top of page

Your Complete Tulum, Mexico Travel Handbook

Nestled along the pristine shores of the Mexican Caribbean, Tulum is a haven for travelers seeking a perfect blend of history, nature, and relaxation. With its bohemian charm and stunning coastal beauty, this coastal town on the Yucatán Peninsula beckons visitors to explore its ancient ruins, crystal-clear cenotes, and vibrant cultural scene.

Traveling to Tulum was high up on my bucket list and it didn’t disappoint. Today, I’m sharing my favorite spots to explore in this stunning coastal town. Let’s dive in!

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Tulum, Mexico?

Traveling to Tulum is best done during the dry season. You’ll want to book your trip between November to April so you can soak up the sun on Tulum’s sandy beaches. Avoid the rainy season from June to October, as heavy downpours may interrupt outdoor activities. Additionally, this season is known for hurricanes which could majorly impact your vacation. 

How Many Days Should You Spend in Tulum?

I visited Tulum for three days while I was living in Playa del Carmen. Because Tulum is quite pricey, I found this was a good amount of time to see the main sites I wanted to see without going over my budget. If you’re planning to visit a few cities and towns while in Mexico, I would recommend spending three or four days in Tulum. However, if this will be your only destination during your visit and you want to spend extended time laying out on the beach, you could easily spend a week if not more in Tulum.

✈️ Pro Tip: While heading South of the Border, check out these 10 Amazing Places To Explore In Mexico.

View of Tulum ruins

What To See and Do in Tulum

Whether you're a history buff, a beach enthusiast, a nature lover, or looking to party, there is something for everyone in Tulum. While planning your trip, add these spots to your itinerary.

Soak Up the Sun On the Beach

Tulum's beaches are a tropical haven with powdery white sands and clear turquoise waters. There are many beaches in Tulum where you can have some fun in the sun. My favorite beaches were Playa Paraíso, Playa Pescadores, and Playa las Palmas. Playa Ruínas is also a great beach to see Mayan ruins. If you want a little more luxurious beach experience, you can book a chair at a beach club for some ultimate rest and relaxation.

Explore the Tulum Ruins

Visit the Tulum Ruins to witness well-preserved ancient Mayan structures perched on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. This is a must-see historical site offering stunning views and insights into the region's rich past. I really enjoyed doing this free walking tour of the ruins to get some local insight into the history of the Tulum Ruins.

Cool Off in a Cenote

Escape the heat by diving into a cenote while in Tulum. A cenote is a natural sinkhole with caves and caverns filled with waters you can snorkel in. The Yucatan Peninsula has around 6,000 cenotes and there are many amazing ones close to Tulum. Gran Cenote is one of the more popular spots in Tulum, and for good reason. It’s on the way to the Coba Ruins which makes it a perfect spot to stop to cool off in during your adventures.

Swimming in Tulum cenote

Rent a Bike to Explore 

While the central area of Tulum is walkable, I rented a bike to cruise around and see more of the local area. I used this company to get a pair of wheels for a day. I found renting a bike to be a great way to wander through the beautiful Tulum streets and to zip between different beaches.

Visit the Stunning Laguna de Kaan Luum

Laguna de Kaan Luum is a secret lagoon many visitors don’t add to their itinerary, but was one of my favorite sites to explore. It’s an open-air cenote where you can snorkel and kayak. You do need to pay in cash to visit the Laguna. Also, keep in mind that wearing sunscreen is not permitted in Laguna de Kaan Luum to protect the natural habitat. 

Check Out The Tulum Sculpture Park

Tulum Sculpture Park is an outdoor gallery featuring contemporary sculptures set amidst the jungle. It's a unique cultural experience that combines art with the natural beauty of Tulum. I found this to be a short and fun activity to explore independently when I was taking a break from lying on the beach.

Float Down the Mayan Canals in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is a protected area recognized by UNESCO for its rich biodiversity and ecological significance. This vast reserve encompasses diverse ecosystems, including tropical forests, marshes, and coastal areas. You can explore this reserve deeper by floating down the Mayan Canals within it or by booking a boat tour. It is the perfect serene experience to see more of Mexico’s wildlife and stunning scenery. 

Find Your Inner Zen at a Yoga Class

Tulum is known for being a destination you can escape to to relax and find some inner peace. One way to do this, that is not just laying on the beach (although I found this a perfectly peaceful experience!), is by taking a yoga class. I highly recommend booking a session with Jungle Yoga Tulumyoga to enjoy doing yoga next to the beach or next to a cenote.

Beach yoga class in Tulum, Mexico

Climb The Coba Ruins

For an adventurous exploration of Mayan history, visit the Coba Ruins. You can climb to the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid for panoramic views of the jungle. I would recommend booking a guided tour of this site to learn more about the history of this Mayan site.

Grab a Mojito at Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar

Nothing is more refreshing after laying out in the sun all day than a fresh mojito from Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar. I loved the atmosphere at this bar and the drinks and tacos were delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about them now!

✈️ Pro Tip: Traveling solo through Mexico? Make sure to pack these pieces of Best Solo Travel Safety Gear in your bags.

Aerial view of Tulum beach

How To Get to Tulum From the Airport

It takes about two hours to get to Tulum from Tulum from Cancun International Airport. There are a few different ways. First, you can rent a car from the airport and drive yourself to Tulum. If you plan to visit multiple locations in addition to Tulum, this could be a great option. You could also book a private car service to drive you to and from Tulum. 

However, the most affordable way to travel to Tulum is by taking the bus that leaves from the airport. I used this when I originally landed in Mexico to get to Playa del Carmen and then took a bus from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. Overall, it was easy to use even with my poor level of Spanish. 

Travel to Tulum For Amazing Memories

Tulum is truly a destination like no other. I felt like I stepped into a postcard upon arriving and am so grateful to have been able to explore this stunning town. No matter what you do during your time in Tulum, you are sure to leave with lifelong memories. Bon voyage!

Is traveling to Tulum on your bucket list? Drop a comment below! 


bottom of page