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Rusty's Guide to Tulum, Mexico

The town of Tulum is pretty safe during the day, but during the night I’d advise you to take a taxi. They’re all straightforward to use and find there are taxi stands on the main road. There are camps where construction workers live on the back roads, and they do drink a lot. So I’d rather not have any bad encounters.

Most people take siestas during the day, so you shouldn’t be surprised if things close up for a while in the afternoon and reopen during the evening. It’s hot out there, and nobody loves it. But the evenings are great! If you’re back from the beach, stroll up and down the town (be careful the sidewalk isn’t even or maybe missing in parts). The shops sell the same stuff everywhere.

The supermarkets are okay, but hard to reach without a car. Also, don’t expect super great produce in them. You could spend a lot of money in Tulum if you want, but you certainly don’t have to do it. There is good value everywhere.

I found that the sparkling bottled water was great; it is called Cristal and comes in recycled glass bottles at some restaurants. Get some sliced limes and squeeze their juice into the bottles. You won’t be disappointed.

Food In Town

Best Falafel I’ve had in North America:

Pasha Turkish And Middle Eastern Cuisine Tulum DOWNTOWN
Calle Saturno norte y Avenida Tulum Mz1 Lt1-3, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 998 168 9933

Great Açaí Bowls:

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
+52 1 984 235 7425

Best Pizza (cheap, make sure to get the Cristal sparkling water):

Pizzeria Manglar
Asunción, Manzana 38, Lote 2.
Entre calle y Av. Tulum.
Quintana Roo., Calle Coba, La Veleta, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 120 0770

Burrito Amor
Av Tulum Pte Mz 3 Lote 5 Local 1, Av. Tulum, Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 160 2989

Antojitos La Chiapaneca
Av. Tulum, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 112 3249

Best sophisticated dining in town (very hip for brunch):

Av, Satélite Sur 5, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 160 0770

A very romantic spot for drinks, under trees candlelight:

Calle Centauro Sur entre calles Andrómeda, Calle Sol Ote. y, Centro, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 216 2809


A cool swimming place

Grand Cenote
Quintana Roo, Mexico

A resort that is up by Playa del Carmen (most lavish brunch ever):

Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Solidaridad, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
+52 984 873 4900


These places are on the beach, not in town and you can’t walk to the beach from town but you can bike there.

There is just one road on the beach, the public beach is to the north, and the southern part has many clubs like PPP. I like going to La Zebra (I went twice). I thought it was just quiet enough to be relaxing and the food, service and especially the ceviche was excellent.

Many of the places you’ll see on the beach road are kind of sketchy. Not unsafe, but just not built to the professional standards you’ll find in the rest of the world. There is no central water service or sewer, so you’ll see both conveyed by truck in and out. I’d advise you not to drink the water unless it is from a place that looks expensive enough to filter their water or service your bottles. Le Zebra is good like this.

You can also usually change at any of the beach clubs. The public beach doesn’t have many facilities but does have some nice sand. I’d pay the $25 in minimum spend and go to one of the clubs.

La Zebra was my favorite beach club. It has an excellent breakfast, daybeds, hammocks, and a roof in-case it starts to rain. It also features a full bar and WiFi.

La Zebra Hotel Tulum
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
+52 1 984 115 4726

The best Thai style restaurant. The food was killer good.

Mezzanine Hotel Tulum
Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila km 4.1, Zona Hotelera, 77780 Q.R., Mexico
+52 1 984 131 1596

There are several parks that you’ll see on your way to Tulum, like Xcaret and Xventure, they might be cool to check out, but I haven’t been to them. I am sure there are shuttle buses between the town and those parks.