1 Day in Tulum: Itinerary with Top 20 Things to Do

What to do in Tulum, in the Riviera Maya?

Visiting Tulum, one of Mexico’s must-see destinations , is discovering a small town with a chic bohemian atmosphere, long white sand beaches, Mayan ruins and cenotes with crystal clear water.

I received excellent advice from friends thanks to whom I had a wonderful stay in Tulum and I now want to share all these good tips with you!

Here is my ultimate guide to Tulum, with what to do and see there, my hotel recommendations  for all budgets,  as well as my suggested itineraries to visit Tulum in 1, 2 or 3 days .

What to do and see in Tulum?

1. Tulum Ruins

The famous Tulum ruins are one of the emblematic places of the Riviera Maya.

It is not the most imposing archaeological site in the region, but its privileged location facing the Caribbean Sea makes it unique.

Especially since it is located in the Tulum National Park, the only protected area in this very touristy region between Cancun and Tulum!

This fortified city (6C to 15C ), dedicated to the worship of the Diver God or the Descending God, was a major stopover for land and sea trade in the Mayan world.

To see on the archaeological site of Tulum:

-The wall with the guard towers and the inner enclosure which delimited the city

-The Castillo, facing the sea, which is the most important building on the site. It served as a landmark for navigators to avoid the dangers of the great coral reef!

-The Temple of the Frescoes which is the best preserved and most interesting structure, in particular for its decorative richness (paintings, engravings, sculptures).

-The Temple of the Descending God and its representations of the deities

-The houses of the Columns, Halach Uinic, Chultun, Cenote

And don’t forget to go down to the Tulum site beach (included in the ruins ticket) to test the temperature of the Caribbean Sea and get a different view of the site!

How to visit the ruins of Tulum

  • Entrance fee is 90 pesos (cash only)
  • It is possible to hire the services of a guide on site but there are English/Spanish explanatory panels on site.
  • The site is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry at 4 p.m.)
  • Getting to the ruins of Tulum from the village : the archaeological site is 10 minutes by car from the village of Tulum or by combi (to take in front of 7 Eleven de la Carretera Federal 307, 20$MXN)
  • Getting to the ruins from Playa del Carmen: by ADO bus (1h, 58-110 pesos depending on the time) – as your destination, choose “  Tulum zona arqueólogica  ” and not just Tulum
  • To get to the entrance of the archaeological area you have to walk 700m or take the little train (20 pesos)

To visit the ruins of Tulum (1h guided + 1h free), I recommend this excursion which also includes a cenote and air-conditioned transport from your hotel in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

Tulum itinerary 2 days, Mexico
The archaeological area of ​​Tulum

2. Diving in a Mayan Cenote

Cenotes are natural freshwater wells that exist by the thousands in the Yucatan Peninsula .

They were considered by the Maya as a means of communicating with the underworld.

Today, bathing in the crystal clear water of a cenote is a must-do activity in Tulum!

There really are all kinds: some are perfect for families with children and beginner swimmers, others are reserved for experienced divers.

The Gran Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos are among the most touristy, but there are others much quieter like Nicte-Ha and Calavera, perfect for enjoying the wild nature.

Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum
Cenote Dos Ojos Tulum

3. Relax on the White Sand Beaches

With Holbox and Contoy, it is definitely in Tulum that I saw the most beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula!

Warm, calm and transparent water, fine sand: a perfect combination to create paradise on Earth.

But as there are many beaches all along the coast, some very touristy and others much less known, it can be difficult to make a choice.

Here are, in my opinion, the 6 best beaches in Tulum:

3.1 Ruins Beach

Obviously, the beach of the ruins is the best known of the beaches in Tulum!

Better to arrive early because it is a tourist site that fills up quickly and the beach is not very big, but it is interesting to be able to combine the archaeological visit and relaxation.

Don’t be afraid of the many iguanas, they are quiet but better not get too close.

It is possible to take a boat trip from the beach to observe the ruins and continue to the reef for snorkeling.

The beach and the ruins of Tulum
The beach and the ruins of Tulum

3.2 Paradise Beach

1km from the ruins, in the Tulum National Park, is Playa Paraiso.

