Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.
If the last time you went to Mexico was spring break senior year, you’re in serious need of a below-the-border refreshment. I mean refresher…whatever. Any bride who loves a white sand beach, relatively affordable accommodations, and truly killer quesadillas needs to take her girls to Tulum, like, yesterday. This dream of a city may be a slight bitch to get to from anywhere that isn’t another Mexican city, but once you’re there, you will likely never want to leave.
Look, Tulum is famous for being Mexico’s chicest beach town where you can chill as hard as you party. The best part? Heels are basically forbidden here, so you can stop worrying about coming home from a weekend of raging with a broken ankle. If you’re already sold on Tulum, read on for specifics on where to get your bachelorette equivalent of GTL on.
How To Get There
Obv, if you live on the West Coast, you’ve basically already made it! The only thing that truly sucks about bach-ing in Tulum (or any other Mexican city) is that you can’t fly directly there because there are only four international airports in the entire country of Mexico. Qué??? The closest one to Tulum is Cancún International Airport, which is still a solid two-hour drive away. Speaking of which, do not attempt to drive in Mexico because you will die. Hire a driver who knows the roads and wants to deliver you and your party safely, soundly, and still breathing to your hotel. There’s also a shuttle you can take from the airport, but like, no. The shuttle drops you off in the center of the city and then you have to figure out your hotel, so, like, hablas español? Unless your only baggage is a Ziploc of snacks from the plane, navigating the streets of Tulum will stress you the f*ck out, so just spring for a driver and call it a day.
If you’re coming from the East Coast, all of the above still applies to you, but give yourself a day of travel on either end since getting to Tulum will take even longer. Four hours on a plane may not be so bad, but when you factor in waiting around in the mosh pit TSA calls “security” in addition to the drive from the Cancún airport, nearly an entire
century day has passed. If you are in the mood to save a little cash, plan your bach party during off-season, which will guarantee you the cheapest flights/hotel. The only downside to going during Tulum’s off-season is that you may have to cancel your Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza plans because October through December is the best time to go. Awkward. Lastly, and this may be the most important sentence of this story, do not drink the tap water.
Where To Stay
If your party is relatively small (I’ll let you decide what small is), staying in a hotel is your safest bet, and we highly recommend La Zebra. It’s technically a boutique hotel, but it has a private beach with chaises that more comfortable than most people’s beds, restaurants, a pool, bars and a spa that will take away all traces of a stressful life in the real world. The only meh thing about this place is that the pool was def for swimming and not for, like, lounging on chaises to tan and take pics. In other words, it’s in the shade, which, like no. Who goes to Mexico for the shade?
Anyway, the pool sitch aside, La Zebra is definitely where you’ll spend most of your time because the food is good and the beach is huge. One more thing about the hotel before moving onto more important things, like where to party, whether you have a beach view or a garden view from your guest room, you can’t lose because all of the rooms have huge windows with breathtaking vistas outside.
How To Get Around
Unless the restaurant/bar/excursion is exceedingly far, you’ll want to walk everywhere, which is great because #steps, but also because the main area of Tulum is one long narrow street that’s lined with charming and Instagrammable shops, hotels, and cafes. If adorable painted ceramic bowls are everything your dreams are made of, you will absolutely die on Tulum Beach Road. And if you want to shop for other things like espadrille wedges and crochet bikinis, be prepared to spend more than $100. But, like it’s worth it because you get to respond to “I love your shoes! Where are they from?” with a casual “This little shop in Tulum. You can’t get them in the States.” Is there anything more satisfying than that?
Where To Eat
As is with any weekend getaway, good food is paramount and can make or break a trip. Full disclosure, La Zebra has delicious food (get the shrimp tacos), but if you don’t want to be a hermit the whole trip, there are so many amazing holes in the wall and fine dining locales in Tulum, but for the sake of space and keeping your attention, I’m only going to talk about our tried-and-true faves in no particular order. Hartwood is famous for its food, and with most famous places, you need to book your reservation way ahead of time, but unless you’re a man, that seems pretty doable. It’s a tiny place that cooks and grills all of the food via open fire inside their hand-made wood-burning oven. I mean, can we get a Hartwood in New York please?
Next on the list is Rosa Negra, which means Black Rose in Spanish. If you don’t love this place already, what is wrong with you? Anyway, the second you sit down at your table here, it becomes immediately clear that Rosa Negra knows what they are doing. The servers and the vibe make it feel like your table is the party. You order apps and drinks first, but the because the apps are exceptionally good, you’ll most likely order, like, all of them and not be hungry by the time the mains arrive.Not to worry, though! They clear the table at the speed of light and then the music starts blasting. They play songs you’ll want to scream to, like “Mama Mia” and “Sweet Caroline.” The only caveat, which isn’t really a caveat, is that you must be drunk. Otherwise you feel kind of weird living out your drunk truth while other people are just trying to enjoy their dinners.
Where To Party
Start the partying at Papaya Playa Project, which is basically the Mexican version of Project X…in a good way, though. Full disclosure about PPP: it’s not fun if you are a group without a table. Tables are def expensive, but completely worth it because PPP is a gigantic rager on the beach, so if you don’t want to repeat your weekend at Oktoberfest, where you lost your friends the moment you arrived, get and stay at a table. Otherwise you’re wandering around alone in a giant crowd of drunken youths, which I can’t think of anything worse, can you?
There’s also a face-painting station, which makes you feel like you’re a kid at the best birthday party in town, but in, like, a fun alcoholic way. The only thing about PPP that I won’t rave about is the aggressively abrupt end to the party, which happens at exactly 3am. You may think the speakers accidentally got unplugged or the DJ f*cked up, but no, the party just ends and then you’re on your own. K.
Friday, Day 1:
1.Arrive and check into your hotel.
2. Unpack and take obligatory shot of mezcal.
3. Change into your bathing suit and go to the beach or chill in your room (if you’re a bad friend) before dinner.
3. Dinner at Gitano, which turns into a party as the night wears on, but it’s def not a rager.
4. Party a little harder at bars that are close by, including but not limited to Casa Jaguar, Todos Santos, and Batey.
Saturday, Day 2:
1. Wake up! If you’re an early riser (gross), head down to the pool and/or beach for some peace and quiet before the others wake up.
2. Lunch at either Ziggy’s, Taboo, or La Zebra. Prob go to one of the first two options and then come back to Le Zebra (if you’re staying there) for free chaises because #savedatmoney and chaises at other hotels are about $50 per person. No thx!
3. Visit cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, which, if you’ve seen Sisters, is nothing like what you think a sinkhole is. It looks like a beautiful underwater cave, and guess which city is famous for having the most beautiful cenotes? Tulum! Swim, snorkel or ‘Gram the day away here.
4. Head back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the night ahead.
5. Pregame and party Papaya Playa Project, which will most definitely turn into a long and alcohol-infused evening.
6. Sweet sleep
Sunday, Day 3:
1. Buenos días!
2. Chill by the beach or shaded pool if you thought you could outsmart the sun and are now an unsightly shade of pink.
3. Lunch at one of the places you didn’t eat at yesterday, then either fork of $50 or be cheap and head back to the hotel for a relatively chill afternoon because…
4. Dinner and best night of your life at Rosa Negra.
5.Sleep? At this point, it may already be the next day, in which case
Monday, Day 4:
1.For the love of God, sleep in
2. Last day by the pool/beach for a quick tan touch-up before checking out of the hotel and heading back to your lives where dinner is just dinner.
Images: Shutterstock; papayaplayaproject, hartwoodtulum, lazebratulum / Instagram