New Blog! 

Hi followers and friends! 

I just wanted to let you all know that I have moved my blog over to the address and will slowly be re-writing, expanding and sharing content from this blog, Simply Travel, while also adding lots of new and exciting content from my past and current travels! 

I hope you take the time to join me over at my new blog as I will no longer be posting updates and new posts at this address. 

Let me know what you think of my blog design, my content and remember to signup for my weekly email newsletter with the latest posts and follow me on social media! 

I hope to see you over at

Thanks for reading. 


Why I’m Going Back to Mexico – The Plans for my Second Solo Trip (2)

If you follow me on social media, you will probably already know that I am embarking on my second solo trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and I am leaving tomorrow morning! I previously visited the Yucatan only six months ago in May of 2015 for my first solo trip ever.

In the weeks leading up to my trip, various comments by people that I know, have been made to me about me traveling solo in Mexico, including the following:

“I hope you come back alive…”

“You are crazy.”

“Isn’t Mexico really dangerous? What about the drug cartels and gangs?”

It’s difficult to let these types of comments just roll off my back. I definitely find myself internalizing some of the fear behind these comments, which leads to me feeling a little nervous and to having doubts about my abilities to travel solo.

I have to keep reminding myself that other people are projecting their own fears and insecurities onto me, but I have a choice whether or not to adopt their beliefs as my own. I also have to remind myself that the people making such comments about my travels, have either a) never traveled to Mexico or b) only get their information about a country’s safety from the mainstream media (which tends to sensationalize violent and rare incidents and then make sweeping generalizations that such incidents mean that the entire country too dangerous to travel to). If our only source of travel safety information is the mainstream media and the government travel advisories, we would probably never desire to leave the comfort of our houses.

I also have to remind myself that what I am doing is not something that many people have the opportunity or desire to do. The fact that I am able to face my fears, break down the barriers and overcome my anxieties and the other challenges (ie. introversion) to traveling solo, is something that not many people do. And I think that’s pretty awesome that I am able to do those things.

I sometimes think to myself, “What if the success I had during my first trip was just a lucky fluke? What if I don’t meet any other travelers I can connect with? What if I get lonely and have to do everything by myself?”

It’s a battle in my mind sometimes between the rational side of my brain and the emotional side. My rational side researches everything possible about my destination – reading countless travel blogs and forums and reaching out to fellow bloggers and asking for their advice. But my emotional side thinks about the worst case scenarios and the doubts.

But I have to remember that I have traveled solo in Mexico once before and I know and believe that I am capable of doing it again.

Even in knowing and believing this, I have still experienced some anxiety and worry about my upcoming travels, as I do any time I step outside of my comfort zone and into the unknown. I have to learn to accept that there are many unknowns and uncertainties and that I cannot be in control of everything, but remember that God is in control.

I tend to over-plan everything in my life, so naturally, I have been spending all of my spare time lately researching and planning my travels in great detail. Of course, I also leave lots of room for relaxation and spontaneity and don’t plan everything down to the day.

Researching everything about my trip in detail is one thing that I do before traveling that helps me to feel prepared because I have a lot of knowledge about my destination. In turn, feeling prepared helps to increase my confidence and lessen the anxiety that I may have.

So getting back to the focus of this post…

Since I’ve been to Mexico before (6 months ago), you might be asking yourself, why would I go back so soon? 

In short, I have completely fallen in love with Mexico as a country. From the vibrant culture, to the delicious variety of food, to the Spanish language, to the gorgeous natural beauty (jungles, cenotes), to the impressive and detailed ruins from the ancient Maya civilization, and the warmth, kindness and generosity of the local people.

Mexico is such a vast country with a huge variety of landscapes and things to see, do and experience.

During this trip, I want to focus on exploring some my favourite places in-depth while also getting off the beaten path to discover more favourites and local hidden gems.

I am very excited to be going back to Mexico! I will be re-visiting three places that I went to during my last trip (Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Valladolid) as well as exploring three new places (Merida, the Puuc Route/Santa Elena and Campeche).

As my departure date has been getting closer and closer, I have been experiencing a mixed bag of emotions, from feeling excited, fearless and empowered to anxious, worried and fearful. Some days, I experience a range of all these emotions.

Even though I have traveled solo once before in Mexico, doesn’t mean I am immune to fear, anxiety and nervousness. It’s something that I have to deal with and overcome every time I travel.

As an introvert, traveling solo is definitely stepping wayyy outside of my comfort zone. Challenging myself in unknown territory is definitely difficult for me at times and it takes effort. I was so proud of myself for taking the leap and traveling solo for my first time to Mexico this past spring. Approaching complete strangers, meeting new people and making friends was surprisingly easier than I was expecting it to be and I met so many wonderful and interesting people – both fellow travelers and locals alike.

I learned a lot about myself, the Mexican culture and history, the Spanish language and other people, and gained so many valuable skills when I traveled in Mexico the first time. I became more independent, gained confidence in my abilities, became resourceful, learned how to handle a variety of challenging situations (learning Spanish on the go and dealing with the language barrier, navigating the public transport system, and finding my way around completely foreign places) and ultimately, felt so empowered that I had the opportunity to do something (travel solo) and experience such incredible beauty in our world, that many people do not have the opportunity to experience.

