Visit Tulum: Top 35 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in Tulum: The 35 Best Places to Visit

If you’re looking for a chic bohemian vibe, white sand beaches, Mayan ruins and crystal clear cenotes, you’ll for sure love visiting Tulum!

It’s definitely a must-see destination in Mexico for travelers who want to escape the crowded all-inclusive hotels of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

To help you make the most of your stay, I have prepared for you this guide of the best things do in Tulum, with my hotel recommendations for every budget, and the best itineraries to visit Tulum in 1, 2 or 3 days.

So, what are the best places to visit in Tulum?

Let’s find out!


The best tours in Tulum (Brief Overview)

There are so many tours to choose from in Tulum, it can be hard to pick the one that’s right for you!

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here is a quick summary of the best activities available.

To book, just click on the name:

TicketDescriptionPrice (subject to change)
Tulum RuinsGuided tour of the Tulum ruins with hotel pick up75 $USD
Tulum Ruins + CenoteGuided tour of the ruins of Tulum and bathing in a beautiful cenote, with pick-up from your hotel in Cancun39 $USD
Tulum + CobaGuided tour of Tulum and Coba, including pick up, cenote and lunch59 $USD
Chichen Itza + Coba + TulumSmall group visit to Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum. With pick-up, cenote and lunch.295 $USD
Chichen ItzaGuided visit to Chichen Itza, lunch in Valladolid and pick up from your Tulum hotel180 $USD
Tulum + Turtles in AkumalGuided tour of Tulum and diving with turtles in Akumal, including pick-up, cenotes and lunch132 $USD
Tulum + Tankah ParkVisit to Tulum and activities in Tankah Park, including pick-up and lunch153 $USD
Cenote Trail Bike TourGuided bike tour of Escondido, Cristal and Gran Cenote cenotes, with swimming and brunch99 $USD
Tulum Food TourLocal Food Tasting Tour74 $USD
Tulum Tower Entrance TicketEntrance to the Tulum Tower (115 ft) with pictures57 $USD
Private tour to Punta LagunaPrivate tour to Punta Laguna, including pick-up at your Cancun hotel, kayaking, zip line, Mayan ritual and lunch650 $USD
Punta Laguna and CobaPunta Laguna, Coba, lunch, with transportation from Tulum175 $USD
Sian Ka'an Tour (Punta Allen)Boat tour and snorkeling with sea turtle observation around Punta Allen (Sian Ka'an reserve), free time at the beach, with pick-up at your Tulum hotel and lunch.209 $USD
Sian Ka'an Tour (Muyil)Visit to the ruins of Muyil and the Sian Ka'an reserve, boat trip through the mangroves, with pick-up at your Tulum hotel and lunch.153 $USD
Xel-Há Park All-Inclusive 1-Day PassAll-inclusive day ticket to Xel-Há Park with meals (breakfast, snacks and lunch) and open bar115 $USD
Snorkel and Sailing ExperienceSailboat and snorkeling in front of Tulum ruins80 $USD
Luxury CatamaranCatamaran cruise snorkeling, stand up paddle, lunch and open bar152 $USD
Maya Adrenaline ParkFull-day at the Maya Adrenaline Park in Tulum with ATV ride, Zip lines, rappel, mayan ceremony, cenote Labna Ha, horseback ride115 $USD
Horseback RidingHorseback ride with cenote and lunch95 $USD
Mystika Immersive Entrance TicketGeneral admission to the Mystika Immersive sensory experience26 $USD
Selvatica ParkAccess to Selvatica Park with lunch99 $USD

Visit Tulum: All Must-See Attractions

1. The ruins of Tulum

One of the most iconic attractions of the Riviera Maya is the ancient ruins of Tulum.

This walled city (6th-15th centuries) was a sacred site for the worship of the Descending God, and a strategic point for land and sea trade of the Mayas.

It may not be the most impressive archaeological site in the region, but it is truly unique for its stunning location overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

It is also located in the Tulum National Park, the only protected area in this very touristy region between Cancun and Tulum!

What to see in the archaeological zone of Tulum:

  • The wall with the watchtowers
  • The Castillo, facing the sea, which is the main building of the site, used as a landmark to navigate and avoid the large coral reef!
  • The Temple of the Frescoes, which is the best preserved and most interesting structure, especially for its artistic richness (paintings, engravings, sculptures).
  • The Temple of the Descending God
  • The House of the Columns, House of Halach Uinic, House of the Chultun, House of the Cenote, etc.

You should also visit the beach of the ruins (it’s included in the entrance fee). It’s a great place to enjoy the Caribbean Sea and see the archaeological site from a different angle!

My Advice

How to visit Tulum ruins:

  • Entrance fee: 90 pesos + 58 pesos (2 tickets to pay, cash only). Exception: free for Mexicans under 13 years old, retirees and disabled people; free on Sundays for Mexicans and permanent residents. In these cases, only 58 pesos are required to pay for the bracelet of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas.
  • If you want to hire a guide, you can also read the signs in English/Spanish.
  • The site is open daily from 8am-5pm (last entrance at 4pm).
  • To get to the ruins of Tulum from town: 10 minutes by car from Tulum town or by combi (taken in front of the 7 Eleven on Carretera Federal 307, 20 pesos).
  • To go to the ruins from Playa del Carmen: by ADO bus (1h, 58-110 pesos depending on the time) – as a destination, choose “Tulum archeological zone” and not just “Tulum”.
  • To get to the entrance of the archaeological zone you will have to walk 700m or take the small train (20 pesos).

