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Looking for the best things to do in Tulum? Look no further! A town known for its white sugary beaches, lush Mayan jungle and ancient ruins, Tulum is a postcard picture from Mexico’s Caribbean. In this article, I Gove you a complete overview of the best things to do in Tulum, whether you want to visit cenotes, go to the beach or explore Mayan ruins.
When you visit Tulum, it’s easy to see why it has become so popular: it has a great foodie scene, gorgeous cenotes, some of the best beaches in Mexico, and close access to some of the best destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Best things to do in Tulum: a complete overview
Besides boasting some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Tulum has many cultural and natural wonders. Whether you want to explore or relax on the beach, tis article provides a complete overview of the best things to do in Tulum.
PRO TIP: One of my top Mexico travel tips is to carry Mexican Pesos. While some stores, restaurants and shopping malls accept credit cards, small local markets, street vendors and artisans only accept cash.
1. Bask in the sun at Tulum beaches
Tulum beaches boast powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. Called “playas” in Spanish, they sit along the road that runs through the town. While south beaches are often accessible only through resorts and boutique hotels, north beaches in Tulum are more spacious and touristy.
✅ Playa Ruinas
Perhaps one the most beautiful beaches in Tulum is Playa Ruinas that is right below the famous Tulum Ruins. It boasts amazing turquoise waters and a great scenery, so if there’s one beach in Tulum you have to visit, it is definitely Playa Ruinas!
✅ Playa Paraiso
Paradise Beach in Tulum is a pristine stretch popular with yoga enthusiasts and snorkelers. It has plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby where you can buy food and snacks. If you are looking for gorgeous setting and proximity to amenities, you should definitely include it in your Tulum itinerary.
✅ Playa Las Palmas
Las Palmas is one of my favorites beaches in Tulum because it’s a lot more secluded than other beaches in Tulum and provides a quiet retreat. Since this beach doesn’t have any restaurants or food stands nearby, don’t forget to bring your own food and water.
✅ Secret Beach
This beach is located deep in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and boasts a secluded location away from other tourist hot spots. Frequented mostly by locals, this beach sees few tourists, so be prepared to speak Spanish if you need to buy something or ask for directions. Secret Beach is about one hour away from Tulum which makes a perfect day trip.
2. Learn the Mayan culture
Did you know that although the Mayan civilization had collapsed thousands of years ago, the Mayan culture is alive in Yucatan.
✅ Need to get around? Check my complete guide to renting a car in Tulum
If you love culture and history, learning the Mayan culture is one of the best things you can do in Tulum. But how do you do that? There are a couple of ways: For example, you can visit Mayan ruins in the area or take a Mayan language class where you can learn fascinating facts about the Maya culture and its language.
3. Visit Tulum ruins
Facing the turquoise Caribbean waters, Tulum ruins are considered some of the most scenic Mayan ruins in entire Mexico.
Tulum was built as a fortress on the Caribbean Sea and served as an important trading point for the ancient Mayans. The most prominent feature of the site is the castle, El Castillo is perched above the cliff along the coast. If you continue going north of El Castillo, you will see a trail going along the cliff.
Best rated tours of Tulum ruins
One of the biggest draws of Tulum ruins is the stunning beach with powdery white sand right below the ruins where you can swim after taking a walking tour of the ruins.
It’s a perfect mini getaway from Tulum without having to rent a car or get on a bus, but the downside of this convenience is that Tulum ruins can get crowded even in the morning, so try to visit when the site opens or later in the afternoon around 4 p.m.
Price: 65 Pesos + additional fee of 30 pesos if you have a camera and want to take photos
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Can you climb the ruins: No
4. Check out downtown Tulum (aka Pueblo Tulum)
Pueblo Tulum (or downtown Tulum) is home to many budget hotels, great unpretentious eateries, yummy street food, and some of the best shopping in Tulum. I particularly recommend trying some street tacos in Tulum, as well as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies that are made right on the spot by local street vendors.
5. Eat in the best restaurants in Tulum
Tulum boasts an amazing restaurant scene. From traditional Mexican restaurants to upscale fine dining options, this destination has about every option that you can think about.
Here are some of the most popular restaurants in Tulum:
✅ Burrito Amor – One of the most popular restaurants in downtown Tulum, Burrito Amor has the best … burritos in town!
