I headed to Valladolid from Tulum, about an hour and a half drive on the 180. I had previously read that taking the 180 would be risky but found it was not at all that bad of a drive. In fact it was pretty cool and the most convinient direct route from Tulum. We drove through several small towns with lots of side street vendors selling pottery, masks, and hand woven goods. I do however, highly recommend leaving early enough so that you don’t get stuck driving through the dark. Although I unintentionally ended up driving through the dark 30-40 minutes in, I made it just fine. Give yourself more than the hour and a half to drive through so you can stop off and wonder around the quaint little towns.
Places to Stay/Sleep: Hotel 41 Valladolid $30.98/n for this price there are no complaints. This location was selected because it was convenient for our path from Tulum (our way in), Cancun (our way out), and the site seeing activities to Chitchen Itza, and Cenotes. LINKS: – AirBnB Link: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14313437?guests=1&adults=1
Tulum was my most favorited area for site seeing, beaches, food, shopping, and resting. They had it all! If you can, I highly recommend exploring the area by driving or biking around. There are beautiful murals all around town and so much to discover. I also recommend shopping outside of the touristy areas, you can find the same items with better deals when you drive away from the main strip.
Touristy Strip off Hwy 15 along the coast offers a modern line of chic boutiques and hotels. Ahau Tulum is a great place to stay if you have a higher end budget. Bungalows range from $100-$700 (depending on room type and season) . The Restaurant offers fresh local wellness foods, yummy smoothies and thirst quenching drinks. In addition, they offer daily yoga and sunrise mediation!
TIPS // DO’S & DON’TS: At present, travelers must press a button when passing through Customs, and those who get a green light are free to go. The unlucky minority who gets the red light have their bags searched. Tipping is about 10%. Cash is accepted but usually vendors will convert it at a lower rate and it really isn’t in your best interest. Always check what the currency conversions. It’s always best to bring cash (to avoid ATM and foreign fees) then convert it into pesos preferably outside of the airport and away from touristy areas. I used XE Currency iPhone app for currency conversion and for language translation I used Google Translate iPhone app. Hot water appeared to be a commodity out there so always check where you are staying to ensure they have hot water if that is something of importance to you. I personally didn’t mind since I went during the hotter part of the season. Yelp was pretty handy in finding places to eat. If you’re a U.S T-Mobile customer your phone usage remains the same at no additional cost. Therefore, phone calls, texting and data does not change from the current plan you are associated to. Unfortunately, this is not the case for AT&T customers. I set roaming off and only used my phone when in the presence of wifi. I typically rent cars wherever I travel but I take caution. I like to get a feel of where I am prior to making a decision but since I’ve been to Mexico multiple times and from Los Angeles, I know I can handle it. It’s always best practice to get full coverage rental insurance but it did cost a whopping $334.16 while the car rental itself was only $68.40 for 7 days. That’s where they get ya! I purchased my car rental and round trip flight through Expedia but found that the car rental insurance they allowed me to purchase didn’t actually cover me in Mexico. So why did they offer insurance? Beats me! With that said always double check the actual coverage prior to making a purchase. I’ve recently been having some really bad experiences with Expedia and may decide to cut ties with them soon. If you have a car you have the freedom to roam around and explore therefore, no need for a tour guide its cheaper to go straightaway to the places you want to see and for the things you want to do. Safe travels ✌️