Buy your tickets for the Tulum ruins:

Here is a summary of the available tickets. You can click directly on the name of the ticket to book it:

TicketDescriptionPrice (may vary)
Guided Tour of Tulum RuinsGuided tour of the Tulum ruins with hotel pick up75 $USD
Tulum Ruins + CenoteGuided tour of the ruins of Tulum and bathing in a beautiful cenote, with pick-up from your hotel in Cancun39 $USD
Tulum + CobaGuided tour of Tulum and Coba, including pick up, cenote and lunch59 $USD
Chichen Itza + Coba + Tulum in Small GroupSmall group visit to Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum. With pick-up, cenote and lunch.295 $USD
Tulum + Turtles in AkumalGuided tour of Tulum and diving with turtles in Akumal, including pick-up, cenotes and lunch132 $USD
Tulum + Tankah ParkVisit to Tulum and activities in Tankah Park, including pick-up and lunch153 $USD
La zona arqueológica de Tulum
Tulum archaeological site

2. Dive into a Mayan cenote

The cenotes are natural fresh water pools that were sacred to the Mayas who believed they were a gateway between the earthly world and the underworld.

Today, swimming in a cenote is one of the best things to do in Tulum!

There are thousands of cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula and they come in all shapes and sizes: some are perfect for families with kids and beginner swimmers, others are only suitable for experienced divers.

Gran Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos are the most popular, but there are others much more peaceful like Nicte-Ha and Calavera, ideal for enjoying nature.

What is The Best Cenote in Tulum?
There are many cenotes in Tulum and to find the best one for you, I suggest you check out my Guide to the 15 best cenotes in Tulum with all the practical information (prices, etc.)
Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum

3. Relax on white sand beaches

Along with Holbox and Contoy, Tulum has some of the most beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula!

Soft sand, warm, calm and crystal clear water: here you have the perfect combination to create paradise on earth.

There are many beaches along the coast, some very touristy and others less known.

These are, in my opinion, the 4 best beaches in Tulum:

Playa Ruinas

Of course, the ruins beach is the most famous beach in Tulum!

I recommend going there early because it is a tourist site that gets crowded quickly and the beach is not very big, but it is nice to combine the archaeological visit with some relaxation.

Don’t be scared of the iguanas, they are harmless but it is better not to get too close to them.

You can also take a boat ride from the beach to see the ruins and go to the reef to snorkel.

The archaeological site of Tulum facing the sea

Paraiso Beach

Playa Paraíso is only 1 km from the ruins, in the Tulum National Park.

The water is calm and the nearby reef offers a good place to snorkel and observe turtles, fish, etc.

And here you find the famous leaning palm tree, an iconic place in Tulum for a good picture!

playa paraiso tulum
Playa Paraiso, Tulum

Las Palmas Beach

Next to Playa Paraiso, you’ll find Playa Las Palmas, another popular beach because of its easy access from downtown Tulum and for being a great spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

There are cafes, restaurants, hotels.

  • Parking 250 pesos.

Xcacel Beach

Xcacel Beach is a beautiful white sand beach that used to be part of a large protected natural reserve with palm trees and mangroves.

From May to October, it is a place where sea turtles nest and where you can join activities for the release of baby turtles from September to late November.

It is a paradisiacal place for snorkeling and diving because there is a coral reef just 50m from the beach and a shipwreck to the south.

  • Entrance fee: foreigners 105 pesos, nationals 51 pesos, Quintana Rooenses 35 pesos.
  • How to get to Playa Xcacel: 20min from Tulum by bus, following Highway 307. You can also get there by colectivo, leaving from 7 Eleven located on 307 ($30 pesos). Remember to tell the driver in advance that you get off at Xcacel, on the beach access side.
  • There are no services on the beach (restaurant, bar, umbrellas) and it closes at 5:30 pm.
tulum playa
A beach in Tulum

4. Take a bike ride

With a nice weather and easy access to the main tourist attractions, Tulum is perfect for biking.

There is a bike lane of just over 3 km that goes to the end of Avenida Coba.

I went to Gran Cenote by bike. If I had been more energetic that day, I could have easily continued along the same road (Highway 109 to Coba) to the Zacil-Ha and Carwash cenotes, for example.

You can also go by bike to the ruins of Tulum and Playa Paraiso, they are only 15 minutes from downtown.

Further away but also reachable by bike from Tulum: the ruins of Muyil (1h15), Coba (2h30) and the Cenote Dos Ojos (1h10).

It is a sustainable and convenient way to explore the city, its surroundings and the beach, but be ready for the sun and the heat, especially in summer!

  • Many hotels offer bikes to their guests, but if this is not your case, it is very easy to find a bike rental shop in Tulum.
  • Renting a bike costs around 250$MXN per day or 550$MXN for an electric bike. You can also rent scooters.

