Travel to Tulum - Day 1: SEAFOOD
T U L U M - DAY 1 : S E A F O O D
Before I tell you about my amazing trip to Tulum, let me tell you about the person who made the trip possible. On my birthday, Marty surprised me with the (greatest of) news: a getaway to Tulum! I burst into tears. This is a very thoughtful gift for many obvious reasons. Not as obvious reasons: I grew up in Florida living just a few miles from the ocean, so I prefer all outdoor activities in a swimsuit in the water and sand. Secondly, I would eat seafood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, if I could, but, unfortunately, blue crabs and octopus don't live in the Buffalo Bayou. Lastly, I get to spend an entire weekend with my baby!
So, yes, let's travel to Tulum! Allow me to fill you in on all the goodness: where to visit, how much to expect to spend, and where to eat!
Where is Tulum?
Tulum is a Caribbean town in the state of Quintana Roo in the country of Mexico. Cancún is the closest international airport to Tulum. Cancún is a 2.5 hour flight from Houston and a 90 minute drive north of Tulum. We had planned on finding a ride with a taxi driver at the airport. Our flight was delayed two hours, due to a mechanical issue on our first plane that caused us to fly back and hop on another plane. Our Airbnb host, Diego, was very helpful throughout our trip and recommended taxi drivers that he knew to get us around. For example, a random taxi driver approached us, while we were outside the airport in Cancún. He offered us a ride for $56 USD/person to Tulum. Diego knew someone that could get us to Tulum for $195 USD round trip! DONE!
Tip: There is no wifi at the Cancún airport, so you may want to figure out transportation (shuttle, rental car, or taxi) in advance. Luckily, Marty had phone service that allowed us to communicate with Diego and our driver. OTHER PRICES: Rental car- $800 pesos/day or about $40 USD/day; Gas - $56.4 pesos/gallon or about $2.82 USD/gallon
Solomon, our driver, was 30 minutes away. No problem! Marty and I ordered two margaritas ($10 USD each) at the Margaritaville stand right outside the airport doors and maaaybe a Miami Vice ($14.50 USD each) inside. They tasted like vacation! These were the most expensive drinks we had all weekend, but we were at the airport. We were ready to hit the road! Solomon asked what music I wanted to listen to in the car, and I quickly responded "bachata!" He played the Romeo Santos station on Spotify, and, lucky me, the first song was "Promise" featuring Usher. A road trip is not complete without singing and dancing in your seats!
Money, money, money
Conversion: $1 Peso (MXN) = $.049 (USD)
We brought $600 USD for this trip and spent exactly that. We exchanged $200 USD at the Cancún airport for $3133 pesos. I would research this prior to my next trip and compare how much the exchange fee is at a bank or ATM, because the airport currency services desk charged us $46 USD.
We received bills and coins. Paper currency comes in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 pesos. Coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 pesos. Every place that we went to accepted USD, and most did not accept credit card transactions. We ran out of pesos near the end of our trip. When we paid in USD, establishments would give us change in pesos. To convert pesos to USD quickly, I would multiply the amount by $.05 to get the approximate USD amount.
It was 3 p.m., and we hadn't had lunch yet. Solomon recommended a place called La Floresta near the highway in Playa del Carmen, which is one hour south of Cancún. This outdoor restaurant had about 20 red tables with red plastic chairs that were almost all taken. Glanced at the menu and saw in bold letters, ceviche. YESS!!! My favorite. We ordered the shrimp and octopus (pulpo) ceviche, shrimp tacos, and crab tacos. All of that and two waters were $17, including tip!
Back on the road to Tulum!
The walkway to our door
By the infinity pool
This is everything that I packed for our four days. Makeup is in the big pouch, and jewelry is in the small pouch. Not pictured is the chambray button up that I wore on the plane and in the evenings. Weather during the day was in the upper 80's and upper 60's in the evenings, and it didn't rain!
Time to feast! Look at the amount of ceviche! I've never had crab tacos, and they were stuffed with crab meat. All the food that we ate in Tulum was delicious, and La Floresta made my favorite salsa!
Our Airbnb provided 2 bicycles, and we rode them everywhere. This was one of my favorite activities and memories! Time to grab groceries! Tulum town was only 8 blocks away.
We pedaled on the service road through Tulum town.
Súper San Francisco de Asís supermarket was at the edge of town. We purchased bananas ($10.81 pesos), yogurt ($24.95 pesos), and frozen berries (6 cups that were individually wrapped by a cup for $73.50 pesos) to make smoothies for each morning and late afternoon. We also picked up 2 packages of 4 large 32 oz. water bottles ($52 pesos total), Bacardi rum ($169 pesos), and Pepsi ($14.50 pesos).
The seafood feast continues!!
For dinner at La Nave Pizzeria, we had spinach pizza ($6.12 USD), seafood salad topped with squid, octopus, and shrimp ($6.60 USD), two waters ($1 USD each), and fresh lemonade ($1 USD). Dinner was $340 pesos or almost $17 USD, before tip. $20 pesos was the standard tip, but we gave 15-20% in tip.
To the corner market we go! We can't forgot sunblock ($10 USD) and travel sized toothpaste ($1 USD). We were ready for the beach the next day!
Thanks for following me in my travels to Tulum! In Day 2, we swim the beautiful Gran Cenote and Tulum Beach, indulge in more seafood, and discover live music!