Tulum is a destination that more and more people discover and at the end of last year, I lived in Mexico for two months. In connection with that, there were many day trips and visits to Tulum, both to the ruins and to the beaches as well as to the village itself.
With regard to tourism in Mexico, it is mainly Cancun and later also Playa del Carmen, which has received attention along with Chichen Itza, which is now one of the world’s seven wonders. But there are more pearls in Mexico beyond classic Americanized resort towns with big hotel chains.
Tulum is located about 1 hour south of Playa del Carmen and here lie some of Mexico’s best and finest beaches! Besides that, there is plenty of meditation and yoga retreats for relaxation and peace of mind. This is of course mixed with lovely lounge bars on the beach and a generally nice vibe!
Tulum is one of my favorite places in Mexico and it is a destination that I would highly recommend. To make it easy for you, I’ve gathered my best Tulum tips with everything from attractions, day trips, tips on hotels, restaurants, how to find flights to Tulum and anything else that’s good to know!
Things to do in Tulum as a tourist
Tulum’s Maya ruins
Perhaps Tulum’s most famous attraction? Either way, it is worth going here. Here await ancient ruins from the ancient Maya people, both larger and smaller buildings. They are located in a jungle area just before Tulum’s town and beaches. It’s the first Tulum stop if you go here with Colectivo from Playa del Carmen or Akumal.
Particularly beautiful is the temple of wind right by the sea with some really amazing views!
Admittedly, Yoga is derived from India, but few places in the world are as peaceful to practice Yoga as in Tulum, Mexico. Along the beaches, there are several hotels offering yoga lessons, both for beginners and more experienced.
Soak up the sun and relax on the Beaches in Tulum
Along the Tulum riviera, there are plenty of beaches, both with and without beach clubs. There is something for everyone and some of the most famous and finest are Playa Paraiso and Tulum Beach. In the picture below you have the Playa Santa Fe, which is within walking distance from the Mayan ruins.
The nightlife here is calmer and more bohemian than the neverending nightlife in Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Recently mentioned these places offer bigger nightclubs and more people, while Tulum offers a more relaxed atmosphere with smaller bars.
How to get around in Tulum
In Tulum pueblo, it is easy to get around on foot. From the village, you can also go by taxi or colectivos to the beaches or ruins. It doesn’t cost much and it is also possible to walk, although it may be more priceworthy to take a taxi or a colectivo.
Staying at the beach area with beach clubs, it is easy to walk between these, but it is equally good to get into the pueblo with colectivos or taxi. Similarly, you can go to nearby Akumal or Playa del Carmen.
Another Mayan Temple, which is about 1.5 hours from Tulum. It is actually one of Mexico’s highest Mayan temples, and unlike Chichen Itza, one can still climb up to the top of the pyramid. A cool experience that offers a great view of the Yucatan Peninsula!
Playa del Carmen
A less touristy variant of Cancun, which Americans have traveled to for many years. However, it is only the last few years that Swedes found their way to Playa del Carmen. For my part, I stayed here for two months and it is a nice place with a bit more fun and party than Tulum.
One can say that Tulum is a calmer variant of Playa del Carmen without large hotels by the beach and more health oriented with lots of Yoga retreats.
If you want to experience even less tourism, go to Bacalar, which is approximately 2 hours south of Tulum. Here is a large lake waiting with water in the most azure color you can imagine and a rich wildlife as well as a small town of Yucatan. Incredibly beautiful and peaceful!
There are ADO buses between Tulum and Bacalar every day.
Mexico’s amazing cenotes are world-renowned and there is almost an unlimited number of them. But, what’s a cenote you might ask? It can be explained as like a cave with water without a roof. But there are also lagoons and caves with ceilings that count as cenotes.
It was here that the Mayan people picked up their drinking water and today they are often used by Mexicans and tourists who want to cool off from the heat. Visiting a cenote is definitely a must thing to do while traveling to Mexico! Around Tulum, there are a couple of them worth a visit, including:
- Cenote dos ojos
- Gran Cenote
- Cenote Carwash
- Cenote Escondido
- Cenote Azul
One of Mexico’s most famous beaches, but it is not best known for its sand or water. Instead, there are sea turtles that attract thousands of visitors to the beach in Akumal. You can bring your own equipment and life jacket or rent on site.
However, it is forbidden to reach the sea turtles without life vests, to make sure that you don’t trample on the vegetation that the sea turtles eat. You do not have to go by boat to see them, and there are plenty of sea turtles swimming around a little further out from the beach.
