Yucatan has it all. Kilometres of pure jungle, unique cenotes, fabulous wildlife, delicious food and dazling beaches situated on the coastline of the Caribbean Sea. Mexico has been on my bucket list for so long and I finally made my dream come true. I wanted to make my first visit to Mexico special and I decided to visit on my birthday. So I did. Could life get any better? We picked our hotel in Tulum for the entire trip, but we did many fun things every day.
This post about Tulum is filled with travel tips to help you plan your trip to Mexico! Tulum is a small town in the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. I know that Tulum had been portrayed as a destination for luxury travellers, but is not entirely true, it has so much to offer for the adventure seekers, nature lovers and healthy enthusiasts as well.
Now I will take you from the azure blue waters to picturesque green jungles. Yucatan is not only gorgeous beaches, it owns hectares of pure jungle that are home to jaguars (you can meet them if you are super lucky), monkeys, iguanas and hundreds of other amazing species of animals and insects.
In our stay in Mexico we wanted to see as much as we could and the jungle was not an exception, we even slept in the jungle for a few days and that was one of the most beautiful experience of our lives, but I will tell you more details about that in a post I will make about our van life experience here in Tulum. But even if you don’t plan a sleep over in the jungle is hard not to go at least once into it, as the entrance to many cenotes or beaches are thru the jungle. It’s an amazing experience.
I think that nobody should miss the opportunity to discover the tropical jungle of Yucatan peninsula. The jungle is full of secrets that not even scientists could discover, large parts of this mysterious rainforest are still unknown. It’s a place full of cenotes, lagoons, crocodiles, jaguars and hundreds of species of plants.
when to visit
The amazing jungle can be explored all year round, the weather conditions here don’t really vary between seasons, the jungle has a warm, rainy and humid climates. Or better said, perfect to visit any time of the year.
lunch in the middle of the jungle
We found this place by chance, this restaurant is literally placed in the middle of the tropical jungle. The owner of the restaurant told us that the security guy spotted a few times a jaguar coming in the middle of the night. I don’t remember the name of this place but the restaurant is close to Cenote Azul and here they serve delicious traditional food and they have great service. We came here a few times, that much we liked it.
f a u n a a n d f l o r a
You will spot while you walk thru the jungle some of the most fascinating and unusual species include more than 100 species of orchid, huge palms, mango and avocado trees. Hiking around the forest, you may run into tapirs, piglike peccaries, large, tailless rodents, a few species of deer can be found as well. The spider monkey also inhabits some forested areas of the region. This place is a dream.
Pollution, poaching, illegal traffic of rare species and the filling in of coastal areas for yet more resorts are taking an enormous toll on the Yucatán’s wildlife. Deforestation is also a major threat.
Some of the species on the peninsula that are threatened with extinction or are protected include five species of cat (jaguar, puma, ocelot, margay and jaguarundi), four species of sea turtle, the manatee, the tapir and hundreds of bird species, including the harpy eagle, the red flamingo and the jabiru stork. Efforts are being made to save these and other endangered creatures from extinction.
TULUM SCULPTURE “ven a la luz”
Ven a la luz (come into the light) has been permanently installed at the resort Ahau Tulum. This ten meters high sculpture made of steel, wood, rope and greenery was built by the amazing artist Daniel Popper.
I find out about this fabulous sculpture on a blog post I was reading about Tulum some time ago and it caught my attention. So it was on my visit list when I was there. This place is overcrowded due to its fame on the internet. We could enjoy this amazing piece of art with nobody around arriving there before 7 AM and we had it all to ourselves. When we passed back by later that day there was a long line to get a photo with the sculpture.
If you ask me if coming here has worth it, I would say yes, it’s an impressive art work, very interesting and I am totally in supporting artist. If you are in Tulum is not a bad idea to make a little time to visit it.
Matcha Mama is a popular place in Tulum and one of the most visited. Many travellers come here to enjoy the variety of flavours offers by their açai bowls and of course to snap a cute photo in the gorgeous setting at this bar, outside the jungle or the fabulous beaches. I liked this place so much that we went there twice during our trip and I rarely repeat.
The bar has a rich menu filled with kombucha, smoothies, açai bowls and every single matcha creation. Matcha Mama makes each bowl fresh to order so it can take several minutes before your bowl or smoothie is ready.
b i k e r i d e s
You haven’t been to Tulum if you don’t do at least a bike ride. Walking around by bike is an amazing experience and very handy, because in Tulum the traffic is crazy.
The bike ride between the town and beach takes 20 to 35 minutes depending on your starting point. On a bike, you make your way right by all the traffic and you don’t get stuck in a car. There are many rental shops with most well maintained bikes in all sizes, plus accessories like baby carriers.
You can book a bike almost anywhere, hotels or shops. If is the hotel where you stay it might rent you the bikes for free, depends on the hotel policy. We rented our bike with the hotel Ahau Tulum and we payed 8 dollars for an hour.
FOLLOW THAT DREAM SIGN
I’m totally convinced that this spot is familiar to many people and how not to if it’s all over the internet. There are lots of life inspiring street signs in Tulum thanks to the many artists there, but it seems that must be something different about “Follow that Dream”. The sign is located on the main street of Tulum in front of Lolita Lolita boutique.
It’s located literally on the side of the road so try to be careful when taking photos! This road is very busy and it keep coming cars. We’ve been there around 3PM to avoid traffic and it was a great decision.
k a y a k i n m a n g r o v e s
I like water sports so we had to do a kayak tour among the mangrove and it was amazing. We booked a tour a few days before.
The tour included the guide, lunch and the kayak. We wanted to do the tour in kayak but if you want you can rent a speed boat. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the natural history of mangroves and led us on a very cool tour. He speaks English too, but we speak Spanish as I speak fluent and my boyfriend is Spanish.
The route was astonishing. It’s amazing to kayak among the mangroves, it was so peaceful and relaxing and the water was so clear that we could see the fish swimming under us. The route round-way it took us about three hours.
t h o u g h t s a b o u t T u l u m
Tulum is a paradise. There are many interesting things to see and do and I was particularly amazed by the cenotes and the jungle in this area. I hope my blog post was helpful to you. For any tips or thoughts just drop a comment bellow.