The purpose of my current trip is to hopefully discover more about myself, gain some clarity of my purpose and direction in life, travel deeper and explore more of Mexico (the colonial cities and towns, Mayan villages, cenotes and Mayan ruins), try new foods, and meet some amazing people who will maybe become lifelong friends.

I have been doing extensive travel research and planning for the past month or so now, and I have finally figured out my rough itinerary, so here it is:

November 12-15 – Tulum, Mexico.

November 15-18 – Valladolid, Mexico

November 18-22 – Merida, Mexico

November 23-24 – Santa Elena, Mexico

November 24-25 or 26th – Merida, Mexico

November 25 or 26th-28 – Campeche, Mexico

November 28-29 – Playa del Carmen, Mexico

I will not be writing any blog posts during this trip, but I will be writing comprehensive posts about the places I visited along with my stories and experiences after I return home.

If you are interested in following my journey in Mexico – the lessons I learn along the way, the challenges I face, the amazing natural beauty, the people I meet and the memorable experiences that I have – you can do so in a number of ways!

I will try my best to post photos daily on Instagram, summaries and photos from my day on Facebook, and random snippets of information, observations and thoughts along my travels on Twitter. I’ll be posting slightly different stuff on each platform, so you’ll get the full story if you follow me on all three!

I am so looking forward to meeting new friends, learning more about the Mexican culture, Mayan history and Spanish language, sampling some new foods, while exploring and experiencing the natural and ancient beauty of this wonderful and diverse country!

Adios amigos!

My Carry-On Packing List for 17 Days in Mexico

Carry-On Packing List

I am very excited to be heading back to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for 17 days (I leave bright and early tomorrow morning!), after 6 months of last being in the area. I will be traveling to Tulum, Valladolid, Merida, Campeche City and Playa del Carmen.

Even though I consider myself to be a minimalist, packing for travel always remains a challenge for me. I only first began packing a carry-on only earlier this year. Prior to that, I traveled with a huge suitcase and would pack it completely full of stuff. But after I returned home from my travels and unpacked my bags, I started to realize how little I actually used and needed.

So, on my first solo backpacking trip to Mexico this past May, I purchased a 48 litre backpack and a 12 litre daypack and challenged myself to pack lighter. This was the first time I packed carry-on luggage only and it was incredibly freeing! Physically, I had much less weight to carry around with me and it was so nice to be able to breeze through airports, bypassing the baggage drop-off and pick-up lines, while everyone else stood there… waiting.

On this current solo trip that I am about to take, I attempted to pack even less than what I did during my last trip. Even though I thought I had packed light last time, there was still stuff that I didn’t use or need! So during my packing, I took the time to really question every item that I wanted to pack, asking myself, “Do I really need this?” “Will I actually use this?” “Is this something I could buy relatively cheaply and relatively easily at my destination?” “Am I bringing this item solely for those ‘just-in-case’ scenarios?”

It took me a good chunk of the day (good thing it’s a Remembrance Day in Canada today, which means no work and more time to pack!) to finish packing but I think I am finally content with my list. It was a challenge and I know there is still going to be stuff that I don’t use or need, which is why I plan on writing a post when I return from Mexico, reflecting on my packing list – what worked, what didn’t and what I could do to improve for next time.

So now that I have finally finished packing, here is my complete packing list as I attempt to travel minimally for 17 days in Mexico, with only a 48L backpack and 12L daypack:

The Travel Gear:

48 Litre Gregory Cairn Women’s Backpack

12 Litre PacSafe Slingsafe 300 GII 

PacSafe Slingsafe 75 GII Purse

Liquids Bag (Under 100 ml):

My Liquids Toiletry Bag

My Liquids Toiletry Bag

Since I traveling with carry-on luggage only, all of my liquids must be 100 ml or less. I bought this Lewis N Clark Clear Plastic Toiletry Pouch from and it works great for holding my liquids! It is made from a thicker plastic that won’t rip or tear, which is great and better than using a Ziploc bag.

Sunscreen 30 SPF

Insect Repellent

Hand Sanitizer

Travel Toothpaste

Facial Moisturizing Lotion – with natural ingredients and homemade from a company in Winnipeg that I love, called Just The Goods

Bug Bite Allergy Stick

Essential Oils – I love this Pocket Pharmacy from Saje! Their essentials oils smell amazing, they are pure and they work very effectively for a variety of ailments.

GoToobs filled with organic shampoo and conditioner (I love the brand Andalou and I can usually find their products for cheap at Winners in Winnipeg)

Contact Lens Solution

Natural Roll-on Deodorant – from Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Medical and Toiletry Bag:

Medical and Toiletry Bag

Medical and Toiletry Bag

In this packing cube, I have the following:

Travel-sized Hair Brush

Diarrhea Relief Pills – when you’re eating street food and at local eateries in Mexico, you never really know how the food was cooked.

Ziploc Bag With Various Medications – Advil, Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, Sore Throat Lozenges, and Activated Charcoal

Emergen-C Vitamin C Powder – it is dissolved in water and is good for boosting your immune system to fight off colds

Wet Wipes – these hand and face wipes are a good alternative to washing your face at the end of the day.

