There are several things to do in Tulum. Located on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatan peninsula and the state of Quintana Roo, Tulum is now one of the most popular destinations in the area.
It is known mostly for its pristine beaches, and the ruins of an ancient Mayan port city.
From a sleepy little beach town, Tulum has become a favorite getaway for beach lovers and those who simply want to relax.
Make the most of your vacation with this quick guide on the best places to see and things to do in Tulum, Mexico.
Things you'll find in this article
- 11 Best Things To Do in Tulum, Mexico
- 1. Tulum Ruins
- 2. Gran Cenote
- 3. Playa Paraiso and Santa Fe Beach
- 4. Kaan Luum Lagoon
- 5. Follow that dream
- 6. Explore Sian Ka’an
- 7. See a Palo Volador, ‘The Dance of the Flyers’ performance
- 8. Marvel at the entrances to Ahau Tulum and Mia Beach Restaurant
- 9. Explore Tulum on a bike
- 10. Experience Tulum Nightlife
- 11. Eat some local food in Tulum
11 Best Things To Do in Tulum, Mexico
1. Tulum Ruins
Easily the most visited spot in town, the Tulum ruins remain to be its top attractions. These picturesque ruins are perched on a cliff, with stunning views of the Caribbean.
These are remnants of what used to be a major trading center of the Mayan civilization, an archeological wonder that now attracts visitors from all over.
Its unique location adds a tropical vibe, with cactuses and palm trees dotting the area.
2. Gran Cenote
Located just ten minutes from Tulum, Gran Cenote is a must-visit if you want to try exploring a cenote.
Hailed as one of the best cenotes in the Riviera Maya, Gran Cenote is known for its crystalline waters and idyllic cave-like atmosphere.
This area is also home to many small fishes as well as freshwater turtles.
The Gran Cenote can be very busy most times because it is a favorite among tourists. The best way to enjoy this Tulum attraction is by vesting in the morning.
3. Playa Paraiso and Santa Fe Beach
Tulum’s beaches are some of the most scenic places you’ll ever see in this part of the Yucatan.
Regarded as one of the best public beaches in Mexico, Playa Paraiso is known for its white sands and turquoise waters.
It has a fun, laid back atmosphere, where you can enjoy great food and drinks from the shops lining the beach road.
Meanwhile, Santa Fe beach is quieter, even with small bars dotting the beach strip. Located north of Playa Paraiso, this area is known for the Instagram favorite Tulum swing seats.
4. Kaan Luum Lagoon
The scenic Kaan Luum Lagoon is one of the best places to visit in Tulum if you want a unique way of relaxing.
Enjoy swimming in the shallow and calm waters of the lagoon. Savor the peace and quiet offered by its lush surroundings.
The area is also ideal for paddle boarding if you want to try something different.
It is important to note though that the cenote in the middle of the lagoon is roped off due to strong currents. Visitors are also advised not to wear sunscreen when swimming in the lagoon.
5. Follow that dream
A favorite among Instagrammers, this sign at the Tulum’s south beach road is a must-see.
What else could be better than a sign that tells you to follow your dreams in the middle of a paradise that is Tulum?
Be inspired and take a photo with this cute sign, which you’ll find in the hotel zone. This is an area lined with kitschy boutiques, as well as cute cafes and food stalls.
After snapping a photo, go and enjoy a meal or shop for a unique Tulum souvenir.
6. Explore Sian Ka’an
The lush Sian Ka’an is a biosphere reserve, comprised of mangrove, marshes, tropical forest and lagoons within a barrier reef.
Its name means “Origin of the Sky” in the Mayan language and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The area is renowned for its biodiversity, a sanctuary that’s home to crocodiles, howler monkeys, iguanas, jaguars, and pumas.
You’ll also spot various bird species in Sian Ka’an, such as Amazon parrots and pelicans.
Apart from the rich flora and fauna, the area also has more than 20 identified archaeological sites, making it one of the best places to visit in Tulum.
7. See a Palo Volador, ‘The Dance of the Flyers’ performance
You cannot miss this performance as you enter the Tulum Ruins so stop for a while and watch.
The Palo Volador, or the dance of the flyers, is an ancient Mexican fertility ritual. This involves four dancers scaling a high wooden pole.
The dancers steady themselves on a platform before slowly spinning back to the ground. This is quite a thrilling performance and one of the best things to see in Tulum.
8. Marvel at the entrances to Ahau Tulum and Mia Beach Restaurant
View this post on Instagram
One of the most unique things to see in Tulum are the stunning entrances to some of its most popular establishments.
Check out the one at the Tulum Beach Hotel, where you get to walk the hotel walk through a massive sculpture made of wood and rope created by South African artist Daniel Popper.
It is called Ven a Luz, or ‘Come into the Light’, a dramatic archway that leads to the hotel.
Another Instagrammable entrance is the wooden fanned tunnel that leads to the Mia Beach Restaurant, definitely a Tulum attraction that you shouldn’t miss.
9. Explore Tulum on a bike
Biking is another thing to do in Tulum that allows you to see and explore more of this area.
Cycle through streets filled with quaint cafes, bars, and restaurants. Breeze through pastel-colored shops.
You can also bike through beach roads, forest trails, and chance upon some hidden gems like cenotes or ruins. This is a fun way to learn more about Tulum while getting a good leg workout.
10. Experience Tulum Nightlife
View this post on Instagram
Tulum is a pretty safe area that offers fun adventures during the day, and a vibrant nightlife comes sundown.
Unwind with a hearty dinner in one of the restaurants around town, then follow it up with drinks at a local bar. Enjoy some fun indoor sports, live music, or dance the night away.
If you want to try something different, have a glass of Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made of agave, known for its smoky flavor.
11. Eat some local food in Tulum
You can’t be in a lively Mexican town without trying, and enjoying their food!
This is definitely among the best things to do in Tulum, and for a more authentic experience, be sure to try the local food stands and eateries.
They are cheap, fresh and delicious, and a fun way to meet the locals. Try some street tacos, gringas (some sort of soft taco and quesadilla hybrid), and sopes which resemble open sandwiches.
Pair these flavorful dishes with fresh fruit juices that are in abundance in Tulum, and you’re good to go
So, that’s our list of the best things to do in Tulum, Mexico. I hope this helps if you’re planning a trip to Tulum. Do you have any other suggestions for Tulum? Let us know in the comments below!