10 Best Things to Do in Tulum, Mexico
Are you looking for the top things to do in Tulum, Mexico? It is one of the best tourist destinations in Mexico, so you can’t miss it on your Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary.
Wondering what to do in Tulum, Quintana Roo?
This ultimate guide to visiting Tulum includes how to get there, where to stay, and the best things to do in Tulum, Mexico.
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- 10 Best Things to Do in Tulum, Mexico
- Where is Tulum
- Best Time to Visit Tulum, Mexico
- How to Get to Tulum
- Tulum without car
- Is Tulum Safe?
- Best things to do in Tulum, Mexico
- 1. Visit the Best Cenotes
- 2. See the Most Instagrammable Places
- 3. Chill Out on Tropical Beaches
- 4. Discover the Best Mayan Ruins
- 5. Try the Mexican Food
- 6. Visit Cenote Suytun
- 7. Go Shopping
- 8. Enjoy Tulum Nightlife
- 9. Take a Day Trip to Chichen Itza
- 10. Relax at Tulum Beach Clubs
- Where to Eat in Tulum, Mexico
- Where to Stay in Tulum
- How many Days do you Need in Tulum?
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Where is Tulum
Tulum is one of the best towns in the state of Quintana Roo. It is located along the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Best Time to Visit Tulum, Mexico
The Yucatan Peninsula has a tropical climate, hot and humid all year round. February and April are ideal months for a Yucatan Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary.
The best time to visit Tulum is between December and April. This period is the dry season, with pleasant temperatures and little rainfall.
However, these months are also the peak season in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, which means high prices and crowds.
The rainy and hurricane season usually starts in June and ends in October.
In high season, we strongly recommend booking accommodation in advance!
Read our → Ultimate Mexico Itinerary
How to Get to Tulum
Unfortunately, there is no airport in Tulum. The nearest airport is in Cancun, the Cancun International Airport (airport code CUN).
It is located about a 2-hour drive from Cancun and 1 hour from Playa del Carmen.
Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Cancun, Mexico.
ADO is the largest and most popular bus company in Mexico.
The best way to get to Tulum is by car, ADO bus, or private transfer. Book bus tickets or transfers via Bookaway.
Car rental will cost around 30-35 USD per day, which includes full insurance.
During our travels, we always use Discover Cars for car rentals. Because they always offer the best deals and provide free cancellation 48 hours before your reservation.
Are you thinking of renting a car? Be sure to read our guide to renting a car in Mexico and driving around the Yucatan Peninsula.
Tulum without car
Getting around Tulum is easy. The main attractions are located on Tulum Beach Road, which you can easily explore on foot, by scooter, or by bike.
Bike rental costs 15 USD for 24 hours.
For nearby beaches or day trips, you can take a shared or private transfer, catch a taxi, or travel by Colectivo (shared minivan).
See also → How to Visit Yellow City of Izamal
Is Tulum Safe?
Yes, it is generally safe. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the safest destinations in Mexico. But small thefts and pickpockets can occur at the beaches or parking areas.
Take care of your valuables! Always lock your car and keep your belongings in the car boot or your hotel room when parking!
Avoid walking at night and taking taxis, especially alone!
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance! We always choose SafetyWing for our travels.
Best things to do in Tulum, Mexico
1. Visit the Best Cenotes
One of the best things to do in Tulum for couples and families is to visit the beautiful cenotes. Cenotes are natural freshwater sinkholes that form after the collapse of an underground limestone cave, exposing the groundwater underneath.
There are many mysterious cenotes in Mexico and at least 6,000 beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula.
You can easily spend a whole day visiting the best cenotes, where you can swim, snorkel, chill out, and jump off the platforms into the crystal clear water.
The best time to visit the cenotes to avoid crowds is in the morning or just before closing time.
Recommended post → Best Cenotes in Tulum
2. See the Most Instagrammable Places
Are you looking for free things to do in Tulum? One of the free programs is to visit the famous Instagrammable places.
Tulum is a unique destination where you can enjoy luxury hotels, tropical beaches, charming restaurants, and a creative mix of modern art.
The most popular places are located on Tulum Beach Road. It is the most iconic destination in Mexico, where you will always find something new photo spot.
Download Google Maps on your phone and mark the places you want to visit. Using offline mode is necessary because cell service and WIFI can be limited at the Beach Road.
Keep reading → Best Places to Visit in Tulum
3. Chill Out on Tropical Beaches
One of the unique things to do in Tulum is to visit the beautiful tropical beaches. It is a popular beach destination with tropical white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, and palm trees.
The best beaches are Playa Xpu-Ha, Akumal, Playa Ruinas, and Playa Paraiso.
Mexico’s beaches are the perfect place for beach lovers to snorkel, swim, and enjoy the tropical scenery and fantastic vibe.
Good to know
During our visit in April, we couldn’t enjoy the beaches without seaweed.
See also → Bacalar Lagoon, the Maldives of Mexico
4. Discover the Best Mayan Ruins
Are you looking for more top things to do in Tulum? Then, visit the stunning Tulum Ruins.
