The Best 4 Days in Tulum, Mexico (Bachelorette Party Tulum Itinerary)
While planning my bachelorette party with my best girlfriends, we had no trouble deciding on a destination. We knew we wanted to have a relaxing vacation with good food, great weather, and fun activities.
Once we searched flights to Tulum, Mexico and saw the nearest airport (Cancun) had direct flights from the East Coast for approx. $350 RT, we quickly chose Mexico for our vacation itinerary.
I am so glad we did because my bachelorette party in Tulum was beyond amazing!
If you are planning a bachelorette party in the Riviera Maya, or want to visit Tulum as a girls’ trip or couple’s getaway, you’ll love this relaxing and adventurous 4 day Tulum itinerary.
Early afternoon: Arrive in Cancun + shuttle to Tulum
Welcome to Mexico! If you are flying to Tulum you’ll probably fly to Cancun International Airport (CUN); despite being the closest airport to Tulum, CUN is still about a 90-minute drive away.
Flying from NYC got us the best direct flights to Cancun for just over $300 RT. Because we were traveling in a group, we booked our tickets 4 months in advance, though there may be ways to find cheaper flights if you have a more flexible schedule.
Transportation to Tulum: To get to Tulum from Cancun, we booked a private shuttle called “Happy Shuttle Cancun” for $200 USD and added a supermarket stop for $35 USD. The van fits 10 people but we only had 8, so split the cost evenly, plus tip. We tipped the airport greeter, and the drivers (each way).
Supermarket stop before drop off: When we reached the Tulum supermarket we took about an hour to buy our food and goodies. The supermarket was huge and offered food, alcohol, clothing, and household supplies.
I spent about $30 USD for my entire supermarket stash of snacks, bottled water, cold cuts, and bread. The most any of my girlfriends spent was $100 USD and that was because they purchased top of the line items to accommodate traveling with a special diet.
Airport shuttle cost for the group: $235 USD total, plus tip
4:00pm: Check into your Tulum accommodation
There are so many hotel and apartment options in Tulum. If you stay near el Pueblo, it’ll be quite inexpensive but still totally cute; if you stay along the beach hotel zone the prices increase dramatically (as does the luxe design).
We stayed in two penthouse apartments found on Airbnb. The apartments were at Black House by PARAMA located in the rapidly developing Aldea Zama neighborhood not too far from the pueblo. Our apartments had luxury furnishings and private rooftop pools and only cost us about $425 USD per person for 5 days / 4 nights. There was a lot of construction in the area and you can see the effects real estate development and Instagram tourism has on the once quiet beach town.
Tulum Vacation Tip: If you are wondering where to stay in Tulum (or trying to figure out the best Tulum neighborhoods) stay tuned for my massive logistics-rich Tulum travel guide, which maps out everything you need to know before your trip. Subscribe to automatic updates so I can send you an email when it is ready.
Tulum Bachelorette Party Packing Tip: My bridal party curated super cute backpacks for each one of us, supplied with Reef Safe sunscreen, themed sunglasses, toiletries, personalized luggage tags, and custom cups with metal straws. They also decorated one of the apartments with confetti, balloons, and mini champagne bottles.
6:00pm: Find a Great Spot for Dinner in Tulum Pueblo
After an immediate dip in the pool, you’ll be boozy and hungry. I recommend you use this arrival day to either cook at your accommodations if there’s a kitchen, or book dinner at a restaurant nearby. We chose the latter.
For live music and food near Tulum Pueblo: Visit Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar. It’s hip and laid back, albeit slightly more expensive than typical Mexican street food (we spent about $30 USD each). We had a trio of tiny tacos with a drink, while a cover band rocked out to popular music in English and Spanish.
Another restaurant option for the first night: La Malquerida. Both restaurants are near each other.
Tip About Batey’s: The food was good but the “strong drinks” people raved about were not strong at all. Good thing the live music was amazing! Attire is causal with tones of boho hipster.
Pueblo Tip: Taxis usually cost about $5-10 USD each way between Aldea Zama and Tulum Pueblo; 35 minutes away on foot. I would not walk to el Pueblo from Aldea Zama at night, as there aren’t many street lights along the way. Our door man called our taxis for us, and taxis were plentiful along the main drag in el Pueblo after dinner.
Wellness Tip: Always pack Pepto tablets. You’ll thank me later.
8:30am: Tour Tulum cenotes + snorkel with turtles!
