Known for beautiful beaches, crystal blue cenotes, Mayan ruins, and trendy vibes, Tulum has plenty of exciting things to do.
Tulum has developed into a sought-after luxury holiday destination over the last decade; nevertheless, it continues to entice bargain seekers who recall when this tucked-away treasure on Mexico’s east coast was more of a hidden retreat.
When the sun sets, you can sample the city’s mixology culture and immerse yourself in its vibrant nightlife. Tulum, though, truly sparkles during the day.
Tulum entices travelers to spend their days lounging in the sun and listening to the waves by the white beach and turquoise seas. But whether or not you’re a beach person, visiting one of Tulum’s several beaches is a must.
Things to do in Tulum
Rent bikes for easy transportation
This gives you far more flexibility to explore the region without having to rely on taxis. Additionally, with the wind in your hair while you cycle, you’ll almost forget about the humidity. Previous visitors highly recommend Ola Bike Tulum to rent a bike for a coastal trip.
Spend the day at Playa Paraiso
Playa Paraiso, also called Paradise beach, is Tulum’s public beach. This means that you don’t have to pay to attend a beach club, unlike Tulum’s southern beach road.
It is one beach where you can simply stroll up with an umbrella and a towel and sit on the sand for free. It’s without a doubt one of the best free things to do in Tulum!
The water is clear and warm, the beach is lovely, and you’re near to the Tulum Ruins. This makes Paradise beach one of the best beaches in Tulum for relaxing after a morning spent exploring the ruins.
Explore the Ancient Tulum Ruins
Tulum’s famed ruins are one of the coolest – if not the most beautiful – ancient Mayan settlements. This is because of its unusual location overlooking the broad and vibrant Caribbean sea. You can’t visit Tulum and not see them!
The ideal time to explore the Tulum ruins is in the early morning. You’ll be done before the hoards of tour buses and hipsters on bikes arrive. Going later in the day is also an option, although you’ll likely see more crowds, and it’ll be hotter. Due to the size and scope of the Tulum Ruins site, it will consume a significant chunk of your morning and leave you hungry for lunch.
While visiting Tulum Ruins, enjoy the palm trees, pleasant air, and the fascinating signs detailing the ruins. And, of course, don’t forget the sunbathing iguanas. Additionally, there is the Tulum Ruins beach that you can access through a set of stairs. It’s incredible to think the Mayas could see Spanish armada floating in the distance from their city on the Caribbean’s coast.
Si’an Khan Biosphere
The Si’an Khan Biosphere, located just 10 kilometers south of Tulum, is a wonderfully peaceful and undisturbed haven from the bustling metropolis. The reserve’s name translates as ‘Where the sky is born .’ It is home to isolated Muyil Mayan ruins, calm beaches, a coral reef, and a diverse animal population that includes turtles, land crabs, and crocodiles. UNESCO has designated the biosphere as a World Heritage Site.
Gran Cenote, located on the road outside Tulum, attracts a large number of visitors.
However, as the name implies, this pair of partially submerged cenotes is massive. But finding a peaceful place is as simple as swimming a bit deeper.
Gran Cenote is particularly ideal for families and beginner swimmers. With snorkeling equipment and a life jacket provided, all you have to do is drop your head in the clear water to enjoy the cenote’s magnificent rock formations.
Keep an eye out for bats flying or nesting in the trees, and turtles paddling in the water.
After exploring the ruins of Tulum, walk the stairs down the cliff to the sea.
While history and swimming are usually incompatible, they coexist perfectly well in Tulum, especially when the beach is as inviting as this one.
The grey limestone cliffs complete the scene, rising 12 meters tall in front of a stretch of white beach where many mammoth-sized rocks had crumbled away.
Due to the beach’s proximity to the ruins, there are no amenities. This means that if you plan to stay more than a few minutes, you’ll need to bring a picnic and wear your swimwear underneath your clothing.
Head to Mateo’s treehouse bar for a sunset you won’t forget
If you enjoy sunsets and happy hours, there is no better location than Mateo’s. Mateo’s Mexican Grill is a must-visit restaurant in Tulum. It is well-known for its magnificent sunsets. The restaurant/bar, which is located on the seashore, offers a lively, welcoming, and festive vibe. The best location to visit is its lovely treehouse.
Sitting on the balcony of the treehouse and watching the sunset over the forest and Caribbean is the ideal way to cap off another fantastic day in paradise. Apart from Mateo’s bustling environment and laid-back vibe, the cuisine is also worth checking out. That’s if you’re in the mood for some authentic Tex Mex!
Learn to speak Spanish!
Consider starting your Spanish studies in Tulum if you’ve wanted to study the language but haven’t. Tulum has a number of language schools located around the city.
Tulum is an excellent site to learn, or at least practice, Spanish. There are native Spanish speakers around you. Additionally, with all of the magnificent natural features, there are plenty of things to do in Tulum before or after class.
Tulum’s ruins are spectacular, but they are also among the most popular in Mexico.
Muyil, in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, is only 15 minutes away if you want to explore Mayan archeology in a more peaceful setting.
