14 Fun Things to Do in Tulum You Can’t Miss

Tulum is a vibrant coastal city in Mexico, filled with an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, and hotels.

With its clear water and gorgeous beaches, it’s no surprise that it attracts visitors from all over the world.

But there is so much more to Tulum than just the beach!

The city has a laid-back vibe and there’s always something happening: live music, beachside yoga classes, and plenty of delicious restaurants to try.

This article explores some of the best ways to spend your time in this lovely beach town; here are the top fun things to do in Tulum that will make your stay unforgettable.

1. Explore the Ruins of Tulum

While it’s easy to spend all your time relaxing on the beaches and taking in the sun, Tulum is also home to an impressive set of ruins that are well worth exploring.

Built in the 15th-century, these ruins are a popular attraction for tourists visiting Tulum today.

There are a few different ways you can explore these ruins.

You can take a guided tour led by one of their official guides, or you can go at your own pace with a self-guided tour.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even rent a bike and ride along the coast from one set of ruins to another!

For more information on how to get there and what you’ll see when you arrive, check out the official website for the Tulum Archaeological Zone.

tulum ruins mexico
view from ruins of tulum

2. Go Snorkeling with Local Experts

Tulum is surrounded by crystal clear water filled with vibrant marine life.

If you want to get up close and personal with the fish that live in the Caribbean Sea, consider going snorkeling.

Book a snorkel tour to nearby reefs where you’ll have the opportunity to see sea turtles, stingrays, and more.

The tours are generally in small groups, perfect if you’re looking for a more intimate experience that takes you to the best snorkeling spots in the area.

3. Take a Local Cooking Class

Fully immerse yourself in a hands-on cooking class and learn all about Aztec, Mayan and Mexican cuisine.

During this 3-course lesson, students learn how to prepare fresh local ingredients into delicious meals that’s served in a beautiful home nestled within the Yucatan jungle.

Not only will you be eating lots of tasty food, but it’s also a once-in-a-life-experience you won’t want to miss out on!

tulum cenote
cenote near tulum

4. Visit the Cenotes of Tulum

The Yucatan Peninsula is blessed with a number of natural freshwater sources, known as cenotes (pronounced sen-oh-tays).

These cenotes are formed when a limestone cave collapses and leaves behind a deep hole in the ground filled with fresh water.

The cenotes near Tulum are some of the best in Mexico and offer an incredible snorkeling and scuba diving experience.

Dos Ojos is one of the most visited cenotes in Tulum and is located just 20 minutes from town.

The views while snorkeling and scuba diving in these cenotes are breathtaking!

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5. Lounge at a Beach Club

Tulum is surrounded by several stunning beaches, but the one that most people associate with the town is Playa Paraiso.

Playa Paraiso is a gorgeous stretch of sand that is lined with beach clubs and restaurants, which means you can have a drink and enjoy some shade while you relax in the sand.

To get to Playa Paraiso from Tulum, take a 15-minute taxi ride or if you’re around the archaeological site, there’s a road that runs south and connects to the beach.

6. Go on a Luxury Catamaran Tour

One of the best ways to enjoy Tulum’s beaches is by getting out on the water.

There are a number of sailing companies that offer tours and charters, but this catamaran tour is a favorite amongst tourists.

Once you’ve set sail, the crew will take you on a journey around the beautiful Caribbean coastline – plenty of opportunity to go paddle boarding and snorkeling (equipment provided).

Onboard you’ll find plenty of refreshments and an open bar so you can relax while enjoying some spectacular views. Lunch is even included!

The tour lasts half-day, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy all the beauty Tulum has to offer in a relaxing way.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable day trip from land, this is it!

xel ha tulum mexico
photo by xel-ha water park

7. Have an All-Inclusive Adventure at Xel-Há

Another fun thing to do in Tulum is to take a trip to Xel-Há Natural Water Park, one of Mexico’s first eco-tourism parks.

There are a number of activities for visitors to enjoy here, including snorkeling with rays, tubing through mangroves and cenotes, and zip-lining through the jungle.

Xel-Ha is located just north of Tulum town, about a 20-minute drive away.

Selva Maya Eco Adventure Park is also a great alternative; lesser-known, has fewer crowds, and is equally full of fun!

8. Go Bar-Hopping in Tulum

In the mood for some booze? Tulum is home to a number of popular beach bars that are ideal for hanging out with friends, dancing and listening to good music.

One of the most popular spots is Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar, which offers live music, good vibes and tasty drinks.

Located in the heart of Tulum Pueblo, this mojito bar is also just steps away from some of the town’s other best bars and restaurants.

9. Explore Tulum Pueblo

For a more relaxing day out, take a stroll through Tulum Pueblo.

This charming little town is the perfect place to stop and relax for a while, enjoying the beautiful scenery and savoring some delicious food.

Tulum Pueblo is home to many traditional Mayan families who still live as they have for generations.

The city has worked hard to preserve this heritage, which is evident in the cobblestone streets and colorful houses.

The locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists, so you’ll feel like a part of the community when you visit.

Wander the streets and you’ll see artisans working on locally-made crafts.

There are also plenty of shops selling authentic Mexican souvenirs, so make sure you pick up a gift or two for your friends back home.

ziggys beach club tulum
photo by ziggy's beach club

10. E-Bike to the Local Beaches

Rent an e-bike and cruise along the beaches near Tulum.

This area is home to some of the best beaches in the Yucatán Peninsula, including Playa Paraiso and Playa Las Palmas.

This is an excellent option if you want to explore the area but don’t feel like renting a car or dealing with public transportation.

While you’re here, make sure you check out Ziggy’s Beach Club, a swanky beachfront venue that serves delicious food and cold beer under swaying palm trees.

11. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Mexico’s most important protected areas, stretching from Tulum all the way down to Punta Allen.

This natural preserve is home to some of the most beautiful flora and fauna you’ll find anywhere in Mexico.

Part of the reason it’s so special is that it’s one of the few places left in Central America where you can still see (and hear!) howler monkeys roaming free.

You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views from a boat ride during your visit, and you’ll get a chance to see some of the amazing wildlife that lives in this region.

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12. Join a Walking Food Tour

A Walking Food Tour is one of the best ways to discover the local cuisine and culture of Tulum.

You’ll get to visit some of the most popular restaurants in town and learn about the history and culture of Tulum from a local guide.

You’ll also get to experience some delicious traditional Mexican food, including some dishes you may never have tried before.

If you’re looking for an authentic way to get a taste of local life in this beautiful beach town, then this walking tour is just what you need!

13. Ride Through the Jungle on an ATV

If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous way to explore the region, you’ll love this ATV tour in Tulum.

Witness the gorgeous scenery from your own vehicle as you go off-roading through the jungle.

You’ll also get to stop at some of Tulum’s most beautiful natural attractions on your way, including a cenote, where you can cool off in the refreshing water.

If you’re looking for more heart-thumping action, zipline through the canopy of trees at high speeds; it’s an incredible adrenaline rush that rewards you with panoramic views of the area.

For a totally unique experience of Tulum, you can’t go wrong with the ATV tour.

coba ruins tulum
ruins of coba

14. Explore the Ruins of Coba

Just an hour’s drive from Tulum is the Cobá Ruins, which was once one of the largest cities in all of Mexico.

The ruins here are even bigger than those in Tulum, so if you’re looking for something to do that’s not as touristy, this is the place for you!

Most of the structures have yet to be restored, so the ruins are still in the same state that they were in when they were first discovered.

This means that you’ll be able to explore and examine them at your own pace.

You’ll find a number of other activities in the area as well, including zip-lining, cenote swimming and more!