The 13th-century Mayan archaeological ruins are not Mexico’s largest, but their beachfront location makes them a truly jaw-dropping sight. The clifftop watchtower, or Castillo is one of the country’s most photographed sights.
Although Playa Ruinas is the region’s most famous beach, there are plenty of other options. Playa Paraíso, or Paradise Beach, is never far from the top of any local’s recommendation list. Tulum’s near-transparent water and pristine white sand make it a coastal destination you won’t forget in a hurry.
Tulum is home to a spectacular range of animals, from monkeys and jaguars, to sea turtles and iguanas. Get close to them all at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, which is one of the world’s top eco-tourism destinations.
From May to October, Tulum’s coastline sees the arrival of thousands of nesting turtles. After the sun sets each night, the mother turtles make their way to the beach to lay their eggs, before slowly journeying back to the water.
Adventure and sports companies such as Aventuras Mayas offer more adventurous travelers the chance to zip-line over the Mayan jungle canopy. The company provides tours that take around six hours and can also include a chance to rappel down a 60 foot (18 meter) rock face and snorkel through an underground cenote.
Tulum has established itself as one of Mexico’s numerous food hubs, with trendy restaurants like Mur Mur offering exciting gastronomical experiences. Dedicated to sourcing all of its ingredients from local producers, the critically-acclaimed restaurant opened in December 2015 and has already made its mark on the Mexican culinary scene.
Mur Mur Restaurant, QROO 15, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico +52 984 187 5778
Whether it’s delicious roadside tacos, fresh coconut water or refreshing ice pops, Tulum is one of Mexico’s top street food destinations. The laid-back restaurant Taqueria La Eufemia specializes in delicious fish and shrimp tacos.
Taqueria La Eufemia, Avenida Tulum, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico +52 984 112 3249
Tulum offers delicious fruits in abundance, with coconut a particular favorite for tourists. After a night at the bar, nothing will rehydrate you as a quickly as the juice of a young, green coconut, or a fruit salad with a delicious coconut milk dip.
Tulum has plenty of nightlife options, including excellent beach parties and live music joints. We recommend Batey for its laid-back atmosphere, cocktails and live music. Papaya Playa Project is another great option if a beach club vibe is more your thing.
Batey, Calle Centauro Sur, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico +52 984 143 3616
Over the past decade, boutique accommodation options have been springing up in Tulum at an incredible rate. While some bemoan the rising prices and pace of development, there’s no doubt that luxury hotels are a great place to relax. The Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel is one of the region’s finest, boasting thatched-roof suites in a stunning beachside setting.
The Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico +52 984 131 1596
Tulum is Mexico’s top yoga destination and hosts a huge range of spiritual retreats, wellness spas and yoga studios. The Yoga Dicha Studio is a popular spot for serious practitioners, offering both teacher training courses and excellent daily classes.
Holistic massages are one of many therapeutic treatments on offer at the Yäan Wellness Center. The luxurious spa forms a part of the Be Tulum Hotel, and is open to outside visitors as well as guests. The venue offers individual treatments such as massages, reiki or hot stone therapy and also allows visitors to craft their own individual packages.
The Mayan practice of steam baths is growing ever more popular with visitors to Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Many hotels and spas in Tulum, including the Yäan Wellness Center, are reviving the healing steam ceremonies, which are performed in an igloo-shaped structure called a temazcal.
Tulum has a unique layout, with most hotels and bars clustered along the shoreline. It’s a great idea to rent a bike for your stay so you can get around quickly without having to rely on taxis. As well as the convenience, Tulum is a very bike-friendly town and cycling through it is a real joy.