Tulum Mexico Travel Guide (Best Things To Do In 2023)


Things To Do In Tulum
Best Things To Do In Tulum, Mexico!
Tulum, Mexico

Once an idyllic sleepy village, Tulum has been reworked into a star trip playground. From cenotes to chilling on the seaside — listed here are the greatest issues to do in Tulum, Mexico!

Home to an historical Mayan metropolis, Tulum was as soon as referred to as Zama or “City of Dawn”.

Where is Tulum? This tropical paradise is situated about 2-hours south of Cancun, alongside Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Boasting stunning sandy seashores and crystal clear water, Tulum can be a scuba diving paradise with many cenotes and caves to discover. 

Tulum is a spot the place the traditional and the fashionable world mix collectively. Today you’ll discover a mixture of historical Mayan ruins, yoga retreats, purchasing, eating places, and loads of well-known individuals who flock right here to refresh their thoughts, physique, and soul.

In reality, the Mexican authorities is opening a new worldwide airport in Tulum (in addition to a prepare) someday in 2023.

I’ve spent loads of time in Tulum through the years whereas residing on and off in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, and wished to place collectively a information on what to do in Tulum for first-time guests.

My Tulum itinerary is totally free! I’ve labored arduous placing it collectively for you. If you discover it helpful, please use my affiliate hyperlinks once you e book motels, rental automobiles or actions. I’ll receives a commission a small fee, at no additional price to you! Thanks.

Tulum Highlights Map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you’ll discover a map of highlights in Tulum, Mexico. Click on the highest left of the map to seek out separate layers marking the route and factors of curiosity. You can conceal and present completely different layers, or click on icons on the map to see the names of locations I point out on this journey information. “Star” the map to put it aside to your personal Google Maps, or open the map in a brand new window for a bigger model. Enjoy!

Mexico Travel Restrictions 2023

Mexico has eliminated all COVID-19 entry necessities, together with for Americans. It’s the proper time to go to Tulum!

You can discover the newest updates on touring to Mexico right here.

Travel Insurance

Get Travel Insurance

Protect your self from damage, sickness, or theft. SafetyWing provides inexpensive journey insurance coverage that covers COVID-19 too!

Riviera Maya: Tulum
Mexico’s Riviera Maya

Tulum Mexico Travel Guide

1: Visit The Tulum Ruins (Archeological Site)

Tulum Archaeological Site
Tulum’s Ancient Mayan Ruins

The Tulum Archeological Site is a formidable Thirteenth-century cliff-top Mayan metropolis which is the spotlight of any journey to Tulum. Set 12-meters excessive overlooking the shimmering Caribbean sea, the ruins are the proper backdrop for photographs.

The 5-meter tall partitions that surrounded town, might have one thing to do with the identify Tulum, which is the Maya phrase for fence. 

Some essential constructions on the Tulum ruins are the Templo Dios del Viento or Temple of the God of the Wind, Pyramid El Castillo, Temple of the Descending God, and the Temple of the Frescoes. 

Gates open at 8 AM, however the strains might be lengthy so I like to recommend arriving about an hour earlier, if you wish to be first in line. Or you can too be a part of a guided tour.

Read My Guide To Visiting Tulum’s Ruins Here

Tulum Tours

Tour Of Tulum & Coba

Explore 2 archaeological websites in someday, in addition to a Mayan village and swimming in a cenote.

2: Explore Tulum Pueblo (El Centro)

Downtown Tulum
Tulum Pueblo

Tulum is definitely break up up into 3 completely different areas, all generally described as “Tulum”, which may make issues a bit complicated for first time guests.

Tulum Town (aka Tulum Pueblo, or El Centro) is the place locals in Tulum really do enterprise. Here you’ll discover grocery shops, native eating places, and different Mexican retailers.

Tulum Beach (aka Tulum Hotel Zone) is the place all of the seashores, resorts, and vacationer purchasing is. This is definitely a 5-10 minute drive away from Tulum Town. Walking this distance would take about an hour (not advisable). A motorbike or taxi must be used as a substitute.

And lastly there are the Tulum Ruins, which I described above. The ruins are situated North of each the city and the seaside.

A couple of good locations to cease in Tulum Town to get a really feel for native Mexican life embody La Chiapaneca for road tacos, Del Cielo for breakfast or brunch, and Huerto del Eden should you love contemporary juice and low.

3: Relax On Tulum’s Best Beaches

Tulum's Best Beaches
Beautiful Playa Paraisao

Tulum has so many lush seashores with smooth sands and dazzling waters, it’s troublesome to decide on which seaside to get some solar at. While Mexican legislation ensures public entry to all seashores, many motels in Tulum try and cost vacationers a price to “use their lounge chairs”.

