Best Day Trips from Tulum

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11 Amazing Day Trips, Excursions and Tours from Tulum

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Ready for an unforgettable day trip from Tulum?  Climb ancient pyramids, marvel at pink lakes and take a dip with turtles – these are only some of the amazing experiences you’ll have while discovering 11 unmissable excursions just outside of Tulum. 

Tulum is one of the prime spots in Riviera Maya, offering a relaxed aesthetic that captivates both solo travelers and families. Alongside its laid-back atmosphere, it’s home to amazing natural sites as well – so don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!

Once you’ve embarked on your journey to the stunning and breathtaking coast, remember to set aside time for unique adventures beyond urban areas. In Tulum, there are vibrant inland towns filled with culture waiting just around the corner. You can also explore hidden beaches, stunning eco-resorts, discover ancient ruins in Mayan civilization, experience a jungle escape or even bask in freshwater lagoons! Don’t know where to start? This post will provide all of the details on how you can make each day trip from Tulum unforgettable, whether it’s budget-friendly activities or rare opportunities.


🇲🇽 Mexico Travel Resources We Use:



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11 Amazing Day Trips from Tulum, Mexico

With its ideal location, Tulum is the perfect jumping-off point for any adventure seeker’s explorations of Mexico’s sights, nature and culture. Whether you choose to rent a car, use public transportation or book a taxi tour – Tulum promises endless things to do and opportunities to discover what this area has in store!

Best Day trips from Tulum : Cenote Calavera
Best Day trips from Tulum : Cenote Calavera

1. Swim in an Ancient Cenote

Cenotes, one of the most iconic Tulum attractions, can appear as shallow sinkholes from above ground – however, upon exploration they present all sorts of subterranean chambers and remarkable rock formations for you to discover.

Whether you are an experienced swimmer or would rather take a leisurely dip, there is a cenote to suit your needs—from natural ponds in the open air to subterranean lakes. Across this part of Mexico, you’ll find plenty of accessible sinkholes and cenotes perfect for exploring on-foot or spending all day at one! Popular cenotes close to Tulum include Cenote Calavera, Cenote Dos Ojos, and Gran Cenote — each offering unique experiences that will make your journey unforgettable.

For you to truly experience the wonder of cenotes, such as the breathtaking bat cave at Cenote Dos Ojos, then a guided tour is practically essential. Many tours provide all that you need for snorkeling – from headgear and wetsuits to experienced guides and transport! Depending on which cenote you choose however, reaching it can be done with your own car or by hopping onto one of the many operator’s vehicles available.

Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid
Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid

2. Chichen Itza Tour from Tulum

Visiting the ruins of Chichen Itza transports you back to a time when an exquisite city flourished. Strolling around its impressive pyramids, temples and other stone structures, it’s easy to see why this is one of history’s most important sites. The highlight for many visitors has to be the Temple of Kukulkan – a spectacular step pyramid that was voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world! Make sure visiting this incredible destination is at top your bucket list!

For centuries, the temple has been used by Mayans to aid in their astronomical investigations and reflect the importance of astrology among them. Astonishingly, they were able to accurately predict solar eclipses with their superior knowledge. To explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site and discover a deeper understanding into the history of Mayans, opting for a Tulum and Chichen Itza tour is highly recommended! 

Getting to Chichen Itza: If you’re looking to save money on your Chichen Itza tour, the bus is always a cost-efficient option! While most vacationers prefer leaving from Tulum, it’s also possible to rent a car (2 hours away) or take the bus (3 hours away). That way, you can enjoy all of the beautiful sights and sounds that Chichen Itza has to offer without breaking your budget.

Best Day trips from Tulum : Isla Mujeres
Best Day trips from Tulum : Isla Mujeres

3. Visit Isla Mujeres

If you find yourself in Mexico, Isla Mujeres (The Island of Women) is an absolute must-see. It’s conveniently situated just a few miles away from Cancun and makes for an ideal full day getaway from Tulum. The tranquil white sand beaches, pristine turquoise waters, and hospitable locals make this destination one of the best in the Mexican Caribbean!