The entrance fee to the Tulum Ruins is 90 MXN (5 USD).
See the magnificent Archaeological Site, which is located on high cliffs and offers a perfect view of the Caribbean Sea. As it is close to the beach, you should bring your swimsuit!
The easiest way to visit the Mayan Ruins in Mexico is by renting a car. Alternatively, book a tour online.
The best Archaelogical Sites near Tulum are the Muyil Ruins, Coba Ruins, and Ek Balam Ruins.
The entrance fee to Muyil Ruins is 65 MXN (3.50 USD). Muyil Ruins is open from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
We recommend you wear comfortable shoes and a hat when walking around the Mayan Ruins, use sunscreen, and bring plenty of water.
Recommended post → How to Renting a Car in Mexico
5. Try the Mexican Food
One of the best things to do in Mexico is eat! If you visit the Yucatan Peninsula, especially Tulum, you should try the delicious Mexican dishes, which are heavenly.
You can find many local restaurants, vegan options, national foods, or trendy restaurants with all budgets.
Don’t leave Tulum until you’ve tried traditional Mexican foods, such as tacos, panuchos, salbutes, enchiladas, and salsa with tortilla chips.
6. Visit Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is one of the best cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, about a 1-hour drive from Tulum or just a 15-minute drive from Valladolid.
The Cenote Suytun is an underground cenote with a small hole in the ceiling from which light is beamed directly onto the platform.
It is good to know that the Cenote Suytun platform is not always underwater, depending on weather conditions. However, in the dry season, you can usually walk on the platform, which is a fantastic experience.
If you want to catch the Cenote Suytun when the natural light is beaming on the platform, you should visit from noon to 2 PM.
7. Go Shopping
It is one of the best places in Mexico to go shopping for fashionable clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, and beautiful handmade gifts.
Shop from local vendors or go to the charming boutiques on Tulum Beach Road or the Tulum Bazaar.
Don’t forget to buy Mexican souvenirs! We visited many places on the Yucatan Peninsula, but Chichen Itza had the best souvenirs. But try to bargain!
See also → Valladolid Guide
8. Enjoy Tulum Nightlife
Tulum has plenty of great bars and clubs where you can drink and dance. If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy the nightlife, visit Palma Central.
There are plenty of delicious food trucks and local vendors where you can enjoy live music, great cocktails, cold beers, and a fantastic atmosphere.
Good to know
Palma Central is closed every Wednesday.
9. Take a Day Trip to Chichen Itza
One of the unforgettable things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula is to visit Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and the most visited attraction in Mexico.
You can easily reach Chichen Itza from Tulum, Valladolid, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Merida.
We suggest visiting Chichen Itza in the morning when the temperature is comfortable for walking around the Mayan Ruins. If you arrive in the afternoon, you may have to wait in line at the ticket office.
Spend at least 2-3 hours at Chichen Itza and explore the whole archaeological site.
After Chichen Itza, you should visit Cenote Ik Kil, which is about a 10-minute drive away.
Read our → Ultimate Guide to Visiting Chichen Itza
10. Relax at Tulum Beach Clubs
Once you’ve seen all the must-see sights in Tulum, it’s time to relax. Visit one of the best beach clubs and spend a few refreshing hours.
Did you know that the beach club entrances in Tulum also offer great photo opportunities?
In front of the entrance to the Vagalume Beach Club, you will find a magnificent statue. One hand from the top and the other from the ground will perfectly frame your Instagram shot.
More about Mexico → Merida
Where to Eat in Tulum, Mexico
Tulum was one of our favorite places to eat in the Yucatan Peninsula, where we tried delicious Mexican food. These are our recommendations.
Best restaurants in Tulum, Mexico
- Palma Central (The best food spot)
- Matcha Mama (Delicious, healthy smoothie bowls)
- Burrito Amor (Vegetarian and vegan options with best burritos)
- Raw Love Cafe (Perfect place for breakfast or lunch)
- Antonojitos La Chiapaneca (Best tacos)
- Taqueria Honorio (Authentic Mexican dishes)
- Posada Margherita (Italian food with delicious pizza and pasta)
- Ki’bok Coffee (Good coffee and breakfast)
- La Hoja Verde (Fantastic vegan restaurant)
- Encanto Cantina (Amazing Mexican food)
Where to Stay in Tulum
When you have a car, we suggest you book your hotel outside Tulum. For those who want to enjoy the nightlife or explore Tulum without a car, we recommend staying near the town center or Tulum Beach.
If you stay at Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum, you’ll get free entry to one of the most beautiful cenotes. You can also visit one of the best Instagram spots before opening hours.
Tulum has some luxury hotels, but accommodation options are available for all budgets. These are our recommendations.
Best hotels in Tulum
- Luxury: Casa Malca
- Mid-Range: Maka Hotel Boutique or Coco Tulum Zen Zone Hotel
- Budget: Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum
How many Days do you Need in Tulum?
You can easily spend at least 3-4 days enjoying the best things to do in Tulum.
We hope our list of the best things to do in Tulum will help you plan your next trip to Mexico. If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.