A complete travel guide featuring the 26 best things to do in Tulum, Mexico. Explore some iconic Tulum attractions like Playa Paraiso, as well as some unique off-the-beaten-path hidden gems, including little-known ancient Mayan ruins and isolated, crystal-clear cenotes in the Tulum jungle!
It’s no secret that the Riviera Maya in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is one of the top vacation destinations in the world. However, while places like Cancun or even Playa del Carmen can feel a little crowded, the humble beachside pueblo of Tulum still retains its authentic charm.
The best part is Tulum packs in loads of opportunities for adventure and fun travel experiences like exploring the mysterious Tulum Ruins or diving into the natural wonder of the nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere.
- How to Get to Tulum
- Getting Around: How to Get to the Nearby Tulum Attractions
- 26 Best Things to do in Tulum Mexico
- 1. Explore the Tulum Ruins (Tulum Archaeological Zone)
- 2. Swim in The Epic Tulum Cenotes
- 3. Explore Tulum Town (Pueblo) By Bicycle
- 4. Take a Trip to Cozumel
- 5. Visit the Famous Tulum Beaches
- 6. Stay in an All-Inclusive Resort
- 7. Or A Vibrant Backpacker Hostel
- 8. Eat Delicious Street Food Tacos
- 9. Check Out Tulum’s Famous Street Art
- 10. Swim With Sea Turtles at Akumal Bay
- 11. Work out at the Tulum Jungle Gym
- 12. Join in on the Tulum Nightlife Scene
- 13. Scuba Diving in Crystal Clear Cenotes
- 14. Visit Chichen Itza
- 15. Swim With Whale Sharks
- 16. Check Out the Ven A La Luz SCulpture
- 17. Laguna de Kaan Luum
- 18. Do Yoga With Rescue Dogs
- 19. Visit the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve
- 20. Day Trip to the Coba Ruins
- 21. Visit the Muyil Ruins (Chunyaxchè)
- 22. Water sports
- 23. A Day at the Mexican Adventure Parks
- 24. Day Trip to Playa Del Carmen
- 25. Go Ziplining at Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park
- 26. Sailing Tour to Isla Mujeres from Tulum
- Where to Stay in Tulum
- Best Time to Visit Tulum Mexico
- Visiting Tulum Travel FAQs
- Vacationing in Tulum? Read These Travel Tips First
- More Things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula
I spent five weeks exploring all of the top things to do in Tulum and this travel guide is a culmination of my favorite activities and the best places to visit. I'll also fill you in on some useful information like the best ways to get there, where to stay, and some useful travel tips so you can make the most of your vacation in Tulum, Mexico.
QuickList - Best Bookable Tours & Experiences in Tulum
In a rush? Below are the four best bookable experiences in Tulum!
- 2 Archeological Sites Tour - visit the famous seaside Mayan ruins of Tulum and climb the famous Coba ruins in one guided tour.
- Chichen Itza, Cenote, & Valladolid Day Trip - the most affordable way to visit Chichen Itza from Tulum
- Cenote Trail - swim at four epic Cenotes on a cenote-hopping tour from Tulum
- Sian Kaan Biosphere - visit the amazing Sian Kaan & the hidden ruins of Muyil.
How to Get to Tulum
Tulum is located on the Riviera Maya, just south of the popular Playa del Carmen and Cozumel Island, in Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
The easiest way to reach Tulum is to fly to the nearby Cancun Airport. From here, you'll have four options to reach Tulum, which takes roughly 2 hours by car or 2.5-3 hours by bus.
- Prebooked private transport - unfortunately, there's a taxi mafia operating at Cancun airport and these guys stung me hard the first time I landed in Cancun. To avoid all this hassle, it's best to pre-book your transport from Cancun Airport to Tulum online before you arrive.
- ADO Bus - taking public ADO buses is one of the cheapest ways of getting around in Mexico. There are buses departing Cancun Airport to Tulum bus station in Tulum Centro daily. You can book these directly on the ADO website or more conveniently with Busbud.
