Share the article
Table of Contents
Tulum is a popular sun destination if you’re looking for a great spot to relax. Dotted with many hotels and all-inclusive resorts, it’s easy to surrender to the sun and sea gods and want to lie on the beach all day. However, the Yucatán Peninsula is filled with great adventures and here are six of our favourites.
Places to visit near Tulum
If you’re in Tulum, then you must of course visit the Tulum Mayan ruins. The only ruins built by the sea, the compact village overlooks the Caribbean Sea and a gorgeous fine sand beach. Take the day to visit the ruins and spend the day on the beach or snorkeling or visiting the nearby Mayan ruins of Coba, located in the jungle not too far from Tulum.
If you only get off the beach for one thing while you’re in Tulum, make it count and visit Chichen Itzá. Book a driver or a tour through your hotel and head to Mexico’s best-preserved Mayan ruins. Located deep in the Yucatán jungle, this pre-Colombian city is remarkably fascinating and thought to have been one of the largest Maya cities. Many of the stone buildings have been restored and the most impressive ones to visit include the Temple of Kukulkan, the Temple of the Warriors and the Osario Pyramid.
The Yucatán peninsula is dotted with gorgeous cenotes, natural sinkholes that expose the groundwater and make for great swimming holes. The spectacular rock formations and crystal clear water make cenotes an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. You rent a car and create a road trip that combines several of these swimming holes or combine a visit to an archaeological site and a cenote.
Playa del Carmen
The city of Playa del Carmen is less than an hour drive from Tulum. You can spend the day there and stay for dinner at one of the many hip restaurants followed by dancing at one of the clubs. Take a walk down Fifth Avenue (Quinta Avenida), a bustling pedestrian street with dozens of street vendors, boutiques, cafés and restaurants fighting for attention.
If you’re a nature lover, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site you don’t want to miss. The reserve’s mangroves, jungles, sandy beaches, coral reefs and underwater ecosystem are home to thousands of species of flora and fauna for you to discover by boat or by car.
Visit an island
A short boat ride away, Isla Mujeres is great to frolic on a beach, visit the baby turtles at the turtle farm and grab lunch on the water before heading back to the main land. Make sure to visit the Garrafón Natural Reef Park at the southern end of the island for some adventure sports or R&R.
Scuba dive with several species of turtles and manta rays, do some bird watching and enjoy the many walking trails on this island that’s a national park under the protection of the Mexican government.
Separated from the main land by a lagoon that’s home to flamingos, Isla Holbox is a peaceful spot to visit for nature lovers. It’s one of the only places in the world where you can swim with whale sharks. It’s also a great island for bird watching, scuba diving and snorkelling as well as relaxing on the beach.