A Guide To Tulum

Last Updated Feb 21, 2024

Visiting Tulum? Keep reading ‘till the end if you’re looking to understand what the fuss is all about.

Tulum: one of the most wanted destinations in the world. Take a trip to connect with a variety of people, fun activities, incredible food and the mysticism of the Mayan jungle.

Tulum is only a 2 1⁄2 hour ride in private transportation from Cancun Airport. By the end of the ride you’ll be getting the sensation of entering a whole new world. This, I’d say, is not the common Caribbean experience, but something rather… unique.

Let me expand on that.

How many times have you heard this mystical, somehow mesmerizing name throughout the years? Tulum. This is a place that has gained popularity throughout the lustrums for many reasons. But…

What are the most solid grounds for this place to be on everybody’s mind?

Its obvious closeness to the deep-deep jungle. In the end, Tulum is a geography entirely based on the fact that this IS where nature is extremely close to you, it gets so near that it seems to caress hotels and buildings with the leaves of its palm trees, soothing its visitor’s souls with a lullaby composed by the voices of birds and the deep calm of windy nights.

Tulum can give the effect of being overwhelmingly powerful, strong in a magical sense that can only be lived while being there, where jaguars may be roaming, looking at you from afar like ancient jungle spirits taking care of you. Tulum is a place that smells of seabreeze and coconut oil combined with mystical incense aromas, citronella to avoid the hordes of mosquitoes, and wilderness in every possible way, in every direction. Even the stars appear to be gazing at us on those clear nights among the jungle warmth.

Walking Tulum’s hotel area, a two way street cramped with ambiguous accommodations –as they are luxurious and humble looking at the same time, is quite an experience itself, given that the streets are mostly filled with beautiful people, visitors from all over the world who gather there, speaking their various languages, filling the air with the international buzz one can only hear while spending time under the skirts of the Eiffel Tower, or below The Big Ben in London. Tulum inhales all of these gifts, and exhales a traveling atmosphere that smells like something good is always about to happen.

But to understand what Tulum is all about, to really become a connoisseur, let us take private transportation back to ancient history…

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Tulum, in Mayan times.

In the words of Spanish chronicler Juan Díaz, " Tulum is a city as grand as Seville, featuring a towering structure that may have resembled a castle from a distance." These words were penned upon his arrival in this splendid city, a place that vividly illustrates the magnificence of the Mayan civilization.

From atop a towering pyramid, the Mayan leader, known as Kalach Uinik, meaning "Truthful Man", gazes upon the turquoise abyss, a testament to his authority, strength, and wisdom. The commercial hub lies below him, where boats laden with trade goods—cotton, food, copper bells, axes, and cocoa nibs—connect this city to abundance in all directions.

Kalach Uinik embodies enlightenment, possessing words of wisdom, negotiation skills, and a profound connection with the gods. As the representative of his people, he is the chosen one, courageous and revered. His strategy for dealing with the Spaniards is not one of conflict but illumination.

Some locals believe that Tulum remained nearly untouched by the conquistadors due to the unwavering spirit and deep-rooted spirituality of the Mayan beliefs.

The name "Tulum" finds its roots in the Mayan word for "dawn" or "aurora," which befits the historical moment of its founding, dating back to the year 546 CE. It was a settlement of the classic period, seldom disturbed, if not forgotten, by neighboring Mayan communities. In the colonial era, it was known as "Muralla," meaning "wall," a reference to the thick jungle that shielded this place from the gradual decline of the Mayan civilization.

Tulum Ruins, Quintana Roo

Modern local people are widely known in Mexico as "Tuluminattis", they’re people who have a certain kind of behaviorism, wear a specific type of clothing, a group on the lookout for enlightenment and spiritual revelations while living in Tulum. To me, the term could have emerged, without us noticing, from the fusion of "Zama" (Dawn) and "Kalach Uinik," (Truthful man), which can be anthropologically interpreted as "The Dawn of Truthful Men."


Tickets to Tulum Ruins

Why visit Tulum?

It’s trendy.

Tulum is a never ending trend, as everybody, nowadays, is looking for growth, self-care, spirituality and luxury at the same time.

You will not want to leave.

Either you’re just there for a relaxing time at the beach, trying to escape from reality for a while, or to a Yoga retreat, or just to have fun at the vibrant nightlife this place can provide for party seekers, Tulum is a people magnet. Everyone that goes there ends up staying for a little longer, or even never going back home.

Trust me… the place caught me too for a couple of years.

To become a Nomad.

