Deciding on the perfect itinerary for five days in Tulum? We’ve got you covered with this brilliant guide to spending 5 days in Tulum.
From cenote hopping to marveling at the top archeological sites, 5 days in Tulum is the perfect amount of time to get an idea of the town and its (jaw-droppingly beautiful) surrounding areas.
Ready to plan the perfect Tulum itinerary? Read on to discover the best way to spend 5 days in Tulum.
Handy Tips for Planning Your 5 Days in Tulum Itinerary
Top Tours for Your Tulum Itinerary
Tulum: Horseback Riding in the Jungle w/ Transfers and Lunch
Looking for a unique way to see the tropical forests of the Yucatan Peninsula?
Try booking the Tulum: Horseback Riding in the Jungle w/ Transfers and Lunch, and you’ll have a 3-hour tour of the Tulum jungles while horseback riding.
It’s a pretty epic tour – you can see cenotes and various species of birds and animals and enjoy a rustic lunch in the jungle. Sound like the perfect way to see lesser-traveled parts of Tulum? We think so.
Tulum: Tulum Ruins and Jungle Adventure Park Combo Tour
If your idea of experiencing Tulum is exploring the history and natural beauty of the Yucatan, one of the best ways to see the main highlights of Tulum is by booking the Tulum: Tulum Ruins and Jungle Adventure Park Combo Tour.
What does this tour include? You’ll get picked up in the Tulum Hotel Zone and have 7 hours of education and excitement in Tulum.
Kayaking, zip-lining, snorkeling, and exploring Mayan ruins are part of your action-packed day on this tour. If you want to see even more of Tulum on this tour, schedule your drop off in Tulum Town, and you’ll have a well-rounded full day of activities.
Riviera Maya: Turtles Snorkeling and Cenote Cave
When you visit Tulum, chances are you will be in the water a lot. And you should be. The cenotes, beaches, and caves offer some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving experiences you’ll find anywhere in Mexico.
One of our favorite ideas for a tour of Tulum is taking the Riviera Maya: Turtles Snorkeling and Cenote Cave tour. You’ll enjoy a full day snorkeling and seeing sea turtles in Akumal.
What to Pack for Your 5 Days in Tulum Itinerary
When planning your Tulum itinerary, you’ll want to make a packing list long before you board your flight.
Though you can buy necessities in Tulum Town or at your hotel, it’s always best to plan ahead and have everything you need to focus on having the best time possible on your trip to Tulum.
Here are a few ideas for what to pack for your 5 days in Tulum:
- Swimsuit (preferably more than one)
- A mix of casual, light clothing and some more fancy options for evenings in Tulum
- Snorkeling gear (if you have it and/or can fit it in your case)
- Sandals/flip flops for when you’re near the pool or beach
- Hiking boots, long sleeve tops, and a hat for hiking
- A small medication kit with all the essentials, including any prescriptions you need
- Sun protection and bug spray (Eco-friendly, of course)
- Credit cards, cash, your passport and other essential documents
Where to Stay for Your 5 Days in Tulum
If you’re visiting Tulum for five days, you can rent a resort or Airbnb and make that home base. Or you could split your time between 2 or more rentals if you want to get an idea of the greater Tulum area.
However you decide to plan your trip to Tulum, we suggest staying in the Hotel Zone if you want to be close to all the action.
Here you can choose from opulent 5-star hotels and resorts or something a bit more down to earth, as you’ll find something for any budget and personality.
We suggest staying at Habitas Tulum if you want one of the best overall hotels in Tulum. Wake up steps away from the beach, close to Tulum Archeological Zone, and enjoy some of the best nightlife in the area.
We love Habitas Tulum because it perfectly melds luxury and sustainability and is an excellent resort for planning either 4 days in Tulum or 5 days in Tulum, depending on your timeframe.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to save some money for day trips and tours, you can choose from numerous boutique hotels that are quite affordable.
