Popular and fun things to do in Tulum Mexico include visiting the Mayan ruins, exploring cenotes, taking a day trip to Coba, seeing turtles, and much more.
Tulum’s popularity has been increasing over the years, nearly stealing the show from its touristy neighbours on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. And it is not surprising: the beautiful town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast has a lot to offer. Here is a selection of 8 great things to do in Tulum.
1. Dip into a cenote
Visiting cenotes should be at the top of your list of things to do in Tulum. These beautiful sinkholes can be found all around the Yucatan Peninsula region, and there are more than a dozen cenotes near Tulum where you can relax, dive, snorkel or paddle.
Gran Cenote is one of the closest cenotes to Tulum town centre, and one of the most beautiful too. With shallow parts, magnificent rock formations and cute turtles, Gran Cenote is a fun visit for those who are not confident swimmers, for families and also for avid snorkelers!
A bit out of town, Casa Cenote is an excellent option for snorkelling too, or for a paddle on a stand-up board or a kayak (you will need to organise your rental in advance in Tulum town centre).
2. Visit Tulum Mayan Ruins
Even if you have visited other Mayan ruins before, Tulum ruins have something special that makes it worth a visit. As early as 564 A.D., the Mayans chose one of the best views of the region to build now iconic monuments perched on a cliff in front of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Nowadays, the well-preserved ruins have become one of the most famous archaeological site in the world and the most popular thing to do in Tulum, so be prepared to share it with many people especially if you go there on a Sunday when it is free for Mexican citizens. It is a place you will not forget.
3. Eat at Tulum town centre
You cannot omit food from the list of the best things to do in Tulum: it is one of the highlights of travelling to Mexico. You will find many restaurants near the beach in the hotel area in Tulum. They are good for the views, but they are quite expensive, and they do not serve the best food in town. You will find more reasonable prices and tasty food in Tulum town centre. The Taqueria is the best for cheap and delicious tacos, and El Camello offers delicious seafood and cevice options.
4. Meet sea turtles in the wild
From May to October, it is the turtle nesting season on the Riviera Maya. After sunset, sea turtles go out of the ocean to lay their eggs on the beaches of the Riviera Maya. It is a fantastic thing to see in Tulum Beach, but make sure you are aware of the rules not to disturb the turtles.
If you are not travelling at this season, you can still get an amazing opportunity to see turtles and swim with them at the nearby town, Akumal. Algae, turtle’s favourite food, covers the ocean bottom so you get a chance to snorkel with them them as they enjoy their meal.
5. Relax on the beach
What if the best thing to do in Tulum was to do nothing? Tulum beaches are beautiful, and the atmosphere is very relaxed there.
Playa Maya and Playa Paraiso are great for the self-sufficient traveller. If you prefer to have facilities nearby, choose the beach near the hotels instead. You can walk directly you are your room to a semi-private area where you will forget you are in one of the world’s most touristy region. Tulum beaches are perfect to take a break and enjoy doing nothing.
You will also see many people practising yoga in Tulum and you can even join yoga classes on the beach.
6. Learn Kiteboarding
If relaxing on the beach is not your thing, then you may be interested in Tulum’s Kiteboarding School. You will have the opportunity to learn the tricks of kiteboarding with private or group lessons before doing it on your own.
7. Take a day trip inland to Coba
Only one hour away from Tulum, Coba makes a great day trip away from the coast. In Coba, you can climb to the top of a Mayan Pyramid in the heart of the jungle.
The three underground cenotes in Coba look lovely, especially Multun-ha where they did a fantastic job with the lightning to create a unique atmosphere. These underground cenotes near Coba also a great activity when you are looking for things to do in Tulum when it is raining.
8. Explore Sian Ka’an Reserve
There are not many parts of the Riviera Maya that stayed pristine, so Sian Ka’an feels very special. It is a must-do in Tulum for nature lovers. You will get the opportunity to see many different species of birds, manatees and even a crocodile if you are lucky! Plus, it is good fun to ride the boat in the maze of the mangrove and to float down the river pushed by the current as you are sitting on your lifejacket.
Article by Eloise. Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you will not find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips on her blog MyFavouriteEscapes.com and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Follow her adventures on Facebook and Instagram!