Take a dip at Playa Paraiso

Travel south along the road to Boca Paila and you?ll find Playa Paraiso, or ?Paradise Beach.? They’re not kidding about the name, so sit back on the white sand and relax in crystal clear water. There are change rooms and lockers if you need to store your street clothes, plus a restaurant and several food vendors if you want snacks or a drink during the day. As an added bonus, parking and beach access are both free. The nearby El Paraiso Hotel has a 24/7 Playa Paraiso webcam feed for when you need to daydream again.

Photo courtesy Meritzo/Alamy


Nosh on tacos at Antojitos La Chiapaneca

Visit Antojitos La Chiapaneca to fill up on the bestal pastor pork tacos in all of Tulum. These delicious tacos are handmade right in front of you and start at just seven pesos?that?s about 52 cents. And if you’re a picky eater, no fear?there’s a “salsa bar” where you can choose your own amounts of cilantro, salsa, and hot sauce.

Photo by Mike Herman


Explore the Cenotes Sac Actun caves

Escape the tourists and go snorkeling in Cenotes Sac Actun (White Cave System), an underwater cave that you can swim into with a guide. Thanks to the shallow, clear water, you?ll truly be able to appreciate the views of the stalactites and stalagmites. There are also two fresh-water snorkeling sites in the cave complex, but watch out for one surprising feature: a few bats flying around while you?re inside.

Photo courtesy Age fotostock Spain, S.L./Alamy


Learn about history at Tulum’s Mayan ruins

Tulum, situated on 39-foot-high cliffs overlooking the sea, began as a Mayan city and fortress?in fact, “Tulum” is a Maya word that meant “wall” or “fence.” If you want to soak up history as well as the sun, explore the well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins alongside the coast. Come early?before the tour buses arrive?to avoid crowds.

Photo courtesy Dea/W.Buss/De Agostini/Getty Images


Eat fresh ceviche at El Camello

El Camello is a favorite of both tourists and locals thanks to its variety of fresh, tasty seafood dishes. The highlight is the mixed ceviche, which includes shrimp, fish, and octopus, but you can also get your fish fried or in tacos. El Camello accepts both dollars and pesos if you haven’t had a chance to change your money yet.

Photo by Mike Herman