Tulum Vacations

Tulum Vacations… with all its confectioner-sugar sands, blue-green water and balmy breezes – makes this a top beach vacation destination in Mexico. There’s also excellent cave and cavern diving, fun cenotes and a variety of lodgings and restaurants to fit every budget. Tulum is mostly known for its beaches and yoga retreats. It’s where beautiful white sand beaches meet chic hotels and high-end resorts in addition to cute restaurants. You’ll find some of the best-preserved Mayan ruins in the Western Hemisphere, ruins that have the cerulean waters of the Caribbean Sea as a backdrop. And there are several cenotes (or underground water-filled caverns) and bioreserves. Tulum continues to be a tiny, quiet alternative to the other Riviera Maya resort areas during the spring break season. For a detailed description of all the beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya, visit here. Tulum Vacations planning is simple, just read on and find everything you need for your Tulum beach vacation.

When to Go (Weather)

The best time to visit Tulum is between November and December. Temperatures fall to around the low 80s as the hurricane season slides away.  Plan a trip for the early part of the this season if you want to save money.  You’ll get the benefit of post hurricane-season breezes, and hotel prices are reasonable. Not to say that it’s hard to find good room rates at other times of the year – this small pocket of the Yucatán has one of the widest ranges of price points on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. If you’re concerned about crowds, though, avoid the region from January to March.

Entry & Exit Requirements

You’ll need a passport to visit Mexico, plus a tourism card (FMM) that can be issued at any Mexican consulate, border-crossing point, Mexican tourism office, or directly from your airline. FMMs are usually issued free of charge upon arrival. Be sure to hold onto this card for the duration of your trip, as you will need to present it upon departing the country. It’s also a good idea to leave your passport and FMM in a secure location and carry a photocopy of both documents with you at all times.

Safety

While Mexico has experienced a surge in drug-related violence, Tulum has remained a relatively safe travel destination. Travelers should use common sense when traveling in the downtown area:  for example, don’t walk around alone at night. If you’re staying in a beachside cabana, be sure to lock your doors. Don’t walk on isolated areas of the beach at night. Driving during the daytime is relatively safe, but take caution when driving at night, as some foreign travelers have experienced robbery.

You should also not drink the tap water in Tulum.  To avoid unnecessary illness, always make sure your bottled water is sealed, your ice has been tested for purity and your food has been prepared with bottled water.

Getting Around Tulum

The best way to get around Tulum is by taxi. You can walk or bike to the beaches, to the ruins and to Tulum Pueblo, but there’s a chance of overexerting yourself. You can rent a car in Cancún or Playa del Carmen, but it is not recommended because of reported auto crimes. Buses aren’t a viable option either – the only ones available are the shuttles that take vacationers to and from the other Riviera Maya areas, and to and from the airport in Cancún.

By Taxi

Taxis pretty much have a monopoly on getting you from your hotel to the beach, but you can also use them to get to the ruins or the reserves. They hang out around the hotel areas, but you can also find them near the bus terminal. Luckily, the fixed fares are reasonable. You’ll pay around $5 to ride from the popular hotels to the beach.

By Car

Driving from Cancún or Playa del Carmen to Tulum is not worth the hassle – residents motor the rocky roads swiftly, and you could easily be overwhelmed. Some travel sites have also reported problems with auto robberies (particularly at night) and even police scams, where the officers pull drivers over and then demand a bribe. If you do decide to drive, you will not need to obtain an international driver’s license; your U.S. license is valid in Mexico.

By Bike

You’ll get some exercise, and a little independence by riding around town.  Rental companies like Iguana Bike and Hola Bike will deliver your wheels to your hotel (fares average around 190 pesos, or $10, per day) and also offers tours of the area to cenotes and beaches.

By Foot

Walking is always affordable, and in Tulum, it’s also feasible. You could choose to walk from the hotel areas to the beaches, the ruins and even Tulum Pueblo, depending on where you’re located. However, you may find taxis are a more comfortable option, given the heat. And you should always exercise common sense and not walk long distances alone at night.

Must See Places

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Just south of Tulum, the reserve contains more than 1.2 million acres of estuaries, reefs, cenotes and wetlands. Within the park, you can take tours of the local wildlife, take part in a diving or snorkeling tour or simply just walk around the beautiful and expansive park.

 

 

Playa Paraiso

With the recent arrival of the Nuddy Beach Club, the beach has grown extremely popular. You’ll find plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving, plus a few hammocks, lounge chairs and umbrellas to choose from, and a few beach bars should you want refreshment.

 

 

El Gran Cenote

Considered sacred waters by the Mayans, the expansive El Gran Cenote is an underground cavern that is ideal for swimming and diving. Here you can swim, snorkel and dive amid some pretty cool geological features, including stalagmites and stalactites.

