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Where is Tulum? A Complete Guide

Where is Tulum? A Complete Guide

Where is Tulum located? If you’re planning a trip to the gorgeous Mexican region, it’s the first thing you’ll need to know. Let’s dive in.

Dotted with impressive ruins, breathtaking cenotes, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars (our favorite), Tulum is a vacation spot with a huge reputation. Mainly for being jaw-droppingly beautiful, but also for its lively atmosphere and excellent beach clubs.

Wanting to visit is a little bit of a no-brainer, but where is Tulum in Mexico? Read on to find out more.

Where is Tulum Located on a Map? 

As you can see, Tulum sits on the very southeastern tip of Mexico, with the Caribbean Sea to its right. The city is located around 90 minutes from Cancun by car.

This means that Tulum has a tropical climate with both dry and rainy seasons. November to April is when the weather is dryer and cooler, with the summer months of May to October facing muggy weather and hurricane season towards the end of that time.

How to Get to Tulum

Nativus Tulum

So, now you know where Tulum is, it begs the question – how do you get there?

If you’re visiting Tulum, it’s likely that you’ll be flying into Cancun Airport. This airport is serviced by plenty of major airlines offering non-stop flights, including American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways, TUI, and more.

Here are some general direct flight times:

  • New York to Tulum: 4 hours
  • Los Angeles to Tulum: 4 hours and 30 minutes
  • Houston to Tulum: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Toronto to Tulum: 4 hours and 15 minutes
  • London to Tulum: 10 hours and 30 minutes

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Private Options

Laguna Muyil

From Cancun Airport, you’ll need to decide how you are going to travel to Tulum. The easiest option – and the one we recommend – is to book a private transfer that takes you directly from the airport to the front of your hotel. 

If you want to enjoy a luxury break or are even celebrating your honeymoon, this is definitely the best way to get between Cancun Airport and Tulum.

Alternatively, renting a car can be a great option if you are going to be exploring the areas surrounding Tulum during your trip. It can seem costly, but will save you money in the long term. 

This also means that you are not relying on a transfer after you land in Cancun – simply pick up your keys from the desk and go.

Public Transport

If you are visiting Tulum on a budget, there are two main public transport options for getting from Cancun Airport to Tulum, and vice versa: Bus or colectivo.

Buses run frequently from Cancun Airport to Tulum between 10:55am and 9:45pm daily, costing around $15 for a one-way trip and departing from Terminals 2, 3, and 4. They are air-conditioned and generally a great option if you’re traveling on a shoestring.

If that still seems too pricy, the cheapest option is to travel via a colectivo – a kind of public minivan where you can hop on and get from A to B for a seriously low price. 

You’ll need to take two Colectivos if you’re traveling from Tulum to Cancun: One from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, followed by another from Playa Carmen to Tulum. 

These depart when they are full and run regularly throughout the day. You can travel from Cancun to Tulum for as little as $4 in just over two hours. This is significantly longer than it would take by car, but worth it for the huge savings.

Read More: How to Get to Tulum

Where to Stay in Tulum

La Valise
La Valise

So, you’ve decided to visit Tulum – lucky you. The next question is: Where to stay?

Deciding where to bed down can be a tricky task. First of all, we recommend deciding what kind of vacation you are going to be taking. 

Will you spend hours and hours lazing on the beach? Or, perhaps you’re looking to soak up Tulum’s rich Mayan culture? Once you’ve made a decision, it makes it easier to narrow down where you will be staying.

Tulum Playa/Beach

Playa del Carmen

If you’re after rest and relaxation, Tulum Playa/Beach is where you should stay. 

We’ll be totally honest, this is our favorite place to stay in Tulum regardless of what your itinerary contains. 

Tulum Playa stretches from the Mayan ruins in Tulum National Park to the north and Sian Ka’an to the south and includes some of Tulum’s best beaches and beach clubs.

The Hotel Zone

The Hotel Zone is another excellent place to stay in Tulum – particularly if you’re traveling as a couple or are wanting a more luxurious stay. 

This area is just north of Tulum Playa/Beach and so you’ve got all the perks of staying there right on your doorstep, alongside the convenience of being surrounded by an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars.

Read More: Where to Stay in Tulum 

Things to do in Tulum

Ahau Tulum

One of the best things about Tulum is that it has plenty of things to do no matter what kind of vacation you are looking to take – it’s a paradise for beach bums and culture seekers alike.

Thanks to Tulum’s proximity to the Caribbean Sea, Tulum has a variety of activities to get involved with, whether you want to explore Mayan ruins, check out the area’s marine life, or lay back and chill in a beach club.

Fancy a sneak peek? These are (some of) the very best things to do in Tulum:

Visit National Parks: From sacred cenotes to impressive Mayan ruins, Tulum’s national parks are one of the top attractions in the region. Our top picks include Aktun Chen, Coba Archeological Site, and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

Explore Tulum’s Ruins: Tulum is dotted with ancient Mayan ruins, and you should take the time to visit some while you’re there. The main site is in Tulum’s Archeological Zone.

Relax in One of Tulum’s Spas: The city is filled with tranquil spots – it would be a crime not to visit a spa whilst on vacation. Expect a journey filled with Mayan clay baths, holistic treatments and a luxe dip in hydrotherapy pools. 

Go Snorkeling: Tulum’s cenotes are world-famous and in abundance, so there are plenty of places to enjoy snorkeling in the region. Not sure where to start? We love the Gran Cenote, Xel-Ha, and Akumal.

Head to a Beach Club: Whether you want to lounge around on the sand or sip cocktails and party, Tulum has a beach club just for you. Coco Tulum is not to be missed, in our opinion. 

Pick Up a Special Souvenir: Shopping in Tulum might seem like a waste of your trip, but there are so many adorable independent shops in the city selling high-quality objects – and these are embedded in Tulum’s culture. From fashion, beauty, household items, and more traditional souvenirs – treat yourself to an afternoon of shopping in Tulum.

Read More: Unmissable Things to do in Tulum

Where is Tulum, Mexico: FAQ’s

Tulum Ruins

Which part of Mexico is Tulum?

Tulum is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It sits on the edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, with the Caribbean Sea to the East.

What is the best time of year to visit Tulum?

Generally, we recommend visiting Tulum in November. This is just after hurricane season but just before the whirlwind of tourists arrives, meaning you can snag excellent deals on hotels and attractions that will be less crowded. Read our full guide on when to visit Tulum.

Is Tulum safe?

We’ve covered this in detail in our guide here – but to answer this question, it is generally safe for tourists to visit Tulum. However, as with any destination, there are precautions you can take to avoid danger such as only using legitimate taxis and keeping your personal items protected in busy areas.