Tulum is one of those wonderful destinations that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Tulum has everything for everyone, from nightclubs to stunning scenery, beach parties, camping, and anything your spirit desires.
Don’t forget to read my piece on the eleven greatest restaurants in Tulum, Mexico, where you can sample some of the country’s best cuisine. One of the great attractions of Tulum is sampling delicious Mexican food.
If you want to see a different side of Tulum, see my yachting advice on how to hire a boat in Tulum.
When in Tulum, don’t miss out on the following activities that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- Tulum and Cenotes 5 Hour Guided Tour
- Tulum and Coba: Full-Day Archeological Tour with Lunch
- From Tulum: Sian Ka’an Half-Day Tour
- From Tulum: Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour
- Tulum: Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket & Tequila Tasting
Do you want to visit more places in Mexico? Check out these resources:
- 9 Amazing Things To Do In Cozumel!
- 15 Best Restaurants in Tulum
- 1 Top Activities in Tulum, Mexico
- 1.1 Calavera Cenote
- 1.2 Archaeological Site of Muyil
- 1.3 Dos Ojos Cenotes
- 1.4 Taste the Local Cuisine
- 1.5 The Cob Ruins (also known as Mayan)
- 1.6 Paraiso Beach
- 1.7 Archaeological Site of Tulum
- 1.8 Are you wondering how to go from the airport to Tulum, Mexico?
- 1.9 Discover the Mayan Culture
- 1.10 The Great Cenote
- 2 Things to Think About Before Going
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusion
Top Activities in Tulum, Mexico
The Cenote Calavera is a lovely swimming hole located just outside of Tulum, Mexico. The Cenote’s mouth is what makes it so lovely, as sunlight filters through and illuminates the crystal blue waters. Visitors may swim above, inside, and under this stunning natural wonder, and some have even cliff jumped from above!
The open water dive at Cenote Calavera is divided into three sections: the Bat Cave, the Patio, and a massive cavern. The Bat Cave got its name because hundreds of bats hang upside-down within the stalactites, making swimming impossible.
Step out onto the Patio after you’ve passed the Bat Cave and you’ll discover massive stalactites hanging from the top of this amazing cavern.
Calavera Cenote is one of the most accessible but least frequented cenotes in town, making it a truly hidden treasure. The cenote entrance is roughly 10 minutes south of Valladolid on the highway. Diving and swimming are allowed all day; however, to avoid parking fines after 5 p.m., you must return to the same access point and depart the water before 6 p.m.
This dive is unusual in that you may either leap from a cliff or platform into the clear water below or use ladders to drop around 20 feet to the sandy bottom. There are some wooden stairs as well.
I suggest bringing a swimsuit underneath your clothing since Cenote Calavera is mostly underwater and freezing to the touch (but incredibly clear!) There is also a low ceiling, which makes it challenging for tall people. It was thrilling to leap into the water and explore the cave, but be sure you can do it securely. You don’t want anything to tarnish your recollection of one of the most enjoyable things to do in Tulum.
Archaeological Site of Muyil
Muyil, on the northern fringe of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, is home to a number of historic buildings. The most notable is El Castillo (also known as the Castle), a 55-foot pyramid that is one of the highest structures on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Las Monjas, Mural de las Pinturas, Mural de los Pintores, and La Church are all noteworthy Mayan ruins. Muyil was originally inhabited by a people known as the Kayabes, who lived in peace with nature on a daily basis.
I highly suggest going to the museum on the grounds. The extensive collection of artifacts provides a close-up glimpse at life in ancient Mayan culture. The neighboring pyramid also has hieroglyphic readings.
Muyil is one of the most important Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula, located in a mangrove lagoon two miles from downtown Tulum. The location is called after the old Mayan name for the lagoon, Miiyl, where crocodiles may be seen.
There are multiple stelas (large monoliths inscribed with hieroglyphics) here, as well as a ball court and an ancient Maya pier found in 2011 and thought to be more than 1,500 years old. Pyramids, altars, and terraces are also present.