Go on a full-day Tulum cenote tour to maximize your time there. Major tours can include snorkeling with turtles, visiting cenotes in Tulum, and a Tulum Ruins tour.
We chose to do a Turtles & Cenotes tour with Ocean Tours. Tours that include the Tulum Ruins seemed too expensive and it is cheaper to just hop in a taxi or ride a bike there yourself.
We got picked up directly from our Airbnb, and went to Akumal first to see the sea turtles. It was windy so visibility was low, but we eventually got to see one sea turtle up close! After that, we visited a dry cenote (walking tour), followed by an amazing underground tour of the ancient cenote, Caracol.
Tip for Tulum Cenote Tour and Snorkeling with Sea Turtles: The tour cost is approx. $85 if booked more than a week in advance (15% off plus $10 Akumal Natural Reserve fee payable in cash onsite). This includes entrance fees, snorkels and life jackets, transport, snacks, and an English speaking guide. Tip was not included.
Eco-friendly Tulum Packing Tip: Tour companies and beaches along the Riviera Maya (especially Tulum) are very strict about using reef-safe, biodegradable sunscreen. Be sure to buy this specific type, and apply it well before you get in the water. Pack it with you; if you buy it in Tulum it’ll be more expensive.
2:00pm: Relaxation on Your Tulum Vacation
The 6-hour tour is going to be exhausting so I suggest everyone kick back and relax if they want to go out at night. We made the mistake of partying a little too much at our rooftop pools and not taking long enough naps, so we were exhausted when it was time to visit another part of Tulum for dinner.
Some Ideas for Relaxation:
Take a nap (soothing shower, earplugs, an eye mask, or soft music can do the trick)
Read by the pool
Try some yoga after an active day of swimming
Use the Calm app for guided relaxation and meditation
Rent a bike at any of the shops in town and go for a stroll
6:30pm: Dinner + Dancing in the Tulum Hotel Zone
The famous hotel zone (Zona Hotelera) is right on the beach, south of the Tulum Ruins. The best way to get there is by car or bike. We chose to taxi for a night of dinner and some dancing.
Gitano’s Jungle Party is an epic dancing spot on a Friday night. But lesson learned: you can’t get in early unless you have a reservation for dinner. Which we didn’t. Despite the place being empty, we were rejected and advised to return later in the evening once the restaurant turned into a dance floor (after around 10pm).
So instead, we ate dinner next door at La Bomba.
La Bomba offers high end dining (perfect for a plush bachelorette dinner) with $$$-$$$$ prices. Looking back on it, we should’ve just continued partying at our penthouse and made dinner.
My Recommendation: Make dinner at your accommodations instead and do happy hour by the pool. Play music and party it up while getting ready and head out at 9:30pm for the dance party at Gitanos. Your tummy and pockets will thank you.
11:00am: Burrito Brunch in el Pueblo
After a night of dancing, treat yourselves to a late wake up call and delicious $5 USD burritos at Burrito Amor in el Pueblo. The burritos are huge and super tasty, with plenty of different options. The restaurants outdoor patio floor plan and design is perfect for group photos too! #GirlsTrip
For something less touristy, Antojitos La Chiapaneca is a yummy no frills taco spot recommended by lots of budget travel blogs (we tried it; was pretty good).
Our taxi drivers, however, pointed out their recommended spot across the street called El Carboncito and I must agree - it was 10x better!
El Carboncito’s patrons and employees weren’t overly accommodating to us in the slightest, if at all. …And that’s how we knew we were in the right place!
Note: both places don’t necessarily have hours. When the meat runs out, it runs out.
Food recommendation: Be sure to try cochinita pibil before you leave Tulum!
1:00pm: Visit the Tulum Ruins for a Cheap Entrance Fee
As I mentioned earlier, it seems tour companies that add on the Tulum Ruins visit (plus entrance fee) to their package are a bit of a rip off. The Tulum Ruins entrance fee is less than $4 USD (65 pesos) and offers direct access to the beach too, weather permitting.
Visiting on your own gives you as much time as you want there. And may even save you money.
We took a taxi from el Pueblo straight to the ruins. There were a number of guides selling their services and posing as the main ticket booth.
On our right was a wooden hut / booth with the official Tulum Ruins employees present. They sold us our tickets, tried to up-sell a snorkeling tour to the coral reefs (which didn’t sound half bad but we didn’t have time), and pointed us to where we could grab a shuttle for an extra $1 USD. The walk into the Ruins is long and hot, and one of our friends had a bad foot. The shuttle was worth it.
