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Plan Your Trip to Tulum: Best of Tulum Tourism

About Tulum
Yes, Tulum may well be one of the most Instagrammed spots in Mexico, with plenty of smoothie stands and yoga retreats, but this Riviera Maya beach town is so much more than a photo-op. In between dips in the crystal clear waters, you can hike through dense jungle among howler and spider monkeys at Punta Laguna Nature Reserve or explore the pre-Columbian Mayan ruins perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Adventurers can hop on an ATV for off-roading across white sand dunes or go diving or snorkeling in the underwater caves of Cenotes Dos Ojos or Sac Actun. After, refuel at authentic mezcalerias, low-key beach shacks, or celeb-chef, fine-dining spots. Find the best spots with our recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Tulum

How to do Tulum in 3 days

Beach bike rides, blue lagoons, and an ancient Mayan temple
Read on

A high/low eating tour of Tulum

The more time you spend in Tulum, the more you appreciate the creativity of the well-known chefs that have transformed Beach Road into a dining destination. But you also have to salute the unsung heroes who have people lining up for homestyle meals in Tulum Centro. The full Tulum experience includes a little bit of both. Here are a few of my favorite eateries in Tulum.
Jamie Ditaranto, New York City, NY
  • El Camello Jr.
    17
    This open-air eatery has plenty of delicious grilled seafood dishes on the menu. But the thing to order here is the ceviche, which is served in a variety of ways and comes in heaping portions. But you'll never complain about small servings at this Tulum Centro mainstay, a reliable go-to when you’ve got a big appetite. Don't love fish? There are also nachos and other Mexican favorites.
  • ARCA
    996
    The kind of place where you may need to make a dinner reservation long before you book a plane ticket, ARCA is one of the crown jewels of the high-end dining scene in Tulum. The menu is designed by chefs who are mad geniuses at combining traditional flavors and locally sourced ingredients while using the most sophisticated techniques. As a nod to traditional Mexican cooking, all the small plates are cooked over an open fire.
  • Negro Huitlacoxe
    294
    Once you get a taste for huitlacoche, Mexico’s little-known fermented corn, you’ll order it every time you see it on a menu. I'm a super fan, in case you couldn’t tell, which is why Negro Huitlacoxe is such an exciting addition to the Tulum dining scene. The kitchen showcases heirloom varieties of corn from across Mexico, serving it up in tortillas and tamales, as well as grilled with the must-have sprinkle of cotija cheese.
  • Wild
    507
    Toward the end of the Beach Road, this jungle oasis shaded by an Instagram-worthy concrete canopy is a cool spot for cocktails. (And it gets even better after the sun goes down.) The tasting menu is consistently inventive, with dishes that embrace classic Mexican snacks like chicharrones (pork rinds) and satisfying mains like sea bass flavored with hoja santa (a peppery herb). The star dish is the ravioli, stuffed with huitlacoche and white truffles.
  • Sabor De Mar
    647
    It has a reputation for being one of the best spots for seafood in Tulum, so you might encounter a long wait at Sabor de Mar. It’s worth it for the quality of the dishes that come out of the kitchen, particularly the coconut-fried shrimp. Visually, you can’t beat the drama of the gravity-defying towers of shrimp, octopus, and fish. Whatever you order, expect traditional Mexican flavors that more than live up to the hype.
  • Cetli
    570
    This off-the-beaten-path eatery is perfect for when you’re on your way back to Tulum, maybe from a day of exploring the ruins of Coba. When you're tired and just want some traditional food, it hits the spot. The menu is inspired by cuisine from the city of Puebla, giving you the chance to try many different kinds of mole (not just guacamole). The decor is folksy in a Day of the Dead kind of way.
  • NÜ Tulum
    351
    Every time you drop by Nü Tulum the menu is going to be completely different, but there are a couple of things you can always count on: fresh seafood from the Caribbean, locally sourced ingredients from around the Yucatan, and traditional cooking methods. It's a simple formula, and one that works beautifully. I love the romantic atmosphere, the tables set in a lush garden, and the Mexican wine list at this Beach Road eatery.
  • Los Morros Aldea Zama
    25
    The traditional aguachile—shrimp and fish marinated with lime juice, peppers, and other ingredients—is the specialty at this casual outdoor dining spot in Tulum Centro. The dish is best paired with a local craft beer. Los Morros might seem quiet at first, but you can expect the crowds to arrive at mealtime. In addition to classic Mexican dishes like seafood tostadas, you'll also find solid vegetarian and vegan options.