One of our favorite choices for an inexpensive hotel when you’re spending 5 days in Tulum is La Tulumeña. The rooms are easy on the eyes and the wallet and have everything you possibly need for 5 days in Tulum.
Quick Info for Your 5 Days in Tulum
- Time Zone: Easter Time Zone (GMT-5)
- Currency: Mexican Pesos (MXN)
- Plugs: Type A and Type B (127 V)
- Nearest Airport: Cancun (CUN)
- 5 Must-See Spots:
- Tulum Archeological Zone
- Cenote Dos Ojos
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
- Tulum Beach
- Tulum Town
- Top Tip: Plan your Tulum vacation ahead of time. The more details you figure out before your trip, the more time you’ll have to explore and see as many destinations as possible.
How do you get to Tulum once you arrive in Mexico? We have you covered.
Getting from place to place during your 5 days in Tulum is definitely easiest by car. If you have the budget for it and a driver’s license, you’ll want to rent a car before arriving.
But if you’re looking for alternative modes of transportation, there are buses, taxis, and even bicycles to get you where you’re going.
5 Days in Tulum Itinerary
Tulum Itinerary Day 1
So you’ve arrived in Tulum. It’s your first day here, and you’re ready to hit the ground running.
But before you start swimming in cenotes and exploring archeological marvels (don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time for that, too), you’ll want to take care of a few formalities first.
Once you’ve converted your currency to Mexican Pesos (MXN), rented a car, and checked into your hotel, you probably still have plenty of daylight left.
Assuming you landed early, here are a few things you can do on your first day in Tulum.
One of our favorite ideas for day 1 in Tulum is to head over to Tulum Tower to see what the area looks like from above.
You can enjoy cocktails and a snack from over 100 feet high and take in the Archeological Zone and other attractions from a bird’s eye view.
Book your tickets ahead of time and save yourself the headache of waiting in line to purchase a seat on the amazing ride.Mystika Immersive
Once you’ve flown high above the Yucatan sky, walk over to Mystika Immersive and see why it’s quickly becoming one of the must-see attractions in Tulum.
Do yourself a favor and book Tulum: Mystika Immersive & Tulum Ruins Skip-the-Line Ticket to set yourself up for a day immersing yourself in Mexico’s folklore, cosmology, and art.
Head to Tulum Town
Next, head over to Tulum Town for some lunch and window shopping. You can choose from dozens of local eateries and grab a casual lunch ranging from ceviches to tacos or tortas.
Be sure to look for souvenirs here, too, as you can find many handmade Mayan goods.
When you’ve had your fair share of window shopping, head to a local bar and try some mezcal or tequila.
Tulum Archeological Zone
You’ve had a full day of fun so far, but be sure to head over to Tulum Archeological Zone before returning to your hotel for the evening.
Your Tulum: Mystika Immersive & Tulum Ruins Skip-the-Line Ticket also gets you into this must-see Tulum destination where you can step back into time and see one of the most impressive Mayan Ruins right next to the Caribbean Sea.
Tulum Itinerary Day 2
You had a full first day, but you wake up, and it’s time to keep the good times going.
So what should you do on day 2 in Tulum? Your second day in Tulum is a great excuse to enjoy the gorgeous beaches that make a Tulum vacation one of our favorites in the world.
Wake Up and Swim Near Your Hotel
Nothing is better than waking up after your first full day in Tulum and enjoying the beautiful beach hotel and its white sands and gentle blue waters.
There are too many great resorts in Tulum to name, but many of our favorite all-inclusive hotels and boutique resorts have wonderful beaches where you can begin your day.
Snorkel or Scuba Dive in Akumal
Some of the best beaches in the Tulum region are a short drive away in nearby Akumal.
You can drive there or schedule a tour and see why this sleepy seaside town is quickly becoming a top tourist attraction you’ll want to plan for in your Tulum itinerary.
Have a Sunset Dinner
After you’ve worked up an appetite while snorkeling or scuba diving, head back to the Hotel Zone and have dinner while watching the skies slowly darken over the Caribbean Sea.
