How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Tulum

Discover the best hotels, restaurants, and things to do in Tulum with this travel editor–curated guide.

this nice cenote offers clear waters for swimming, buildings for picnic and is a popular weekend destination for tourists and local families in Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico, 2015
Photo: TG23/Getty Images

Tulum, Mexico, is bursting with beautifully designed hotels, gorgeous beaches, and restaurants with great ambiance and even better food. It's part of Mexico's Riviera Maya, which was one of Travel + Leisure's best places to go in 2023. Humming blissfully in the background of the busy beach clubs and posing influencers, Tulum's spiritual centers offers great yoga, meditation classes, sacred ceremonies, and many more mind-expanding activities. Surrounding all this is a dense cenote-filled jungle and stunning nature reserves — perfect for dolphin spotting, cave diving, and riding ATVs.

Read on for the best places to stay, eat, and play in Tulum.

Best Hotels & Resorts

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

This 349-room luxury resort is the perfect place to sit back and relax. The property features five restaurants, six bars, five pools, and direct beach access. However, the massive spa steals the show with its open-air relaxation space that has a steam room, cold shower, sauna, ice plunge, and hot tub. T+L's senior editor Maya Kachroo-Levine previously reported that her time at the Conrad Tulum was "pure, luxurious resort fun," and was"filled with sunrise soaks in our alfresco tub overlooking the ocean, mezcal Negronis at Ultramar pool bar, and visits to the build-your-own chilaquiles station at Arbolea restaurant each morning."

Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort

Sharing a property with the Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Resort has 735 rooms and suites and 13 different eateries. Guests at either resort can access both hotels' amenities and restaurants, providing seemingly endless food and entertainment options. "The picture-perfect beach, together with the eight pools and five jacuzzis, provide the ideal background to soak up the sun," T+L contributor, Dobrina Zhekova, reported from the hotel.


With 38 rooms, 20 exclusive suites, five luxury tree houses, and 36 Moroccan-inspired tents, this hotel is perfect for nature lovers and wellness-focused guests. "Nômade Tulum favors the health-conscious with cacao ceremonies, spiritual talks, yoga classes complete with a live DJ soundtrack, and opportunities for nourishment by warm Caribbean winds at the hotel's tree house lodgings," Rosie Bell, T+L contributor and Riviera Maya local, reported. Located on the quieter, more southern end of the beach road, guests are welcome to lounge beachside in whimsical hammocks and daybeds.

La Valise

La Valise Tulum's suite can have the bed moved to the terrace
Photographer Muz Najim, La Valise Tulum

Filled with furniture and artwork handcrafted in Mexico, La Valise radiates a mixed jungle-glamour ambiance. There are just 11 bungalows in this boutique, but the most-coveted room is the beachfront primary suite, where the bed rolls out onto the balcony, so you spend the night beneath the stars. All rooms are spacious with a light natural design, and the jungle-side suites have private outdoor showers.

Hotel Bardo

Tucked away from the busy beach zone and city center, Hotel Bardo offers an array of luxurious and spacious lofts, each with its own private plunge pool. The main pool, fringed with greenery and plush daybeds, sits in the center of the hotel's main social area, where a stone fire pit adds to the liveliness surrounding the bar and restaurant. Every day at sunset, guests are welcome to participate in an intention-setting ritual, and throughout the week, the hotel offers sound healing, yoga, and temazcal (a traditional sweat lodge) sessions.

Read More: The 25 Best Resort Hotels in Mexico, according to T+L’s 2022 World’s Best Awards

Best Things to Do


Art walk at Wellness Holistika
Courtesy of Wellness Holistika

Tucked in the central La Veleta neighborhood, Holistika's art walk is a short circular jungle path leading you past interactive sculptures and murals that seem to have crash-landed in the jungle. While you're there, take advantage of one of the many yoga classes, ceremonies, or spa treatments, many of which happen in a gorgeous meditation dome.

Cenotes - Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and More

The World's Coolest Caves: Cenote Dos Ojos
Reinhard Dirscherl

You'll find many of the Yucatán's famous natural swimming holes around Tulum. Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and Laguna Kaan Luum are some of the area's largest cenotes. However, don't skip the smaller cenotes like Cenote Dos Palmas, which is looked after by members of the local Maya community.

Tulum Ruins

Main Temple of the Ruinas de Tulum
Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images

Tulum's Archaeological Zone was once an ancient Maya seaside port. Don't miss the God of Winds Temple, and remember that you cannot climb on the impressive structures.

Om Collective

Yoga class at OM Collective Tulum
Courtesy of OM Collective Tulum

This yoga studio in the city center offers a wide range of classes and is the most affordable in Tulum, with a donation-based payment system. The studio has a community-centered feel and offers a variety of classes and yoga styles, including vinyasa and even acro-yoga.

Tulum Art Club

Tulum Art Club offers a unique day trip to the inland city of Valladolid, where you can learn about Maya pottery from a family that has kept the Maya methods alive for centuries. During the workshop, you can learn more about the spiritual traditions of the family's process and will get to take home your own creation.