My tip
I recommend this guided bike tour of Tulum that takes you to the Escondido, Cristal and Gran Cenote cenotes, with a delicious brunch!

Renting a bike in Tulum is a great way to explore the area!

5. Snorkel and Sailing Experience

I really suggest trying the sailboat and snorkeling trip in Tulum.

The crew will get you set up with everything you need and share some interesting facts about the ruins. Seeing the Tulum Ruins from the water is a special experience – it’s a view you just don’t get on land!

Then, you’ll spend around 45 minutes exploring the colorful reef, swimming amongst the fish and corals.

It’s a really fun activity in Tulum, perfect for people who like history and the ocean! Book the tour here:

sailing tulum
sailing in Tulum
snorkeling tulum
Snorkeling in Tulum

6. Enjoying Tulum without sargassum

In the last few years, the coast of Quintana Roo has been quite affected by sargassum (brown algae). That’s a shame for Tulum which is especially famous for its clear waters and white sandy beaches…

But there is one place in Tulum where there is never sargassum: Caleta Tankah!

It is a small beach club, not very touristy, with a restaurant, lounge chairs, umbrellas, hammocks and a small cove facing the Caribbean Sea where the seaweed does not get in.

You can also visit a cenote in the middle of the jungle about 164 ft from the beach.

The water is completely transparent, not very deep and the place is very peaceful because there is hardly anyone.

  • Tankah is located 6 km (10 min) from the center of Tulum. From the entrance you have to walk 0.3 miles
  • It costs 300$MXN to enter, it includes sun loungers and umbrellas. You don’t have to buy anything and parking is free.

My tips
It is impossible to know in advance where there will be sargassum, but your best tool will be the Quintana Roo Sargasso Monitoring Network which publishes a daily map with the status of the beaches.

Honestly, it is a wonderful service for the community!

caleta tankah tulum
Tankah Cove, a sargassum-free place in Tulum. Photo from the Facebook page.

7. Eat like a local

Do you want to taste the best local food in town?

With this tour you will have the opportunity to tour the best food spots in Tulum with a local guide and discover the emblematic dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula. 😋

Food tour Tulum
Food tour Tulum

8. Maya Adrenaline Park

Joining a full-day excursion to the Maya Adrenaline Park is the best way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Tulum!

You will enjoy an ATV ride through the jungle, followed by rappel and a treetop ride on four zip lines.

After a Mayan ceremony, you’ll be guided through LabnaHa, a beautiful underground cenote.

Take a break for a delicious Mexican lunch, and then end the adventure with a horseback ride through the Mayan jungle.

  • Pack swimwear, sandals, a towel, and a change of clothes!

The tour includes transportation, lunch and the activities, book it here:

atv tulum
atv tulum

9. Hit the jungle gym

If you’ve scrolled through Instagram or TikTok, you might have come across the Jungle Gym in Tulum, famous for its quirky Flintstones-like setup.

This gym, boasting locations both on the beach and (a brand new one) in the village, features equipment crafted from wood, stone, bamboo, and rope, creating a unique, natural vibe.

  • Just a heads-up though, it’s not merely a photo spot. Entry is reserved for paying clients, with a basic single entrance fee of 300 pesos (town) or 600 pesos (beach)
  • For opening hours and prices, visit the website
jungle gym tulum
The Tulum jungle gym

10. Go on a catamaran adventure

Set off on a half-day snorkeling trip on a luxury catamaran to one of the Caribbean’s impressive reefs.

Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with drinks from the open bar, while your captain heads to popular snorkeling spots.

Your trip starts with a pickup from your hotel, taking you to the catamaran. Onboard, you’ll find a mix of sailing, attentive service by an experienced crew, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, and snorkeling.

In the clear waters, see colorful fish, stingrays, and maybe even turtles.

This half-day outing includes snorkeling, gourmet lunch, and unlimited drinks. Book it here:

catamaran tulum
Catamaran cruise in Tulum

11. Kitesurfing

If you want to kitesurf in Tulum, there are schools on the beach that offer lessons for all levels and equipment rental.

With its long white sand beaches with no rocks, a temperature of around 25C, and 15 to 25 knots of wind all day long, Tulum is a great place for kitesurfing, especially from December to May!

kitesurf tulum
kitesurf in tulum

12. Party in Tulum

Tulum is one of the most famous party destinations in Mexico, but with a completely different vibe than Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

I recommend the Batey – Mojito & Guarapo Bar and their passion fruit mojito, de-li-cious!

They have live music every day and a great atmosphere with travelers from all over the world.

One of the best places to party in Tulum is the Papaya Playa Project, which is a boutique hotel on the beach.

You can go there during the day to chill on the beach or at night to one of their DJ events.

papaya playa project tulum
Photo from Papaya Playa Facebook page

13. Strolling on the Beach Strip

About 15 minutes from downtown is a place you can’t miss in Tulum: the Beach Strip.

It is the hippie-chic area with luxury hotels on the beach, good restaurants, bars, cafes and stores.