- Carpool - carpooling with BlaBlaCar is becoming more and more popular in Mexico. You can safely book a BlaBlaCar rideshare with BusBud as well.
- Rent a car - driving in Mexico is much easier than you think and will be the most convenient way to get around. I recommend booking a car in advance (Tulum or Cancun) to get the best rates. DiscoverCars have the best prices and the largest library of rentals across dealerships in Mexico.
Getting Around: How to Get to the Nearby Tulum Attractions
The truth is, Tulum is quite a small place. However, many of the top attractions including the ancient ruins, cenotes, and must-see bucket list places like Chichen Itza are quite far away.
Therefore, if you're looking to explore the best places in the greater Tulum area, I recommend renting a car. Car rentals in Tulum are quite affordable, especially if you book in advance on a site like DiscoverCars.
Alternatively, motorbikes, ATVs, and mopeds (scooters) are available for rent in Tulum Pueblo on the main road. However, I recommend doing your research before walking into a rental shop as this is one of the easiest ways to get ripped off or scammed in Mexico.
On the other hand, travelers who'd like to stick local can also rent a bicycle in town for roughly $130 - $150 MXN pesos per day at one of the many shops offering bike rentals. This is a great option if you want to explore the popular destinations around Tulum like the Archeological Zone or Playa Paraiso.
26 Best Things to do in Tulum Mexico
With the basic logistics out of the way, let's get into this detailed travel guide featuring the 26 Best Things to do in Tulum.
This list includes some of my favorite places accessible from the Tulum hotel zone or Tulum Town– from exploring tropical forests, ancient Mayan ruins, and beautiful beaches lined by palm trees, to eating great food almost anywhere in town, this list will have your Tulum itinerary sorted.
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1. Explore the Tulum Ruins (Tulum Archaeological Zone)
The Tulum Ruins (Tulum Archaeological Zone) is a Unesco World Heritage Site where the ancient Mayan city of Tulum once stood (original Maya name Zamá).
Between the 11th and 16th centuries, this seaside city was a bustling religious site and trading hub for the ancient Maya, who built several impressive buildings here, including a large pyramid (El Castillo) and an impressive Temple (Temple of the Frescoes).
Situated on 12-meter-high (40 feet) cliffs overlooking the pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea and lined with palm trees and tropical vegetation, this is one of the most unique Mayan sites in all of Mexico!
Travelers can visit this site independently by heading to the northern end of Playa Paraiso. The entrance fee is $75 MXN pesos. However, one thing to note is that there really isn't any signage for information. So, it's best to book a tour guide. Luckily, there are a few really good ones on GetYourGuide. My favorite tour is the combined guided tour of Tulum Ruins and the nearby Coba.
2. Swim in The Epic Tulum Cenotes
Tulum and the greater Riviera Maya area is where you will find the largest underwater cave system in the world– the Sac Actun underground river. In this region, over 6000 cenotes (clear, freshwater sinkholes) connect to the ocean, forming a filtered network of crystal clear water swimming holes.
A vacation in Tulum is simply not complete without checking out at least a few of these epic cenotes. During my time in Tulum, I visited over 20 cenotes, including some with intricate underwater cave systems and some secluded open-air bathing cenotes hidden in dense jungle.
Some of my favorites include:
- Gran Cenote - the most popular cenote with magical, turquoise water for swimming (can get busy in the high season)
- Cenote Calavera - close to Tulum Pueblo and famous for tiny holes you can jump through
- Casa Cenote - great for scuba divers
- Cenote Dos Ojos - the most incredible underwater cave system in Mexico
- Cenote Escondido - secret hidden cenote in the jungle
- Cenote Encantado - huge mangrove cenote with a resident crocodile
- Cenote Cristal - another quiet cenote for relaxing and jumping off a wooden platform
- Car Wash Cenote - large cenote that is great for unwinding
Visiting the cenotes of Tulum is one of the best cheap things to do in Tulum but they aren't completely free. That's because practically all of them will charge an entrance fee that seems to fluctuate seasonally.
