An Essential Guide To Tulum

After visiting the built up city suburbs of Playa del Carmen and Cancun, Tulum definitely offers a more laid back beach bum vibe, where unique treehouse hotels and eco lodges back right onto the beach.

Surrounded by quiet cenotes, ancient ruins and one of a kind boutiques and restaurants, Tulum is a great place to disconnect and get back to nature.

tulum beach strip

palm tree graphic

Where is Tulum?

Tulum is located on the Riviera Maya in Mexico and follows the Central Time Zone UTC -6.

Getting To Tulum

The closest airport to Tulum, when flying both internationally and domestically is Cancun International Airport (CUN). Tulum is located about 1 hour and 40 minutes away from the airport. You can easily organise a transfer or shuttle bus when you arrive at the airport or rent a car if you would like to drive.

Private shuttles are probably the most comfortable way to make the trip between CUN and Tulum, check out Cancun Airport Transfers to organise your transfer in advance. Makes for a much smoother and faster trip.

Find the best deals on flights to Tulum.

Language in Mexico

Spanish is the native language in Mexico. Most people working in restaurants, cafes and hotel will be able to speak some English, although they might not be as fluent as you would expect.

Exploring The Tulum Beach Strip

Climate in Tulum

Tulum has that perfect warm weather all year round. Although it can get a little sticky and humid during the warmer months from May to September.

Getting Around Tulum

Around Tulum Beach Strip and even out to Downtown Tulum you can get every by bicycle. Bikes are cheap and easy to rent and give you the flexibility of following the back roads and sandy tracks.

If you’re planning to get away from the beach strip and explore more of Tulum you will most likely need a car. Renting cars is cheap and easy, and gives you the flexibility to explore wherever you like. There are rental car companies in downtown Tulum, but our hotel actually organised our rental car to be dropped off to us at our hotel, making it even easier and more convenient.

Organise your car rental in advance to get the best deals.

cenote in tulum

Money Situation in Tulum

Currency is Mexican Peos $. USD is also widely accessible and accepted.

ATMs are very hard to come by on the Tulum Beach Strip and are often broken or empty when you come across them. Make sure you have cash when you’re dining and shopping in this area as not many places take credit card and you might have to walk over half an hour to find an ATM that works (like I did).

Beach Luxury: Staying at Coco Tulum

Internet Access in Tulum

We had wifi in our hotel room, although it was a little slow and would often cut out. Not many restaurants and cafes we went to offered wifi the way we had found in other parts of Mexico, so to be honest it is the perfect place to disconnect and switch off.

The Main Streets of Tulum

Tulum Beach Strip is where you will find most of the beach front hotels and restaurants. It also leads right up to the Tulum Ruins and the main public beaches such as Playa Paraiso.

The other main area of Tulum is down town, about 10-15 minutes from the Tulum beach strip. Here you can find some of the more budget accommodation, local restaurants and bars, gift shops, galleries and a post office.

Check out the best places to stay in Tulum

cafe in tulum

Best Time To Go to Tulum

Tulum has beautiful warm weather all year round, often sitting around the low 30 degrees and the perfect weather for a beach holiday at any time of the year.

September and October are known as the rainy months, although you’re still looking at plenty of sunshine and warm days. Try to avoid the US school holidays, especially during the summer time as this is when crowds can really descend on the little beach town.

Cenote Hopping Around Tulum

Can’t Miss Experiences in Tulum

+ Explore the ancient Tulum Ruins – one of the only Mayan cities located near the ocean
+ Hop through the cenotes across the Yucatan Peninsula for some of the most beautiful swimming holes in the world
+ Visit the local beach Playa Paraiso where you can find the iconic Tulum tilted palm tree
+ Explore the Sian Ka’an Bisphere to learn more about the local marine life and environment
+ Visit Xel-ha Eco Park for all sorts of water adventures and experiences
+ Stay in a unique hotel, like a treehouse or a beach shack on the Tulum Beach Strip and enjoy checking out and chilling out in a very unique way
If you have some extra time and/or Tulum is your only stop on the Yucatan Peninsula make sure you visit Xcaret, Chichen Itza and Ik-kil Cenote. Check out Travel Yucatan for all the activities in Tulum that you can’t miss!

Explore all of the adventures and experiences you can have in Tulum.

Good to know for your visit to Tulum

If you’re looking for souvenir and gift shops, you will find the most options out the front of the Tulum Ruins. Apart from that you are more likely to find boutiques along the beach strip and more generic shops like general stores and pharmacies in the main town.

Explore more of our adventures through Tulum

This post was sponsored by Travel Yucatan. Make sure you visit to find out everything you need to know about your trip to the Mexican Coast! 


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Emma is a travel writer, photographer and blogger, chasing the sun around Australia. Travelling in her recently renovated vintage Viscount caravan, along with her husband Thom and daughter Macey, she's sharing the very best experiences from around her beloved sunburnt country.

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