To make the most of your trip to Isla Mujeres from Tulum, consider driving two hours to Cancun and taking a ferry or joining an exciting catamaran tour. Either way is sure to create a memorable full-day experience!

Sian Ka'an Biosphere
Sian Ka’an Biosphere

4. Visit the stunning Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

If you’re searching for a serene place to explore, void of large crowds and commercial excursions, Sian Ka’an Biosphere is the perfect destination. This nature reserve boasts lagoons with wild dolphins and crocodiles in addition to its colorful coral reefs, sea life, and fascinating wildlife. For those conscious travelers seeking an unforgettable experience unlike any other – take advantage of their personalized tours designed specifically for your needs!

Exploring the reserve independently is an option, but we strongly recommend that you join a guided tour on your Sian Ka’an day trip. There are numerous tours to pick from!

Sian Ka’an Reef Snorkel & Mayan Canal

Immerse yourself in an unforgettable snorkeling experience and explore the captivating tropical waters of some of the region’s best beaches! As you embark upon your tour, be sure to keep a lookout for rare birds searching for fish as well as ancient ruins. Float through winding mangrove canals and marvel at the unique ecosystems beneath you – it will truly be an adventure like no other.

Sian Ka’an Nature Encounter

Take a journey into the past with us as you traverse by boat through the majestic mangrove channel built more than 1000 years ago. Your knowledgeable guide will regale you with stories of this ancient civilization and explain how it has led to such incredible biodiversity today. Book a tour and enjoy breathtaking views of lush vegetation, colorful butterflies fluttering overhead, and perhaps even spot some marine life! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for a peek at one of our famous Mayan temples too!

Sian Ka’an Fly Fishing

For generations, the citizens of Tulum have been honing their fishing skills and relishing in the flyfishing opportunities offered by Sian Ka’an’s saltwater lagoons. This tour is perfect for both amateurs and veterans alike! Fly fishing provides a unique perspective to this gorgeous reserve, allowing you to marvel at its majesty while reeling in snook, tarpon, bonefish or other catches.

Getting to Sian Ka’an from Tulum: If you have leased a car, the most comfortable way to experience Muyil’s inland spectacles – like forests, mangroves and lagoons – is by just taking a 30-minute trip to its entrance. For an aquatic adventure in Punta Allen however, plan ahead and book a tour that provides transport for your marine safari as driving over rocky roads can be hard on rental cars.


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5. Zipline in the Riviera Maya Jungle

Take the plunge and explore the Mayan jungles with Aventuras Mayas! Zip-lining will send you soaring through an incredible canopy of trees, giving you a unique opportunity to observe native wildlife like vibrant birds and small mammals. Let your curiosity lead you on this daring journey into uncharted territories as you leave your comfort zone behind. Experience exotic nature in all its glory – Aventuras Mayas guarantees breath-taking thrills, natural beauty, and unforgettable memories!

Experience a thrilling, personalized adventure with Aventuras Mayas tours! Providing small-group excursions that are eco-friendly and avoid overcrowded sites, you’ll be sure to create everlasting memories as they customize each tour according to your requests. Located only 30 minutes from Tulum, their extensive journeys include swimming with dolphins, exploring underwater cenotes, ATV rides towards ancient ruins – and so much more! So don’t wait any longer – join the Aventuras Mayas team for an unforgettable escapade today.

Experience the true beauty of Riviera Maya at some of its most spectacular resorts. Extend your journey and spend the night to take part in more extended excursions. Getting from Tulum to Aventuras Maya is a breeze, whether you rent a car or jump into an inexpensive cab – it’ll only take around 40 minutes!

Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico
Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel

6. Snorkel in Cozumel

Get ready to be stunned by one of the finest snorkeling spots in the Caribbean, a region already known as paradise beneath the waters. On your day trip to Cozumel, make sure you start early so you can take full advantage of all it has to offer – from mesmerizing snorkeling views during daylight hours and vibrant nightlife with evening sundowners.