Here are our prime selections amongst Tulum’s white sandy seashores. 

  • Playa Paraisao boasts powder white sands, clear shallow waters, seaside bars and coconut palms. 
  • Playa Ruinas is the remoted seaside instantly beneath the Tulum Ruins. Only accessible from the archeological web site, it opens round 10am.
  • Ziggy’s Beach is a seaside membership that prices $35 USD to enter, however contains use of a lounge chair. This household pleasant seaside is ideal for vacationers with youngsters.
  • Santa Fe Beach is a calming public seaside north of Playa Paraisao, and simply South of the ruins. It’s dotted with tiny seaside bars to seize a chew or drink.
  • Mirador Tulum Beach is the place to go for dawn should you’re in search of a quiet place to sit back.

One factor most individuals don’t know is that Tulum can generally get hit with a sargassum seaweed invasion, making the pristine white sand seashores — rather less pristine. The seaweed comes and goes annually, and should you’re unfortunate, it might be round throughout your go to.

Hotels and resorts attempt to clear it up from the seashores once they can, however generally it may well overwhelm an space. The seaweed is innocent, however it may well begin to rot and odor dangerous if it isn’t eliminated instantly.

4: Sian Ka’an Biosphere

Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve
Exploring Sian Ka’an Reserve

Sian Ka’an means “gate to heaven” or “origin of the sky”. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere is situated simply south of Tulum, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. 

Sian Ka’an covers 5280 km² and is house to over 300 species of birds, 120 km of shoreline, numerous wildlife, coral reefs, a lagoon and round 23 Mayan archaeological websites.

A well-liked exercise is to e book a Sian Ka’an boat tour or kayaking tour to discover the jungle mangroves and saltwater lagoons. There are additionally snorkeling journeys too. It’s attainable to see dolphins, turtles, manatees, and all types of hen life on these journeys.

5: Swim (Or Scuba Dive) In Cenotes

Mexican Cenote
Cenote Taak Bi Ha

You can’t go to Tulum, Mexico and never go to a cenote. The Tulum cenotes are pure limestone sinkholes that present entry to Mexico’s underground river system for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Some of the cenotes additionally embody underwater archaeological websites and relics. 

With the Riviera Maya being house to the most important underground cave system on this planet, connecting hundreds of various cenotes, there are numerous stunning underground caverns and caves to discover. Some of my favourite cenotes close to Tulum embody:

  • Gran Cenote – The hottest cenote in Tulum with waters which are thought of sacred, it’s the doorway of the Sistema Sac Actun.
  • Casa Cenote – Surrounded by mangroves with a tunnel that heads proper out to the ocean.
  • Dos Ojos Cenote – Called Two Eyes Cenote, this one has nice snorkeling and cave diving (should you’re a licensed scuba diver).
  • Carwash (aka Aktun Ha) – Located proper off the highway to Coba, Carwash was as soon as used for laundry automobiles, however now it’s only for swimming or cave diving.
  • Calavera (aka Temple Of Doom) – Looks like a cranium from beneath, and is a well-liked spot for divers. But there’s a ladder and cord swing too.
  • Cenote Taak Bi Ha – One of my favourite cenotes in Tulum, this large cave boasts crystal clear blue water. Another cenote widespread with cave divers.

Read My Guide To Mexico’s Best Cenotes

Mexican Cenotes

Cenote & Ruins Adventure

Prefer a guided tour? Explore a few of Mexico’s Mayan ruins, and go swimming in a wonderful cenote.

6: Take A Yoga Class

Yoga Retreat
Yoga Studio in Tulum

Tulum is a well-liked vacation spot for hippie/bohemian/new-age sorts, and as such, you’ll discover loads of yoga retreats, music remedy classes, and different kinds of well being and wellness actions.

If you’re seeking to unwind and immerse your self in some yoga classes throughout your go to, take a look at Naga Tulum or the beachfront yoga studio at Sanara.

7: Climb The Mayan Ruins Of Coba

Coba Mayan Ruins
The Mayan Ruins of Coba

About 45 minutes away from Tulum you’ll discover Coba. Tall pyramids look out over the encompassing jungle. Once inhabited by nearly 50,000 souls, these ruins date again to the Middle and Late Classic intervals (500 to 900 AD) of the Mayan civilization. However, Coba has been inhabited way back to 50 BC.

