Tulum Travel Guide: The Complete Guide to Planning Your Trip

  • Plalla Real Estate by Plalla Real Estate
  • 8 months ago
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A wooden statue in the shape of a woman in Tulum

Welcome to the Tulum Travel Guide, your ultimate companion for an unforgettable vacation! Get ready to experience the magic of this Caribbean paradise, where the captivating history of an archaeological wonder meets the stunning beauty of Mexico’s finest beaches. Our comprehensive guide is here to ensure that you have a seamless trip, covering all the essential aspects to help you make the most out of your visit. From exploring the Tulum Ruins to taking a dip in cenotes, finding the perfect hotels and restaurants, and discovering the top activities – we’ve got you covered. Along the way, you’ll also discover some valuable insights and tips on accommodation, safety, weather, and transportation. Let’s embark on this incredible journey together!

 

 

Tulum Ruins

 

Hey there! Tulum, formerly known as “Zama” in the Mayan times, is a real treasure waiting for you on the eastern shores of the Yucatán Peninsula. Prepare to be wowed by its incredible seaside ruins, which not only provide jaw-dropping views but also transport you into the heart of Mayan civilization.

 

You’ll be amazed by the grandeur of structures like the Temple of the God of Wind and El Castillo as they rise proudly above the cliffs, showcasing the very best of Mayan architectural genius. But it’s not just about the buildings – the mural paintings and inscriptions in stone are like ancient storytellers, sharing captivating tales of the life and beliefs of this fascinating civilization. Get ready to dive into history and experience the magic of Tulum!

 

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The Best Beaches in Tulum

 

Welcome to the enchanting world of Tulum, where you’ll discover pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters stretching along the beautiful Yucatán Peninsula coast. These beaches are an absolute dream come true for sun worshippers and ocean lovers.

 

Paraiso Beach

 

Just as the name suggests, Paraiso Beach is a true slice of paradise. Picture soft white sand and turquoise waters, creating the perfect setting for basking in the sun’s warm embrace. Don’t forget to explore the charming small bars and restaurants offering mouthwatering local dishes.

 

Ruinas Beach

 

Nestled right next to the Tulum Archaeological Zone, Ruinas Beach treats you to breathtaking views of ancient Mayan ruins against the backdrop of the ocean. It’s an ideal spot for snapping photos and soaking in the peaceful ambiance.

 

Santa Fe Beach

 

Are you itching for some water adventures like snorkeling or kayaking? Santa Fe Beach is your go-to destination. Plus, its nearby reef is a hotspot for diving enthusiasts seeking underwater marvels.

 

Pescadores Beach

 

Pescadores Beach is renowned for its laid-back vibe and colorful fishermen’s huts that add to its charm. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, enjoying the gentle sea breeze, and indulging in local cuisine at nearby restaurants.

 

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The Best Cenotes in Tulum

 

Let’s dive into the incredible world of Tulum’s cenotes – those natural freshwater sinkholes that are nothing short of geological wonders! These Tulum’s cenotes are like hidden gems, formed through the magic of limestone erosion, and they offer pristine crystal-clear pools that are just waiting for you to swim, dive, and explore.

 

 

Gran Cenote

 

Prepare to be enchanted by one of the most renowned cenotes in the region. Imagine yourself in crystal-clear waters surrounded by breathtaking stalactite-stalagmite formations. It’s a diver’s and snorkeler’s dream! And if you’re in the mood for some sunshine and relaxation, there are perfect spots for sunbathing too.

 

 

Cenote Calavera

 

Ever heard of the “Cenote Temple of Doom“? That’s the thrilling nickname for Cenote Calavera, thanks to its skull-shaped entrance. Adventure enthusiasts, this one’s for you! Here, you can embark on cave diving and snorkeling adventures or amp up the excitement by leaping off cliff platforms.

 

 

Cenote Sac Actun

 

Get ready for an underwater expedition like no other! Cenote Sac Actun boasts one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems. If you’re a passionate diver, this is an absolute must-visit destination.

 

 

Cenote Dos Ojos

 

This cenote is ideal for beginner divers, as its waters are shallow and clear. You’ll be able to admire incredible rock formations and aquatic life as you immerse yourself in its waters.

 

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The Best Hotels in Tulum

 

Tulum welcomes you to an accommodation experience like no other, where comfort and nature coexist in perfect harmony. Here’s a selection of options to help you find your dream hotel:

 

 

Boutique on the Beach

 

Imagine waking up right on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, nestled in beachfront boutique hotels in Tulum. These charming palapa-roof cabins offer direct access to the beach, ensuring your days start with the soothing sounds of the waves.

