15 Reasons Why You Should Visit Tulum
Tulum in Mexico has become, thanks to its white sand beaches and Mayan ruins, a great alternative to vacationing in Cabo.
In recent years, Tulum has rightly established itself as one of the world’s premier beach destinations. Boasting spectacular Mayan ruins overlooking the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, you’d be hard pressed to find a more Instagram-worthy place anywhere in the Americas. Here are 15 reasons why you should visit Tum al least once in your lifetime.
Appreciate the amazing ruins
The 13th-century Mayan archaeological ruins aren’t the largest in Mexico, but their beachfront location makes them a breathtaking sight. The clifftop watchtower or Castillo, is a holdover from when the area was used as a port and is one of the most photographed sites in the country.
Soak up the sun on one of Tulum's incredible beaches
Although Playa Ruinas is the most famous beach in the area, there are plenty of other options. Playa Paraíso or Paradise Beach, is never far from the top of the list of local recommendations. Tulum’s almost transparent water, pristine white sands, bars and restaurants make it a relaxing coastal destination.
Enjoy the spectacular wildlife
Tulum is home to an incredible variety of animals, from monkeys and jaguars to sea turtles and iguanas. A place to get a closer look is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the biggest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and one of the world’s top ecotourism destinations. Sian Ka’an provides a refuge for thousands of species of flora and fauna, which is why, in 1987, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Observe sea turtles in their natural habitat
From May to October, the coast of Tulum sees the arrival of thousands of nesting turtles. After the sun sets each night , mother turtles go to the beach to lay their eggs. before slowly returning to the water.
Zip-line through paradise
Don’t like to dive into the water? It’s okay, you can fly over it. Sports companies such as Aventuras Mayas offer the more adventurous travelers the chance to travel quickly through the jungle on its ziplines of the Riviera Maya. The company offers tours that last around six hours and may also include the option of rappelling a 18 mts. rock face and snorkeling through an underground cenote.
Explore the cenotes
Tulum is enclosed by cenotes or submarine sinkholes, attracting divers, swimmers, and adventurers year round. Once revered as sacred by the ancient Mayans, Gran Cenote, located about 7 km inland from the beach, is a particularly popular spot. And don’t worry, snorkels and other scuba diving equipment are available for hire on site.
Taste the local cuisine
Tulum has established itself as one of Mexico’s many food hubs with stylish restaurants like Mur Mur offering exciting dining experiences. Dedicated to sourcing all of its ingredients from local producers, the critically acclaimed restaurant opened in December 2015 and has already made its mark on the Mexican culinary scene. Taquerías such as Don Beto and Antojitos La Chiapaneca offer traditional flavors such as pastor tacos.
Discover the delicious street food
Whether it’s delicious roadside tacos, chilled coconut water, or refreshing ice cubes, Tulum is one of the best street food destinations in Mexico. The relaxed Taqueria La Eufemia restaurant specializes in delicious fish and shrimp tacos.
Appreciate the incredible selection of fruits
Tulum offers delicious fruit in abundance, with the coconut being particularly popular with tourists. After a night at the bar, nothing will rehydrate you as quickly as the juice of a young green coconut or a fruit salad with a delicious coconut milk dip.
Bar across town
Nightlife options in Tulum are plentiful and include excellent beach parties and live music concerts. We recommend Batey for its relaxed atmosphere, cocktails and live music. Papaya Playa Project is another great option if a beach club vibe is more your thing.
Relax in a luxury hotel
Over the past decade, boutique accommodation options have sprung up in Tulum at an incredible rate. While some lament the rising prices and the pace of development, there is no doubt that luxury hotels are a great place to relax. The Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel is one of the best in the area, offering thatched-roof suites in a beautiful beachfront setting.
Spread stress in Mexico's yoga capital
Tulum is Mexico’s premier yoga destination and is home to a huge range of spiritual retreats, wellness spas, and yoga studios. Yoga Kia Ora Studio is a popular place for serious practitioners, offering both teacher training classes and great daily classes. Not so experienced? Here is a helpful guide for many other studios.
Treat yourself to a full body massage
Holistic massages are one of the many therapeutic treatments offered at the Yäan Wellness Center. The luxurious spa is part of the Be Tulum hotel and is open to outside visitors as well as clients. The place offers individual treatments like massages, reiki or hot stone therapies and also allows visitors to create their own individual packages.
Try traditional therapy
The Mayan practice of steam baths is increasingly popular with visitors to the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Many hotels and spas in Tulum, including the Yäan Wellness Center, revive steam healing ceremonies, which take place in an igloo-shaped structure called a temazcal.
Explore the region by bike
Tulum has a particular layout, with most of the hotels and bars clustered along the shore. It’s a good idea to rent a bike for your stay so you can get around quickly without having to rely on taxis. Tulum is a very cycling city, making it a enjoyment to explore on two wheels.