Tulum is any beach lover’s paradise. It’s one of Mexico’s most beautiful beach towns located along the Yucatan Peninsula. The beaches in Tulum stretch for miles with silky-smooth white sand and the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
The beachfront in Tulum is stunning and has some of the best resorts in the Mexican Caribbean. You could easily spend your days lounging around with a cocktail in hand and taking in the natural beauty of this area.
Why Visit Tulum Beach?
Let’s take a look at the best beaches in Tulum and why you should visit them.
Tulum Is a World Class Destination
Tulum Beach is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. You could visit many places for a relaxing beach vacation, but Tulum should definitely be on the top of your list.
Its beachfront is one of the best in the Yucatan area and has a resort and hotel for everyone. You’ll find family-friendly, eco-conscious, 5-star, and even adults-only resorts.
The Beaches in Tulum Are Some of the Most Pristine in Mexico
Tulum Beach borders the edge of the untamed Mayan jungle to one side and the glistening Caribbean Sea to the other. It’s one of the most beautiful contrasting landscapes in the world.
Tulum’s beaches have been voted as some of the best in Mexico. The beachfront stretches for miles with white sand. A trip to one of its beaches is an absolute must, even if you’re not a big fan of getting your feet wet.
Tulum is an Eco-Friendly Destination
The Mayan people, who first inhabited Tulum, believed in living in harmony with nature. Many people who live in Tulum today still stand by this theory.
As a result, Tulum Beach has a ton of eco-conscious hotels, such as the Alaya Tulum by Ahau. Three of these hotels have even attained Green Key certification, which is the highest standard recognized for tourism and hospitality businesses that operate sustainably.
The hotels have mastered green building practices, limiting food and water wastage, protecting the natural environment, and creating jobs for residents.
So you can visit Tulum and have a fantastic vacation while still having peace of mind that you’re supporting sustainability and leaving a low carbon footprint behind.
The Different Parts of Tulum Beach
Tulum Beach comprises three areas: north, middle, and south.
North Tulum Beach
North Tulum Beach stretches from the intersection of Avenida Coba on the beachfront road to the Tulum Ruins. This area has one main public beach, Playa Ruinas.
Playa Ruinas lies under the dramatic cliffs of the Tulum Ruins, lined with dozens of palm trees and silky white sands that overlook the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
As Playa Ruinas is only a few steps away from the Tulum Ruins, it’s a great place to end your day off after exploring.
Pros of North Tulum Beach
- It is within walking distance of the Tulum Ruins
- It has relatively inexpensive accommodation options
- Great for families and couples
- Easy Tulum public beach access and parking
Cons of North Tulum Beach
- It tends to get very crowded, especially during peak season
- Fewer bars and restaurants
Middle Beach Zone
Tulum’s middle beach zone stretches between the Avenida Coba and Avenida Kukulkan along the beach road. The central zone is where most of the action in Tulum takes place.
It’s got one main public beach, Playa Paraiso. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico and attracts thousands of visitors each year. While Playa Paraiso is quite popular, it doesn’t get as crowded as Playa Ruinas.
The beach stretches for a few miles along the coast and has plenty of space for everyone. You can rent two lounge chairs, a parasol, and a table for around 200 Pesos ($10).
Pros of Middle Tulum Beach
- Center of Tulum’s Action
- Very close to the town center
- Great for groups of friends, older travelers, and couples
Cons of Middle Tulum Beach
- The hotels in this area can get quite expensive
- Not the most family-friendly area.
South Tulum Beach
South Tulum Beach stretches from the south of Avenida Kukulkan down towards the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. It’s a more exclusive area in Tulum and is home to an abundance of luxury hotels and resorts.
South Tulum consists of a number of private beaches that you’ll only be able to access through the hotels. There is one public beach in Tulum’s south area known as Las Palmas.
Las Palmas boasts calm waters and an expansive stretch of white sand. It’s one of the more secluded beaches, so if you’re looking to get away from the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day out, then Las Palmas is the place to be.
It’s also great for families and couples looking to spend the day together.
Pros of South Tulum Beach
- Less crowded
- Tons of vibrant beach clubs
- Numerous thrilling activities water sport activities
- Loads of great restaurants in the area
Cons of South Tulum Beach
- It’s a bit further out from the town center
- Traffic to and from the beach during peak hours is unpleasant
- It can be a bit pricey to stay and shop in this area
Other Beaches Near Tulum
While there are great beaches in Tulum itself, there are other fantastic beaches in the greater Tulum area.
