| | | | | |

Top Things to do in Tulum

Tulum is a vibrant laid-back Mexico with top entertaining things to do

When spending time in beautiful Cancun, Mexico, book a trip to Tulum. This Yucatán Peninsula city was once a thriving Mayan seaport. Today, it is a bustling locale with many tourist attractions, including multiple ruins sites, natural reserves, beautiful beaches, and much more. They are building an airport slated to be completed in 2023. That’s how much Tulum has grown in tourism. Let me paint a map of Tulum, take a walk through this vibrant city, and get a brief history of its culture. Enjoy these top activities to do in Tulum

How Old Is Tulum?

Tulum is about 820 years old. It is believed to have been constructed sometime between 1200 AD and 1450 AD. So its actual age could be different, but current estimates place it at 820 and 570 years old.

Top Tulum Ruins

Tulum Ruins History

Top Things in Tulum
Tulum Ruins

One of the most famous sights of Tulum is the Tulum Ruins. The Mayans occupied this area from around 1200 AD until the 15th century. According to Tulum ruins history, when the Spanish came to Central America, the inhabitants of this civilization eventually fled to the surrounding jungle and lived there for over 300 years. During that time, the Mayan civilization was enveloped by the jungle. In the early 1800s, after being discovered, these astounding structures were uncovered and restored to the beauty and strength we see today.

You can tour the Mayan civilization on your own and enjoy its splendor, but a guide can give you much more history of the ruins, their people, and their culture. I highly suggest a tour guide. The first time I went, I had an incredible history buff and brought it all to life. I could walk and remember his stories when I went the next time. It’s fascinating to learn how we got here today.

In addition to the Tulum ruins history, Latin American history buffs will love the Tulum area for its abundance of other Mayan civilizations that can be explored. Just north of the city of Tulum are the Cobá Ruins. You can travel miles of white roads as you ponder the experiences of those who trod these same pathways. At Cobá, you can also climb the 120-step temple, which was the center of the civilization.

Coba Ruins
Coba Ruins

The Muyil Ruins, also known as Chunyaxché, are approximately 25 km (9.3 miles) south of Tulum. As with Cobá, it is not as heavily visited by tourists, so it is a bit more peaceful, and you can enjoy the sanctity and spirituality of the area. Located within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, it is a wonderland of well-maintained paths and impressive structures that are still standing. It is also famous for the canal system built by the Mayans.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Also, on our map of Tulum, you will find a breathtaking nature reserve. You may want to set aside a particular day to visit Muyil while viewing the wonders of nature at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This reserve comprises dunes, lagoons, beaches, and protected ecosystems that will stun and amaze. There is something for everyone to do here: hiking, sunset bird watching, snorkeling, and other physical adventures.

Head to one of many Cenotes for some water fun

Looking for the most beautiful cenotes in Tulum? 

Cenote (pronounced seh-NO-tay) is the Spanish word for “sinkhole.” These natural sinkholes are limestone rocks that created caves and stalagmites over thousands of years. The Yucatan Peninsula has around 6,000 cenotes. 

El Gran Cenote, Tulum

Gran Cenote is one of the most famous cenotes in Tulum, Mexico. It is an open cenote surrounded by caves and caverns. 

The best way to explore the cenote is through a diving excursion. It has two diving sites frequently explored by snorkelers, scuba divers, and the occasional sea turtle.

The ecosystems around this underground cenote are well protected and preserved. 

Before entering the cenote, rinse under the on-site showers first to preserve the ecosystem. Some cavern roofs have bats hanging from the magnificent stalagmites.

Gran Cenote Top Things in Tulum
Gran Cenote

Cenote Calavera, Tulum

Cenote Calavera translates to “skull sinkhole” in English. It got its name from the three swimming holes that resemble two eyes and a mouth.

You’ve probably seen this cenote all over your social media feeds. Its tell-tale swing over the sinkhole is in countless Instagram and Pinterest posts.

The ladder on the side of the cenote gives you a 13-foot drop as you jump in the pools. It is one of Tulum’s must-visit spots. 

Cenote El Pit

El Pit is near Dos Ojos Cenote and Cenote Sac Actun. The name fits because it looks like a bottomless pit in the middle of the forest. 

The oval-shaped sinkhole is 130 feet deep and is a popular diving destination in Tulum.

