From the beautiful white-sand beaches, and clear turquoise waters, to the spectacular Mayan ruins, Tulum, Mexico is a haven for kitesurfers who want to get away from the crowds and get back to nature. It is also an ideal destination for those travelling with family or friends, who are not enthusiastic about kitesurfing, as Tulum boasts a number of other activities from cultural attractions, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddling, swimming, sunbathing, yoga, biking, scuba diving, boutique shopping, nature viewing, caving, and hiking to delicious cuisine.
We spent a fabulous six months exploring Tulum, and want to share with you our favourite discoveries, and some helpful info to save you time.
Best Winds: December-April, best months are February & March
Wind Probability: 50-60% chance- depends on how great your luck is! It is an ideal spot for those who are staying long-term, enjoy getting out and doing other activities, and also for those who like light wind days. It is not ideal for those who are looking to kite daily.
Wind Direction: Onshore, side-onshore, or side shore (NE, E, SE)
Water Type: Open ocean, small-medium waves when it’s windy, and flat when it’s not, reef is located 600-800 metres from shore
Weather: Warm (240C – 280C)
Water Temp: Warm (260C – 290C), no wetsuit needed
Where to Kite?
As you enter Tulum Pueblo from Playa Del Carmen, head down the Tulum beach road from 307 and take a right OR left at the T in the road. All along the beach you will find places to kite. It’s wise to avoid kiting directly in-front of the ruins and avoid the lagoon, in the biosphere reserve Sian Ka’an, unless you do not mind dodging crocodiles!
There are a handful of kiteboarding schools along Tulum beach but most of them come and go. Extreme Control has been around for a few years now. Your best bet is to take a walk down the beach and see which schools are around. Do not forget to ask all relevant questions (i.e. how many years they have been teaching, how many students per instructor, are they IKO certified etc.)!!
Xpu-Ha is in-between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen and a great place to go for a day trip to kitesurf. The waves are a bit smaller for those who are just learning.
Tulum is located approximately 80 miles southeast of Cancun. Be sure to keep in mind that the town of Tulum Pueblo is not located on the ocean. Tulum Pueblo is a Mexican town with some tourist shops, hotels, restaurants, bars, grocery stores, ATMs, gyms, internet cafes, scuba schools, bicycle rentals, and language schools. The Tulum beach is located approximately 10 minutes East by car from Tulum Pueblo. Tulum beach has an eco-rustic appeal with small boutique cabanas, with thatched palm roofs, and a few restaurants, yoga studios, and beach clubs. This is not the place for those looking for nightlife or a place to party, but for those looking to escape the crowds and relax.
The nearest international airport is Cancun (2-2.5 hours by car). Check with your hotel to see if they have shuttle transportation services, if not, there are a variety of options depending on your budget:
Private shuttles are easy, fast, direct and you know what you will pay upfront! Transfers-USA is an excellent option, you can see their rates by clicking on the logo below:
Taxi would be the fastest and most direct option, especially for those with small children, a lot of luggage, or with just a small amount of time to spare. It will also be the most expensive, and vary greatly depending on your negotiating skills.
If you love to explore, and do not mind the driving in Mexico, a car rental can be another great option. Prices will vary greatly depending on the length of time, size of car, negotiating skills, and insurance needs ($25-$50/day). Make sure you obey the speed limit, and if you see a police car, consider driving slightly below the speed limit as they will target foreigners. A great tip we learned was to keep some small bills ($20) in your pocket to give to the police officer when you get stopped- do not open your wallet full of cash!
ADO is the coach bus company that services Cancun airport to Tulum (roughly $16). You’ll need to change buses at the terminal downtown Playa del Carmen before heading to Tulum. There are lots of places to eat, including McDonalds, if you don’t want to wait until Tulum. You may also want to spend the night in Playa del Carmen before continuing on to Tulum.
If you’re up for the local transportation, these are the 12-15 passenger vans that transport the locals to and from their jobs at the large resorts along the highway, and from town to town. They are by far the most affordable transportation option. The vans are white with a green or red stripe down the side- just give them a wave so they stop for you. Make sure you have exact change as they don’t always have it on hand (Cancun to Tulum is roughly $5). These will also stop at the large resorts along the highway, if you don’t know where yours is, be sure to ask the driver to let you know when to get off, or you might miss your stop! These don’t always have much room for luggage, although they will try their best to accommodate you, it’s possible you might have to wait for the next one.
Some of our favorites include:
Activities for non-wind days
Cenote snorkelling or diving: Dos Ojos is close and easy for the whole family; there are also many other guided trips available.
Snorkelling: Akumal is a short car ride away and has easy snorkelling. Be sure to check out La Buena Vida Restaurant, it is on the beach, decorated in The Day of the Dead theme and the owner is a kitesurfer! If you are up for a day trip, Puerto Morelos has amazing snorkelling (it’s one of the top spots in the world). Best bet is hiring a boat to get out to the reef. Try and pick a calm day to go, or the waves and current can be tiring for older folks/children.
Surfing: Can paddle out and surf around the reef in Tulum. Waves are generally small.
Turtle Watching: If your timing is right, you just might be able to see the sea turtles nesting and hatching- May through October.
Eco Tours: There are a number of different tours in the area with lots of plants and animals to see.
**all of the other typical ocean/beach/hot weather activities can be found around Tulum (volleyball, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, bodyboarding, SUP, golf, biking etc.) but if you’re into boating or jet skiing it’s not the place for you, as motorboats are banned in this area.**
If you have any questions about Tulum or the Mayan Rivera area, we would be pleased to answer any of your questions. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable trip!
To look stunning while you are in Tulum, do not forget to check out Makani Dream Swimwear! Visit us at http://www.makanidreamswimwear.com