As soon as an idyllic sleepy village, Tulum has been reworked into a celeb trip playground. From cenotes to chilling on the seaside — listed below are the finest issues to do in Tulum, Mexico!
House to an historical Mayan metropolis, Tulum was as soon as referred to as Zama or “Metropolis of Daybreak”.
The place is Tulum? This tropical paradise is positioned 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. As we speak 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 practice) someday in 2023.
I’ve spent a variety 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. Should you discover it helpful, please use my affiliate hyperlinks if you e-book motels, rental automobiles or actions. I’ll receives a commission a small fee, at no further value to you! Thanks.
Tulum Highlights Map
HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you’ll discover a map of highlights in Tulum, Mexico. Click on on the highest left of the map to search out separate layers marking the route and factors of curiosity. You’ll be able to conceal and present totally 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 reserve it to your individual Google Maps, or open the map in a brand new window for a bigger model. Take pleasure in!
Mexico Journey Restrictions 2023
Mexico has eliminated all COVID-19 entry necessities, together with for People. It’s the proper time to go to Tulum!
You will discover the most recent updates on touring to Mexico right here.
Tulum Mexico Journey Information
1: Go to The Tulum Ruins (Archeological Website)
The Tulum Archeological Website is a powerful 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 images.
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 vital buildings 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 part of a guided tour.
Tour Of Tulum & Coba
Discover 2 archaeological websites in someday, in addition to a Mayan village and swimming in a cenote.
2: Discover Tulum Pueblo (El Centro)
Tulum is definitely cut up up into 3 totally different areas, all generally described as “Tulum”, which may make issues a bit complicated for first time guests.
Tulum City (aka Tulum Pueblo, or El Centro) is the place locals in Tulum truly do enterprise. Right here you’ll discover grocery shops, native eating places, and different Mexican retailers.
Tulum Seashore (aka Tulum Lodge Zone) is the place all of the seashores, resorts, and vacationer purchasing is. That is truly a 5-10 minute drive away from Tulum City. Strolling this distance would take about an hour (not really useful). A motorbike or taxi needs to be used as a substitute.
And at last there are the Tulum Ruins, which I described above. The ruins are positioned North of each the city and the seaside.
A number of good locations to cease in Tulum City 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 when you love contemporary juice and low.
3: Calm down On Tulum’s Greatest Seashores
Tulum has so many lush seashores with smooth sands and dazzling waters, it’s tough to decide on which seaside to get some solar at. Whereas Mexican regulation ensures public entry to all seashores, many motels in Tulum try to cost vacationers a charge to “use their lounge chairs”.
Listed below are our prime decisions 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 immediately beneath the Tulum Ruins. Solely accessible from the archeological website, it opens round 10am.
- Ziggy’s Seashore is a seaside membership that prices $35 USD to enter, however consists of use of a lounge chair. This household pleasant seaside is ideal for vacationers with children.
- Santa Fe Seashore 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 Seashore is the place to go for dawn when you’re searching for a quiet place to sit back.
One factor most individuals don’t know is that Tulum can typically get hit with a sargassum seaweed invasion, making the pristine white sand seashores — rather less pristine. The seaweed comes and goes annually, and when you’re unfortunate, it could be round throughout your go to.
Accommodations and resorts attempt to clear it up from the seashores after they can, however typically it could actually overwhelm an space. The seaweed is innocent, however it could actually begin to rot and scent unhealthy if it isn’t eliminated straight away.
4: Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Sian Ka’an means “gate to heaven” or “origin of the sky”. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere is positioned simply south of Tulum, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Website since 1987.
Sian Ka’an covers 5280 km² and is dwelling to over 300 species of birds, 120 km of shoreline, various 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 doable to see dolphins, turtles, manatees, and every kind of fowl life on these journeys.
5: Swim (Or Scuba Dive) In Cenotes
You’ll be able to’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. A few of the cenotes additionally embody underwater archaeological websites and relics.
With the Riviera Maya being dwelling to the most important underground cave system on the earth, connecting 1000’s of various cenotes, there are various stunning underground caverns and caves to discover. A few of my favourite cenotes close to Tulum embody:
- Gran Cenote – The preferred cenote in Tulum with waters which can be 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 – Known as Two Eyes Cenote, this one has nice snorkeling and cave diving (when you’re a licensed scuba diver).
- Carwash (aka Aktun Ha) – Positioned 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) – Seems to be like a cranium from beneath, and is a well-liked spot for divers. However there’s a ladder and twine swing too.
- Cenote Taak Bi Ha – One in all my favourite cenotes in Tulum, this big cave boasts crystal clear blue water. One other cenote well-liked with cave divers.
Cenote & Ruins Journey
Want a guided tour? Discover a few of Mexico’s Mayan ruins, and go swimming in an exquisite cenote.
6: Take A Yoga Class
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 other forms of well being and wellness actions.