While the temple remains are free to see, there is a fee to ascend the stairs to the pinnacle. Hikers might expect to find stone sculptures, walls, and towers throughout their trip since the site has not yet been thoroughly excavated (only 20% of it has been). Take a boat tour of the lagoon to get a better look at them (with access to floating among the mangroves).
Visitors must respect the sites and their historical value by being quiet when inside, as is usual at other archaeological sites in Mexico.
The ruins of Tulum may be strenuous, so carry water with you or purchase some once you arrive. There are no visitor amenities, so bring sunblock and good walking shoes. Several Cancun trips include this and other attractions in the region. Put it on your list of things to do in Tulum.
Dos Ojos Cenotes
Dos Ojos is the ideal location for you and your companions to enjoy one of your everyday activities or a special date. Your breath will be taken away by the crystal pure seas. Swimming is made more calm and delightful by a wooden platform at both ends of the cenote. Snorkeling and scuba diving are other popular activities.
Tourists commonly use these outfits to travel around underwater securely. There are also other things to visit nearby.
The Cenote Dos Ojos is an excellent spot for snorkeling or scuba diving. Your breath will be taken away by the crystal pure blue seas. Everyone loves this picturesque location and its adventurous options. It is an excellent addition to any Cancun holiday package and one that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Cenote Dos Ojos is one of the area’s most popular cenotes. A big open water area is surrounded by dozens of little limestone caverns. A natural rock structure on the cenote’s north side resembles a gigantic elephant lifting its trunk high into the air. Instead, on the south side of the cenote, there is a massive tubular tunnel that divers often investigate.
It is situated on Highway 307 Cancun Chetumal, 14 kilometers north of Tulum. This breathtaking cenote is definitely worth the money and effort. There is a restaurant and restrooms on-site. You may reserve your tour here. Make a point of checking out this Tulum adventure.
Taste the Local Cuisine
Tulum offers the finest seafood as well as classic cuisine with a twist. The region is well-known for its food, which combines spicy, sweet, and savory tastes. Don’t forget to try the salbutes, panuchos, and tamales.
There is a wide variety of local delicacies available for both visitors and residents. You’re better off obtaining it from the source, not just because it’s cheaper, but also because the food is delicious!
I knew I was in for a treat the instant I arrived in Tulum and noticed a taco vendor on the side of the road. The freshness of local ingredients, the low cost of street tacos on the move, and the communal environment that comes with sharing such amazing meals with family and friends helped me fall in love with Mexican cuisine.
I just returned from Tulum. Surprisingly, there is a terrific fruteria in Tulum called Huerto del Eden that serves fresh juices, hand-ground coffee, and eggs prepared to order.
All of the stuff is fresh from local farmers, the business is handled locally, and the employees are very kind and courteous. Moreover, it is real, and the price is reasonable enough to offer a decent tip for the wonderful service. Local eating is one of the top things to do in Tulum for a true taste of Mexican cuisine.
The Cob Ruins (also known as Mayan)
Cob is a tiny, unexplored Mayan ruin located approximately 30 miles northwest of Tulum, near Playa del Carmen. It’s an excellent alternative for anyone want to venture off the main path and see more genuine Mayan ruins than Tulum and Chichn Itz. Yet, Cob lacks the former’s fame and crowds, allowing you to see some amazing remains without having to stand in line or deal with tour groups.
Because of its accessibility, size, and closeness to Cancn, this Mayan ruin is a popular tourist destination. Many people are unaware that Cob has some of the finest pristine ruins in all of Yucatn.
In reality, unlike the more popular ruins of Yucatan, like as Chichn Itz and Tulum, these Cob remains have never been even partially repaired or altered since their abandonment. Every year, millions of visitors travel long distances and spend exorbitant prices to view the stunning fragments of Mayan history.
