Tulum area restaurants, lodge and ruins by car

Visit Tulum

Fron Cancun Airport to Tulum Driving thru Riviera Maya We arrived at CUN about 10 AM and it was hot. Yes!!! Migra and customs were a snap, but an Avalon guy followed us almost outside – USD 150 to see Avalon timeshares. No gracias, cono. Elite Rental Car, which we booked through www.cancuncd.com . The car was perfect and we exited the airport toward Cancun and picked up Route 307 South for our roughly 140 km drive to Tulum. Driving in Mexico, on 307 was no problem whatsoever. The road is fine, very wide until Playa del Carmen, then a standard 2 lane blacktop with wide shoulders. Many gas stations and a few police cars. Speeds were between 60-120 km/hr, averaging about 80 km/hr. Tulum is situated on the east and west sides of 307 and is about 10 blocks long. Tulum starts at the turn off to Coba. If you take the Coba road east, the other way, you head towards the beach and a road called Camino running north and south just off the beach. It is spotted with maybe 20-25 hotel cabanas and restaurants. The Camino is OK running south for about 2km, then it is a war zone. Pot holes?? Carters is more like it. You drive at 1 km/hr and still bottom out. It is drivable but very slow. But after about 2 km we arrived at – LOS LIRIOS and our 2nd floor cabana right on the beach. Los Lirios (water lilies) is a beautiful place, with garden grounds, a great beach and wonderful large rooms with AC, balconies, hammocks, inside sitting area. No fan, no safe and no pool, but heaven. Too bad the restaurant is not as good. We were adamant about not leaving “our” beach and had lunch on the sand. Ceviche, guac and chicken tacos were OK, but a little pricey. Margs were good, but the second round very good. The food, with 4 margs and 2 waters was 460p. The next day, we spent less than that for three meals elsewhere. Tulum, the city, El Pueblo, is inland about 4-5 km and is fine. All the action seems to be right on 307, the main drag. The FOOD is GREAT!!! We saw smoke coming from a chimney, investigated and found Pollo Branco – a little store with a giant flame grill with maybe 30 chickens on it. The man said 5-10 minutes, so we got 2 cocas and sat down and watched the world go buy. In a few minutes, we looked up as a pickup truck pulled up. The place now had about 15 locals in it, waiting. And worth the wait – a whole chicken and then some (3 legs), tortillas, rice, beans and a salad, 3 cokes, 1 water – 84p!! The exchange rate at the bank was 11.4 – so, darn cheap! And the best chicken I, we ever had. Juicy, well done and mucho rico gusto maximo. We had dinner at Cetli in the Hotelito. Wow!! Alto cocina Mexicana – smallish portions but absolutely wonderful, never before eaten or heard of (by us) dishes. Large plates with the food presented art! Cucarando (sp) was stunning slices of chicken with spinach ribbons. 70p I think. Politz was chicken with pepper and jelly – superb! An unordered appetizer tray arrived with all sorts of goodies – bread, butter in corn wrappings, empanadas, several salsas … wow!! The bill was 174p. BYO too! Stunning, high-class Mexican food like nowhere else. El Mariachi – tacos are great! The fish and the seafood tacos are 10p. The others (pastor, puerco, pollo) are 9p – and 2 for 1 !!!!! With all, the fixings you want! So, a shrimp taco, a fish taco, then pork, pollo and carana x2 m- 8 tacos for 47 p!!! And Great. Il Basilico is a beautiful place serving great Italian food – 2nd-floor deck, salads, wine, pizza, shrimp, cappuccino, desert – 675p with tips – but great food, service and décor. Right across from Cetli is THE hot nightspot Cocodrillos (spelled that way) – band every night, place is crowded but comfy, youngsters sitting all over the sidewalk and curb, listening and sipping beers. Very nice. Had a hot dog for 10p at a cart – like a Bimbo Dog – great at midnight, haha! Que Fresco restaurant at Zamas – very good Italian/Mex on the beach. Great fish, pizza, margs. The ruins are awesome and swimming below them is an experience. Dropped in a cenote and hung out. All in all, we are back to Tulum soon!!

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