Here everything is more expensive than in the center of Tulum, but it is also the most beautiful area of Tulum to walk around and enjoy the scenery.

boutique beach strip tulum
La Troupe, a boutique with the typical Tulum vibe. Photo de la page Facebook.

14. Horseback Riding in the Jungle

Explore the Mayan jungle on horseback and discover idyllic cenotes in Tulum National Park. This guided adventure includes a visit to a dry cenote, where you can spot different types of wildlife in the area, including birds and monkeys.

Head to another cenote to cool off with a refreshing swim. Along the way, admire the different trees and plants of the Mayan jungle. Enjoy a Mexican lunch before returning to the starting point.

It’s an experience you won’t forget!

The tour includes transportation from Tulum or Playa del Carmen, lunch and the horseback ride. Book it here:

horseback riding tulum
horseback riding in Tulum

15. Exploring Atik: Where Art Meets Nature in a Jungle Cenote

Atik is a beautiful natural park in Tulum, surrounded by the Mayan jungle

The park features a big, deep cenote for swimming, teeming with many turtles, with a small poo.

Of course, Tulum has many cenotes, but Atik feels different with its art and numerous great spots for photos!

It’s well-maintained, with clean showers, toilets, life jacket loans, and a snack stand.

Plan to spend 1-2 hours in the cenote at Atik. For a full experience, including looking at the art and walking through the jungle, allow 3 hours.

My tips
 Cenote Atik is currently a secret treasure, not yet widely known. However, being one of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Tulum, it probably won’t stay hidden for long!

If you visit between 9 am and 11 am, you’ll likely have the place to yourself.

atik tulum
Atik Tulum
art atik tulum
Art installation, Atik Tulum

16. Experience the Mayan temazcal

From nahuatl “temazcalli”, meaning house where one sweats, the temazcal is a steam bath of pre-Hispanic origin.

It is a sauna with medicinal herbs that is set up in a mud or stone hut and aims to purify the body and soul.

You can still experience it in different parts of Mexico, with or without the ceremony that goes with it.

There are several places with temazcal in Tulum that last about 1h30, such as Delek Tulum, Maya Tulum Retrat and Spa or Azulik for example.

But be ready to pay, it’s not cheap!

A temazcal

17. Enjoy a drink in the heights

The Tulum Tower is a 115 ft tower that offers a panoramic view over the city, the ruins, the jungle and the sea.

Opened in 2018, it was designed by French engineers and meets the safety standards of Europe.

The concept is very cool: you go up gradually, enjoying the view, then the tower rotates while a guide tells you about the history of the region and you have a drink.

This is a unique experience that lasts no more than 10 minutes, but it is something you shouldn’t miss in Tulum (if you’re not scared of heights) and it is also an amazing place to take photos.

tulum tower
tulum tower

18. Discover the Art of Tulum

With a rich culture that attracts many nationalities, it is not surprising that Tulum hosts so many artistic events.

For example, Art with Me is an international art, music and cultural festival. It brings together businesses, tourists and the local community to carry out environmental and cultural initiatives.

Finally, I suggest you to visit Sfer IK. It is an interdisciplinary creative sphere with exhibitions of international visual artists, workshops and courses. They even have creative workshops for children, so it’s a good family-friendly activity in Tulum.

sfer ik tulum
Sfer Ik Tulum

19. Take a picture of the famous Wooden Sculpture

The Escultura Ven a la Luz, standing tall at 33ft and crafted by South African artist Daniel Popper, represents the harmony between humans and nature.

This wooden sculpture is a key attraction on Tulum’s beach strip!

Due to its popularity for photo opportunities, there’s now a charge for access, and since 2021, the sculpture has become a centerpiece in the Sculpture Garden of the Ahau Hotel.

  • See its exact location on Google Maps
  • Entrance 80 pesos, parking 200 pesos, bike parking 50 pesos
  • From downtown Tulum, a taxi will you cost around 300 pesos (one way)
  • Get there early, around 9 a.m., to avoid the long queue
tulum wooden sculpture
The famous wooden sculpture of Tulum

20. Mystika

Mystika is an immersive museum in Tulum that presents the Mayan culture and natural sanctuaries of Mexico in a surreal artistic atmosphere. It is an extraordinary experience.

You can book your tickets here:

mystika tulum
mystika tulum

21. Take a yoga class

Tulum is Mexico’s main yoga and relaxation destination.

There are several yoga studios in Tulum for those who wish to learn or practice their passion even on vacation.

I tried yoga for the first time at Yoga Dicha Studio and I enjoyed my experience very much.

If you like yoga a lot, a friend also recommended me the Tribal Tulum which offers unlimited access for the week and you can even stay in one of their lofts.

tulum yoga
tulum yoga

22. The archaeological site of Cobá

Coba is definitely one of the best places to visit near Tulum. It was a powerful Mayan city, as important as its rival Chichen Itza, which had up to 50,000 inhabitants at its peak.

It covered about 80 km2 and had a network of 50 roads in its territory.

Today it is a must-see in Yucatán, which you can explore on foot or by bike, and it has the second tallest pyramid on the peninsula called Nohoch Mul (42m).

There are also 3 cenotes in Cobá: Tamcach Ha, Multun Ha, Choo-Ha.