✅ Matcha Mama – A classic Tulum staple, Matcha Mama has yummy smoothie bowls and smoothies in a gorgeous setting. Many people come here simply to snap a couple of photos, so don’t forget to grab your camera when you come here.
✅ Antojitos La Chapaneca – A local restaurant with an authentic flair, Antojitos La Chapaneca offers an authentic experience and is more popular with locals than tourists. Their menu has sopas, paunchos, tacos and many other Mexican staples.
6. Explore Tulum by bicycle
Exploring the area by bicycle is one of the best FREE things to do in Tulum. You can quickly get around town and go from the beach to downtown Tulum and stop at stores and restaurants along the way.
You can rent a bike in Tulum in many hotels and bike shops around downtown, all you need is cash and your ID. Most of these stores ask to put down a deposit between 500-1,000 pesos which you will get back when you return your bike.
Some of the shops where you can rent a bicycle in Tulum are Iguana, Kelly Bike Rental and Barbel. Many hostels and hotels in Tulum also offer bike rentals to their guests.
7. Take a Mexican cooking class
Of course, we all go to Mexico to try some of the most popular staples from Mexican cuisine like tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, among many other things. But what if you could learn some of these cooking secrets from local masters?
Not everybody knows this, but you can take a traditional Mexican cooking class while in Tulum to learn the authentic recipes and the secrets of cooking.
Best cooking classes in Tulum
8. Try your hand at water sports
Tulum’s location along the Caribbean Coast of Mexico makes it a perfect place to try water sports. Whether you want to try kite surfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, or scuba diving, you will have a blast.
Kitesurfing has become particularly popular in Tulum in recent years, and you can book kite surfing lessons in several kite surfing schools like Siankite in Tulum.
9. Visit Punta Laguna Nature Reserve
One of Tulum’s hidden gems, Punta Laguna is a natural reserve where you can spot spider monkeys, all kinds of birds, and even jaguars and pumas. Although there’s no direct transportation from Tulum to Punta Laguna, you can take a boat tour to explore the area.
Visiting Punta Laguna is one of the best things to do in Tulum for adventure lovers and it is located about one hour away from Tulum.
10. Explore Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
The largest protected area in Mexico’s Rivera Maya, this biosphere boasts over 1.3-million acres wilderness and is home to many marine creatures such as manatees, dolphins, turtles, and rays. Sian Ka’an Biosphere was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, a year after it gained a status of a Biosphere Reserve.
Visiting Sian Ka’an on a day trip is one of the best things to do in Tulum if you want to escape the crowds. The lagoons of Sian Ka’an boast crystal clear water and swimming in the canals amid mangroves is such a fun experience!
Visiting Sian Ka’an is only possible with a tour. Typically, tours pick you up in Tulum (the closest town to Sian Ka’an) or any other town in the Mexican Rivera Maya by colectivo (a small van) and drive to the entrance of Sian Ka’an, from where you will get on a boat.
Best Sian Ka’an tours from Tulum
At Sian Ka’an, you can see dolphins, turtles, manatees, crocodiles and lizards. Depending on a tour, you might also have an opportunity to snorkel along the reef that protects this huge lagoon.
PRO TIP: If you plan to visit Sian Ka’an, get a biodegradable sunscreen that will not damage its fragile ecosystems. You can also use it when you go for snorkeling in cenotes, so when you shop, look for the reef-safe label.
11. Get off the beaten path in Muyil
If you visited Tulum and Coba and made a trip to Chichen Itza, you might feel like you’ve seen some of the best Mayan ruins in Mexico. Now let me tell you about a hidden gem about 20 minutes south of Tulum and feels like the world away.
Muyil was one of the earliest and longest inhabited ancient Maya sites on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula. Located in the jungle, it is dominated by the pyramid (El Castillo) that stands 56 feet tall and also boasts a boardwalk through the lagoon which leads to a cool observation tower.
Best tours of Muyil from Tulum
PRO TIP: Muyil also offers access to Sian Ka’an Biosphere, so if you would like to get a tour, you can combine these two activities. I spent a day at Muyil and I got to check the ruins, climbed the tower, and took a boat tour of Sian Ka’an where my guide and all of our group took a swim in one of the canals.
Visiting Muyil and Sian Kaan on the same trip was by far one of my favorite things to do in Tulum.
