Travel like a local.


Gran Cenote, Xel Ha & Papaya Playa Beach Club in Tulum, Mexico

Best things to do in Tulum Mexico - Luke Hajdukiewicz - aerial view of the beach photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

Aerial view of the beach. Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash.

I’m really excited to interview Luke Hajdukiewicz of the Bunji app about Tulum, Mexico. Luke’s tips for the best things to do in Tulum are awesome because he worked remotely in Tulum for over a month with his girlfriend. They quickly fell in love with the kindness of the people, the amazing food, and the unreal beaches. They can’t wait to go back and spend more time there.

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Best things to do in Tulum Mexico - Luke Hajdukiewicz - Tulum ruins photo by Alisa Matthews on Unsplash

Tulum ruins. Photo by Alisa Matthews on Unsplash.

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum is located on the Yucatan peninsula on Mexico’s eastern coastline. It is about 90 minutes south of Cancun, past the popular tourist destinations of Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. The city is well-known for its beach and well-preserved Mayan ruins. One of the most recognized ruins is called El Castillo, a large stone structure that is perched on a rocky cliff above the beach. Tulum is also known for its cenotes, which are natural limestone sinkholes. Cenotes are managed by the locals and there’s usually a small fee ($2 to $25) to enter and swim. One of Luke’s favorites is Gran Cenote because it features a cave and plenty of wooden platforms to relax on.

Being near the equator, the weather in Tulum is rather perfect year-round. However, hurricane season is from late August to mid-October, so you may want to avoid visiting during those times. Summertime can give rise to sargassum (a reddish-brown, thick seaweed) that can ruin your beach experience. During your visit, plan to spend a day at Xel-Ha Park, which is an all-inclusive theme and waterpark that includes snorkeling, ziplining, and all-you-can-eat food and drink. The Xcacel-Xcacelito Sea Turtle Sanctuary is another must-do experience since it focuses on the conservation of sea turtles from the local area. You can even swim with turtles at Akumal Bay, which is about halfway between Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

While there are many local beaches in Tulum, the beach clubs are where the party is at. Some of the most popular beach clubs include Papaya Playa, Ziggy Beach Club, and Nomad. These beach clubs enhance your beach experience with incredible food and luxurious cabanas, plus guest artists and resident DJs providing music to dance to.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Mexico’s Tulum information page. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Tulum Mexico - Luke Hajdukiewicz - Cenote Tortuga photo by Jorge Fernandez Salas on Unsplash

Cenote Tortuga. Photo by Jorge Fernandez Salas on Unsplash.

Getting around Tulum

The local airport is Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is about an hour and a half drive to Tulum. If you want to avoid renting a car or paying for a taxi (~$100), take the ADO Bus from Cancun Airport. The bus ride takes approximately 2 hours and is less than $15 a person at the airport or $17.50 + tax online.

Luke says that there’s no need to rent a car in Tulum. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz.

Public transportation within the city wasn’t a viable option when Luke lived in Tulum. Most people walked or rented bikes to move around the city. Luke rented his bike for about $6 a day. Taxis are an excellent way to get around.

Sunrise, palms and beach in Tulum, Mexico“Sunrise, palms and beach in Tulum, Mexico” by Tommie Hansen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about on the podcast episode with Luke Hajdukiewicz about Tulum, Mexico. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Tulum, Mexico
  • Green dots = best things to do in Tulum, Mexico
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Tulum, Mexico

Who is Luke Hajdukiewicz?

Luke grew his passion for traveling after spending a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia where he lived and worked for six months. After leaving Australia, he traveled through Banff, Greece, Italy, Bali before living long term in both Hawaii and Tulum. Alongside Luke’s travel, he received a degree in environmental engineering and economics and is heavily focused on how the world can become a sustainable place in the short term.

Over the past two years, Luke and a small team have put together an app to deliver travel to everyone and anyone. Bunji algorithmically creates itineraries that incorporate only “The Best of The Best” (4.5+ star and above) that are all within walking distance of your next trip. Bunji includes more free activities, removes all advertisements, and supports local businesses to ensure that you truly get to live like a local.

Luke Hajdukiewicz on the beach eating dessert

Luke Hajdukiewicz on the beach eating dessert

Connect with Luke on Instagram to follow his latest adventures and those of the Bunji community. You can learn more about the Bunji app and download it in the Apple and Google Play app store.

Best things to do in Tulum Mexico - Luke Hajdukiewicz - Beach and hut photo by Moon on Unsplash

Beach and huts in Tulum. Photo by Moon on Unsplash.

Enter to win Cirque du Soliel tickets

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Thanks to our sponsor, Cirque du Soleil, you have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to “O” at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. Between August 23, 2021, and October 31, 2021, you can enter in three different ways with a valid email address:

No purchase or payment is necessary to enter. Subject to all federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances. Void outside the 50 United States and where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received.

Winners will be chosen at our sole discretion on November 1, 2021. Each person may win a maximum of one (1) pair of tickets per household, no matter how many times they enter the contest. We reserve the right to verify the eligibility of winners. Winners will be notified by email after the drawing takes place. Tickets will be sent via email. We are not responsible if the tickets are lost in transit, are deleted by accident, go to your spam folder, or are not received for any other reason.

Vouchers are good through October 1, 2022. Reservations must be made at least 72 business hours in advance and are final. See vouchers for complete details.

Cirque du Soleil O at Bellgaio 728x90

Best things to eat in Tulum Mexico - Luke Hajdukiewicz - Delicious local pastries in Tulum

Delicious local pastries in Tulum

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Los Angeles California - Danny JensenListen to the next episode when Danny Jensen author of Secret Los Angeles: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure shares the best things to do in Los Angeles, California. In this episode, Danny and I talk about catching a show at the Magic Castle, climbing the Secret Stairs, and concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Tulum? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at

Related episodes

To learn more about Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, listen to our other episodes:



    This brought me back to when I was on the peninsula about 2 years ago. Memories ❤️

  2. Melissa

    $8 bus, what?! That’s awesome! Haven’t been to Tulum, but it’s definitely on the list. I’ve always stayed on the beach when in Mexico, but after listening to Luke, I’d feel comfortable getting an Airbnb and experiencing the culture. And now I apparently need to visit a cenote. Sounds beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Chris G

    Great episode! I like how you always get to the most important question, where is the happiest happy hour!

  4. JR

    Great pictures!

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