Many tour companies provide combined trips to the ruins and nature reserve, or you may travel on your own.
Additionally, Muyil is tucked away in the jungle, yet it is accessible by elevated wooden pathways.
If you go quietly, you may glimpse a howler or spider monkey in the branches above.
El Castillo, a 17-meter pyramid, is the prominent landmark there. Additionally, there are information boards explaining the site’s history; it was inhabited for more than a millennium up to the 16th century.
On the route to the lagoon, there is an observation tower where you may get the best view of Sian Ka’an.
Boutique Hop & Shop
Whether you’re wandering around Centro or along the beach road, one thing you’ll notice about Tulum is the abundance of handmade stores and boutiques.
Everything from Mexican handcrafts to luxury home products and beach-chic clothes will make you want to pack everything and refresh your whole wardrobe. Hop and shop your way across town; collect one-of-a-kind things that will remind you of the beautiful days you spent in Tulum.
El Asadero serves an elegant genuine meal.
El Asadero, located in the heart of Tulum, is without a doubt one of the best restaurants in Tulum. It is popular with both locals and visitors. The restaurant provides delicious Mexican BBQ, and the restaurant’s trademark dish, Arrachera steak, will tickle your taste buds.
Aside from the incredible meat dishes, the beautiful El Asadero also serves amazing tacos, vegetarian meals, and drinks. Because of its popularity, you may need to make a reservation in advance if you don’t want to wind up waiting in line for one of its indoor or outdoor tables.
Visit the Magnificent Coba Ruins
While the Coba Ruins are not as spectacular as those at Tulum, they are nevertheless well worth seeing if you have the opportunity. Because the Coba Ruins receives fewer tourists, you can explore the archeological site in peace and quiet.
Just a short drive from the town center, you’ll come upon crumbled pyramids rising from the dense bush. Is it still possible to climb the Coba Ruins? YES! Climb to the summit of the highest pyramid for a breathtaking view of the surrounding forest.
You may explore at your own pace by booking a private trip, or you can save money by joining a group tour. Several Coba Ruins excursions take visitors to some of the best things to do in Tulum and the surrounding region.
In Akumal Bay, you can swim among the sea turtles!
If you’re looking for a spectacular experience, you can’t go wrong with swimming with sea turtles at Akumal Bay! While Akumal has a lovely beach, the stunning sea turtles are what draw most visitors to Akumal Beach. Scuba diving with sea turtles as they quietly make their way beneath the waves is a wonderful experience.
There is a lot of magnificent marine life on display in the bay, including sea turtles, gorgeous corals, parrotfish, and more. Surprisingly, swimming with the turtles is free, so all you need to do is bring some snorkeling gear!
Sistema Sac Actun
The Sistema Sac Actun, found in 1987, maybe the world’s biggest studied underwater cave system. When its dry and underwater tunnels are added together, the system totals more than 346 kilometers.
Of course, you’ll only see a quarter, but it’ll be more than enough to get a sense of this natural wonder.
The entry includes a life jacket and snorkel, with other optional accessories for your trip, including a wetsuit and a waterproof camera available for purchase.
The 90-minute guided tour will fly by as you learn about the cave’s amazing concretions, the numerous bats that dwell amid the stalactites, and the Mayan archaeology and Upper Palaeolithic remains unearthed down below.
Try some Mexican artisanal beer.
Everyone knows that Mexican beer is delicious (from the well-known Corona to the hipster-favorite Tecate or the higher-end Modelo). Still, Cerveza artisanal (Mexican craft beer) has recently gained popularity. Breweries are springing up everywhere, and craft beer is now available in many restaurants and pubs.
Hermana Republica is the finest location in Tulum to enjoy craft beer, where they mix traditional cuisine with their eight distinct varieties of craft beer. Cerveza Pescadores, brewed in Puerto Morelos, is available in Safari and Los Aguachiles restaurants; Safari also offers Cerveza Colima, and Mateos provides Cerveza Mundo Maya.
Look for Cerveza Cancun at grocery stores, and if craft beer is important to you, book a room at Encantada Tulum.
Try your hand at kiteboarding.
Kiteboarding is an adrenaline-pumping extreme sport. Tulum is a wonderful place to kiteboard, whether you’re an expert or have always wanted to try it. If you don’t have your own kiteboarding equipment, kiteboarding schools provide rentals and training in the area.
Mexican Caribbean Kitesurf at Ahau Tulum hotel is an excellent choice because it also has toilets, wifi, beach beds, a restaurant, and parking. Kiteboarding is entirely dependent on the wind – and keep in mind that, while the windiest months are November to May, there may be days with no wind throughout this time, as well as highly windy days during the non-windy months.
The Best Places to Stay in Tulum
Tulum’s accommodation choices are divided into three categories: luxury resorts with exclusive beach access, lodging near public beaches, and motels and hostels in the town itself. All three choices are excellent. The most costly hotels are usually located on the beach in the hotel zone in terms of pricing, but you may get a lot more bang for your buck in Tulum town.