Ready for a remarkable day trip to Tulum from Cancun? Our travel guide provides you with all the info that is needed in order to plan your perfect journey. From its captivating, Bohemian-esque atmosphere and natural wonders like coral barriers or crystal beaches, to the stunning cenotes and luxury resorts, there are plenty of reasons why this destination on the Riviera Maya has become so sought after by both families and backpackers alike! Besides it’s incredible views, visitors can also enjoy visiting Mayan ruins perched atop cliffs as well as beach clubs across town.
If you’re looking for an incredible day-trip from Cancun, Tulum is the perfect choice. Not only does it offer stunning views of Mexico‘s coastline and spectacular cenotes to explore, but this guide will help make your visit even more unforgettable. Plan ahead to ensure that you get the most out of your trip – don’t miss out on experiencing one of Riviera Maya’s gems!
Day Trips from Cancun to Tulum
To ensure you don’t miss a single thing, your journey to Tulum from Cancun should begin at the break of dawn. Here, you can embark on an unforgettable adventure and discover ancient artifacts, stunning beaches, and even secret cenotes! You definitely won’t want to miss these once-in-a-lifetime experiences that only Tulum has to offer.
1. Visit the Tulum Ruins
Perched atop a cliff with the Caribbean Sea as its backdrop, the awe-inspiring Tulum Ruins are unarguably one of the most significant points of interest in town. Constructed between 1200 and 1400 CE, this archaeological site was named after Mayan word Zama which translates to Place of the Dawning Sun – aptly reflecting it’s eastward orientation. An important part of regional trade routes at that time, Tulum Ruins were a bustling city long ago.
The settlement flaunts various pyramids and temples, a regal palace, as well as an observatory– all of which are still standing behind limestone walls that were established to protect against invasions. It’s an immensely captivating site to explore (and take pictures for the ‘gram!), followed by a dip in the serene beach nestled below these archaic Mayan ruins. A perfect day for couples, families and solo travelers.
Opening Hours: Daily 8 AM to 4 PM
Entrance Fee: 85 Pesos ($4)
2. Have Lunch at Tulum Beach
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience with an unparalleled view, Tulum Beach has just what you need with some of the best restaurants in Mexico. At Posada Margherita, the Mediterranean ambiance perfectly frames its mouth-watering Italian fare – like homemade pastas in scrumptious sauces and freshly caught seafood dishes – as well as their famous oven-baked pizzas! Cap off your meal with one of the bar’s signature Mezcal cocktails to truly make it memorable. Tulum also has some of the best and most authentic tacos in all of Mexico.
3. Relax at One of Tulum Beaches
Tulum has some of the best beaches in Mexico. Playa Ruinas is an exquisite pearl awaiting to be discovered. Located right beneath the Tulum Ruins, it can only be reached by a wooden ladder perched atop of the cliff! It’s quite small so you won’t find loungers or picnic tables; however, its pristine beauty makes up for that entirely – plus you get to admire the pyramids from such a unique perspective while taking a dip in the sea! Visit and immerse yourself into this heavenly spot after exploring around Tulum Ruins.
Playa Paraiso, or Paradise Beach in English, is the perfect name for this place. Located in Northern Tulum, it has everything you need to make your beach day a relaxing one! Renting sun loungers and umbrellas are available on site so that you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea. If you’re looking for an extra level of luxury during your visit, there are also spa services nearby for added relaxation.
Playa Las Palmas is a breathtakingly beautiful beach in Tulum that should not be missed! Although it doesn’t have some of the amenities as other beaches, there are plenty of inexpensive eateries nearby. Plus, its wide shoreline and pristine conditions make this spot an ideal location to relax under your own towel or chair. If you’re looking for something a bit more luxurious with all the bells and whistles included, then I highly suggest visiting one of these well-renowned beach clubs around town – they offer everything you need for truly unwinding day out!
Situated in South Tulum Beach, Papaya Playa Project is a breathtaking beach club. It provides an array of amenities for your pleasure and convenience; from palapas with ocean views to bars and restaurants that serve mouth-watering meals. Sunbeds provide the ideal spot to relax while you take in the beauty of this paradise or enjoy a performance at the semi-amphitheater!
4. Swim in the Best Tulum Cenotes
If you ask us, cenotes are the epitome of Tulum‘s beauty. These incredible natural sinkholes come in various forms and offer a perfect way to refresh yourself after sightseeing or take gorgeous pictures! Below we listed some of our favorite cenotes that should absolutely not be missed.
If you’re looking for the crème de la crème of cenotes in Tulum, look no further than Cenote Dos Ojos. Its translating name, two eyes, is derived from its dual pools connected by an underground passageway and offer a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Whether it’s sunbathing on its terrace or exploring its depths below all that crystal-clear water – this cenote is certain to leave you wanting more!
Cenote Calavera drawn its moniker from its striking resemblance to a skull when viewed from the sky. Don’t let that scare you away though, because it’s simply breathtaking! In addition, this cenote is connected to the largest cave system on earth. To enter, one must descend down a ladder…or make an even more thrilling entrance by cliff-jumping if they choose!
Gran Cenote is an ideal destination for families – there are shallow spots to keep the kids safe and plenty of snorkeling opportunities. Plus, if you‘re fortunate enough, you might even spot some turtles! If your travels don’t include a car, not to worry- biking from Tulum is easy peasy!
If you’re visiting Cancun and Tulum, it would be a grave mistake to miss out on the captivating cenotes! Whether you decide to go for one or more, they are an absolute must-include in your itinerary. Although there is so much to see and experience in Tulum that could keep you occupied for days – if time permits only a day trip from Cancun then I highly (highly!!) recommend this course of action instead. With the help of this guide, I hope your journey will turn into an unforgettable memory! Enjoy!
