Things to do in Tulum

Things to do in  Tulum

Ruins never looked so good

Millenia-old Mayan ruins perch dramatically on cliffs that overlook the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea in Tulum, a Mexican beach destination that exemplifies the Yucatan’s cultural heritage and tropical beauty. Come for the ruins—best explored on a day trip that combines the archeological zone with nearby cenotes, coral reefs, or the cave networks of Rio Secreto—and stay for more of the top things to do in Tulum, including tequila tasting, taco eating, and relaxing on the white-sand beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Top 11 attractions in Tulum

Tulum

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Tulum, the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city and a port for Coba, is one of the best preserved coastal Mayan cities in the Yucatan, in tandem with Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. Highlights of this archaeological site include the Temple of the Frescoes, which has spectacular figurines of the 'diving god.'More

Mayan Ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá)

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In the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula lie the ruins of Coba (Zona Arqueológica de Cobá), an ancient Maya city considered to be one of the most important settlements in Mesoamerican history. During its peak between AD 500 and 900, Coba housed 50,000 residents and was the central terminus for the complex Maya system of roadways. The jungle site is still being excavated, but visitors can experience the already discovered remains of thesesacbes, or stone causeways, as well as a number of engraved and sculpted monuments.More

Grand Cenote (Gran Cenote)

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The circular cavern, clear water, and colorful fish of the Grand Cenote (Gran Cenote) make it one of the top natural attractions in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The natural pool is surrounded by a boardwalk where you can take photos in the light that filters from above before venturing into the water to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive.More

Muyil

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Stretching along the banks of a coastal lagoon, the Maya ruins of Muyil are undeniably photogenic and less visited than the nearby sites of Tulum and Coba. Dominated by the steep-walled, 56-foot-tall (17-meter-tall) El Castillo, one of the region’s tallest pyramids, the Muyil ruins are an example of Peten architecture, similar to Tikal in Guatemala.More

Quintana Roo

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One of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, Quintana Roo is the gateway to the Mexican Caribbean. Palm-lined beaches, Mayan ruins, and family-friendly nature parks characterize this east coast state where you can snorkel coral reefs, cool off in ancient cenotes, and party in the nightclubs of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.More

Casa Cenote

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Deep within a mangrove forest just 20 minutes from Tulum, Casa Cenote is a freshwater sinkhole perfect for paddle boarding, swimming, and snorkeling. Look out for freshwater fish such as guppies and platys; take a dip in the refreshingly cool water; and explore Casa Cenote’s numerous underwater caverns.More

Cenote Dos Ojos

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Known as a top diving site in the Yucatan Peninsula, Cenote Dos Ojos (Two Eyes Cenote) boasts about 300 miles (483 kilometers) of connected underwater passageways, creating a natural cave system. Divers can explore its nearly 7,000-year-old caves and underground rivers. It also contains the deepest-known cave passage in Quintana Roo.More

Tankah Park

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This eco-adventure park just outside of Tulum offers active ways to engage with the diverse landscapes of the Riviera Maya. From ziplining and nature trekking to canoeing and snorkeling, a range of thrilling activities provide an insider glimpse of the serene cenotes, deep caves, and dense jungle that cover the secluded park.More

Cenotes Sac Actun

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Filled with crystal clear water and lined with limestone stalactites, Cenotes Sac Actun is the world’s largest known underwater cave system. The freshwater cave is home to colorful fish, bats, and animal fossils. Sac Actun is simultaneously one of the most impressive and least crowded cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula.More

Punta Laguna Nature Reserve (Otoch Ma'ax Yetel Kooh)

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With miles of untamed jungle, the Punta Laguna Nature Reserve (Otoch Ma'ax Yetel Kooh) is one of the best places to get up close to the Yucatan’s varied wildlife. The 12,355-acre (5,000-hectare) reserve is home to more than 600 spider and howler monkeys, as well as pumas, crocodiles, coatimundi, white-tailed deer, and a large variety of tropical birds.More

