Where we stayed: The Weary Traveler, roughly $10 USD a night. Offers free breakfast, free purified drinking water, WiFi, air conditioned private rooms or dormitories, free shuttle to the beach- approx. 10 minutes away.
Where we ate: El Camello, Antojitos La Chiapaneca (order the tacos all pastor for 50 cents each)
What I thought of Tulum: This isn’t a place I’d revisit. Though the beach is beautiful with white sand and pale turquoise water, it’s not as magnificent, as picturesque, as the waters of Cancun or Isla Mujeres (the best). The Mayan ruins on the beach are interesting to see, but other than that, the town offers little in the way of nightlife and activity. Day trips from here are what make it worthwhile: I recommend one to Chichen Itza to see the ruins of the Mayan mega city ($55 USD for tour of city, swim in the cenote, and lunch. 9am-6pm), and another to snorkel and swim in the cenotes (fresh water pools)- $55 USD for 4 hours.
Below are photos from a day trip to Chichen Itza.