Nail File – in case my nail clipper (not pictured) is found by airport security and confiscated

Q-Tips – gotta keep the ears clean!

Ear Plugs – to be able to get a good sleep if there are loud snorers in the hostel dorms


Pepto-Bismol – in case of heartburn, nausea, indigestion or diarrhea

Hydrocortisone Cream – for itchy bug bites

Concealer – this is the only makeup item that I am bringing with me. I prefer the natural look, but I brought this just in case I get a huge zit or something that I would like to cover up.

Travel Flashlight – for finding my way to the bathroom in the nighttime at hostels and for exploring cenotes and caves.

Allergy Relief Pills – I am allergic to mosquito bites (and probably other bug bites as well) and strong fragrances.

Hair Elastics – I don’t want my hair touching the back of my neck when it’s super hot outside.

Travel Toothbrush – this handy little toothbrush folds up into a case, to protect the bristles.

Razor (not pictured)

Nail Clipper (not pictured)

Day Pack:


Here are the contents of my day pack/personal item:

Two Anker External Chargers – these are great for charging my phone on-the-go.

Travel Power Strip To Go – electrical outlets are sometimes hard to come by in hostels, so this power strip allows you four outlets!

Eagle Creek Money Belt – this is where I keep my credit card, debit card, foreign currency and identification.

Tales of a Female Nomad (Novel) – I always bring one novel with me to read.

Travel Journal – I love writing and documenting what I did during each day, the weather, my thoughts and feelings, who I met, what I ate and how much money I spent. I bought this specific travel journal from Winners in Winnipeg.

Sunglasses – cheap pair from American Eagle

Lonely Planet Mexican Spanish Phrasebook – so I can attempt to communicate with the locals.

Cliff Bars and Kind Bars – for the plane and for general snacking in Mexico.

Contact Lenses and Case

Eyeglasses and Case (not pictured)

Travelon Packing Cube with Various Chargers, Cords and Combination Locks (for hostel dorm room lockers)


Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Just The Goods Lip Balm – natural, homemade and locally made in Winnipeg (my hometown)

Ear Planes – my eyes don’t pressurize on airplanes, so these handy earplugs help with that!




These are random items in my backpack that don’t fit into any packing cubes:

Rain Jacket

Travel Microfibre Towel

Sandals – I actually bought these the last time I was in Playa del Carmen because the flip flops that I had originally brought, gave me the worst blisters ever on my first day in Mexico!

TOM’s shoes

Reebok Athletic Shoes

Glasses Cleaning Cloth (not pictured)

Headband (not pictured) – to pull my bangs off of my forehead on hot days.




This packing cube contains the following:

Socks – four pairs

Underwear – 17 pairs (one pair for every day. I don’t plan on doing laundry!)

Bras – one sports bra and one regular black bra




Deciding what clothing to take is always the most difficult part of packing for me. I think I have finally figured it out, although I know for sure that I won’t wear all of this.

Three T-Shirts – one Reebok athletic shirt (moisture wicking) and two solid-coloured Polyester t-shirts from H&M

Three Tank Tops – one cotton from Dynamite and two athletic tanks (moisture wicking) from Winners

One Swim Suit – tankini top and boy short bottoms

One Pair of Black Leggings

One Pair of Pants – from Eddie Bauer, beige-coloured with lots of pockets and they roll up into longer capri pants

Two Pairs of Capri Pants – one black athletic pair and one black baggy pair from Lululemon

Pajama Bottoms and Top – pink tank top (not pictured) and grey sweatpant-like shorts

One Cardigan – grey button-up long sleeved from Garage Clothing

Two Pairs of Shorts – both athletic, one is black and the other is a dark blue

One Sweater – 3/4 length, baggy, solid burgundy-coloured from H&M

Travel Purse/Identification/Important Items:


Travel Purse/Important Items

My small PacSafe travel purse contains my most important and valuable items:

Canadian Passport

iPhone 5S

Canon Digital Camera

Foreign Currency – Mexican Pesos

Identification – driver’s license, debit card, credit card, birth certificate, insurance card, and provincial health card.

That’s everything I am packing for this trip! I am sure there will be items that I don’t use or need and will be writing a post when I return home, reflecting on my packing list.

What are some essential items that you have to pack when you travel? 

The Infinity Dreams Award

The Infinity Dreams Award

The Infinity Dreams Award is given from bloggers to bloggers and is a great way to learn about the writer behind the blog on a more personal level.

First of all, I would like to thank Gemma from Gemma Jane Adventures for nominating me for this award! I am honoured that you thought of me.

After being nominated for this award, the rules are that you have to share 11 facts about yourself and then answer the questions that the person who nominated you has asked you. You are then responsible for nominating 11 other bloggers and creating questions for them to answer.

