Tulum Itinerary – How To Plan A Stay in Paradise

by Rebecca
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If you’re planning a trip to Tulum, this awesome Tulum Itinerary is just what you need. In this packed guide, I will help you to explore this tropical, beach adjacent bohemian paradise and make organizing your trip super simple without skimping on the fun.

Located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. In this dreamy town, you’ll find Yoga studios and vegetarian restaurants nestled among taquerias wafting the scents of spicy Mexican food throughout the streets.

Within easy cycling, distance is two other ‘sides of Tulum’, the ancient Mayan ruins and the paradise beaches. 

Down by the beach, Tulum is almost another town entirely. Luxury beach hut accommodation, spas, and high-quality restaurants adorn the white sand shore.

Ready to plan your Tulum itinerary?

Get ready to discover how to have the ultimate vacation with the below Tulum itinerary. But remember, if you like this post, don’t forget to pin it below to help others find it too:

 

Tulum Itinerary: About Tulum

Where is Tulum?

Tulum is located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on the coast of the Caribbean. Tulum is just an hour drive away from Playa del Carmen and takes less than two hours to drive to from Cancun. Located nearby you will find the ancient Mayan site of Chichen Itza, one of the New7Wonders of the World.

What language is spoken in Tulum?

Being part of Mexico, the language spoken here is Spanish. No need to worry If you can’t speak Spanish though, English is also spoken by many.

What’s the currency used in Tulum?

The currency is the Mexican Peso.

How is the weather in Tulum?

Year-round the weather in Tulum is warm. May is the hottest month with an average temperature of 28°C and the coldest is January at 24°C.

September is the wettest month so maybe avoid if you are looking to spend a lot of time relaxing at the beach.

What’s transport like in Tulum?

The main ways to get around Tulum would be on foot, by bike or by collectivo.

Bikes are probably the easiest, cheapest and most popular way to get around all areas of Tulum. Some accommodation options in Tulum even include free or discounted bike rentals. Because Tulum is relatively small, cycling makes it easy to get to the ruins, cenotes, and beaches from the central town

Colectivos are a form of shared transportation in Mexico used frequently by locals. They follow certain routes, making stops along the way. Around Tulum, you can take colectivos to different areas, including the beach, at affordable rates (usually around 20 pesos.) Colectivos can be found on the main highway with drivers often calling out their destinations, eager to fill their vans.

Tulum itinerary

How to Get to Tulum

How to get to Tulum from Cancun

From Cancun International Airport and the Cancun Bus Station, it is super easy and affordable to get to Tulum. I booked a bus with Mexican bus service ADO who I highly recommend.

You can either go straight from the airport to Playa Del Carmen and then change to get to Tulum or if you come from Downtown Cancun and the main ADO bus terminal, you can get the bus to Tulum. The ADO buses are affordable, have comfortable seating and air conditioning.

Where to Stay in Tulum

Hostels in Tulum

Staying in a hostel is a budget-friendly and sociable way to visit Tulum.

With low nightly rates and a whole range of activities available to take part in every day, I chose to stay at Hostel Che Tulum. 

Travelling alone around Mexico, when I was booking accommodation for my stay in Tulum I wanted to find somewhere sociable, where I would have the opportunity to meet new people, make friends and do fun activities – I was very aware otherwise I would end up wandering the beach alone and working my way through my hoard of books.

Hostel Che Tulum

Hostel Che Tulum was the best hostel I could have asked for in this respect.

From the very first day I arrived in Tulum I made friends. I stayed in an 8 bed shared female-dorm room and befriended some amazing German and Austrian girls also staying in the room.

the evenings we would hang out at the hostel by the pool and bar, join in with organized activities such as beer pong and all you can eat pizza night making loads of new friends in the processes and by 1 am the whole hostel would end up partying at the nightclub down the road- bar staff included!

During the days we would explore the town and eat in great restaurants and cafes, chilling down at the beach and wandering the shops looking for cute souvenirs.

The hostel also organized fantastic day trips and activities, my favourite being a bike ride excursion to two amazing cenotes with a large group of international guests.

Best hostels in Tulum

Best Hostels Tulum

Some other hostels in Tulum that I also loved are:

Best Beach Hotels in Tulum

Because if you can stay on the shores of a beautiful golden beach, why wouldn’t you?

Best Luxury Accommodation in Tulum

If you want a taste of the finer things in life during your time in Tulum.

