This is a guest blog by the amazing Yara Mowafy from the TayaraMuse.com! She is from Egypt and also a travel blogger like me!! I hope you like this one!
Tulum – up and coming rustic jungle vacation paradise, certainly the place to be this summer & beyond. Perfect for health enthusiasts, nature lovers, beach goers, shoppers and vacationers. The social media hype is real; the city is an Instagram haven & food galore. Before you head out, here are some tips to prep you as you venture into the jungles of Mexico.
Tulum was without a doubt one of my favorite places to visit, but I wish I had known a little more before traveling. Here are 5 things to know before visiting Tulum.
1. Quintana Roo – a stretch of coastal states on the Yucatán Peninsula covering destinations from Cancun, Riveria Maya, Tulum and everything in between. Before heading to the beach towns, beware of the seaweed infestation. Yes this is real. The coast is under a massive seaweed infestation that could potentially alter your beach dreams. You’re looking at 5-10 feet of seaweed at the edges of the shore, which make it really difficult to go in for a swim. And quite frankly, it’s not a pretty scene. If you’re heading to Tulum, make sure to know which beaches are seaweed free to enjoy the turquoise waves. Favorites have been Caleta Tankah, Kaan Luum Laguna and Xpu- Ha Beach. The best part is that these beaches are mostly for the locals, so you’ll get to experience authentic Mexican beach restaurants and tourist free shores.
2. Cenotes – disappointed about the beach situation? Don’t be. There are over 2400 Cenotes in Yucatán. And they are more beautiful than the beaches. The trick here is getting there early; most cenotes are open to the public starting at 8 or 9 am. Be sure to be there bright and early to enjoy dips in the cool waters and some tranquil before the masses arrive.
3. Downtown Tulum- Instagram sometimes deceives us into thinking that Tulum is just the strip of waterfront restaurants and beach clubs. This is Carretera Tulum or route 15, the most famous tourist attraction in the city. Overlooked is downtown Tulum, specifically the Bazars on Avenue Tulum – home to thousands of shops, restaurants, and the Tulum Sign!
4. Attractions – Tulum is a beach vacation yes, more so Yucatán is a massive land rich with history. Make sure to check out the Mayan Ruins at the tip of Carretera Tulum. Even better, plan a day trip to Chichen Itza, one of the new 7 wonders of the world (about 2 hours away). If you’re not into ancient history, but interested in eclectic art and thriller destinations, head to Casa Malca, Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s former mansion now transformed into a boutique museum like hotel.
5. Jungle Ready! Tulum is small but there is so much to see beyond the main strip of restaurants and beach clubs. Rent a car to get around. Although one of Tulum’s hallmarks is biking, in order to reach your sightseeing destinations it’s more practical to have car. Some cenotes and beaches are miles away, which make it quite a difficult bike trek in the heat. Remember, you’re surrounded by forestry, a haven for bugs. As expected there are millions of insects and greedy mosquitoes ready to feast. Most outdoor spaces (restaurants for examples) have bug spray ready on hand to offer visitors. Just be prepared and bring bug spray so this doesn’t deter you from venturing out in the evening especially.
Bonus tip: if you’re like me and haul around a “professional” DSLR camera or other large filming device, you’re not going to be welcomed everywhere. There is a pretty strong rule across most hotels and museums that photography is only allowed on smartphones.
Yara is an avid traveler and devoted travel planner. Check out fill itineraries, photo journals and travel tips on Tayaramuse.com