A day in Tulum for less than $50 USD!

By: Mario Ceballos | Published: 5/30/2022 | 5 Mins

Spend less than $50 USD in Tulum and enjoy a fulfilling experience!

Hi Questers, I'm Mario, and today I'm going to tell you how I spent an amazing day in Tulum, with only 50 USD.

The Mexican Caribbean is one of Latin America's most popular tourist destinations, offering a wide range of activities. If you're looking for a vacation experience different from what you'd find in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, keep reading to learn about another fantastic destination you can visit with your GlobeQuest membership.


This city was originally known by its Mayan name "Zamá" (meaning morning or dawn) centuries ago. Due to its strategic coastal location, Zamá were an important city and an essential stopover for Mayan trade routes.

The city had walls ranging in height from 3 to 5 meters, which protected it from looters and attackers, and it also featured a lighthouse that guided boats safely to the mainland.

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Aerial view of Tulum's archaeological site

You will notice right away that the majority of Tulum's lodging options are infused with all of the wonderful mysticism of the ancient Mayan culture, all the way up to the Tulum we know today. Most hotels blend seamlessly with the surrounding jungle and can be as lavish or rustic as you like.

As I mentioned before, Tulum offers activities for all types of visitors, from jungle nightclubs to spas, museums, and archaeological relics, where wellness tourism stands out, emphasizing eco-sustainable awareness and the consumption of locally handcrafted products.

Breakfast - "El Milagrito"

Since this restaurant-bar is made out of wood, it captures the eco-chic vibe that is so typical of Tulum. With beautiful and scenic decor, you can find Mexican breakfasts, burgers, tacos, seafood, and grilled meat during the day and delicious cocktails during the night for a different experience.

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
El Milagrito Restaurant in Tulum, Mexico

As a fan of chilaquiles, I couldn't pass up the chance to try "El Milagrito's" version. My buddies accompanied me on this occasion, and we all found something tasty to order. I began my day with a cup of American coffee ($1.76), red chilaquiles with hanger steak ($8.55), and a glass of passion fruit water ($2.50). I have to confess that I couldn't resist trying some chilaquiles before photographing them; they were amazing! All portions and quantities were perfect, and the service was also outstanding.

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Chilaquiles in Tulum, Mexico

Aside from being made of wood, this establishment has a high palapa that allows you to stay cool while eating, so extra points for that.

After having breakfast, we proceeded on our journey, looking for a cenote to swim in and cool off. We happened onto a fantastic spot that was completely off the radar for most tourists and that I'm sure you'll love!

Yal-Kú Lagoon

Yal-Kú Lagoon near Akumal is a living testimony of the Riviera Maya's hidden treasures. This little cove, where freshwater waters meet the salty Caribbean Sea, offers spectacular views, colorful fish, and one of the most stunning settings on the southeast Mexican coast.

The lagoon's average depth is 3 meters, and since it's a lagoon, there are close to no strong currents, making it an excellent choice for inexperienced swimmers. You can, however, rent life jackets to make your visit more relaxing.

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Yal Kú Lagoon near Tulum, Mexico

You will be able to distinguish different colors in the water depending on the weather and sunlight: from vivid turquoise blue to magnificent emerald green. While exploring the enticing crystal-clear waters, you may appreciate the life hidden in the mangrove roots, birds in their habitat, and a wide variety of fish in a location where two ecosystems meet. It is also well-known for being a nesting site for sea turtles!

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Colorful fish in Yal Kú, Mexico

As it's a nature preservation zone, no sunscreen, food, or beverages are permitted. Also, the daily number of visitors is restricted, so you must arrange ahead of time to ensure a spot.

Yal-Kú is located in Akumal, a small town about 20 miles from Tulum. Getting to Yal-Kú from Tulum takes around 30 minutes, and from Playa del Carmen, about 40 minutes, depending on traffic.

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Map of Tulum and Yal Kú

Check their rates here:

Adult: ($14)
Life jacket: ($5)

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Admission rates in Ya Kú, Mexico

Lunch - "El Camello Jr."

After a relaxing and rigorous swim session, we decided to look for something fresh to "recharge our batteries." Fortunately, "El Camello Jr.", one of the most well-known (and busiest) seafood restaurants in Tulum, had a table available for my friends and me!

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
El Camello Jr. Restaurant in Tulum, Mexico

This restaurant features an extensive seafood menu made with freshly-captured and local ingredients. Here you will find ceviches, drinks, fish fillets, salads, and whole-fish dishes. Portions are pretty generous, enough for two persons to share a plate.

I ordered two beers ($4.71) and medium-sized shrimp ceviche with fish ($12.19). I have to tell you that it was one of the best ceviches I've ever had, and it proved to be quite challenging too because I ate so much that I felt satisfied for the rest of the day!

Tulum | GlobeQuest Blog
Ceviche in Tulum, Mexico

At the end of the day, we arrived at our hotel quite exhausted, but with amazing memories of this fantastic day that we will never forget.

If you were closely keeping track of what I paid throughout the day, you would notice that in this area of the Riviera Maya, you can indeed do a lot for less than $50 USD! So if you want to live a unique experience on a restricted budget, I recommend that you visit everything that Tulum and its surroundings have to offer.

If you're a GlobeQuest member and want to plan a trip to Tulum, you can take advantage of your Worldwide Benefits to book a hotel stay, flights, and much more!

Call our Member Services Department for more information:
USA/CAN - 1-877-610-6300
MEX - 800-681-1572

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