The Ultimate Tulum Itinerary: Spending 3, 4 or 5 Days in Tulum, Mexico
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Looking for the ideal Tulum Itinerary? Fear not, I got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover all of the greatest activities to do in Tulum, Mexico whether it be a 3 day trip or even more. As well as my daily itineraries I’ve included useful tips on when is best to visit Tulum and where to stay while there. Get ready – your adventure awaits!
Escape to Tulum, a vibrant Mexican getaway located on the Yucatán Peninsula. Previously walled-up as a Maya city, it now offers an eclectic bohemian atmosphere with inviting cenotes featuring crystal-clear waters and lush jungles. And when night falls, be sure to check out its pulsating nightlife scene!
When planning a journey to Tulum, Mexico, it’s essential to be aware that this destination offers two complementary areas: Playa and Pueblo. The long sandy strip of beaches is located in Playa and the main town can be found in the area known as Pueblo. To provide you with the opportunity to experience both worlds during your visit we’ve created an itinerary that covers activities for each section of Tulum. Here are all the details you need when scheduling a trip!
Deciding which of Tulum’s many attractions to visit can be quite an overwhelming task, as you want to make sure that your itinerary is planned perfectly so you don’t miss out. Worry not if you’re unfamiliar with the area though – I’m here for you!
Why is Tulum so Popular?
Tulum, a paradise on Mexico’s Riviera Maya coastline, is an idyllic coastal town that has quickly become the go-to destination for globetrotters, celebrities, influencers and digital nomads. From its dreamy white sand beaches to its turquoise waters; this tropical wonderland will take your breath away with each brush of Caribbean wind against your skin. Come experience a little piece of heaven in Tulum – you won’t regret it!
Whether you are seeking a healthier option to the wild nightlife of Cancun, or avoiding tourist traps in Playa del Carmen, Tulum is certainly your go-to destination. It’s easy to understand why so many people flock here; it boasts mesmerizing sights of both jungle and sea due to its tranquil landscape. There are plenty of yoga classes, retreats and luxury resorts that cater to all kinds of travelers who want a balance between relaxation and adventure.
Moreover, there is still an abundance of exciting activities such as surfing for those looking for more thrill! As they say – if you’re looking for paradise on earth then look no further than Tulum!
How Many Days Should You Stay in Tulum?
In my opinion, even eternity isn’t a sufficient amount of time to discover Tulum. How much you want to experience in this beach-jungle paradise and your financial resources will ultimately decide the length of your stay. Many tourists travel here for simply one day, however I don’t believe that’s enough time – too many attractions remain overlooked with such an itinerary! Therefore if possible extend it as long as needed so that you can explore all that Tulum has to offer.
Whether you have a day or 36 hours to explore Tulum, I’d suggest spending at least three days here. These few days will give you plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in the culture and nightlife that make Tulum so special, as well as be able to visit some of its renowned cenotes, ruins, and beaches.
Once there – trust me! -you won’t want to leave anytime soon. If your budget allows for it though, try extending your stay up until five days or longer for an even more comprehensive escape; this extra time gives you all the chance needed not only discover hidden gems off-the-beaten path but also take advantage of one-day trips located near Tulum itself.
Where to Stay In Tulum, Mexico?
Tulum, a town divided into two distinct parts, offers visitors an inspiring selection of accommodations. Beach lovers can choose from the many luxury beachside hotels available that range from all-inclusive resorts to boutique places. Whether you’re looking to revel in the glistening waters or soak up some sun, these beach hotels offer everything needed for your dream getaway!
Struggling to find the perfect place to stay in Tulum that fits your budget? Look no further as downtown Tulum offers plenty of options for you. Moreover, these hotels are just steps away from scrumptious Mexican eateries and bars. Unsure if this is the best choice for you? Check out my comprehensive guide on where to stay in Tulum, including a list of outstanding recommended resorts and hotels!
What is the Best Time to Visit Tulum, Mexico?
If you’re looking for a great time to visit Tulum, Mexico, the best time is between November and December. You’ll be pleased with the stunning sunny daytime temperatures and cool nights accompanied by light breezes – all without any pesky rainfall! Plus, you won’t have to worry about huge crowds or inflated prices during this season as it’s not peak tourist season. However if high numbers of people aren’t an issue for you (and neither are expensive accommodation fees), then January through April would also make a delightful getaway; these winter months will certainly keep your heart warm under their lovely weather conditions. So why wait? It’s always ‘Tulum’ o’clock somewhere!