  • Romantic Rubi Tulum
  • Bau Tulum
  • Enchanted Tulum

 

 

Eco-Hotels

 

Experience the beauty of sustainability through Tulum’s eco-friendly accommodations. These places harness the power of solar energy and champion water conservation, allowing you to enjoy your stay while knowing you’re helping to protect our planet.

  • Delek Tulum
  • Ahau Tulum
  • Villa Pescadores

 

 

Downtown Tulum

 

For those craving authenticity and a taste of local life, you’ll discover charming and cozy hotels in downtown Tulum, situated near vibrant restaurants, shops, and the bustling nightlife of this unique town.

  • Teetotum Hotel
  • Live Tulum
  • Xscape Tulum

 

 

Luxury

 

Indulge yourself in pure luxury at Tulum’s world-class hotels. Picture high-end spas, infinity pools with mesmerizing views, and gourmet restaurants that will delight your taste buds. It’s an experience fit for royalty.

  • The Zebra Hummingbird
  • Kana Tulum
  • Azulik Tulum

 

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The Best Restaurants in Tulum

 

Get ready for a mouthwatering journey through Tulum’s vibrant dining scene, where local and international flavors come together in a welcoming variety of settings, from upscale restaurants to laid-back beach bars.

 

 

Traditional Mexican Food

 

Embark on a culinary adventure and savor the rich and authentic flavors of Mexican Food in Tulum at local eateries serving up delectable tacos, tamales, ceviche, and more. And don’t forget to try the “elote” (corn on the cob) right on the beach – it’s a must!

  • Black Huitlacoxe
  • Alma Verde Tulum
  • Casa Maria Tulum

 

 

Beach Restaurants

 

Picture this: fresh seafood, grilled fish, and tropical cocktails all while you take in the mesmerizing ocean views at Tulum’s beachfront restaurants. It’s the perfect recipe for a delightful seaside dining experience.

  • Bagatelle Tulum
  • El Paraiso Beach Club
  • The Buffet Plaza

 

 

International Food

 

Craving a taste of the world? Tulum has you covered with global flavors infused with local ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, sushi, or exploring vegetarian and vegan options, there’s something for every palate.

  • Onyx Tulum Restaurant
  • Aroma Cafe Tulum
  • Caprice Tulum

 

 

Food Markets

 

For a truly local experience, venture into Tulum’s bustling markets, where you can sample a delightful array of dishes and authentic Mexican street food in Tulum. It’s a foodie’s paradise!

  • Tulum Eco-Green Market
  • Deli Playa Tulum
  • Centaur Market

 

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The Best Activities in Tulum

 

Welcome to the world of Tulum, where the activities are as diverse and inviting as the landscapes that surround you. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural exploration, or simply a chance to soak in the natural beauty, Tulum has something special for every traveler.

 

 

Archaeological sites

 

Tulum is close to many Mayan Ruins, where you can learn more about the history, from its elegant architecture to the art of this amazing culture. The Mayans began one of the most prominent societies in North America and the most sophisticated writing system in ancient times. Some of these recommended areas are Muyil Ruins, Ek Balam Ruins, Chichén Itzá, San Gervasio Ruins, Chacchobén Ruins, Tulum Ruins, Coba Ruins, Xcaret Ruins, and Cedral Ruins.

 

 

Beaches in Tulum

 

With so many beach options out there to choose from, you can relax and sip a nice cocktail under an umbrella near a beautiful city, or visit a more remote beach in a pristine area. Below I leave you the best: Paraiso Beach, Ruinas Beach, Santa Beach, Pescadores Beach, Akumal Beach and Soliman Beach.

 

 

Snorkeling and Diving

 

Dive into Tulum’s underwater wonderland! It’s the perfect gateway to explore the mesmerizing coral reefs that stretch along the coast. Snorkeling and diving in Tulum, are beloved activities that let you get up close and personal with vibrant marine life, from graceful turtles and tropical fish to elegant rays.

 

 

Visit to Cenotes

 

As mentioned before, Tulum is embraced by cenotes, and visiting them is a one-of-a-kind experience. Dive into crystal-clear waters, swim in underground caves, and relish the purest connection with nature.

