Tulum Itinerary: The Ultimate Wellness-Focused Tulum Weekend Guide
Ahhh Tulum! It’s got to be my favourite wellness destination in the Americas. Rich in stunning beaches, spas and wellness centres, beautiful properties, healthy food options and all the boho vibes, it’s difficult to find a better place to spend a weekend or a week. Tulum is all about rest, relaxation and treating your body and mind to some well-deserved treatments, nutrition and Vitamin D. There are so many things to do and see as well as just relaxing on the beach that your Tulum itinerary can be anything you want it to be. Keep reading this Tulum travel guide for all the best advice about what to do during your wellness-focused, weekend Tulum itinerary.
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To get to Tulum, you’ll first have to fly into Cancun international airport. From the airport, it’s about a 2 hours bus ride south to Tulum. The best bus to take is the ADO and it’s available right outside the arrivals terminal which takes you straight to the centre of Tulum town.
Shared or private taxis and transfers to Tulum are also available at the airport. To grab a great deal make sure to book before you arrive. I highly recommend using eTransfers for your trip as they are reputable and offer competitive rates. Check them out here to get a quote.
Upon researching your trip to Tulum, you’ll soon find that Tulum is split into two parts, ’Tulum town’ and ‘Tulum beach’ and they are quite spread out. Depending on where you’re staying you’ll definitely need your own wheels to get around.
Bicycle – Cycling is a great way to get around the immediate area. It’s completely safe in Tulum and you can easily cycle to and from the beach from town in 15 minutes. You can also visit Gran Cenote and the Tulum ruins by bicycle too.
Scooter– If you prefer something a little faster then there are a couple of places in Tulum town (along the main highway) where you can rent scooters. Scooters are also great to visit the surrounding area but it isn’t safe to go further out along the main Cancun-Tulum highway, due to the amount of heavy traffic it has.
Car – To explore further afield such as Playa del Carmen, Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Sian Ka’an, Bacalar or even Cancun for the day you’ll need to rent a car. There are many local agencies in Tulum town which rent cars and it’s pretty easy to do it, just make sure you have your passport and driving license.
Colectivo – If you’re not quite up to driving, colectivos are local minibuses that ply the highway picking up and dropping people off the main Cancun-Tulum highway. You can find the colectivo departure point in town at the Tulum town/beach road intersection. They can take you to some of the cenotes near Playa del Carmen and Playa del Carmen itself.
WHERE TO STAY IN TULUM
Azulik Tulum– Instagram famous Azulik is the place to be for one of the most natural and unique yet luxurious experiences in Tulum. Located on the beach strip, much of this hotel looks like it’s been built with driftwood, the decor, interiors and design are an architectural and design marvel. They offer an amazing spa experience and a daily yoga class happens in their extraordinary ‘yoga-barn’ at 7.30 am. (Drop-ins also available). Their bar and pool area is the perfect place to watch the sun go down after a day on the beach.
Olas Tulum– One of my favourite places to stay in Tulum, Olas is the only 100% sustainable hotel in Tulum. It’s small and only has six cabanas as well as a beautiful yoga deck overlooking the swaying beach palms. The simple yet tasteful rooms are exactly where you want to be waking up every morning to the sound of the waves breaking on the beach nearby. Make sure to also book yourself into a morning yoga class and get an amazingly relaxing massage in the evening.
Hotel Blanco Tulum– This brand new hotel is located right on the edge of Tulum town on the way to the beach, meaning you’re in the middle of both worlds. The hotel is bright, airy and super comfortable. It’s simple but rooms have everything you need and include a coffee machine, large TV and sofa. There’s also a gorgeous rooftop pool with brilliant views of the jungle canopy- perfect for cooling off in during the midday heat.
For the full Tulum hotel guide check out Where To Stay in Tulum: The Best Hotels in 2021
WHERE TO EAT IN TULUM
Tulum has some of the best healthy eating and plant-based options in Mexico if not the whole of Latin America. Things don’t get much better for plant-based, fresh, wholesome options that will leave you feeling good and glowing from the inside out. Both Tulum town and the beach have many plant-based restaurants and cafes and many other restaurants also offer veggie and vegan options on their menus.
La Hoja – For the best plant-based versions of Mexican classics head to La Hoja in Tulum town, this open-seating restaurant is 100% plant-based and does the best vegan ‘El Pastor’ tacos I’ve ever had. Tacos here are a must but if you’ve had your fair share already they also serve salad bowls, burgers and stews as well as delicious smoothie bowls and a large assortment of fresh fruit juices.