 

Tulum Ruins

The Tulum ruins are one of the most popular Mayan archaeological sites along the Riviera Maya. Sitting on a patch of rocky coastline just south of Tulum’s downtown, the ruins showcase several templos (temples) and castillos (castles) from the once-thriving pre-Colombian Mayans.

 

Maya Spa

Catering to the yoga tourist, this spa in the Azulik hotel offers massages, body wraps, crystal therapy treatments and yoga classes. The true highlight of Maya Spa are the nighttime temazcal sessions, or steam baths that indigenous Mexicans believed had healing and purifying powers.

 

Things to Do

Edventure Tours

From the ancient Mayan Ruins, to the pristine turquoise waters of the Caribbean- and so much more in between. Snorkel, zipline, Jungle ATV ride, Mayan Ruins~ and ALL in one day if you like!  For more information call 52-984-871-2209, or visit them on the web at Edventure Tours.

Mexican Caribbean Kitesurf and Paddlesurf

They are a kite and SUP School.  They do Paddle boarding tours to cenotes, lagoons and bays.  All in beautiful Tulum Mexico “A day in the water is a good day”  For more information call 52-984-168-1023, or visit them on the web at Mexican Caribbean Kitesurf and Paddlesurf.

Mexico Kan Tours

Mexico Kan Tours is a travel agency committed to showing visitors to Mexico the country’s incredible range of culture and biodiversity. They design every tour with a desire to share their own extensive travel experience in Mexico, combined with the love.  For more information call 52-984-140-7870, or visit them on the web at Mexico Kan Tours.

Pro Kite Tulum

The goal of ProKite Tulum is to provide the best quality lessons and kite trips. From complete beginner to the advanced rider that wants to bring it to the next level in surf strapless, freeride or freestyle, they can help you achieving your goal.  For more information call 52-984-100-5878, or visit them on the web at Pro Kite Tulum.

Diving Cenotes Tulum

The best service is their philosophy.  Talk to them and you will see.  From discovery scuba diving to their cave diving course.  They dive all cenotes around Tulum and will recommend the right time to avoid the crowds.  Satisfaction is guaranteed!  For more information call 52-984-140-6813, or visit them on the we web at Diving Cenotes Tulum.

Best Rated Restaurants

$-Inexpensive $$-Moderate $$$-Pricey $$$$-Ultra High End

$$$  Posada Margherita

Posada Margherita is an Italian gem that serves handmade pasta on the Yucatan Peninsula. Its menu lists classic Italian favorites like tagliatelle with red sauce or drizzled in olive oil and topped with prawns.  If you stop by the beach restaurant early enough, try their famous egg-in-a-hole with a side of beans and roasted potatoes. For more information call 52-984-801-8493, or visit them on the web at Posada Margherita.

$$ – $$$  Que Fresco!

The flagship restaurant of iconic Tulum hotel is Que Fresco!  It is the ideal spot to grab a coastal lunch or dinner. Not only will you be treated to supreme quality fresh food – Mayan flavors and local, seasonally sourced produce dominate the dishes at Que Fresco!  You’ll also be able to enjoy some truly beautiful vistas over the Tulum coastline.  For more information call 52-984-877-8523, or visit them on the web at Que Fresco!

$$$$  Hartwood

Dine at dusk with candles places along the pathways and illuminate the dining area.  The menu changes nightly based on what is caught by the local fisherman.  All ingredients are locally sourced from nearby farms and markets.  You will find the menu drawn on a large chalkboard, brought to each table when ordering.  Get an early reservation, because the waiters cross out dishes as they are gone.  For more information visit them on the web at Hartwood.

$  El Camello Jr

Originally founded by a local fishing collective, El Camello Jr is now one of the best, and arguably most authentic, places to eat in the town. Even so, it’s now widely known in both local and international circles, and this perennially popular spot is famed for its generous and super fresh ceviche and seafood dishes. Order fish tacos to ease yourself in, and bring at least basic Spanish, as English isn’t spoken.  For more information call 52-984-871-2036, or visit them on the web at El Camello Jr.

$  La Chiapaneca

If you want an authentic spot to grab a quick on-the-go meal, but seafood just doesn’t float your boat, then you can’t go wrong with La Chiapaneca. This is the essential place if you want to enjoy some authentic (and incredibly cheap) tacos al pastor in Tulum, often considered the best in town. Alongside their trademark spit-roasted meats, you can also get a handful of other local treats.  For more information call 52-984-114-3249, or visit them on the web at La Chiapaneca.

Best Nightlife

Gitano

Gitano is a mescal bar and is the place to go for cocktails, dancing and lite bites.  Tiny lanterns are hung on overhead branches, along with an array of beautiful chandeliers.  Two cocktails not to miss are the Mescal Mule and the Stardust.  The mule is mixed with Gitano’s own how made mescal, while the Stardust has mescal, dark rum, and a mixture of fruit juices.  For more information call 52-984-745-9068, or visit them on the web at Gitano.