A good tip is to book the popular triple cenote tour, which visits some of the most stunning sinkholes in the region.
3. Explore Tulum Town (Pueblo) By Bicycle
Tulum Town, also called Pueblo or Centro is the main area just off the beach strip (Tulum Hotel Zone or Tulum Playa). While many tourists shoot off to book one of the resorts closer to the beach and dismiss the pueblo altogether, I definitely recommend not missing it.
In fact, some of the best cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutique stores are located on the main road in town. To explore, the first thing that I recommend is renting a bicycle ($130 - $150 MXM pesos per day) and riding around, jumping from the markets to the cafes, and everything in between.
If you're still planning your trip, you can save a fair penny if you choose one of the hotels or hostels here instead of on the playa. Skip to my guide on where to stay in Tulum below.
4. Take a Trip to Cozumel
Looking to explore the Riviera Maya on your vacation in Tulum? It doesn't get much better than hopping over to the Caribbean island of Isla Cozumel.
Here, you can kick back on white sand beaches, snorkel or scuba dive on coral reefs, and enjoy a cocktail on one of the best tropical island locales in Mexico!
It is easily possible to take a day trip to Cozumel from Tulum, with the journey taking just two and a half hours each way. Simply take the ADO bus or drive your own rental car up to Play del Carmen and hop on the 40-minute ferry.
If you're going to do any Caribbean scuba diving, or are curious about learning, then the best shop on the island is Salty Endeavors, which accommodates professional divers and beginners. There are some great dive sites on the Marine Park reefs surrounding the island, including Palancar Gardens and the epic C-53 Wreck.
5. Visit the Famous Tulum Beaches
Tulum has always had a laidback vibe, and one of the best activities here is simply just doing nothing!
There are plenty of beautiful public beaches located just a quick bike ride or a short drive from the town of Tulum, or if you're staying on the Hotel Strip, then right at your doorstep.
Picture pristine beaches with white sands, shallow waters for swimming, and coral reefs for snorkeling.
The best beaches in Tulum are:
- Playa Paraíso - one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico! This long stretch of sugar-white sand is perfect for relaxing and soaking up that Caribbean sun
- Playa Ruinas - a picturesque beach lined by palm trees beneath the ancient Mayan ruins of the Tulum Archaeological zone.
- Las Palmas - a secluded public beach without annoying vendors or restaurants just south of Playa Paraíso.
- Secret Beach - a little out of the way but a magical secluded spot deep in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.
- Akumal Bay - a picturesque beach just 30 minutes from Tulum where you can swim and snorkel with sea turtles
Note that unlike many of the private beaches in Mexico, several of these are free roam and enjoy, including Playa Paraíso and Las Palmas! This means that beach hopping here is very easy and one of the best free things to do in Tulum!
6. Stay in an All-Inclusive Resort
If you're one of those travelers considering Tulum for a well-deserved all-inclusive vacation, then you're in luck.
Tulum is not the boutique backpacker town it once was. Today, it has an international reputation for being one of the most luxurious seaside locations in the Mexican Caribbean. These days, you'll find plenty of amazing beach resorts in Tulum!
However, while you won't find as many all-inclusive resorts as you will in Cancun, there are still a few great options to consider if you're looking for relaxing or romantic things to do in Tulum.
- Barcelo Maya Riviera - an adults-only all-inclusive resort with the largest infinity pool in the Riviera Maya (total of 8 pools and 5 spas)
- Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa - oceanfront swimming pools and swim-up bar with luxury spa offerings
- Bahia Principe Grand All Inclusive - a newly renovated resort with excellent service right on the beach
Tip: Plan Your Accommodation in Advance
Tulum is quickly becoming a very popular vacation spot. In order to get a great deal on accommodation, it's essential to book early!
If you're wondering where to stay, make sure to read this comprehensive Tulum Accommodation Guide first.
7. Or A Vibrant Backpacker Hostel
While the beach road in Tulum features all of the high-end resorts and luxury hotels, you'll find plenty of epic backpacker hostels in Tulum Town with chill vibes. Solo travelers will not have a problem meeting like-minded adventurers here, as it's one of the best backpacker destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula.