12. Go shopping in Tulum
Unlike Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, Tulum doesn’t have huge commercial malls and plazas.
But it has something better: many small boutique stores that are owned by local people. It also has many stands with artisan goods and products where you can buy handmade goods, clothing, and souvenirs that were made by Mexican artisans in villages around the Yucatan Peninsula.
Buying these things will help to support the local economy and provide salaries for many local craftspeople who work so hard to create some of the arts and crafts that you see on the streets of Tulum.
13. Swim in Tulum Cenotes
Visiting cenotes is by far one of the most popular things to do in Tulum.
What is a cenote?
A cenote (pronounced seh-no-te) is a sinkhole filled with fresh groundwater that is formed when the bedrock collapsed exposing the groundwater underneath.
There are over 6,000 cenotes around Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula – the vast majority of them either too hard or impossible to access. Still, there are many cenotes where you can swim, snorkel and even dive. There are tons of cenotes around Yucatan Peninsula, with some of the most beautiful cenotes near Tulum.
Best cenote tours from Tulum
The ancient Mayans who lived in this part of Mexico believed that cenotes were the entrance to the underworld and there’s evidence that sacrifices have taken place in many cenotes around Yucatan.
The best cenotes near Tulum:
Price: 500 Pesos
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
How to get there: The closest cenote to Tulum, Gran Cenote can be accessed by a quick bike ride from downtown Tulum.
Gran Cenote is comprised of several sections that are connected by wooden broad walks. This cenote is popular for swimming, snorkeling, and photography, as many visitors come here to admire the crystal clear waters of this cenote.
It’s also possible to see turtles and colorful fish while snorkeling in this cenote. This is the most expensive cenote near Tulum, and you need to pay in cash. If you are traveling on a budget, consider visiting other cenotes in the area like Cenote Casa (Cenote Manati), Cenote Car Wash and Cenote Cristalino, which are much cheaper.
Cenote Car Wash
Price: 50 Pesos. This cenote is also popular for diving thanks to its beautiful underwater features, however, you must bring your diving equipment. To dive here, you have to pay additional 120 pesos
Hours: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
How to get there: Cenote Car Wash is located about 5.5 miles from Downtown Tulum past the entrance to Cenote Calavera. This is one of those cenotes near Tulum which makes sense to rent a car (especially if you plan on visiting multiple cenotes), however, you can catch a taxi for about 150 pesos one way.
Cenote Car Wash got its name because people used to wash their cars right nearby and the cenote was used as a landmark to help people find the car wash. Crazy, right? Although it doesn’t get anywhere near as much attention as some of the most popular cenotes near Tulum such as Gran Cenote or Cenote Calavera, it’s worth a visit.
Cenote Nicte Ha
Price: 100 Pesos
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
How to get there: Cenote Nicte Ha is located just 20 minutes north of Tulum along Highway 307. You can easily catch a colectivo or get a taxi from Tulum to this cenote.
Cenote Nicte Ha is more like a pool with clear water than typical cenotes that you find around Tulum.The surface of the cenote covered with hundreds of gorgeous Lillies. The cenote is surrounded by lush vegetation and offers plenty of shade – which makes for a refreshing, but not overly cold swim.
Price: 70 Pesos
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
How to get there: Cenote Escondido is located along Highway 307 south of Tulum and requires just a 5-minute ride. You can get a taxi in Tulum but the easiest way to get here is by renting a car.
Surprisingly few travelers know about this hidden jewel. This open cenote lives up to its true name thanks to clear waters and the surrounding jungles (Escondido means lost in Spanish), and you feel away from everything here, although this cenote is just 3 kilometers away from Tulum.
14. Scuba dive in Tulum cenotes
Did you know that there are some incredible cenotes near Tulum where you can scuba dive? A quick note though: scuba diving in Tulum cenotes requires special certification, since many of these cenotes have complex cave systems, and is typically done with a guide.
Luckily, there are many tour companies in Tulum that offer diving trips to Tulum cenotes. Some of the most popular cenotes near Tulum for scuba diving are Cenote El Pit, Cenote Dos Ojos and Cenote Car Wash.
