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From white sandy beaches, heavenly turquoise water, to Ancient Mayan Ruins and lively beach clubs, there is no surprise why Tulum has become a hot spot for travelers in Mexico. If you’re planning a trip, this Tulum itinerary has everything you need to know!

Once an unpopular fishing town, Tulum is now a booming chic jungle meets beach destination filled with so many different activities and sights to see. 

Tulum is an ideal paradise to escape reality by getting lost in the rich culture and witnessing a multitude of diverse scenic views. And with so many local airlines offering affordable flights, Tulum makes a perfect weekend getaway from Puerto Vallarta or addition to your Mexico itinerary.

A weekend in Tulum is all you need. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe to do yoga and hang out in a hammock or go on an adventure and explore all that this Caribbean coastline town has to offer, this weekend guide to Tulum will help you plan your trip.

Where to Stay in Tulum 

Tulum provides a different ambiance to the nearby city of Cancun.

Instead of finding all-inclusive resorts and arrays of nightclubs, Tulum gives you numerous chic boutique hotels built along the beach and one-of-a-kind accommodation in adventurous locations.

It’s a fairly small area divided into two main zones – Tulum Town and Tulum’s Beach Road.

Tulum Town, known as the pueblo, is a typical Mexican town with plenty of local bars, shops, and authentic food options.

tulum itinerary

Although there is no direct beach access, it is a great base for day trips to explore cenotes, the Ruins, and other sights. In addition, supermarkets, ATMs, and the bus station are easily accessible nearby. 

It is the recommended area for travelers on a budget, making it an excellent choice for backpackers and digital nomads.

Tulum Center is also connected to 307 Highway, which takes you directly to Cancun while passing the beautiful city of Playa Del Carmen. It’s an ideal base for taking day trips to the surrounding cities or if you’re flying out of Cancun.

Where to Stay in Tulum Town 

When most people think of Tulum, they think of the beautiful turquoise beaches, bohemian boutique hotels, and delish food served along to you on a sunbed while overlooking the ocean. This can all be found in Tulum’s Beach Road.

The road stretches along the beach and is full of unique hotels, local shops, and the finest dining options. This part of Tulum is significantly more expensive than the pueblo.

If you’re on vacation, want to spend most of your time on the beach, and can afford the fancy resorts and fine dining, then the beach zone is your best choice. Upscale bars and Nightclubs can also be found here.

Public Transportation doesn’t exist in this area so you have to rely on taxis or walking, but you can step right onto the beach from your room so who cares?

beach hotel in tulum mexico

Where to Stay in Tulum’s Beach Road 

Top 10 Things to do in Tulum 

  • Hang Out at Playa Paraiso
  • Visit the Tulum Ruins
  • Explore one of the Many Cenotes
  • Enjoy the Nightlife
  • Relax at Laguna Kaan Luum
  • Sian Ka’an Biosphere Tour
  • Eat Tacos at a Taqueria
  • See the Crooked Palm tree
  • Climb Coba 
  • Go Shopping at a Local Boutique 
tulum beach

The best beach in Tulum is no doubt Playa Paraiso. It is a stunning white sand beach with clear blue water. You can lay on the beach for free or visit a beach club to rent loungers and have some drinks.

If you are planning to spend a weekend in Tulum, here is the ultimate 3-day itinerary with the best things to do in Tulum.

3 Day Tulum Itinerary

Day 1

Spend your first day in Tulum exploring a few of the incredible cenotes before indulging in authentic Mexican food.

There is no better way to start a trip in Tulum than by exploring some of the many amazing cenotes found all over the Yucatán Peninsula.

A cenote is a natural sinkhole from the collapse of an underground cave that contains a natural pool filled with rainwater and water flowing from underground rivers.

If you have rented a car, it is fairly easy to get to them on your own. The second best option is to take a taxi. You can hire one for the day that can take you to multiple cenotes. Alternatively, you can join a cenote tour.

The first stop will be Gran cenote. This is one of the most famous and largest cenotes, with two swimming areas.

It’s one of the most popular, so make sure to have an early breakfast and get here before the crowd shows up.

things to do in tulum cenotes

Here you can see a variety of animals like bats, turtles, and fish. Spend the morning snorkeling and admiring the clear blue water and extraordinary rock formation.

Next will be the Cenote Zacil-Ha, a popular yet smaller swimming pool that is the perfect place to grab some refreshing drinks and snacks.

tulum cenotes

The last stop, Cenote Calavera, is a great place to take some Instagram-worthy pictures on a swing over the water or jump into the natural pool from one of the 3 holes.

On your way back, make sure to stop by La Coqueta to grab fresh and tasty authentic Mexican food. 

Day 2

This will be the day to go back in time and visit the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum and end your day at the award-winning Playa Paraíso.

tulum ruins

The Ancient Mayans of Tulum are a must-see. This attraction is located on a cliffside facing the Caribbean Sea and is inside Tulum’s National Park.

It is best to visit in the morning to avoid crowds. Thankfully it is just a short drive from the pueblo and beach zone, so have an early breakfast and hop in a cab to the Archaeological site.

tulum ruins

Once you arrive, you can go on a guided tour that should take you about two hours to explore the well-preserved ruins. By the end, you’ll be an expert on the history and culture of Tulum.

While in the area, make sure to do some souvenir shopping at the Tulum Craft Center. You can even have a beer while browsing around the colorful shops filled with eye-catching crafts.

After working up an appetite and spending some time in the sun, head over to the Award-winning beach of Playa Paraíso.

Paraiso Beach Club is the place to go if you want to lay on cozy sunbeds under the shade while choosing between Mexican or International dishes for lunch or a snack.

End off your day listening to live music while sipping on mojitos during happy hour at the well-known Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar. The quirky atmosphere will leave you wanting to come back again. 

Day 3

The last day of your Tulum Itinerary is for relaxing and soaking in the town’s unique charm and picturesque sights.

To start your morning, take a short 15-minute taxi ride to the stunning Lagoon de Kaan Luum. It’s home to a large cenote that produces mud which allegedly has healing properties.

You can rub this mud into your skin and enjoy a DIY spa day while overlooking the contrast of colors that the lagoon offers.

Lagoon de Kaan Luum.

There are hammocks and swings over the water, making it the perfect place to lounge and take some photos.

Afterward, catch a cab back to town and grab tacos at Tulum’s famous Taqueria Honorio.

Rent a bike from Tulum town. You can find them everywhere and it’s an easy and cheap process. Some hotels even offer free rental bikes to their guests.

man riding  bike in mexico

Savor nature’s breeze as you go for a bike ride from Tulum town to the beach. There are several bike paths you can follow or just get lost while appreciating the views.

It only takes a 20-30 bike ride from the town to the beach area.

There you can go to Mateo’s Mexican Grill, where you can lay in a hammock while watching the sun go down over Tulum’s jungle. Make sure to try one of their tasty margaritas, the passion fruit one is the best!

sunset over beach in mexico

There’s no better way to finish off your Tulum Itinerary than with a drink while watching the gorgeous sunset. Soak it all in while you dream about coming back to this paradise again!

That’s it – the perfect Tulum weekend getaway! Have you been to Tulum before? Let me know your favorite place in the comments below!

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 Lora Pope is a travel content creator who’s been wandering solo for over a decade. She lives a nomadic lifestyle and is on a quest to visit every country in the world - always on the lookout for new adventures, hidden gems, and dogs to pet. You can follow her adventures on Explore with Lora and Instagram

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