Last week I went to Tulum for a destination wedding! It was the first destination wedding I had ever been to in another country! We had such a great time. In this post, I’m sharing where we stayed, what we ate and what we did in Tulum, Mexico. I’m also sharing some things I learned about traveling to Tulum.
Tulum Travel Guide:
Where to Stay in Tulum
We stayed at Hotel Panamera in Tulum. This is a boutique hotel and it was great for a destination wedding. The bridal party all stayed here so out of the 14 rooms, our group had 12 of them. It is an intimate setting with a bar and restaurant, a unique pool and a beach club. The hotel is right on the beach so literally you are steps to the ocean and the whole hotel is built around the pool.
I loved staying here but there are a few things to note when selecting this hotel. This is a very minimalist hotel. So no fridge in the room, television or hair dryer. You can request a dryer, but it isn’t already there. We were in Tulum so I didn’t need a television, but a fridge is something to note especially if you are breastfeeding. I had to dump all my milk. I knew this going into it so I was prepared, but for all the mamas, just know this going in.
The bigger thing for me was there is no door to the bathroom. It’s one big room and the shower and toilet are kind of hidden behind a half wall. While aesthetically it looks cool, you have to be VERY comfortable with whomever you are sharing a room with. You can go to the lobby though if you need some privacy. There are single-stall bathrooms next to the pool.
The food and drinks at the hotel are amazing. I highly recommend the avocado toast, guacamole and chips, pizza, Palomas, spicy margaritas, smoothie bowls and iced coffees. It is a boutique hotel, not an all-inclusive so everything was priced individually, but you can charge it to your room.
Every day they give you two glass bottles of water so you can brush your teeth, drink, etc.
Also, the whole hotel is Instagram-worthy. So it’s perfect for the IG aesthetic.
Where to Eat in Tulum
We had some awesome food in Tulum. We had incredible seafood, fresh fruit, unique dishes and some awesome cocktails.
The first night we ate dinner at Cenzontle. This is an outdoor garden restaurant with a great menu. I highly recommend the Ella cocktail that is Mezcal, Epazote, Cucumber and Lime. I had homemade Tagliatelle with coral butter and shrimps salted in cognac with lemon zest and parsil for dinner. This was a popular order from our table and it was awesome. The atmosphere and dinner was superb at Cenzontle. It says online that they take cash only, but we paid with a card. You just have to put the whole bill on one card.
The second day of the trip we had bachelor/bachelorette days so we split up. Girls went with the bride and boys went with the groom. For dinner, we went to WILD. I am going to say they are all my favorite meals because they were all really great haha. I had a great experience at WILD too. We did the tasting menu for our whole group and, honestly, this was the way to go. We got to try a little bit of everything on the menu and it was the perfect way to do dinner and get the full experience.
Also, the HAYATÉ cocktail was amazing. It was tequila Infused With red pepper, lime, agave syrup, basil, and spice tincture.
A little tip before dining at WILD: wear your bug spray. It is legitimately in the jungle. They do walk around with incense, but I could feel myself getting bitten at dinner. If you followed along with my mosquito saga on Instagram, this is where it started. More on this in a minute.
Tantra Beach Club
Tantra will come up again in a minute for things to do, but we did eat lunch here. I highly recommend the lobster tacos. They were a favorite among our group!
This is Pablo Escobar’s former home turned into a hotel. It has great restaurants and a beach club. We had breakfast here and it was an awesome experience. For $40, you get a fresh juice, coffee or tea, a pastry, bread, fruit, an entree and two mimosas or bloody marys. I had the eggs benedict as my entree it was delicious. This was a morning of luxury and I was here for it.
Now on the flip side of luxury, you have Hartwood. An equally awesome experience, but completely different. Hartwood is completely off the grid. They base their menu daily on what the “sea and land harvests offer them.” It is a changing spoken menu every day. The restaurant runs on solar panels and all food is cooked on an open fire in a wood-burning oven. You need to make a reservation here and you need to arrive exactly at 6 p.m. Before would actually be best so that when they open at 6, you are ready to go. This restaurant fills up quickly.
What to Do In Tulum
We were there for a wedding so we did a lot of different things with the wedding party. Some of our excursions were planned and some we just did on our own. Here are a few fun things to do in Tulum!
Yep, the same one I mentioned earlier. You should definitely make a stop or pay for a day at the beach here. It’s a beautiful property with really great food and lots of Instagram-worthy spots.
Ruins and Cenote Tours
Ok, I will admit that I skipped this excursion for more beach time, but I had also seen them before. The cenote and ruins are beautiful and there are lots of different tours that will take you to see them.
Tantra Beach Club
We went to Tantra Beach Club for the Bachelorette day. The boys went to RosaNegra. These is the typical influencer-type Tulum images you see on social media. Sparklers with bottle service, beautiful people swaying around in long flowy skirts and bikinis, etc. It was fun and definitely worth a trip if you are on a girls’ or guys’ trip. For a romantic getaway, you can skip this. It’s a good party atmosphere.
Shopping in town
Tulum has lots of little cute shops and stores if you want to get some Tulum fashion or street tacos. It’s fun to walk up and down the street.
Things to Note When Traveling to Tulum
There are no direct flights to Tulum. You have to fly into Cancun and then it’s about a 2-hour shuttle ride. We booked a private van shuttle because a lot of people flew in around the same time. Some hotels offer a shuttle service. I DO NOT recommend a bus or public transportation. It’s just not as safe. Go ahead and do some research on your shuttle options and book a private transfer.
Tulum is in the jungle. I didn’t think this through. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes on the trip. I’m allergic already and so I had over 100 bites with an allergic reaction. It was awful and I had to be put on a steroid. It still hasn’t completely healed, so seriously, bring bug spray.
At the time we went to Tulum, if you are a US citizen, you do have to have a negative test to re-enter the United States. There are private companies that come to your hotel to perform your test. Some hotels offer the test as part of your package for staying with them. Just do the research and make sure to book a test before you get there. Make sure it is scheduled for the day before you leave (we left Friday, so we took our tests Thursday morning.)
Have you ever been to Tulum? What did you do and where did you stay?