Tulum combines one of Mexico’s best beaches with Mayan ruins, verdant national parkland and unique snorkelling opportunities. This old-world town has a bustling centre with budget-friendly Mexican restaurants, lively cantinas and a tranquil park.
Things to do in Tulum
It’s impossible to go past the Tulum ruins, easily reached via taxi or bicycle. This 13th-century walled Mayan archaeological site is perched on undulating hills overlooking the Caribbean Sea. You can see a Castillo and the Templo de las Pinturas, which features an intricate mural. Venture 30 minutes inland for more Mayan ruins at the Cobá archaeological site, where you can climb to the top of pyramidal temples.
Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind swimming and snorkelling experience? Head to Gran Cenote, a limestone sinkhole and cavern surrounded by verdant forest. You can hire equipment there or simply wander along the encircling boardwalks. Don’t miss out on Paradise Beach, a stunning expanse of white sand and azure water that’s part of Tulum National Park.
Nearby you’ll find Centro Artesanal Tulum, a charming shopping district with thatched huts, fashion boutiques, art galleries and colourful Mexican restaurants. For authentic dining take a stroll along Tulum Avenue, where you’ll find excellent cocktails at Don Cafeto, late-night Mexican cuisine at La Malquerida and delicious Italian fare at La Nave.
If you love experiencing adventure in the wild, visit one or more of Tulum’s surrounding eco parks. Head to Xplor for thrilling ziplines, Xel Ha for immersive snorkelling and Xenotes for underground caverns. Those who prefer to relax can kick back in the sand at Playa Pescadores, known for its sun loungers and beachfront dining.
Getting around Tulum
You can easily reach Tulum by flying into Cancun International Airport, which is about two hours away via public bus, rental car or hotel shuttle transfer. You can get around Tulum on the public buses (called colectivos), by catching taxis or by renting a bicycle or scooter.