Want to find a great place to hang out? Casa Jaguar is a popular spot with excellent food and a lively vibe to kick off your evening.
Attend a Beach Party
Tulum is famous for rowdy parties on the beach ranging from popular beach clubs to week-long music festivals.
What better way to cap off your day 2 in Tulum than to book a reservation at Coco Tulum or one of the other beach clubs that make a trip here a memorable time when the sun goes down?
Tulum Itinerary Day 3
Want to see the wild side of the Yucatan Peninsula during your 5 days in Tulum? Keep reading.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Full-Day Discovery Tour
Scheduling an excursion to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is something you can’t miss on your 5 days in Tulum.
We could make a case for spending more than a single day discovering the sprawling beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. But if you’re only here for a few days, you’ll want to schedule the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Full-Day Discovery Tour for day 3 of your Tulum itinerary.
The guides will show you the lagoons, mangrove forests, and turquoise ocean waters brimming with wildlife above and below the surface, making this an unforgettable experience.
Tulum Itinerary Day 4
Whether you want to stay close to Tulum and book an afternoon at an adventure park or trek a little further to see the pyramids at Coba or Chichén Itzá, your second to last day in Tulum is an excellent time to book a day trip to one of the surrounding areas.
For day 4 in Tulum, we suggest waking up early and venturing off to see more of the beautiful areas that make up the Yucatan Peninsula.
Enjoy a Breakfast Buffet at Your Hotel
One of our favorite things to do before a long afternoon exploring Mexico is to enjoy an extravagant meal.
If you wake up early enough and your hotel has one, take advantage of a big breakfast and enjoy some fresh fruit and the delectable cuisine that Tulum is famous for. Today is going to be pretty full on, so a hungry belly is a recipe for disaster.
Visit Chichén Itzá
Want to get to Chichén Itzá without spending time waiting around? Book your ticket ahead of time to enjoy more destinations on your drive back.
It’s one of the most famous Mayan Ruins in Mexico and something you will want to make time for if you have 5 days in Tulum.
Valladolid is a small town that’s big on art, architecture, and history. So make time to stop here on your drive back and have a late lunch or early dinner before finishing your day trip from Tulum.
Tulum Itinerary Day 5:
It’s your last day in Tulum. So while you’re probably trying to change your flight by now, you’ll be happy to have one more day of adventure before heading home.
And there’s no better way to spend day 5 of your Tulum vacation than exploring the best cenotes in Tulum.
So what’s the best way to cenote hop in Tulum? We’ll show you the perfect itinerary for day 5.
Start at Cenote Calavera, a very short drive from the hotel zone. It’s a smaller cenote, so you can fit in everything you want to see in about an hour. Arrive here early; they open at 9 am.
Cenote Cristal and Cenote Escondido
Next, drive to Cenote Cristal, where you can buy a ticket for admission to Cenote Escondido as well when you arrive.
The two cenotes are gorgeous, and Cenote Escondido has some of the best diving opportunities in Tulum.
If you want to see some of the most impressive cave systems in Mexico while underwater, check out Gran Cenote. The beautiful blue waters contrast with the dramatic cavernous walls above, providing one of the most gorgeous settings in Tulum.
Cenote Dos Ojos
By now, you’ve hit 4 of the best cenotes on your final day in Mexico, but why not make it 5?
Assuming you’ve had lunch already, head over to Cenote Dos Ojos, which is a bit further away than the other cenotes on this list.
This snorkeling and diving favorite is worth the trek and offers incredible opportunities for swimming and taking selfies for the ‘Gram.
Alternative 4 Days in Tulum Itinerary
If you only have 4 days in Tulum, there are a couple of things you may want to cut out from your trip, which comes down to priorities.
Think you’ll be back in Mexico sometime soon? In that case, we’d recommend staying close to Tulum and holding off taking a long day trip to Chichén Itzá or adventure parks.
Tulum in 4 days still gives you lots of time to explore the incredible natural and urban beauty the area offers. We suggest staying close to home and experiencing as much of the immediate area as possible.