Get ready to make a splash with this 3-day itinerary for a bachelorette party in Tulum including a packing list!
Calling all brides-to-be! Before you buckle down with your “forever,” enjoy some fun in the sun in the luxe beach retreat of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum is an eco-chic tourism hotspot with its powdery white sand, bohemian resorts, and magical cenotes. While I was planning my wedding in Mexico, Tulum was an obvious pick for a bachelorette party, as my bridesmaids would be flying to Mexico for the wedding. We went a few days before the wedding in August during rainy season, but it seldom rained. But some things to take into consideration:
- Tulum gets expensive very quickly. Our daily budget easily reached $100 per day (accommodations not included.) If you are asking your bridesmaids to participate in the bachelorette party, be mindful of their financial situations.
- Due to climate change, the Yucatan peninsula have been experiencing algae pileups, marring once pristine beaches. If the conditions for swimming aren’t great, there’s always the cenotes.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TULUM
For the most sunshine and most reasonable hotel rates, go between February to April. You will beat winter break vacationers while enjoying rain-free days. The Caribbean hurricane season is from June to end of November but Tulum gets the worst rain from August to October so plan accordingly.
HOW TO GET TO TULUM
There are no direct flights to Tulum from the USA. To get to Tulum, you must fly into Cancun International Airport and you can either hire a private taxi, book a bus ticket, or rent a shuttle. But skip the headache and book with USA Transfers shuttle service! They are highly professional, albeit having a complicated meeting point (it’s right next to a margarita stand outside of Terminal 4). $32 per person is a roundtrip ride from Cancun to Tulum and the vans aer big enough to accommodate all baggage. Not only is their service fairly priced, but you get a full cooler of corona and you can also ask the driver to make stops for you, especially if you need a meal. Since Covid has changed travel regulations, here’s some updated information on travel to Mexico.
COST: $32 USD round-trip. The payment can either be paid for in US dollars or Mexican pesos and you can pay for the full trip or split the payment for each one-way trip.
TIP: If you are staying in Aldae Zama area, expect to get lost as it is fairly new so make sure you have your apartment rental contact’s phone number. Also, this area is far away from food stop so to avoid a hungry bridal party, ask your shuttle driver to make a pitstop at Antojitos la Chiapaneca in Tulum town and grab some tacos to go. This streetside vendor is know for its tacos al pastor and each taco cost about $10 MXN (~$0.50 USD).
WHERE TO STAY FOR YOUR BACHELORETTE PARTY IN TULUM
Tulum is divided into three parts:
- Playa Paraiso (just south of the archaelogical zone),
- Tulum Beach (where you’ll find eco-resorts and more upscale dining options)
- Tulum Pueblo (Tulum Town)
There is also a newer neighborhood called Aldea Zama where we ended up staying. It’s in between Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Beach.
We stayed in Aldea Zama at home rental called Encanto Azul in the condominium Paramar Terra, which is 3 kilometers from Tulum Beach. The biggest draw was the apartment’s direct access to a massive pool. That’s right, our bedroom and living room door opened up to a terrace that doubled as the swimming pool deck. Inside the circular pool was a swim-up bar that’s BYOB but feel free to use it as a party area. There’s a 24-hour front desk for extra security and the concierge will call you a taxi. There is also a fitness center and free bikes. The property had enough bikes for the six of us but they were a bit rusty and didn’t get us far before they broke. Our host also had four bottles of water and beers stocked in the fridge. But we wish we had known sooner that the house was far away from convenience stores since we for sure needed to stock up with water bottles and snacks/food so if you end up booking this spot, get grocery basics. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms: one with a large king bed and the other with two queens, but the couch is comfy. The downside was not being close enough to restaurants and grocery stores, meaning taxis got pricey, but it’s a really quiet and you can’t beat the price.
COST: $77.50 USD per person/6 people for all three nights ($155 USD per night with tax).
BOOK ENCANTO AZUL HERE.
If ocean views, personal bungalows, dedicated yoga spaces, and guest-only beaches are your thing, than check these properties out. Bonus: the sounds of crashing waves lulling you to sleep. All these costs are in USD.
- Ahau Tulum ($791 per night) – We did a photoshoot on the Ahau Tulum property with MyPlayaPhotographer. This is where you will find Raw Love Tulum, the “Love Yourself” sign, and the famous art installation by Daniel Popper, “Ven a la Luz,” at the entrance. See pics below.