My favorite hostels are:
- Mama's Home - I stayed here for a few weeks and met some great people. There are daily activities that range from beer pong to cenote-hopping.
- Mayan Monkey - super popular hostel with a great pool and serious party vibes
- oOstel Smart Hostel - this is where I stayed when I needed to get some work done. Digital nomad heaven with ultra-fast wifi, clean dorms, and great coffee.
8. Eat Delicious Street Food Tacos
It's not a trip to Mexico without eating your weight in tacos is it?
You'll find some delicious taquerias and tacos de puesto just off the main streets in Tulum Tulum town. Most of these guys serve delicious street food all the way through the night, accommodating to party-goers in Tulum's vibrant nightlife scene.
I also recommend checking out some of the local restaurants. My absolute favorite in Tulum is Burrito Amor, which is certainly a little pricier than the tacos you'll find on the street. However, their tacos are absolutely UNREAL and cater to vegetarians as well. Some of the other best restaurants in Tulum include:
- Campanella Cremerie
- Dona Paty Tacos de Guisado
- Encanto Cantina
9. Check Out Tulum's Famous Street Art
The first thing you'll likely notice when arriving in Tulum is just how beautiful the street art is! Strolling down almost any calle, you'll likely spot epic art from various artists across Mexico.
So, wondering what to do in Tulum after your third taco? Walk it off with a stroll in the puebla and snapping some photos of the epic art on display.
10. Swim With Sea Turtles at Akumal Bay
Akumal Bay is a picturesque beach located approximately 30 minutes from Tulum and is famous on the Mayan Riviera for being an excellent place to swim and snorkel with sea turtles!
The cheapest way to get here is to take a colectivo, but there's also a great snorkeling tour on Viator that also includes a guide to the Tulum Ruins so that you can make a whole day of it! If you're here searching for fun things to do in Tulum like a snorkeling boat tour, then this is the one!
11. Work out at the Tulum Jungle Gym
There's no better way to burn off all of those tacos and cervezas than by training at the Yucatan's very own Flinstone's gym!
The Jungle Gym in Tulum has two locations, but my favorite is the setup right on the beach near the Ven a La Luz sculpture. Entrance is a little pricey, at 600 pesos for a single entry, or a weekly pass for 2400.
While a beach workout might not be everybody's idea of a great time, for me it was a daily routine and I'd definitely consider it one of the most unique things to do in Tulum!
Travel tip: there's also a free beach calisthenics workout area on the northern end of Playa Las Palmas which does the job as well!
12. Join in on the Tulum Nightlife Scene
Walking the streets of Tulum, you'll see plenty of famous bars and extended happy hour pubs. While this quaint Mexican town is not just about the nightlife and partying, grabbing a beer or cocktail is certainly one of the most popular things to do in Tulum at night!
In the hotel zone, you'll also find some of the best beach clubs in the Yucatan Peninsula. Many have nightly live music performances but expect to pay much more for a drink at these venues than in town.
If you're looking to meet other travelers, one of the best rooftop bars in Tulum is at the Straw Hat Hostel.
13. Scuba Diving in Crystal Clear Cenotes
Whether you're a professional diver or a beginner, diving in the Tulum cenotes is one of the most incredible experiences that you'll have in the Yucatan Peninsula. There's a huge variety of dive sites, varying from technical cave diving to open pits.
Below is a short list of the best cenote scuba dive sites accessible from Tulum.
- Cenote Dos Ojos – experienced divers
- Cenote El Pit – experienced divers
- Cenote Calavera – experienced divers
- Casa Cenote – beginner divers
- Cenote Escondido – semi-experienced divers
Best Scuba Diving Cenote Tour: Casa Cenote Scuba (for beginners & refreshers).
If you're a beginner, I highly recommend diving at Casa Cenote. While I only free-dived here, I believe that it is the best to learn or simply try out due to the crystal clear water and epic mangrove edges.
