Updated: May 13
The more I travel, the more I learn myself...
One thing in particular that I've learned over the years is that I prefer exclusivity when it comes to traveling. I cherish my "me time" and desire to have my own little piece of paradise wherever I go. Things like a private pool, private tours and guides, private unique, one-of-a-kind experiences.
Sure, it's nice having the option to enjoy common spaces with others, but it's becoming more and more imperative that I have my own little retreat to enjoy. It allows me to relax without having to worry about hearing or seeing my neighbors in close proximity. This isn't to say that I don't enjoy socializing and being around others, but there are times when I just want to be alone and enjoy my own company.
For that reason I find myself purposely seeking out travel destinations where I can have just that!
My travel wish list-
While planning my latest trip, I made sure to look for a location that would give me all the items on my travel wish list:
Beach villa or bungalow
I came extremely close to getting everything I wanted, but had to compromise on not having a beach in exchange for having my own private pool. Honestly, I was happy with my villa pool. It was all mine and I didn't have to share it with anyone.
So for starters if you've never heard of Tulum, you should get to know it! It's a coastal area located on the Eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula right on the Caribbean sea.
I call it the hidden gem of Mexico, however in recent years its had a spike in tourism. Even still, it's private and tucked away from the more infamous party town known as Cancun. It's also not as busy or crawling with as many tourists as some of the more popular hot spots in Mexico.
My first visit to Tulum was in 2018 and I fell in love with the peacefulness of it.
How to get to Tulum-
You have a few different options on how to get to Tulum from the Cancun airport:
It's close to a 2 hour drive from Cancun so prepare yourself. The average taxi ride from the airport will run you about 2,200 MXN pesos or roughly $110 USD.
You can also take the ADO bus for $18 USD or you can request a shuttle ride through your hotel.
The last option would be to rent a car at the airport and navigate yourself. If you're unfamiliar with Mexico and their roads, I highly suggest that you don't take this option.
My preferred method of transportation was a private shuttle that I requested through my hotel. Before I landed at the airport I received a message from my driver with his picture and the location of where to meet him. Once I walked out of the airport, I knew exactly where to go and who to look for. Also instantly I was met by my English speaking driver and whisked away to a private Suburban for our ride to Tulum.
From the moment I booked my trip, the staff at the hotel were extremely helpful even before my arrival. They sent several confirmation emails with the details of my trip as well as text messages introducing themselves to me. They sent me a menu of the hotel amenities like their spa and room services, the daily activities in the common areas and the food/drink menus from their restaurant.
As a solo traveler this made me feel taken care of and helped ease a lot of the pressure that can sometimes come with making sure the "little things" are handled on a trip.
My private villa included it's own pool, outdoor shower, hammock, lounge and outdoor dining area and a comfortable king sized bed. There was also an on-site restaurant and bar, a common area pool, an outdoor yoga studio, pool table and several relaxing lounge areas.
Did I mention this place was for adults only?! So you know that made it 10 times better for me! It checked all the things I look for while traveling, including affordability.
Here's a list of a few recommendations on where to stay in Tulum:
Minimalistic hotel great for couples, groups and family vacations
New Hilton owned beach front property with ocean views in every room
Resort hotel with beachfront villas and private pools
Condo style hotel with deluxe rooms and balcony pools
Beach front hotel with picturesque views for travelers of all ages
Best time to visit Tulum-
For great weather and unbeatable prices, the best time of the year to visit Tulum is between May and August. The prices are a bit more affordable than they are during their high tourism season and you'll find several hotel options with vacant rooms offering huge discounts.
You can find all sorts of things to do while in Tulum from shopping and site seeing to tequila tasting and exploring their many cenotes and Mayan ruins. You can also take a tour to the iconic monument Chichen Itza.
(picture of my first visit to Chichen Itza in 2018)
How much money you'll need-
My average budget whenever I travel to Tulum is around $1,000-$1,500. This covers all my expenses like food, taxis, souvenirs, tipping and incidentals. Your ideal budget will depend on how long you plan to stay and how many people are in your party. Luckily the Mexican peso exchange rate goes a long way so you'll get more bang for your buck with the things you buy.
Exchange rate of pesos (as of 05/2023):
5,000 pesos = $281.57 USD
1,000 pesos = $56.31 USD
300 pesos = $16.89 USD
50 pesos = $2.84 USD
Currency Converter Plus is a great app to have that let's you know the most up to date exchange rate for whatever country you're in.
My personal travel tips-
One of the most important things I suggest for any traveler is to do your own research before traveling to any foreign country. Things change everyday so you always want to be aware of exactly what's going on around you.
Despite all the negativity that may be surrounding Mexico and its tourists, I've traveled to various parts of the country more than 20 times in the last 5 years. This includes places like Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Ensenada, Riviera Maya, Puerto Villarta, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City and more.
Whenever I travel to Mexico I tend to stay at the beach. I never venture too far from my resort and if I have to- I let my hotel arrange the transportation for me. This is how I take preventative measures to stay safe while traveling alone.
To get help booking your next trip to Mexico or for more travel tips and advice on how to stay safe while traveling to Mexico feel free to send me a message. I would love to help guide you through!
Your next Private Oasis awaits you...
Including features like:
private villas with plunge pools
outdoor dining and lounge area
king sized beds and A/C
room service & transportation
on site restaurants & bars
adults only retreat + much more
During my latest stay, I vacationed at the Hotel Bardo. This was hands down one of the best hotels I've ever stay at. From the attentiveness of the staff at the open air reception, to the hospitality and service I received during my stay. Whatever I asked for, they definitely made sure I was taken care of.
The quiet, tranquility of the hotel was all the peace I needed for my getaway. They had a yoga tent set up near the main pool where they had daily meditation and yoga sessions in the morning for guests.
The white pebble grounds of the hotel made taking a stroll welcoming and relaxing. This really felt like the ultimate jungle sanctuary with the sounds of different birds chirping throughout the day and the make-shift log gates that kept each villa private and intimate.
I had the most amazing outdoor shower with concrete walls and a tree lined privacy barrier. The hot water was just right and the outside temperature made taking a shower at any time of the day worth it.
My villa also had concrete floors and walls with a very minimalistic approach to the average hotel. There wasn't a whole lot of unnecessary furnishings, just the basics which made it feel even more cozy and relaxing. The concrete also kept the villa cool when things started to heat up outside.
Remote controlled A/C unit kept me cool during the day and comfortable at night- just how I like it. My king sized bed was just right and allowed me to get the rest I needed. My outdoor hammock and dining area were the perfect set up to enjoy a refreshing drink once the sun went down.
The onsite restaurants included a wide variety of Yucatecan dishes and some America favorites like Pizza and fries.
I highly recommend this hotel for group travel, honeymoons, solo travelers and those spicy baecations with your boo. You definitely won't be disappointed with your stay.
With the average night costing between $210-$300, this location makes every attempt to give you what you pay for. Off the beaten path and well worth every dollar, everything about this hotel surpassed my expectations and I will definitely return!
All in- I stayed 3 nights, 4 days in Tulum and spent roughly $1,400 for my accommodations, including transportation to and from the Cancun airport.
I give this hotel a 10/10 for experience, amenities and location. If you're thinking of visiting Tulum, make sure the Hotel Bardo is on your list for places to stay and tell them I sent you!
As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe to my blog to stay updated and informed of the latest travel info.