The water is calm and the nearby reef offers a nice place to snorkel and see turtles, fish, etc.

And we must not forget THE emblematic photo spot of Tulum with its inclined palm tree!

Playa Paraíso in Tulum
Playa Paraíso in Tulum

3.3 Las Palmas

Close to Playa Paraiso is Playa Las Palmas, another popular beach thanks to its easy access right in Tulum and the wind that allows kitesurfing and windsurfing.

There are cafes, restaurants, hotels.

  • parking 250 pesos

3.4 Xcacel Beach

Playa Xcacel is a superb white sand beach which is part of a large nature reserve protected between palm trees and mangroves.

The beach is a nesting place for turtles (May to October). The turtles come to lay at night and it is forbidden to touch the eggs.

An activity to free the turtles is organized from mid-September to the end of November around 7:30 p.m.

It is a heavenly place for snorkeling and diving because 50m from the beach is a coral reef!

There is even a wreck to the south of the beach.

  • Entry 105 pesos
  • Getting to Playa Xcacel: 20min from Tulum by car, following Carretera 307. It is also possible to get there by colectivo, departing from 7 Eleven on the 307 (30 pesos) and tell the driver to stop in Xcacel where the access to the beach is.
  • There is no service on site (restaurant, bar, umbrellas) and you must leave the premises at 5:30 p.m.
A beach in Tulum
A beach in Tulum

4. Take a Bike Ride in the Sun

Obviously with such a pleasant climate and rather flat roads, the ideal is to visit Tulum by bike.

The main attractions of Tulum are easily accessible by bicycle.

There is also a long bike path of just over 3km to the end of Avenida Coba.

Precisely, I went to the Gran Cenote by bike. If I hadn’t been so lazy that day, I could have easily continued on the same road (Carretera 109 towards Coba) to the cenotes Zacil-Ha and Carwash, for example.

The ruins of Tulum and Playa Paraiso are also very good by bike because they are only 15 minutes from the center.

At a greater distance but also doable by bike: the ruins of Muyil (1h15) and Coba (2h30), Cenote Dos Ojos (1h10)

It is a sustainable and convenient way to move between the city, the surroundings and the beach. But be prepared for the sun and the heat, especially in summer!

  • Several hotels offer bike rental to their customers, but it is easy to find a rental shop in Tulum.
  • A bike costs around 250 pesos for the day or 550 pesos for a scooter.

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
I recommend this guided bike tour of Tulum that takes you to cenotes Escondido, Cristal and the Gran Cenote, with a delicious brunch!

Renting a bike in Tulum, a great way to explore the surroundings!
Renting a bike in Tulum, a great way to explore the surroundings!

5. Enjoy Tulum Without Sargassum (seaweed)

This year the entire coast of Quintana Roo has been strongly affected by sargassum (brown algae).

Too bad, while Tulum is known for its transparent water and white sand beaches!

But there is a place in Tulum where there is never any sargassum : the Caleta Tankah.

It’s a small beach club that isn’t very touristy, with a restaurant, deck chairs, umbrellas, hammocks and a small cove facing the Caribbean Sea where the seaweed doesn’t fit.

In addition, it is perfectly transparent fresh water that allows you to see hundreds of fish!

There is also a cenote in the middle of the jungle about 50m from the beach.

The water is completely transparent, not very deep and the place is very quiet because there is hardly anyone.

Visiter Tankah

  • Tankah is located 16km (10 min) from the center of Tulum. From the entrance, you have to walk 500m.
  • 300$MXN the entrance, included deckchairs and parasols, no obligatory consumption. Parking is free.
  • Tankah Creek Facebook Page

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
It is impossible to know in advance where there will be sargassum, but the best tool is Red de Monitoreo del Sargazo de Quintana Roo, which publishes a map with the state of the beaches every day. Honestly, that’s wonderful community service! 

Tulum itinerary
The freshwater cove of Caleta Tankah, without sargassum! Photo from the Facebook page

6. Food Tour

Are you greedy?

