The Best of Tulum… 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. Visit all of the best Maya Riviera Beaches on our Pinterest site here.
Tulum Weather – When to Visit
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.
Best Tulum Beaches
Sian Ka’an Beach
The Sian Ka’an reserve is one of the most fascinating beaches in the Riviera Maya. If you love nature, Sian Ka’an has a lot to offer; there are over one 1,400 species of plants, as well as more than 300 species of resident and migratory birds. If you like diving or snorkeling, you will discover an endless show of sponges, pink conch, starfish, sea urchins, and spiny lobsters, just to name a few.
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.
Las Palmas Public Beach
Las Palmas Public Beach has a beautiful stretch of sand with gentle waves. It is more secluded than Playa Paraíso, and you won’t find vendors or restaurants in the immediate area. Its the perfect place if you’re looking to escape the crowded beaches. Pack your lunch and enjoy a serene day at the beach.
Playa Ruinas boasts well-preserved Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the most beautiful (and photographed) with white sand, turquoise waters. While at this beach, visit the clifftop Castillo archaeological site.
Akumal Beach is 30 minutes from downtown Tulum and a stretch of sand that is great for families, sandcastles and swimming. You’ll find a great selection of palapa-roofed bars and restaurants. Beach umbrellas are available to rent and great food and ice cold beers are available all day.
Best Tulum Restaurants
Arca $11 – 30
This rustic, open-air restaurant in the jungle, lit with candles and twinkling lights, serves Mexican cuisine using fresh local ingredients. If you’re dining with children, they are happy to create something kid-friendly. On the adult end, one of Arca’s specialties is creative, unique cocktails. Web: Arca
La Zebra $11 – 30
This gorgeous beachside restaurant is casual and welcoming but at the same time stylish and chic. La Zebra serves authentic Mexican breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Patrons dine in an open-air palapa-roof ambiance, with the Caribbean wind blowing in their hair. Telephone: 52-984-115-4726 Web: La Zebra
Hartwood $31 – 60
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 Tabano $11 – 30
El Tabano is a Mexican restaurant that serves original dishes inspired by European cuisine. Here, the healthy menu is written on a chalkboard, and the open kitchen allows diners to see their food being prepared. The candlelit, eclectic, jungle feel and live music makes for an inviting ambiance. Don’t miss the Pollo Rojo, the guacamole with pumpkin seeds and oats, and the Passion Fruit Mojito. 52-984-134-8725 Web: El Tabano
Raw Love $11 – 30
Want to eat healthy at least part of the time on vacation? Raw Love serves imaginative and delicious raw, organic vegetarian and vegan food, including smoothies, bowls and dreamy desserts, like Mayan chocolate cake. They even have gluten-free options. Dine with your feet in the sand at this outdoor rustic eatery. 52-984-130-2013 Web: Raw Love
Best Tulum Nightlife
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. Telephone: 52-984-745-9068 Web: Gitano.
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. Telephone: 52-984-745-4571 Web: Batey.
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. Telephone: 52-998-222-2749 Web: 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. Telephone: 52-984-871-1160 Web: Papaya Playa Beach Club.