If saving money and bypassing hordes of tourists is your goal, plan to go between May and September. Just brace yourself for extreme heat, high humidity levels, and a lot of rainfall. October should be avoided at all costs since it’s the peak hurricane season in Tulum – with torrential downpours that can last days on end, as well as potential tropical storms!
3 Days in Tulum Itinerary
Are you ready to embark on an incredible 3-day journey in Tulum? My ultimate travel guide will take you through the most scenic beaches, awe-inspiring cenotes, and captivating archaeological sites that provide a glimpse into this town’s rich history. Let your discovery of Tulum begin!
Day 1: Relax at the Beach
After arriving in Tulum from the US, you’re probably feeling exhausted. So why not make the most of what remains of your day and enjoy being pampered at a luxury restaurant on Tulum Beach Strip? With its gorgeous views and lively atmosphere, this beach strip is sure to provide an Instagram worthy experience, leaving you with plenty of amazing photos to show off!
On the Tulum strip, you can find a variety of restaurants with their own unique interiors and diverse food selections including healthier options. Whether it’s gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan cuisine that tickles your taste buds – these establishments will have something to suit all dietary requirements. One of our top picks has got to be Raw Love – an organic cafe serving up delicious vegan bowls and hammocks for taking in those post meal siestas! Craving tacos? Taqueria La Eufemia is the place to go offering cheap eats & drinks – what more could you want?!
At night, sip on a cocktail from Coco Tulum and admire the mesmerizing sunset from one of their porch swings facing the Caribbean Sea. Alternatively, you can also marvel at the stunning twilight views from one of Kin Toh’s luxurious rooftop nests.
Visiting Tulum’s Beach Clubs
When you’re ready to take in the night, why not try one of Tulum’s renowned beach clubs? These private beaches provide exclusive access right outside select hotels and some of the best recommended options include:
Papaya Playa Project
But don’t let the night linger for too long. It’s crucial to hit the hay early so you can be energized and ready for tomorrow’s experiences! Dont forget to read our detailed guide on the Best Beach Clubs in Tulum.
Day 2: Visit Tulum Ruins & Cenotes
On day two, the real excitement starts! Whether you love adventure or are a history enthusiast, Tulum has something for everyone. Swim in four gorgeous cenotes – natural flooded limestone sinkholes that offer an unforgettable experience. Get ready to be mesmerized by its turquoise waters! Afterward, head back To Tulum Pueblo and continue experiencing all that this captivating area has to offer!
Visiting Tulum’s Cenotes
Ready to take the plunge in Tulum’s mystical cenotes? With over 6,000 located throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, it may be hard to choose which ones you want to visit on your brief trip. Make the most of your time and join this tour as we explore four of Tulum’s finest cenotes – promising unparalleled experiences with glorious freshwater! An expedition like no other awaits – uncovering ancient Maya customs while embracing a natural haven found nowhere else!
Start your journey of a lifetime at Naval Cenote, where you can soar across the sky on its zip line and dive into the crystal clear waters beneath. Then make your way to Pirañas Cenote for some more invigorating swimming in its unparalleled natural pool. But hold onto your seatbelts because that’s not all! After an unforgettable experience at Large Cenote Naval with two long zip lines, paddle away through pristine lakes towards the ultimate destination -Cenote Azul-where magic awaits you!
Taking a short jaunt through the jungle from your vessel, Cenote Azul is an unforgettable cenote that will leave you amazed. Snorkel and explore this mysterious underwater beauty for yourself – it’s certain to be worth every second!
Tulum Town and Its Street Art
After pampering yourself with a freshening up, you are all set to go out and explore Tulum Pueblo for your lunch. With so many restaurant options available in the area, La Hoja Verde is one of the most popular vegetarian/vegan eateries offering delicious outdoor dining experience!
After lunch, discover the history and beauty of downtown Tulum through a bike tour! Rent one from either Ola Bike Tulum or iBike Tulum – biking is an efficient way to travel around town and you can easily stop off at any quaint cafes or shops. If you’re looking for something more unique, take in some amazing street art with your fellow travelers. And as night falls upon us, explore the deliciousness that awaits at Tulum’s famous night market! Don’t forget to save room for dinner afterwards on one of the touristy streets hosting gastropubs and mezcal bars – it’ll be an experience like no other. To truly experience Mexican cuisine in Tulum, visiting the local taco spots in Tulum Center is a must. El Asadero serves up spectacular tacos and quesadillas that will make your taste buds sing with delight while Burrito Amor presents customers with delectable burritos as well as tasty tacos. Whatever you choose to indulge on when it comes to tacos in Tulum, you can rest assured there are plenty of scrumptious options available!