Here is the opportunity to have a good time touring the best spots in Tulum with a local guide and discovering the emblematic dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula. 

Tulum itinerary
Food tour Tulum

7. Go Kitesurfing

If you want to kitesurf in Tulum, there are schools on the beach that offer lessons for all levels as well as equipment rental.

With its long white sandy beaches without rocks, a temperature around 25C (air and sea!), 15 to 25 knots of wind all day, Tulum is an ideal place for kitesurfing, especially from December to May!

Kitesurfing in Tulum, Tulum itinerary
Kitesurfing in Tulum

8. Party in Tulum

Tulum is definitely a party destination, but in a whole different genre from Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

I recommend the Batey – Mojito & Guarapo Bar and its passion fruit mojito, delicious!

There is live music every day and a great atmosphere with travelers from all over the world.

A must for partying in Tulum is Papaya Playa Project which is a hotel, a restaurant and a place to relax.

You can just as well go day or night to enjoy the beach and attend one of the many events with DJs.

Tulum itinerary
Photo from the Papaya Playa Facebook page

9. Walk the Beach Strip in Tulum

About 15 minutes from the center is a must-see in Tulum: the Beach Strip.

This is the bobo-chic area of ​​the village with luxury hotels overlooking the beach, good restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.

You have to admit that everything here is more expensive than in the center of Tulum, but it’s very pretty and it’s pleasant to walk around to enjoy the scenery.

Tulum itinerary
La Troupe, a boutique with the typical vibe of Tulum. Photo from Facebook page.

10. Experience the Mayan Temazcal

From the Nahuatl “temazcalli”, house where one sweats, the temazcal is a steam bath of pre-Hispanic origin.

It is a sauna with medicinal herbs which is prepared in a mud or stone hut and which aims to purify the body and the soul.

It can still be experienced today in different places in Mexico, with or without the accompanying ceremony.

Several places offer the temazcal in Tulum of about 1h30 in a very nice setting like the Delek TulumMaya Tulum Retrat and Spa or Azulik for example.

But prepare your budget, it’s not cheap!

Tulum itinerary
Le temazcal de Ahau Tulum

11. Take a Drink up High

The Tulum Tower is a 35m high tower that offers a panoramic view of the city, the jungle and the coast.

Inaugurated in 2018, it was designed by French engineers and offers the safety of European standards.

The principle is super nice: you go up enjoying the view then the tower turns quietly while a guide explains the history of the region.

The icing on the cake? The aerial bar that allows you to sip a cocktail once at the top while admiring the view!

It’s a unique experience that doesn’t last more than 10 minutes, but is a must in Tulum if you don’t suffer from vertigo.

Tulum itinerary
The tower of Tulum with its bar

12. Discover Art in Tulum

With a rich culture that brings together so many nationalities today, it’s no wonder that Tulum hosts several artistic initiatives.

For example, the Art with Me Festival  is an international artistic, musical and cultural festival.

It brings together businesses, tourists and the local community to lead environmental and cultural initiatives for the benefit of Tulum.

Also, the Tulum Art Club is the first contemporary and cultural art space in the Riviera Maya. One finds there for example the initiative Inside Out of the French artist JR.

Finally, I recommend visiting Sfer IK. It is an interdisciplinary creative sphere with exhibitions by international visual artists, workshops and internships.

There are even creative workshops for children, so it’s a good activity to do in Tulum with the family !

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
To take a picture with the dumbest sculpture in Tulum “Ven a la Luz”, you have to go to the Alau hotel (entrance 60 pesos)

Tulum itinerary
Art With Me in Tulum. Photo from website.

13. Treat Yourself to a Yoga Session

Tulum is the most important yoga and relaxation destination in the Yucatan.

There are several yoga studios in Tulum for those who want to learn or practice their passion even on vacation.

Exactly, I tested yoga for the very first time at Yoga Dicha Studio and I really liked my experience. Bonus point: they participate in Help Tulum Dogs which helps abandoned dogs.

If you are into yoga, a friend also recommended the Tribal Tulum which offers unlimited access for the week and it is even possible to stay there.

