The Essentials: Tulum

 After visiting the built up city suburbs of Playa del Carmen and Cancun, Tulum definitely offers a more laid back beach bum vibe, where unique treehouse hotels and eco lodges back right onto the beach. Surrounded by quiet cenotes, ancient ruins and one of a kind boutiques and restaurants, Tulum is a great place to disconnect and get back to nature.


Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Time Zone

Central Time Zone UTC -6.

Getting There

The closest airport to Tulum, when flying both internationally and domestically is Cancun International Airport (CUN). Tulum is located about 1 hour and 40 minutes away from the airport. You can easily organize a transfer or shuttle bus when you arrive at the airport or rent a car if you would like to drive. Private shuttles are probably the most comfortable way to make the trip between CUN and Tulum, check out Cancun Airport Transfers to organize your transfer in advance. Makes for a much smoother and faster trip.


Spanish. Most people working in restaurants, cafes and hotel will be able to speak some if not good English.


That perfect warm weather all year round. Can get a little sticky and humid during the warmer months.

Getting Around

If you’re planning to get away from the main strip of hotels you will most likely need a car, it’s definitely the easiest way to get around. Renting cars is cheap and easy, our hotel even organized it for us and had the car delivered to our hotel so we didn’t have to go anywhere!


Currency is Mexican Peos $. USD is also widely accessible and accepted. ATMs are very hard to come by on the Tulum Beach Strip and are often broken or empty when you come across them. Make sure you have cash when you’re dining and shopping in this area as not many places take credit card and you might have to walk over half an hour to find an ATM that works (like I did).

Internet Access

We had wifi in our hotel room, although it was a little slow and would often cut out. Not many restaurants and cafes we went to offered wifi the way had found in other parts of Mexico, so to be honest it is the perfect place to disconnect and switch off.

The Main Streets

Tulum Beach Strip is where you will find most of the beach front hotels and restaurants. It also leads right up to the Tulum Ruins and the main public beaches such as Playa Paraiso.

Best Time To Go

Tulum has beautiful warm weather all year round, often sitting around the low 30s (celsius). There is not really any bad time to go, however September and October are known as the rainy months.

Can’t Miss

+ Explore the ancient Tulum Ruins – one of the only Mayan cities located near the ocean
+ Hop through the cenotes across the Yucatan Peninsula for some of the most beautiful swimming holes in the world
+ Visit the local beach Playa Paraiso where you can find the iconic Tulum tilted palm tree
+ Explore the Sian Ka’an Bisphere to learn more about the local marine life and environment
+ Visit Xel-ha Eco Park for all sorts of water adventures and experiences
+ Stay in a unique hotel, like a treehouse or a beach shack on the Tulum Beach Strip and enjoy checking out and chilling out in a very unique way
If you have some extra time and/or Tulum is your only stop on the Yucatan Peninsula make sure you visit Xcaret, Chichen Itza and Ik-kil Cenote. Check out Travel Yucatan for all the activities in Tulum that you can’t miss!

Good To Know

If you’re looking for souvenir and gift shops, you will find the most options out the front of the Tulum Ruins. Apart from that you are more likely to find boutiques along the beach strip and more generic shops like general stores and pharmacies in the main town.

Read about all our Tulum adventures hereFor more travel tips and to keep up to date with our adventures make sure you subscribe to our newsletter today

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This post was sponsored by Travel Yucatan. Make sure you visit to find out everything you need to know about your trip to the Mexican Coast! 

Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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