11 Facts About Myself:

  1. I work full-time as an administrative assistant in a federal prison with minimum to maximum security male inmates (Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!)
  2. I graduated university with a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology
  3. My true passions are writing, traveling and finding new ways to further simplify my life
  4. I love cats and I refer to my cat Bella as my “fur baby.”
  5. I am an introvert and although I enjoy meeting new people, I need my alone time in order to recharge my internal energy
  6. I have a huge desire to travel to Guatemala – The natural beauty of the volcanoes, mountains, lakes and jungles is absolutely beautiful, the Mayan culture is prominent and fascinating, there are colourful colonial cities, and ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal are definitely at the top of the list.
  7. I have Celiac Disease, which basically means that I am allergic to gluten/wheat/flour.
  8. I enjoy living super frugally and simply in my daily life at home, so that I can save more money for travel and experiences.
  9. I love eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and try my best to find foods that are fresh, organic and local (where possible).
  10. I absolutely love researching and planning my future travels and adventures (I spend an insane amount of time doing this and it can get a bit obsessive).
  11. I am currently experiencing a quarter-life crisis and have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life, in terms of a job or career. There are just too many options and I have too many interests!

The Questions:

What trip/holiday has inspired you the most to travel more? 

My first solo trip to Mexico this past spring was such an amazing experience! I learned a lot about myself, met some really great people along the way, and it was empowering to know that I, as an introvert, was capable of traveling solo in a foreign country. Taking this trip has definitely sparked my wanderlust and has instilled a deep desire inside my heart to travel more.

What did you do before you went traveling/while you’re at home?

I am not a long term traveler, so I maintain a full-time job at home and travel as often as I can using my limited annual leave. I work as an administrative assistant at a federal prison.

What place would you like to go back to and why?

Honestly, I could go back to Mexico over and over again and probably never get sick of it. It’s such a huge and diverse country and there are so many interesting places to explore and experience. I absolutely love everything about it – the culture, food, people, cenotes, ruins and language.

What has scared you most while traveling?

I have never really been scared during my travels, but I tend to get anxious and fearful before I leave home. My brain likes to dwell on the worst case scenarios. In order to challenge these worries, I do very detailed research about my destination so that I feel prepared and knowledgeable. I also read the Bible to find comforting passages and pray to God for strength, peace and confidence during my travels.

If you could go on an all expenses trip somewhere, where would you choose and why?

I would probably choose Australia, because it’s one of the more expensive countries to travel to from Canada, but it would be a really awesome place to experience.

What food or drink do you miss most from home while you’re away?

I definitely miss my mom’s home cooked meals the most! Also, salads and healthy food, as I tend to not eat as healthy when I am traveling.

What is your favourite souvenir? 

I really buy many souvenirs when I travel, so my photos and memories of the experiences I had are probably one of my favourite “souvenirs.” I also keep all of my bus tickets, airline boarding passes and entrance tickets for attractions, which are great physical souvenirs.

If you could interview anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

That’s a tough question… There’s so many people I would love to chat with and interview. The person that comes to my mind right now would be Cheryl Strayed. I recently watched the movie (based on her novel) called “Wild,” and her story of strength and courage is so inspiring. I would love to know more.

What luxury travel item do you always pack?

I pack light and minimally and don’t bring anything too luxurious with me. My iPhone 5S is probably the most expensive item that I travel with. I use it for communicating with my family at home and taking photos on the road, so it’s definitely an essential item!

What’s one thing you’ve realized about yourself?

I sometimes feel like other people perceive me as shy and weak. But I have come to realize that I have a choice whether or not to accept other peoples’ perceptions as my own truths about myself. After traveling solo for my first time, I learned that I am much more outgoing, adaptable, confident, resourceful, capable and adventurous than I ever thought I was. It was empowering to learn this about myself and to start defining myself in this way, instead of accepting other peoples’ perceptions.

What impact would you like to have on others? 

I would love to inspire other people like me – introverted women who enjoy living simply and unconventionally – to overcome their fears and worries to pursue whatever they are passionate about and do what they love, regardless of how other people perceive them and regardless of the barriers that exist between them and their goal/dream.

My Nominees:

Shane from Sea Salt Secrets

Hannah from Traveller Hannah

Taylor from Taylor’s Tracks

Karlie from Miss Wanderlust

Jessica from Yucatantastic 

Lavi from Lavi Was Here

Rachel from Trailing Rachel

Mal from Mal’s Away

Elisabeth from Sidetracked Travel Blog

Mirna from The Mindful Gypsy

Hannah from Hep Cat Hannah

My Questions For You:

  1. What’s the biggest lesson that travel has taught you so far?
  2. What are a few of your best tips for how to save money to travel more often?
  3. Do you ever get scared or anxious before traveling and if so, what do you do that helps calm your nerves?
  4. Do you prefer to research and plan your travels beforehand or do you like to go with the flow and be spontaneous?
  5. Who or what first inspired you to start traveling?
  6. What is something that you love doing in your hometown, that only the locals know about?
  7. What is the most recent book you finished reading and what did you think of it?
  8. How many times do you travel in a year, and what is the length of your average trip?
  9. Do you write in a personal journal during your travels?
  10. Where are you planning on going for your next travels? When are you going?
  11. What has been your favourite city or country to visit so far, and why?

I look forward to reading your answers to these questions and to learning more about you all!

Thanks again to Gemma for nominating me for this award!