Tulum itinerary
Le Yoga Bliss Studio

14. Visit the Archaeological Site of Coba

Coba is definitely one of the must-see places of interest in Tulum.

Powerful Mayan city, as important as Chichen Itza which was its rival, it would have counted up to 50,000 inhabitants!

It extended over 80km2 and benefited from a large network of 50 paths through its territory.

It is today a must in Yucatan, to be explored on foot or by bike, which is home to the 2nd highest pyramid on the peninsula (after Calakmul ): the Nohoch Mul.

There are also 3 cenotes in Coba  : Tamcach Ha, Multun Ha, Choo-Ha.

The majority of people visit the archaeological site of Coba without knowing that there are cenotes nearby so there are few people!

Visit Coba

  • By car: 45 minutes from Tulum on Carretera 109 towards Valladolid, 60 pesos for parking
  • By bus: 1 hour from the ADO Terminal in Tulum, departure at 10:10 a.m. – return at 3:10 p.m., 100$MXN one way
  • Admission 100 pesos, bicycle 60 pesos, bixitaxi with driver 140 pesos

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
For a full experience, I suggest this tour with hotel pickup.

It includes the guided tour of Coba, a traditional lunch with chocolate tasting in a Mayan village, in addition to a swim in the cenote Dzonot Wayak and finally the visit of Tulum!

Tulum itinerary
Nohoch Mul at Coba, the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula

15. Explorer Punta Laguna 

Just 20 minutes from Coba is the Punta Laguna nature reserve , or “Otoch ma’ax yetel kooh”, the house of the puma and the monkey in Mayan.

Here, Mayan communities have developed responsible tourism.

The visit to the reserve is done in several stages, starting with immersion in the daily life of the inhabitants.

This is an opportunity to discover the Mayan culture, traditions, gastronomy and beekeeping.

The second part is devoted to the discovery of the jungle and allows you to see spider monkeys in their natural habitat.

Finally, the experience continues with outdoor activities: zip line over the lagoon, canoeing and swimming in a sacred cenote …where there are several human skulls!

This is a park to do in the Tulum area because it is much more authentic than other sites and can be easily combined with the visit to Coba!

Book the Punta Laguna excursion here.

Tulum itinerary
Mayan shaman at Punta Laguna

16. Boca Paila

Not only is Boca Paila one of the best beaches in Tulum, but it has managed to escape the big tourist development.

This pristine white-sand beauty is located inside the Sian Ka’an Reserve, between Laguna Muyil and the Caribbean Sea.

It is an ideal place for walking, swimming, but also for bird watching and fishing  since there are many species of fish and birds.

There are only a few small hotels and places where you can buy food.

  • Boca Paila is 20km south of Tulum. Just follow the road from the hotel zone to Punta Allen. You have to go there by car or taxi because there is no public transport.
Tulum itinerary
Boca Paila in Tulum. Photo Greg B.

17. The Hidden Paradise of Kaan Luum

Just 15 minutes from Tulum, very close to Sian Ka’an, is one of its best kept secrets in the middle of the Mayan jungle: the Laguna Kaan Luum.

It is a lake with green and blue tones which contains a cenote more than 80m deep.

It is not possible to swim in the cenote because it is reserved for diving, but the whole part around it is very pleasant because the water is shallow (max 1m50)!

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
For the moment the place is mostly frequented by locals and Mexican tourists, but it is still little known to foreigners. That’s why it’s best to go there during the week when there are fewer people.

Tulum itinerary
Laguna Kaan Luum à Tulum. Photo drone pic

18. Sian Ka’an

Both a Biosphere nature reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sian Ka’an is a small paradise of biodiversity that you absolutely must visit in Tulum.

It is a protected territory of more than 5000km²: bigger than the island of Cozumel!

It faces the sea and contains mangroves, tropical forest and swamps. There is a rich fauna and flora including more than 300 species of birds.

The two main access points are Muyil and Punta Allen which offer two very different experiences.

Punta Allen is on the coast, so it’s the perfect destination to enjoy the beach, saltwater lakes, dolphin watching and snorkeling in the coral reefs.