In addition to sea turtles, there are hotels, restaurants and a lagoon at the far end that are worth visiting if you go on a day trip to Akumal, which is about 25 minutes from Tulum by car.
Tulum’s different parts explained
What do I mean with the different parts of Tulum? Depending on what you want to do, there are different parts to go. For example, Tulum’s ruins lie before the village and the beaches and it’s quite far to walk between. The beaches can be reached from the village, but it is generally better to go with a colectivo, rent a car or taxi directly to the beach you want to go to.
- Part 1: Mayan Ruins
- Share 2: The beaches and most of the hotels
- Share 3: Pueblo (small shops and local restaurants )
Tips for good hotels in Tulum
There are loads of hotels and hostels in Tulum, for all purses. What’s good is that the major resorts are not here to the same extent. It is, therefore, a more genuine and nicer hotel stay that awaits! Below I recommend 3 hotels that are of a good standard and are more than affordable.
Tubo Tulum Hostel
Excellent budget accommodation where you can choose between tents or some other double room that is shaped as a tube. The atmosphere is wonderful and there are other budget travelers who want to experience Tulum from its best side! Breakfast is included.
A very nice hotel in Tulum Pueblo with an artistic decor, comfortable beds, and continental breakfast. The staff are helpful and always greet you with a smile. It’s easy to get to the beach by taxi or a colectivo.
Elements Tulum Boutique Hotel
If you want to stay a bit nicer and a little better, then Elements Boutique Hotel is a place for you! Fresh rooms with close proximity to the beach. The hotel also lends bicycles, making it even easier to get around.
Cabanas/Bungalows in Tulum
Do you prefer a bungalow by the beach? I do not blame you and luckily there are plenty of cabanas/bungalows in Tulum! Here are two places that I highly recommend.
Cabanas Zazil Kin
Some cheaper bungalows on the beach in Tulum. The beach at Zazil Kin is amazing and it is both crispy and crystal clear turquoise waters waiting right outside the door.
A more luxurious variant, but not as expensive as Tulum’s most exclusive bungalows. At Diamante K there is everything that may be needed for a successful trip to Tulum in Mexico! The staff are friendly, the rooms are cozy and charming and it includes breakfast!
Flights to Tulum
Depending on where you are in the world, the situation varies. But in general, there are direct flights from Europe to Cancun and daily flights from the US and Canada year-round. And from Cancun, it’s about 1.5 hours.
Tips on good restaurants
To find your own favorite restaurants can be a big part of traveling and maybe that’s the case for you too. But it’s always nice to have a few safe tips on good restaurants where you know that you are guaranteed to get good and affordable food.
Below is a collection of some of the best restaurants in Tulum. A hot tip is Antojitos la Chiapaneca if you want to eat authentic Mexican food at Mexican prices.
- Raw Love
- Zine Food & Films
- Rauxa Restaurant & Show
- Antojitos La Chiapaneca – Local Mexican Food (Cheap and Super gourmet)
- Taqueria La Eufemia
Here below, you will find general facts and things that may be good to know before traveling to Tulum in Mexico.
- Total population: 30,000 – 40,000.
- Tap water: Not recommended to drink
- Power outlet: Same power outlet as in the United States. Adapter can be purchased here.
- Language: Spanish, but there are also many expats.
- State: Quintana RooCoordinates: 20 ° 12’43 “N 87 ° 27’57” W
- ATMs: There are several ATMs that accept VISA & MastercardCard payment: Most major stores Accept short
Weather & Climate
The average temperature in Tulum is quite even during the year and differ between 24-30 degrees approximately. The biggest difference is mainly how much rain is falling during each month. The months with the most rain are June, September, and October, but it rains the most in July and August.
With that said, rain also occurs during other parts of the year. Tulum’s climate is tropical and there is always some humidity. But even though it’s rain period, it mostly rains during nights or short sprinkles. We were in Mexico during October and enjoyed the sun almost every day. During the rainy season, it’s usually a warmer climate and higher humidity. However, in October, the temperature is starting to cool down and with that also comes less humidity. It’s also why Mexico has its peak
This is also the reason why Mexico has its peak season, from December to March. Temperatures in the sea are pleasant year-round with an average temperature around 25 degrees, with some peaks from August to October.
Here you can see more concrete where Tulum is located in Mexico.
Have you also been to Tulum? Feel free to share your best tips and experiences.