Most visitors don’t even know that there are cenotes at the Coba archaeological site, so they are not crowded.

How to visit Coba:

  • By car: 45 min. from Tulum on Highway 109 towards Valladolid, parking 60 pesos
  • By bus: 1 hour from ADO terminal in Tulum, departure at 10:10 am – return at 3:10 pm, 100$MXN each way
  • Entrance fee : 100 pesos, bike rental 60 pesos, bike taxi with driver 140 pesos

My advice
For a complete experience, I recommend this tour with pick up from your hotel.

It includes a guided visit to Coba, a traditional lunch, a chocolate tasting in a Mayan village, a cenote and the ruins of Tulum. Book it here:

Nohoch Mul (Coba), the 2nd tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula

23. Explore Punta Laguna

Just 20 minutes from Coba, you’ll find the natural reserve of Punta Laguna, or in Mayan “Otoch ma’ax yetel kooh”, the home of the puma and the monkey.

Here the Mayan community has developed a variety of responsible tourism activities that allow you to discover the daily life of the community, learn about their culture, traditions, gastronomy and Mayan beekeeping.

The second part is dedicated to a tour of the jungle where you can see the spider monkeys in their natural habitat.

Finally, the experience continues with outdoor activities: ziplining over the lagoon and swimming in a sacred cenote… where there are human skulls!

This park is a must-see in Tulum because it is much more authentic than other sites and can easily be combined with a visit to Coba.

Book the Punta Laguna tour here:

My Advice
You can also book this tour (click here!) that includes Punta Laguna, the archaeological site of Coba and a cenote! 
punta laguna tulum
Chaman maya à Punta Laguna

24. Boca Paila

Boca Paila is not only one of the best beaches in Tulum, but also a hidden gem that has escaped the massive tourist development of the area.

This natural beauty with crystal clear water and white sand is located within the Sian Ka’an Reserve, between the Muyil Lagoon and the Caribbean Sea.

It is a perfect place for walking, swimming, but also for bird watching and fishing.

How to get to Boca Paila:

  • Boca Paila is 12 miles south of Tulum. Just follow the road from the hotel zone to Punta Allen. You can only get there by car or taxi, as there is no public transportation.
boca paila
Boca Paila à Tulum. Photo Greg B.

25. Holistika Art Walk

Holistika Art Walk in Tulum is an immersive journey through a series of outdoor art installations and murals set in the midst of the lush Mayan jungle.

It’s a unique blend of art, nature, and spirituality, offering a tranquil yet stimulating experience. The walk features works from international and local artists, each piece thoughtfully integrated into the natural surroundings, making it an amazing escape into a world where art and nature coexist in harmony.

  • The entrance is somewhat hidden inside the Hotel Holistika. And, incredible but true, access is (for the moment) free!
holistika art walk tulum
Holistika Art Walk Tulum
art walk holistika tulum
Holistika Art Walk, Tulum

26. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, once the most significant city on the Yucatan Peninsula, is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

During a 2 to 3-hour tour, you’ll explore key landmarks like El Castillo, the site’s main pyramid, the El Caracol astronomical observatory, the Mesoamerican ballgame court, and several other structures.

How to visit Chichen Itza from Tulum:

  • By car (3h30), take highway 307 along the Riviera Maya, then highway 180D. Parking costs 80 pesos
  • ADO bus (2h30): departures 6h30, 7h15, 8h15, 9h15, return 16h30
  • With a tour to Chichen Itza, which includes pick-up in Tulum, guided tour and lunch:

My advice
Check out my Complete Guide to Chichen Itza for all my advice and essential details!
The famous site of Chichen Itza in the state of Yucatan

27. Colonial Town of Valladolid

Valladolid, a picturesque colonial town known for its vibrant buildings and numerous cenotes, stands as one of Yucatan’s oldest and most stunning cities, designated as a Pueblo Magico (Magical Town) in Mexico.

Often visited on the same day as Chichen Itza due to its proximity, Valladolid offers much more to explore: the main square and the San Servacio church, stroll along the Calzada de los Frailes, the San Bernardino convent, and Casa de los Venados, a private house showcasing Mexican folk art.

It’s a fantastic spot to immerse yourself in Yucatan’s culture and history, with captivating architecture, a lively atmosphere, and welcoming locals.

How to get to Valladolid from Tulum: 

  • To go from Tulum to Valladolid (1h30) take Highway 109 Chemax-Coba and then join Highway 180 Cancun-Valladolid
  • By public transport: ADO bus (1h35, 156 pesos)
My advice
san servacio church valladolid
san servacio church valladolid

28. The hidden paradise of Kaan Luum

Only 15 minutes away from Tulum, very close to the Sian Ka’an Reserve you’ll find in the jungle one of the best kept secrets of the area: the Kaan Luum Lagoon.

It’s a lake of stunning green and blue hues, that also features a cenote that reaches a depth of 262ft.

You can’t swim in the cenote because it is reserved for diving, but the whole surrounding area is very nice because the water is shallow (maximum 5ft)!

My advice
At the moment Kaan Luum is not well known by foreigners and is mostly visited by locals and Mexican tourists.

That’s why I suggest you to go during the week when there are fewer people.

