Travel Guide to Tulum, Mexico

In the pool at 16 Tulum Airbnb Boutique Hotel

During my trip to Tulum I decided not to stay on the beach. My last few visits to the Riviera Maya area of Mexico I stayed in Playa Del Carmen. I stayed on the beach every time and wanted a different feel for Tulum. I craved to be in the actual town where the people are away from the touristy area on the beach strip. I researched and found two amazing Airbnb’s to stay at in the town of Tulum.


If you’ve never used Airbnb here’s $40 yo use on your first booking! 

16 Tulum
16 Tulum is a wonderful modern and minimalist boutique hotel in Tulum. It’s only about a 5 minute walk to the main street of Tulum with lots of vendors for shopping. Each room has an enclosed outdoor space, some with hammocks and dipping pools. There is also a stunning pool deep enough to swim in. The communal space has tons of natural wood table, benches and chairs situated around a fire pit. There is a small communal kitchen as well and a coffee maker to make a nice strong cup of Mexican coffee in the mornings. I thoroughly enjoyed the tranquility of this space. It’s only has 5 rooms and you sometimes feel you’re the only guests there. We did however meet some really cool women during our stay. Alex the owner is a gem too. The location is great and right in the town center and the beach is just a short 15 minute drive away. Here’s a quick video of my room and the property and you can book via Airbnb Here. Tell Alex, Monroe sent ya!

Selva Cenote House
When I saw this house on Airbnb I knew I had to stay here. First off, it’s a design dream. Every little space is well thought out and beautiful. It’s further in the jungle and not too close to anything. It is however a 5 minute walk from the Grand Cenote. It’s about a 10 minute drive to the main street in Tulum town and about a 20 minute drive to the beach. This house is purely for relaxation and decompressing. Awaking in the morning and sitting out in the sun while listening to the birds and buzzing insects was a morning ritual. Gloria the owner is an absolute delight. Here’s a quick video of the master suite and property. You can book directly on Airbnb Here.

Here’s $40 to book your first Airbnb Accommodations!

(Top Right: Coco Tulum, Bottom Right: Posada Margherita, Top Left: Habitas Tulum, Bottom Left: Casa Malca)


Although I didn’t stay in a hotel I did have the opportunity to visit many of them on Tulum Beach. These hotels are wonderful and provide all the amenities you’d want from dining to beach clubs, yoga classes to spas. They are a lot pricier than the small boutique hotels and Airbnb’s but definitely worth every penny for the great location and being right on the beach.

Casa Malca
This stunning house that once belonged to Pablo Escobar is nothing short of amazing. The grounds are meticulously beautiful and yes this is the place with the huge wooden front door and swinging chairs and lounge in front flanked by huge wedding dress curtains. This place also has an amazing rooftop not to be missed for fantastic views of the beach. There is an extensive art collection as well and the rooms are pretty decadent. The beach is super calm and their are tons of areas to lay and sit with beds and lounges. There’s also no fighting to try and find a space. There is a 1000 pesos fee for using the beach club which can be spent by dining at the restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Posada Margherita
The vibe here is bohemian chic. I loved this place so much I went 4 times during my 5 day stay (mostly for the restaurant and the ambience). The rooms (from what I saw on the outside) are super cool and unique along a twisty walkway of foliage, sand and artifacts. The beach here is my favorite in all of Tulum. I love all the little areas on the beach and close to the walk up Italian Restaurant for relaxing. The beach is super calm and not a lot of people. There’s also no charge to fee to use the beach like the bigger hotels.

COCO Tulum
I loved the beach vibe of this hotel as well as the individual standing rooms on the beach, each with it’s own personality. The beach club was laid back and very chilled and there was tons of space for lounging on the beach. There is a 500 peso fee for using the beach club which can be spent at the beach club restaurant.

Habitas Tulum
Is a yogis dream. It has a moroccan vibe with the best rooms being individual huts spread out on the beach front with hidden nooks for lounging and relaxing in a hammock. The restaurant on the beach is amazing with large wooden tables decked in Moroccan pottery and plush pillows and bags for sitting. The only caveat is that theres not enough beach seating and its pretty impossible to find a lounge chaise on the beach unless you’re there first thing. There is no minimal fee for the beach club, you just have to buy something (go for the fish tacos).


