Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Americas > Mexico
Reload this Page >

Cancun vs. Tulum- family of 4

Cancun vs. Tulum- family of 4

Old Aug 16, 18, 10:29 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: RDU
Programs: AA CK
Posts: 1,788
Cancun vs. Tulum- family of 4

Hi all- Family of 4 (kids 12 and 13) with tickets to Cancun on hold for January for a 5 day/4 night trip. We're a fairly intrepid family and have driven in many places in the world, but also know there's growing (albeit small) security concerns now in that part of Mexico.

Here's what we're looking for:
- beachside resort
- activities for kids... note... we do not want a 1,000 room all-inclusive. Been there/done that, and not looking for that kind of trip
- 1-2 mornings diving
- 1/2-day to a full day visiting the Tulum ruins
- Access to local restaurants (vs. eating all meals at a resort)

We are considering 2 options:
1) Staying in Cancun (and using local dive shops) and taking private transport for day trip to Tulum ruins
2) Staying in Tulum (using dive shop there)

So looking for some help on options for a medium-size luxury resort (fewer than 300-400 rooms, price under $600/night).

In terms of safety and getting to town, what's the current views on renting a car? Personally would feel safer with a driver. What about getting the 3 miles from the Tulum resorts (if that's where we choose to stay) into town for meals?

Thanks in advance.
dave_261 is offline  
Old Aug 16, 18, 12:17 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,869
Another option?
We just stayed in the "Mayan Riviera" which is south of Cancun and north of Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.
There are a ton of resorts. We stayed at the Fairmont Myakoba resort, very nice. But there are quite a few new resorts in a range of prices near there. Closer to Tulum and other interesting sites than than Cancun would be. Closer to Cozulem dive sites out of Playa Del Carmen.
Just a thought.
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Aug 16, 18, 8:35 pm
  #3  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,581
Opinion:

Cancun diving is crap diving - very used up spur and groove swept by nearly continuous current. IMO there’s better diving out of the Akumal area, on Isla Mujeres, and if course in Cozumel.

For experienced divers, I’d recommend a day of guided cenote (cavern) diving with an outfit like Aquatech - Villas de Rosa. (One can e en stay there and rent a suite with kitchen, and there are other places to stay in the vicinity.) It’s about 20 minutes from Tulum. Or, Scuba Tulum gets good recommendations for cenote diving too.

And better than Tulum might be Cobá. Actually, a day trip encompassing Cobá (first, earlier in the morning, with a look at the crocodiles in the nearby pond) and Tulúm (with nearby beach and snorkeling) might be nice.

I’d recommend checking Trip Advisor for some reviews of places to stay.
Attached Images  

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 16, 18 at 8:47 pm
JDiver is offline  
Old Aug 16, 18, 11:19 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jupiter, FL
Programs: DL PM, Starwood Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Hilton Silver
Posts: 16,869
Crocodiles in Coba????? Dammit, we stopped there at the end of a very long hot day. Wish we would have known about the crocs. Coba was cool. Pay the guys to pedal you to the main pyramid though.
pbiflyer is offline  
Old Aug 18, 18, 1:19 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 22
I also recommend Tulum and its cenotes for diving. It is better than Cancun diving.
Yoshi212 likes this.
vfland63 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 18, 2:43 pm
  #6  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,581
Originally Posted by pbiflyer View Post
Crocodiles in Coba????? Dammit, we stopped there at the end of a very long hot day. Wish we would have known about the crocs. Coba was cool. Pay the guys to pedal you to the main pyramid though.
Just passing the Cobá site on your left, you’ll see a lagoon. It is home to a goodly number of Morelet’s crocodiles (these live in brackish water, but can be found in sweet and salt water, and can occasionally be spotted cruising the beaches in Tulúm or even Cozumel). Morelet’s crocodiles don’t grow as large as the American crocodiles you can see in Panamá etc. (Tárcoles River in Costa Rica is pribably the most common place for seeing very large - 12 feet and longer - crocs.)

There’s also a decent restaurant nearby, which has good vegetarian dishes too, named “El Cocodrilo”.
JDiver is offline  
Old Aug 18, 18, 3:41 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: BNA (Nashville)
Programs: HH Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,412
Another option:

We rented a house just north of Tulum (on the little peninsula north of Dreams Tulum). There were five of us (2 teenagers). The house had four bedrooms each with their own private bath. The rooms had AC, the main house was mostly inside/outside. There was a huge rooftop sitting area where we watched the stars every night. It had a plunge pool and was on the water. The water was good for snorkeling, but no beach right there. There was a cenote in the neighborhood where you could swim for a couple of bucks. The neighborhood had a guard limiting access and was full of resorts and high end homes.

The house came with a couple who cooked your meals and cleaned. We set up a menu and had breakfast each morning and dinner several nights there.

We enjoyed a local burger joint for lunch in walking distance. Or we would go to the fun beach clubs in Tulum (like the Zebra) and have a nice lunch with some fun mixed drinks and swim in the ocean. We had a rental car and got up early one morning to get to Chichen Itza when it opened at 8 AM. We hired a great guide who had us out of there before the first Cancun tour bus showed up at 11:30. Another day, we toured the Tulum ruins.

We never felt unsafe driving. We stopped at a huge grocery store in Playa Del Carmen before getting to Tulum for supplies. But we also hit the grocery store in downtown Tulum a couple of times. Never really felt uncomfortable driving at any time. I think there is a bypass around Playa del Carmen, but we drove through town because we were looking for a specific place to eat, but never found it.
bitterproffit is offline  
Old Aug 23, 18, 11:40 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: London
Posts: 517
It's worth keeping an eye on the sargassum (seaweed) problem on the entire Yucatan peninsular. It was bad this summer - and no matter how hard the locals worked, the east-facing beaches were never completely clear, covered again with the morning tide, and a no-go in the morning whilst clearing efforts started again. Isla Mujeres was unaffected due to the west-facing beaches, I suspect Cozumel might have been in the same boat.

Wherever you stay though - the Tulum cenotes are indeed a must.
SwissBritMiss is offline  
Old Aug 24, 18, 9:41 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 22
I agree with #8 . Tulum has this sargassum problem for the moment. If you don&#8 217;t mind staying with this condition, you can still enjoy the ruins and cenotes. Now, if you prefer changing your destination, Isla Mujeres and Holbox are unaffected.
vfland63 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 18, 12:51 pm
  #10  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 61,581
Cozumel is good for divers, but not so good for beaches. Most of Coz is “iron shore” with sharp rocky shorelines. The ocean-facing beaches are distant and often unsafe, and the few actual beaches on the channel side are hugely crowded with day tripping cruisers.

Isla Mujeres is a bit more self-contained and quieter than Cancun or the Costa Maya, but has lots to offer.
JDiver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread