Best Things to Do in Tulum with Kids
Tulum is a beautiful quiet town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. It is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and majestic cenotes. It’s also popular for its luxurious ecoresorts, excellent restaurants, glamorous social scene, and intense nightlife.
Tulum is a popular family vacation destination for those who want to experience the finest of Mexican culture and nature in a very authentic setup and way. And, yes, Tulum might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of a classic family holiday, as it generally attracts a younger, trendy and affluent crowd.
Nonetheless, Tulum is a fantastic family destination and a tropical paradise with plenty of fun activities for adults and children for a very special and memorable family trip.
How do we know? We’ve been coming to Tulum for over 6 years, first as a couple, then as a family of four.
Here are some of the greatest things to do with your family and kids in Tulum, whether you want to simply relax by the beach or explore everything that Tulum has to offer.
Be warned: there are too many to pick from, but with our help, you will find the greatest ones for you and your family.
Have a fantastic holiday! We hope you and your children have as much fun exploring Tulum as we do!
We know we don’t need to tell you that Tulum’s beaches are some of the very best in the world, known for their crystal-clear waters and soft sandy shores. Take your kids to one of the many public beaches and Beach Clubs in the area.
Some of our favorite beaches for families and kids are Playa Paraiso and Playa Ruinas. Let your kids play in the water, build sandcastles and soak up the sun.
Read our Guide for the Best Beaches in Tulum for Families.
Make the day more interesting by hiring a professional guide to take you on a kayaking tour into the amazing mangrove forest or for some stand-up paddle boarding lessons along tranquil turquoise waters and learn more about the local fauna and flora as you watch the giant iguanas run around, and turtles swim next to you.
The Mayan ruins in Tulum are sitting 12-meter (39-foot) tall cliff on the beautiful beach and turquoise waters of the Caribean. The ruins are located on a, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Our kids will love running around, exploring ruins, and searching for lost treasure.
Visiting the ruins is a great opportunity to immerse in the rich history of the region and learn more about one of the oldest civilizations. Stroll amongst ancient temples and dwellings that were once home to thousands of people. Kids will also love seeing how flora and fauna have reclaimed this area since its abandonment long ago!
We highly recommend taking a guided tour for an immersive and rich experience.
Another great option for some Mayan history is the Muyil Ruins in Tulum.
Cenotes are the majestic jewels of Tulum. A Cenote is a natural swimming hole formed by the collapse of the limestone bedrock of a cave, creating and revealing an underground pool.
They’re a unique and spectacular feature of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and a very popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring what is under the surface.
Here is a guide for our favorite Cenotes in Tulum for families.
These natural wonders provide an amazing opportunity to swim, snorkel, and explore unique rock formations as well as ancient artifacts and fossils. Kids will also love discovering small creatures, such as crabs and frogs, that live in these hidden places. Some cenotes even offer zip-lining adventures for those who are feeling extra adventurous! Make sure to bring a waterproof camera to explore the many caves and cenotes with the whole family.
Take the family to one of the animal sanctuaries in the area. Here kids can pet llamas, hand-feed alpacas, and have a friendly encounter with a monkey! Apart from being fun and memorable, a visit here can also be a great opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation efforts underway in the area and how fragile the ecosystem of the Yucatan is.
Tulum is home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the whole of the Caribbean. Take your kids out to explore the vibrant coral reefs that are just off the shore and see a variety of colorful fish, turtles, and marine life.
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a tropical paradise and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is located just south of Tulum. It’s a great place for a day trip with the whole family to the natural park. Taker a guided tour to learn more about the diverse, unique, and fragile ecosystem of the Biosphere. You can spot monkeys, crocodiles, and over 300 bird species.
Tulum is a nesting ground for large sea turtles and is home to a number of turtle sanctuaries. Here you can swim with the turtles and learn about the different species of sea turtles that nest on the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula. Our kids love seeing the baby turtles! You can also learn more about the conservation efforts to protect them.
Boat tours are a great way to venture into the crystal-clear waters of the Caribean or explore the absolutely amazing mangrove forest of Tulum.
You can book a boat trip along its coastline and explore some of the best secluded beaches in Mexico, and see interesting sites that your guide will point out. You and your kids will have the chance to see dolphins and sea turtles swimming near the boat and get an opportunity to snorkel in one of the cenotes.
Tulum is a bike-friendly town. Actually, biking is our favorite way to move around Tulum. Taking a guided bike tour is a great way to explore the area with your family. It’s a very fun and active way to see sights and experience the local culture. You and your kids will love the whole experience.
Tulum has a variety of small local markets where you can find unique handmade crafts, clothing, handmade jewelry, and more. Take the whole family out for a trip to the market and let them pick out a souvenir to take home. Tulum Beach has more high-end stores, while the stores in Tulum Town (Pueblo) are more authentic and affordable.
If you like Mexican food, then taking a cooking class with the whole family is a must. It’s one of the most fun activities for the whole family as not only can you learn how to make traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, tamales, and salsa, but you get to taste the food that you have made also.
Kids will love it, and it’s a great way to introduce them to the local culture and cuisine and have fun learning to cook. Plus, imagine the bragging rights they’ll have when they go back to school and tell their friends that they know how to make guacamole from scratch!
Bonus Activity: Finally, no holiday experience can be complete without a bit (or a lot!) of delicious food! Fortunately for hungry travelers, the food in Tulum is epic! From fresh seafood and delicious Poke bowls to authentic Mexican tacos and enchiladas suizas…there is something to satisfy everyone’s appetite in this tropical paradise. So head out to one of the many restaurants in town and enjoy the freshest ingredients cooked by some of Mexico’s best chefs. These are our favorite restaurants in Tulum.
Tulum is an excellent destination for a family vacation. There are plenty of fun and exciting activities to keep you and your kids entertained, from exploring ancient ruins and hitting the beach to snorkeling and diving in crystal-clear waters.
With so many options to choose from, you’ll have a hard time picking just one, so why not do them all? Just make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, and prepare for a trip full of laughter and unforgettable memories.
All told, it should come as no surprise why so many families flock year after year. Tulum truly offers families an unforgettable experience that won’t soon be forgotten!
There is a lot to see and experience in Tulum so you should ideally try to spend 3-5 full days. The three days can give you a taste of Tulum’s rich culture and history, delicious culinary scene, and lively nightlife, and the chance to spend some time at the beach and visit some cenotes and the Mayan ruins.
Five days will give you ample time to relax on the beach and visit the most famous Tulum landmarks, as well as a few lovely eateries and cenotes and visit the spectacular Chichen Itza ruins (set aside a full day) and the lesser-known but equally spectacular Coba ruins (set aside half a day).
The best month to visit Tulum is November as you will experience great weather, fewer crowds and more affordable prices.
Tulum is generally safer than Cancun. It is a small quiet town compared to the vibrant city of Cancun. Both destinations are generally safe for travelers and you should have any safety issues if you follow the rules and exercise some common sense. It is worth noting though that the crime rate is on the rise in Tulum as the rise in tourism has brought an increase in petty thefts also some violent crimes as well.
Read our Tulum safety guide to learn more.
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.
🚙 Cancun Airport 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.