The main reason I travelled to Tulum was to see cenotes, which are natural swimming holes that the Mayans believed to be portals to the gods. And after seeing them, I couldn't help but agree that with such immense beauty there was something truly magical about them.
The first cenote I went to was Dos Ojos Cenote. This cenote had a more expensive entrance fee than others, and was about $30 USD and provided access to all three cenotes in Dos Ojos as well as snorkeling gear. The water was incredible and as my first cenote, it did not disappoint! Tip for Tulum: don't wear sunscreen in the cenotes. They are relatively shaded because they are holes in the ground, and the ingredients of sunscreen are harmful to the cenote's microbiome.
The next cenote I visited was Gran Cenote which was about $9 to enter. I spent the morning swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear blue water, and then headed to Tulum beach in the afternoon. The beach is actually surprisingly far from the main town, which was something I didn't know prior to coming. You have to take a bus to get to the beach, which takes some guidance from local people but is easy once you know how. Another option is to rent a bike.
Tulum is a slow moving town and a great destination to come to if you just want to lounge all day long. I never felt bad about laying in a hammock at 3pm for a few hours and taking a nap. You'll find that everyone around you is doing the same!
I didn't have time to go to Tulum Ruins (due to all the naps) but would definitely recommend since it's easy to get to from Tulum Beach. Luckily I had the chance to see Chichen Itza, which was incredible. I booked a ticket through a tourist place on the main road in Tulum (they're everywhere so just choose one) and it took about 3 hours to get there. It's super hot and little to no shade, so wear sunscreen and a hat!
La Negrita Hostel
This hostel was actually a highlight to my trip because of all the amazing people I met there. It was a great location, a welcoming and warm atmosphere with tourists from all over the world, and provided a homecooked breakfast every morning.
Tulum is a town full of amazing food. I would go back just to have tacos again or a vegetarian burrito.
Burrito Amor was a burrito spot right next to my hostel that had amazing vegetarian burritos for only a few dollars.
Antojitos La Chiapaneca was another amazing restaurant and a must for anyone looking for an authentic mexican meal. With a constant line outside, these tacos are incredible and cheap! They even had vegetarian options.
Another favorite spot in Tulum was Matcha Mama. A very "Instagrammable" spot in Tulum but actually has really great smoothies.