Tulum has become a popular destination for those who want to see a different part of Mexico outside of Cancun, Puerta Vallarta or Mexico City. Located on the coast of the Carribean, Tulum is known for the Mayan Ruins, beautiful beaches and breathtaking views all over the coast.
Established in the 13th century, Tulum, meaning wall, was one of the last cities built by the Mayans who inhabited the area for centuries until the Spanish conquest. Although the majority of Mayans abandoned the area in the 16th century, a few still came and sought shelter in Tulum during the Caste War of Yucatán and some even came by to worship until the 19th century. Today, Tulum offers visitors snorkeling and swimming in caves, discovering ancient ruins, excursions and more. So for those of you who are planning a vacation to this seaside destination, here are some gems to add to your list.
Diving and Swimming at Cenotes
Tulum is known for having the world’s biggest system of caves, however, they are sacred to the Mayans which means many caves are not accessible to tourists except for a few caves. One option is to go diving at Cenote Dos Ojos, or if you’re looking for something even more unique, book a dive tour at Cenote Pet Cemetary. There, you will be able to encounter fossils from animals that are thousands of years old—there are even fossils from mammoths.
What better way to taste local cuisine than in someone’s home, made fresh for you and a few guests. We recommend Rivera’s Kitchen Tulum, which offers up to ten guests a full tasting of Mexican dishes in a beautiful home surrounded by a garden. You will not only be able to help cook and eat homemade dishes but also learn about the culture and spend time with locals. Both alcoholic-based and non-alcoholic drinks are included, all you need to bring are empty stomachs and positive energy!
Exploring the Jungle
Aside from the gorgeous beach, Tulum has a vast jungle and the best way to explore it is by renting a bike. Many may even tell you, getting around Tulum is easiest on a bike. There are numerous paths for you to ride through and explore. You can even bike to a natural reserve called Punta Laguna where wild monkeys and birds from the tropics reside. There are also bike tours you can book that can take you off the beaten path, which will take you on other adventures such as canoeing, zip-lining and spending some time with a native Mayan family.
Seeing Mayan Ruins
Tulum has famous ruins that are extremely popular, but if you’re looking to go somewhere less touristy, there’s Muyil, located fifteen minutes away from Tulum. There, you will be able to see El Castillo, a Mayan pyramid constructed in the 8th century. The pyramid is situated in the jungle and the way to reach it is via a wooden passage. Since you have to walk through the jungle to get to the pyramid, you may encounter wild monkeys on your way. One thing to note is that you don’t have to visit Muyil on a guided tour unless you want to—solo explorers are welcome as well!
Tulum is a gem of a destination in Mexico and has increasingly become popular over the years. From the beaches and ancient ruins to the cultural traditions and cuisine, we hope this guide can help you find activities to make your trip even more memorable.
If this or any other destinations speak to you, we’d love to help you get there in comfort and put some savings in your pocket. Submit a flight request or contact your agent and we’ll find the best dates to travel there!