15. Or go on a snorkeling trip in Tulum
If diving is not your thing, take a snorkeling trip from Tulum. Snorkeling tours depart daily from Tulum, and you can take either buy a guided snorkeling tour in one of the tour agencies in Tulum, or get a tour right on the beach in Tulum. Many vendors sell tours right on the beaches of Tulum.
Taking a snorkeling trip is one of the most popular things to do in Tulum.
Best Tulum snorkeling tours
✅ Check my complete guide to tipping in Mexico to find out how to tip your tour guide.
16. Participate in a Temazcal ceremony
A traditional Temazcal ceremony is one of the most incredible cultural experiences that a traveler can have while visiting Mexico’s Rivera Maya! This ancient ritual involves a shaman who guides participants through the ceremony that is supposed to cleanse the spirit.
17. Visit Coba ruins
Distance from Tulum to Coba: 27 miles
If you are visiting Tulum and want to take a day trip without driving too far, visit Coba ruins.
Located about 35-40 minutes from Tulum by car, Coba ruins are spread over 80 miles and have numerous structures including the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula, Nohoch Mul, that you can climb to enjoy cool views.
While the town near the Coba ruins is pretty small, you can combine your tour of Coba Ruins with a quick visit to nearby cenotes Tankach-Ha, Choo-Ha and Multum-Ha.
Best tours of Coba ruins from Tulum
👉 Check my complete guide to Coba ruins and Coba cenotes to plan your trip.
Coba ruins are pretty spread out around the Archaeological Park with some of the sites located about 1 km away from one another. Most of the trail goes through the jungle, but you should still put on plenty of sunscreen and bring snacks and water.
18. Relax in Laguna Ka’an Luum
Located about 15 minutes away from downtown Tulum along Highway 307, Laguna Kaan Luum is one of the best things to do in Tulum if you want a quick getaway. The most notable feature of the lagoon is the dark blue cenote in the middle which creates a stark contrast with the lighter outer areas of the lagoon.
Laguna Kaan Luum is a perfect place to escape busy Tulum, and relax in the nature thanks to shallow waters, wooden pier and opportunities for paddle boarding.
The laguna looks like a huge lake and has some basic facilities, hammocks, restrooms and huts where you can hide from the sun. Entrance cost: 300 pesos. If you want to fly your drone, you have to pay additional 150 pesos.
You can reach Laguna Kaan Luum by rental car, scooter or colectivo from Tulum.
19. Explore magical Bacalar
Distance from Tulum to Bacalar: 215 kilometers (133 miles)
Located along the spectacular lagoon of Seven Colors, Bacalar is one of the best places to visit in Yucatan.
I recommend taking a boat tour of the Bacalar lagoon ahead of time. And don’t forget to visit some of the best cenotes near Bacalar such as Cenote Cocalitos, Cenote Azul and Cenote Esmeralda.
Best tours of Bacalar lagoon
The tours of Bacalar lagoon can be booked online ahead of time, however, there are also several companies in Bacalar that sell these tours on a spot. I did my tour with Bacalovesailing and loved them. They have an incredible all-female crew that is super knowledgeable about the lagoon and offer fun and educational tours.
How to get to Bacalar from Tulum: Take Highway 307 toward Chetumal and continue all the way south until you arrive in Bacalar, if you are traveling with a rental car. But if you are traveling from Tulum to Bacalar by bus, you can catch an ADO bus from the main bus station in Tulum.
20. Take a yoga class
Tulum is one of the most popular destinations for yoga retreats in Mexico thanks to its hippie and bohemian vibes. Participating in a yoga retreat or just taking a yoga class is one of the best things to do in Tulum if you want to relax and unwind during your visit.
21. Soar above the jungle on a zip-line
Zip-lining is one of the best things to do in Tulum for adrenaline lovers! This fun tour combines off-roading, ziplining, rappelling, and snorkeling in a cenote – so you definitely can’t go wrong with it!
Best zip-lining tours from Tulum
Perfect for thrill-seekers who just have one day in Tulum and want to see as much as possible, this experience also offers chance to take part in a traditional temazcal (sauna-like) ceremony – a unique cultural experience that’s not included on most adventure tours.
22. Stay in one of the most beautiful hotels in Tulum
Tulum is known to have some of the most beautiful hotels in Mexico.
Unless you are traveling on a budget, you should check out at least one of them. When it comes to best things to do in Tulum, nothing compares with staying in some of the most gorgeous hotels here like Nomade, La Zebra and Suenos.