To know everything about this hidden gem, you can read My Definitive Guide to Kaan Luum!

kaan luum tulum
Laguna Kaan Luum à Tulum. Photo dronepicr

29. Sian Ka’an: Muyil or Punta Allen

Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sian Ka’an is a paradise of biodiversity and one of the most beautiful places to see in Tulum. It is a protected area of more than 5000km², it is bigger than the island of Cozumel!

It faces the sea, and it is surrounded by mangroves, tropical forests and swamps

The two main access points are Muyil and Punta Allen which offer two very different experiences.

Punta Allen is located on the coast and is the perfect destination to enjoy the beach, lagoons, dolphin watching and snorkeling in the coral reefs.

The road from Tulum to Punta Allen is more difficult and you need a 4×4 car. You can get there by public transportation, but it is quite long and takes more than a day.

The best way to go to Punta Allen from Tulum is definitely by joining an excursion.

My favorite tour of Sian Ka’an includes hotel pick up, boat ride (3h) to see the dolphins and turtles, free time to enjoy the beach and lunch at Punta Allen. Book it here:

Muyil lets you explore the jungle of Sian Ka’an, with swamps, freshwater lagoons and Mayan ruins.

Muyil is easier to reach than Punta Allen and the visit takes half a day from Tulum. To get to Muyil by public transport, you can take an ADO bus towards Chunyaxché (20min).

To visit Muyil from Tulum, I suggest this guided tour that takes you to the ruins of Muyil and includes lunch and a boat ride on the beautiful freshwater lagoons.

Book this tour with pick up from your hotel:

Sian Ka’an Reserve in the Yucatan Peninsula

30. Selvatica Park: Unleashing Adrenaline in the Jungle

Selvatica Park in Puerto Morelos has been recognized as the Best Adventure Park in Latin America by the World Travel Awards and named one of the top 35 global adventures by Travel+Leisure magazine!

This park is perfect for a jungle adventure, featuring the largest zip line circuit on the peninsula, along with hanging bridges, bungee jumping, quad biking, cenotes, and more.

My personal favorite? Tarzania, a thrilling mix of roller coaster and zipline that spans 700 meters.

  • You can visit Selvatica on your own or book tickets with hotel pickup. The package includes zip-lining, Tarzania, a safari truck ride to a cenote, and lunch:

parque selvatica puerto morelos
The zip line to the cenote at Selvatica Park

31. Swimming with turtles in Akumal

Akumal is a beach resort north of Tulum and one of the most famous beaches in the Riviera Maya.

It is known for its white sand, crystal clear water, coral reef, and especially for the presence of turtles that come to feed among the rocks.

It is a perfect bay to swim with the turtles in their natural habitat and to see multicolored fish, manta rays, etc.

You can also visit Akumal to swim in the Yal-Ku Lagoon (3 km from the entrance) and discover the caves of Aktun Chen Park!

My advice
Since the turtles are protected, it is mandatory to do the activity with a guide.

You can hire the service at Akumal beach or go with a tour that includes pick up at your hotel.

I recommend you take this snorkeling tour in Akumal (turtles, fish, corals) with pick up at your hotel, which will take you to explore a cave and swim in a cenote.

You can book it here:


How to get to Akumal:

  • 25 Km from Tulum and 40 Km from Playa del Carmen, taking highway 307
  • By public transportation: take a colectivo from the main street of Tulum and then walk 1km to the beach
akumal méxico

32. Xpu-Ha

Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Xpu-Ha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Quintana Roo!

Few travelers know about it and yet it is a small paradise of fine sand, hammocks and turquoise water.

You can go for a walk, relax on the beach, have a drink in one of the small bars, snorkel (you can rent equipment on site), kitesurf, and even enjoy a massage (30 min or 1 hour).

Cenote Azul is very close, so it is a good idea to combine the two visits!

My tip
There are 3 entrances to Xpu-Ha. Coming from Playa del Carmen, the 2nd is the Playa Xpu-ha Beach Club and the 3rd is the cheapest entrance (50$MXN).

The beach clubs are perfect for enjoying the beach in comfort, but if you prefer to save money, take the last entrance.

How to get to Xpu-Ha:

  • By car: on Federal Highway No. 307, 25 min from Playa del Carmen or 30 min from Tulum. There is private parking on site.
  • By public transportation: take a colectivo from Playa del Carmen (Carretera Federal corner with Avenida Juarez) or Tulum (from the main street). 35$mxn
playa xpu ha
La plage Xpu-Ha

33. Xel-Ha Park

This is the place to go in Tulum with your family!

It is a wonderful aquatic and ecological park where you can dive, snorkel, ride bikes, zip line, visit cenotes and caves.

There is even a children’s area, a water slide and a 40 meter high observation tower.

The basic “Xel-Há All Inclusive” ticket includes access to activities, breakfast and lunch, soft drinks, all necessary equipment, towels and parking.

Book your tickets right here!

Xel Ha Park
Parc Xel-Ha

34. Unwind at Tulum’s Jungle-View Rooftop Bars

In Tulum, each rooftop bar offers a distinct experience. “Mateo’s Mexican Grill” is a favorite for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning sunsets.