7: Climb The Mayan Ruins Of Coba
About 45 minutes away from Tulum you’ll discover Coba. Tall pyramids look out over the encompassing jungle. As soon as inhabited by virtually 50,000 souls, these ruins date again to the Center and Late Basic intervals (500 to 900 AD) of the Mayan civilization. Nonetheless, Coba has been inhabited way back to 50 BC.
Essentially the most visited websites at Coba embody the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, Sacbe, Coba Group, Coba Stelae, Macanxoc Group and Conjunto de Pinturas. One of many distinctive options of this Mayan website is the power to really climb the primary pyramid — one thing you may’t do at different ruins.
8: Go to Yal-Ku Lagoon
Only a 30 minute drive from Tulum, the attractive Yal Ku Lagoon is a well-liked spot for snorkeling and sunbathing. What’s totally different about Yal Ku? It’s a cenote that flows right into a lagoon that can be an inlet for the ocean.
Due to 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 provide snacks, plus snorkeling and diving gear that you may hire.
Tulum is a well-liked purchasing vacation spot too. Boutique retailers promote souvenirs, conventional Mayan clothes, and even some eclectic & bohemian Western designs.
Some well-liked 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 Native Eating places
You don’t have to go to the finest eating places in Tulum, Mexico to get a style of native meals. Seize someamazing bites a few of the native shacks as a substitute. Listed below are our favorites.
- Matcha Mama serves plant primarily based smoothies, kombuchas and acai bowls, they’re highly regarded on Instagram.
- Burrito Amor has a few of the finest burritos in Mexico!
- Uncooked Love is a vegan cafe with a hippie vibe that’s well-liked for uncooked chocolate and vegan delicacies.
- Mexican Eating Expertise 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 most effective gelato!
- Hartwood is among the finest eating places in Tulum, the place you’ll get pleasure from hearth cooked meals made with native substances.
11: Test Out The Nightlife!
The nightlife in Tulum is occurring, and seaside bars are full virtually each night with weekends getting fairly crowded. Listed below are a few of the finest bars in Tulum.
- Gitano – Seize drinks at this open air jungle bar whereas snacking on appetizers!
- Papaya Playa Mission – Common for the complete moon and weekend events.
- Todos Santos – Good vibes and spectacular cocktails!
- Batey – Common for the blue-colored beetle parked exterior, 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 typically have dwell music at sundown on their rooftop terrace!
And don’t neglect to drink some Mexican Mezcal at any of the native bars. It’s an agave liquor that you just’ll discover in lots of Mexican cocktails.
12: Go to A Mexican Journey Park
All through the Riviera Maya you’ll discover a sequence of outside journey theme parks that have been constructed to reap the benefits of the pure panorama within the Yucatan Peninsula.
A few of the hottest ones are Xcaret, Xel Ha, Xplor and Rio Secreto. They’re like organized adventures that may take you zip-lining by the timber, swimming in caves, driving ATVs, or snorkeling with colourful fish.
A good way for households to spend a day in Mexico, however adults can have an excellent time at these theme parks too. I believe my favourite was Rio Secreto, as a result of it feels a little bit extra genuine and fewer touristy.
13: Water Sports activities Actions
The crystal clear waters of Tulum are excellent for water sports activities. Paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, wind browsing, and boating are well-liked. So are river tubing, and snorkeling and diving within the cenotes. However probably the most touristy factor to do is kite boarding or kite browsing, as there might be a variety of wind on the coast.
On land, there are additionally jungle excursions, zip lining and rappelling adventures in close by ranches.
14: Discover Tulum’s Well-known Instagram Spots
Tulum has attracted the curiosity of many well-known artists & designers, so there’s numerous cool artwork & sculpture within the Tulum Lodge Zone. The Azulik Museum feels such as you’re strolling round in an acid journey.
Ahau Tulum has a large wood sculpture that invitations you into its bosom. The Macondo restaurant in Nomade appears to be like like a Moroccan Dream.
After which there are the murals by native artists that may be discovered throughout Tulum City. It’s an Instagram addict’s dream come true!
A few of my favourite Instagram spots in Tulum embody:
15: Be a part of A Temazcal Ceremony
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 product of stone or wooden. You strip all the way 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 contributors. The temazcal ceremony takes place in full darkness, because the shaman pours water over the recent rocks, chanting and utilizing totally 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
Wanting just like the blue gap in Belize, the Laguna Kaam Luum is among the finest stored 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 that you may climb for an amazing view of the entire lagoon.
17: Drive To Chichen Itza
One of many New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza can be a UNESCO World Heritage Website. It’s additionally probably the most visted Mayan ruins in Mexico.
The large metropolis advanced constructed by the Mayans thrived from 525 AD to 1200 AD. Entrance prices about 80 + 417 pesos.
Some of the well-liked locations to go to whereas staying in Tulum, Yucatan, it’s a two hour drive from Tulum City in a rental automotive, however there are additionally many organized excursions that may take you there.
Chichen Itza Tour
Skip the road at Mexico’s most well-known archaeological website, go to a colonial city, and swim in a cenote.
