Why is Everyone Travelling to Tulum Right Now?
It seems as if Tulum has been stuck at the top of our news feeds throughout this entire pandemic. Flocks of travellers have escaped hectic cities and harsh lockdowns to hide away in boho beach bars and above all, to hit refresh on the idyllic soft-sandy beaches of Tulum.
Looking beyond the mixed hype of Tulum, we discover the many beautiful reasons why most people are fleeing to this beach town on the Caribbean coast over anywhere else in Mexico.
What is the climate like in Tulum?
The Riviera Maya basks in glorious 80 °F (30°C) temperatures all year round. From June to October, most afternoons you’ll see how the clouds begin to rise. Charging together and turning a fierce grey, therefore warning you of an imminent thunderstorm.
The best time to visit Tulum is between October and April. The threat of rain is at a minimum but a surprise shower is always a possibility. The months of December to March, right in the midst of the brutal U.S winter, visitors in their thousands make the journey to the Caribbean Coast of Mexico.
What is the best way to get to Tulum?
With the majority of international flights arriving into Cancún, skip the chaotic, neon-lit city and make your way directly to Tulum. To get to Tulum from Cancún, it is only a one and a half-hour journey in a private car. Alternatively, if your flight arrives inline with one of six departures of the ADO bus from Cancún Airport Terminal 2, you can travel to Tulum for under 300 pesos.
Once you arrive at Tulum, the best way to get around is by bike. You can hire a mint-green bike with a thatched basket attached for around 100 pesos a day.
Tulum is split into two parts: Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Beach. There is a three kilometre straight stretch of bike lane that takes you between the two. Once you reach the roundabout, glide smuggly past the traffic that accumulates. Turning left leads you to the public beach and Tulum ruins.
Alternatively, cycle to the right, past glamorous people floating by in white kimonos. En route, catch an occasional glimpse of the turquoise sea. Discover an array of trendy and rustic beach bars folded into the jungle, all bouncing to the psychedelic beats of techno music. Commit to a minimum spend at a bar of your choice and pass the day under the shade of a palapa and listen to the waves gently kiss the powder-soft sand.
Tulum is one of the best destination for Digital Nomads in Mexico
As Tulum has become extremely popular with travellers, a huge community has developed. Breaking down into more specific networks, there’s a group for everyone. For example: crypto-currency addicts; yogies; spiritual wanderers; art collectors; fashionistas and eco-entrepreneurs. Most of all, it’s the perfect playground for Digital Nomads.
Wifi speeds in Tulum are much more reliable than other beach towns in Mexico. For instance, Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca where digital nomads have to swap laptops for surfboards. You will certainly find stronger wifi closer to Tulum Pueblo where many cafes have the perfect set up for digital nomads. Enjoy long, communal tables with rope swings or tall coffee bars, and an abundance of plug sockets and fast wifi naturally.
Where is the best place to work from?
Coworking space, Digital Jungle, encapsulates the essence of Tulum perfectly. Bamboo structures, bird-nest-esque lampshades, and hanging plants create an inspirational workspace. It is home to “a community of kindred souls, living in Tulum or just passing through.”
Casai’s luxury Getaways in Tulum are all equipped with the fastest wifi available and comfortable work stations for those who prefer to work from home. Located in the up and coming, trendy zones of Puerta Azul, Luum Zama and Aldea Zama, Casai’s Getaways lay between the Tulum Pueblo and the beach, offering a private and safe sanctuary for guests.
Not far away from Tulum Pueblo, hanging precariously over the Caribbean Sea, are the Tulum ruins. This small city during the final decades of the Mayan civilisation was a trading port for turquoise and jade before the Spanish came in the 1520s. It’s certainly best to visit the Tulum ruins in the early morning (opening at 8am) to beat both the hordes of tourists and the soaring sun.
