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Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Melbourne, Australia
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Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

My fiancé and I are heading to Mexico for 2 weeks in April 2014 and can't decide how to split our trip up between Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

I like the beaches in Cancun but won't be going clubbing at night and wonder what else the night life offers?

The towns of Playa and Tulum seem cool but can anyone recommend a nice affordable beach front accommodation?

Edited: 6:53 pm, January 06, 2014
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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43,855 posts
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1. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

Tulum beaches are the best - why bother with Cancum

Spend 1/2 the time in Playa and the other half at Tulum

What's your budget. Hotel, or AI

April is still spring break and the Easter weekend - gets crowded/ $$$

I know some places on Tulum Beach are already sold out for April / May so start pricing them out

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2. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

I'm with Van....

Skip Cancun and possibly Playa as well. Playa is just way to busy for me. But if I would go back and stay in Playa I would rent a condo in Xaman Ha complex again. It's only 3 buildings south of the Cozumel ferry for day trips. Easy exit to the 307 to head further south towards to Tulum.

Easter weekend and the week after is major busy with the Mexican families vacationing.

As Van mentioned, best be getting your place booked.

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

If you're staying 2 weeks, you are better off splitting your time between playa and Tulum. The beaches are nicer and you can get a taste of the nightlife in PdC before heading down to Tulum to unwind.

The beach in Tulum is better than any you will find along the Yucatan peninsula. You are in the tail end of the high season so prices will still be high but there are loads of options located directly on the beach. The main question is what kind of lodging are you looking for? There are quaint rustic cabana hotels with little or no electricity, boutique hotels that offer a few more amenities or more luxury oriented properties with private splash pools, rooftop terraces,etc.

Some favorites of ours are Nueva Vida de Ramiro... a large property with 30 lovely bungalows offering privacy & a great stretch of beach, cabanas Tulum and The Beach Tulum which offer A/C off it's desired by you, La Zebra...a fun, colorful beachfront hotel with about 16 unique thatch_roofed suites, Mestizo, Las Ranitas and Playa Azul to name just a few.

If you can let us know what you want in a room---I.e. electricity? Air-conditioning? Beach level room our a second floor one, private or a bit more lively, etc, I'm sure we could point you towards a few more specific locations :)

Also look on this site, the rankings of the top 72 hotels in Tulum it's a good place to start and there are some great reviews.

Melbourne, Australia
2 posts
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4. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

Thanks for the advice everyone. We have going to do 5 nights in Cancun, 3 nights in Playa, and 4 in Tulum. We are thinking of staying at Gran Caribe Real in Cancun, and also want beach front hotel accom in Playa and Tulum - any suggestion? budget is about 200-300 per night.

Edited: 6:32 pm, January 08, 2014
Napa Valley, CA
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5. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

Not familiar with Playa but just booked a few night at Ahau Tulum Hotel. Very good reviews here on Trip Ad. if you put Ahau Tulum in the search bar at the top of this page. Gets great reviews, fantastic beach near lots of beach restaurants, and has AC at night. Not all inclusive but Tulum does not really do AI. Very nice beachfront rooms in your budget. Also look into Cabanas Tulum and The Beach Tulum. Both of those get consistently good reviews. I too would personally skip Playa and maybe Cancun. Tulum is much more authentic and away from the hoards of tourists.

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6. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

I love Tulum, probably more than any other place I've ever been, I hope you love it too. 4 nights will be a good start & will probably get you hooked. I suggest you read up on the reviews here and elsewhere to get an idea of what to expect & to help you decide what you are looking for. We have visited OM & stayed at Cabanas Tulum and really like that area of the beach, but we were really drawn to the farther south area so are staying at Rosa del Viento this time. Lots of great places all along the beach if small (some are just a handful of cabanas) minimal accommodations are ok with you. No AI down there, but lots of options for great restaurants & beach clubs all along the beach.

I have been through Cancun to pick up a car rental & I'm not sure I would ever want to stay there. The giant resorts side by side just seem overwhelming to me. Almost reminded me of Las Vegas if the hotels where up on a hill and not straight on the strip, lol. But I do love Vegas, so maybe I'll try Cancun one day, but probably not. We have stayed in an AI for 1 week of our vacation each of the 3 times we've been to Riviera Maya, but in the Puerto Morelos area, we don't do the club scene at all (we're a bit mature for that). We choose smaller almost boutique AI's.

PDC is fun! I loved dining out at the different restaurants (great bars & restaurants) and walking 5th Avenue every night. I would not do an AI there unless it was dirt cheap to cover my breakfast, lunch & daytime beverages. Check out the PDC forum for better suggestions and information, but I will say that they have a lot of great condos & small hotels there. Some are beachfront, & many are just steps to the beach.

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Tulum
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7. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

Another vote for ditching Cancun, but up to you. If your budget of $200-$300/night is just for accomodation, you should be OK; if it's for room and food, let us know as that will shift things a bit depending on how you like to eat/drink.

Even assuming it's just for accomodation, please let us know the dates you'll be in Tulum. Easter is April 20 this year, and the week before and after Easter are two of the busiest weeks of the year on the Mexico beaches. If you'll be down there during that time frame, you should be booking your accomodations now and maybe already be shut out on some of the more popular places.

8. Re: Cancun, Playa and Tulum.

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