- Azulik Tulum ($825 per night)
- Casa Malca ($491 per night)
- Ikal Bungalows ($223 per night)
- Diamente K ($185 per night)
- Amansala ($148 per night)
The cheaper hotels are farther away from the beach area (sorted by price).
- Hotel Ka’ab ($71 per night – boutique hotel with pool, private rooms only)
- Mayan Monkey Hostel ($71 per night – with pool, free breakfast, dorm and private rooms)
- Serena Tulum ($60 per night – adults-only glamping with pool, tents or jungle huts)
- Hotel Blanco Tulum ($36 per night – with pool, private rooms only)
- Mango Tulum Hotel ($30 per night – with pool, private rooms only)
- Lum ($22 per night – dorms only)
- Hostel Che Tulum ($19 per night – with pool, dorms and private rooms)
HOW TO GET AROUND TULUM
The best way to get around Tulum is by bike or taxi. There are taxis driving around but in some quieter areas, they’re less frequent to come by. We asked our concierge to call us a taxi when we needed (and don’t forget to specify how many people you have). You can ask your concierge how much the price should be and make sure you confirm the amount BEFORE getting into the taxi. The taxis from Aldea Zama to Tulum Beach were around $200 to 300 MXN and they usually can’t make change so bring small bills.
We ended up having an amazing taxi driver named Jovi who we coordinated to drive us around to far places like Akumal Beach and also Chichen Itza in the Yucatan. He ended up being our personal driver for most of the trip. A challenge is that he only speaks Spanish but if you can get through the location and costs, he’s super friendly and will stay with you all day at your destination. You can contact him on Whatsapp at +52 984 168 4968 (as of 8/3/19).
Bikes are also a great way to get around and luckily, our apartment rental had 6 free bikes but make sure the bikes are driveable. One of the bikes had a bike chain that kept coming loose so we couldn’t go far. Also, if you are traveling around late at night, make sure you have a flashlight or pocket lamps with you. You can also a rent car, as many travelers do, but be wary of police stops and parking rules, ie. no parking on the sidewalks.
Our favorite taxi driver Jovi. Our trip was made 10x easier because of him. He only speaks Spanish but download Google Translate and converse through the app.
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR BACHELORETTE PARTY IN TULUM
If you have three full days in Tulum, this itinerary is very achievable. Based on your time and group preferences, feel free to skip or move around these activities. FAIR WARNING: If you arrive any later than 2 pm on the first day, you will not be able to see the cenotes as most cenotes close at 3 or 4 PM. If you’re short on time, replace snorkeling with turtles activity to seeing the cenotes, because seeing turtles are not always guaranteed but the cenotes are Tulum are unique to this area of the world.
NEED HELP? For a centralized way to share all your bachelorette party plans, download the BACH app.
DISCOVERING THE CENOTES OF TULUM
《 9 AM – 4 PM 》Tulum is one of the only places in the world where you can swim in the otherworldly cenotes, limestone sinkholes that have collected freshwater for over thousands of years and feel like a gateway to another world. In fact, they used to be used as sacrificial sites during Mayan times. Cenotes come in all shapes and sizes, with some that look like caverns and others that look like lakes There are a few cenotes you can bike to from Tulum Town, the two most popular being Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera a little further up the street.
We only had time for Cenote Calavera, a small cenote that gets its name from its skull-like shape. It is a popular cenote with travelers and it gets a reputation for being better operated that Gran Cenote. It never felt too crowded when we visited around 2:30 PM. The cenote has a large jump-off point that is no more than 5 feet tall, as well as narrow openings to practice pencil dives. Please be really careful when jumping in since I almost bashed my heads on the edge of the hole. If you’re not feeling up for the jump, it also has a small ladder and a rope to latch onto in case you get tired of treading water. Make no mistake, this isn’t a pristine watering hole. There were bats living in the roofed parts of the sinkhole as well as fish in the water. Because of the precious biodiversity, make sure you only wear reef-friendly sunblock as to not harm the wildlife in these cenotes.
Other cenote spots include: Cenote Zacil-Ha, Gran Cenote, Cenote Corazón del Paraiso, Cenote Cristal, Cenote Dos Ojos, and Cenote Escondido.
COST: $100 MXN and bring your own towel and water shoes or sandals with grips
GETTING THERE: Ride a bike for 3 miles (around a 20-minute bike ride) or take a taxi for $100 MXN. For people looking to visit more cenotes, it’s highly recommended to rent your own vehicle. A lot of properties have free bikes to use so ask before your rent.