Batey

Try the expertly mixed mojitos which range from the classic to local fruits like prickly pear, to innovative combinations like cucumber basil.  No matter which flavor you order, the sugarcane juice is pressed to order.  The kitchen turns out some great Italian snacks to go with your mojitos.  For more information call 52-984-745-4571, or visit them on the web at Batey.

Casa Jaguar

This is a favorite of the local business owners.  You can get an expertly mixed cocktail and chat it up with the friendly bartenders.  The ingredients are fresh.  Try the Maria Sandia with mescal, watermelon, lime, and worm salt on the rim.  You can eat dinner here as well, with grilled seafood, rib eye, and the catch of the day.  This has a picturesque open-air jungle setting.  For more information call 52-998-222-2749, or visit them on at Casa Jaguar.

Papaya Playa Beach Club

The Papaya Playa Beach Club throws a major party every Saturday with guest DJs.  The drinks here include mescal and papaya or the well-balanced cucumber and lime drink.  Great place for dancing.  For more information call 52-984-871-1160, or visit them on the web at Papaya Playa Beach Club.

Best Hotels

Encantada Tulum – All Inclusive

On an unspoiled beach between the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Tulum National Park, Hotel Encantada offers tropical gardens, a free Wi-Fi zone and stylish rooms with sea or garden views.  Decorated with local textiles and artwork, each charming room has sliding glass doors which open onto a private terrace.   A varied continental breakfast is provided, including home-baked bread, fresh fruit, yogurt and granola. Mexican and international dishes are available for lunch, served in the bar or on the beach.  You can book a relaxing massage or hot stone treatment on the beach at Hotel Encantada. The 24-hour front desk also includes a concierge and free bike rental service.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Encantada Tulum.

Mi Amor a Colibri Boutique Hotel – Adults Only – All Inclusive

Featuring free WiFi and an outdoor pool, Mi Amor a Colibri Boutique Hotel-Adults Only offers accommodations in Tulum. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and sun terrace, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant.  You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property.  The hotel also provides bike rental. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Mi Amor a Colibri Boutique Hotel – Adults Only.

El Pez a Colibri Boutique Hotel – Great for Families

Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, El Pez a Colibri Boutique Hotel offers accommodations in Tulum. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar.  You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property.  The hotel also provides bike rental and car rental. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit El Pez a Colibri Boutique Hotel.

La Selva Mariposa – Budget Friendly

Featuring free WiFi and a hot tub, La Selva Mariposa offers accommodations in Tulum, just 17 miles from Akumal. Free private parking is available on site.  Enjoy a cup of coffee while looking out at the pool or garden.  You will find a shared lounge at the property.  Guests can enjoy various activities in the area, including biking and hiking.  For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit La Selva Mariposa.

Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel – Adults Only

Mezzanine a Colibri Boutique Hotel-Adults Only is located in Tulum, just 16 miles from Akumal. The hotel has an outdoor pool and year-round outdoor pool, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.  You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property.  The hotel also provides bike rental. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit Mezzanin Colibri Boutique Hotel – Adults Only.

26 Comments

  1. Juliet

    I am thinking of taking my children, 4 of them on a vacation. Tulum looks and sounds great. The photo is a really nice one, is that crocodile alive? November to December is also a great time for us Scotland’s temperature is mostly close to freezing around that time of the year. I’ll talk to my people about this.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Your kids would have a blast!  And yes, that crocodile is alive 🙂  You won’t just see them lose though, so no worries.  Please let me know if you have any questions Juliet.  Thanks for reading about Tulum Vacations.

      Reply
  2. Adam

    Very informative and well organized. I think I might have to check this place out, as I am actually planning a trip to Mexico this winter, and wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to go. I am interested in Mayan ruins, so this looks like a worth while place to visit.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Adam, Tulum is definitely a great choice. It is the less crowded version of Cancun. You still have all gorgeous beaches, wonderful food and nightlife, and then the Tulum Ruins. Glad you enjoyed reading about Tulum Vacations!

      Reply
  3. Kerry

    What an amazing site you have, makes one want to pack their bags right away. Similar sort of site as mine but mine focuses more on one country.
    Layout so simple to follow, love the option of the newsletter…. perhaps you could show me how that is done.
    All round easy to navigate, beautiful, actually, not alot more to say… perfection! Well done

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Kerry.  Go to Mail Monkey to set up your newsletter.  It is fairly painless and easy.  I am glad you enjoyed reading about Tulum Vacations.  Please come back and visit BeachTravelDestinations.com again!