The most visited websites at Coba embody the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, Sacbe, Coba Group, Coba Stelae, Macanxoc Group and Conjunto de Pinturas. One of the distinctive options of this Mayan web site is the power to truly climb the principle pyramid — one thing you’ll be able to’t do at different ruins.   

Read My Guide To Visiting Coba Ruins Here

8: Visit Yal-Ku Lagoon

Yal Ku Lagoon
Yal Ku Lagoon & Cenote

Just a 30 minute drive from Tulum, the attractive Yal Ku Lagoon is a well-liked spot for snorkeling and sunbathing. What’s completely different about Yal Ku? It’s a cenote that flows right into a lagoon that can be an inlet for the ocean.

Because of the combination of sea water and contemporary water, the lagoon is the proper snorkeling spot. The shallow waters close to the cenote teem with small fish, whereas the deeper waters close to the ocean are stuffed with turtles, rays, and greater fish. 

There are shops close by that supply snacks, plus snorkeling and diving gear which you can lease.  

Tulum Shopping Area
Shopping in Tulum

Tulum is a well-liked purchasing vacation spot too. Boutique retailers promote souvenirs, conventional Mayan clothes, and even some eclectic & bohemian Western designs.

Some widespread shops to go to in Tulum are Wanderlust, Pura Vida Tulum, Arte Sano, and La Troupe. You’ll additionally discover nice buys on the street-lined stalls. Be ready to pay Western costs although!

10: Eat At Local Restaurants

Tulum Restaruants
Fresh Fish Anyone?

You don’t have to go to the greatest eating places in Tulum, Mexico to get a style of native meals. Grab someamazing bites among the native shacks as a substitute. Here are our favorites. 

  • Matcha Mama serves plant based mostly smoothies, kombuchas and acai bowls, they’re very talked-about on Instagram. 
  • Burrito Amor has among the greatest burritos in Mexico!
  • Raw Love is a vegan cafe with a hippie vibe that’s widespread for uncooked chocolate and vegan delicacies.  
  • Mexican Dining Experience is a singular restaurant the place you eat at a communal desk for a 7-course dinner and free-flowing alcohol whereas the hosts clarify the meals to you.
  • Origami Tulum – Go right here for the very best gelato!
  • Hartwood is likely one of the greatest eating places in Tulum, the place you’ll get pleasure from fireplace cooked meals made with native elements.

11: Check Out The Nightlife!

Mezcal Drink
Mexican Mezcal

The nightlife in Tulum is going on, and seaside bars are full nearly each night with weekends getting fairly crowded. Here are among the greatest bars in Tulum. 

  • Gitano – Grab drinks at this open air jungle bar whereas snacking on appetizers!
  • Papaya Playa Project – Popular for the complete moon and weekend events. 
  • Todos Santos – Good vibes and spectacular cocktails!
  • Batey – Popular for the blue-colored beetle parked outdoors, this bar is legendary for its native cocktails utilizing fruits just like the prickly pear! 
  • Mateos – This place is nice for drinks, or lunch. They usually have stay music at sundown on their rooftop terrace!

And don’t overlook to drink some Mexican Mezcal at any of the native bars. It’s an agave liquor that you simply’ll discover in lots of Mexican cocktails. 

12: Visit A Mexican Adventure Park

Mexico Theme Park
Rio Secreto Adventure Park

Throughout the Riviera Maya you’ll discover a collection of out of doors journey theme parks that have been constructed to reap the benefits of the pure panorama within the Yucatan Peninsula.

Some of the most well-liked ones are Xcaret, Xel Ha, Xplor and Rio Secreto. They’re like organized adventures that may take you zip-lining by means of the bushes, swimming in caves, driving ATVs, or snorkeling with colourful fish.

A good way for households to spend a day in Mexico, however adults may have a superb time at these theme parks too. I believe my favourite was Rio Secreto, as a result of it feels a bit of extra genuine and fewer touristy.

13: Water Sports Activities

Tulum Activities: Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding in Tulum

The crystal clear waters of Tulum are excellent for water sports activities. Paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, wind browsing, and boating are widespread. So are river tubing, and snorkeling and diving within the cenotes. But probably the most touristy factor to do is kite boarding or kite browsing, as there might be loads of wind on the coast. 

On land, there are additionally jungle excursions, zip lining and rappelling adventures in close by ranches. 

14: Find Tulum’s Famous Instagram Spots

Wooden Sculpture in Tulum
Ven a La luz Sculpture

Tulum has attracted the curiosity of many well-known artists & designers, so there’s numerous cool artwork & sculpture within the Tulum Hotel Zone. The Azulik Museum feels such as you’re strolling round in an acid journey.