 

Things to do in Tulum

 

Explore Cenotes in the Yucatan

I went on a little day trip with my hostel where we all hired bikes and cycled a few miles down the road from the main town towards two cenote’s, Cristal and Escondido.

The Yucatan peninsula has over 30,000 of these clear water underground reservoirs, many of which are still unexplored. They are great for swimming in on warm muggy days, which you get a lot of here.

No Tulum itinerary is complete without experiencing these unique cenotes.

With the hostel, we got discounted entry to both of these cenotes, but entry is very affordable nonetheless at 120 pesos, and you get free access to Escondido as well.

The good thing about these two cenotes is they are off the beaten path and are therefore usually a bit quieter than other options.

Also, nearby you can find plenty of other cenotes to explore, including the well known Grand Cenote. To get there you can take a colectivo from Tulum towards Coba and ask the driver to drop you off at the cenote. Entrance is only 120 Peso.

If diving is your thing there are also some great underground and cave cenotes around the Rivera Maya to explore, including Dos Ojos and El Pit.

Day Trips from Playa Del Carmen

Cenotes near tulum

 

Visit the Tulum Ruins

The ruins at Tulum are one of the best-persevered examples of a coastal Mayan site in the Yucatán Peninsula. Therefore this is another staple of any Tulum itinerary.

Funny story about when I went to visit. It was the same day I visited the Cenotes and I still had time left on my hired bike so off to the ruins I went. Well on the way a torrential downpour engulfed the once sunny blue sky just as I was on an unsheltered stretch of road. I was soaked through to the skin and had to seek shelter to wait for the storm to pass, so I wouldn’t end up being THAT person returning home from Mexico with the flu. After the storm, I carried on cycling and long story short made it to the ruins just as they closed and it was my last day in Tulum.

This is something I will be coming back to see but here are some amazing blog posts I used to help my research before visiting.

Sidetracked Travel Blog has seven useful tips for visiting, accompanied by great photography.

Expert Vagabond also goes into the really interesting history of the ruins.

Tulum itinerary

Shop for Local Crafts and Souvenirs

Having a look at local wares is a great way to learn more about an area.

The quirky colourful creative makes of Tulum brighten up the streets and can provide hours of pursuing fun.

Hand crocheted hammocks and dream catchers were two of my favourite makes on offer. There were also some stunning handmade bags and little felted skulls that adorned the outside of the stores.

Tulum market

Party All Night Long

Being full of young travellers from all over the world, you’re sure to find a fun party atmosphere in Tulum.

I had a great time playing beer-pong in my hostel, making new friends and all heading out to one of the town’s nightclubs. So, if you are looking for an epic night out to add to your Tulum itinerary, here are my recommendations for places to go, where you’re sure to find the party.

Nomade

Want to party on the beach into the night whilst gorging on tasty tacos and margaritas? Of course, the answer would be yes. Nomade is the place to go. Trendy bar by day, this Tulum hotspot turns into an awesome club by night.

Batey

Located away from the beach in downtown Tulum, this colourful haunt is worth visiting for more than just it’s Instagram worthy converted jazzed-up VW beetle. Resident artists create live paintings in the yard to the tune of genre-spanning tracks – from mariachi to electro.

Papaya Playa Project

So this is the big one. The party to end all parties. One Saturday a month, this famed Tulum venue hosts a crazy all-out full moon party. This may conjure up images of plastic buckets and dayglow paint, but here in Tulum Papaya Playa Project have given this bash a luxury make-over.

Think superstar DJ’s, exclusive beach huts to rent overnight, and the who’s who of guests. Therefore, this one is not to be missed.

Tulum itinerary

Relax at Tulum Beach

A Tulum itinerary is not complete without time spent at its gorgeous beaches. Playa Paraíso was my favourite beach in Tulum. An aptly named stretch of white sand as far as the eye can see.

Tulum beach bars

One of the best ways to relax by the beach in Tulum is to spend time at one of the beachfront bars.

Visit Azulik Hotel Beach and Rooftop Bar and visit the upper floor for an impressive surprise. You’ll see netting used to build little nests similar to what you would find in a jungle house. This is the perfect spot to watch a beach-front sunset.

Finally, make sure to try out the swings at Coco Tulum Beach Bar. Not only are these white painted swings adorable, but you can also eat, drink and swing whilst watching the waves crash in.

Tulum itinerary

Who wouldn’t wish they were back on the beaches of Tulum, Mexico?

Try a Yoga Class

Tulum has sprung up as a hotspot for yoga, so why not give it a go when whilst you’re here. As a result, there are plenty of Yoga studios to choose from dotted all over the town.