But what if you are a budget traveler?
The good news is that many of these hotels have day clubs where you can spend time after paying an entrance fee and/or purchasing food and a drink. Some of the most popular day clubs are Coco Tulum and Papaya Playa Project.
23. Learn some Spanish
Tulum is a great place to pick up some Spanish skills. The locals are super friendly and welcoming, and are always willing to help you to learn new words and expressions.
Mexican Spanish has many fun slang words that are not found in other forms of the language and learning them is a ton of fun. It’s especially a good idea if you are planning to visit other areas of the country after stopping in Tulum.
24. Enjoy Tulum nightlife
Tulum boasts some of the best nightlife in Mexico’s Caribbean with many upscale hotels set right on the incredible white-sand beach. Some of the most popular Tulum restaurants for a fun night out are Hartwoord, Gitano and Rosa Negra.
If you decide to treat yourself to an upscale dining experience or celebrate a special occasion, don’t forget to make a reservation as not all of these restaurants have availability if you just decide to walk in.
25. Take a day trip from Tulum
There are many cool places within two hours from Tulum, and you should spare at least one day during your stay in Tulum to explore some of them.
Distance from Tulum to Chichen Itza: 152 kilometers (94 miles)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chichen Itza is one of the most popular day trips from Tulum. Chichen Itza is one of the Seven Wonders of The World that is visited by 3 million people per year.
The 75-foot Kukulkan Pyramid is the main feature of the sight and it was built by Myanas to follow astronomy and make sacrifices.
Chichen Itza is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Dominated by the big pyramid El Castillo, it also has a well-preserved market, Ball Court for the Mesoamerican game Pok a Tok, and a Temple of Warriors.
El Caracol, one of the buildings in the complex was used to gauge the movements of the sun and planets.
If you are visiting Yucatan Peninsula for the first time come early morning to beat the crowds. I also recommend skip-the-line ticket which will save you a lot of time, since this a busy archeological area.
How to get to Chichen Itza from Tulum: Although there are no direct buses from Tulum to Chichen Itza, you can take a guided tour or rent a car to get to Chichen Itza from Tulum.
PRO TIP: Chichen Itzá is a busy archaeological area. And it can be very crowded during the high season. To beat the crowds, arrive early to Chichen Itza when it opens at 8 a.m. If you don’t want to get up super early, spend the night in Valladolid, a colonial town near Chichen Itza where you can see historic buildings, swim in cenotes and shop local markets.
Playa Del Carmen
Distance from Tulum to Playa Del Carmen: 65 kilometers (40 miles)
One of the most popular destinations in Mexico’s Rivera Maya, Playa Del Carmen is a tourist hub with many stores, restaurants, fun activities and great connections to many popular destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s one of the best day trips from Tulum if you need to do some shopping and check out some restaurants.
Playa Del Carmen is also a starting point for diving trips thanks to its proximity to the Great Mesoamerican Reef – the second largest barrier reef in the world. And it’s under one hour from Cancun, which means you can quickly head to the airport by bus or taxi.
How to get to Playa Del Carmen from Tulum: You can catch collectivos to Playa Del Carmen from Tulum every hour. There are also many ADO buses from Tulum to Playa Del Carmen that depart from the main bus station in Tulum.
Distance from Tulum to Akumal: 29 kilometers (18 miles)
Located less than one hour away from Tulum Akumal is a small village that is known for its stunning bay with many sea turtles.
Located just north of Tulum, Akumal has been flying under the radar for quite a while, but in recent years, more tourists have been coming here.
GOOD TO KNOW: If you decide to take a snorkeling tour in Akumal to see these majestic creatures, make sure to keep your distance (at least 10 feet) and not to bother or touch them. This has become somewhat a problem, as many turtles have left this area because of the increased tourism activity in the waters of Akumal.
In addition, book a tour with a licensed tour guide who can give you proper guidelines for snorkeling.
Be respectful to all marine creatures, and remember that you are a guest in their world, not the other way around. And use a reef safe sunscreen that will not hurt turtles and bleach the reefs!
How to get to Akumal from Tulum: You can get to Akumal from Tulum by taxi or colectivo.
Best hotels in Tulum
Tulum is divided into the beach area and downtown.
