My wife and I have a theory about traveling to Mexico…pick a great resort that is all-inclusive,on a great beach and just stay there. We have only tested this theory twice but Tulum fit the bill better than our first journey which was to Puerto Vallarta. Our trip to Tulum included 3 other couples which made the trip interesting to say the least. A really great part of traveling to Mexico is that it really is not a long travel day and you make it to your resort in a relatively short amount of time…or so we thought. Tulum is an exception to this standard. We flew into Cancun and knew that we would quite a trip south to Tulum. None of us knew that it would take an hour by shuttle. The drive was not very scenic and really seemed to take days. We picked Tulum because of the resort, Dreams Tulum. We stayed at a Dreams resort in Puerto Vallarta and love it so we took a chance on this one as well. Once we finally arrived at the resort we were not disappointed. I would certainly recommend the resort…I would recommend it more if you didn’t have the trip to get to it. I am not sure that it was worth that inconvenience on the drive.
This Dreams resort was larger than the one in Puerto Vallarta so it was more crowded. There was also a much younger crowd at this resort, and I mean teenage/college age which lead to a more party atmosphere than relaxing. There are a lot of beach games and activities to participate in and there were two pools to choose from. One with a swim-up bar (party pool) and one without (relaxing pool) so there is something for everyone, at least until the party spills over to the relaxing pool. Not a bad thing, but if you are looking for a place to sit, read a book and relax this may not be the best choice.
We tried to book a snorkeling trip after we arrived but we were unsuccessful as the conditions were too windy the entire time we were there and they would not take people out. So instead we took a taxi south to the Mayan Ruins near Tulum. It was a cheap cab ride and a short walk to get to the ruins but it was well worth it. They are well-preserved and offer some great views and even a nice beach, although it was a little crowded. I say save the beach time for at the resort but I do recommend making the trip to the ruins. There is a few places to shop for souvenirs near the ruins with some performers as well, be careful of taking pictures of the performers because they will demand a donation if they see you take the pic…not a big deal really but they can be a little pushy.
Back to the resort. The food was good, not great. They had a good variety of options and according to our travel mates the sushi was pretty good. At least I assume this since it was the appetizer for each evening meal! We booked a day at their spa which included a massage, steam room, and sauna. Very relaxing and was a great facility…much better experience than my spa day in Puerto Vallarta.
So the short version of the story is that Mexico is a great place to get away, and Tulum was a nice place. That said I would probably recommend something close to Cancun or even Playa del Carmen just because the trip from the airport is so much shorter. We have had good experiences with Dreams Resorts and there is a new one closer to Cancun so if you check it out send me a review and I will post it!