For an eco-friendly yoga experience, Sanará Tulum is the place to go. Alongside its daily yoga and meditation classes, this wellness centre also prides itself on the healing treatments it offers.

If Yoga by the beach sounds more like your thing, then try Ahau Tulum Yoga & Spa. Can you beat looking out to the ocean whilst practising your warrior pose?  But if you’re looking for something a little different, try their Wednesday night candlelight yoga class. Such an indulgence that wine and chocolates are even included.

Day Trips From Tulum

As well as all the incredible things to do in Tulum, there are also plenty of great day trips you can take to explore this gorgeous part of Mexico further.

I spent several weeks backpacking across the Yucatan Penisular and these were some of my favourite places to visit near Tulum.

Playa del Carmen:

Firstly, the nearby town of Playa del Carmen is a fun and vibrant place to explore. Go shopping on the main street of Fifth Avenue, check out the awesome Frida Kahlo Museum and party the night away at superclub Coco Bongo. There are also lots of amazing things to do near Playa del Carmen.

Chichen Itza:

As one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, Chichen Itza could easily become a solid tradition to any travellers itinerary. There are so many to choose from, or you can rent a car and take the two-hour drive there solo.

Coba:

Away from the busier crowds of Chichen Itza, you’ll find another ancient site that is super fun to explore. The thick green jungle that stretches for miles is all that surrounds Coba.

The coolest thing about Coba is that unlike many other Mayan sights, climbing up the steps to the top is allowed. is a great way to learn about the history of the sight.

Incredible Places to Eat in Tulum

When thinking about your Tulum itinerary, you’ll need to include plenty of yummy places to eat. Therefore, check out my recommendations below.

Great coffee shop in Tulum – Babel Cafe

Once you arrive in a new place, it’s always wise to scope out a great go-to coffee place. Babel Cafe was mine. If the weather turned out to be rubbish I would sit inside sipping coffee. Just using wifi to catch up with folks back home or do a spot of reading. Also, the prices were affordable and the options on offer were great.

Best Tortas in Tulum – Las Quekas

By far one of the best budget options in Tulum, Las Quekas serves super cheap Quesadillas for around $10/$20 Peso. A must-try is the Potato and cheese filling!

Vegan Food in Tulum

Vegan food has taken over here in Tulum. Everywhere you look you’ll find restaurants and cafe serving up Vegan dishes. Perhaps this is to do with the boom in yoga and wellness tourists. But if you’re a vegan or just a fan of veggies, there are plenty of great places to eat.

For tasty raw food, and excellent smoothies you can drink whilst you swing in a hammock, head to Raw Love.

Charly’s Vegan tacos serve up great Mexican food with a vegan twist.

Another great place to check out is Gitano. This fun upbeat joint serves plenty of tasty cocktails. It also offers great Vegan options on its standard menu.

 

Check out my Tulum Vlog below for even more inspiration:

I hope you enjoyed this blog post and feel ready to plan your own Tulum adventure.

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Be inspired by my travel photography over on Instagram.

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Finally, thanks for reading this tulum itinerary and happy travelling,

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6 comments

link 188bet 21/07/2018 - 12:56 pm

Great delivery. Sound arguments. Keep up the good spirit.

Chris 24/08/2019 - 6:49 pm

Looks like a great place! Love the atmosphere and the abundance of choices. Never been to Mexico but I would go, if only for the food and that torta looks delicious.

Jen and Hen 24/08/2019 - 10:23 pm

Doing yoga in Tulum sounds fab! We really want to visit some cenotes and we hope you get to see the ruins one day, the sound really fascinating.

Aditi Sharma 27/08/2019 - 10:47 pm

The beach and bohemian mix of Tulum really draws me to it. I’ve not been there yet but it’s been on my bucket list for a while now. Thank you for the recommendation about ADO bus service – this kind of information really helps with trip planning. I love the fact that you could ride your bike to the cenotes from the accommodation you were staying at – how perfect! Thanks for sharing this detailed post.

Alysa 28/08/2019 - 12:00 am

Yours is the first guide I’ve seen where you put the native language and the currency! I love it! The ruins sound really need. It’s always so cool to see the historical aspects of a place.

Kate 28/08/2019 - 2:29 am

I’ve always wanted to see Mayan ruins and I love how you can get around easily by bike, so I think I would love Tulum! Plus the spicy food at Las Quekas has left me drooling all over the keyboard. Yum!!

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