One of the most magnificent views on the Yucatan peninsula is the Archaeological Ruins of Uxmal. The ruins cover 30 square miles, with approximately 50 pathways branching out from the temples. The greatest attraction, however, is Nohoch Mul, the tallest Mayan pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula. Visitors may climb all 120 of the pyramids’ steep, narrow stairs for an unparalleled perspective of the surrounding forest.
You’ll travel past a tiny settlement and a school on your route to the ruins. At this time, it’s a good idea to pause and offer the youngsters at least a few pesos. If you have time, take a stroll around the hamlet before or after seeing the remains (best early or late in the day, as its hot in the middle of the day). Check it out as one of the many amazing historical activities in Tulum.
Playa Paraso is ideal for a day at the beach. This beach is immediately south of Tulum, but far enough away that most visitors avoid it, with palm palms swinging in the air and coarse sand giving way to softer sandbanks as you approach the water’s edge.
The pristine freshwater lagoon is home to hundreds of colorful fish, while the sheltered Caribbean seas on either side provide chances for snorkeling and diving. This beach is a great place to unwind after exploring one of the numerous surrounding ruins or cenotes.
Although peaceful, this beach is far from empty. Snorkeling and scuba-diving outfitters, a variety of beachfront eateries, a waterfront bar, and hammocks and lounge chairs are all nearby. Be aware that, like many renowned tourist spots, this beach is often congested with people.
Since the two sights are less than a mile apart, it is preferable to combine a visit to Beach Paraiso with a visit to the Maya ruins. You may also simply hire a bike from town to go to this beach. Every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the beach club is open. If you simply want to relax for the day, Beach Paraiso is one of the greatest spots to visit in Tulum.
Archaeological Site of Tulum
Tulum means “wall” in Mayan, and that is exactly what you will discover. In this instance, the walls aren’t there to keep unwanted visitors out, but to provide a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea after an hour climb.
Tulum was built as a ceremonial place by the ancient Mayans between A.D. 700 and 900. It is best noted for its beautiful sculptures. Many restaurants have sprung up in recent years to serve visitors to both the restaurant and the ruins, owing to the influx of tourists aboard cruise ships.
If you’ve previously visited Chichn Itz, you could find Tulum disappointing, since recent tourists reported the ruins don’t compare. The space is not necessarily big, nor is the architecture particularly impressive. The backdrop, however, is spectacular; the ruins lie above the sea on a tiny cliff, providing tourists with stunning views of the surrounding terrain.
Many visitors suggest bringing a sun hat and shoes since you will be strolling around the ruins for the most of the day. Don’t forget to bring your swimwear, since this is one of the greatest swimming spots on Santa Cruz Island. If you intend on spending the whole day here, pack lots of water and maybe a snack or two.
Travel from Hotel Zone to Chichen Itza Have fun on your journey! Private vehicle will pick you up from your accommodation in the Hotel Zone and take you to Chichen Itza. You could see Mexican woodpeckers, or Yuk Kaax, along the journey as they perch on the sides of telephone poles and trees seeking for a carrier.
When you arrive, the Adventure Guide will meet you and explain you to the ruins before embarking on a hiking experience that involves ascending and descending several stairs, climbing a ladder, traversing over uneven terrain, and crossing over tough terrain. If you like the outdoors and outdoor activities, make time to see this fantastic site in Tulum.
Are you wondering how to go from the airport to Tulum, Mexico?
If you’re traveling in a group, consider hiring a private transport. Sharing is caring, but only with your own group! Your driver is multilingual, so he will be pleased to answer any questions you have about the area while you go.
Do you wish to immerse yourself in the Tulum vibe? Choose a premium service dedicated exclusively for you and your group of up to 6 persons in a fresh new luxury SUV.
Do you know what you’re looking for? Then, using the search box below, you may quickly get a quote:
Discover the Mayan Culture
Tulum boasts magnificent ruins along the Yucatan Peninsula’s southeastern shore. The nicest part about these old remains is that they are still surrounded by Mayans who speak their indigenous language, wear traditional clothes, and offer handcrafted items to visitors.