18: Lease A Bicycle
Rent a motorcycle and peddle by Tulum by yourself two ft. A motorbike can be helpful to go to most seashores and eating places which can be a 15-30 minute bike experience from Tulum Centro (Downtown). Bike leases value about $5-$10 USD per day.
You too can select to e-book a motorcycle tour of Tulum to expertise native tradition, cease by some ruins, and hop right into a cenote which may be off the crushed path a bit.
Basic Tulum Bike Tour
Go to the Tulum’s ruins through bicycle, cruise round city, attempt some contemporary tacos, and hop right into a refreshing cenote.
19: Go to Pablo Escobar’s Seashore Home
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 became an artwork lodge referred to as Casa Malca.
Cease by to see up to date items of artwork from Leo Malca’s assortment in addition to classic furnishings. However bear in mind, when you’re not truly 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 so on.
20: Test Out The Muyil Ruins
Positioned 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 also called Chunyaxché are very near the Sian Ka’an Lagoon.
Aside from the primary ruins such because the 17-meter tall Castillo, you can too climb to an remark deck to see the encompassing countryside.
21: Head To Bacalar
Bacalar is a large stunning blue lagoon positioned about 3 hours South of Tulum. Also referred to as Laguna de Siete Colores, it’s a beautiful spot go crusing, kayaking, or try a singular cenote. There’s even a shipwreck you may go to!
A visit to Bacalar is finest performed as an in a single day journey, and you’ll return to Tulum the following night. You’ll be able to drive your self in a rental automotive, or take an ADO bus.
Greatest Time To Go to Tulum
January – April
Glorious climate, with numerous solar and gentle temperatures within the 80’s F. Nonetheless that is additionally the excessive season, so there are various extra vacationers. A lot of Canadians and People come down for the winter.
Might – 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 world. Far fewer vacationers although.
November – December
That 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.
The place Is Tulum (Getting There)
Tulum is positioned 131 km South of Cancun, a few 2-hour drive away. Most individuals get to Tulum after flying into Cancun Worldwide Airport. Seek for the most affordable flights to Cancun on Skyscanner.com.
From the airport, you may e-book a personal shuttle to Tulum or take the general public ADO bus (less expensive). Buses depart each 30-minutes and value about 300 pesos ($15 USD).
NOTE: Visitors is horrible alongside Tulum’s seaside highway. A crowded mixture of taxis, provide vans, 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.
The perfect website to e-book your automotive is with Uncover Vehicles. They search each native and worldwide automotive rental firms that will help you discover the absolute best value. That is the best approach to hire a automotive and drive all the way down to Tulum, Mexico.
Renting a automotive gives the most effective flexibility to discover extra distant and fewer touristy spots on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s my favourite approach to get round Tulum!
There aren’t 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 expenses excessive costs each time they suppose they will get away with it. All the time choose the worth earlier than getting in.
Biking is a well-liked approach to get round regionally. For about $10 USD ($200 MEX) you may hire a motorcycle for the complete day. Your lodge may need free bikes to hire too. If not, you may hire them from Ola Bike Tulum or IBike Tulum.
There are a bunch of airport shuttle companies providing rides from Cancun airport to Tulum, and so they’ll make sure you harass you on the airport exit. The preferred one might be Cancun Airport Transportation.
Buses within the Yucatan Peninsula are run by the ADO bus firm. You should use these buses to get from Tulum City or Tulum Centro to the Tulum Ruins or Tulum Zona Arqueológica, or actually anyplace within the Yucatan Peninsula. You should purchase tickets prematurely if you wish to, however most instances you’ll be tremendous shopping for a ticket simply earlier than coming into the bus.
Different native buses embody the Mayab that goes to the Coba ruins the place ADO doesn’t attain.
Colectivos are native minivans that transport a bunch of individuals from side to side. That is the most affordable approach to get round Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. These are what the locals use to get across the metropolis, however routes might be complicated when you don’t communicate Spanish.
Lease A Automobile In Mexico
Search each native and worldwide automotive rental firms that will help you discover a whole lot.
The place To Keep In Tulum
Lodging in Tulum can vary from backpacker pleasant to luxurious. The perfect areas to remain are Col Huracanes for the pubs and nightlife, Tulum Playa for the seashores, or Tulum Pueblo for one thing finances pleasant.
BEST ACCOMMODATION IN TULUM
Tulum Journey Ideas & Recommendation
- Tulum has a persistent on-and-off seaweed downside, and it could actually cowl the attractive white sand seashores. Resorts attempt to clear it up, however aren’t all the time profitable.
- Tulum is just not like different elements of Mexico, it may be tremendous costly. It has additionally turn out to be a well-liked 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 finest go to in November or December.
- Don’t anticipate superb web entry in Tulum since WiFi is basically sluggish in most locations.
- There are just a few free public seashores in Tulum. The perfect seashores would require you to pay for entrance at a seaside membership.
FAQ: High Tulum Questions
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