Are you looking for the white sandy shores and shimmering blue seas of a Caribbean vacation without the crowds and chaos of Cancun? Tulum vacations in Tulum Beach, Mexico are the answer! With Tulum vacation rentals, the laid-back tropical getaway of your dreams is attainable for less money than you’d spend on a hotel room. Check out the suggestions in this Tulum Travel Guide for a relaxing Tulum Beach Mexico vacation framed by Mayan history and not yet marred by greedy high rise culture. Bienvenidos a paradise.

Tulum vacations offer so much, we may have missed something in our Tulum Travel Guide. If so, please tell us!

What to Do in Tulum

tulum beach

Lounge on Sugary Sands

For stunning tropical beach scenery, you can’t get better than Tulum Beach, Mexico, just south of the ruins. Soft, white, limestone shores melt into glittering ocean in shades of aquamarine and sapphire, palm trees rustle in salty breezes, waves lap the sand, and the sun shines like a jewel. It’s like a dream or a postcard, but Tulum Beach, Mexico is real.

Boca Paila beach is missing the swarms of young, loud co-eds at Cancun, so spread out and bask in the quiet. Sunbathe, read a book, or complete that Sudoku puzzle. You can also swim, snorkel, or simply relax and marvel at the beauty of Tulum Beach, Mexico. Bring the family and fly a kite or create sand castles to mirror the ancient ruins on the cliffs above. You can even rent a cabana complete with umbrella and lounge chairs or beds. Tulum vacations are tailor-made for beach lovers. Viva Tulum Beach, Mexico!

Swim in Cenotes

Swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving in cenotes, deep sinkholes in limestone, is a once in a lifetime adventure. Open cenotes look like good swimming holes and sometimes have a rope tied across so weaker swimmers have a safety line. For more adventurous travelers, explore inside the caves that housed a network of underground rivers that brought fresh water to the Mayans just inland from Tulum Beach, Mexico. View stalactites, stalagmites, and plenty of fish up close. Favorite cenotes close to Tulum vacation rentals include Dos Ojos and Gran Cenote. All Tulum vacations should take advantage of the opportunity to swim in these unique geological wonders.

Yoga on the beach, pampering spa treatments, kayaking in freshwater lagoons, bird watching, hiking, and watching a Flamenco show at Charlie’s Restaurant are just a few more of the activities available not far from Tulum vacation rentals.

Back to top

What to See in Tulum

tulum ruinsTulum vacations provide easy access to one of the most popular cultural sites in the Mayan Riviera. The must-see Tulum ruins are perched atop a bluff overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean and the Tulum Beach, Mexico below, which was an important port for ancient Mayans. Wander the grounds of this walled city alone or with a tour group to see temples with frescoes, the “castle,” and the “lighthouse.” Get there early and you’ll likely see iguanas scattered across the pathways, too. The Tulum ruins are relatively small, so older and younger travelers can easily walk the grounds. Plus, you’ll still have time after viewing the ancient structures for additional family fun. Take the staircase down to the beach to cool off or picnic and imagine what life was like for the early people who lived here. There is also a craft market and performing Mayan pole flyers close to the ruins.

If you can’t get enough ancient culture, Tulum vacations offer close proximity to even more Mayan history. Chichen Itza, the big daddy of Mayan ruins, is a few hours away from Tulum vacation rentals. Coba, the oldest of the Mayan Riviera ruins, is even closer, with a site that spans dozens of square miles, and features small Mayan houses and local people with goods for sale.

Back to top

Where to Shop and Eat in Tulum

tulum restaurants

Posada Margherita

There are several choices for Italian food close to Tulum vacation rentals, but tourists and locals agree on the best: beachfront Posada Margherita. Fish cooked in sea water and fresh pastas, including the to-die-for seafood pasta, are raved about, as are the service and romantic atmosphere. The chef is known as the Pasta Nazi, so trust his judgment and don’t try to customize your dish. Get there early or make reservations, and head for a spot on the deck for great ocean views. Share tiramisu with your date before heading back to your Tulum vacation rental. For cheaper Italian fare that’s homey and yummy, try Trattoria Del Mar.