14. Visit Chichen Itza
I think it's safe to say that Chichén Itzá is one of the most remarkable ancient sites in all of the Americas. This Mayan city is pristinely preserved and features several incredible buildings, including the incredible Kukulkan Pyramid (El Castillo), which features a bewildering equinoxial alignment.
However, being the most popular archaeological site in Mexico, and arguably the most popular tourist attraction near Tulum and Cancun, you can expect hordes of crowds here.
That's why I recommend arriving early for the best experience.
Visiting Chichen Itza is very easy from Tulum, and with this Chichen Itza tour, you'll get there before all the crowds. Additionally, this tour includes a Valladolid tour and a stop by a local cenote to swim or relax.
15. Swim With Whale Sharks
If you're planning your trip to Tulum between the months of May to September, then you are in luck. At this time of year, hundreds of gentle Whale Sharks make their way to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, making it very easy to swim and snorkel with these amazing animals via a day trip from Tulum.
There are plenty of tour operators organizing this trip. However, wildlife tourism is not always done right, so it's best to book a whale shark boat tour with a reputable organization.
16. Check Out the Ven A La Luz SCulpture
The Ven a La Luz (Raw Love) sculpture is perhaps the most iconic monument in Tulum. You'll find it posted everywhere on social media, and it seems to appear in almost every tourism commercial or billboard for Tulum.
This is a 33-foot (10-meter) tall artwork constructed by the very talented South African Artist Daniel Popper. The name translates directly as “Come to the Light” in Spanish. You'll find it on Calle Corazón de Jesús just off of Tulum’s main beach strip (just up from the Insta-famous Follow That Dream Sign.
17. Laguna de Kaan Luum
Just 10 kilometers south of Tulum is one of the largest open pit cenotes on the Riviera Maya. The magical sinkhole of Kaan Luum Lagoon is surrounded by dense jungle and its deep shades of blue contrasting with an edge of turquoise makes for a truly remarkable sight.
As with most of the cenotes in the region, there's an entrance fee once you arrive. A full day will set you back 300 pesos, so it's best to spend a full day here.
Once you arrive, you'll notice the huge, spacious platform reaching far out into the near 84-meter lagoon. There are also plenty of sun chairs and umbrellas to sit down and simply enjoy the ambiance.
The trip from Tulum takes roughly 10-15 minutes by car or motorbike. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any colectivos that stopped here.
18. Do Yoga With Rescue Dogs
Here's one of the most unique activities in Tulum, yoga with rescue pups.
Yoga Dicha runs one of the best yoga retreats and schools in Tulum, and a couple of times each month they run yoga classes with rescue pups from the nearby dog shelter.
You'll find the yoga school just a short walk from the main restaurant strip in Tulum pueblo, and in case you're up for adopting a puppy, you can do that too!
19. Visit the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve
Another amazing day trip opportunity from Tulum is to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, just south of Tulum.
This amazing UNESCO World Heritage area is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna and is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean (528,000 hectares). There are plenty of fun things to do here, from floating down the mangrove canals to stand-up paddle boarding in the crystal-clear waters.
There are a few tours that you can book online, but the best bang for your buck is the highly-rated Sian Kaan & Muyil Ruins tour.
20. Day Trip to the Coba Ruins
The Coba Ruins are a much-less visited archaeological site in the nearby village of Coba (an approximately 45-minute drive from Tulum). This makes organizing a day trip from Tulum very easy.
If you've rented a car in Tulum, then you're in for an easy drive straight from Tulum town down the QROO 109 road, passing the popular Gran Cenote on the way. If you don't have your own car, then you can still get to the Coba ruins via three different options:
- Colectivo from Tulum to Coba - you'll find these near the corner of Tulum Ave and Calle Osiris
- Taxi - there is a fixed cost for this route, $450 MXN pesos.
- ADO bus - running from the ADO station in Tulum. I recommend booking the early bus (7:20 am)
The Coba ruins are situated deep in the jungle and feature an ancient Mayan pyramid that you can still climb today!