Day 3: Tulum Mayan Ruins and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
With day three in Tulum, you’ll have the opportunity to revel in an action-packed activity that’s within close reach of your destination. You can spend the initial portion exploring Siann Ka’an – a historical landmark situated just 10 minutes south from Tulum Town.
For the optimal experience, get to Mayan Ruins around 8:00-9:00 AM in order to avoid large crowds and finish your journey before lunchtime at Tulum Pueblo.
Visiting Tulum Ruins
Perched atop a stunning seaside cliff, the Tulum Ruins are an awe-inspiring archaeological site that once served as home to 1,600 Maya people. Unlike other ancient sites of its kind, this one is unique in being built directly along the coast! With a castle soaring 25 feet high and overshadows even further the incredible Temple of Frescoes (which unfortunately is closed off nowadays), it’s easy to see why this place has captivated many who have visited before.
To experience the entire site, this private guided tour takes about half a day. Starting early in the morning will not only help you avoid being out in the hottest part of the day, but it’ll also give you an extra layer of protection from sunburns and dehydration – so don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and hat!
Sian Ka’an Lagoon Float
What sets the Muyil Ruins distinctively apart from the Tulum Ruins is its lush forest canopy, situated in Mexico’s Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This scenic backdrop serves to amplify sightseers’ enchanting experience of these majestic ancient ruins.
To guarantee that you don’t get lost in the Sian Ka’an jungle while exploring Muyil Ruins, I recommend reserving a half-day tour. And this isn’t just any ordinary tour; not only will it provide information about the ruins, but also about its lengthy history dating back to 350 BCE and even some of its native plants and animals! Start your exploration by strolling through the ancient Maya civilization’s artifacts. Uncover mysterious stories from an era long past at one of Yucatán Peninsula’s oldest inhabited sites: Muyil!
After exploring the captivating Muyil Ruins, embark on a path to discover an enchanting lagoon. Board one of the boats and take in the breathtaking view as you pass through mangroves. Eventually, you will reach Xlapak: an ancient Maya temple with stunningly preserved ruins that proudly display beautiful facades and various sacred figures including the Rain God.
To return home, consider booking a boat ride or make your journey more memorable by taking the scenic route. Enjoy an hour of rest in the tranquil turquoise waters before collecting all of your belongings and heading back to your hotel. Don’t worry if it’s starting to get dark out; you still have plenty of time for fun!
4 Days in Tulum
If your Tulum trip is only three days, then this guide will help you make the most of it! Take advantage of any extra time at the beach or Hotel Zone if your flight departs in the afternoon or evening. But for those who just can’t get enough of this paradise-like destination and are looking to extend their stay beyond three days – read on to discover even more tips from our travel guide.
Day 4: Coba Mayan Ruins, Majestic Cenotes & Azulik Uh May
Day four is the perfect opportunity to explore Coba, which is merely 40-45 minutes away from Tulum. Begin your journey early so you can beat the crowd and heat before exploring these magnificent ruins! Furthermore, you’ll have access to stunning underground cenotes near the site; there’s also an art museum on your return route where you can make a stop at.
Ancient Coba Ruins
If you’re looking for an adventure, Coba should be your next destination. Here you can immerse yourself in the ancient Mayan city and explore its ruins – even climb a pyramid! The Nohoch Mul Pyramid stands at 137 feet tall, making it the largest Maya pyramid on Yucatán Peninsula and second tallest in all of Mexico. Take your inner Lara Croft with you as you ascend 120 steps to witness spectacular views from the top of this mighty structure. However, climbing up a pyramid isn’t easy work; make sure you keep energy levels high by treating yourself to some delicious local food after exploring Coba! Climb your way to the Nicte Ha restaurant in the car park for an energizing early meal. You can venture through the ruins on foot, or if you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike or hire a chauffeured tricycle pedicab!
After exploring the Coba Ruins, take a short journey to three spectacular cenotes: Multum-Ha, Choo-Ha, and Tankach-Ha. Each offers clear blue waters for you to bask in. Of these three cenote locations, Choo-Ha is especially unique with its offbeat descent; just follow the winding steps until you reach its refreshing depths – perfect for an extended swim!
Are you a food lover seeking an opportunity to connect with Maya culture? Then, this full-day tour is sure to captivate your attention. Climb the pyramid of Coba Ruins and investigate each area with a bilingual guide who will share all its ancient secrets and interesting facts. Furthermore, get ready for an exclusive Yucatecan culinary experience along with cacao, honey, and Mayan chewing gum experiences—the perfect way to end off! Visit one of the nearby cenotes for some cooling refreshment after your day out.