Digital nomads enjoy Tulum like no one else does it. Many hotels know this, so they have packages and memberships for travelers who seek prolonged stays at fairly reasonable costs (for Tulum, ok? Don’t get all excited on me).

“Click here! Our travel consultants are ready to help you book your Tulum trip”

To know magic (natural, culinary, clubbing).

Yes. Tulum is all about magic. If you don’t have magical thinking, probably won’t fit in that particular jungly niche. Rituals, temazcales, spiritual retreats, music festivals, impressive beaches, foods like you’ve never tried before, and the ubiquitous sensation that everything's meant to be.

Tulum Party 2023

Is Tulum a safe place?

This destination is as safe as any other on-demand destination in the world. As long as you take good care of yourself, have dollars or pesos to tip every service member you run into and have the ability to communicate basic stuff like “quiero una beer corona” or “how to get to the pirámide mayan?” you’ll be just fine…

Jokes aside, Tulum is one of the safest places in Quintana Roo state.

Further Tulum tips.

Cell service.

Note that there’s almost no cell service in Tulum, especially in the beach area. This is an advantage if you seek disconnection, but wanted to let you know so you first hear from Odigoo and not by running into difficulties during your perfect trip.

Instagrammable spots in Tulum everywhere.

I’m not saying anything, just recommend you go and be amazed by:

Ahau Tulum

  • Conestesia Bunny.
  • Ahau Tulum.
  • Cenote Suytun.
  • Papaya Playa Project
  • Cenote Dos Ojos.
  • Sian Ka'an Lagoon.
  • Follow That Dream Sign.
  • Selina Tulum.
  • Vagalume Beach Club.

What are the best tours in Tulum?

“We also recommend: Kaan Luum Lagoon, a natural Wonder in Tulum"

Here’s a list of activities you can book through Odigoo’s website today.

    Tulum ruins tour.
  • Cenote Calavera Tour.
  • Cenote Cristalino Tour.
  • Luxury Ride to Cobá Ruins.
  • Private transfer from Cancun to Sian Ka'an, Tulum.

Tulum, Sian Ka'an. Punta Allen, 2023, Odigoo

    Transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum’s Archaeological site.
  • Transportation and tour to Sian Ka’an natural reserve.
  • Birdwatching tour in Tulum.
  • Muyil tour.
  • Cenote Suytun Tour.

How to get around?

The best way to get around is by using a private driver in Tulum, as many of the sites and beautiful places this magical town brings, are a bit far from each other, more the reason why hiring a private van in Tulum is the best idea if you’re trying to get around easily and pain free.

Contact our Odigoo experts for amazing deals in private transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum, and inside Tulum town as well.

Tulum’s best Restaurants

The culinary offer in Tulum is just amazing, as haute cuisine and Mexican street food blend in a mystical combination of plates that’ll soothe your palate’s dreams.

If, like myself, you’re a euphoric foodie, I suggest you book a private transfer from Tulum to:

    Loco Tulum.
  • Vagalume Tulum.
  • Funky Burrito Tulum.
  • Casa Banana Tulum.
  • Mezzanine Thai Bar and Restaurant.
  • Doña Paty Tacos de Guisado.
  • Taqueria Honorio.
  • Kengai.

Tulum, Vagalum, 2023, Odigoo.

  • Maratea.
  • BAK’s Steak House.
  • Fit-a-licious.
  • La Negra Tomasa.

Tulum’s Best Beaches

Tulum is packed with beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, white sandy spots, amazingly fun adventures, and the most booming parties in the Caribbean. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, within Tulum’s beaches time is stopped, a red carpet’s unveiled and parties start happening whether you intended to attend one or not. Better be always ready. Unagi!

Tulum, Playa Pescadores, 2023, Odigoo.

Book a private transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum and be amazed at:

  • Tulum Beach.
  • Playa Paraiso.
  • Playa Pescadores.
  • Playa Ruinas.
  • Las Palmas Public Beach.
  • Ahau Tulum Beach.
  • Piedra Escondida.
  • Playa Boca Paila.
  • Soliman Bay.
  • Paamul Beach.

That’s all, folks!

As you can see, Tulum represents magic in every possible way, as nature, modern spirit, spirituality and party seekers gather at the same jungle, all coinciding for an excellent mix that will fulfill every Caribbean dream you’ve ever had.

Odigoo hopes you got a little clarity about why Tulum is the best place to visit anytime of the year. Just Get on a plane and book your private shuttle from Cancun airport to Tulum and come see it for yourself!

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

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