Tulum travel guide

Tulum Tourism | Tulum Guide

You're Going to Love Tulum

Tulum is known for being one the last cities built and occupied by the Mayans. The ruins to the north of the city and other archaeological sites have become popular tourist destinations and will fill you with wonder.

Tulum is a small city on the Yucatán Peninsula renowned for its stunning beaches. The tropical weather and luxurious hotels and resorts make this spot an ideal choice for vacationing and exploring the area.

Larger cities, including Playa Del Carmen and Cancún, are off to the north of Tulum, while the island of Cozumel is only 60 miles off the coast. A number of other archaeological sites are spread throughout the region, including the famous Chichen Itza.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Tulum

1. Discover the Ruins

The archaeological site located north of Tulum was thought to be called Zama, or Place of the Dawning Sun. This ancient walled city overlooks the Caribbean Sea and is a fascinating journey into the past.

2. Wind Through Cave Systems

The region is known for its caves and cenotes. Explore the Sac Actun or snorkel through Casa Cenote and witness breathtaking ecosystems, landscapes, and rock formations.

3. The Beaches

Tulum is on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, surrounded by beaches, including the Playa Paraiso and the Playa Pescadores. Being near the Caribbean Sea is also the perfect opportunity to book a tour and go shark, dolphin or whale watching.

4. The Great Outdoors

Whether you love climbing or surfing or want to spend a day at one of the local adventure parks, you will never run out of options for outdoor fun and excitement.

5. The Weather

The tropical climate is one of the main draws of the Yucatán Peninsula, and you can enjoy warm weather almost all year round.

What to do in Tulum

1. Tulum Mayan Ruins: Majestic Ruins by the Sea

The ancient Mayan city of Tulum sits on the edge of a sparkling turquoise coastline. Once a walled seaport, these 13th-century ruins compose a vast and mysterious puzzle just waiting to be pieced together, with painted clues residing in the Castillo pyramid and the Temple of the Frescos, the most well preserved buildings. Don't forget to spot the Temple of the Wind Gods, guarding the entrance of the bay and making for an unforgettable sight.

2. Gran Cenote: Underwater Exploration

The Yucatan peninsula is rife with underwater caves, Tulum's Gran Cenote being one of the most popular. Sacred waters for the Mayans, cenotes continue to be frequented for unique experiences today. These incredible natural sinkholes remain a feast for the eyes, while atmospheric stalactites create a symphony of dripping water. At the Gran Cenote, visitors can swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive into one of the longest cave systems on Earth.

3. Playa Paraiso: Paradise. Beach.

While Tulum is known for its Mayan history and world famous ruins, relaxing on the beach is also an essential experience of the Yucatan lifestyle. With perfect views across the Caribbean Sea, the luxury of food service and beach chair rentals, and the perfect weather, nothing can go wrong.at Paraiso

4. Xel-Ha Water Park: Infinite Fun

Built around the archaeological site of the Xelha Mayan civilization, this unique water park offers countless activities, from exploring underwater grottos to walks through the mangrove. Swim with the dolphins, slide down a zip-line, or enjoy the lagoon's natural aquarium, Xel-Ha has it all.

5. Sian Ka'an: "Origin of the Sky"

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is unparalleled in its natural diversity. Visitors are welcomed onto 1.2 million acres of protected land and can explore estuaries, reefs and cenotes. The reserve is also home to 23 archeological sites, including the pyramids of Muyil, and many recreational activities and tours to please all tastes.

Tulum Mayan RuinsTulum Mayan Ruins
Gran CenoteGran Cenote
Playa ParaisoPlaya Paraiso
Xel-Ha Water ParkXel-Ha Water Park

1. Tulum Mayan Ruins: Majestic Ruins by the Sea

The ancient Mayan city of Tulum sits on the edge of a sparkling turquoise coastline. Once a walled seaport, these 13th-century ruins compose a vast and mysterious puzzle just waiting to be pieced together, with painted clues residing in the Castillo pyramid and the Temple of the Frescos, the most well preserved buildings. Don't forget to spot the Temple of the Wind Gods, guarding the entrance of the bay and making for an unforgettable sight.

2. Gran Cenote: Underwater Exploration

The Yucatan peninsula is rife with underwater caves, Tulum's Gran Cenote being one of the most popular. Sacred waters for the Mayans, cenotes continue to be frequented for unique experiences today. These incredible natural sinkholes remain a feast for the eyes, while atmospheric stalactites create a symphony of dripping water. At the Gran Cenote, visitors can swim, snorkel, and even scuba dive into one of the longest cave systems on Earth.

3. Playa Paraiso: Paradise. Beach.

While Tulum is known for its Mayan history and world famous ruins, relaxing on the beach is also an essential experience of the Yucatan lifestyle. With perfect views across the Caribbean Sea, the luxury of food service and beach chair rentals, and the perfect weather, nothing can go wrong.at Paraiso

4. Xel-Ha Water Park: Infinite Fun

Built around the archaeological site of the Xelha Mayan civilization, this unique water park offers countless activities, from exploring underwater grottos to walks through the mangrove. Swim with the dolphins, slide down a zip-line, or enjoy the lagoon's natural aquarium, Xel-Ha has it all.

5. Sian Ka'an: "Origin of the Sky"

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is unparalleled in its natural diversity. Visitors are welcomed onto 1.2 million acres of protected land and can explore estuaries, reefs and cenotes. The reserve is also home to 23 archeological sites, including the pyramids of Muyil, and many recreational activities and tours to please all tastes.