ADVICE: If you want a guided cenote tour, check out Mexico Kan Tour’s half-day cenote tour. The small group tours cost $115 USD per adult or $100 USD per child.
A GIRLS NIGHT OUT ON TULUM BEACH
《 7 PM – 10 PM 》One of the biggest draws of Tulum is its upscale beach parties and restaurants on the beach. If you are going to be eating out in the bougie Tulum beach area, be prepared for steep bills. Most places require reservations. The number one place to visit is Hartwood’s, which usually gets booked up one month in advance. Like Hartwood’s, most restaurants are sustainability-driven, have sand floors, use indigenous cooking methods, and only cook with in-season and local ingredients that are completely. We opted for a dinner at NU Tulum, and to be honest, I coughed when the final bill came out since the food was okay. But all the restaurants boast great cocktail lists. Other popular restaurants on the beach include: Casa Jaguar, Kitchen Table, and Arca are Mexican-centric restaurants while Posada Margharita is the spot for Italian food. Each place will cost you around $30 USD per person including one cocktail but tip isn’t included. Not all restaurants accept credit card so bring extra cash.
PRO-TIP: If you want to eat in this part of Tulum but don’t have that kind of cash flow, check out Mateo’s grill for their rooftop terrace, smoothies, and fish tacos.
A PARTY FOR EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK
《 10 PM – 12 AM 》We learned from the locals that there’s ONE place that you should go to every night. If you get there on a Friday, your go-to place is Gitano Mezcal Bar for creative cocktails. If you get there on Thursday, check our Rosa Negra from some great dancing. Gitano’s Friday night atmosphere include mezcalinis (think margaritas but made with mezcal instead of tequila), fairy lights tangled in the branches overhead, and jungle vibes all around. Call in advance to book a table if you’re coming in with a large crowd. Two drinks will run you $30 USD easily but they take credit card. Don’t go too hard if you want to go swimming with turtles the next day.
SNORKELING WITH GIANT TURTLES AT AKUMAL BEACH
《 8 AM – 11 AM 》 The best advice for those wanting to swim with giant turtles is to wake up early. After 9 am, the visibility underwater is impaired so the earlier you get to the beach, the better. Plus, you’ll beat the the tour buses. The exact snorkeling location is not well-known to local taxi drivers so give them the address for Akumal Dive Shop and right next to it, you’ll see a tourism kiosk. It costs $100 MXN ($80 MXN for Mexicans and free for childnre under to 5) to get access to a locker, bathrooms, and changing stalls. When you get to the beach, you’ll be approached by guides who guarantee turtle sightings or your money back. $25 USD to get snorkeling equipment, life vests, and a dedicated guide for our group, but you can also dive independently and just rent your snorkeling gear for $16 USD. The protected area is roped in and marked by buoys.
GETTING THERE: Akumal is 27km north of Tulum. With a group, you can split a taxi van for $400 MXN. The only thing is if you take a taxi, there are no vans returning back to Tulum, so if you go as a big group, either pay your taxi driver more to stay or you will need to take two smaller taxis back. We stayed there for around 3 hours.
HOURS: 9 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Mondays and through the months of September and February due to environmental protection laws.
BEACHSIDE ACAI BOWLS AT RAW LOVE TULUM
《 1 PM – 4 PM 》You’ll have worked up your appetite after swimming so make a beeline for Raw Love Tulum. This popular wellness food spot is known for their acai bowls and smoothies, made with tropical ingredients and superfood additions like turmeric, ginger, and maca. They are gluten-free and dairy-free friendly, but the food is vegetarian, not vegan. There are two Raw Loves, one on the Ahau Tulum property and one right on the beach. There isn’t a lot of seating on the beach one but it is right next to a seafood and you can order from their menu as well. When we were there, there was live music. You can take a dip in the beach post-meal or head back to your hotel for a mid-afternoon siesta. Other healthy food options include Matcha Mama and Charley’s Vegan Tacos.
PRO-TIP: Bring cash since credit card charges have an extra 6%. There isn’t a lot of shade to eat under so breakfast is also good time to visit.
