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.
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. Tulum is the last of the Mayan cities to be built, with really well preserved ruins and archaeological sites.
Tulum has 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!
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 Mexico 2024, 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.
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Tulum Pueblo/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 Pueblo (or Tulum Town) is a great area to stay. This is the main downtown Tulum area and the most central neighbourhood.
Tulum Town is also a great choice for budget travellers 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.
This is also why it’s a great option if you’re wondering where to stay in Tulum with a group. You’ll all be able to afford the accommodation in Tulum Pueblo!
Most travellers come to Tulum for the beach, so Beach Road is where the majority of Tulum hotels and resorts are located. Beach Road South (also known as Hotel Zone South) is what Tulum was before it became popular.
It’s where you’ll find most of the yoga retreats and eco-resorts. This is why it’s perfect if you’re looking for where to stay in Tulum for bachelorette parties too! Lots of instagrammable swings and healthy food beach shacks.
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.
Las Palmas Beach, which is the beach along Hotel Zone South, is the longest stretch of white sand in the area and is less rocky than other beaches of Tulum.
Why Stay in Tulum Pueblo/Town
When you are looking for a great Mexican experience on a budget, make Tulum Pueblo/Town your travel destination. Tulum Pueblo/Town is the downtown core of Tulum.
With everything in walking distance you can have a breakfast burrito at Burrito Armour, stroll down the main streets and browse the many shops along the way. Take in the views from Tulum Tower or swim at a cenote nearby.
Reasonably priced accommodations are plentiful in this beautiful part of town, making a great base for your touring destinations.
Things To Do in Tulum Pueblo/Town
- Shopping and Dining
Shopping has its own diversity in Tulum Town. Browse the stores at Plaza Faeli or Tulum Bazzar. Wonder the streets at stop at little boutiques like BM Tulum for custom clothes and accessories made by local designers.
Have dinner at El Asadero for an elegant dining experience, or stop at Burritos Beer, as the name suggests, for Burritos and Beer. Downtown Tulum has a variety of shopping and dining experiences to enhance your visit to this beautiful Mexican City.
- Tulum Tower
Tulum Tower gives you not only a unique experience but also an amazing view. Sit in a rotating gondola and rise 118 feet in the air, slowly rotating as you climb, providing a 360-degree view of Tulum.
While at the top, you can have your picture photographed with the Tulum Ruins in the background, as they give you some information about the ruins themselves.
Slowly winding back down, there is a souvenir shop and a place to purchase that memorable photo of you at the top.
- Cenote Calavera
This natural pit or sinkhole has crystal-clear water for swimming. These geological wonders are the result of collapsing limestone that reveals pools of water.
Some Cenotes can be very deep and are great for scuba divers to explore underwater caverns. Commonly used for freshwater by the Mayans, today they are an excellent way to relax and swim in the blue waters of the cenote.
At Cenote Calavera there are three holes to choose from. Climb down or jump in to enjoy a unique swimming experience.
- Stroll through the Park
Museo de la Cultura Maya Park is located on the main street in downtown Tulum. Grab an ice cream and stroll through the park and view the statues and scenery that adorn this beautiful little park. Feel the need for a hike?
Put your hiking shoes on and follow the trails in Parque Nacional Tulum. A lush landscape that holds the treasure of Mayan Ruins inside. You can hike all the way to the coast and revel in the coastal sights.
Best places to stay in Tulum Town
Hotel Zone North – Where To Stay in Tulum All Inclusive
The area along the northern end of the Hotel Zone is closer to the Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park and it’s one of the best places to stay in Tulum all-inclusive.
The main beach here, Playa Paraiso, is a little more crowded than Las Palmas Beach in Hotel Zone South but it’s just as beautiful and there are more private beach clubs. The reef along this stretch of beach is closer to shore, which often means calmer waters.
Hotel Zone North is where you’ll find the majority of the big Tulum resorts so it will no doubt appear over and over again in your research if you’re looking for where to stay in Tulum all-inclusive.
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 and lots of onsite amenities is essential, Hotel Zone North is the best choice for you.
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.
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.if you’re wondering Where to stay in Tulum for couples, beach road is ideal.
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.
Why Stay in Hotel Zone North
Everything you need is all in one place, all for one price. All-inclusive vacations are a great option for the travelling soul. Swim up to the beach bar or lay under your cabana and have them delivered.
