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
  • Restaurants
  • Ruins
  • Cenotes
  • Bike hire
  • Tours

Travel insurance: World Nomads $70 for 14 days. 


Mexican slang


Tulum Beach
Private beach with sun beds in front of the Hotels


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.


Tulum ruins
Tulum Ruins right on the beach


Tulum Ruins

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.


Tulum Beach La Zebra
La Zebra is my favourite place to hang out for the day on the beach


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.

Cabañas 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.


Jose at mama's home, Tulum
Jose at Mama’s home. Best hostel in North America 2016.


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.

If you can’t get in at Jose at Mamas home, then try Chill Inn Hostel. But you should really book ahead and make sure you stay at Jose’s.


Mojito bar Tulum
Batey mojito bar with live music every night


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.


Eufemia, Tulum Beach.
30 peso tacos at La Eufemia, Tulum Beach.



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.


In Centro

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.


Gran Cenote Tulum
Gran Cenote

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
Jardin del Edin


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.

Tour companies

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 snorkelling with the turtles
Snorkeling with the turtles in Akumal 30 minutes from Tulum


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.


Mexican Slang


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.

Happy Travels!!


  • Great review of Tulum! My meal and dining experience amongst the jungle at Casa Jaguar was also pretty spectacular. Highly recommend ??

      • Hi Johnny,

        We are loving Tulum ( even had two evenings of thunder storms, one hot and one almost cooling) but finding getting to the beach kind of difficult – we have been down where all the tourist shops/restaurants etc. are at the beachfront but the beach there is kind of smelly because of all the seaweed. Today we went to the tulum archaelogical site and went down to the beach there – now THAT is an amazing beach and it looks as though a similar beach is just a bit away from the ruins, gong to have to investigate how to get there.

        Any tips for us about beaches, must see places, must eat at places?


  • I’ve visited Tulum about 8 years ago, and also in the past year. What a huge difference! It went from a tiny nowhere with a few hostels to the next hippie hideaway with coffee shops on every corner. I’d have to say though, that it still has kept its charm. Also, you can’t beat the Mayan ruins there, some of the most picturesque for sure, and the beaches are beautiful. I also really enjoyed Scuba diving in the nearby cenotes, which was a thrill!

    • How’s it going Heather!
      That’s great to hear that you still love Tulum. Yep, it’s growing quickly with popularity for being more tranquil than Cancun and Playa del Carmen. And in my opinion the beaches are better in Tulum. And as you say, the ruins nearby and a load of cenotes.

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