Muuyal Rooftop” is the spot for a tranquil evening, while “Nana Rooftop” livens up the night with its live techno music.

mateo tulum rooftop terrace
Mateo’s Mexican Grill, Tulum

35. Dine in a nest

Tulum is a hub for innovative projects that blend nature, luxury, and remarkable organic architecture. A standout experience that immerses you in the jungle is dining in a ‘nest.’

Two places offering this are Kin Toh at Azulik and Kanan Tulum Rooftop.

Kin Toh provides a more intimate, artistic setting, while Kanan offers expansive views of the ocean and jungle.

Booking in advance is crucial, as these unique dining spots are in high demand despite the cost. Ideal for both romantic dinners and group gatherings, they offer larger nests to accommodate friends celebrating together.

  • Book Kin Toh: click here – “restaurants” – “make a reservation” – “Kin Toh”
  • Book Kanan Tulum: by whatsapp +52 998 830 1512
kin toh azulik tulum
kin toh azulik tulum
Kanan Tulum Rooftop
Kanan Tulum Rooftop

What to do in Tulum when it rains?

The best thing to do in Tulum when it rains is to go to the cenotes!

Of course, I’m not talking about the open air cenotes, but the underground cenotes found in caves like Cenote Dos Ojos, Gran Cenote or Cenote Taak Bi Ha, for example. – Check out my guide: The 15 Best Cenotes in Tulum!

Mystika (get your tickets here!) is another good option, as it’s an indoor experience lasting about 1 hour.

cenote dos ojos esnorkel
Le cenote Dos Ojos

Where to stay in Tulum – The best hotels

Is it better to stay in the hotel zone of Tulum or in town? Both have their advantages!

Tulum‘s hotel zone has beautiful hotels, often with direct access to the beach. On the other hand, you will need a higher budget.

Accommodation in downtown Tulum is usually much cheaper and close to everything (markets, banks, restaurants, bars, etc.).

Here are my best hotel recommendations in Tulum, for all budgets:

  • Mayan Monkey Tulum: an excellent value for money. Nice modern hostel with a good atmosphere, a pool, bar and garden. Including fast wifi, kitchen access, yoga classes, coworking spaces, and bike and motorcycle rentals. Dorms and private rooms starting at only 24 $usd per night.
  • Casa Almendro: if you are looking for a little more comfort, you will like this small cheap hotel in the center of Tulum. It’s a green oasis with a rooftop terrace with chairs and hammocks. There are king size beds and breakfast is included, from only 50 $usd per night!
  • Diamante K: is a high-end hotel but at a very fair price, which is exceptional in Tulum, especially for a hotel with direct access to the beach in the hotel zone! Bohemian chic atmosphere, including a restaurant, hammocks and beds on the private beach, and a massage service. Bungalows are 207 $usd per night.
  • Habitas Tulum: this small eco-friendly hotel with a chic design is ideal for a romantic stay in Tulum. It is a true oasis of peace, hidden among the palm trees, with a magnificent swimming pool and a private beach. There are also yoga classes on the terrace at sunset. From 371 $usd per night!
  • Kanan Tulum- Adults Only: this is the ultimate option for a luxury stay in Tulum. It is an ecological hotel for adults only, located on a beautiful private beach with hammocks and beds. With a fantastic rooftop terrace with a bar; the hotel also has an excellent restaurant, great rooms and a very friendly welcome. From 566 $usd per night!
kanan hotel tulum
Kanan Tulum

Where to Eat in Tulum?

Tulum has something for every taste and budget, from tasty street food to elegant romantic dining.

Tulum offers the best of both worlds, with budget-friendly local spot and a luxurious restaurant with ocean views.

El Paraiso Tulum Restaurant
El Paraiso Tulum Restaurant

How many days to visit Tulum?

As the city is only 45 min-1h from Playa del Carmen, it is very easy to visit Tulum in 1 day.

But with so much to  do in the surrounding area, it’s best to stay longer if you can!

These are the 1, 2 or 3 day itineraries to Tulum that I suggest to make the most of your stay:

Tulum in 1 day

Here’s what to do when you only have one day in Tulum:

In the morning

  • Start with a visit to the archaeological site of Tulum (1h-1h30) – if possible, arrive as soon as it opens (at 8 a.m.).
  • Go cool off in a cenote: I recommend the Gran Cenote, as it is easily accessible by car or bicycle from the ruins. Cenote Calavera is also on the same road (109). – Discover all the best cenotes in Tulum here!

In the afternoon

  • Stroll along Tulum’s Beach Strip (the hotel zone), where you will find nice boutiques and restaurants.
  • Head to the beach. There are several beaches in Tulum, but I would recommend Playa Paraiso or Playa las Palmas, which are easier to access.

At night

There are many options to have a drink or party in Tulum: Papaya Playa Project, Casa Jaguar, Gitano and many more places!

My Advice
Discover every step of the journey in my comprehensive guide: Tulum’s Ultimate One-Day Itinerary! 