 

 

Bike Rides

 

Rent a bike in Tulum to discover Tulum and its enchanting surroundings at your own pace. With safe roads and picturesque routes, you can pedal your way to stunning beaches and ancient archaeological sites, all while taking in the sights at your leisure.

 

 

Visit to the Coba Ruins

 

Just an hour’s drive from Tulum, the Coba ruins await archeology enthusiasts with open arms. Here, you can even climb the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula for breathtaking panoramic views.

 

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The Best Events and festivals in Tulum

 

Welcome to Tulum Nightlife! Your trip here isn’t just about paradise-like beaches and breathtaking landscapes; it’s also an opportunity to dive into a world of exciting Tulum events and festivals that will make your stay even more unforgettable. Here are some of the fantastic happenings you won’t want to miss in Tulum:

 

 

Mayan Moon Festival

 

Step into the world of Mayan culture at the Mayan Moon Festival. This celebration is a delightful blend of cultural events, live music, and traditional dances. It’s a unique chance to immerse yourself in Mayan heritage. Mark your calendar for this annual event, which takes place from May 21 to 27, honoring the Goddess of Fertility, Ixchel.

 

 

Electronic Music Events

 

Tulum has earned its spot on the global map for electronic music lovers. Throughout the year, you can groove to the beats of world-famous DJs at beachside events and parties that will make your nights come alive. Some top picks include Tomorrowland, rocking from January 13 to 20.

 

 

Art and Film Festivals

 

Tulum is a hub for artistic expression and creativity from around the world. The region hosts captivating art and film festivals that showcase the diversity and talent of the area. Take, for example, the Tulum International Film Festival, happening from August 4 to 8, where you can dive into a world of cinema with a wide range of themes representing contemporary filmmaking at its best.

 

 

Mayan ceremonies

 

For those seeking a spiritual journey, some local Mayan communities offer mayan ceremonies in Tulum like the temazcal (steam bath) and purification rituals. These deeply meaningful rituals can vary in date and location, often taking place between January and July in Tulum. It’s a chance to connect with ancient traditions and your inner self.

 

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The Best Tips for Traveling to Tulum

 

Before your trip to Tulum, keep these key tips in mind for a hassle-free experience:

 

 

Early booking

 

Tulum is very popular, especially in high season. Book your accommodation, activities and restaurants in advance.

 

 

Sun protection and repellent

Due to the tropical climate, bring sunscreen and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes.

 

 

Cash

 

Although credit cards are accepted, it is advisable to bring cash, as many small places do not have payment terminals.

 

 

Safe transportation

 

If you rent a car, drive carefully on local roads, which can be narrow.

 

 

Cultural respect

 

Value the Mayan heritage and respect local traditions and nature. Do not touch archaeological structures and take care of marine life.

 

 

Safety

 

Tulum is generally safe, but take care of your belongings and avoid walking alone through deserted areas at night.

 

 

Wifi Connection

 

Make sure you have wifi access, either with an international data plan or Wi-Fi in your accommodation.

 

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Prices in Tulum

 

Lodging

  • 1 Star Hotel: around $68 USD per night – $1,1161 MXN (hotels like Mestizo Gallery & Prana Boutique Hotel)
  • 2 Star Hotel: around $110 USD per night – $1,879 MXN (hotels like Sunset Tulum & La Conchita Tulum)
  • 3 Star Hotel: around $239 USD per night – $4,082 MXN (hotels like Sivana Tulum & Casa Phoenix Tulum)
  • 4 Star Hotel: around $531 USD per night – $9,070 MXN (hotels such as Hotel Shibari Tulum, Azulik & Nest Tulum)
  • 5 Star Hotel: around $681 USD per night – $11,633 MXN (hotels like Conrad Tulum & Hotel Bardo)

 

 

Food

  • Mexican Restaurant Meals Economy: Mexican Restaurant Meals: From $7 USD per person (restaurants like Aroma Cafe Tulum & Juicebox)
  • Mid Range Mexican Restaurant Meal: around $10 USD per person (restaurants like Fresco’s Tulum, Casa Maria & La Zebra Beach)
  • High End Mexican Restaurant: around $220 USD per person (restaurants like Vagalume, Autor & Karma Tulum)

 

 

Activities

  • Activities in town: From $118 USD per person (Full day excursion to Tulum Ruins & mezcal tasting in a home)
  • Snorkeling: From $52 USD per person
  • Fishing Tour: From $499 USD for 4 persons
  • Reef Diving: From $129 USD per person

 

 

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How to get and get around Tulum

Getting to Tulum and getting around this charming town is essential to fully enjoy your trip. The closest airport to Tulum is Cancún International Airport, which is located about 90 miles (145 km) north of Tulum. From the airport, you can get to Tulum by taxi, rideshare, bus, or rent a car.