21. Visit the Muyil Ruins (Chunyaxchè)
One of my favorite trips from Tulum was the short 15-minute motorbike ride to the incredible Muyil Ruins (Chunyaxchè), located on the edges of the Sian Ka'aan Biosphere Reserve.
This ancient site has several tall pyramids situated in a dense jungle setting. In my opinion, these ruins felt a lot more special to walk through than the crowded Tulum Ruins as there were almost no other tourists there! The entrance fee is also only 45 pesos, making it one of the cheapest things to do in Tulum for history fans!
If you're short on time, it's best to combine a trip to Muyil with a visit to the incredible (must-visit) Sian Ka'aan Biosphere Reserve, since it is very close by. There's a great tour on GetYourGuide that offers just this and is of great value.
22. Water sports
Looking for fun, adrenaline-fueled activities in Tulum? The crystal clear waters off the beaches of Tulum are protected by a huge barrier reef, making forming calm, sheltered conditions that are perfect for things like kayaking, paddleboarding, or kayaking.
This section of the Mexican Caribbean coast can also experience a lot of wind, allowing for great kite boarding or kite surfing conditions as well.
23. A Day at the Mexican Adventure Parks
I'll admit it. Adventure parks aren't really my thing. However, after hearing so many great wraps from other backpackers and tourists who have visited the famous Xplor Adventure Park, I think it's safe to say it deserves a spot on this Tulum travel guide.
The park is open Monday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm. Visiting from Tulum, you can expect a roughly 45-minute drive up the straight Tulum-Cancun Highway. Once there, you can explore the huge park, which is set in natural forests with waterfalls, caves, and even some cenotes. There are ziplines, ATV experiences, and rafting activities available at the park– making it quite a unique attraction and your kids will probably thank you for taking them on one of the craziest things to do in Tulum!
24. Day Trip to Playa Del Carmen
Playa Del Carmen is a popular coastal town located just a short drive north of Tulum. Much larger in size, Playa is a nightlife hotspot in Mexico, lined with a magical coastline complete with palm trees and silky, white sands.
Families and couples can take the ADO bus directly to the Playa bus station to take a stroll down Quintana Avenida, a huge pedestrian thoroughfare with a huge variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs.
If like me, adventure is more your thing, then you'll find a bunch of cenotes around here that are great for diving and swimming at, including the very famous Cenote Cristalino.
25. Go Ziplining at Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park
Mexico is well-known for its epic zip lines. The majority of the best runs are usually within larger adventure parks, and this is just the case with the Yucatan's best zipline at Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park.
This park contains nine epic runs over some incredible jungle terrain. Additionally, the park has its own cave swimming cenote as well as a small climbing wall to enjoy after the lines. You can reach the park easily from Tulum by taking a taxi for less than 300 Mexican pesos.
26. Sailing Tour to Isla Mujeres from Tulum
What's the most epic day tour from Tulum? If you ask me, it's the catamaran sailing trip to Isla Mujeres.
This trip is very popular but for good reason. You'll get to visit one of the most beautiful islands off Mexico on a luxury catamaran, stopping at picture-perfect coves and snorkeling over stunning coral reefs.
If you check popular booking websites, you'll find a tonne of these tours both Playa del Carmen and from Cancun as well. I recommend booking this top-rated catamaran tour from Tulum as it includes hotel pickup and you won't have to deal with extra fees for things like snorkeling equipment and food onboard.
Where to Stay in Tulum
Wondering about where to stay in Tulum? Generally speaking, there are two areas, Tulum Town (Pueblo), and the Tulum Hotel Zone (Tulum Beach).
Tulum Town is a laid-back town close to the ADO bus station and has loads of hotels, guest houses, hostels, restaurants, bars, and everything else you could imagine.
The Tulum Hotel Zone is located closer to the to the beach, where you'll find more high-end hotels, beach resorts, restaurants, and nightclubs. Here are the 3 top picks from both neighborhoods.
