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Best Things to Do in Tulum

This Caribbean coastal town is quickly becoming one of the most sought after beach destinations in all of Mexico! With stunning beaches, the white sand and crystal turquoise waters, you’ll be in paradise. But Tulum has so much more to offer than beautiful beaches. Visit remnants of a civilization, see a beautiful biosphere, and even get your heart racing with exciting water sports! Tulum will be a pleasant surprise which will take your relaxing beach vacation to the next level!

What to Do in Tulum?

Playa Paraiso

Easily one of the best beaches in Tulum, the white sandy beaches, and mesmerizing waters make this the perfect place to relax in the sun. It is highly recommended that you take the time to swim in the calming blue waters, as you can and are encouraged to swim in the beaches of Tulum. You can even try your hand at snorkeling, and discover what kind of sea life is residing at Tulum’s Playa Paraiso. You are able to rent lounge chairs at beach clubs, but the best part about Playa Paraiso is that it is public access, so you can spend the day here without spending a single penny! It’s no wonder Playa Paraiso is one of the best things to do in Tulum. 


The Yucatan Peninsula is filled with cenotes, a cenote is a naturally created pool, where limestone bedrock has fallen through the Earth. Cenotes can be found in caves, or in the open air, either way, they are one of the must do things in Tulum. Check out Gran Cenote, Cenote Caracol, or Cenote Dos Ojos, which are some of the most popular cenotes in and around Tulum. There is nothing like swimming in these natural sinkholes, and the relaxing aqua waters make them one of the best things to do in Tulum.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

This biosphere is definitely considered one of the gems of Tulum. With calm waters, pristine beaches, colorful coral reefs, and wildlife all around, a trip here will be discovering the untouched world of the caribbean coast. You can take an eco-friendly tour of the biosphere, which will be just as fun as it is educational. A perfect way to learn about the native flora and fauna, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one of the top things to do in Tulum. 

Rent a Bike

If you will be spending any substantial amount of time in Tulum, a great way to get around the town is by bicycle. With cheap rentals and bike friendly access, you’ll have just as much fun on the journey to your activities, and riding around with the breeze flowing is the perfect way to get from place to place!

What to See in Tulum? 

Tulum Main Square

The main square in Tulum is in the center of town and is a great focal point if you decide to wander the town. There is a huge colorful ‘Tulum’ sign in the town square, that is a great place for a photo op. While it may be touristy, it’s always fun to get that great vacation picture, and here is the place to do it. Then relax around the square while you visit some shops, or get a treat, but the bright colorful sign is what to see in Tulum!

Tulum Ruins

These Mayan ruins may be some of the most unique in Mexico. Their location is absolutely stunning, as these ancient ruins are parched on the side of a cliff that drops down to a beach below. Wander the temples and ancient castles, then take a trip down to the beach below. It is becoming a more popular attraction, so we recommend getting there in the morning for that perfect picture! The stunning Tulum ruins are one of the best things to do in Tulum, and should definitely not be missed!

Tulum Boutiques

A unique aspect of Tulum is the amount of shopping you can get done! There are many small boutiques filled with artisanal gifts, as well as upscale clothing and gifts. Take a walk around town and window shop ‘til you drop, or find the perfect souvenir to take back to your family and friends, you’ll be able to find some unique pieces at the boutiques in Tulum.

Where to Go Out in Tulum?


Tulum’s nightlife scene is slowly growing, with a couple bars to visit, you’ll have a great time uncovering the night scene. Batey is a great place to start, with live music on most nights and eclectic decor, the atmosphere is lively and vibrant. Batey is the perfect place to socialize and enjoy great music with a great drink!


If you’re not too tired from exploring Tulum, head to Santino, where you can dance the night away. In the center of Tulum, this small bar has a tiny, but albeit irresistible dance floor. Bring your dancing shoes and be ready to dance the night away! 

I Scream Bar

A great bar for happy hour drinks and cocktails! A more relaxed yet still energetic atmosphere, I Scream Bar also has great snacks and sweet treats! I Scream Bar is the perfect place to go out in Tulum if you still want to socialize, but don’t want to be out all night. 

How Do I Spend a Day in Tulum?

If you only have one day in Tulum, it is imperative that you visit the ‘must see’ places in Tulum. We recommend starting the day at the Tulum ruins, visiting in the morning is the perfect time because there are less crowds, meaning you can really take your time to look around and take the perfect picture. Next, stop by Playa Paraiso, spend the afternoon at the beach with a picnic lunch, order something from one of the beach bars! Make sure to swim in the beautiful turquoise waters, as you can’t visit Tulum without going for a swim! End your afternoon cooling off in a cenote, another opportunity to have a great swimming experience in one of nature’s swimming pools. Then, head back to Tulum’s center, where you can take a picture with Tulum’s brightly colored city sign, as it is one of the most popular things to do in Tulum. Before leaving town, you should stop by Batey or I Scream Bar for a final goodbye cocktail, to cheers to your time in Tulum! 

Is it safe to walk around Tulum at night?

Tulum is a very touristy town with less crime than other standard cities and towns in Mexico. But, we recommend practicing common sense safety practices while in Tulum. We suggest looking after your things while at the beach, while it is not common for things to be lifted easily, it can happen. We urge the same caution for being aware of pickpockets, as well as walking around town alone at night. 

Can you swim in Tulum beach? 

Yes! Tulum Beach is one of the best beaches in Mexico, offering everything from private beach clubs to public areas on its long stretch of sand. The clear blue waters are usually calm, making it a great beach for swimming, and it’s also great for snorkeling to see the colorful coral and countless fish. And of course, you get to do all this in the shadow of a Mayan pyramid!

What Can You Do for Free in Tulum?

While Tulum is mainly a resort beach town, catered to tourists, you can expect most things to have a small, affordable fee. However, the below listed activities are free, and also mentioned on our list above! We would also like to note that exploring and wandering around a new place is always free, and sometimes you find the best spots this way!

  • Tulum Main Square
  • Playa Paraiso
  • Boutique/Artisanal Shop Browsing

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