Tulum is one of Mexico’s most popular beach towns.
It features historic ruins, great food and endless beach clubs set along the spectacular Caribbean Sea on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Although Tulum’s popularity continues to increase, it remains quieter than nearby Cancun and Playa del Carmen, offering a more laid back and authentic experience for travellers.
There are plenty of chilled and adventurous things to do in Tulum, Mexico.
Tulum is split between a central area with shops, restaurants and hotels that run along the main road to Playa del Carmen and Cancun in the north, and the beachfront, approximately five kilometres from town.
The small road running the length of the beach has hotels and restaurants on both sides and is where you will likely spend most of your time while in Tulum. Whether you stay by the beach or in the centre of town, it is easy to get between the two areas.
If you’re on a budget, it’s cheaper to stay in central Tulum and make your way to the beachfront either by car, taxi or bike.
While you could easily spend all your time in Tulum eating, drinking, and swimming, the town is close to a number of popular attractions in the surrounding area.
Here are some activities you should not miss during a visit to Tulum.
Things to do in Tulum, Mexico
Spend a lazy day at one of Tulum’s beach clubs
There are more than 50 beach clubs along Tulum’s main stretch of beach. Many are hotels as well, with most offering access to day visitors either for free or for a minimum spend at a bar or restaurant on site.
Spending the day at a beach club is one of the best things to do in Tulum if you are staying in central Tulum and not on the beachfront itself. There are a couple of public sections of beach, but if you want to relax on a sunbed under an umbrella with a choice of food and cocktails a Tulum beach club is the way to go!
Not all beach clubs are created equal, though, so do your research to work out which ones suit you best.
A great way to do this is to go for a walk along Tulum beach. From the ocean, side you can check out the different set ups of each club, something you can’t do from the road.
Personally, I loved Viento De Mar. This was a smaller beach club with a minimum spend that seemed to help keep numbers down. From my research, Viento De Mar had among the best sunbed set up of any beach club and has the advantage of not being listed in the tourist map handed out by most hotels in town meaning people won’t come searching it out.
If there are two of you and you have the choice, select an umbrella with two single beds, as opposed to doubles as during busy times you may find they put another couple next to you under the same umbrella, which kind of kills some of the exclusivity. Pack a book or two and you’ll be set for the day.
Explore the Mayan ruins of Tulum
The ruins of the former Mayan city at Tulum have to be the most beautifully situated I saw in all of Mexico. Right on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, many people come to the Tulum ruins for the photo opportunities alone.