Tulum 7 Day Itinerary: How to Explore Tulum, Mexico’s Unforgettable Adventure Hub

Tulum Quick Start Guide

📍 Where is Tulum
Tulum is in Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo, the easternmost state that borders the Caribbean Sea. Tulum is located on the coast, just a few hours south of Cancun and just a few hours north of Chetumal, the capital city of Quintana Roo.

📅 How long to visit Tulum
I personally spent over two and a half weeks in Mexico as I spent a few days in Cancun after I landed and had some extra rest days in Tulum. To explore the full extent of Tulum, I think you need at least 5-7 days to do it justice. If you have more time, add on a few days before or after Tulum, spending it in Cancun or in the neighboring state of Yucatan.

☀️ When to visit Tulum
Tulum is honestly great at most times of the year due to Mexico’s sunny, warm climate, but between February and May is the best time to visit to minimize your chance of rain and visit when it’s not too hot. Rainy season is June to October, and September to November is one of the cheapest times to visit. I personally visited in January to skip the holiday rush of December and it was plenty warm for me.

✈️ How to get to Tulum
The closest airport to Tulum is the Cancun International Airport. From there, take the ADO bus and ride it two hours south to Tulum. Alternatively, get a rental car from Cancun Airport and drive it down south. The bus is very affordable so that’s what I chose to do.

🚗 How to get around Tulum
In Cancun, there is a public bus and it’s very cheap and easy to get around. Unfortunately, there is no comparable bus system in Tulum, and taxis are NOTORIOUSLY overpriced. Instead, rent a car, ATV, scooter, or for the cheapest option, rent a bike. There are a few rental places but I recommend Ola bike rental.

🏠️ Where to stay in Tulum
There are three main options I’d recommend for staying in Tulum: Tulum beach/hotel zone, Tulum downtown/central, and La Veleta neighborhood – each has its pros and cons. There is 

  • Tulum Beach Zone / Tulum Hotel Zone: If you want to stay in the heart of Tulum’s best beaches, shopping, and photogenic spots and don’t want to deal with a rental car or bike, stay in Tulum beach zone. It’s very walkable but the downside is it is much more expensive and books up quickly. I recommend Mi Amor Colibri Boutique Hotel (adults only), which is PERFECT for couples – plus incredible food, a stunning infinity pool, and easy beach access. If you want a unique experience, stay at the Papaya Playa Project, which is a sustainable complex of beachfront cabins and cottages – perfect for those looking for a private beach  and incredible views. Bonus: every month they organize a full-moon party! 

  • Tulum Downtown / Tulum Central: If you want to stay a bit cheaper but still be in the heart of good food, shopping, and things to do, stay in Tulum downtown. If you are on a budget, stay at Selina Tulum Downtown to be in a hub of socializing and coworking. What I love: sunrise meditation and daily yoga, an on-site restaurant and pool, and weekly parties. If you want a more private stay, book the secluded guest house Casa Don Diego for a BnB style feel, or stay at Motto by Hilton, which includes a swimming pool, restaurant, garden, and free parking, making it easy for those with a car to explore Tulum more.

  • La Veleta: If you want to be away from the noise and crowds of downtown and are okay with commuting in a bit more, I’d recommend La Veleta. La Veleta is growing quickly so it actually is starting to have its own mini “downtown” area of shopping and restaurants. I recommend Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum, which not only has a pool but also offers and airport shuttle AND an on-site bike rental, making it even easier to get around. Another option is Hotel Holistika, which offers a restaurant complete with vegetarian food, beautiful grounds, and the best part – an on-site yoga studio, perfect for those looking to live the true “Tulum vibe”.

Day 1: Arrival & Getting to Tulum from Cancun

Day 2: Exploring the Tulum Beach Zone

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Day 3: Swimming in Cenotes

Chichen Itza at sunrise. Location: Yucatan, Mexico

Day 4: Seeing Chichen Itza, One of the 7 Modern World Wonders

Day 5: Have a Relaxing Beach Day

Day 6: Visit the Tulum Ruins

Day 7: Return to Cancun & Head Home (optional stop: Coba Ruins)

Looking for Even More Tulum Adventures?

Looking for even more adventures? There are a ton of adventures I am dying to try next time – from horseback riding through the jungle to an ATV + ZIPLINE (!) adventure to a SAILING tour with an open bar (umm YES please!) Discover all of these and more below:

Tulum truly is the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation – the best way to spend a week of vacation to both restore and reinvigorate yourself! I hope you get a chance to experience the magic of Tulum – I’d love to hear if you used this itinerary! If you found this guide helpful, have any questions about Tulum, or have something to share with the Roam Free community, comment below!

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RoamFreeRebecca content creator photographer

Hey I’m Rebecca!

I’m a travel & outdoors photographer, blogger, and content greator living in the US but you can find me adventuring around the globe! On this blog I share tips to help you improve your photography, inspiration and advice to explore the outdoors, destination guides, travel tips, and more to plan your own adventures!

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