The path from Tulum to Punta Allen is more complicated, you must have a 4×4 car. It is possible to get there by public transport, but it is very long (due to timetables) and you have to spend more than a day there.

The best way to visit Punta Allen from Tulum is definitely to take a guided tour!

I recommend this excellent tour of Sian Ka’an with return transfer from the hotel, boat tour (3h) to observe dolphins and turtles, swimming and lunch at Punta Allen.

Muyil allows exploring the interior of Sian Ka’an, on the jungle side, with marshes, freshwater lagoons and Mayan ruins.

Muyil is easier to access than Punta Allen and the visit takes half a day from Tulum. You can take the ADO buses towards Chunyaxché to get to Muyil (20min).

To visit Muyil from Tulum, I recommend this Sian Ka’an guided tour which takes you to the ruins of Muyil, then take a boat ride between the stunning freshwater lagoons.

All with lunch and return transfer from the hotel, to be booked here.

Tulum itinerary
The Sian Kaan reserve in the Yucatan

19. Swim with Turtles in Akumal

This seaside resort north of Tulum is one of the most famous beaches in the Riviera Maya.

It is known for its white sand, its transparent water, its coral reef, and especially for the presence of turtles which come to reproduce there.

It is an ideal bay for swimming with turtles in their natural habitat, observing multicolored fish, Manta rays, etc.

Take advantage of the visit to Akumal to swim in Lake Yal-Ku (3km from the entrance) and visit the caves of Aktun Chen Park!

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
As the turtles are protected, it is mandatory to do the activity with a guide.

You can take the service from the beach or take an excursion with pick-up at your hotel. 

I recommend this snorkeling excursion in Akumal (turtles, fish, corals) with transport, which also includes a visit to a cave and a cenote!

Easy to book here.

Visit Akumal

  • 25km from Tulum and 40km from Playa del Carmen, on highway 307
  • From the main street of Tulum it is possible to take a colectivo to go to Akumal, then you have to walk 1km to the beach.

Read also Top 17 things to do and see in Akumal (including swimming with turtles!)

Tulum itinerary

20. Xpu-Ha

Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Xpu-Ha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Quintana Roo!

Travelers pass by ignoring its existence and yet there is a small paradise of fine sand, hammocks and turquoise water.

You can walk, relax on the beach, have a drink in one of the small bars, snorkel (you can rent equipment on site), kitesurf, and even treat yourself to a small massage (30 min or 1 hour ).

The Cenote Azul is very close, so it’s a good idea to combine the two visits!

Tips for your Tulum itinerary:
There are 3 accesses to Xpu-Ha. Coming from Playa del Carmen, the 2nd is La Playa Xpu-ha Beach Club and the 3rd is the entry which is cheaper ($50 MXN).

The beach clubs are perfect for enjoying the beach comfortably, but to save money, take the 3rd entry instead. It is quite possible to land on the sand with your own towel and food.

How to get to Xpu-Ha:

  • By car: on Carretera Federal 307, 25 min from Playa del Carmen or 30 min from Tulum. Private parking on site.
  • By public transport: colectivo from Playa del Carmen (corner of Carretera Federal and Avenida Juarez) or Tulum (from the main street). $35mxn
Tulum itinerary
Xpu-Ha Beach

21. Xel-Ha Park

This is the place to visit in Tulum with the family !

It is a large all-inclusive eco-responsible water park where you can go diving, snorkeling, biking, ziplining, visiting cenotes and caves.

There is even a section for children, a water slide and a 40m high observation tower.

The basic “Xel Ha All Inclusive” entry includes access to activities, breakfast and lunch, non-alcoholic drinks, all necessary equipment, towels, parking.

It is therefore really ideal to spend the whole day there, and each member of the family will find what they are looking for!

Book your tickets directly here.

Tulum itinerary
Xel Ha Park

What to do in Tulum when it rains?

Mystika is an immersive museum in Tulum which aims to promote Mayan culture (traditions, animals, cosmology) in a surreal artistic atmosphere. It’s an extraordinary experience!

You can book your tickets here.

Tulum itinerary
Mystika Tulum

The best activity to do in Tulum when it rains is visiting the cenotes!