Escape to an underwater paradise and explore some of the world’s most exquisite coral reefs while snorkeling in warm, turquoise waters. Discover a plethora of species including curious fish, captivating corals, starfish, manta rays and turtles. Book a tour if you really want to make the most of your day. Rejuvenate on pristine sandy beaches or take a walk through lush jungles before renting a scooter for extra exploration!

Getting to Cozumel: To reach the island of Cozumel, you’ll need to take either a car, taxi or bus from Tulum’s downtown area. This will be followed by a 40-minute ferry ride that can bring you there in an estimated 2 hours one way.

Cancun Hotel Zone
Cancun Hotel Zone

7. Plan a Day Trip to Cancun

Cancun is a popular destination for holidaymakers seeking to bask in the sun and feel the warmth of its white-sand beaches. However, there are also plenty of wonderful activities you can engage in around this beautiful place.

For instance, if you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience with friends or family, try visiting one of the many incredible restaurants near the beach such as Thai Lounge – where you can enjoy your meal from inside a traditional overwater bungalow while admiring their resident crocodile! You won’t regret it.

Make the most of your day at the beach by exploring its waters! Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is an enjoyable activity that almost anyone can partake in. For a guided experience, book a lesson with one of our knowledgeable locals or rent out a board and venture off on your own for some fun in the sun.

Get a feel for the life of Cancun by visiting downtown. Peruse through Mercado 28 and pick up some remarkable pottery, crafted items, as well as souvenirs to remind you of your trip! The city’s must-see Parque Las Palapas features food stalls and lively music during weekends – it’s an ideal spot that locals frequent too.

Getting from Tulum to Cancun: Travelling from Tulum to Cancun is a cinch, thanks to the highway that seamlessly links both towns. An affordable alternative would be catching either a taxi or the public bus (if you haven’t hired a car). Do bear in mind though, as taxis can get quite pricey given the long ride. Before boarding your bus into Cancun, it’d be wise to examine its timetable so you won’t miss out on Tulum’s last departure back home. After all, with such an exciting and vibrant nightlife scene waiting for you at Cancun – why not soak up every moment of it?

Coba Mayan Ruins
Coba Mayan Ruins

8. Visit Cobá and Climb the Pyramid Stairs

For those seeking out the mysteries of ancient Mayan history, Cobá is an invaluable treasure. Nestled among lush greenery and towering trees, this city was once a bustling hub for commerce and activity. But perhaps even more remarkable are the breathtaking views from atop Nohoch Mul Pyramid- although it can be quite steep, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes with good grip! Exploring Tulum and its environs will undoubtedly yield undiscovered riches but nothing compares to the intriguing allure of Coba’s past that awaits discovery atop its pyramid.

Besides the climb, you’ll get the chance to explore a Mayan ball court—used for sport yet sometimes resulting in sacrifice for those who didn’t win. Your overall expedition should take around 2.5 hours, but if your thirst for adventure pushes you further, there are bike rentals available! The wide and flat pathways make it suitable even for novice cyclists looking to discover this once-bustling city.

Getting from Tulum to Cobá: There are two main ways to reach the Cobá ruins: renting a car or booking a tour with transportation. The drive is roughly 45 minutes long, and if you don’t have your own vehicle, you can always take an ADO bus instead!

Puerto Vallarta beach walk Mexico
Walking by the beach in Puerto Vallarta
Valladolid Mexico
Valladolid Mexico

9. Experience colonial Mexico in Valladolid

If you’re seeking to experience the cultural and ancient beauty of Tulum, then Valladolid is certainly a must-visit! Located within the Yucatán Peninsula, this picturesque town boasts an astounding 70 miles from its neighboring city. Famed for its conserved Spanish colonial remains from 1543, it’s sure to be a pleasant change away from bustling metropolises – small yet full of life in all its colorful glory. From marvelous monuments built by Spain’s conquerors centuries ago to quaint restaurants with delightful local cuisine; there truly is something special about Valladolid for any explorer passing through Mexico.