The beaches inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere are some of the best beaches that you can visit in Tulum. If you’re after privacy, it’s a superb choice as it has many secluded spots.
The entrance to this protected area lies at the end of South Tulum Beach. It’s a haven for natural wildlife, and you may even get to swim with dolphins and sea turtles. One of the most well-known beaches in Sian Ka’an is its Secret Beach.
As its name suggests, the Secret Beach is not the easiest to find, so be sure to ask a local beforehand for some detailed directions. Then brace yourself to be blown away by one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.
Akumal Beach is 30 minutes away from central Tulum. It’s a lively beach and very family-friendly.
You’ll find an array of palapa-roof bars and restaurants that serve up great food and drinks. The marine life in this area is also impressive, so if you’re looking to do some snorkeling, then Akumal Beach is an excellent choice.
Soliman Bay is just south of Akumal. The bay is quite secluded but open to the public. It’s a great place to spend the day lying around and working on your summer tan.
There are plenty of snorkeling opportunities in the area and you can also rent a kayak and explore the bay area.
Paamul Beach is surrounded by a small community and is usually only visited by the locals. While it may not be as developed as some of the other beaches in and near Tulum, it’s still a spectacular beach to visit.
The area is excellent for snorkeling. You’ll also find a few great beachfront restaurants where you can grab something to eat and drink.
This beach is located north of Playa Paraiso and has some enchanting views of the Tulum Ruins from its shoreline. It’s a gorgeous beach with calm, clear waters.
From May to November, you can watch numerous turtles flock to the beach, and you can even go snorkeling with them. You’ll also find some of the best ceviches in this area, so don’t forget to visit one of the local restaurants and give it a try.
El Ultimo Maya Beach
If you travel south along the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, you’ll soon find El Ultimo Maya Beach. A vast sand dune obstructs the view initially, but once you get over it, prepare to be amazed.
El Ultimo Maya is one of the most secluded beaches in Tulum, with sweeping views of the open bay. It’s one of the last wildest beaches in the area. The best part? There usually isn’t a soul in sight, so you might even have the whole beach to yourself.
Practical Tips for Visiting The Best Beaches in Tulum
Now that you’ve read about some of the best beaches in Tulum, hopefully, you’re inspired to start planning your next vacation to Tulum. But, before you go, there are a few things you should know before booking your vacation.
Here are some practical tips for visiting Tulum Beach.
Visit During the Off-Peak Season
November and December are the best months to visit Tulum. The average temperature is around 83℉ (28℃), and the crowds are minimal.
Hurricane season would have also passed, and the humidity levels are low. But it does tend to get a bit chilly in the evening, so be sure to pack in a light jacket or two.
Seaweed Can Be a Problem in Tulum
It may seem a bit odd that seaweed would be a problem on Tulum’s beaches, considering that the beach is its natural habitat. However, Tulum has a unique situation with seaweed.
Between May and October, you can expect to see large mats of Sargassum seaweed across many of the beaches along the Yucatan Peninsula. While the seaweed is not harmful, it is rather unpleasant to walk and swim through.
The good news is that not all of Tulum’s beaches are affected, and the seaweed season is usually forecasted. So be sure to keep an eye out for these forecasts so that you can determine which beaches to visit.
Getting to Tulum Beach
The middle section of Tulum Beach is the easiest to access and is also the closest to Tulum center. It’s easy to access by bicycle, which you can rent or borrow from your hotel. Alternatively, you can also catch a taxi.
Keep in mind that taxi drivers might try to raise their prices, so be prepared to bargain to get the price lower. Also be aware that taxis are more expensive during peak hours, due to traffic.
Tulum’s North and South Beaches are a little harder to access, and taxis generally cost a bit more to reach them as they are a bit further out. You can use Rideshare to try and save on travel costs.
Always Carry Sunscreen Around
Being a tropical destination along the Caribbean, it gets really hot in Tulum. It’s essential to use sunscreen to avoid sunburn and enjoy your vacation comfortably. Also, remember to carry a hat around.
It’s customary to greet everyone you meet along the way, even if you don’t know who’s passing you. Many locals consider it to be quite rude if you do not greet.
Additionally, a simple greeting can go a long way if you find yourself needing some help. An informal greeting that you can use is “Hola,” meaning “Hello” in Spanish.
It’s Customary to Tip
It’s customary to tip in Tulum, especially if you’re going to be dining and drinking at the restaurants and bars along Tulum Beach.
The recommended rate is 10 to 15% of the bill at restaurants and 10 to 20 Pesos ($0.46 to $0.92) per drink.