PARTY IT UP AT PAPAYA PLAYA PROJECT
《 11 PM – 3 AM 》Papaya Playa Project is known as the Saturday night rave on the beach. $31 USD is a steep cover charge and if tropical trance isn’t your scene, highly advised to skip out. But if you are on your bachelorette party in Tulum, I’ll tell you from my own experience that all the men I encountered were not only respectful, but super excited for my upcoming marriage! After paying your entrance fee, you’ll be given a wristband that doubles as a payment method since the bar is cashless. Walk around the grounds decked with bohemian installation art, a taco food stall with unmarked prices, and some lounging areas before come to the bar. All the charges throughout the night will be added to your bracelet. Also, the dance floor is the beach so do not wear heels.
HOURS: The party starts around midnight and the nightclub closes promptly ends at 3 AM.
SEE THE RUINS OF TULUM
《 8 AM – 3 PM 》 We ended up making a day trip out of Chichen Itza (post coming soon) but if you’re trying to check out more local within the city limits, visit the Ruins of Tulum. Parque Nacional, or the Tulum National Park, is a group of well-kept Mayan ruins with sunbathing iguanas perched atop a hill that overlook the stunning Caribbean coastline. Unlike other archaeological sites around Mexico, these Mayan ruins are close to the ocean so wear a bathing suit underneath if you want to head to Tulum beach after your visit. A little past Tulum Beach is Playa Paraiso. If your order drinks at Pancho Villa Beach Club, you can use their lounge chairs.
If you want a more intimate view of the ruins, visit right when it opens or an hour before sunset. The ruins don’t get too packed at sunset since it gets super dark so bring extra flashlights and good walking shoes. Bring extra water, a hat, and since there are no ATMs on site, make sure you have enough cash to buy food and your tickets. Also, skip the guides (unless doing a sunrise tour — see below). Do not buy tickets in advance from the guides in red shirts near the booth. Take a siesta before your final evening.
COST: $65 MXN pesos per person. Each camera (mobile phones are free to take in) costs an additional $45 MXN.
HOURS: 8 AM to 5 PM
ADVICE: If the late night of partying wasn’t on your docket, plan to take a sunrise tour of Tulum Ruins fro $95. Sunrise tours of archaeological usually aren’t cheap because of special access to the park pre-opening hours but Cedric of Tulum Private Tours gets great reviews. Book here.
OTHERWORDLY DIVE BAR AT CLAN-DESTINO
《 5 PM – 7 PM 》In the quieter end of Tulum’s rugged beach road is Clan-Destino, a hamburger bar with its very own cenote! An arrow marquee points inward and once you make your way past the jungle treehouse entrance, you’ll see the intimate cenote and hear the groovy bachata covers of pop hits wafting through the open-air restaurant. The food is very affordable and they have 2-for-1 burger specials on Mondays and karaoke on Tuesdays. These are for groups who want easy-to-drink margaritas in an unhurried atmosphere. The Shrimp burger and Curry Chicken Burger are the best. Just don’t forget the bug spray as the mosquito will eat you alive after dark so make sure you get your every inch of your uncovered legs/feet.
WANT TO CHECK OUT TULUM PUEBLO?
Most bachelorette parties in Tulum stick to the beach area but if you want more of the urban part of Tulum, visit Tulum Pueblo (Tulum Town) for cheaper meals and souvenir shops where you can buy the same macrame wall decor and airy beach kaftans for a fraction of the price. A lot of the Airbnbs also don’t have groceries nearby so stock up on some water if you make it out to Tulum Centro. Some places to check out include:
- Kay Nah for seafood
- Il Bacaro for Italian
- Batey Mojito and Guarapo Barfor the best mojitos
- Campanella Creamerie for ice cream
- Meow’s Cream for vegan ice cream
- Co.ConAmor for rustic vegetarian food and an eco-friendly shop with package refills
- Burrito Amor for their burritos
- La Coqueta for Mexican Food
For a list of great places of budget-friendly places to eat in Tulum, read this post by Silly Little Kiwi.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A BACHELORETTE PARTY IN TULUM
Feel free to print this out for your own bachelorette party in Tulum. Things you cannot forget are reef-friendly sunscreen or sunblock, sandals that double as water shoes, micro-fiber towel (for cenotes and the beach), deet-free mosquito spray, a hat (since a lot of places do not have shade), flashlights (the roads in Tulum get DARK!), reusable waterbottle, and sunglasses.
MAP OF ALL THE LOCATIONS IN TULUM
HERE IS A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO PLANNING THE ULTIMATE BACHELORETTE PARTY IN TULUM
👉 This is all you need for a great bachelorette party in Tulum! Any other must dos while you’re in the Yucatan Peninsula? Share it with us below!
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