Tulum Beach – yet another Tulum post

I did not stay on the beach during my stay in Tulum. Instead my accommodation was in Tulum village/town, at the crossroads off the main road. Tulum village is not the prettiest I’ve seen, but it wasn’t the village that had given me the inspiration to go to Tulum to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s. It was the beach that had dragged me there. All the lovely images on Pinterest.

Tulum was so beautiful, so I should be able to find some spot here meating my expectations… right…

I had a newly bought bicycle, so I could get anywhere I liked, basically. I took trips out to the beach, several times, cycling up and down, back and forth, hither and dither. Tried to find something nice, something special, and something I appreciated. Something that made the butterflies resurrect, the same butterflies in my stomach I had had back home looking at the images online. Or some new ones. I wasn’t picky!

The magical private beach Tulum

The beach in Tulum? Well, just like the village, the beach in Tulum did not impress me either. It wasn’t even the fact that it there and then was full of seaweed, which they desperately tried to remove – on a daily basis. Unfortunately they had been fighting this seaweed for several months when I was there. I saw a documentary on YouTube about Tulum, where it was explained what the seaweed was doing there! Watch it! Just do it!

If you don’t want to spend 30 minutes watching it I could leave a spoiler that the Sargasso seaweed shows up when there are too much feces (or traces of) in the water…

Regardless of why the seaweed shows up I have no problem with seaweed… Feces maybe… 😛 In my hometown, there’s loads of seaweed during late summer/autumn/winter. No, my displeasure is concerning this whole private thing – the beach, which is over 20 km long, is closed off to the hotels on the strip. There aren’t many public spots for those who aren’t spending their nights in an expensive place on the beach.

Why so much privately owned land on the beach in Tulum?


I don’t like idiocy…

During my backpacker career during the ’90s I also came in contact with this problem.

On Fiji there were plenty of privately owned islands – rich foreigners had bought the land – where you simply weren’t welcome.

Especially unwelcome were children and/or gays.

Now, I don’t belong to either of these Fiji-dispised groups, but still… rude!

Back to the beach in Tulum – I was forced to try at least 3 times before I could find my way down to the beach – a public path, which still was through a hotel – hotel Akiin – so it was kind of hard finding it. But damn the one who gives up so easily!

tulum_beach_windy_seaweed tulum_beach_tipi

When I’m writing I had to try I mean it wasn’t possible on the other places, because there were guards making sure no unauthorized people would get into the hotel’s grounds.

It was pretty windy in Tulum while I was there, and especially on the beach. The wind and the feces had dampened my urge and need to chill out on the beach in Tulum daily. I did swim in cenotes more than in the sea, but apparently, the feces are there too…

Tulum surely has a lot of problems with feces!

tulum storm cloudy beach

If you feel like swimming in Tulum and you’re not staying in a fancy hotel with a private beach, the public beach Playa Pescadores/Paraiso is a win! Se pictures below…

cosy feeling playa paraiso beach tulum

tulum playa pescadores ruins in the background

tulum playa pescadores people sunbathing

tulum playa pescadores life guards tower

tulum playa pescadores boho chic

It was really weird, but anybody seemed to be welcome here – boho-chic or not! I made sure to fit in!

charnette woman taking selfie on playa pescadores

charnette woman taking selfie on playa pescadores

Something I did like about the beach in Tulum were all the lovely signs! The encouraging ones, making you wanting to be better. Sad that some people feel the need to not be better, and vandalise them though…

For some reason I missed the best one of them all, and I did search for it. You know that sign that is all over the internet – “FOLLOW THAT DREAM”. But whatever, it’s hardly original anymore… regardless of how inspiring those words are…

tulum sign know thyself

tulum sign stay present

tulum sign embrace the mystery

By cycling eagerly back and forth, searching for the meaning of both life and Tulum, I of course got hungry and thirsty. Then I tried several places to just get some food… All the cozy places were of course constantly full of people.

Please make a reservation…

Preferably make a reservation several weeks before, but it felt rather lame making a reservation for one. I am after all big on planning ahead, but I’m also big on changing those plans, rather frequently, cancelling plans that is – not really changing them! 

Although that might be the introvert in me… who deals with cancelling…

Along the beach in Tulum, there are lots of cozy places. Even for the impulsive people who would like to eat at once, without having had a specific plan to eat that particular day… So I got a seat, in spite of my dislike to making a reservation. Or maybe because of it…

A lot of nice places selling acai bowls, lovely smoothies, juices, raw food, vegan and lots of other healthy options. But it’s ridiculously expensive.

cafe raw food love

tulum beach cafe raw food love

Raw Love is a café – so nice – which is located along the beach and they serve raw food; tasty food and really tasty juices. I can truly recommend this!

tulum beach boho path to the beach

tulum beach cat sleeping

Further south along the beach in Tulum – that’s where the “cozy” Tulum were supposed to be – that Tulum that had made my butterflies all jittery, but seeing it IRL – well my dream crashed and burned. Without exaggeration… Again? Why? Can’t I find anything I could dream about here?

Why doesn’t Tulum work for me?

Well, when I’m imagining a paradise beach the first thing that pops into my mind is not asphalt for one. Or cars in double lanes = traffic jams with plenty of emissions. No paradise I can imagine contains any of these bits. The asphalt and the cars were not ON the beach, given, but close enough to affect the whole perfect picture.

And what do you even say to the supposed green Tulum using generators all along the beach because there is no electricity from the main grid?

Maybe I have been spoiled with beaches like the ones on Fiji, or in Thailand where one could stay on the beach for a few dollars, and as soon as you woke up you culd put your feet in the sand just starting to warm up from the sun… Maybe that beach where we stayed for pocket change is no more, just a faded memory…

Maybe all of this has made me spoiled and picky. I don’t know…

tulum beach heavy traffic

tulum beach views

Something that also makes the beach in Tulum slightly boring is there is not really a centre. Everything is dotted along a coast line which is over 20 km long! Sure, some stretches are more central than others, and there are “colectivos”, should you not have a bike, but still… I felt it kind of dampened the atmosphere slightly.

tulum beach pink van clothing shop

tulum beach road shops

tulum beach road

tulum mayan arch

tulum beach main road storm

The price tags on both accommodation and the restaurants on the beach are so ramped up! What normal person can afford to (or even would want to?) put out those kind of money on a room or a dinner? Sure, they are probably looking for a different clientel with a fatter wallet than mine, but still…

Well, I don’t know what I expected. In spite of these silly high prices it seemed popular to go glamping in Tulum. Or was this an option that had grown just because of these silly high prices? One night in a fancy tent could cost you several hundreds of dollars! To stay in a tent!

No, I don’t really get Tulum, and I’ve seen better beaches, as mentioned, even if it’s been a long time since I’ve visisted a truly beautiful beach…



Have you been to Tulum? What did you think? Please leave a comment! I’m curious about your opinion, since it feels like I’m the only one who doesn’t love Tulum…

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Wednesday Words: George Eliot Quote
Tulum Beach – yet another Tulum post

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