My tips to spend 1 day in Tulum

  • If you move by public transportation and plan to go to another destination for a few days (for example, to Bacalar), there is a luggage storage at the ADO terminal in Tulum. It is very useful to not have to carry all your stuff!
  • The bars and restaurants in the hotel zone are the nicest in Tulum, but they are also more expensive than those in downtown Tulum, so it’s up to you to choose according to your budget.
  • To spend a perfect day in Tulum without worrying about transportation, I recommend this tour, which includes pick up at your hotel, a guided tour of the Tulum ruins and free time at a magnificent cenote!

Book it here:

Tulum in 2 days

If you have two days in Tulum, you can take your time.

On the first day, I recommend you follow the same itinerary, but without the cenote.

That way, you can enjoy (without rushing) the ruins in the morning, then the Beach Strip and the beaches in the afternoon!

For the second day:


Spend the morning visiting a cenote (2h-3h) to enjoy it when it’s less crowded, before 11am

I recommend the cenotes on Highway 109: Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote or, further towards Coba, Cenote Zacil-Ha and Carwash. Since they are on the same route, it is ideal if you want to go to several cenotes.

In the afternoon

  • Visit to the archaeological site of Coba (2 hours). I suggest renting a bike, as it’s much more practical for getting around the ruins.
  • Return to Tulum to enjoy Caleta Tankah (Tankah Cove). With its beautiful private beach, natural freshwater pool, jungle cenote and beachfront restaurant, you can spend several hours at the beach club.

My Advice
Explore all the must-visit spots with my in-depth guide: Two Days of Adventure in Tulum – Your Essential Itinerary!

Tulum in 3 days

If you have 3 days in Tulum, follow the same itinerary for the first two days and on the third day discover the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

As the reserve is immense, you’ll have to choose between the two gateways, which offer different experiences:

My Advice
Uncover the secrets of a perfect trip with my detailed itinerary: Three Days in Tulum – Sightseeing, Food, and Activities! 

Tourist map of Tulum

Here is the map of Tulum with the attractions mentioned in the article.

When to go to Tulum?

It is very hot and humid from May to August.

High season is from January to March, when there are many more tourists and prices are usually higher.

Hurricane season is from June to November. Hurricanes are not very common but the risk is higher between September and October.

The best time to visit Tulum is from late October to December, when you can enjoy the pleasant weather and avoid the crowds!

Is Tulum safe?

Yes, in general safety in Tulum is not an issue.

It is much calmer than Cancun and even Playa del Carmen.

Of course, as everywhere else in the world, it is best to be careful and never leave your personal belongings unattended.

I also suggest you watch out for the little scams that are common in all tourist areas.

So it’s better to check the prices in advance (for example with Tulum cabs which do not have a taxi meter).

For your safety in Tulum, I recommend using only ATMs inside banks, as they are more secure and reliable

How to get to Tulum

Tulum is located 130 km south of Cancun and 60 km south of Playa del Carmen on highway 307 that runs through the Riviera Maya.

Here are all the ways to get to Tulum:

From Cancun

By bus: 2 hours by ADO, Cristobal Colon or OCC bus. Departures every hour from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm. The price may vary depending on the chosen schedule.

By colectivos: it is the cheapest way to go from Cancun to Tulum, but there is no direct colectivo. You have to take a van from Cancun to Playa del Carmen (42$MXN) and then, at the same place, another van from Playa del Carmen to Tulum (45$MXN). The last stop is in front of the ADO bus terminal in Tulum on Highway 307.

By car: 1 hour and 53 minutes on Mexico Highway 307 that goes along the Riviera Maya.

From Cancun airport

By bus: departures from terminals T2, T3 and T4 (check the schedules and prices on the ADO website), 3h trip.

By van: there is an air-conditioned van transfer service that picks you up at Cancun airport and drops you off at your hotel in Tulum.

Click here to book the round trip service:

From Playa del Carmen

By car: 55 minutes on Mexico Highway 307

By colectivo: The colectivos to Tulum are located near the Chedraui and Benito Juarez Avenue, at the intersection of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 45 Norte – see the location on the map here! (45$MXN)

By bus: 1 hour by ADO bus, several departures per day. I recommend booking in advance on the website to save money and choose the departure time that suits you because prices vary a lot.

How to get by plane to Tulum?

Until recently, there was no airport in Tulum, and the nearest airport was Cancun. So you had to take a flight to Cancun (e.g. Iberia, Aeromexico, Interjet, KLM, etc.), then transfer from Cancun to Tulum (3h15).

Tulum’s brand-new airport Felipe Carrillo (TQO) is already receiving flights, but will be fully operational in early 2024.

But be sure to compare prices and stopovers between the two airports from your original destination, as there aren’t many direct flights to Tulum at the moment, and Cancun seems to be (for the time being, still) a better option.

My Advice
For everything you need to know about the new airport, here’s my complete guide to Tulum airport!

To find a cheap flight to Tulum or Cancun, I recommend using our flight comparison service in partnership with Skyscanner. You’re guaranteed to pay the best price!

tulum airport project
The Tulum Airport

Rent a car in Tulum

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Tulum and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

rent a car tulum
Rent a car to explore Tulum
Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

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Tulum Attractions
Tulum Attractions
visit tulum mexico
visit tulum mexico

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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