2020 has been a crazy year and of the select places to travel, Mexico is one of them! My husband and I decided to pack our bags and head south to Tulum. I’ll explain everything we did from booking our all inclusive adults only resort to preparing for COVID procedures.
First things first; you must have a valid passport to travel from the US to Mexico. Get those at least 2 if not 3 months in advance. Second, make sure to stay as healthy as possible. We wore masks to every public outing leading up to our departure to assure we wouldn’t contract any illness. Everywhere you go, from the resort restaurant to Mayan Ruins, they will take your temperature. We did not have to provide a negative COVID test to fly.
Booking the Flight (SLC > Cancun)
Booking our flights was pretty simple! We flew out of Salt Lake City (about a 3 hour drive from our home.) SLC flies directly to Cancun (under two hours from Tulum.) the flights were around $400 with taxes – not a great price but also not terrible! We booked these by searching for the cheapest days/times on google flights. Type your destination on google flights (in incognito mode) to see flights around the time line you’d like to go. We then booked our flights through AeroMexico.
We had to book a ride from Cancun to Tulum through e-transfer. It was about an hour and forty minute ride and cost us $114 USD. The $114 covers pickup from the airport to our resort as well as the ride from our resort to the airport to go home. We were able to drink beer in the car while on the way there which was super fun. We also stopped at an ATM to get pesos. You will need pesos to tip taxis, servers, bar tenders, etc.
Booking the All-Inclusive Resort
After we got our flights we searched for all inclusive resorts on google. Usually we don’t use 3rd party websites but Expedia had a great deal for the wellness resort we found. For two people to stay for a duration of 6 days it was about $1,000 USD. The resort is called KORE Tulum Wellness Resort and Spa – adults only (must be 18+ to stay here.) All inclusive means all our drinks and meals are free. We were able to eat basically any time of day, pretty much what we wanted from their multiple menus. We also got free bike rentals, a fitness center, a jacuzzi in our room, free water, free cute deserts room service left us, a huge pool, swim up bar, etc. it was an awesome place and I totally recommend it. Also, it’s right next to Tulum National Park! About a 2 mile bike ride to Main Street Tulum.
The language barrier isn’t too bad. Most every employee spoke a little bit of English, and I can speak/understand a bit of Spanish. Brush up on common phrases before you go, the locals really appreciate you communicating in their language, plus its so fun!
While in Tulum we explored outside of the resort to see cenotes and Mayan Ruins. My favorite experience of the trip was swimming in cenotes! They are all around Tulum, and every one has something special to offer. We visited Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world, by booking a tour through trip advisor. This tour also took us to a Cenote and the historic town, Valladolid. We loved this trip. The guide told us all about Mayan history which is so fascinating.
To access cenotes near Tulum we hopped in taxis. Taxis are the most expensive form of transportation. One of them cost us $600 pesos which is almost $30 USD, and the ride was about 3 miles one way. In fairness he did wait for us to swim, then took us back to the resort. Haggle with the taxi drivers a bit. Pay about $100 pesos a mile and don’t let them run you up!
Biking is the best way to explore the town. We biked to the Tulum ruins and the famous wooden sculpture, Ven a La Luz in the same day. Prepare to get super sweaty if you are biking, but it is really worth it to see all the locals! We stopped by boutiques on the way and had beautiful views of the ocean and forest. I really enjoyed biking. Some streets have sidewalks, but a majority do not. Just be cautious of vehicles and the road. There are many pot holes to avoid! The cars for the most part would slow down when passing us though, and we felt safe. We did meet some people who rented a car. This is also a great option to explore, and if we were to return we would probably rent a car to avoid taxis.
What to Pack
As you can imagine, Tulum is HOT. Bring tank tops, shorts and bathing suits because that’s about all you need! I did bring a cardigan, and only wore it once in our room with the AC blasting. A sundress is cute to have for those Instagramable views. I brought only chacos and tennis shoes and felt great with that decision. Although a cute pair of sandals would have been nice, my chacos are just so comfy and really can be worn with anything. I brought 3 swim suits including a one piece for swimming. Bring some biodegradable sun screen and mosquito repellent. The mosquitos are pretty relentless! FYI you will have to shower before you swim in cenotes to keep the water pure. Enjoy your trip to Tulum, Mexico!