Surrounded by unique Mayan sinkholes, better known as cenotes, you’re within striking distance of some of the most famous – El Gran Cenote, Calavera and Carwash. If you’re more about overwater adventure this is the place to learn stand-up paddle boarding and have a go at kite surfing – the steady winds are perfect for it. The renowned Tulum Ruins are north of the beach and you’re in prime position to reach them before the tourist buses arrive in town. The Mayans built cities throughout the Yucatan and Tulum’s ruins are some of the best preserved.
May to October is turtle nesting season and this stunning stretch of coastline gives you front-row seats to watch this ecological phenomena. Day trip to Akumal and you can snorkel among the turtles too. 30 miles from Tulum are the lesser-known ruins of Coba, a significant site of Mayan history and architecture that’s worth the trip, and your close proximity to the breathtaking Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve gives you access to over one million acres of natural wonder with the chance to see jaguars, pumas and monkeys up close. You’ve also got easy admission to Xel-Ha, the world’s largest natural aquarium and ecological park home to lagoons and cenotes, colourful marine life and ancient ruins.
Where is Tulum?
The Yucatan jungle meets the Caribbean Sea in Tulum, where you’ll find yourself on the east coast of the peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. The Tulum Ruins sit on nearly 10-metre tall cliffs overlooking spectacular coastline.
Tulum is divided into two parts – the pueblo and the beach zone, and getting around by bicycle or on foot are the best ways to travel. Taxis are also readily available and will take you to the ruins and the cenotes.
Talavera pottery, hand-woven hammocks, resort wear, sunglasses, bikinis and linens… there’s plenty to buy in Tulum’s artsy boutiques. You’ll find kaftans, sundresses and gemstone jewellery on Beach Road along with Mexican textiles, bohemian beachy gifts, hand-made fragrances and scented candles. Luxury beachfront shops sell designer hats and beach bags, home décor and leathers woven by artisans.
Food and drink
Open kitchens, wood-burning ovens, beachfront dining that’s always laid back and some of the best fresh fish ceviche you’ll ever try… Tulum is a great destination for relaxed, informal eateries and rustic beach shack bars. Expect fresh juices, coconut straight from the tree, wood-fired mariscos and ice-cold cocktails as you swing in a hammock. Dishes are fragrant, Mayan breakfast tacos are famous and ice cream and sorbet flavours are tantalisingly unique.
GMT -6 hours
11½ hours to Cancun
Tipping is a way of life in Mexico. Hotels and restaurants usually add 15% to the bill. If they don’t, tip 10-15%. Tip porters about 1US$ per suitcase, and tip hotel maids(further guidance will be given in resort).
Casual dress is usually appropriate. Swimsuits mustn't be worn away from the pool or beach, and flashy or suggestive clothing is inappropriate in smaller resorts and inland cities.