A walk to the room to change for dinner, then enjoy an evening of entertainment, all without your wallet coming out of your pocket.
Hotel Zone North has the most luxurious resorts in Tulum. Visit an ancient temple or scuba dive into the many caverns along the coast. There are many things to see and do on and off the resort.
Things To Do in Hotel Zone North
- Swim with the Dolphins at Delphinus Xel-Ha
Delphinus Xel-Ha is located inside the biggest Aquatic Park in Mexico. Interact and swim with these magnificent creatures in a safe and secure environment.
Towels and shoes are not required and all beverages and food are included in the package. This is definitely an experience you do not want to miss.
- ATV into Parque Nacional Tulum
ATV Extreme offers a jungle experience that you will always remember. Ride as a passenger or drive an ATV into the jungle.
Zipline through the treetops and snorkel and swim in the clear waters of a cenote. Explore underwater caverns in the Mexican jungle with excellent guides who will keep it a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Archaeological Site of Xel-Ha
Going back to 250 AD, this Mayan Port was once one of the most important ports in the Caribbean. These underrated ruins’ walls are adorned with interesting murals. One of the best places you can find an example of this is in The Building of the Birds.
This excellent example of Mayan culture can be found right in Hotel North Zone. You have the option of hiring a certified guide at the entrance so you can hear the story, while you admire the workmanship done so long ago.
- The Jungle Place
The Jungle Place is a Spider Monkey Sanctuary that provides tours of their facility. This non-profit rescue and advocacy group takes in Spider Monkeys that have been used in the illegal pet trade, abused or have been driven out of their homes by development.
This worthy case allows you to experience the monkeys up close. Although they cannot guarantee interaction that is often the case. Who does not need a hug from a cute little spider monkey? What a unique and memorable experience.
Best places to stay in Hotel Zone North
Tulum Playa – Where To Stay in Tulum for the Best Beaches
Let’s face it, the main reason why you’re planning a trip to Tulum is for the beautiful world-class beaches.
There are three beaches in Tulum: Las Palmas, Playa Paraiso and Playa Ruinas and if you want the easiest access to all three then you’re looking for the best place to stay in Tulum Beach AKA Tulum Playa!
It’s also a great neighbourhood if you want the best of Tulum Pueblo and the resort areas because it’s a blend of both. So, you should also look for where to stay in Tulum Beach if it’s your first time visiting Tulum!
Tulum mostly has 4 or 5-star resorts and these are the best places to stay in Tulum Beach but there are some fantastic 3-star hotels too with spas and fitness classes.
When looking for where to stay Tulum Beach, remember that you’ll probably be spending most of your time swimming in the sea or lounging on the sand anyway.
Why Stay in Tulum Playa
White sandy beaches, crystal clear water and the sounds of the waves slowly rolling on the shore. Tulum Playa is the place to stay to play on Mexico’s world-class beaches.
Stay at a 5-star resort or a 3-star hotel and spa and revel in the diversity of the accommodations.
There is even a campground nearby to pitch a tent and camp on the ocean. Relax and enjoy the many beaches along this beautiful piece of Tulum’s coast.
Things to Do in Tulum Playa
- Have a Dinner Experience at La Mano Tulum
Have dinner on a giant hand that extends into the Mayan Jungle. A once in a lifetime experience of sitting 6 meters high.
Looking over the Mayan jungle while you sip your wine and eat an elegant dinner. You can also go out to the “hand” and take a photo for a nominal fee.
- Do the Big Charro Stance with the Big Charro
Inland towards the center of Tulum stands the Big Charro. This seven-meter art collector piece is made from 100% sustainable material.
The hair on the sculpture that gives it the “teddy bear” look took eight years of a natural dying process for the mezcal agave plant. Then the fibres are weaved into place. Visit Big Charro and Do the Stance. It will make for a great picture.
- Lounge on the Beach
World-famous beaches are the reason you came to Tulum and Tulum Playa is the place to find them. Here you can lay, swim and play on Playa Las Palmas, said to be the best beach in Tulum.
Visit the Heart on the beach a little farther down the coast or Playa Santa Fe, beside the Tulum Ruins. Tulum Playa makes it a beach day every day in so many ways.