Ahau Tulum has a large picket sculpture that invitations you into its bosom. The Macondo restaurant in Nomade appears like a Moroccan Dream. 

And then there are the murals by native artists that may be discovered throughout Tulum Town. It’s an Instagram addict’s dream come true!

Some of my favourite Instagram spots in Tulum embody:

15: Join A Temazcal Ceremony

Traditional Temazcal Sauna in Cancun
Get Your Sweat On!

One very distinctive factor to do in Tulum whereas getting a style of Mayan tradition is participate in a Temazcal ceremony. This conventional Mayan ceremony of purification takes place in a tiny hut manufactured from stone or wooden. You strip right down to your underwear (or swimsuit), and enter the sweat lodge which is heated with scorching rocks & water, turning it right into a steamy sauna.

The ceremony is led by a neighborhood shaman, who conducts the ritual and takes care of members. The temazcal ceremony takes place in full darkness, because the shaman pours water over the new rocks, chanting and utilizing completely different herbs to summon spirits.

Temazcal was carried out since historical instances, and seen as a purification ceremony that cleans the physique, thoughts, and soul. As your physique is sweating within the tiny hut, you enter a deep state of meditation, enhanced by the shamanic chanting.

16: Laguna De Kaan Luum

Laguna Kaan Luum
Laguna Kaan Luum

Looking just like the blue gap in Belize, the Laguna Kaam Luum is likely one of the greatest saved Tulum secrets and techniques. The waters of the lagoon supposedly have magical properties and also you’re allowed to take a swim for 300 MXN ($15 USD). For an additional 150 pesos you can too fly a drone right here.

Kaan Luum can be excellent for scuba diving or freediving with the deeper space cordoned off to stop entry to swimmers. There are water hammocks, swings, and small tower which you can climb for an important view of the entire lagoon.

17: Drive To Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza Mexico
The Famous Ruins of Chichen Itza

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza can be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s additionally probably the most visted Mayan ruins in Mexico.

The huge metropolis complicated constructed by the Mayans thrived from 525 AD to 1200 AD. Entrance prices about 80 + 417 pesos.

One of the most well-liked locations to go to whereas staying in Tulum, Yucatan, it’s a two hour drive from Tulum Town in a rental automotive, however there are additionally many organized excursions that may take you there. 

Mayan Ruins

Chichen Itza Tour

Skip the road at Mexico’s most well-known archaeological web site, go to a colonial city, and swim in a cenote.

18: Rent A Bicycle

Biking Around Tulum
Exploring Tulum by Bicycle

Hire a motorbike and peddle by means of Tulum by yourself two ft. A motorbike can be helpful to go to most seashores and eating places which are a 15-30 minute bike trip from Tulum Centro (Downtown). Bike leases price about $5-$10 USD per day.

You can even select to e book a motorbike tour of Tulum to expertise native tradition, cease by some ruins, and hop right into a cenote that could be off the overwhelmed path a bit.

Tulum Biking

Classic Tulum Bike Tour

Visit the Tulum’s ruins by way of bicycle, cruise round city, strive some contemporary tacos, and hop right into a refreshing cenote.

19: Visit Pablo Escobar’s Beach House

Casa Malca
Casa Malca Resort

Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord who based the Medellin Cartel and was shot lifeless in 1993. His mansion within the Tulum jungle was purchased by artwork collector Lio Malca in 2012 and was an artwork lodge referred to as Casa Malca.

Stop by to see modern items of artwork from Leo Malca’s assortment in addition to classic furnishings. But bear in mind, should you’re not really a lodge visitor and wish to go to — you’re required to spend a minimum of 1000 pesos (about $50 USD) on drinks, meals, and many others. 

20: Check Out The Muyil Ruins

Muyil Mayan Ruins
Muyil Pyramid

Located contained in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, the Muyil Ruins displaying Peten structure date way back to 350 BC. Set alongside an previous commerce path to Coba, the ruins often known as Chunyaxché are very near the Sian Ka’an Lagoon.

Apart from the principle ruins such because the 17-meter tall Castillo, you can too climb to an commentary deck to see the encompassing countryside. 

21: Head To Bacalar

Lake Bacalar
Kayaking on Bacalar Lagoon

Bacalar is a large stunning blue lagoon situated about 3 hours South of Tulum. Also generally known as Laguna de Siete Colores, it’s an exquisite spot go crusing, kayaking, or take a look at a singular cenote. There’s even a shipwreck you’ll be able to go to!

A visit to Bacalar is greatest achieved as an in a single day journey, and you may return to Tulum the following night. You can drive your self in a rental automotive, or take an ADO bus.

