As I am writing right now, I am on a huge trip through South America, while working online and at this present blog. Therefore I know very well how overwhelming could be planning a trip and deciding what to do, especially if you have a limited period of time and lots of options to chose from.
With this list of things to do, I will try two explain the kind of experience you will have in each one of the activities, with the hope to make it easier for you to chose which one suits best the kind of vacation you will want to do.
The final decision is totally yours but I really hope to make it sweeter.
Tulum is known most of all for two main reasons, for the ultra-photogenic archaeological site and for the bohemian life offered by the high-end eco-chic hotels and the phenomenal restaurants that will indulge all your senses.
In fact, besides the beautiful beach and the quaint little town, there is so much more to see and to do in the surrounding areas. So many natural beauties and historical places that make this already popular destination even more appealing.
So without further ado here is a list of things to do if you are staying in Tulum or all the Riviera Maya actually.
#1 Tulum Mayan archaeological site
First and foremost, you cannot come to Tulum and miss the archaeological site.
It is almost mandatory (just kidding…but not :), known to be the only Mayan settlement right on the beach and beside the historical importance, it offers the most stunning and fascinating views.
The contrast between the Mayan towers and the blue sea is amazing.
I would suggest you should hire a guide, available at the entrance in order to be able to appreciate it fully. There is also a great beach that you can enjoy.
I didn’t because it was too crowded.
To know more about the archeological site, I talked about it more extensively here.
#2 Coba Mayan archaeological site:
Coba is a small town situated 30 km north of Tulum. It’s really laid back and authentic. The Mayan site is right there in front of the lagoon. You cannot miss it. While you are there, right after the site visit, I suggest you should cool out in the cenotes located just at a 10-minute drive. A refreshing beauty.
Click here to see how to visit the site of Coba, with practical information in details.
#3 Punta Laguna
A natural reserve by a lagoon where knowledgeable guides will walk you around the jungle and show you the natural resources of the place an encounter with the spider monkeys won’t be missed and if you are lucky you might get the chance to see the howler monkey too. A tour of the lagoon and rappelling down a cenote are other activities you can do there.
Click here to see the complete post on Punta Laguna
A busy but still lovely beach where you can swim with friendly turtles just a few arm-strokes from the shore. Certainly, an experience that I wouldn’t miss. Here I am telling you where it is and how to enjoy it to the fullest.
#5 Kaan Luum lagoon
An oasis of peace at just 10 km north of downtown Tulum, this beautiful calming mirror of water is waiting for you. You can check out this post to know more about it, and also check out a few cenotes on the way.
Muyil is a a small town just 20 minutes driving from Tulum (250 MXN, 15 USD, by taxi) where you can explore a couple of interesting sites which I really recommend. First of all the Archaeological Site is one of a kind, small enough to not to get tired, big enough to be able to enjoy and get a taste of the Mayan culture. The setting is spectacular, just beside the main road but right into the deep jungle, ironically. IThe same atmosphere. Really recommended. Here is where you can find more detailed information.
#7 Lagoon Tour
Right after jump into history, you deserve a little relax and a refreshing deep into the Lagoon of the Biosphere of Sian ka’an and let your body float on a transparent river in between the Sian ka-aan Lagoon. it’s an experience that I would really suggest you should have.
Sian Ka’an reserve – declared world heritage site by UNESCO in 1987, the biosphere reserve is one of the largest and diverse ecosystems in Mexico. There is so much to say about the Sian Ka’an and it’s exceptional diversity of life, that I need to dedicate a full chapter only to that. For now, I leave you with to the UNESCO site which will definitely fill you in with very interesting and accurate details.
#8 Cenotes Cristal y Escondido
Located just outside Tulum direction Chetumal, those are two huge open cenotes where you can snorkel, cliff jump, or just hang out and chill in the tranquillity of the jungle and its sweet little inhabitants. It’s 120 pesos for both of them.
#9 Cenote Eden – (last but not least)
Situated about 30 minutes driving north, towards Playa del Carmen, this is one of the biggest cenotes in the area. The transparent water allows you to see perfectly clear the bottom, besides freezing. The various platforms around the cenotes invite you to show off your bravery while jumping into the chilly water of the cenotes, avoiding threatening rocks. Just kidding it’s not that bad.
I hope this has offered you useful tips for your next trip. And if you wish to know more, check back later on because I will add more activities and places right here! Enjoy!