 

The new Tulum International Airport will open on December 1 and will offer routes to different destinations in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America.

 

Getting around Tulum is relatively easy, and your choice of transportation will depend on your preferences and the location of your planned activities. Whether by bike, on foot or by taxi, you’ll be ready to explore all the wonders Tulum has to offer.

 

 

Bike

 

Tulum is a bike-friendly city, and many areas have bike lanes. Renting a bicycle in Tulum is an excellent option to get around the center of Tulum and explore the nearby beaches.

 

Taxi

 

Taxis are a convenient option for getting around Tulum, especially if you need to get around at night or visit places outside of the center.

 

 

Buses

 

These are shared vans that operate like minibusses and are an economical way to travel between Tulum and nearby places, such as the Tulum Ruins or Playa del Carmen.

 

 

Car rental

 

If you want to explore the surroundings of Tulum at your own pace, you can rent a car in Tulum. Please note that the roads can be narrow and sometimes in poor condition, so drive with caution.

 

 

Safety in Tulum

 

Safety is a common concern for travelers, and it is important to be informed about how to stay safe while enjoying Tulum. Here are some tips for a safe trip:

 

Safe tourist area

 

Most of the tourist areas of Tulum are safe and welcoming. The city center and beaches are usually well-patrolled and frequented by travelers from all over the world.

 

 

Be careful with your belongings

 

As in any tourist destination, it is important to take care of your personal belongings. Use safes in your accommodation to store valuables and never leave your things unattended on the beach.

 

 

Safe transportation

 

If you take a taxi, make sure it is an official taxi and is properly identified. When walking around the city at night, opt for well-lit, busy areas.

 

 

Cultural respect

 

Respect local customs and culture, including restrictions on archaeological sites and sacred spaces. Do not touch or climb on the Mayan structures in the ruins.

 

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Weather in Tulum

 

The climate in Tulum is delightfully tropical, promising warm and pleasant temperatures for most of the year.

 

 

Dry season

 

Tulum’s dry season is the absolute best time to experience Tulum’s magic, which spans from November to April. Picture this: daytime temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C, sun-soaked days, and refreshing cool nights. It’s the ultimate recipe for outdoor adventures and beach bliss.

 

 

Rainy season

 

Tulum’s rainy season gets a bit shower-happy from May to October. But fear not, the temperatures remain warm and inviting. You might encounter sporadic rain, often in the form of afternoon showers. While the occasional raindrop might surprise you, the lush greenery and more budget-friendly prices make up for it.

 

 

Hurricane season

 

Just a heads up, Tulum’s Hurricane Season dances between June and November, with the peak activity usually sizzling in August through October. While hurricanes are rare, it’s wise to keep an eye on weather alerts if you’re traveling during this period.

 

 

What to bring to Tulum

 

Getting your packing game on point is the key to having a fantastic time in Tulum. Here are some friendly recommendations on what to bring to Tulum:

 

 

Light clothing

 

Tulum’s warm climate calls for cool and comfy attire. Think flowy dresses, casual t-shirts, swimsuits, and beachwear. Don’t forget to pack a stylish hat and some chic sunglasses to keep that sun at bay and stay effortlessly cool.

 

 

Sunscreen and insect repellent

 

With all that outdoor fun and the tropical vibes, it’s crucial to have your trusty broad-spectrum sunscreen and insect repellent by your side. They’re your secret weapons against sunburn and those pesky mosquitoes. So, slather on that sunscreen and keep those bugs at bay to fully enjoy your Tulum adventure!

 

 

Comfortable footwear

 

Bring comfortable sandals for the beach and walks, as well as closed-toed shoes for excursions and exploring cenotes. If you plan to hike, consider bringing walking shoes.

 

 

Essential travel items

 

Don’t forget your passport, ID, cash and credit cards. Also, pack a small backpack for excursions and daily activities.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Tulum is a destination that has it all: natural beauty, fascinating history, and a vibrant cultural scene. We hope this guide helps you plan a perfect vacation in this paradisiacal corner of Mexico. Get ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Tulum and create unforgettable memories in this dream destination!

 

 

What suggestions do you have to improve this travel guide?

 

We’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, doubts, or questions, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section below. We’re here to assist and guide you.

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