Raw Love– Probably one of my favourite places to eat on Tulum beach, Raw Love is a must when you’re on the beach, relaxing for the day. You’ll find Raw Love in the premises of Hotel Ahau Tulum, right on the beach strip. The little cafe itself is located outside and surrounded by lush, green bushes, tall shady palms and earthy cabañas. The menu is raw, plant-based and includes many different varieties of smoothies and cold-pressed juices as well as açai bowls, ice-cold coconuts, salads, and other raw mains and desserts. The food is colourful, nutritious, healthy and delicious. It’s the perfect place to stop for lunch or an afternoon post-beach pick-me-up.
Farm to Table– While not fully plant-based, they serve meat too, Farm to Table simply has the best concept of sourcing the freshest, local ingredients and putting them straight on your table. Their menu is seasonal and includes the best and freshest of what is available at local sources right now. Head there for brunch and enjoy a menu full of vegan gluten-free pancakes, huevos rancheros, a variety of salads that will set you up for the day ahead. Located in Tulum town.
Matcha Mama – For all things smoothies, smoothie bowls and iced matcha lattes Matcha Mama is the place to go. This little shack can be found both in town and on the beach strip and is the perfect place to go for breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up. I personally couldn’t say no to an ice-cold smoothie bowl after a few hours on the beach.
Charly’s Vegan Tacos – Mexico is all about tacos and this is one of the best places for vegan tacos in Tulum. Located on the beach strip, this little eatery sells mouth-watering tacos that you can’t miss. They have seitan, faux chicken tacos as well as loaded nachos, elotes, salads and refreshing drinks like watermelon or hibiscus flavoured water.
For more on where to eat check out the Complete Guide to the Best Vegan Restaurants in Tulum
TULUM WEEKEND ITINERARY
There is so much to do in Tulum that one weekend is not enough to really experience it all. For this reason, I would encourage you to stay longer to fully allow yourself to relax, unwind and experience all that this little pocket of heaven has to offer. Your Tulum itinerary will no doubt focus on what you’d like to do most; relax and unwind, visit the sights of the area, spend time on the beach etc. Here is a list of all the top wellness and cultural focused things to do in Tulum so you can choose your favourite to make your own, personalised Tulum itinerary.
GET A SPA TREATMENT
If you’ve come to Tulum to relax and get away from it all, spending some time in a spa is the best way to go. There are so many places to choose from and most beach resorts have their own. The spas in Tulum are also often much better value than the ones you’ll find at home. Why not spend the afternoon pampering yourself completely with massages, facials, herbal baths or rituals. One of my favourite spas and wellness centres in Tulum in the Yaan Healing Sanctuary.
RELAX ON THE BEACH
With one of the most beautiful beaches in Latin America, spending some time on the beach or at one of the beach clubs is a must. Walk up and down the beach enjoying the ocean breeze and white sand between your toes, swim in the crystal-clear turquoise water and relax in a sun lounger or beautiful boho-style sunbed. Beach clubs belonging to various resorts line the shore and you can take your pick which one to relax at during the day. My favourite are Instagram famous Coco Tulum, Casa Malca and Alaya Tulum, where you can grab a sunbed and an ice-cold coconut and relax to the sound of the breaking waves.
VISIT SIAN KA’AN RESERVE
This lush natural biosphere located just south of Tulum offers you a chance to get up close and personal with the local landscape, flora and fauna. This highly protected area is home to unique marshland on which you can find animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, flamingoes, iguanas and many bird species. The best way to visit is through a tour or by renting a car. You can organise a tour through your hotel, Get Your Guide or an operator in Tulum town.
There is no shortage of places to indulge in some yoga and Tulum probably does have some of the most beautifully inspiring studios around. Flow to the sound of the waves or high up in the jungle canopy with the birds chirping early in the morning as the sun rises. Most places have classes in the morning at about 7.30-8 am before the heat of the day sets in and some places also do sunset classes in the afternoon. Some of my favourite places to unroll my mat in Tulum are Sanara which have such a bright and airy studio close to the beach, Alaya Tulum for daily morning and afternoon classes up in the jungle canopy and Azulik for a unique yoga experience at one of the most amazing boutique hotels in the world.
