The Best of Tulum

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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.  Telephone: 52-984-745-4571 Web: 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.  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.

Best Tulum Hotels


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

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