Of course, I’m not talking about the outer cenotes, but the inner cenotes that are in caves like Cenote Dos OjosGran Cenote or Cenote Taak Bi Ha for example.

Tulum itinerary
Cenote Dos Ojos

Accommodation in Tulum – the best hotels

Sleeping in the hotel zone of Tulum or in the village? Both have their advantages!

The hotel zone of Tulum offers very nice hotels, often with direct access to the beach. However, the budget is higher.

Accommodation in the center of Tulum is generally much cheaper and close to everything (markets, banks, restaurants, bars, etc.).

Here are my top suggestions for hotels in Tulum, for all budgets:

  • Mayan Monkey Tulum : this hostel offers excellent value for money! Beautiful modern decoration and good atmosphere, swimming pool, bar, garden, fast wifi, access to the kitchen, yoga classes, coworking, bike and motorbike rental. Dormitories and private rooms,  from only 22€ per night!
  • Casa Almendro : for a little more comfort, here is a  small budget hotel in the center of Tulum. It’s a green oasis with a nice big roof terrace with chairs and hammocks. Perfectly located, close to shops, restaurants, the ADO bus station. King bed and breakfast included, from  just €45 a night!
  • Diamante K : it offers  top-of-the-range comfort  at a very reasonable price, which is  exceptional in Tulum. Especially for a  hotel with  direct access to the beach  in the hotel zone! Bohemian chic atmosphere, restaurant, hammocks and beds on the private beach, massage service. Bungalow from 190 € per night!
  • Habitas Tulum : this small ecological hotel  with a chic design is ideal for a romantic stay in Tulum. It is a true haven of peace hidden between the palm trees, with a magnificent swimming pool and a private beach. With the added bonus of several on-site activities, such as yoga classes on the terrace facing the sunset. From 340€ per night!
  • Kanan Tulum – Adults Only : here is finally the  best choice for a luxury stay in TulumThis is an adults-only  eco-friendly hotel located on a beautiful private beach with hammocks and beds. Beautiful roof terrace with a bar, a very good restaurant on site, spacious rooms and a very friendly welcome. From €520 per night!

How many days to visit Tulum?

As the city is only 45 min-1h from Playa del Carmen, it is very easy to do Tulum in 1 day.

But there is so much to see and do around that you might as well stay longer!

Here are my suggestions for 1, 2 or 3 day itineraries in Tulum to see as many things as possible:

1 Day Tulum Itinerary

Here’s what to do when you only have one day in Tulum:

In the morning

-Start with a visit to the archaeological site of Tulum (1h-1h30)

-Go cool off in a cenote. You’ll find all of Tulum’s best cenotes here , but if you only have one day in Tulum, I recommend the Gran Cenote as it’s easily accessible by car or bike from the ruins. On the same road (109) is also the cenote Calavera.

In the afternoon

-Direction Tulum Beach Strip, the hotel zone to walk and eat. There are plenty of restaurants and shops on site.

-Then, direction the beach! There are several beaches in Tulum, but if you have little time I recommend Playa Paraiso or Playa las Palmas which are easy to access.

-Another option is to go directly to the Zulum hotel to enjoy the restaurant and the wonderful beach, paying a minimum consumption of $250mxn

In the evening

There are many options to have a drink or party in Tulum : Papaya Playa Project, Casa Jaguar, Gitano, Diablito Cha Cha and many other nice places!

My tips for a day in Tulum

-If you are not driving and then plan to continue elsewhere (towards Bacalar for example), there is a luggage storage facility at the ADO terminal in Tulum. It’s practical to avoid dragging your things!

-It must be admitted that the bars and restaurants that are in the hotel zone are the most beautiful in Tulum. They are also more expensive than those in the center of Tulum so it’s up to you to choose according to your budget.

-For a perfect day in Tulum without worrying about transport, I recommend this guided tour which includes the visit of the ruins of Tulum and the Dos Ojos cenote, the two major attractions of Tulum! It also includes free time and round-trip air-conditioned transportation from your hotel.

Book directly here.