- Casa Malca - Perfect for couples searching for a luxury, private and relaxing resort. It's situated on a private beach surrounded by palm trees and offers luxury spa treatments and a large outdoor swimming pool.
- Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins - Stay in an epic tree house just 100m from South Tulum Beach! Features an epic root-top jungle bar with rooms overlooking the ocean.
- Myan Monkey - By far the best hostel for a party vibe and making lifelong friends. The perfect choice for backpackers looking for accommodation in a great location. Just a short walk to Tulum Center where you can find many restaurants and bars.
Best Time to Visit Tulum Mexico
The best time to visit Tulum is between December to April, when the weather is usually warm and sunny. However, this is the high season, when many American tourists head to Mexico for their yearly vacation. As a result, Tulum can get quite busy during this time of the year (especially during January).
If you want to escape the crowds, then visit in the shoulder seasons between July and August. During this time of the year, the weather is quite hot and the coast starts receiving a slight shower daily. However, you'll still get plenty of sun as the hurricane season doesn't really set in until September.
Beach lovers will also want to know that Mexico experiences the sargassum seaweed season every year between the months of May and October. During this time, the majority of the usually pristine beaches are covered in large amounts of seaweed, making for not-so-ideal conditions for swimming or bathing. You can monitor seaweed on this usual website.
Visiting Tulum Travel FAQs
The distance from Cancun to Tulum is approximately 131 kilometers or 81 miles. This journey takes roughly two hours by car, or 2.5 hours by public bus.
Tulum is considered to be a relatively safe travel destination. There is some risk involved but it is not the most dangerous travel destination in the Americas. Keep your common sense and you will likely have a great vacation.
Tulum is located in Quintana Roo, on the Mayan Riviera of the Yucatan Peninsula.
This will depend on the style of travel you prefer. If you want an all-inclusive holiday where you stay in the same resort for the whole time, then Cancun has more options. If you'd prefer to actually travel and experience the place, then I'd pick Tulum over Cancun by a mile.
The rainy season on the Mayan Riviera begins between June and October but really starts to set in during September. For the best experience, I recommend visiting in the shoulder season of July or August.
I would consider Tulum to be quite an expensive travel destination, especially considering that this is Mexico. Expect inflated prices for restaurants, hotels, and hostel dorms that can be 2-3 times what you'd pay in other parts of Mexico. However, overall Tulum is a cheaper place to visit than Cancun.
Tulum has gained international attention due to its beautiful natural scenery, including dense, tropical jungles, crystal clear cenotes, and white-sand beaches. The boutique hotels and laid back atmosphere also attracts many young people looking to meet other travelers and enjoy the famous nightlife.
Don't litter, don't pass out drunk on the beach, and don't flaunt drugs or money in public.
Yes and no. Tulum definitely has a vibrant nightlife scene, but there's plenty of things to do besides just get blind drunk, including visiting the epic cenotes, exploring the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere, and checking out ancient Mayan ruins.
Vacationing in Tulum? Read These Travel Tips First
Chosen Tulum Mexico for your next tropical vacation? Read these travel tips first.
- Staying in town is cheaper than staying in the hotel zone
- Tulum is very busy in the high season, so book your accommodation in advance!
- Hiring a bike is the best way to get around town and to get from the pueblo to the beach.
- Renting a car is the most cost-effective way to explore the greater area and visit sites like Chichen Itza.
- Don't forget travel insurance, the best choice for Mexico is SafetyWing.
- Use Mexican pesos, not US dollars. If you want to pay with US dollars, you'll almost always be charged inflated prices. There are ATMs all over Tulum where you can safely withdraw money. If you're worried about exchange fees, I highly recommend getting a Wise account before leaving.
- Go on day trips. Tulum is a great launching pad for seeing the rest of the incredible Yucatan peninsula, don't waste the opportunity!
More Things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula
I hope that you've enjoyed this extensive Tulum travel blog and it's helped you plan your itinerary and list of epic things to do!
While you're here, why not take a deeper dive into your travel planning by reading some of my adventure guides to Mexico below?