Budget-Friendly Accommodations in Tulum

Budget Accommodations Tulum

Tulum, Mexico is a small, laid-back Mexican town with a slow-paced atmosphere located in the Mayan Riviera along the Gulf of Mexico, approximately two hours south of Cancun.

The town of Tulum is a great place to stay to get a better feel for the local Mexican culture. There are also more authentic restaurants to choose from that serve traditional and cheap Mexican food. The town is becoming more touristy but is nowhere near the level of tourism that you will see in Playa del Carmen and Cancun. There are not too many crowds in Tulum, which I loved.

Tulum is the perfect place to relax and learn about the Mayan culture and history. The town is close to the gorgeous beach which can be reached via local colectivo shuttle van or taxi (5-10 minutes) or bicycle (25 minutes). The are an abundance of unique and beautiful cenotes surrounding the town. The ruins of Tulum, Coba and Muyil are also nearby, as is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.


Mama’s Home | Starting at $14 CAD per night

Calle Orion between Calle Venus and Sol Sur 

I stayed at Mama’s Home for four nights during my first solo travels in Mexico. It was an amazing hostel!

Mama’s Home is a hostel in a quiet local neighbourhood of Tulum, with a relaxing and laid-back yet social atmosphere. It is centrally located and is within short walking distance to local restaurants, shopping, pharmacies, grocery stores, and banks. The ADO bus terminal is approximately a 10 minute walk away, on the main avenue going through Tulum.

The hostel features a central outdoor courtyard surrounded by colourful and brightly painted walls with a variety of designs and patterns that is the perfect place for socializing with and meeting fellow travelers and also just relaxing in one of the hammocks along the side of the courtyard, unique decor, a communal kitchen and refrigerator for guests, super fast and free Wi-Fi, two guest computers, a book exchange, luggage storage, free breakfast (the breakfasts are elaborate, delicious and different every morning), super friendly and helpful staff with great tips and recommendations, a 20 peso discount on daily bike rentals from a local place in town, free maps of Tulum, and hot showers.

Jose, the owner of the hostel, organizes a variety of fun social activities and events that take place in the communal courtyard, as way for travelers to get to know each other, make friends and have fun. When I stayed there, there was a pina colada night and movie night. I participated in both and ended up meeting some great friends! There are also two adorable kittens that live at the hostel. They love to cuddle and play with you.

Mama’s Home offers a variety of rooms to choose from. There are spacious and air conditioned private rooms along with an air conditioned 6 bed mixed gender dormitory and a 10 bed open air mixed gender dormitory (with no air conditioning). The dorms have individual lockers to keep your belongings safe.

I have personal experience staying at this hostel (you can read my detailed review by clicking on this link) and can pretty much guarantee that you will not regret staying here!

View of the hostel from the street

View of the hostel from the street

Colourful walls in the courtyard

Colourful walls in the courtyard

Hostel courtyard with vines growing up the walls

Hostel courtyard with vines growing up the walls

The outdoor hostel courtyard

The outdoor hostel courtyard

The tables in the courtyard with a nice view of the beautiful murals and paintings on the walls

The tables in the courtyard with a nice view of the beautiful murals and paintings on the walls

TripAdvisor, HostelWorld, Facebook, Twitter 

Hostel Akadia Cultural Tulum | No price listed

Calle Sol Poniente Lote #5 between Calles Alfa and Jupiter (one block north of the main avenue, directly behind the ADO bus terminal)

Hostel Akadia Cultural is a relaxed hostel with a chill atmosphere, located in the town of Tulum.

The hostel features a large courtyard with a swimming pool. Other amenities include Wi-Fi, TV, lockers, equipped kitchen, music, bar, cooking classes, and an on-site restaurant.

Hostel Akadia offers private rooms, dorm rooms, camping and hammocks.

Official Website, TripAdvisor, Booking

Chill Inn Hostel | Starting at $15 CAD per night

Avenida Gama #47 between Calles Orion and Beta Sur 

The Chill Inn Hostel is a newer hostel with a relaxed atmosphere located in a quiet and safe neighbourhood in the town of Tulum, a 5 minute walk from the main avenue where you will find banks, restaurants, groceries, tour agencies and transportation. It is located within a 20 minute bike ride to the beach and Tulum ruins or a 5 minute taxi ride.

The hostel features a shared kitchen and common areas which are great for relaxing or socializing, free Wi-Fi and included breakfast.

The hostel offers four dorms with the choice of 4, 8 or 10 beds, all of them equipped with a full bathroom and shower. Each bed has an electrical outlet, comfortable mattress, reading light, fan, and security box, as well as fitted curtains so you can have some privacy.

Chill Inn Hostel

Chill Inn Hostel

HostelWorld, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Booking, Official Website

El Jardin de Frida | Starting at $

Avenida Tulum between Avenida Kukulkan and Chemuyil

El Jardin de Frida is an eco-cultural hostel built around a beautiful garden, located in a calm and quiet neighbourhood of Tulum. They use solar panels to generate 80% of their electricity. The hostel is centrally located on the main avenue in the town of Tulum, close (about a 10 minute walk) to the bus terminal, restaurants, attractions, banks and supermarkets.