Best places to stay in Tulum Playa
La Veleta – Where To Stay in Tulum for Couples
La Veleta is a neighbourhood just west of Tulum Pueblo. This is such a sprawling neighbourhood that it’s almost as big as Tulum Pueblo itself but it’s far less built up so it’s a slightly quieter, more chilled neighbourhood.
If you’re wondering, “where is the best place to stay in Tulum for couples?” then you couldn’t choose anywhere better than La Veleta.
You still have close access to Tulum Pueblo’s nightlife, seafood restaurants and health food cafes but it won’t be right on the doorstep of your accommodation keeping you up at night.
La Veleta has tons of beautiful 4 and 5-star hotels available for a fraction of the price of the resorts you’ll find in the Hotel Zone next to the beach. Don’t worry – La Veleta is still only a 10-minute taxi ride from the coastline.
Why Stay in La Veleta
Stroll through the quiet streets of La Veleta hand in hand and enjoy the peaceful calmness of this welcoming residential neighbourhood. Enjoy the small boutiques, and stop at Italdo bakery for a coffee and an almond croissant.
Take a walk through Holistika Art Walk and enjoy this hidden gem of art pieces in a natural jungle setting. For a just the two of us vacation, a stay in La Veleta is just what you are looking for.
Things To Do in La Veleta
When looking for “Luxury in the Wilderness” Holistika in La Veleta is worth the view.
When looking for a little romance in the jungle, you can stay in any one of 24 magical rooms, participate in the many spa programs available, and take a stroll through the Art Walk.
Cuddle by the fireplace or the treehouse it is a great place for couples to get away.
- Swim at Cenote Escondido (Mayan Blue)
A rugged hiking trail will bring you to Cenote Escondido. Hiking through the jungle, surrounded by mangrove swamps is an experience you do not want to miss while staying in La Veleta.
Swim with a plethora of fishes in this little piece of paradise. Remember to bring snorkel gear so you can see all the colours of the aquatic life around you.
- Dining in La Veleta
There is nothing that says romance like a candlelit dinner in a fine dining restaurant. Canova Cantina gives you great food with a romantic edge.
Go for pizza at La Hydra by Gigi and dine as the candlelight flickers off the jungle foliage. A beautiful dinner with just the right ambiance can set the evening off to a memorable night.
Best places to stay in La Veleta
Tankah Bay – Best Area to Stay in Tulum for Divers
Fans of water sports are spoiled for choice when they go on vacation to somewhere like Tulum, Mexico.
Not only are there soft, white sand beaches with ample opportunities for water sports, but the cenotes are also close by which are perfect for unique swimming experiences and scuba diving.
If you’re an avid scuba diver or you want to learn, you should base yourself in Tankah Bay in Tulum.
It’s an inland neighbourhood around 11 km/7 miles northeast of Tulum Pueblo which is only a 20-minute drive.
Tankah Bay is near cenotes like Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote and Cenote Santa Cruz Tulum which are all beautiful, crystal-clear turquoise swimming holes perfect for divers.
Due to Tankah Bay being an inland neighbourhood, there are fewer accommodation options here but you can still find a selection of budget-friendly B&Bs.
Why Stay in Tankah Bay
When looking for a vacation spot where you can spend your time beside or under the water Tankah Bay in Tulum is the place to stay.
With a cenote that has an underwater tunnel to the sea, quiet calm water and soft crushed coral beaches it is the perfect place for scuba divers, snorkelers, and water lovers. Unique and picturesque, Tankah Bay is a perfect place to spend that dream vacation.
Things To Do in Tankah Bay
- Tankah Bay Beach
Different from the other beaches in the area this tranquil beach will have you coming back again and again.
The sand of this beach is actually crushed coral that has been pulverized by the sea. Protected by an outer reef the water is calmer than most of the beaches in Tulum.
Whether you are seeking a thrill or a relaxing day at the beach, you will find it at Tankah Bay Beach.
- Manatee Cenote
Swim, snorkel and scuba dive in this unique cenote. Nestled among the mangrove trees is Manatee Cenote. This cenote is unique as it has an underwater tunnel that leads in from the sea.
