- Family Fun
Get there by
Car, Shuttle, Bus
It's a little less than two hours from Cancun to Tulum by car, and is a straight shot if you take the Mexico 207 along the coast.
Avg. Night Stay
ON THE MAP
With a blend of ancient ruins and stunning beaches, Tulum is one of the best coastal cities in Cancun to escape the crowds and find relaxation.
A Coastal Escape
The further away you get from Cancun’s main tourist hub, the more you’ll find yourself immersed in the true Mexican lifestyle. There’s no better place than Tulum to experience this perfect escape from the crowds. A walk through Tulum—best done with a cup of local sugar cane juice in hand—will take you through small, picturesque streets along the Caribbean coastline.
For the freshest seafood with a touch of Mexican flavor, head to any one of the local restaurants in downtown Tulum. Order what the locals are eating such as fried snapper, shrimp ceviche, or grilled squid. If seafood isn’t your first choice, Tulum also has many other restaurants catered to tourists serving Italian, Thai, and American dishes.
When you’re ready to play at the beach, head to Playa Paraiso—one of the nicest beaches in Tulum. Soak in the rays by renting a sunbed or jump in a local boat taxi to head to a coral reef for snorkeling. Consider biking to this beach to avoid any road closures that could happen during the weekends and holidays.
Mayan Ruins on the Cliffside
Tulum is home to one of the most preserved Mayan coastal ruins perched along a cliffside overlooking the sea. Its limestone walls helped preserve this ancient seaport until it became occupied by the Spanish in the 15th century. At this seaport, the Mayans mainly traded jade, which was considered to be holy and symbolized vitality and eternal love.
Prominent structures like the Castillo provide gorgeous ocean view points off the cliffside and the Temple of the Frescos features an ancient mural representing the Mayan’s belief of the world of the dead, the living, and their creator. To learn more about the history, official guides can be found by the entrance and can show you around the Tulum ruins for around 600 Mexican pesos (approximately $34 USD.).
To fully appreciate Tulum and its ruins, consider staying a night or two in town. If short on time, the ruins are still worth a day trip from either Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. You can also go swimming in the stunning turquoise sea by the ruins. So bring your swimsuit, but keep in mind that there are no changing areas by the beach.
Since Tulum doesn’t have its own airport, the best way to arrive by air is to fly into Cancun International Airport and take the ADO bus to Playa Del Carmen to transfer to another bus to Tulum, which can take 2 to 3.5 hours.
There are two bus stops in Tulum-- downtown Tulum and Tulum ruins. Be sure to check which stop you need to get off at and confirm that your bus goes to that stop since not all buses go to both.
Another option is to use the colectivos, which are small vans for shared transportation. The colectivos will wait until filled with passengers before taking off on its route, and will drop off passengers at each of their requested destinations along the way.. They are located near the downtown Cancun bus station. This travel option is slightly cheaper than the bus, but keep mind there is less room for luggage. Similar to the bus option, you will have to stop in Playa Del Carmen to transfer to another colectivo to continue to Tulum.
Once you arrive in Tulum, taxis are readily available for travel within the city. You can also rent bikes in Tulum, which are easy to come by as the city prides itself in being eco-friendly.
All beaches in Mexico are public, but not always easily accessible. Look for beach clubs for access to parking and amenities.