      Reply
  4. Rita

    I really like your site. The information is very thorough and useful for people who are planning a beach vacation. The information covers the various attractions, costs, and methods to get around. The pictures are beautiful and peaceful, with lots of color. I really like them because they attract my attention make me want to go on vacation!  Now I have Tulum on my bucket list 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Good Rita,  you will fall in love with Tulum.  Visit the ruins, gorgeous beaches, enjoy great food and take in the culture.  Thanks for reading Tulum Vacations.

      Reply
  5. Rita

    I have already commented on Tulum, but had a question. Can you tell me what it might cost for a weeks stay in the early part of December? It would be for two people. I am looking for a nice but budget friendly hotel.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, I am going to email you some choices for hotel stay. Then you can decide what you like the best. I will include all-inclusive and hotels without meals. I will even look at B&B for you 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kobe M

    Looks like a piece of paradise! I really like your page since you include everything you need to know in your texts!

    How much time would you recommend to spend at these places? We like to go to many different places but still want to make sure we have enough time to enjoy the place we visit.. is a week enough? would you suggest this for a relaxing vacation or for someone who goes place to place?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I always spend 2 weeks when I go to Mexico, but that is just me. I like to have a week for venturing out and a week for just relaxing.  Then you have to think that you will have 2 days for travel.  I don’t count the first and last day for anything but that.  It takes time to get there and back, go thru customs, ride the bus to the hotel, etc.  So for me, a Mexico trip is 2 weeks 🙂  Thanks for reading about Tulum Vacations.

      Reply
  7. Diana

    Raised in Miami, I love the beach! Believe it or not, one of the things I look for in a beautiful beach is its white sand. That white sugar sand looks so soft; I can just picture feeling the sand through my toes.

    El Gran Cenote? Gorgeous!

    As a history buff, the Tulum Ruins is something I’d definitely want to check out. Tulum is a beach destination that I did not know about, but I’ve officially added it to my list of places to travel to.

    Thanks for helping me discover this amazing place!

    Diana

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Diana, and I am glad you enjoyed reading about all the wonderful things to see and do in Tulum, not to mention the gorgeous Tulum Beaches. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  8. Wilkin

    A very comprehensive page that gives almost a to z information in Tulum. I have always been thinking of traveling to Mexico for my year end vacation but the language thing really puts me out of it because I have been hearing that English is not common there.
    Just wonder if people around Tulum speak English (especially after getting out of airport)?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you for visiting Wilkin,  you won’t have any problem with language in Tulum as many people there speak English.  Now, if you  go off the beaten path (which I wouldn’t suggest) then English will be harder to come by.  Thanks for reading about Tulum Vacations!

      Reply
  9. EMI

    Hi, and thanks for the very useful information you give about visit to Tulum in mexico. It was really detail info about the place and i really like that. I have not travel to Mexico before but i will like to see my self do that someday and this place will be in mind. Again Thanks for sharing this great information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you for visiting and you would really enjoy visiting Mexico, especially Tulum and all it has to offer. Thanks for visiting Tulum Vacations!

      Reply
  10. Jaden

    This is one beautiful place to visit. I really love the place you recommended especially Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. You post really helps a lot for the transportation. I will share your post and keep you post in my book mark. Cheers!

    Regards
    Jaden

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Jaden, I am glad you enjoyed reading about Tulum Vacations. Truly a wonderful place to visit!

      Reply
  11. Stella Obiozor

    Awesome article,very useful information for anybody who want to visit Tulum especially the safety part of it which is very important for every Tourist.I have never travel to Mexico before but i will like to do so one day to see the beautiful Tulum by myself.Thanks for this great info.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Stella. You will have to visit Mexico one day. I have been too many times to count, and I absolutely love it. Not just for the beaches, but for the culture, the food, and the history.

      Reply
  12. Bruce

    I have friends that just returned from Tulum, Mexico. They had such an awesome time. Your info on traveling Tulum is so detailed and will ensure that anyone will have an amazing stress-free time. It’s good to know the best time to go, and having been in Mexico before, as long as you stay in the tourist area, you have nothing to fear about Mexico at all!!!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Very true Bruce, just don’t head off the beaten paths. I never rent a car either, too much hassle for me. I like the idea of taking taxis, easy and not too expensive. Thanks for visiting Tulum Vacations.

      Reply
  13. Ernest

    When I visit places such as the Tulum ruins, I often feel like the area used to be very prosperous. It is now a tourist destination… I guess I like learning about the history of places that I visit.

    I see that you recommend taxi’s for getting around. I was once in Cozumel and there were a lot of shady practices such as “getting lost” to charge higher fees. This is not a problem at all I assume in Tulum?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      No, it is not a problem Ernest.  Taxis are really the best way to get around.  I love the history too, and you are right that there is so much history in Tulum.  Thank you for visiting Tulum Vacations.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed