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26 Reasons You’re About To Add Tulum, Mexico, To Your Bucket List

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So, Tulum, heard of it?

It’s a tiny municipality on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsul

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A few miles from Cancun, but a world away.

Oh, and it’s also a bonafide tropical paradise.

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M Sweet Productions / Getty Images

Hashtag: lush

But hey, tropical paradises, they’re ten a penny these days. What makes Tulum so special?

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Tetra Images / Getty Images

Well, let us show you!

1. It’s only an ancient Mayan Coastal Fortress city (and you don’t see those every day).

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De Agostini/C. Sappa / Getty Images

Originally a seaport, Tulum is the only Mayan city built on the coast, making for some amazing natural architecture.

2. There are some truly breathtaking vistas.original-18780-1431427983-3

Christian Córdova (CC By http://2.0) / Via Flickr: ccordova

It’s one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans, and one of the best preserved remains of the civilisation.

3. It definitely doesn’t need any retouching.

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Picture-perfect and postcard-ready.

4. (Although it does go well with a nice filter.)

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elvira box photography / Getty Images

This could be your back yard, literally.

5. Tulum’s all natural, baby.

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Macduff Everton / Getty Images

El Castillo in Tulum sits on a cliff above the Caribbean Sea.

6. Which makes for some incredible natural wonders, like these cavernous cenotes.

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Reinhard Dirscherl / Getty Images

If it’s visual drama you like, Tulum has it in spades, with every path offering new adventure.

7. Cenotes are natural freshwater swimming holes formed by collapsing limestone bedrock.

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Jens Kuhfs / Getty Images

For the brave, it’s a secret subterranean world waiting to be explored.

8. There’s the world’s largest natural acquarium: Xel-Ha

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Drew And Merissa (CC By http://2.0) / Via Flickr: drewandmerissa

Mayan for “where the water is born”, this amazing water park is just over this 80ft floating bridge. Entry gets you all-inclusive access, including food and drink at all the restaurants, bars, and buffets, plus snorkelling, zip-lining, cliff jumping, bike hire… The list is endless!

9. Its hidden beach is well worth finding too.

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obert Pittman (CC By-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 50144889@N08

Not too far from the Lazy River, which is as blissful as it sounds!

10. Tulum even has its own shipwreck.

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Jens Kufhs / Getty Images

Located just 60 feet from the shore and just one of the many excellent snorkelling waters in Tulum. And if that doesn’t satisfy an explorer’s appetite, then just a short drive down the coast is the town of Akumal and the legendary wreck of the Matanceros.

11. The locals? They’re super friendly.

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Holger Leue / Getty Images

If nature’s your thing, then step right in.

12. There’s a whole range of colourful characters

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Alan Shapiro / Getty Images

As well as these can’t-miss flamingos, the Tulum jungle is home to exotic birds including the squawking Chachalacas, which will give you a hearty wake-up call.

13. Tulum has both modern art….

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Peyri Herrera (CC By ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: peyri

Beautifully detailed graphics like this are dotted all over town, each with their own story.

14. …and ancient art at the Temple of Frescoes

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The “Templo de las Pinturas” is home to a number of murals that provide a unique insight into an ancient civilisation. The centrepiece of the temple is a painting divided into three distinct layers: the underworld, the living, and the heavens.

15. It’ll make you wonder why history was never this interesting in school.

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GorissenM (CC By-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: 71963413@N06

Naturally, we would pray to Xaman Ek, the Mayan God of Travellers!

16. You’ll find what it means to have an authentic Mexican mojito.

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Paul Simpson (CC By-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: monkeygrimace

People travel the world over to try Alberto Marango’s legendary mojitos at Batey’s. Made with hand-pressed sugar cane and set to a live Latino soundtrack.

17. And you’ll soon realise you’ve been doing Mexican food all wrong.

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Peyri Herrera (CC By-ND http://2.0) / Via Flickr: peyri

Our tip is Mateo’s: Tex-Mex comfort food where you’ll be greeted like an old friend.

18. You never knew coconuts could be so good

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Christine Rondeau (CC by http://2.0) / Via Flickr: crondeau

Or looked like that. Did you know they looked like that?

19. And we haven’t even told you about the seafood.

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Los viajes del Cangrejo (CC By http://2.0) / Via Flickr: viajescangrejo

The locals of Tulum know that good things come to those who wait, especially those waiting to sample the delights of Chef Jose Reinaldo at the El Camello seafood restaurant.

20. In fact, everywhere feels like you’re on the end of some famous family recipe.

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Steven Zwerink (CC By-SA http://2.0) / Via Flickr: stevenzwerink

Need another recommendation? Try the Ki’Bok Cafe, where it seems like the entire town stops by!

21. Did we mention Tulum’s “Muy Fuerte” Margaritas?

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Margarette Mead / Getty Images

That’s very strong! And you’ll find them at the ¡Que Fresco! restaurant beachfront on Tulum Beach Road.

22. You’ll be pleased to know the locals adopt a liberal approach to happy hour too.

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Cultura Travel/Kate Balls / Getty Images

So best to enjoy one (or two) with your feet up.

23. And when it’s time to come home, you won’t leave with “tat”.

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Teresa Arévalo / Design Pics / Getty Images

La Casita de Xaman in particular is a real hidden gem. Find it on Tulum beach near Mateo’s but careful – as if you blink, you could miss it!

24. It’s just fitting it all in your suitcase that’s the problem.

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Darcy G. Varney / Getty Images

The artisans of Tulum use Mexican techniques like openwork weaving crochet and macramé to craft some truly unique pieces at very fair prices.

25. All said, Tulum has it all.enhanced-buzz-wide-17728-1430321878-35

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Great views, great food, great beaches, and great people.

26. So, the only question left is… When should we expect you?

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Roderick Chen / Getty Images
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