Spend a day away from the ruins by enrolling in an introductory Mayan language lesson, which is only minutes from your accommodation. Or, try your hand at some classic arts and crafts with your children. You’ll have a great time and learn a lot about this fascinating culture. These are just a few additional activities in Tulum.
The Maya people use cutting-edge technology, yet they still adhere to their ancient cultural and spiritual traditions.
The Temazcal ceremony is a modernized form of an old tradition that purifies a person spiritually, physically, and psychologically. It combines historic Mayan traditions with current therapeutic techniques.
The Great Cenote
The Great Cenote in Tulum is the most well-known. The turquoise water is clean and perfect for snorkeling. The gorgeous cenote is home to both little fish and turtles. The wooden deck that has been made over ages by the local people reaching the sea allows you to reach various depths of water.
The Gran Cenote in Tulum was found in 1991 by two guys gazing over limestone rock cenotes. All first-time visitors to Tulum, Mexico, must see this cenote.
An old Mayan well was uncovered in the midst of the woods. This natural spring links to a vast cave that is home to a great number of fish and turtles, the population of which continues to expand as new fish find their way in. Further investigation is possible because to an extended tunnel connecting to the main body of the cenote.
Diving is now at its height here. The current is negligible because to the superb visibility. There are amazing fish and corals to view, as well as turtles and rays. The diving boat will take you to Santa Rosa and Gordo Banks, which feature unique marine life that is very appealing to macro photographers.
There is nice, groomed grass above the cenote where you may tan and rest. Showers are supplied in addition to clean toilets to ensure that no sunscreen goes into the water. They must be applied before to swimming in order to prevent contaminants.
You may keep your belongings secure in lockers; otherwise, you should focus on them rather than the lovely landscape. There are also hammocks in the shade that are ideal for resting. To underline what we mentioned before, this is a must-do activity in Tulum.
Things to Think About Before Going
- Currency: Pesos
- Language: Spanish, some English spoken
- Best time to visit Tulum: May, June, or October, with November to December being the busiest time of the year, as many North American and European tourists seek warm-weather escapes. Take note that July and August can be very hot.
- Drive on the right side of the highway.
- Tap water is generally unsafe to drink.
If you’re on a tight budget, stay in town.
Tulum’s beaches are stunning, but they are frequently too crowded or difficult to get for visitors on a tight budget. Staying in town allows you to select from cheaper dining alternatives and restaurants while being near to all of the stores, pubs, and clubs.
The downtown also houses the majority of the hostels, which are reasonably priced for most travelers.
Hire a Bike to Go Exploring
In and around Tulum, there are several individual bike rental businesses where you may rent a bike for as low as 50 pesos. Hotels and hostels often have their own bike rental service, which includes helmets, locks, and maintenance kits.
If you want to save even more money, you can typically rent a bike from your hostel for free while you’re there.
Bike rental establishments in and near Tulum provide a wide range of alternatives, including mountain bikes, hybrids, cruisers, and children’s cycles. Costs vary from 50 to 200 pesos per day; instead of paying the daily rate, feel free to organize an informal barter system with your hosts.
Several hotels and hostels provide free or discounted bicycle rentals. The main highways are flat, tarmacked tracks that head north into Coba and Cancun, or south toward Playa del Carmen.
Instead of dollars, use pesos.
I can’t advocate using pesos enough in this country, particularly because the smallest note is 20 pesos (bills are in denominations of 1 500), which means you’ll receive at least some little change back when tipping someone.
Several businesses and restaurants accept USD, however the conversion rate is terrible. Take out all the pesos you’ll need before traveling to the beach road, since ATMs are few there, and the ones that do exist only dispense Dollars at some of the lowest rates in all of Mexico.
With so many ATMs in town, withdrawing some pesos is a piece of cake.
Don’t Pass Up the Ruins
Don’t pass up this opportunity. Tulum’s Mayan ruins are one of the few historic monuments on the shore, giving it the ideal opportunity to explore Mexican culture and the ideal setting for an Instagram snap.