Many Maya traditions continue to live on in Tulum today. For example, the burning of copal, a specific resin from a Mayan tree, continues to be used for spirit-cleansing rituals. You’ll pick up its scent even in some restaurants and bars as they float around the space with a copalera, leaving in their trail thick, white, perfumed smoke, which is believed to purify the air and eliminate any negative energies.
Temazcals in Tulum
Another way we can see Maya culture still prominent in Tulum today is through the use of Temazcal ceremonies. This ancient ritual has been continued over time by those who have a deep connection to their roots and culture. The ceremony revolves around the individual spirituality of each person and is guided by an experienced temazcalero and his aguilas.
The temazcal is a small structure built with natural materials, such as coconut fiber and stones. Once inside the igloo-like dome, entering anti-clockwise and on your knees, red-hot volcanic stones (called abuelitas) are placed in a pit in the centre of the dome. The temazcalero splashes water over the rocks, caressing them with branches of aromatic herbs (sage or tobacco). As a result, an intense aromatic vapor fills the temazcal, making you sweat like crazy. There are four rounds, each celebrating an element – earth, water, wind and fire – and the final rebirth. During the ceremony there is chanting and prayers to our ancestors for self-healing. Botanica Tulum has weekly temazcales, which offer an authentic and enlightening experience.
Tulum is an eco-friendly destination
Despite being a popular tourist destination, Tulum usually succeeds in completing its mission to be eco-friendly. This could be linked with the respect of Maya culture or the lush, jungle environment in which it is based. There are a variety of world-class sustainable hotels who pledge to save water, be plastic free, source locally-made furniture and upcycle decor. For instance, the use of vintage wedding dresses for an entryway in Casa Malca.
Papaya Playa Project is a prime example of a successfully sustainable eco-resort in Tulum. In July 2015 they launched a mission to achieve a zero emissions and zero contamination community. In December 2019 they announced that they have reduced emissions by 99%. Also, the resort has retained 93% of the original jungle with all furniture and decor locally sourced. Above all, they provide 100% clean water to clients, while using the lowest energy consumption for treatment. Any wastewater is treated and recycled for the irrigation of their plants and jungles. It’s a highly impressive project and certainly the best place to stay in Tulum for the eco-conscious traveller.
You are surrounded by nature
If you haven’t been convinced so far by why so many people are travelling to Tulum, maybe this last point will push you onto the next flight. Tulum is not just tranquil beaches and mojito bars, it is surrounded by lush jungles, wildlife-rich nature reserves and sacred cenotes.
Sian Ka’an is a vast protected area, the largest in the Caribbean coast of Mexico in fact. It is home to a huge quantity of birds, monkeys and even the ellusic jaguars, ocelots and pumas reside here. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers fantastic snorkelling experiences with sightings of dolphins, turtles and other marine life along the Mesoamerican Reef. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to make a reservation in advance.
Cenotes around Tulum
The Yucatán Peninsula has at least 6,000 cenotes, which are access points to a vast network of hugely unexplored cave systems. These sacred sinkholes were extremely important to the Maya and were embedded deeply into their religious beliefs. They believed cenotes were a gateway to Xibalba, the underworld, and the god of rain, Chaac, lived at the bottom of these wells. They performed rituals and ceremonies at cenotes to ask the gods for rain and good crops.
One of the best cenotes to visit in Tulum is Dos Ojos. Popular because of its two sinkholes that are connected by a passageway. It’s also possible to dive in this cenote, which is an other-worldly experience. Arrive here early as the morning sun casts its rays on the water, creating a vibrant turquoise shade, perfect for taking photos.
Casa Cenote is also an excellent cenote to visit for scuba divers and snorkelers. It’s one of the only opportunities in Tulum to witness a halocline phenomenon, where freshwater from the cenote collides into the sea creating blurred, oil-like waves.
Ready to travel to Tulum yet? Make your stay in Tulum as relaxing and comfortable as possible. Select from one of our exclusive Getaways, each one individually designed with local artisans and with a boho-chic feel.