Tulum, the best beach in Mexico.
A long stretch of white sandy beach and turquoise water, Tulum for me is the best beach in Mexico. It’s tranquil vibe, without the hoards of tourists, makes Tulum a little gem just a couple of hours south of Cancun.
I’ve now been here 4 times and absolutely love it. I’d choose Tulum over Playa del Carmen and Cancun any day of the week. The beaches are quieter, a lot more relaxed, and you don’t get all the pressure of people trying to sell you tours and things everywhere you go. The locals are super friendly.
- Best beaches
- Best bars
- Bike hire
Best beach in Tulum to spend the day
With kilometres of pristine coastline, Tulum Beach is divided in two parts.
The private beach is where all the hotels are, and is the best part of the beach. You can use the sun beds and umbrellas as long as you buy a drink or something to eat. Just walk through any hotel to get to the beach.
The Public beach has a few small restaurants and you don’t have to pay to lay under a palm tree anywhere you like.
Tulum Beach is located 3km’s from centro.
The Tulum Ruins aren’t the best ruins you will see, but they’re on the small cliffs of the Caribbean Sea with postcard views and not to be missed. Only 4kms out of town, you can rent a bike or a cheap 70 peso taxi each way. Read the full write with pics and info at The Tulum Ruins on the Caribbean Sea.
Hotel bars and Accommodation
Hotels on the beach
Be Tulum – If you’re looking for luxury, this is for you. Adults only hotel on the beach, Champagne bar, Oyster bar, and 20 elegant beach front suites. You might even see yourself drinking with A list celebrities.
La Zebra – My favourite place to hang out during the day. Big restaurant, sun beds, awesome burritos and Pork cheek tacos. Chilled out atmosphere, amazing beach and right in the middle of the Hotel zone.
Cabanas on the beach
Coco Tulum is right on the best part of the beach with cabanas to stay in, great beach bar and sun beds. Cabanas from 2000 pesos ($110) a night.
Hotels in Tulum Centro
Live Tulum – Big apartments around a swimming pool right in centro with a day spa. A cheaper option than staying on the beach.
Hostels in Centro
Jose at Mama’s home – Rated the best hostel in North America 2016 by Hostelworld.com, Jose at Mama’s hostel is where you want to stay in Tulum. There’s something organised every night from Margarita night, BBQ, flamenco dancing, Movie night and more. Owned by the energetic Jose, who knows everything about Tulum and will help you planning all your days here. Lively but chilled out hostel, lights out (quiet time) after 11pm , it’s either time for bed, or time to go out. Don’t miss out, make sure you book in advance because they’re always full.
Best Bars in Tulum Centro
Batey – Mojito bar – This is easily the best bar in Tulum. Live music every night, go in the late afternoon and into the evening until midnight. You won’t miss it with the colourfully painted Volkswagen parked out the front converted into a sugar cane press for making the Mojitos. You have to try the Mojito’s at Batey’s at least once. It’s on the street Centauro Sur, half a block from the main road.
Xoloizcuintle – Mezcal – Lots of the crowd head here after Batey’s. It’s open later and sometimes have DJ’s. Great burgers in the evening.
Infinitum – If you’re looking for a very local crowd, go to Infinitum. A disco style salsa bar on top of a restaurant open into the early hours of the morning. Located on the main street. You wont miss it from the loud music.
Down near the beach
There is an abundance of Hotels to choose from with great views and great food. I got recommended these places to eat and they didn’t let me down.
La Eufemia – Cheap 30 peso tacos and beers on the beach, good tunes all day and the beautiful beach just meters away. What more could you ask for?? The laid back but an energetic atmosphere at La Eufemia is a great place to spend an afternoon. Happy hour cocktails from 6-8pm.
Hartwood – Top shelf delicious food and prices you’d pay back home. All fresh local fish, meat and veggies is cooked on the open fire. With limited seating there will be a line before the 5pm opening time. But well worth the wait. Even got a great write up in the New York Times.
El Asadero – Meat, meat and more meat. Argentinian style.
La Malquzida – Typical Mexican food.
El Camello – If you’re looking for Seafood, El Camello is where everybody goes.
Baccaro – The top pick for Italian food.
Chapaneca – Super cheap tacos for 7 pesos, and your typical Mexican food. Near the ADO station.
Cenotes in Tulum
Gran Cenote – Crystal clear waters, caves and deep areas for SCUBA diving, Gran Cenote is the best Cenote around Tulum. Rent a bike for the day and ride just 3.7 kms out of town. If you only have time to visit one Cenote, make it this one. Entrance is 150 pesos, taxi 70 pesos each way. Check out more pics and info at Gran Cenote, the best Cenote in Tulum.
Jardin del Eden – 35km from Tulum. Nice big open Cenote is great for snorkeling and a 3 meter rock from where you can jump into the water.
Dos Ojos – 19km from Tulum, Dos Ojos is very popular for diving. With a 200 peso entrance fee, if you’re just wanting to swim and snorkel, you’re better choosing a different Cenote to visit. It’s also a 3km walk from the main road.
Nicte-ha – 19km from Tulum. 1km off the main road on the way to Dos Ojos is better for snorkeling.
Where to hire a bike in Tulum
There are many places to hire a bike in Tulum. And they’re all around the same price. I always used Iguana’s Bike Hire on the street of Satélite Sur. A block and a half from the main road. Great bikes, friendly staff. You can hire a bike for 80 pesos a day. They also hire snorkels if you’re visiting a Cenote.
All the tour agencies in Tulum are selling tours for the one company, Itours. Tours to Chitzen Itza, Coba, Tulum ruins and diving tours. So it doesn’t really matter who you go through. Just ask a couple different agencies and see where you can get the best price. Always negotiate. But if you’re looking for friendly staff and decent prices, Infinity Tours are good guys and located on the main road in centro.
Akumal – Snorkeling with the turtles
Go snorkeling with the turtles just 30 minutes from Tulum in Akumal. Get right up close to the turtles as they’re only 50 meters off shore. Read the full write up at Akumal – Snorkeling with the turtles.
Tulum for me really is the best beach in Mexico and a place you should find some time to visit.
Have you been to Tulum and experienced paradise?? Let me know how you went below in the comments. I’d love to hear how it was.