Browse collections

Eye-popping heritage sites

Mayan ruins and other architectural wonders

Sustainable sightseeing

Eco-tourism options for exploring Tulum

Next-level natural wonders

Cenotes, caves, and more to explore

Ground yourself and breathe

Bliss out at these wellness retreats

Catch a wave—or dive under it

Scuba diving, sailing, and more

Tulum Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips or experiencing Tulum

Vanessa Z

Enjoy the outdoors safely: Always carry sunblock and water with you, as well as insect repellent for the mosquitoes. Wear comfortable shoes, boots, or trainers and light clothing, a swimsuit, and hat. To avoid crowded trips, plan your excursions on weekdays before 3pm — the earlier the better!

Ivette C

If you are staying at the Hotel Zone of Tulum, it is a good idea to rent a car to explore the area easily. Have a map on hand to calculate distances and know exactly where the interesting places are. If you are thinking about getting around by taxi, be sure to establish a rate for the day with your driver.

Ivette C

Tulúm is a little place that has a real magical charm all of its own. Surrounded by lush jungles, the best beaches, as well as plenty of intimate, romantic dining spots, and nice places to stay, it has all the right ingredients for a romantic vacation together.

Fernanda C

Tulum is one of the most beautiful and most laid back places in the world. Not only because of its great beaches and rich biodiversity, but also because of the town's overall eco-friendly concept. To me, Tulum is a magical place, surrounded by mystery, and I hope you'll experience plenty of this in the three days you spend here.

Vanessa Z

From the famous Mayan ruins — considered an outdoor museum of the INAH (National institute of Anthropology and History) — to the beautiful beaches and incredible cenotes; Tulum is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Combine sunbathing with ancient archaeological sights in this unique destination, on the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula.

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Cancun International Airport serves Tulum and the wider Yucatan region. It’s around a 1.5-hour drive away.

bus

Buses from popular Yucatan destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Laguna Bacalar, and Merida all arrive into the main ADO bus station in the town centre. There’s also an ADO terminal close to the ruins.

driving

If arriving by car, travelers usually approach Tulum from the Carretera Cancun-Tulum/Chetumal road.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Tulum from overseas, see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Tulum is between October and December, when the weather is warm but not oppressively hot and hurricane season is over. Average daily temperatures this time of year are highs of 30 C/87 F and lows around 19 C/67 F.

Peak tourist season is January through March, and the rainiest months in Tulum are June, September and October.

Get around

bicycle

Bicycles are a popular way to explore Tulum and are available to rent from plenty of places on the main drag. Avoid cycling during the peak hours of sunshine.

taxis

Taxis are available to hail from the street or at two dedicated taxi stands in the town center, from which fares are fixed.

colectivo

Colectivos are shared taxis that run frequently between the town centre and the beach. Jump into a cost-effective colectivo at the stop between Venus Oriente and Orion Sur.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Eastern Standard Time (EST), GMT-5

What are the voltage/plug types?

The standard voltage in Mexico is 127V and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Mexico has two associated plug types: type A, which has two parallel pins, and type B, which has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin.

What is the currency?

Mexican pesos (MXN)

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes

Is it easy to find a bank?

Yes

How much do I tip?

Tipping in Mexico is expected; etiquette is similar to that of the United States and Canada.

Bartender

10-20 pesos per drink

Restaurant

10-15%

Bellhop

10-20 pesos per bag

Taxis/rideshare

Not expected unless extra service is provided.

Tour guide

15-20%

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking

The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.

Walking

Walk to the right of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view.

Always greet people

An informal greeting in Spanish—“Hola”—is always appreciated — this includes shop attendants, wait staff, hotel staff, drivers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tulum


Some of the most popular restaurants in Tulum include:

Tulum is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Tulum between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between December and February.