Just a few days into my trip to Mexico, I decided to fly to Cancun, from where I would be heading south to Playa del Carmen, a lovely, yet touristy little town right by the lovely Caribbean ocean. Beaches here were pretty darn nice, but I had heard that nearby Tulum was the real attraction when it came to sand, water and palm trees.

We took a collectivo (shared minibus) from Playa del Carmen to Tulum and in less than an hour we arrived in paradise. The Collectivo station in Tulum is right by the bus station and close to all sorts of shops, restaurants and hostels. However, to go to the beach, you’re better off getting a cab from the Collectivo drop-off, which from here will cost about 25 pesos.

Once arrived, I quite literally held my breath for a while when I first laid eyes on the stunning beach of Tulum and both me and my friend Yvonne could not stop marveling at the sight of the white sand, the turquoise waters, the palm trees and the delicious 2$ pina coladas at the beach bar next to our free reclining chairs.

We spent a wonderful afternoon, got a tan, took a swim, had a couple of drinks, chatted to some other travelers by the beach bar – just as one would imagine to spend an ideal afternoon.

If you have the opportunity to come to Tulum, my recommendation is you hang out on Zazil Kin beach, right next to Playa Paraiso. Here you can relax on chairs free of charge, just by the odd cold drink off the bar (as seen above). Paraiso Beach is nice too, but you might be required to pay for your lounge chair.

For anyone who fancies an even more particular beach experience than the christal waters of Zazil Kin, head over to the ancient Mayan ruins which are just a short walk away down the road. There is an unguarded back entrance which you could get in if you want to avoid paying the 51 pesos entrance fees, but you did not hear that from us.

In the middle of the ruins stairs lead down to a little beach (see below) where you can chill on a rock and watch other tourists jump ocean waves, or just go for a little swim. Hint – try to come here before noon, as that is the only time of day this beach gets sun, in the afternoon, the large cliffs overshadow this small strip.

What´s going on in Tulum other than ruins or beaches? Not much, but I guarantee you’ll still love it here.