Cenote Nohoch Nah Chich

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Dive into the depths of the Yucatan’s longest subterranean cave system at Nohoch Nah Chich outside Cancun. Exploring this enormous cenote studded with stalactites and stalagmites offers the experience of a lifetime for diving enthusiasts, while nondivers can swim and snorkel in its freshwater rivers and pools.More

Top activities in Tulum

Sian Ka'an Adventure Full Day Trip to Punta Allen
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Tulum Local Walking Food Tour

Tulum Local Walking Food Tour

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$77.46
Maya Adrenaline | 1KM ZIPLINE!

Maya Adrenaline | 1KM ZIPLINE!

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$100.80
per group
Amazing beginner dive in Tulum cenote (or refresher dive)
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Amazing beginner dive in Tulum cenote (or refresher dive)

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$135.00
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Airport Transfer Tulum

Airport Transfer Tulum

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per group
Tulum Adventure (archeological zone-Atv-ziplines-cenote-lunch-drinks-rappel)
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Tulum

When to visit

Head to Tulum at the tail end of hurricane season (November), when the leftover breeze offers pleasant respite from the scorching summer sun—you’ll also get the best hotel deals. For the biggest party of the year, visit during spring break in March, or go in December, when the high-octane Zamna Festival kicks off and draws dance and house music fans from around the world.

Getting around

Tulum lends itself well to cycling—there’s an abundance of bike rental stores and roads are flat and paved. Biking to the beach is a breeze, but take caution when cycling around the town as you’ll be sharing the road with cars. For a taste of local life, jump aboard a colectivo—shared taxis that follow routes to popular attractions such as the southern beaches, Tulum ruins, and Playa del Carmen.

Traveler tips

No visit to the Yucatan would be complete without plunging into a cenote—limestone sinkholes and subterranean caverns that were revered by the ancient Mayans. The most spectacular examples are arguably Tamcach-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Multum-Ha, about an hour’s drive from Tulum; however, if you’re looking for a less-crowded experience, head to Zacil-Ha. It’s a low-key spot favored by locals and a 15-minute drive from Tulum.

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People Also Ask

What is Tulum known for?

Tulum, a city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is known for the Maya ruins that overlook the Caribbean Sea. This ancient site offers visitors views of the coast and surrounding jungle. Equally famous for its white sand beaches, food scene, and tourist amenities, Tulum draws crowds to its temperate shores.

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Does Tulum have nightlife?

If you’re looking for nightlife, Tulum delivers. Situated on the Caribbean Sea in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, the city boasts a selection of local bars and restaurants, as well as lively nightclubs along the beach. The scene is more relaxed than in nearby Cancun, but there’s plenty to do after dark.

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What can you do for free in Tulum?

Tulum offers activities and experiences that won’t cost you a cent. Whether you want to spend the day at the beach, walk its eclectic downtown, explore off-the-beaten path cenotes, or take pictures of vibrant sunsets, there are plenty of free Tulum activities to keep you busy.

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Is 3 days enough for Tulum?

Yes, it’s possible to see Tulum’s highlights—like its Maya ruins, beach, and downtown area—in three days. However, if you want to both relax and take advantage of all this beautiful city on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico offers, then plan on spending at least five days.

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Is Tulum safer than Cancun?

Tulum and Cancun are popular Mexico beach destinations that are about a two-hour drive apart, but they are very different. Though safety statistics vary, it’s generally agreed that smaller, more laid-back Tulum is safer than the tourist hot spot of Cancun. Tulum locals are friendly and helpful.

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What should I avoid in Tulum?

Tulum is a popular destination, but there are some things to skip. Avoid drinking tap water and don’t leave your bag unattended. Don’t arrive at the Tulum ruins midday and expect to avoid the crowds—instead, come early or late and avoid Sundays when the site is free for Mexicans.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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