The beach area is home to the most expensive hotels are Tulum. Here you can find boho villas, boutique hotels and luxury resorts. Meanwhile, downtown Tulum has a better selection of budget-friendly accommodations such as motels, hostels and Airbnb’s.
When deciding where to stay in Tulum, you should figure out if you want to be within a walking distance from the beach or if you want to save some money on accommodation and rent a bicycle or scooter to get around Tulum.
Best Hostels Tulum
Staying in a hostel no longer means dull boring dorm rooms and mediocre accommodations.
Tulum hostels are gorgeous and feature beautiful aesthetic, tons of amenities and events. For example, I stayed in Ariche Tulum, a cozy hostel just a few blocks away from ADO bus station in Tulum, and had a great experience!
PRO TIP: If you are looking for the best hostels in Tulum, check Hostelworld.com, the top platform for finding great deals on hostels in all of Mexico’s Rivera Maya!
Other great hostels in Tulum are Botanica that has a stunning design, huge swimming pool and nice common areas. It’s by far one of the most beautiful hostels I’ve ever seen 😊
Another great stay is Holistika, one of the most beautiful hotels in Tulum that has private and shared rooms and offers a quiet setting away from downtown and tons of activities.
Budget Hotels in Tulum
Despite its reputation, Tulum is not all about expensive resorts. The town has plenty of affordable options such as Mango Tulum Hotel just outside of the city center that boasts a garden and pool; or Teetotum Hotel that offers free bikes and free breakfast.
Another great option for budget travelers is Maison Tulum, a colorful hotel a few blocks away from downtown Tulum and near the ADO bus stop.
Mid-Range Hotels in Tulum
If you are looking for a good mid-range accommodation in Tulum, you are in luck! The town has dozens of hotels catering to travelers who are willing to spend a bit more money.
For example, Hotel Cabanas isn’t crazy expensive, but it offers a secluded location with some of the rooms facing the gorgeous white-sand beach. Diamante K is a moderately priced hotel that has beach-front bungalows; and Villas H2O, is a budget-friendly, yet extremely stylish place with a seasonal outdoor pool.
Luxury Hotels in Tulum
Tulum is the ultimate spot for a luxury stay! From eco-lodges to rustic 5-star resorts, Tulum has many gorgeous hotels many of which are located along the beach. For example, Casa Malca, an upscale resort about 6 miles away from Tulum sits along the beach near the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
Suenos Tulum is an extremely photogenic hotel along the beach. It boasts artsy Mayan-themed decor and a gorgeous outdoor setting with hammocks and cozy decks.
And if you want a more secluded spot, choose Hotel Bardo, one of the most beautiful hotels in Tulum that will blow you away with its amazing design! Another gorgeous eco-setting is Nomade Tulum that has incredible tree houses and cabins in the middle of the lush jungle.
Where is Tulum located?
Tulum is located in Quintana Roo State along Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Tulum from Cancun via 307 Highway.
How to get to Tulum Mexico
Most travelers visit Tulum from Cancun, home to the largest international airport in Mexico’s Rivera Maya.
There are a couple of ways to get from Cancun to Tulum, and you can find a detailed overview in this article.
Here are a couple of ways to get from Cancun to Tulum:
A shared shuttle is a popular option among budget travelers. Unlike private transfers from Cancun to Tulum, shared shuttles have between 10-15 passengers and take slightly longer, as they make multiple stops to pick up everybody.
Renting a car in Cancun is a good option, if you plan to explore the Yucatan Peninsula beyond Tulum, and don’t want to rely on taxis and public transportation. City Car Rental is one of the best car rental companies in the area that is located less than 10 minutes away from Cancun International Airport.
ADO is the largest bus company in the region, and its buses depart from the airport multiple times per day. It’s a popular option among budget travelers, as it allows you to save a good chunk on change, but takes more time than other types of transportation.
Taking a taxi is by far the most expensive option which will cost you about 1,500 Mexican Pesos on average. Note that at this point, there’s no Uber in Cancun, so you will have to rely upon taxis at the airport or private taxi companies. Make sure to negotiate the price upfront, and have cash, because credit cards are rarely accepted by taxis in Mexico.
Do I need to rent a car for my trip to Tulum?
Whether you need a car depends on your plans.