The hostel features a large, beautiful and tranquil garden where you can find hammocks to relax, mango, banana, and avocado trees and be surrounded by nature. The hostel offers daily cleaning, hot water, linen included, luggage storage, tourist information, a communal kitchen, bar, free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, lockers, and a library.

There are both private rooms as well as a 7 bed mixed dormitory (shared). All of the rooms are spacious and clean and have fans. The private rooms have private bathrooms and a small terrace facing the jungle. The dorms have a full bathroom ensuite and single beds (not bunk beds).

El Jardin de Frida

HostelWorld, TripAdvisor, Official Website, Facebook

Hostel Sheck | Starting at $11 CAD per night

Corner of Avenida Satelite and Calle Sagitario 

Hostel Sheck is a laid back hostel with a beautiful lush garden to relax, socialize and meet new people. The hostel is located in the town of Tulum, close to banks, supermarkets, the ADO bus terminal, restaurants and attractions.

The hostel features a budget-friendly bar, fully equipped industrial kitchen (with blender, juice squeezer, variety of utensils, industrial stoves, refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven), hammocks, tour and travel recommendations from the staff, free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, free purified drinking water, free Tulum maps, hot showers, individual lockers, bed linen included, towel rental, discount on bike rental, table games, book exchange, and more.

The hostel offers a variety of rooms including: 12 bed mixed dorm, 6 person mixed dorm, 4 person mixed dorm, and private rooms with shared as well as private bathrooms. The dorms have individual lockers, a full bathroom, and ceiling fan.

Hostel Sheck

Hostel Sheck

Hostel Sheck

HostelWorld, Official Website, Facebook, TripAdvisor

Hostal Tulum Naa | No prices listed

Avenida Satelite between Calle Sagitario and Calle 2 Poniente (left hand side)

Hostal Tulum Naa is a clean and comfortable hostel centrally located in the town of Tulum. It is close to banks, restaurants, the ADO bus terminal, supermarkets, shopping and attractions.

The hostel features 24 hour reception, free Wi-Fi internet access, board games, housekeeping, an outdoor terrace and a kitchen.

The dorms include a ceiling fan, shared bathroom with hot water, lockers and reading lights. Linens and towels are included.

Hostal Tulum Naa

Hostal Tulum Naa

Hostal Tulum Naa

HostelWorld, Facebook, TripAdvisor

Hostal Chalupa | Starting at $15 CAD per night

Corner of Avenida Tulum and Avenida Coba

Hostal Chalupa is a newly built hostel that is comfortable and clean. It is located at a busy highway intersection in the town of Tulum, within walking distance to the bus terminal, restaurants, banks, supermarkets, tour agencies, and shopping. The beach, ruins and cenotes are a short taxi (5-10 minutes) or bike ride (20 minutes) away.

The hostel offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning at night, a kitchen, relaxing lounge, outdoor swimming pool, housekeeping, linen included, luggage storage, lockers, and huge rooftop patio.

Accommodations include a 4 bed dorm, two 5 bed dorms and two private ensuites.

Hostal Chalupa

HostelWorld, TripAdvisor, Facebook

Una Noche Mas En Tulum | Starting at $8 CAD per night 

Calle Jupiter Sur, just south of Avenida Tulum (main avenue) 

Una Noche Mas en Tulum is a clean and simple hostel and it is the cheapest accommodation in the town of Tulum – perfect for budget travelers. The hostel is located in a safe and quiet neighbourhood just minutes south of the main avenue in town. It is located two minutes from the ADO bus terminal, and close to many local restaurants, shops, supermarkets, tour agencies and attractions.

The hostel offers free drinking water, 24 hour reception, free city maps and an outdoor terrace.

The hostel offers private rooms with a shared bathroom, a 4 bed female dorm, and a 6 bed male dorm. All rooms have fans, lockers, and free Wi-Fi.

Una Noche Mas En Tulum

HostelWorld, Facebook, TripAdvisor

Quintana Roots Hostel | Starting at $15 CAD per night

Calle Sol Oriente #19 between Highway Coba and Calle Escorpion Sur

Quintana Roots Hostel is a new and comfortable hostel in Tulum. They are centrally located in the town of Tulum, and a short bike or taxi ride away from the beach, ruins and cenotes, as well as being within walking distance to local restaurants and the ADO bus terminal.

The hostel provides information about tours and Tulum, free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, drinking water, kitchen, hot water, lockers, daily cleaning, linens included, dive centre, lots of electrical outlets, fans, game room, rooftop area, flat screen television and lounge and hammock area.

There are a variety of rooms to choose from, including mixed dormitories, female-only dormitories, and private rooms. The dorms range in size and can sleep from 6 to 12 people.

Quintana Roots Hostel

Quintana Roots Hostel

TripAdvisor, Official Website, Facebook, HostelWorld

Budget Hotels:

Kin-Ha Suites | Starting at $55 CAD per night

Calle Orion between Calles Venus and Sol (across the street from Mama’s Home Hostel)

This small, affordable and comfortable hotel has a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere and rooms surround a small courtyard garden. The hotel offers free parking and is centrally located in the town of Tulum, only a couple of blocks south of the main avenue in a quiet residential neighbourhood.

