Tulum Playa is one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to.
Back in 2001, it was backpackers’ heaven and travellers would rent cabañas right on the beach for a few dollars. We spent a few days there, under the stars. Then cabañas started to get popular and expensive, and the few cheap and flimsy ones were destroyed by a hurricane. Nowadays, staying in a cabaña is almost a luxury and they all have electricity, private bathrooms and all. Things change…
The beach is still awesome, though. It has everything: a nice long stretch of white sand, turquoise water, palm trees and a laid-back feel. What’s not to like? Okay, the sand gets everywhere, including in your eyes. That’s about it.
The weather was colder than we expected it. For some reason, it’s always colder in Tulum than in Cancun or Playa—the wind, maybe. After sunset, jeans and a sweater were needed (it was around 15-17°C I think). During the day it was warm enough, but still a bit chillier than you’d think.
We stayed in Tulum Pueblo, a few kilometres from the beach. Most of the town stretches along the busy and aptly named “Avenida Tulum.” There are restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, a bus station, many taxis and other small businesses. The town does cater to gringos (seriously, no Mexican crave a $3 muffin from a bakery claiming to sell “bread with soul”…) but as soon as you escape the main drag and go to the side streets, you are rewarded with many delicious cheap eats and busy panaderias.
The town was nosier than I remembered though. At night, most restaurants closed early but the three or four karaoke and bars left rocked the town until very late at night—a pain when you don’t fancy listening to butchered Queen’s hits!