If you want to stay near the beach and hit a few bars and restaurants, you might not need a car. Those tourists who stay in Tulum hotels along the beach get around by bicycle or scooter which could be rented in Tulum. To check out Tulum ruins or take a dip in cenotes near Tulum, you can take a taxi.
However, if you plan to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and don’t want to travel by bus, I recommend a car rental. Check my complete guide on renting a car in Tulum.
Things to know about renting a car in Mexico
Before you rent car for your trip to Tulum, let’s go over a couple of things.
When you look for your rental car online, watch out for very low bait-and-switch rates as they typically involve a high insurance which is not disclosed. Insurance is mandatory for car rentals in Mexico, and if you fail to do your homework and check a rental company, you could be hit with a few hundred dollar bill on top of your daily rate.
Best things to do in Tulum: FAQ’s
What is Tulum most known for?
Tulum is one of the most popular places to visit in Mexico’s Rivera Maya that’s known for its white-sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins and gorgeous cenotes where you can cool offend escape busy Tulum beaches.
Is Tulum safe to visit?
Tulum is safe to visit, but crime does occur here. Although a lot of criminal activity here has to do with drug trafficking, always keep an eye on your belongings and stay vigilant whether you are on the beach or in a popular restaurant. The most common types of crime in Tulum are pickpocketing and petty theft, but if you want to protect yourself, consider getting travel insurance ahead of your trip.
Is walking around Tulum safe?
Walking around Tulum is mostly safe, especially around tourist-heavy areas like downtown Tulum and Zona Hotelera. However, you should be more careful when walking around at night especially in deserted and poorly lit areas of the town.
How many days should I spend in Tulum?
This is a tricky question. You can see most Tulum highlights in 3-5 days, and, if you plan on taking day trips from Tulum and exploring cenotes in the area, plan for a week stay in Tulum. That being said, many travelers fall in love with Tulum when they come here and end up expending their stay for months and even weeks.
If you have never been to Tulum I recommend no less than 5 days here to get a good feel of this place before continuing your adventures to other parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.
What’s the best time to visit Tulum?
When you plan your Tulum itinerary, you should be aware of seasonal changes such as the hurricane season that lasts from September through early November in this region of Mexico. During this time, you will see more rain and clouds than usual, so if you plan a classic beach getaway, it is definitely something to consider.
The winter season (January through early April) is the busiest time not only in Tulum but in most of Mexico’s Rivera Maya when many visitors from colder climates of North America come here to escape winter, and prices on accommodations around this time tend to be higher.
The best time to visit Tulum is November through early January. The hurricane season is over, the weather is not extremely hot, and hotel prices in Tulum are great during this time!
I hope you were able to get some inspiration for your Tulum itinerary and will have a great time when you visit this stunning part of Mexico’s Caribbean Coast.
What is the best month to go to Tulum?
The best month to go to Tulum is November. Technically a shoulder season, November has a nice weather with plenty of warm, sunny days but lacks the crowds of the high season which lasts from December through April.
Can you drink water in Tulum?
As in the rest of Mexico, you can’t drink water in Tulum. Bring your reusable water bottle, so you can refill in your hotel, or buy bottled water.
Do I need Spanish in Tulum?
Here’s the best way to put it: most people who work in hospitality industry, especially in more expensive hotels, as well as restaurants and tour companies do speak English. However, as soon as you go to downtown Tulum, you will find fewer people speaking English. Speaking Spanish is very helpful if you plan to buy street tacos or grab some food in more local restaurants.
Is Tulum worth visiting?
As someone who has visited Tulum multiple times, I can say that it is worth a visit! That being said, some Tulum has grown considerably over the last 10 years. Still a stop in Tulum is a must as it boasts some of the best Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, gorgeous beaches and vibrant nightlife.
How many days is enough in Tulum?
Plan to spend at least 3-5 days in Tulum to enjoy everything that it has to offer from the gorgeous beaches to cenotes and Mayan ruins and also have time to take some of the best day trips from Tulum.
Best things to do in Tulum: Final word
Tulum is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico’s Caribbean, and although it can feel touristy, it is absolutely worth a visit! Here you will find wonderful postcard scenery, ancient Mayan ruins, and dozens of wonderful cenotes in the dense Mayan jungle. Make sure to include Tulum on your Mexico itinerary!