About Tulum

About Tulum, Mexico

Mexico is known for many things, including a rapidly growing tourism industry, particularly along the area on the Yucatan Peninsula called the Riviera Maya. While other hotspots along in the region like Cancun and Playa Del Carmen are common knowledge,  it is in fact the tiny beach town of Tulum that is seeing the largest increase in popularity for a variety of reasons.

Located about 75 miles south of Cancun International Airport, yet in some ways feeling as if it is world’s apart from the busier destinations of the Riviera Maya, this once sleepy region is becoming a favorite destination for first-time tourists, repeat visitors and expatriates.

Divided into three distinct areas, Tulum Ruins, Tulum Pueblo and Zona Hotelera, Tulum offers a unique experience that has helped to transform what was once an obscure vacation spot into one that is featured in countless travel sites and articles.

Archaeological Zone (Tulum Ruins)

About Tulum Mexico Tulum Ruins

Visitors to the ruined city of Tulum descend the stairs behind El Castillo to bath in turquoise waters.

Built as a seaport around the fourteenth century by the Mayans, Tulum was originally called Zama (which meant Dawn, which was appropriate as the ruins overlooked the jade waters of the Caribbean to the East, where the sun rose every morning).  To this day, the ruins remarkably well-preserved and represents one of the only coastal cities of the ancient civilization. Each year, over two hundred visitors explore the ruins including its two most famous structures, the Temple of the Descending God and El Castillo or “The Castle”.  Guests looking for a break from the heat can descend the stairs by El Castillo to gain access to the beach below where they can swim in waters of multiple hues of turquoise, looking up the intricate limestone cliffs to ruins above.

About Tulum Mexico Ruins

The beauty of the ruins and their surroundings can’t help but inspire awe in even the most jaded travelers.

Hotel Zone

About Tulum Mexico Hotel Zone Beach

A picture perfect beach—with white sand, crystal waters and swaying palms—welcomes visitors to Tulum’s Hotel Zone.

While most visitors’ experience in Tulum begins and ends at the ruins, the Zona Hotelera, or Hotel Zone, with its long stretches of powder soft, bright white sand and jade waters, is actually home to the best beaches in the area. The beach road is dotted with several beach clubs many with their own restaurants and bars which, for the price of a meal or a drink, allow guests to relax on their sand and enjoy the tranquility and beauty that this amazing locale has to offer. While a popular vacation spot, the beach  is rarely overcrowded, allowing for long walks or sunbathing in what feels like a private tropical paradise.  For those who are able to fight what many locals and Tulum frequenters call “sand gravity” (a way of describing how the calm of the beach makes you so relaxed that it’s almost impossible to pull yourself up off your lounge chair or day bed), several local shops along the beach and main road offer snorkeling or diving excursions, trips to local cenotes (amazing fresh water pools in the jungle that are supplied from a subterranean water system which provide great views of caverns and limestone formations just beneath the surface) and lessons in paddleboarding and a favorite local past-time, kite surfing.

For those interested in staying for several nights, the area offers numerous lodging options ranging from campsites to luxurious boutique hotels. The lack of infrastructure along the beach helps to keep the hotels small, intimate and eco-friendly, as opposed to the large mega resorts that can be found at other destinations along the Riviera Maya. The smaller size of these specialized hotels allows for a more relaxing vacation even during the peak travel seasons.  After an afternoon of sun and sand, guests can take a quick walk or bike ride to any of the numerous beach bars for drink specials or to one of the many restaurants nearby to enjoy delicious and varied cuisines.  From local specialties to pizza, thai to italian, fresh seafood to sushi, there is something for everyone.

Tulum Pueblo

Tulum Pueblo Town About Tulum Mexico

Explore the town of Tulum, less than 5 minutes from the beach road for great food and entertainment at bargain prices.

If visitors are more interested in a more “authentic” Mexico feel, the Tulum Pueblo, or downtown, is only a quick 5 minute cab ride away. Home to many locals, this small town is based around a main road and offers shopping options, hotels and hostels, cafes and several dining options. Many restaurants here are favorites of locals and tourists alike and offer anything from gourmet fare to authentic dishes at incredibly cheap prices. There are also several options for nightlife—with certain establishments featuring DJ’s and dancing—that are popular with both locals and tourists alike.

With culture and history, pristine beaches and enough options to keep guests’ trips as active or relaxed as they want, it’s easy to see why a stay in Tulum is not to be missed.  But there’s something else to this destination.  It’s easy to feel something but almost indescribable.  It’s a vibe or atmosphere that can’t be replicated in many places.  It’s a mixture of hipness, casualness, relaxation and energy that can’t be summed up unless you simply use one word—“Tulum”.  It’s why the number of people discovering this place is growing each year and why even more are becoming frequent repeat visitors.