Tulum Mayan RuinsTulum Mayan Ruins
Gran CenoteGran Cenote
Playa ParaisoPlaya Paraiso
Xel-Ha Water ParkXel-Ha Water Park

Where to Eat in Tulum

Make sure you try the marinated meats - the specialty of the Yucatán Peninsula - during your trip. There are many dining options in Tulum, including traditional Mexican food, Italian fare, and fusion cuisine. You will find cheap eats like pizza or Mexican and Caribbean fast food as well as more upscale places like El Asadero, Unico, or Hartwood. Check out Manglar Pizzeria, El Camello or Pollo Bronco to try the local delicacies. The more upscale restaurants serve seafood, Japanese cuisine, Italian dishes, and fusion cuisine. You can get large portions at a fast food place for only a few pesos while dining at an upscale restaurant will cost you around Mex$300.

Most popular restaurants in Tulum

$$$$
Mexicana regional
Excellent (558 reviews)
Internacional
Excellent (349 reviews)

When to visit Tulum

Tulum in August
Estimated package price
$571
2 travelers
Flight to Tulum
3 nights at hotel
Tulum in August
Estimated package price
$571
2 travelers
Flight to Tulum
3 nights at hotel

The high tourist season starts in December and typically ends during the spring. The weather is warm all year round but the sea is more predictable during the high season. The downside is that landmarks will be more crowded. The dry season lasts from November to April and you can avoid crowds by planning your trip just before the high season begins. The rainy season lasts from May to October but precipitation should not be excessive since Tulum is near the coast. However, tropical storms and hurricanes can occur in June and July.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Tulum

Plane

The nearest airport to Tulum is Cancún International Airport, which is located around 60 miles away. Shuttles, taxis, and private transfer services run between the airport and Tulum. Booking a private transfer service in advance is the easiest way to get to your destination.

Car

There are different car rental services available at Cancún International Airport. The drive between the airport and Tulum is a straight run south on Mexico 307. Driving between the airport and Tulum will take roughly 90 minutes. Taking a taxi between the airport and Tulum will cost around Mex$140 however, expect to wait in line.

Bus

You can take a first class or a second class bus between the airport and Tulum. Head to Terminal 2 and look for the ADO line that will take you to Playa Del Carmen. A trip in a first class bus should cost about Mex$120 while a trip in a second class bus will cost Mex$5. This is the cheapest way to get to Tulum but the trip can take up to two hours.

Airports near Tulum

Airlines serving Tulum

Lufthansa
Good (1,368 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,464 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,897 reviews)
KLM
Good (290 reviews)
Air France
Good (293 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,073 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,654 reviews)
British Airways
Good (940 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (355 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (928 reviews)
Iberia
Good (661 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (634 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (660 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (195 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (367 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (201 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (627 reviews)
Spirit Airlines
Good (2,245 reviews)
Air Europa
Good (93 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (1,931 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Tulum

Tulum is known for its boutique hotels and more laid-back and affordable lodging options. There are several hotels on the beachfront, including the Zazil Kin, the Hotel Diamante K, the Zamas Hotel, or the Mezzanine. You can also choose to stay in the city by booking a room at the Mestizo Gallery Boutique Hotel, the Hotel Howlita, or the Villas H20 Hotel. If you want an inclusive experience, the Kore Tulum Retreat And Spa Resort is an excellent choice. You will also find a selection of hotels along Mexico 307.

Tulum is a fairly small town with only 30,000 inhabitants and accommodation in the city is typically more affordable compared to the beachfront. If you want to be closer to the Caribbean Sea, your best option is to book a hotel along the shore just south of the ruins.

Popular neighborhoods in Tulum

City Of Tulum - Most of the hotels and restaurants are located along Mexico 307, as well as the Parque Dos Aguas. You will find more residential areas as you get further away from Mexico 307.

Tulum National Park - The Parque Nacional Tulum spans over 664 hectares. The Tulum Ruins are in the northern area of the park and there are beaches just south of the ruins.

Where to stay in popular areas of Tulum

Most booked hotels in Tulum

Casa Malca
Excellent (8.9, 537 reviews)
$496+
Hotel Esencia
Excellent (9.6, 21 reviews)
$1,508+
Xscapetulum
Excellent (8.7, 1896 reviews)
$47+
Náay Tulum Curamoria Collection
Excellent (8.7, 575 reviews)
$91+
Barcelo Maya Palace
Excellent (8.5, 174 reviews)
$160+
Barceló Maya Caribe
Excellent (8, 92 reviews)
$122+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Tulum

Public Transportation

You can take small white vans known as colectivos to get between Tulum and Playa Del Carmen. There is usually a colectivo every 10 minutes but you will have to flag the driver for the van to stop. These vans will pick you up and drop you off anywhere along the highway and each trip will cost you Mex$35.

Taxi

Taxis are your best option if you want to visit the Tulum Ruins, see other beaches in the area, or spend an afternoon in a nearby city. The base price is usually Mex$30, and you will have to pay an additional Mex$15 per mile.

Car

Renting a vehicle is a convenient option if you want to be able to easily get back and forth between your hotel and the beach or want to explore the area, and will definitely help you save money if you want to do some sightseeing or travel to other cities. You can rent a car at Cancún International Airport; expect to pay less than Mex$200 a day for a basic vehicle.

The Cost of Living in Tulum

Shopping Streets

You will find some art galleries and a few souvenir shops along Mexico 307 in Tulum. There aren't many options for shopping, but you will find more stores at the Cancún International Airport and a few shopping plazas in Playa Del Carmen.

Groceries and Other Necessities

There is a Chedraui in Tulum and two Walmart outlets in Playa Del Carmen. There is also a Costco not far from the airport. Shopping at the Chedraui might be a little more expensive than Walmart or Costco.

Cheap meal
$3.85
A pair of jeans
$35.98
Single public transport ticket
$0.26
Cappuccino
$1.93
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