The Beginner’s Guide to Tulum

Tulum is a beautiful Mexican town on the coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It is a top choice destination for travelers all over the world, welcoming over 1.5 million visitors yearly. It’s beautiful weather, beaches, and ancient ruins are just a few of the reasons people constantly flock to this town. 

Follow this beginner’s guide so you have the best vacation in Tulum. 

Getting there 

There is no airport in Tulum, so travelers have to use neighboring airports to get there. International travelers can land at the Cancun International Airport (CUN) or the Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and take a taxi, rental car, or shuttle to Tulum. It’s about an hour and 30-minute drive from CUN to Tulum and a two-hour drive from CZM to Tulum.

Where to stay 

Tulum is famous for its beautiful beach villas and hotels which offer outstanding views of the ocean. There is a range of luxury and affordable hotels along the beach which can suit travelers on different budgets. Tulum town is another location where travelers can stay, however, the beachfront accommodations are quintessential for a Tulum vacation. 

What to eat

You can’t go to Mexico without trying out some authentic Mexican tacos which are typically made fresh daily. Some delicious tacos you can have include tacos al pastor, tacos filled with pork slices and fish tacos. There are also vegan tacos available such as black bean tacos and sweet potato tacos. The street food vendors in Tulum also serve other mouth-watering Mexican dishes such as burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. Mexico is home to the world-famous distilled blue agave beverage, tequila. Wash the food down with some delectable tequila cocktails like a margarita or tequila sunrise. While you’re at it, you can have some shots of tequila for a bit more buzz!

What to wear

The best time to visit Tulum is between the months of February and May, when the weather is mostly sunny. However, all year round the town remains hot so it is important to bring light clothing, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also, don’t forget to pack your swimwear because there will be a lot of water activities to partake in. 

What to do 

Tulum is home to many historically significant sites. The town was one of the last cities built by the Mayans, an ancient Mesoamerican civilization. In the town, you can find the ruins of this great civilization such as the Coba Pyramid, El Castillo, and Temple of the Frescoes. Climb the Coba Pyramid to get amazing views of the city. Ascending the steps of the pyramid is a great way to work out and get a feel of Tulum’s history. For this excursion, you can purchase tickets at the entrance of the ruins for about $5 dollars. 

Whether you’re an active fellow or a laidback type, Tulum has an assortment of activities on offer to suit your needs. Soak in the sun and enjoy the beautiful views of the blue waters at Playa Paraiso public beach. On this public beach, you can connect with wildlife by swimming with sea turtles and exploring the coral reefs. For a bit more thrill on the beach, you can also pump your adrenaline by bouncing on waves on a jet ski or kitesurf board. 

If you still want some more fun in the water, take a swim in one of the many cenotes in Tulum. A cenote is a natural sinkhole that results from limestone and is filled with clear groundwater. Tulum is particularly known for its many cenotes and the Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos are two of the most popular ones. A cenote is also a great place for pictures as the limestone makes for a beautiful backdrop. 

Tulum is also a great place for partygoers as it has a vibrant nightlife. The many clubs and beach clubs play amazing music and provide a great atmosphere to let loose and dance all night long. Another energy-intensive activity you can do while in Tulum is to visit one of the adventure parks. These parks are filled will amazing activities to partake in such as jungle hikes, cultural shows, ziplining, cycling and of course, swimming. Some famous parks include Xcaret, Xplor, Xenotes and Xenses. A trip to one of these parks typically costs around $150 dollars. 

Tulum is also popular for spiritual travelers looking to relax and rejuvenate. Holistika is a famous wellness centre where you can meditate, do some yoga, and receive world-class spa treatments. This beautiful centre with its breathtaking architectural design is located in the jungle where you can truly connect with nature. Visitors are sure to leave feeling refreshed and renewed. Still want to connect with nature? Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This site is home to many wildlife and coral reefs and a great place to learn about Tulum’s wildlife conservation efforts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


The local currency in Tulum is the Mexican Pesos, however, U.S. Dollar is widely accepted. It is important to bring cash as many establishments there do not accept card payments. Also, it is customary to tip between 10% and 15% for good service. 

Pro tips

  • Bring a water bottle along on your excursions to stay hydrated during your trip. 
  • While it is cheaper to visit outside the peak months between February and May, you may encounter a lot of rain outside those months which may affect your vacation. 
  • Hiring a bike is one of the most affordable ways to explore the city while doing some exercise. 
  • Purchasing travel insurance is the best way to stay protected and healthy during your trip as most of the medical facilities there are private. This means that you would have to pay out of pocket for any medical expenses.

A trip to Tulum is such a memorable adventure that everyone needs to experience it at least once in their lives. This guide should help you plan out an eventful and relaxing itinerary for your vacation. Enjoy! 

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