Tulum Beach Seaweed
Seasonal Seaweed on Tulum’s Beaches

Best Time To Visit Tulum

January – April

Excellent climate, with numerous solar and delicate temperatures within the 80’s F. However that is additionally the excessive season, so there are numerous extra vacationers. Lots of Canadians and Americans come down for the winter.

May – October

These are the most well liked and rainiest months of the yr. The warmth and humidity might be an excessive amount of for some folks. September and October can be hurricane season for the realm. Far fewer vacationers although.

November – December

This is my favourite time to go to Tulum, as a result of the climate isn’t tremendous scorching, hurricane season is over, however the excessive season for vacationers hasn’t began but.

Traffic in Tulum
Frequent Traffic Jams in Tulum

Where Is Tulum (Getting There)

Tulum is situated 131 km South of Cancun, a few 2-hour drive away. Most folks get to Tulum after flying into Cancun International Airport. Search for the most cost effective flights to Cancun on Skyscanner.com.

From the airport, you’ll be able to e book a personal shuttle to Tulum or take the general public ADO bus (less expensive). Buses depart each 30-minutes and price about 300 pesos ($15 USD).

NOTE: Traffic is horrible alongside Tulum’s seaside highway. A crowded mixture of taxis, provide vehicles, and vacationers on bicycles makes it a large number. Be VERY cautious on the highway right here, and don’t anticipate to get anyplace quick in a automotive throughout the high-season.

Rental Car

The greatest web site to e book your automotive is with Discover Cars. They search each native and worldwide automotive rental corporations that will help you discover the very best value. This is the simplest solution to lease a automotive and drive right down to Tulum, Mexico.

Renting a automotive provides the very best flexibility to discover extra distant and fewer touristy spots on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s my favourite solution to get round Tulum!

Tulum Taxis

There are not any Ubers in Mexico, however there are taxis. Taking a taxi is what most vacationers do, however beware that the Yucatan has a “taxi mafia” that prices excessive costs every time they suppose they’ll get away with it. Always decide on the value earlier than getting in.


Cycling is a well-liked solution to get round domestically. For about $10 USD ($200 MEX) you’ll be able to lease a motorbike for the complete day. Your lodge may need free bikes to lease too. If not, you’ll be able to lease them from Ola Bike Tulum or IBike Tulum


There are a bunch of airport shuttle providers providing rides from Cancun airport to Tulum, they usually’ll remember to harass you on the airport exit. The hottest one might be Cancun Airport Transportation

ADO Buses

Buses within the Yucatan Peninsula are run by the ADO bus firm. You can use these buses to get from Tulum Town or Tulum Centro to the Tulum Ruins or Tulum Zona Arqueológica, or actually anyplace within the Yucatan Peninsula. You should buy tickets upfront if you wish to, however most instances you’ll be advantageous shopping for a ticket simply earlier than coming into the bus. 

Other native buses embody the Mayab that goes to the Coba ruins the place ADO doesn’t attain.


Colectivos are native minivans that transport a gaggle of individuals back and forth. This is the most cost effective solution to get round Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. These are what the locals use to get across the metropolis, however routes might be complicated should you don’t converse Spanish.

Rental Cars

Rent A Car In Mexico

Search each native and worldwide automotive rental corporations that will help you discover a whole lot.

Azulik Resort Tulum
Best Hotels in Tulum

Where To Stay In Tulum

Accommodation in Tulum can vary from backpacker pleasant to luxurious. The greatest areas to remain are Col Huracanes for the pubs and nightlife, Tulum Playa for the seashores, or Tulum Pueblo for one thing price range pleasant.


Anna at the Beach
Tulum might be Lots of Fun!

Tulum Travel Tips & Advice

  • Tulum has a persistent on-and-off seaweed drawback, and it may well cowl the attractive white sand seashores. Resorts attempt to clear it up, however aren’t at all times profitable.
  • Tulum will not be like different elements of Mexico, it may be tremendous costly. It has additionally grow to be a preferred trip spot for celebrities.
  • January to March is often very crowded and June to October is wet. To keep away from the crowds, it’s greatest go to in November or December. 
  • Don’t anticipate wonderful web entry in Tulum since WiFi is admittedly gradual in most locations.
  • There are just a few free public seashores in Tulum. The greatest seashores would require you to pay for entrance at a seaside membership.

FAQ: Top Tulum Questions

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I hope you loved my information on what to do in Tulum, Mexico! Hopefully you discovered it helpful. Here are a couple of extra wanderlust-inducing articles that I like to recommend you learn subsequent:

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