Casa Malca
The meal we had at Casa Malca’s Restaurant Philosophy was the best we had in all of Tulum. We went for brunch and both had the huevos rancheros and freshly squeezed OJ. It was the best huevos rancheros I’ve ever had in life. It was divine even. Then there was the bread basket and the sweets tray they came around with. I indulged in a chocolate pound cake and my goodness. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The breads were freshly baked with an assortment of butters and jams. Totally worth the 980 pesos for both of our meals and just enough to meet that 1000 pesos quota (around 50 dollars) to hang out at the beach club.

Mateos is a cool little rustic restaurant full of Mexican flare on the main strip street of Tulum Beach. It’s an open air restaurant and i thoroughly enjoyed the fresh coconut water (also excellent for photos) and their ceviche. It was without a doubt some the best ceviche I’ve ever had. Super fresh and filling. The salsa and chips where equally delicious.

Posada Margherita
Get the Pistachio Gelato. If you’re hot and have a sweet tooth and need a refreshing cool down, this is where you wanna be. They also have the best Margherita in town and I thoroughly enjoyed a prosciutto and mushroom pizza as well.

Del Cielos
Located off the main street in the town of Tulum is the perfect brunch spot. So good I ate here 3 times. The huevos rancheros is delicious (not as delicious at Casa Malca but a close second). But thats not the main draw, it’s the Super Bowl! This bowl filled with yogurt, seeds, nuts and the freshest fruit is so delicious, I wonder how I will survive without it in New York City. I’m currently trying to find a good bowl spot in the city now. The prices are perfect and you can get some shopping done after eating. The atmosphere at Del Cielos can’t be missed.


The best way to get around Tulum is via Taxi’s they are everywhere and pretty affordable. Around town you can get around for as little as 50 pesos. A quick drive form the town of Tulum to the beach can run you about 150 pesos. Anywhere along Tulum Beach Strip from end to end will cost you 100 pesos. From Cancun airport to Tulum is about 1500 pesos. My Airbnb hosts arranged my airport pickup. I would suggest finding a reliable driver and sticking with them the entire trip and communicating via WhatsApp.

Our driver Jose took us everywhere and anywhere we wanted to go everyday. He is super reliable and always on time and is very fair when it comes to costs. We never felt like he overcharged us. His WhatsApp number is +52 1 984 207 7112 and just tell him you want a pick up and where you want to be picked up and what time and he’s there. Once inside you can tell him where you’re heading to cut down on miscommunications.


Tulum Ruins
The Tulum Mayan Ruins are breathtakingly beautiful. When I visited more than 8 years ago it was the first time I actually swam in the ocean because it was so crystal clear and that calmed me. The ruins are also fantastic. It’s amazing being able to reach out and touch history.

The Grand Cenote
I had such a wonderful time here. It cost $25 to enter and is worth every penny. I enjoyed swimming in the refreshing water, seeing the turtles and fish and just having fun. It wasn’t too busy when we went on a weekday and recommend trying to go as early as possible for uninterrupted photos.


My favorite shopping area was the main street in the Town of Tulum. I found that a lot of the things sold on the main street of Tulum Beach are just overpriced products from the artisans in the Town of Tulum. I bought a great large hat with a chin draw string (which you will need in Tulum because it can be windy). I also got a super trendy large bag for about $25 dollars that would go for $300 here in the states.

Hope you all enjoyed this Guide to Tulum if you have anymore questions drop them below in the comments! You can also check out THIS POST on how I plan the perfect vacations. Then check out my Day 1 & Day 2 Tulum Vlogs as well as my #MonroeinMexico hashtag for more photos from my Tulum Adventures! Also here’s $40 to book your first Airbnb! Thank my later.










  1. May 8, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    SUCH a detail post lady. thanks for sharing all these gems with us. #siddyinthesity

    • monroesteele
      May 10, 2018 / 9:52 am

      Thanks! You have to take a trip soon it’s such a cool place and so much fun.


    • monroesteele
      May 10, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Yes! Its such an amazing place I’d definitely add it to the list. Thank you so much.


  2. Mecca
    May 21, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    I’m going there in two weeks and plan to do a few of the things you’ve mentioned. How much was Jose per trip and did he hang out at the locations while you guys explored? Also, I have a ton of fashionable tropical beachy clothes including some wedges that I want to wear but I’ve seen a lot of comments about Tulum being extremely casual. Did you ever feel overdressed? Thanks!

    • monroesteele
      May 22, 2018 / 12:17 am

      Have a great trip. It depends on how far you’re going just like a taxi anywhere. So I can’t really say. No he didn’t hang out, he’d leave and return at our requested time. Pack whatever you want. It’s your vacation and its your photos. I never felt overdressed, but then again I never fell overdressed.


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