Tulum has to be one of my favourite destinations of all time. For one, it’s only a 4hr flight from Toronto. Secondly, there’s a huge emphasis on healthy living. From organic vegan eats to yoga on the beach to sweating it out in a sweat lodge. If you’re goal is regenerate, reinvigorate and restore than this is the place for you.

Since I’ve been to Tulum a few times in the past, I thought I’d share a guide on where to stay, where to eat and where to chill.

Where to stay:

I’m a big fan of Air BnB rentals when I travel to Tulum. You can stay on the main beach strip (Boca Paila) and pay $400-$1000 a night or you can pay under $300 in the nearby town instead. Be warned though, this isn’t for everyone. If you like the convenience of walking right onto the beach than this isn’t for you. I would also recommended renting a car so that you can get around easily. Our car rental was around $12 a day, but getting third party Mexican insurance (mandatory) which means you’ll probably pay closer to $200-$250 for your 7 day rental. Not bad considering a car rental into Toronto is $50-$100 per day.

16 Tulum   –  This is probably the most stunning minimalist Air BnB rental I’ve ever stayed in. Warm cement tones, with sand inspired tans and pops of greenery to give you a total zen feeling. Alex the host, is amazing. He communicates mostly through whatsapp for any requests but is usually on the property regardless. He’s very friendly and will give you plenty of suggestions. We paid about $280 CAD per night and had access to a beautiful pool, terrace and hammock. This place is an instagrammers dream – definitely worth a visit.

Central Park Tulum – This Air BNB rental was a bit cheaper and had more of a hotel feel. It definitely wasn’t as cool looking as the first but it was nice to have access to a hotel conceirge at the front. For first timers to Air BnB rentals in Tulum, it definitely gives you a safe feeling to be surrounded by hotel staff. The room was spacious – 2 bathrooms, a living room, tv w Netflix, 2 balconies and a kitchen. The complex had 2 pools that hardly get used, a restaurant that offers breakfast, and a fully equipped gym. Each night was $90 USD.

If I don’t mind the higher prices and want the convenience of walking out into the beach strip then staying at any of the beach front hotels are great. Be Tulum, Azulik, Sanara Hotel or Nomade are great options. That being said, you can always just pay to hang out at most of the hotel beach clubs for the day. Some are very strict and don’t allow outside guest but there’s plenty of options that do allow outside guests.

Where to eat:

East side of Beach Strip:

Pescadores – Organic, lots of seafood, great drinks. Right on the beach strip. Lunch spot, Cash only

Kitchen Table – It was highly recommended to us for dinner but we didn’t have a chance to go. The online reviews are great.

West side of the beach strip:

Raw Love – Smoothies and smoothie bowls here are amazing. Completely vegan, super healthy. Super casual, great for breakfast. Reasonable prices.

Taqueria Eufemia – Down and dirty tacos. Restaurant is right off the beach and can get a bit crowded because of it. Super casual, boho vibes, amazing tacos and cheap tasty drinks. Basically a hole in the wall but with an amazing view of the ocean. Great place to see the sunset.

Posada Margherita – Who would ever think that you could find amazing Italian pasta in Tulum. We ordered the basic Margherita pasta and it was amazing. The decor is really cool too and it’s located on the beach front.

Nomade – Fresh and great tasting healthy food. Fish options and all organic. The chia pudding desert is insanely good. Great dinner spot too.

Heartwood – On the higher end. Great variety from meat options, seafood to vegan. Best tasting meal we had but be warned, it’s really hard to get a table. Worth the wait IMO (Dinner spot).

Gitano – Dinner spot. Great tacos and even better drinks. Definitely a hip crowd here.

Arca – Great ambiance. Local fare. The Bone Marrow dish is amazing. A bit more high end but tasty nonetheless.

In the Town:

Burrito Amor – Great for a simple breakfast. Order the eggs in a bowl. The Cinnamon Roll smoothie is great too.

Raw Love – 2nd location. Not as good as the beach front location but a great alternative if you’re in the area.

La Hydra – Dinner spot. Incredible organic local food. Food comes from garden next door. The staff is amazing and plenty of great choices – Watermelon + papaya salad, wood oven pizzas, and beef skewers.

El Asadero – Dinner spot. I’m not a big meat eater these days but this place serves amazing Argentinian style flank steaks. Make a reservation.

Where to chill:

Yaan Wellness Spa – This is probably the best experience I’ve ever had at a spa. We booked two massages and dipped into the different plunge pools. The steam room is great. We rubbed a honey, rosemary scrub onto our faces and sweated out the toxins.

Tulum Jungle Gym – This isn’t really a chill spot but if you’re like me and need a workout when you travel than this is an awesome spot to get a beach front workout in. This place has it all – Sand made dumbbells, wooden barbells, pull-ups bars, squat racks, climbing ropes etc. Think Tarzan meets a CrossFit gym.

Sanara Hotel Yoga – This is a great spot to hit up a yoga class. The class is held in a beautiful space looking out towards the ocean.

Azulik Beach Club – The vibe is super chilled here. On the higher end but the vibe makes up for the expensive prices. Kick back, have a cocktail and relax on the beach.

Ka’an Luum Lagoon – Tulum isn’t really known for turquoise waters but the water at this particular lagoon is crystal clear. You pay a small $5 fee to use the lagoon and it’s open to the public. Most people lay on the dock with their towel and dip into the lagoon periodically. Bring some snacks and magazines.