Mixing fresh water from the ground and saltwater from the sea creates a diverse and colourful environment to enjoy. Manatee Cenote is the only cenote where you can enjoy the sea and the uniqueness of a cenote.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Just off the coast of Tankah Bay is a coral reef filled with fish and spectacular coral. Just one of the many sights you can see under the water in Tankah Bay.
There are dive centers right on the beach where you can hire a guide or rent equipment to watch the sea turtles nest on the reef or dive through the underwater tunnel at Manatee Cenote.
The calmness of the water at Tankah Bay guarantees a wonderful diving and snorkeling experience every time.
Best places to stay in Tankah Bay
Budget accommodation in Tankah Bay
Mid range accommodation in Tankah Bay
Cozy Study at Bahia Principe in Tulum
Soliman Bay – Best Place to Stay in Tulum to Escape the Crowds
You might not think that a popular beach town like Tulum would offer any options for those who want to stay by the beach but don’t want to stay where all the crowds are. It does!
You can stay in the Soliman Bay neighbourhood. It’s around 14.5 km/9 miles north of Tulum Pueblo along the coastline which is just around a 15-minute drive.
Soliman Bay has its own little secluded beach called Bahía Soliman which has white soft sand lined with lam trees. There are a few bars and restaurants here but not many so not enough to attract lots of tourists.
Just like in the Hotel Zone, there are mostly 4 and 5-star resort hotels here but many are cheaper on average than the hotels closer to Tulum so this neighbourhood offers fantastic value.
Why Stay in Soliman Bay
Looking for a tranquil tropical getaway? Look no further than Soliman Bay. Tucked into this quiet neighborhood is this hidden gem.
Stroll the white sandy beaches feeling the silkiness of the sand under your feet while enjoying the relaxing peacefulness without the crowds.
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood in Tulum on the beach at Chamico’s, then a good book as you lay in the sun on this quiet peace of paradise.
Things To Do in Soliman Bay
- Dine by the Sea at Soliman Bay
While enjoying the peace and quiet of Soliman Bay, dine at a restaurant on the beach. Soliman Bay has many to choose from. Whether you choose elegant dining while watching the sunset over the bay at Pandano Restaurant Grill or a fresh seafood dinner on the beach.
There is something for everyone. While you listen to the tranquillity of the waves crashing on the shore, sip a tea from Ixq’anil Casa de Te. It does not get much better than this.
- Water Sports at Soliman Bay
The calm waters of Soliman Bay and no crowds create the perfect atmosphere for diving, snorkelling and swimming. Kayaking is also very popular in this secluded bay.
Snorkel or Kayak out to the reef break and submerse yourself in the fabulous sights that the outer reef has to offer. Colourful fish and mesmerizing sea coral while taking in the tranquillity of the sea, make this a perfect tropical getaway.
- Native Park Tulum
Looking for a little adventure? Native Park Tulum is right across the road from Soliman Bay. Off-road into the jungle with your guide who will bring you all the adventure you can handle.
Zipline through the jungle, one line landing you into a cenote. Enjoy the beauty of snorkelling in the cenote, taking in the colours of the many fish species that call it home.
Snorkel into an underwater cave and revel in the views of the stalactites. Enjoy a nice meal afterwards and you have had the perfect jungle adventure day.
Best places to stay in Soliman Bay
Budget accommodation in Soliman Bay
Family Friendly accommodation in Soliman Bay
Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum
Akumal – Where to stay near 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.
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.
Why Stay in Akumal
Depending on the size of your family, it may make more sense to rent a condo for your vacation stay. In Akumal, you have the choice of rental condos, resorts or hotels in this little northern neighbourhood by the sea.
With the sea right outside your door and the plethora of activities to do in the area, Akumal is the perfect place to vacation with your family. Take the kids swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery Center or swim with the turtles at Playa Free Torugas.
Interact with the animals at Akumal Adventours or spend the day on the beach, you are guaranteed the kids will sleep well after an exciting day in Akumal.
Things To Do in Akumal
- Swim with the Turtles at Playa Free Tortugas
Get up close and personal with these exciting sea creatures. Sea turtles have a large life span, some of them living up to 70 years old.
Swim with these giant gentle sea turtles as they glide through the water. View the other sea life as you relish in the tranquillity of swimming with the turtles.
- Swim with the Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery
Dolphins are said to be the most intelligent of sea creatures. Watch a live show of the amazing playfulness that dolphins are famous for.
