A Guide To Visiting Mexico From New York This Winter

Jessica Ufuoma

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Don't we just hate the gloomy weather that comes with winter? In a perfect world, we'll be jetsetting somewhere warm to fight off the winter blues. Obviously, we can't travel right now as much as we could but for those in New York, you can escape to Mexico very quickly without batting an eyelid.

Flights from New York to Mexico

With three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark International Airport (EWR), there are plenty options to choose from. There are also lots of budget-friendly airlines such as Spirit and even Delta who serve the route daily and can cost as little as $200, making it a great price point for those looking for a quick winter getaway.

Limited restrictions to Mexico

Tulum and Mexico in general were hotspots for tourists even in the pandemic because of their rather lax and laid-back restrictions. You didn’t need a negative test to enter the country, all you needed was to fill out a declaration form online, screengrab the barcode it generated, and show it at the Cancun airport for scanning. And voila, you’re all set.

Entering into Mexico

Entering into Mexico was fairly straightforward. With no covid-19 test result required, or quarantine needed, you could enter and start exploring as soon as you drop your bags. I flew into Cancun International Airport and I have to say the airport was packed full of tourists. Maybe it’s because I flew in on January 2nd, the day after the New Years, but I was surprised to see so many people traveling. Well, I was also guilty as charged.

When you enter, you go through the typical customs and you’re handed over a tourist card (this has always been the case.) Don’t lose that tourist card, as you’ll need it to exit Mexico. And if you do lose it, you’ll need to wait in line and pay $50 to get another one. Long story short, don’t lose the card.

You can stay anywhere in Mexico but Tulum is a great choice.

From Cancun International Airport to Tulum

There’s no local airport in Tulum (yet, one is being built as we speak, to be unveiled in 2023) so to get from Cancun Airport to your hotel in Tulum, you’ll need to either take the ADO public transport bus or opt for convenience like me and get a private transfer. If you want to go the ADO bus route, it’s cheaper and you can either get the tickets online (make sure to translate the page to English) or get it at the airport when you arrive. For your peace of mind, buy your ticket in advance.

If like me you’re opting for more comfort, you can book a private transfer here. It’s actually not as expensive as it sounds and you get to drive in safety, comfort and enjoy some air condition.

What to do in Tulum, Mexico

If you’re traveling to Tulum in 2021, it is best to avoid crowded locations and tourist hotspots. Here are some of my top recommendations based on how enjoyable and safe they were to me.

1.) COCO TULUM

Coco Tulum has a great vibrant vibe and you can have some of the best tacos in Tulum here. Coco Tulum is also a hotel but you can eat at the restaurant and enjoy the views. I love having drinks at Coco Tulum. And it is a great place to decompress.

2.) IK LAB

This is usually about an hour visit, so you shouldn’t plan your entire day around it but plan to add it to your itinerary or make a stop here. Many people report that this place is free. However, I had to pay to enter, it could be because of COVID or the day I went. It only cost $10 per person which isn’t a bad price at all.

Note: No cameras are allowed in here and you’ll have to take your shoes off to enter.

3.) TULUM RUINS

The Tulum Ruins is a historical landmark in Mexico and a great place to visit when in Tulum. The site began as early as 564 A.D. Fun fact, Tulum means Wall in Maya, as Tulum was built to be a fortress. Anyway, history lesson over but you should see this place if you visit Tulum. There’s a beautiful spot where you see the ocean and its such so stunning. It cost 75 pesos only and Sundays are free of charge.

4.) GRAN CENOTE

I’ll be honest to say that even though I loved this place the first time I visited, I didn’t quite enjoy it this time around. It was quite underwhelming and looked a little deteriorated. There were too many people there (as expected) and it just didn’t work for me. I did find a quiet place and had it to myself for a bit but overall, I didn’t really enjoy it. I’m adding it to this list because I liked it the first time so this could have been an off day, and also, I still think everyone should see the Gran Cenote at least once.

So there you go, New Yorkers. Here's a place you can escape too this weekend if you're sick and tired of the cold and craving a different scenery. Whatever you do, just make sure you are taking the correct precautions and staying safe on your trip.

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I write about lifestyle and travel experiences in the United States. I'm also passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and that reflects in some of the pieces I write. My topics range from culture, travel, uplifting marginalized voices and much more. If you're interested in these topics, feel free to hit the subscribe button.

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