However, the main attraction is the sunbeams sparkling through the water as you dive. The beams of light dance above the layer of hydrogen sulfide at the bottom. The smokey layer looks like clouds swaying below the water.

Cenote Sac Actun

This is a cave diver’s dream because it’s the world’s most extensive underwater cave system. The cave system is about 226 miles long and around 390 feet deep. 

If you’re not a diver, you can still enjoy this cenote because it has deep turquoise water you can float in. The cave system has multiple cenotes connected, making cenote hopping easy.

After swimming and sightseeing, you will be starving. Everyone loves a street taco. Here is a list of some of the tastiest street tacos in Tulum

Cenotes Sac Actun Top Things in Tulum
Cenotes Sac Actun Top Things in Tulum Dive

Taqueria Honorio – Pueblo

A family-run taco stands best known for its Yucatecan pork fillings, including Conchita pibil (slow-roasted pulled pork), lechón al horno (roast suckling pig), poc chuc (grilled pork with citrus marinade). This spot has become popular recently, so expect to pay a little more here than at other taco stands (though it’s still super cheap). Open from 6:00 a.m. until they run out of food, usually around 1:00 p.m. Cash only, limited seating.

• Location

El Carboncito – Pueblo

Tulum’s best tacos al pastor (spit-roasted pork with a Mexican-Middle Eastern spice blend). Chorizo and beef tacos are also excellent, especially when washed with a glass of jamaica (sweet hibiscus tea) or horchata (sweet cinnamon rice drink). Though the seating area is large, it’s usually super busy with a long wait for a table, so arrive early or take it to go. Cash only.

• Location

Antojitos la Chiapaneca – Pueblo

Some of Tulum’s best tacos are also the cheapest, starting at 10 pesos each (15 pesos with cheese). Go for the al pastor. This stand is also known for its Yucatecan snacks, especially salbutes (open-face, deep-fried, mesa flour tacos) and panuchos (salbutes with refried beans added). Covered or open-air seating is available, but it’s standing room only most nights. Hours are not strictly kept, but usually, the shop is open after 5:00 p.m. Cash only.

  1. • Location

Tacos y Tortas El Tío – Pueblo

Authentic, cheap, delicious street tacos and tortas. There are only 5 chairs in this popular little cart, so plan on ordering to go. Hours aren’t set, but the cart is open at night only and usually on weekends, though you may catch them some weeknights, too. El Tío parks in front of the Oxxo convenience store at the corner of Avenida Tulum and Calle Geminis Sur. Cash only.

• Location

Burrito Amor – Pueblo

Not technically tacos. But Burrito Amor cooks a rich, flavorful menu based on a clean-eating philosophy. Burritos are made with fresh, homemade tortillas (flour, gluten-free, or grain-free) and stuffed with various fillings (meat, vegetarian, vegan, egg-free, dairy-free, and/or paleo-friendly). They also have a killer bar, mixing signature cocktails, Aquas Frescas, freshly squeezed juices, and fragrant coffee. Great menu and service all day. Cash only.

• Location

Charly’s Vegan Tacos – South Beach Zone

Non-traditional taco shop serving 100% vegan tacos and snacks, including their signature Guaca-Mango (their sweet take on guacamole) and rich, flavorful mock meats. Tucked under palm trees, lit with hanging lights and candles, this is Tulum’s most charming spot for tacos. Cash only.

• Location

Taqueria La Eufemia – South Beach Zone

Rock ‘n roll style, beachfront taqueria offering great fish tacos and snacks. La Eufemia is not very authentic, but the flavors are bold, the margaritas are strong, the vibe is chill, and the smell of weed is in the air. The cheapest eats on the beach. Cash only.

Taqueria La Eufemia – South Beach Zone
Beach at Taqueria La Eufemia

A Need to Workout

Jungle Gym
Jungel Gym at the Beavch Tulum

No vacation is complete without a unique workout. Tulum is just the place for that. Custom-made gym equipment from the jungle and the shore. Weights are rocks, pulleys are ropes, wooden dumbbells and benches. Make it a day and double your pass for beach access. Beach towels are available for $3. No reservations are needed unless you are a party of 8 or more. Go hang out at the Jungle Gym.

More Top Travels

Looking for more adventures in your travel? Read more here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *