Tulum is Mexico’s hippest destination at the moment. From instagramable hotels to haute cuisine restaurants and Maya ruins right in front of your door. Tulum has it all. Not a secret tip anymore. But, the area around Tulum is not less beautiful and there is lot to do to create yourself the perfect family adventure. We spent 2 weeks there when Levi was 11 months old.
How to get to Tulum
You can fly from Frankfurt to Cancun directly in 12h, which makes the journey pretty convenient. Condor offers probably the best rates. From Cancun airport to Tulum we took a taxi that cost around 100 USD and took us 2h.
The best travel season for Tulum
The best time to travel to Tulum is November to March. But keep in mind that towards March there is the busy spring break season that turns the Yucatan peninsula into a party Eldorado. Not really ideal for a family vacation.
Where to stay in Tulum
Hotel prices in Tulum beach can become pretty insane if you want to check into some of the most famous hotels like Nomade Tulum, Papaya Playa Project or Casa Malca. This is why we decided to stay at an Airbnb in the Area of Aldea Zama. I wouldn’t recommend the very same apartment that we had. It was beautiful but it was REALLY dirty and smelly. But the area of Aldea Zama itself was very beautiful. There are a lot of airbnbs to rent and it is only a 20 min bike ride away from the beach. In Tulum, it is all about bikes, so don’t forget to bring a helmet for the little one.
Here are some hotels that I also like a lot:
Best restaurants in Tulum beach
Charlies Vegan Tacos – Tacos to die for:
Nomade Tulum – perfect beach location and delicious food:
Posada Margerita – great Italian food with a wonderful sea view:
Matcha Mama – Acai bowls at its best. Served on a swing. One of the most famous spots in Tulum.
ARCA – one of the super hyped Gourmet Restaurants. Pricey but, come on your in Tulum only once!
Best restaurants in Aldea Zama
Chacabar – cosy and nice location with basic, but really good food:
La Colifata – Argentinian restaurant. Some evenings, we are still craving their starters plate.
What to do in Tulum with kids?
Beaches and Beach Clubs
Tulum has beautiful beaches. We were lucky to have a member card for the Papaya Playa Project included in our Airbnb. Don’t ask me why. It was actually one of the reasons why we decided to take it. Indeed a lot of nice beach areas are part of a hotel. But, you can just ask the hotels if it is fine for them to use their beach club. We have never been sent away! We also liked a lot the beach club of Nomade Tulum and Posada Margerita.
Oh my god, cenotes. For me, one of the most beautiful things mother nature has to offer. These beautiful nature pools have crystal clear water settled in a hole or even a cave system in the ground. There are a lot of beautiful cenotes around Tulum. Rule number one, go there EARLY! To avoid the crowds. We really liked Grand Cenote. We wen there by bike. The ride was pretty long but ok. Also, due to our Airbnb host, we had the chance to visit a private cenote in the middle of the jungle. The trip there was a bit adventurous as we literally walked all alone 1km through the jungle, but it was so worth it.
If you are down for some culture, of course you must visit the Maya Ruins in Mexico. Again you have several choices to go to in the area around Tulum. Indeed, we skipped the most famous one, Chichen Itza. We have heard that it is the most crowded and it is pretty far away from Tulum. Instead, we decided to go to Coba. Rule number 2, also go to the ruins early. We have been at the Coba ruins at 8am and we had the whole area more of less for ourselves. We carried Levi in the baby carrier that day. An easy one when you stay in Tulum, are of course, the Tulum ruins. The most wonderful fact it that the ruins are directly located at the beach. Also, you can make your way down to the beach if you want. That day, we also had Levi in the baby carrier. What is pretty tough at the Tulum ruins is that there is NO SHADE. AT ALL. I am really resistant when it comes to sunshine, but that was even too much for me. So we didn’t spent too much time there.
The bacalar lagoon was recommended to us by a local. It is located 2-3 hours south of Tulum, near the border of Belize. I loved already the trip to the lagoon. We rented a car for a few days. On the way to Bacalar, they sell pineapples and coconuts along the road. To sum it up, the lagoon of Bacalar looks like the Maldives. The water is babyblue. There are even swings in the water at some spots. What we really liked at Bacalar was that is was not very touristic. We stopped at a little camping area and were surrounded mainly by locals with a little restaurant with plastic chairs, but the best shrimp ceviche ever.
When in Mexico, you must visit a colonial city. The most famous one on the Yucatan peninsula is probably Merida. But Merida is 3h away from Tulum which is why we decided not to go there. Instead we made a trip to Valladolid, which is 1.5h drive. In Valladolid it is all about strolling through the streets and enjoy the beautiful colorful architecture.
Levi was 11 months old when we traveled to Tulum. Kids under 2 years do not have to book their own seat. So we paid only for two flight tickets. A fare from Franfurt to Cancun with Condor direct in around 750 EUR. Our Airbnb was around 120 EUR per night, which is a really good price for an accommodation in Tulum. It was a self catering apartment but bike rental was included.
Total budget: 3.300 EUR
(2 flight tickets with Condor each 750 EUR, 15 nights stay at an airbnb for 120 EUR per night) all meals, transfers and rental car not included.)
Here you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE the ultimate packing checklist when you travel with a baby.