Azulik Uh May
If you have time to spare, why not make a trip over to Azulik Uh May? Located just 30 minutes away from the center of town deep within the jungle, this exhibition showcases some incredible contemporary art pieces and interiors. Don’t miss out on your chance for an unforgettable experience!
5 Days in Tulum
Add an extra day to your journey in Tulum and you can discover all of the delightful hidden gems that rest beyond the more popular tourist attractions. Just fifteen minutes away, Laguna de Kaan Luum is a stellar example of one such secret spot waiting for you to uncover its beauty!
Day 5: Laguna de Kaan Luum and Cenotes
On the fifth day of your Tulum adventure, set out for a journey to explore Laguna de Kaan Luum. Uncover this remarkable lagoon that holds within its depths an incredibly mysterious and beautiful cenote! Take a dive into the rolling waves or simply enjoy some peaceful swimming – there’s no better way to bask in nature than by rippling through these untouched waters. Don’t forget to venture around the nearby cenotes too – more fun awaits you as you uncover each secret pool!
Laguna de Kaan Luum
The lagoon’s shimmering turquoise waters gradually become deeper as you make your way towards the cenote at its center, an inky cobalt pool against which all else appears pale. Dive into the tranquil warmth of the lagoon for a leisurely swim – just be sure to stay away from that still-deeper cenote! Swimming here is prohibited due to strong currents and access can only be gained via advance reservation for scuba diving.
Cenotes Near Laguna de Kaan Luum
If you are searching for a perfect photo opportunity in an open-air cenote, but without all the crowds around, then both Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido near Laguna de Kaan Luum should be your top priority. These two hidden gems offer stunning beauty with a jungle atmosphere at great prices! So don’t miss out on this remarkable experience – capture beautiful memories of these serenely tranquil surroundings while they still remain undiscovered.
5+ Days in Tulum Travel Guide
If you’ve extended your stay in Tulum or planned a longer journey from the beginning, then take advantage of these extra days and embark on some thrilling day trips outside of Tulum! Here’s a list of fun things to do that are still within the Yucatán Peninsula. Make the most out of your vacation with exciting activities for all ages!
If you’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with the dazzling and enchanting cenotes, then here’s a must see list of some more:
Sac Actun which is conveniently located beside Dos Ojos.
Are you an adventure enthusiast? Then a Discovery Dive at the Casa Cenote should be on your bucket list! You’ll get to meet some incredible underwater creatures, such as crabs, lobsters, and barracudas. And if snorkeling or swimming is more your speed, then you’re in luck – both options are available here too.
Valladolid & Chichen Itza
With its delightful colonial architecture, Valladolid is worth a detour if you’re traveling from Tulum to Chichen Itza. Besides indulging in the local cuisine and discovering the interesting sites of this picturesque town, you can also extend your stay for an additional two hours to visit Suytun Cenote, which has become quite popular on Instagram!
Suytun’s undeniable popularity among influencers and travel bloggers is in large part due to its magical platform located in the center of a natural pool, illuminated by beams of light cascading from an opening above. An ethereal atmosphere forms when coupled with the precise positioning of this divinely inspired site. It’s no wonder why it makes for such heavenly photographs!
Spending two hours making the drive to Chichen Itza from Tulum is a journey that pays off! This majestic archaeological site, listed as one of the seven wonders of the world, provides an incredible opportunity to explore and admire one of Mexico’s most impressive cities. With so many activities available in both locations, you can easily make a full day out of this unique experience. Don’t miss your chance to visit Chichen Itza and Valladolid on this extraordinary adventure!
Yoga in Tulum or Tulum Jungle Gym
For yoga enthusiasts looking for the most extraordinary beachfront yoga experience, Tulum is your destination. From Yann Wellness Energy Healing Spa to Dome at Azulik and The Yoga Studio by Holistika to Nomade and Sanara, you can find an array of amazing studios offering a memorable practice!
For those looking for the Ultimate beach workout experience, then we definitely recommend a visit and workout session at the amazing Tulum Jungle Gym right that is right on beach.
Planning a Trip to Tulum
So, now that you’ve discovered my complete guide to Tulum, I’m confident this will assist in planning your journey. Moreover, my advice on when is the perfect time to visit and where should one stay while there could be of great help as well. With countless activities at hand; lush jungles; warm sunshine; crystal clear waters from cenotes – all make Tulum an ideal summer holiday destination! Don’t miss out on a chance for some much-needed fun and relaxation at what can only be described as paradise!
Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?
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🚨 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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