Services include: rental cars, bike rentals, access to facilities at sister hotel on the beach (Playa Kin-Ha), 24 hour surveillance, airport transfers, discount at the restaurant at the beach location, diving, yoga classes, beach club, massages and laundry.

The rooms feature hammocks, air conditioning or a fan, double, single or king sized beds, free Wi-Fi, and a private bathroom.

Official Website, Trip Advisor

Secret Garden Tulum | Starting at $75 CAD per night

Sagitario Poniente #54 (from Avenida Tulum, walk two blocks north on Calle Acuario Norte and turn left on Calle Sagitario – the second street you will arrive at)

Secret Garden is an affordable and comfortable hotel that is hidden away in a quiet neighbourhood in the town of Tulum. It is centrally located, only two blocks from the main avenue with shops, restaurants, transportation and more.

The hotel provides a beautiful courtyard area with a tranquil atmosphere and surrounded by tropical gardens, tour desk and information, free local maps, hammocks and lounge area, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, laundry service, hot water, beach towels, daily cleaning, coffee/tea/cookies/granola bars/fruit available 24 hours and a book exchange. Breakfast is not included.

The rooms and cabanas feature modern, minimal and unique decor with a comfortable atmosphere, and are decorated with local and handmade ornaments. The rooms are clean and all have air conditioning and all feature private bathrooms.

Secret Garden

Secret Garden

Secret Garden

HostelWorld, Official Website, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Booking

Hotel Posada Las Tres Palmas | Starting at $23 CAD per night

Calle Venus #88 between Calles Satelite and Centauro Sur

Las Tres Palmas Hotel is a comfortable budget hotel located in the town of Tulum. It is located within walking distance of restaurants, banks, the bus terminal, transportation, and groceries.

The hotel offers bikes for rent, tour desk and information, laundry services, and airport transfers/shuttles for a fee.

The hotel has 12 rooms available which include double, twin and family rooms. All rooms have a kitchenette, bedroom and balcony overlooking the surroundings, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.

Las Tres Palmas

Las Tres Palmas

TripAdvisor, HostelWorld, Official Website, Booking

Hotel Palma Real | No information available

Federal Highway Tulum-Coba Km 21.5

Hotel Palma Real is a budget hotel located on the highway between the towns of Tulum and Coba. In order to get to Tulum town for restaurants, banks, groceries, and transportation, you will have to take a taxi.

The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, bar, free Wi-Fi, included breakfast, free parking, on-site restaurant, 24 hour reception and luggage storage.

The rooms are air conditioned and have simple decor with tiled floors. The rooms feature cable television and private bathrooms.

TripAdvisor, Booking, Official Website

Hotel Nadet | Starting at $85 CAD per night

Calle Orion Norte by Calle Polar

Hotel Nadet is a hotel located near Tulum town’s main avenue, close to restaurants, groceries, banks and transportation.

The hotel provides free Wi-Fi, luggage storage and free parking.

The hotel has 15 rooms which offer free Wi-Fi, cable television, kitchenettes with refrigerators and premium bedding.

TripAdvisor, Expedia, Official Website

Hotel Villa Matisse | No information available

Avenida Satelite Norte #19

Hotel Villa Matisse is located in the town of Tulum, close to banks, restaurants, transportation and supermarkets.

This hotel offers free bike rentals, free Wi-Fi, a garden and lounge area, tour desk and free parking.

The rooms are simple and feature a full private bathroom with shower as well as bed linen and a fan.

TripAdvisor, Booking

Mango Tulum Hotel | Starting at $15 CAD per night

Calle Polar and Avenida Coba (behind the OXXO)

Mango Tulum is an affordable, modern, comfortable, simple and clean hotel located in the heart of Tulum, close to the ruins, cenotes and beach and within walking distance of banks, restaurants, transportation (15 minute walk to the ADO bus terminal) and groceries. It is a small and friendly family-run hotel located in a quiet and tranquil neighbourhood.

The hotel provides free Wi-Fi internet, large garden and swimming pool, air conditioning in all rooms, hot water and free drinking water, free tea and coffee, free maps, fridges in the private rooms, parking and on-site security.

This hotel/hostel offers 4 bed shared dormitories and private rooms. The dorm is simple and has bunk beds, air conditioning, and a separate full bathroom ensuite with showers and toilets. There are large individual lockers, individual power outlets, and individual fans. The private rooms are spacious and modern and have ensuite washrooms and showers, air conditioning and internet.

Mango Tulum Hotel

Mango Tulum Hotel

Mango Tulum Hotel

HostelWorld, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Official Website

Unique Accommodations

Pacha Tulum |

Avenida Coba in front of the Supermarket San Francisco

Pacha Tulum is located beside a supermarket and banks, and close to restaurants, transportation, and about a 5 minute drive to cenotes, the beach and the ruins of Tulum.

It features free Wi-Fi, 24 hour front desk, free parking,

The rooms are comfortable and simple, offering basic decor with a desk, wardrobe, private bathroom and air conditioning.