Immerse yourself in history and beauty as you explore the magnificent baroque architecture of The Cathedral of San Gervacio, rebuilt back in 1706 following its prior destruction, and marvel at the 16th century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena with ornate wooden altarpieces. Furthermore, make sure to take a dip into one or more of Yucatan’s stunning cenotes such as Cenote Zaci which is within walking distance from downtown. Each cenote offers an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for years to come!

Sea Turtles Akumal
Sea Turtles Akumal

10. Swim with the sea turtles in Akumal

Akumal is a stunning coastal town well-known for its namesake beach. With white sand, a coral reef, and tranquil waters brimming with marine life, it’s no wonder why so many people flock here to experience the beauty of nature up close! Not only are there plenty of water sport activities like snorkeling and diving available – but you can also take part in one of this area’s most unique attractions: swimming with sea turtles in their natural habitat! You’ll find these creatures curiously unbothered by human presence as they swim near the shoreline. Come see what all the hype is about at Akumal Beach!

Your day trip to Akumal is not just about the picturesque watersports and swimming with sea turtles, it’s so much more! With plenty of caves and caverns to explore as well as diverse restaurants offering unique tastes on its menu – there really can be something for everyone in this vibrant town. Furthermore, you don’t want to miss out on taking a snorkeling expedition at Caleta Yal Ku where nature thrives and flourishes right before your eyes! Not only that but Akumal also has some of the best beaches, bars, restaurants AND wedding spots around– making it an absolute must-visit destination located less than 20 miles away from Tulum.

Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen Beach

11. Relax in Playa del Carmen

If you’re on the fence about whether to stay in Playa del Carmen or Tulum, know that it doesn’t have to be an ultimatum. You can visit both with a day trip from Tulum! Quintana Roo State’s most chaotic city is bustling with Mexican culture, boasting some of the Caribbean coast’s finest beaches and its renowned Quinta Avenida – home to exquisite shops, souvenir stores, bars and restaurants for your full-day entertainment pleasure. Ultimately there’s something uniquely special waiting for you at Playa del Carmen – don’t miss out!

Just 40 miles away from Tulum lies a palm-fringed beach that will take your breath away. Once just a fishing village, Playa del Carmen is now bursting with cosmopolitan vibes and amenities to suit any taste – be it an idyllic day of relaxation or some retail therapy! Don’t miss out on this chance for the perfect day trip.

Best Tours from Tulum

The Best Tulum Tours You Shouldn’t Miss

Discovering the must-see attractions at a new destination can be overwhelming, particularly when you’re pressed for time. That’s why taking a tour is by far the most efficient way to explore! With us, finding the best Tulum tours has never been simpler – let us show you around and make your first visit even more special!

Tours are a great way to get around and explore Tulum, as they offer free pick-ups from your hotel with everything already planned for you. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to meet other adventurers! The area near Tulum has plenty of hidden gems waiting for tourists – ancient Mayan ruins that take you back in time, stunning cenotes where you can cool off after a long day of exploring and so much more!

If the thought of planning your own Tulum tour seems daunting, don’t worry! There are plenty of organized tours available to make seeing all the attractions of this beautiful city a breeze. Simply book one and get ready for an unforgettable experience – we’ve got you covered with our favorite recommendations so that you can relax and enjoy every moment!


What are the best places for day trips in Tulum?

If you’re looking for the ultimate Tulum experience, then look no further! Here are some of our favorite excursions in and around Tulum:

Exploring the magnificent Cenotes

Visiting Chichen Itza—one of Mexico’s most iconic archaeological sites;

Enjoying the stunning Isla Mujeres with its unforgettable beaches and crystal blue waters;

Taking a trip to Sian Ka’an where you can witness diverse wildlife amidst lush jungles and lagoons;and last but not least,

Visiting Xcaret—a paradise packed full of attractions.

Can you go to Chichen Itza from Tulum on a day trip?

Undoubtedly, I would highly recommend taking a tour that includes notable sites such as Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote and Valladolid. Furthermore, for those who may be interested in learning about the most convenient ways to get from Tulum to Chichen Itza in particular I have written an entire blog post on this topic!

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

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🏨 Hotels: I have found that Expedia and 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.