2 Days Tulum Itinerary

If you have 2 days in Tulum, you can take your time.

The 1st day, I therefore suggest following the same itinerary presented, but without the cenote.

Leisurely enjoy the ruins in the morning, then stroll the Beach Strip and beaches in the afternoon!

For the 2nd day :

In the morning

-Spend the morning visiting a cenote to enjoy when it’s less crowded.

-I recommend the cenotes on route 109: Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote or further towards Coba, Cenote Zacil-Ha and Carwash. As they are on the same road it is easy to make more than one.

Between swimming and snorkeling, you can spend 2h-3h there

In the afternoon

-Take the visit of Coba  (2h). I suggest renting a bike locally, it’s more convenient to get around the site.

-Return to Tulum to enjoy the Caleta Tankah beach club. With its pretty private beach, its freshwater cove, its cenote in the jungle and the restaurant facing the sea, you can easily spend several hours there.

3 Days Tulum Itinerary

If you have 3 days in Tulum, follow the same itinerary for the first two days and then devote the third day to the fabulous Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve!

As the reserve is huge, you will have to choose between visiting the interior of Sian Ka’an towards Muyil or visiting the coast of Sian Ka’an towards Punta Allen.

Both are fabulous!

Tulum Tourist Map

Here is the map of Tulum with the attractions mentioned in the article.

When to go to Tulum?

It is very hot and humid from May to August.

The high season runs from January to March, there are many more tourists and prices are higher.

Hurricane season is June through November. In reality, hurricanes are not common, but the risk is highest between September and October. And above all, it is raining.

The best time to visit Tulum is therefore from the end of October to December, with a pleasant temperature and few tourists!

Is Tulum safe?

Yes, generally speaking security in Tulum is not an issue.

It’s much quieter than Cancun and even Playa del Carmen.

As everywhere, you have to be very careful not to leave your personal belongings unattended.

I also suggest to be careful because petty scams are common in all tourist areas (and not just in Mexico!). So knowing the prices in advance is useful. I am thinking in particular of the taxis in Tulum which do not have a meter…

Also, best to only use ATMs that are inside banks as they are less likely to be hacked.

How to get to Tulum

Tulum is 130km south of Cancun and 60km south of Playa del Carmen on Highway 307 which runs through the Riviera Maya.

Here are all the ways to get to Tulum:

De Cancun

-By bus: 2h journey by ADO, Cristobal Colon or OCC bus. Departures every hour from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 180$MXN per ticket (varies by time)

-By van: this is the cheapest way to go from Cancun to Tulum, but there is no direct van. You have to take a van from Cancun to Playa del Carmen ($42 MXN) then at the same place, a van Playa del Carmen to Tulum ($45 MXN). The final stop is in front of the ADO bus terminal in Tulum on Carretera 307

-By car: 1 hour 53 minutes on the Mexico 307 Highway which runs through the Riviera Maya

From Cancún Airport

-By bus: departures from terminals T2, T3 and T4 (schedules to be checked in advance on the  ADO website ), 2 hours journey, 276 $MXN the ticket

-By Shuttle: There is an air-conditioned van transfer service that picks you up at Cancun airport and drops you off at your hotel in Tulum. Click here to book the return service.

From Playa del Carmen

-By car: 55 min on Highway Mexico 307

-By colectivo (shared van): the colectivos for Tulum are near Chedraui and Benito Juarez Avenue, at the intersection of Calle 1 Sur and Avenida 45 Norte – see location on the map here! ($45MXN)

-By bus: 1 hour by ADO bus, many departures per day. I recommend to book in advance on the website to save money and to choose the departure time carefully because the prices vary enormously (40 to 90$MXN)

Tulum itinerary
The Playa del Carmen colectivos station: on the left are those that depart towards Tulum

How to get to Tulum by Plane?

There is no airport in Tulum. The nearest airport is in Cancun.

You must therefore take a flight to Cancun (ex: Iberia, Aeromexico, Interjet, KLM, etc.), then transfer from Cancun to Tulum

Are you going to Mexico? Read also

All our articles on Mexico are here:  Find all our guides on Mexico!

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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