As the popularity of Riviera Maya destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen increases, visitors to the Yucatan Peninsula now seek less crowded, more authentic Mexican destinations. Tulum is the last of the Mayan cities to be built, with really well preserved ruins and archaeological sites.
First, Tulum became a wellness destination, with yoga and meditation retreats and now, tourism in Tulum is booming. Don’t expect cheap prices of Mexico in Tulum, though. This is becoming an exclusive destination, with 5-star resorts commanding $500 to $1000 USD per night! As the number of Tulum resorts continues to increase, it becomes easier to visit, but harder to decide where to stay in Tulum as there are many choices.
We will cover off all types of Tulum accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Tulum hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Tulum, the best Tulum hotels, best places in Tulum to visit, the best places to stay in Tulum, hotels near Tulum attractions, Tulum neighborhood guide and many more.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Tulum Town – Where to stay in Tulum on a budget
If you are visiting Tulum to experience Mexican culture, and are less interested in the famous beaches of the area, then Tulum Town is a great area to stay. Tulum Town is also a great choice for budget travelers and backpackers, as there are more Tulum hotels for all budgets, as opposed to the more expensive Tulum resorts you’ll find along the beaches.
If you like to be within walking distance of a variety of dining and nightlife options, as opposed to enjoying an all-inclusive resort, Tulum Town has a fun vibe with street food and markets. Just know that the beach in Tulum is about a 15 minute drive from town.
Best places to stay in Tulum Town
Beach Road South – Where to stay in Tulum for first timers
Most travelers come to Tulum for the beach, so Beach Road is where the majority of Tulum hotels and resorts are located. Beach Road South is what Tulum was before it became popular. It’s where you’ll find most of the yoga retreats and eco-resorts.
Here you can still find the hippie vibe that made Tulum famous, as well as some new luxury Tulum hotels that are sprouting up frequently. The beach along Beach Road south is the longest stretch of white sand in the area, and is less rocky than other beaches of Tulum.
Best places to stay in Beach Road South
Beach Road North – Where to stay in Tulum for couples
The area along the northern end of Beach Road is closer to the Mayan Ruins, if that is important to you. The beaches are slightly better than Beach Road South, but will also be more crowded, so it’s a tradeoff. The reef along this stretch of beach is closer to shore, which often means calmer waters.
Beach Road North is where you’ll find the majority of big Tulum resorts, and with so many all-inclusive options in the area, restaurants and nightlife are fewer and far between as most take advantage of the all-in rate. This is also where more of the private beaches of Tulum are concentrated, so if staying at a property with a private beach is important, then Beach Road North is the best choice for you.
Best places to stay in Beach Road North
Akumal – Where to stay in Tulum for families
Just 30 kilometers from Tulum is another resort area called Akumal. This area is largely comprised of condominium developments, so it’s a great place to stay in a Tulum with a family. You can rent a condo and have more space than a traditional hotel, as well as a kitchen for cooking meals and snacks. While the Tulum beach is larger, the beach at Akumal is on a protected bay, which makes for great snorkeling right off the beach.
Again, a great option for families with kids. Akumal may feel a little less “authentic” than Tulum as there are more condo developments and less of a local flavor, but if you’re just planning to hang at the beach and relax, you will love Akumal. If you choose not to stay in Akumal, then it also makes a great day trip from Tulum.