TripAdvisor, Official Website, Facebook, Booking, HostelWorld

Lobo Inn | Starting at $12 CAD per night 

Carretera Federal Chetumal-Cancun Km 230.5 

The Lobo Inn is ideally located near Tulum and it is only a 10 minute walk from the beach and 3 km from the Tulum Ruins.

The inn offers a spacious garden and swimming pool with a relaxing atmosphere, full breakfast, friendly service, free Wi-Fi, bike rentals, purified drinking water, hot water, fully equipped kitchen, bed linen included, parking, hammocks, lockers for bags and personal belongings, book exchange, TV room with DVDs, luggage storage and a lounge area. They also offer a travel desk, taxi service, 24 hour reception and currency exchange.

Lobo Inn has a variety of rooms to choose from including private rooms with double beds as well as a 14 bed mixed gender dormitory.

Lobo Inn

TripAdvisor, HostelWorld, Facebook

MyTulum Cabanas | Starting at $40 CAD per night

Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 7.5 

MyTulum Cabanas are large cabins located on the gorgeous beaches of Tulum. The town of Tulum, along with local restaurants, supermarkets, the ADO bus terminal and shopping is located 9 km away, and can easily be reached by taxi.

The cabanas feature a tour desk, massage services for a fee, tropical decor, an on-site restaurant serving local and Mexican-style dishes, a bar, car rental, bike rental, laundry service, and airport shuttle (the last four items have a fee).

The bungalows offer rustic-style decor, free Wi-Fi, a fan, mosquito net, sofa and garden views. The bathrooms are private and are stocked with free toiletries.

MyTulum Cabanas

TripAdvisor, Official Website, Booking, Facebook

Ahau Tulum | Starting at $72 USD per night

Carretera Tulum-Punta Allen KM 4.4

Ahau Tulum is a unique and eco-friendly accommodation located directly on the beach. It features free Wi-Fi, yoga lessons and massage services (for a fee), and an on-site restaurant.

Ahau Tulum offers rooms for a variety of budgets. The guesthouse with shared bathrooms and “Bali Huts” are budget-friendly and rooms have mosquito nets and fans.

Official Website, Facebook, TripAdvisor,

Yoga Shala Tulum | Starting at $63 CAD per night

Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila KM 7.5

Yoga Shala “offers a comfortable space to stay, relax and practice yoga.” It is conveniently located between the Tulum Ruins and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, and is only a 10 minute taxi ride from the town of Tulum where you will find restaurants, shopping and transportation. Yoga Shala is surrounded by lush jungle and is located only steps away from the white sand beaches of Tulum. The hotel offers a wide variety of yoga classes and styles.

The hotel features massage services for a fee, tours, bike rentals, on-site restaurant, and boutique for shopping. Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

You can choose from a couple of different rooms including private rooms with shared bathrooms or private bathrooms. All rooms are unique in their decorations and their size. There is no air conditioning.

Yoga Shala Tulum

Yoga Shala Tulum

TripAdvisor, Official Website, Facebook, Booking

Volunteer Exchanges:

The website Workaway is a place where volunteers can connect with businesses and individuals in destinations around the world, offering free accommodation and sometimes food in exchange for your time and skills.

You are often required to work for 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. There are a variety of volunteer placements available on the website and you can browse through them for free (but you must pay for a membership to contact the hosts). You could be working at a backpacker hostel, guesthouse, bed and breakfast, local hotel or small business or helping out a local individual or family with something.

Volunteering in Tulum is a great way for budget travelers to save money on accommodation costs in order to travel slower and for longer periods of time.

Here are some volunteer placements that I found interesting during my travel research:

Help at a hostel in Tulum

Help at a bed and breakfast in Tulum

Help at a hotel 

Help at a small hostel 


Airbnb is a website that allows locals in places around the world to rent out a private room in their home or their entire home/apartment to travelers for either a nightly, weekly or monthly fee.

Airbnb rentals are a great alternative to hotels and they are often cheaper. You have the opportunity to live with a local resident who can provide you with advice and recommendations for things to see and do, transportation and where to eat in Tulum. You might even become great friends! Airbnb is great for those who enjoy the comforts of home and those who want more privacy than a hostel dorm room offers.

If you sign up for Airbnb using this link, you will get a $25 USD credit for your first booking!

Here are some Airbnb rentals that I found during my travel research: – Located in Tulum town, $34 CAD per night, 5 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $21 CAD per night. – Located in Tulum town, $41 CAD per night, 2 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $38 CAD per night. – Located in Tulum town, $41 CAD per night. – Located in Tulum town, $60 CAD per night, 3 night minimum stay. – Located on the beach south of Tulum (camping), $20 CAD per night. – Located in Tulum town, $57 CAD per night, 3 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $47 CAD per night, 3 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $52 CAD per night, 2 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $40 CAD per night, 2 night minimum stay. – Located in Tulum town, $43 CAD per night, 2 night minimum stay.

I hope that you have found this accommodation guide to Tulum helpful for finding cheaper places to stay on a budget.

Have you been to Tulum? Where have you stayed? Do you have any recommendations that are not listed here? 

Please let me know in the comments below!