If you’d like to explore Tulum without any stress, the best choice is to take a tour from Cancun. From your hotel, all of your activities and transfers will be taken care of for you – plus, it’s an amazing way to spend an entire day! Here are our top tours that guarantee a memorable time in Tulum.
– Unwind and explore on this exciting Cancun to Tulum Day Tour! You’ll get the chance to visit Mayan ruins and snorkel in crystal-clear waters. In addition, you can relax in a cenote or underground caves with no worries–a delicious buffet lunch is included! This tour truly offers it all; don’t miss out on your perfect day of adventure and relaxation.
– Embark on a full day, action-packed adventure in the Mexican jungle with the Cancun Jungle Tour. You’ll experience an adrenaline rush as you zip line and rappel through two cenotes, explore the fascinating ruins of Tulum, hike deep into the untamed jungles and visit an ancient Maya community – all in one day! An unforgettable journey awaits you; don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity!
– Discover the epic wonders of Tulum on this half-day tour from Cancun. Follow your experienced guide through the ancient Mayan ruins and take a dip in two different refreshing cenotes! Explore these natural marvels that are steeped in thousands of years of history, and enjoy an unforgettable experience.
– Experience a day of exploration on this unforgettable private Tulum Ruins Tour from Cancun! Discover the awe-inspiring Mayan ruins with an experienced guide and delve deep into Kantun-Chi park’s underground cave. And, you don’t have to worry about lunch as a buffet meal is included in the package.
How to get from Cancun to Tulum
We have a detailed guide on how to get from Cancun to Tulum. In brief, you have the following options:
For those looking for additional freedom and mobility, renting a car is an excellent option with plenty of rental services in Cancun. The Highway 307 drive to Tulum runs smoothly and takes no longer than 1.5 hours (unless there’s heavy traffic). To secure the best value, I typically compare prices on RentalCars – the search box at the bottom provides you with quick quotations!
When renting a car in Mexico, it’s essential to be aware of potential scams. Don’t pay for anything that isn’t part of the actual rental agreement and refuse any unnecessary insurance offers. To avoid charges for damages you didn’t cause, take pictures of your vehicle before leaving the lot so there can be no dispute upon return.
The final option is to take a taxi, although they can be very pricey in Tulum. If you require transfers over the course of your day, it could be more cost-effective to select a private driver instead; that way, you will know exactly how much money it’ll cost for the duration of your trip and won’t have any hidden surprises! At current rates, traveling from Cancun Downtown to Tulum Town would set back approximately $120 while an excursion from the Hotel Zone may incur further costs.
Private Driver for the Day
If you’re looking for a stress-free way to explore Tulum, then nothing beats booking your own private driver. You’ll have complete autonomy over the itinerary and will be able to take advantage of transfers in a modern, air-conditioned car. A chauffeur is even better than having your own vehicle as there’s no need to worry about driving! The service offers an option of 6 hours or 12 hours with your personal driver at hand – so now all that stands between you and adventure are those keys!
For an economical journey, take the bus from Tulum to Cancun! The ADO station is located in Calle Pino, SM23, MZ56 in Downtown Cancun. Tickets are reasonably priced at approximately $17 and buses run throughout the day. If you’re staying in the Hotel Zone of Cancun then catch a local R1 bus bound for downtown; once there look for your connection to Tulum where I highly recommend starting as this trip offers beautiful sights along with history.
If you’re looking to explore Mexico on a budget, colectivos are your go-to method of transportation! These shared shuttles travel between cities and towns and make frequent stops along the way. Plus, they offer an affordable means for travelers who want to take a day trip from Cancun to Tulum. Even though there are no direct colectivos between these two locations, it is easy enough: first catch one from downtown Cancun to Playa del Carmen – then switch over another that will get you straight into Tulum with ease!
Just opposite the ADO bus station in Cancun Downtown lies the colectivo stop. Though tickets fluctuate, you can expect to pay about 100 Pesos ($5) for your journey. Furthermore, if you wish travel from any of the Mayan ruins to Tulum Town once your exploration is complete, look no further than this convenient local transport option!
What is the best day trip to Tulum from Cancun?
In our opinion visiting a Cenote in Tulum is the best experience and day trip from Cancun to Tulum.
How far is Tulum from Cancun?
Cancun is a mere 81 miles (130 km) away from the vibrant paradise of Tulum.
How long is the ride from Cancun to Tulum?
A scenic drive from Cancun to Tulum is estimated at one and a half hours, however heavy traffic can extend the trip closer to two.
With only a day to explore Tulum, make sure you don’t miss out on the incredible Tulum Ruins, stunning beaches, and one of its renowned cenotes for an unforgettable experience!
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
I recommend these travel resources for Mexico that I personally use:
🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and Booking.com consistently have the best deals on hotels and resorts in Mexico. If you prefer to stay at a vacation rental, check VRBO that is usually cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!
✈️ Flights: To find the best flight deals to Mexico, I always use Kayak. Remember to subscribe to their price alerts for the travel dates you want. Another great alternative for flight deals is Expedia.
🚗 Rental Cars: I always use and highly recommend Discover Cars because it allows me to compare several car rental companies and view ratings on various factors such as overall value, pick-up procedure, agent efficiency, car condition, and total time taken.
🚙 CancunAirport Transportation: For the fastest and easiest way to travel, I suggest arranging a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation. Honestly, no better way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort.
🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.
🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.
📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.
☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Remember to include a good sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun. I always use and suggest Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is vegan, reef-friendly, and cruelty-free.
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