Mexican Delights

Ana y Jose features Mexican food influenced by Mayan flavors and egg dishes that will wake you up right and Ocho Tulum has highly reviewed ceviche and fresh guacamole; both offer beautiful views of Tulum Beach, Mexico.

For down-home Mexican cooking, head to El Tacoqueto. There is no menu, so if your Spanish is rusty, the cooks will show you the pots of food in the kitchen and you can just point. This is where the locals eat, so be sure to check out this hole in the wall with mouthwatering food for cheap—by far Tulum’s best culinary value. Stews are their specialty, and aguas frescas or cervezas round out your meal. Taco carts that spring up around town at dinnertime are another good place to scarf some traditional Mexican eats.

Shopping

Tulum pueblo is lined with shops and stalls that carry beach gear and knickknacks like threaded bracelets and coconut pendant lights, as well as pottery. A San Francisco supermarket is at the north end of the city, which has a deli as well as other necessities you can bring home to cook your own dinner in your Tulum vacation rental.

Back to top

When to Visit Tulum

The tropical locale of Tulum vacations makes it desirable year round with average highs in the mid-80s and almost 250 days of sunshine each year. December through April is high season, which translates into higher prices, but the peaks are spring break and Christmas, so avoid those times or search Tulum vacation rentals for deals. September and October can offer lower prices, but also the possibility for more rain.

If you want to celebrate Mexican culture, visit during one of their holidays, such as the Dias De Los Muertos in the fall, Cinco de Mayo, or September 16, Mexican Independence Day, which is especially festive near Tulum vacation rentals.

Back to top

What to Bring to Tulum

Tulum vacation rentals usually provide most of what you’ll need. Beach towels and gear, basic cookware and pantry staples, and linens are often included, but check your listing for confirmation. Bring good walking shoes if you’re planning to go to the ruins, and sunscreen and mosquito repellant are recommended for itch-free Tulum vacations. You may also want to bring a Spanish phrasebook, but hola, gracias, and más cerveza, por favor might be enough for some Tulum vacations.

Back to top

Local Services in Tulum

Tulum vacations may feel like an escape, but services aren’t lacking. In fact, customer service is part of the business philosophy so you can expect to be treated well at restaurants and shops, and by your Tulum vacation rental owners.

Some of the best services are the tour guides, most especially Edventure Tours, which offers personalized service for reasonable prices. These guys know the area and will take you to lagoons, cenotes, and the ruins. For other tour guides and companies, visit Tulum’s tourist office near the baseball fields in Tulum pueblo.

Back to top

What to Know About Tulum

Traveling to a foreign country can have special requirements, but with Tulum vacations, everything is a breeze. You don’t need a visa or vaccinations, many people speak English, and many businesses accept US dollars, though the official currency is the peso. You should feel safe during your Tulum vacation but use common sense and don’t leave valuables in the car when you go to the beach, keep your wallet and purse close to your body, and be aware of your surroundings. Be sure to drink bottled water, too! The tap water may be safe in some Tulum vacation rentals, but you don’t want to be sorry.

Back to top

Getting to Tulum

Tulum vacation rentals are about two hours south of Cancun International Airport. Air conditioned shuttles are available, or you can choose to rent a car.

If you plan to spend most of your time relaxing at your Tulum vacation rental, a car may not be necessary. But it is sometimes easier not to rely on the inconsistent taxis. A car can make Tulum vacations more flexible, and a convertible will make the coastal landscape even more breathtaking.

Back to top

Why Tulum vacation rentals?

Tulum vacations are supposed to be easy-going and, with Tulum vacation rentals, your accommodations will run smoothly. Families will rejoice in multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities such as private wrap-around balconies, ceiling fans, sea vistas, and even a masseuse who makes house calls. Drift off to sleep with a wave and palm tree symphony and wake up to pelicans diving for fish outside your panoramic windows. Tulum Beach, Mexico is no place to pass up beachfront property, and with Tulum vacation rentals, you can actually afford it.

Back to top