Traveling Mexico During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Cancun & Tulum
Duration: 5 days (March 11 – March 16, 2020)
Ground Transportation: $214 split
Total: $580 per person
Is Cancun the new Dubai? It seems like everybody and their mother is going to Mexico right now. Why? First, Mexico was one of the world’s first countries to reopen its doors for international tourism back in June. Second, you don’t have to submit a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Cancun International Airport sees over 200 flights per day and will increase the number throughout October and November. Feel free to use this travel guide that Charity and I used for our Cancun/Tulum vacation.
Let’s talk logistics! We flew Delta Air Lines because I have flight benefits, but you should too even if you don’t. Delta not only doubled it’s cleaning staff, they also committed to blocking middle seats until January 6, 2021. A flight from Atlanta to Cancun is less than two hours. We did five days in Mexico, three days in Tulum, and two days in Cancun. We flew into Cancun. You can take a shuttle through Happy shuttle, but we decided to rent a Thrifty car and drove the 75-minute trip to Tulum. We stayed at Tata Tulum, which turned out to be perfect for us. It’s casual, adult-only, and right on the beach. There’s an open-air dining area, beautiful bar, and free breakfast. It’s also centrally located and quiet. Our first evening was spent at the beach, walking downtown, and eating at El Pez.
One of the best things about Tulum is it’s effortless to socially distance. You can spend your whole day outside. There are not any large hotels or resorts in the area. Most hotels have under 50 rooms and are currently operating at less than 30 percent. We ate at the restaurant at the hotel, walked downtown, and went to the beach.
We had breakfast at the hotel and then went to Sukun Rivera Maya Tours. This is a must for anyone visiting Tulum for the first time. It was $85 per person, but included an ATV ride, zip lining, a Shaman cleansing, and Cenote. After the tour, they also provided a delicious lunch and Corona. During the whole visit, photographers and videographers were documenting everything and we were able to purchase the pictures and videos for $20.
The SRMT team was great, and I would highly recommend this experience. They were knowledgeable, spoke fluent English, and were very connected to the Mayan land and culture. They provided a lot of information and history about the area. I felt safe the whole time. The team provided pickup and drop off. They also offered water, bug repellant, and all the safety equipment. Wear sunglasses or protective eyewear during the ATV ride. Maybe even a scarf to cover your face. I was covered with dirt and dust after we finished.
Sandos Cancun re-opened their doors October 1. Last year while vacationing there with Charity and a mutual friend, I won a free two-night stay. I always joke and say I’m so single that if I win a trip for two, I’m going twice, but I took Charity. This adults-only, all-inclusive beachfront resort has a spa, bars, gourmet restaurants, infinity swimming pool, and so much more.
My two favorite restaurants were Seasons A La Carte , a steak house, and Gaijin, traditional Japanese teppanyaki. At Seasons you get a five-course meal. The steak was so amazing and tender. Gaijin is a beautiful, contemporary intimate, where your chef prepares your dinner right on your table with plenty of tricks and surprises. The restaurant doesn’t seat many, so you have to put in a reservation, and they fill up fast.
Here are a few of the updated COVID-19 procedures:
– All tables safely distanced from others.
-Each table, chair, glass, and utensil thoroughly cleaned after each use.
-In the buffets, choose the food you would like, and a member of the restaurant staff will bring it to you.
Have you been to Cancun or Tulum and know of any spots we might’ve missed? Please let me know. I’m already planning a return trip. See more of our Mexico trip on my Instagram highlights: @joyiromuanya.