People like to throw the phrase around, but Tulum really is off the grid: The power lines stop miles away from the beach. That means the little beach town with the big reputation is actually pretty low-key. Nothing is over two stories, there are no big, all-inclusive resorts, and at night it gets so dark you'll probably see a lot of shooting stars.
Though the jungle is lush and dense and made up of protected biosphere land, the beach is Tulum's star attraction — and rightly so: It's pretty damn extraordinary. The sand is fine and white and looks like powdered sugar, and no matter what, it never gets hot enough to burn your feet. The water is turquoise and crystal clear. If you look close enough at the water at night, you may be lucky enough to see glowing flecks of bioluminescent plankton washing to the shore. There's lots of good food, good yoga, and good vibes. The people are nice and if you're open, you'll make friends easily wherever you go.
Fly into Cancun from major airports in the US; Tulum is less than two hours south, a straight shot on highway 307. Most hotels will arrange an airport pick up, or you can easily take a taxi for about $100. For the same price you can rent a car for a week, so that's what we always do. Plus, if you rent a car you can also easily get to hidden cenotes, nearby mini towns, and secret fish shacks on the beach. But if driving isn't your thing, rest assured there are plenty of bikes and taxis in Tulum that make it pretty easy to get around.