Swim with these magnificent sea creatures as they interact with each other as well as you. It is an experience your kids will be talking about long after the vacation is over.
- Spend the Day on the Beach
Building sand castles, playing in the water or watching the fish swim at your feet, everyone loves a great day at the beach. Pack a picnic lunch to make it truly an all-day affair. There are many beaches to choose from in this small northern section of the coast.
All boast white sandy beaches and crystal clear water for you to enjoy. The water is so clear you can stand on the beach and see the multitudes of fish swimming in the sea. You can find beach fun for the whole family in Akumal.
Best places to stay in Akumal
Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Akumal
Hostal El Padrino
Budget accommodation in Akumal
El Ultimo Maya
Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Tulum
|❤️ Best Area first timers
|Hotel Zone North
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families
|Hotel Club Akumal Caribe
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel
|Posada Lamar Tulum Beach Front and Pool
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel
|LA TULUMEÑA Boutique Hotel
|✨ Best Hostel
|Straw Hat Hostel & Rooftop Bar
Added Extra: Areas to Avoid in Tulum
If you’te wondering where not to stay in Tulum, according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), Tulum is a moderately safe place to visit.
Like most places, crimes generally occur in Tulum at night so it’s best to stick to crowded, well-lit neighbourhoods and stay with people you know. Use your common sense and keep all your valuables hidden and don’t carry a lot of cash.
However, there are some areas you should avoid near Tulum for different reasons. Punta Allen is a neighbourhood in Tulum near the Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka’an which is a protected jungle preserve.
It’s an incredibly beautiful place but very remote and it takes a while to drive between here and Tulum Pueblo. Don’t stay here unless you want total serenity.
FAQs for Where To Stay in Tulum
Where Should I Stay in Tulum?
Figuring out where you should stay in Tulum depends on your travel style! If you are a young couple, love nightlife, or travel on a budget then one of the best places to stay in Tulum, Mexico for you would be Tulum Pueblo (also known as Tulum Town). La Veleta is also nearby so if want somewhere a bit quieter then this neighbourhood is a fantastic place to stay.
If you’re visiting Tulum on your honeymoon or are looking to stay in an all-inclusive resort, the north or south beach zones are the best areas to stay in Tulum. For those who just love the beach area of Tulum and want to spend as much time there as possible, stay in the Tulum Playa area.
What Part of Tulum Beach Is Best?
The entire beach area of Tulum can be split into three sections: Beach Zone North or Tulum Hotel Zone North, Tulum Playa or Middle Beach Zone and Beach Zone South or Tulum Hotel Zone South.
Each part of Tulum beach is a great place to stay! However, if you’re looking to stay in the best resorts with a private beach area or beach club for a luxury stay with your partner or for a special occasion with a group, head to Hotel Zone North.
The Tulum best places to stay for a taste of the more bohemian side of Tulum (yoga classes, eco spas, hammocks, etc.) then you should stay in Hotel Zone South. If you just love beaches and want to spend as much time on Tulum’s beaches as possible, stay in Tulum Playa or the Middle Beach Zone.
Is It Better To Stay in Cancun or Tulum?
Tulum and Cancun are only 131 km/81 miles apart along the coast from each other. If you are flying into Mexico for your trip, it’s likely that you will fly into Cancun International Airport anyway. So, it does beg the question of whether it’s worth travelling to Tulum or staying in Cancun.
Figuring out if it’s better to stay in Cancun or Tulum depends on what experiences you prefer. Cancun is a much bigger beach resort town with lots more clubs and a lively party atmosphere.
It is where all the young Americans go for spring break, after all! It’s also easier to take day trips into the Yucatan region from Cancun.
Tulum is a much quieter, smaller resort town with a focus on nature and relaxation rather than partying every night. Tulum and Cancun are no better or worse than each other, it just depends on the vibe you’re looking for!
How Many Days Is Enough for Tulum?
Due to Tulum being a beach destination, you could easily spend two weeks here and just relax on the beach. Tulum is also a popular location for digital nomads and long-term travellers who easily spend a month or more here.
If you want to know the minimum about of time you should spend in Tulum, book at least three days in Tulum but five is preferable.
This will allow you to explore the town, the beach, and the Mayan ruins and maybe even squeeze in a dive in one of the local cenotes.