Avoid lengthy lines by arriving early before the masses arrive, or just go in the afternoon after the most of the day-trippers have departed.
Tulum’s Mayan Ruins are situated on the Caribbean coast in the state of Quintana Roo, amid a crescent of Tropical beaches and lagoons. These Mayan ruins and their surrounding forest setting have been conserved as a tourist attraction.
The Temple of the Frescoes is the major attraction, and it has remarkable Mayan paintings that tell tales about the civilization and people who used to live here.
Investigate What Ancient Tulum Was Like
Tulum, Mexico’s historic beachfront city, is located on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Riviera Maya. In addition to its seaside position, the relative seclusion of this UNESCO World Heritage site, which contains an ornate, ancient Mayan palace and temple complex, has protected its integrity. Currently, the city is also a renowned vacation town for scuba diving and snorkeling, which is another activity to do in Tulum.
Tulum’s ceremonial complex, erected on a 12-meter-high limestone cliff, was fortified on three sides and overlooks the Caribbean Sea on the fourth. Tulum, which means “wall” in Spanish, is a colonial name.
The site’s original name may have been Zama, which means “dawn,” in reference to its location facing east over the sea. At one point, 400 buildings occupied over 2 square kilometers in the Tulum region. Currently, more than 30 structures survive, the most of which are clustered around three large plazas on the eastern side.
What makes Tulum famous?
Tulum is a great alternative to the more central resorts since it is laid-back, calm, and located among beautiful tropical greenery. The Yucatan Peninsula as a whole offers magnificent white sand beaches, but many consider Tulum to be the crown gem of Mexican beaches.
This hamlet on Mexico’s Caribbean coast is one of the oldest communities in the Americas, with a mix of historic Mayan structures and small cafés, stores, and galleries.
Tulum, Mexico’s best-kept secret, is a calm tropical paradise. It is a destination in and of itself, as well as a gateway to the lovely Riviera Maya area. Tulum, located just north of Playa del Carmen, seems even more secluded and unspoilt than its neighbor, but word has spread, and people are beginning to rush to Tulum in the same way that they did to Playa del Carmen in previous years.
Tulum is a great location for deep-sea fishing and snorkeling expeditions due to the beautiful coral reef right off the shore. And the crystal-clear sea creates some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable.
Tulum, Mexico’s most famous ecotourism destination, is known as both a Mayan ruin and a modern artist colony. Surf the hippy-style waves of neighboring Playa del Carmen, swim in the stunning Caribbean seas of Sian Kaan, or just sit back and relax at one of Tulum’s numerous world-class resorts. Tulum has something for everyone, no matter what their interests are.
What about ATM machines?
A wise traveler is always prepared. Make sure you have extra cash for your Tulum excursion, since most businesses only take local currency.
Having more money removed than initially intended is usually a nice thing, particularly if you want to travel on a longer vacation and explore the regions by foot.
Take all the pesos you could need while in town since the beach road ATMs only dispense Dollars at a bad exchange rate. Then you’ll be charged another exorbitant conversion rate to utilize those notes.
If you’re not staying in town, use the ATMs at the Chedraui grocery store along the beach road. They offer ATMs from a variety of banks on the premises, and it’s also a wonderful spot to stock up on necessities like sunscreen, which is much more costly on the beach road.
You may even get bottles of alcohol here to pregame in your hotel room before heading out for more costly beverages at restaurants and nightclubs if you want to save even more money!
How Does Airport Transportation Work?
As you arrive at Cancun Airport, you have various alternatives for getting to your ultimate destination. You may take a cab, private transportation, a bus, or any other kind of transportation. If you have trouble locating one of them, there is always the information desk, which will gladly assist you.
In Cancun, there is no Uber.
What exactly are you waiting for? Have you made up your mind about where you want to go next? Book your vacation to Tulum as soon as possible and accomplish everything you’ve been reading about!
Taste as many different meals as you can and visit as many different locations as you can. Tulum has something for everyone, from the ruins to the cenotes, beaches, and world-class restaurants.