Best Shopping

La Madre Tierra

You can find all-natural soaps, oils, creams, and organic cosmetics at this beauty shop in the city center. Beauty treatments are available on-site, and all products are made in Mexico.


Exterior of Claude Tulum
Courtesy of Claude Tulum

This slow-fashion brand specializes in gender-fluid resort wear made with linens sustainably sourced within 63 miles of Tulum. All pieces are designed and hand-crafted in Mexico.

Spiritum Tulum

On top of a great selection of flowing dresses, kaftans, and kimonos, this sustainable fashion brand has casual and formal menswear. The clothing combines Indigenous textiles and modern designs, and everything is handcrafted in Mexico.

Illustrated map of neighborhoods in Tulum as listed in text of article

Lara Antal/Travel + Leisure

Best Restaurants


Tables ay WILD Tulum
Courtesy of WILD Tulum

This stylish beach road restaurant is "a venue that perfectly embodies South Tulum" reported T+L digital editorial director Nina Ruggiero. It serves up cocktails and food that emphasize local Mexican ingredients like huitlacoche (fermented corn) and hoja santa (Mexican pepper leaf). With the aroma of copal (the iconic pre-Columbian incense of choice in Tulum) permeating the space, the restaurant is warm and inviting. Reservations can be made online.


Dinner reservations are highly recommended for one of the most talked-about restaurants in the beach zone. "Powered entirely by solar energy," T+L contributor Nate Storey previously reported, "nightly dinners [are prepared] over a wood-burning fire using organic Yucatán produce sourced from milpas, or organic farms, and spear-caught fish." To make dinner reservations, send an email to Lunch reservations are not accepted, but walk-ins are encouraged.

El Camello Jr.

You'll find fresh seafood and friendly service at this local-favorite restaurant. The ceviches are popular, but you can't go wrong with the garlic octopus or fish tacos. Portions are huge and perfect for sharing with friends.


This restaurant in the city center specializes in Asian/Mexican fusion. The menu is constantly changing, but you can expect to find tasty pork belly bao buns, plus sumptuous dishes like shrimp dumplings topped with tamarind sauce and a grasshopper garnish. Reservations are recommended.


You can pick up freshly baked loaves for breakfast at this bakery in the La Veleta neighborhood, but don't leave without trying the desserts and Mexican pastries.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Tulum is in the fall, between late October and mid-December, when hotel rates and reasonable, temperatures are starting to drop, and there's minimal sargasso seaweed crowding the beaches.

Winter in Tulum is high season, so while the weather is pleasant, hotel rates tend to skyrocket, especially around Christmas and New Year's. From May to October, Tulum, like the rest of the Caribbean, suffers from the hard-to-manage quantities of seaweed.

If you can plan your travels around a specific time of the month, consider visiting during the lunar cycle. Full moon parties are extremely popular in Tulum. Around this time, many spiritual centers and beach clubs host special moonlit events where visitors gather for either a dance party on the beach or a spiritual cleansing in the jungle.

How to Get There

Tulum currently does not have its own airport, though one is set to open at the end of 2023, as T+L's Mexico expert, Sarah Bruning, previously reported. For now, you'll want to fly into Cancun, which is serviced by all major U.S. airlines with nonstop flights from most major cities.

Neighborhoods to Know

Beach Zone: Split into a northern and southern side, the beach zone is where you'll find all the top hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs in Tulum, stretched out along a busy main road. The north side of the beach is quieter and closer to the ruins, while the south side has more hotels and restaurants.

Aldea Zama: Halfway between town and the beach, this gated neighborhood is full of luxury condominiums, shopping, and restaurants. An upscale residential neighborhood, Aldea Zama is a great place to find a large vacation rental or a quieter hotel room.

Centro: Centro is the center of daily life in Tulum, where you'll find the best local restaurants, plus bookstores, cafes, and tons of souvenir shops. There are more affordable accommodation options here, and you're more likely to find better prices on tours, bicycles, and moped rentals than at the beach.

Villas: This is a small residential neighborhood with a few restaurants and no hotels. However, it's a nice area for vacation rentals, with quiet streets decorated with larger-than-life murals.

Read More: How to Travel to the Riviera Maya

How to Get Around

Taxis: Taxis are plentiful but pricey in Tulum. Most cabs are cash-only, and prices fluctuate depending on the traffic to and from your destination. Prices are negotiable, but you should agree on the price with the driver before you get in the car. You can book a taxi in advance using Taxi! Riviera Maya.

Bicycles: Biking is a very popular way to get around, thanks to the bike path that connects the city center to the beach road. Many hotels offer bike rentals, but you can also rent your own from a bike shop like Ola Bike Tulum.

Scooters: Motorized scooters can help you get to cenotes and attractions on the edge of town that may be too far to bike to. You will find the best deals on scooter rentals in the city center, where there are plenty of scooter shops. You can rent a scooter in advance from Scooter Tulum Services; a one-day rental starts at 800 pesos ($44).

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