Moved to Tulum Town)
+52 984 134 8322
safaritulum.com.mx

CASA MALCA
Even if the food and drink weren’t as fresh and delightful as they are, this space is wildly artistic. Each space, including outdoor areas, offers a unique look and feel, giving diners and guests the chance to enjoy the multifaceted art hotel that occupies a space once inhabited by Pablo Escobar himself.
Carretera Fed, Av. Boca Paila km 9.5
casamalca.com

LA ZEBRA
Pop into their restaurant for their delightful fish tacos. They’re.worth.the.visit. Their bar is also fantastic …. see above!
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2 (Hotel Zone)
+52 1 984 115 4726
lazebratulum.com

DELCIELO
Enjoy breakfast in this cozy spot in town before taking a walk around the local shops to experience the town’s color.
Av, Satélite Sur 5, Centro (Tulum Town)
+52 984 160 0770

MATEO’S
If you’re looking for a spot to watch your game while on vacation, this is it since many of the hotels and resorts don’t have TVs. It’s good for late-night food to soak up the mezcal and cervezas.
Carretera, Boca Paila km 5.2 Manzana 10 Lote 16 (Hotel Zone)
+52 984 179 4160
mateosmexicangrill.us

DO

SOAK — Visit some of the striking cenotes (natural swimming holes) on the beach and in the jungle. It’s truly an incredible experience.
> Take a towel and a diving mask to take a look around underwater. They’ll ask you to shower before entering the cenote and do not allow sunscreen since they are working to preserve these beautiful natural features.
> I really enjoyed El Jardin de Eden and Casa Tortuga (give yourself at least two hours here). Other favorites are Cenote Dos Ojos and Cenote Calavera.

BEACH SO HARD — It’s a beach town … go to the beach!

BIKE — There are bikes to rent all around town, but be safe as the streets aren’t the best kept.

SHOP — Shop around in town or in the Beach Zone and it won’t take long to find a fun item or eight you’ll want to take  home.

RELAX — It’s a chill town; go with the vibe.

MEDITATE— Yoga on the isn’t hard to find around town, be it on a beach or in a studio.

STAY

LA ZEBRA
This hotel is a favorite of many of my close friends and I’ll be staying here on my next trip. It’s clean, the staff is friendly and helpful, and the bars and restaurant are real draws.
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2 (Hotel Zone)
+52 1 984 115 4726
lazebratulum.com

DREAMS TULUM
This all-inclusive, family-friendly (but not toooooo family-friendly) resort is a bit north of the Hotel Zone, but it’s a ~$20/25 min taxi ride there/back. Make sure to get a massage on the beach!!!
Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juárez Km. 236.7, No. 1, Col. Tankah Chetumal
(866) 237-3267
dreamsresorts.com

Chat with The Beach Planner about where to stay. With her services, she’ll help coordinate your trip from dining to diversions as long as you book your lodging with her!
http://www.susiedrinksdallas.com/visiting-mexicos-riviera-maya-with-the-beach-planner/


DRIVING IN TULUM

I’ve done it without a car and with. I really enjoyed having a car on this last trip as we were able to get into town/Hotel Zone from our resort easily and also got to go to the Cenotes on our own time.

They do not REQUIRE insurance, but it’s not wildly expensive to rent, so the insurance doesn’t hurt much. Our car was $16/day and insurance was ~$30/day. Many airport transfers can be $75-100+/person, so renting a car is MUCH more reasonable, especially if you’ll be leaving your area at all to explore.

The process of getting the car took FOREVER. I was in line for an hour and a half with Hertz to GET the car (the return was really quick though). I’ll be doing some research to give y’all better suggestions on who to rent with.

COVID TRAVEL TO MEXICO

Arrive at the Cancun airport with extra time beyond the usual hour and half for international travel as there are additional forms you’ll need to fill out.

  • You don’t need a negative test to go TO Mexico, but you do need one to come back. Many resorts are currently offering complimentary tests the day you depart, but there are also a lot of pop-up testing sites in Tulum’s hotel zone and in town. Make sure to have your negative test result printed in-hand for simplicity.
  • Some airlines will have a form that needs to be filled out before checking in. Make sure to go to the full-service check-in and they’ll likely have QR codes to scan on the line stanchions.
  • There is one additional online form that must be filled out before going through security. Right before you get to security, there’s ONE poster with the QR code. It’ll suggest you log on to the airport WiFi to fill it out, which I also recommend.

Drink well. Travel often.

Mitragyna Speciosa