Tulum is also the perfect place for a morning meditation session to the sounds of the jungle. For meditation be sure to check out Azulik Tulum for their daily meditation and sound healing classes as well as Yaan Healing Sanctuary which offers everything from yoga, meditation, healing rituals and many other packages- perfect for a weekend of wellness and relaxation.
TOP TIP: When doing yoga or meditation make sure to put on plenty of insect repellent, at dusk and dawn mosquitos come out in full force and can be pretty annoying when you’re trying to focus on your posture or breathing.
VISIT THE TULUM RUINS
Right on the edge of town, you’ll find the Tulum ruins, the ancient Mayan site that was once a vast, walled Pre-Colombian settlement. You can visit, walk around, enter the walls, part of which are still standing and admire the temples, shrines and watchtowers of the site. Make sure to also check out the beautiful hidden beach right under El Castillo, the most prominent building- it’s one of the most beautiful in Mexico. For a bit of culture in your Tulum itinerary, a quick visit to the ruins is highly recommended.
Check out the full guide to the Tulum Ruins + Top Tips for Visiting.
VISIT THE TULUM CENOTES
A must in any Tulum itinerary! Cenotes are found all over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. They are beautiful, yet otherworldly natural, freshwater sinkholes that served a variety of functions in the past but can now be enjoyed as a gorgeous place to swim in and cool off from the midday heat. Around Tulum, there are many cenotes, some of which are very close and can be easily reached from Tulum town such as Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera. For some of the others, you’ll have to go by car or colectivo. No two cenotes are quite the same and they are just perfect for relaxing in or around, jumping into the refreshing water and swimming among the local fish and sometimes even terrapins. The fusion of aqua blues of different shades, jungle greens and greys and browns of the rock creates a spectrum of colour that really is a sight for sore eyes.
For more on Tulum’s Cenotes check out the Ultimate Guide to Tulum’s Cenotes.
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN
65km up the coast you’ll find Playa del Carmen, another beachside, resort town with a completely different vibe. Less hippy and with a more resort vibe, visiting Playa del Carmen makes for a great day trip if you feel like getting out of Tulum for a few hours. The beaches here are beautiful yet a little more crowded and there are plenty of restaurants and even a Frida Kahlo Museum. There are plenty of lovely cenotes around Playa del Carmen too that have a completely different feel to them than the ones around Tulum.
GET A WORKOUT IN AT JUNGLE GYM
For a once in a lifetime workout experience, head to Jungle Gym for your morning workout. At Jungle gym, all the benches, free weights, log weights and equipment are all made out of natural materials, namely wood and rope giving a complete flintstone-style gym experience that’s difficult to find anywhere else. Men’s Health rates it as one of the best gyms in the world, but it’s not just for men, plenty of women use it and love it too.
INDULGE IN A CACAO RITUAL
As far as I know, the Cacao Ritual is something really unique to Mexico and sacred in Mexican Mayan culture- something that has to be experienced when in this beautiful Mexican paradise. During Mayan times, cacao was a sacred drink of the Gods that was thought to strengthen and rejuvenate the system ready for battle. While you’re probably not going into battle anytime soon, the benefits of this ritual are plentiful. Through drinking the uniquely prepared cacao, the ceremony aims to clear old energies and make space for new ones as well as opening the heart and becoming more attuned to its murmur. The best places to experience the cacao ritual are Healing Tulum and Casa Violeta.
TOP TIPS FOR VISITING TULUM
↠ Bring bug spray! If you’re visiting Tulum, especially during the rainy season (Sept-Dec) make sure to bring bug spray. Tulum lies in the middle of the jungle and the pesky insects are everywhere.
↠ Bring Mexican pesos- currency isn’t the easiest to change here so bring a few Mexican pesos with you. There are ATMs in Tulum town where you can withdraw more money. Note that most local eateries and street food stalls only take cash.
↠ Pack light. There are some excellent places to go shopping in Tulum- think boutique shops with gorgeous flowy dresses, dream catchers and chunky tribal jewellery. No doubt you’ll want to leave a little space in your suitcase to bring some stuff home.
↠ Visit cenotes early. if you want to have a great experience of quiet and peace or to take stunning photos arrive at cenotes when they open e.g. 8/9am. These cenotes are popular with both locals and tourists and as they aren’t particularly big they fill up quickly.
Do you have any comments of questions regarding this Tulum itinerary? Leave them below, I’d love to help you out with your trip.
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