Wellness Note: There are a bunch of shops where you wait to get the shuttle. This is the perfect place to stock up on water because the Tulum Ruins provides no shade nor facilities.
Visiting la Playa: We were not able to take advantage of the beach during our Tulum Visit because of the heavy seaweed. This seems to be a problem along the coast lately and some areas are worse than others.
Hours and Recommended Duration: The ruins are open everyday from 8am-5pm. I suggest at least 3 hours there. If you are sensitive to the sun or heat, go first thing in the morning. We went on a weekend afternoon and the crowds were not too overwhelming. I piled on the sunscreen and stayed hydrated and covered.
4:30pm: Visit IK Lab to experience a Tulum treehouse vibe
In Tulum you’ll find a number of art galleries and installations. IK lab Tulum at Azulik is a free gallery space with environmentally conscious design, open daily until 10pm. Only a select number of people are allowed in at a time and you must explore barefoot.
No trees were cut to create this space, and it lives on stilts so that local wildlife can still pass through underneath. Directed by Santiago R. Guggenheim, a descendant of the famed art family, this earthly space is a welcoming contrast to the invasive Zona Hotelera de Tulum.
Note: IK Lab is fairly small so a visit wouldn’t exceed 30 minutes. No reservations. No cost.
5:00pm: Champagne Sunset at Azulik
Less than 5 minutes from the IK Lab is the luxury treehouse hotel, Azulik’s restaurants and tree houses. At 5:30pm, Kin Toh welcomes the general public to enjoy a Champagne Sunset Experience in its popular nest seating.
Tips for Kin Toh Champagne Sunset at Azulik: Arrive at 4:45 or 5:00pm to get in line and be able to find a good seat. Doors open at 5:30pm and the nests are first-come, first serve.
The Kin Toh champagne sunset experience costs approx. $30 USD (which includes one drink) and lasts until sunset. After sunset, only patrons ordering food can stay. Smartphone photos allowed only; no professional cameras.
7:00pm: Dinner at Zamas for an Authentic Tulum Dining Experience
If, like us, you are in Tulum to celebrate travel, authentic friendships, and good ‘ol down-to-earth good vibes then you may prefer to skip Kin Toh’s high ticket dinner and walk to Zamas nearby, instead.
Zamas has been in Tulum for over 20 years and longtime Tulum visitors adore this place.
It is a hotel and restaurant, but a sunset dinner here, followed by candlelit dining by the sea, makes for the perfect “last day in Tulum” dinner. This was probably our best restaurant meal of the trip and cost about $40 per person.
9:00am: Explore Tulum’s Zona Hotelera
Depending on what time your flight leaves (you should head back to Cancun from Tulum at least 3-4 hours in advance of boarding time), you may have a shot at a day of taking photos around town — especially the hotel zone.
Use this time to venture to the beautiful boho chic Zona Hotelera region of Tulum… and all its photogenic spots. This is where you’ll find much of the heavily Instagrammed photo spots.
Cute Food Spots: Matcha Mama for smoothies; Origami for gelato; The Real Coconut; Taqueria La Eufemia for cheap eats (and use their beach access for last minute sun bathing).
Activities and Photoshoots: Check out Macondo’s design and grab smoothies; Visit Pablo Escobar’s mansion at Casa Malca; Head to the northern hotel zone to view Ven a la Luz wooden sculpture at the Ahua Hotel.
Tips for Photos: Here’s what to bring on your Tulum vacation to help you get great vacation photos. The list is novice-friendly and doesn’t require a professional camera. For product recommendations, review this list of recommended gear.
Have a longer Trip to Tulum? (5 days in Tulum Itinerary)
If you are extending your Tulum vacation (ie. 5 days in Tulum instead of 4 days) I would definitely recommend adding on a full day excursion to the Coba Ruins. There, you can visit even larger ancient Mayan ruins than the Tulum Ruins and you would be allowed to climb them.
In addition, there’s a trio of cenotes near the Coba Ruins that each cost less than $3 USD entrance fee to visit — and there’s no such thing as too many cenotes.
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Are you ready for your trip to Tulum, Mexico?
I hope you love this itinerary as much as we did. Any any given time, we felt free to stray from the itinerary and have celebratory drinks, naps, and pool time. No pressure — you’re on vacation in Tulum!
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