Playa Tulum

Photo Credit: © Chris J CC BY

Tulum was the only Maya city built along the water, and today serves as the majestic watch guard of nearby Playa Tulum. For a solid dose of history, architecture, and even anthropology with your beach going experience, there is no better option than Playa Tulum.

Situated in the Riviera Maya, Playa Tulum is on the East edge of Mexico. You should consider stopping by even if you aren't staying nearby. Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean's beaches are pretty busy for the most part, but you'll find Playa Tulum to be a little calmer than most, which makes it an excellent attraction for those of you who want to stay away from big crowds, but still get the most out of their beach visit.

Amenities and Ambiance

Tulum translated from the Maya language means wall. The structure stands are three walls, and opens onto the Caribbean, leaving the sea as its final enclosure. Just off shore is a reef and several underwater caves, while on shore guests can sink into blindingly white sand as they gaze out over the topaz waters.

Unfortunately, public restrooms aren't available, so if you're visiting with small children you might want to consider a different location.

Since Playa Tulum is found in an area commonly frequented by travelers, you might want consider the time when you plan your visit.

What's Nearby


Beachgoers will find Playa Tulum on the East coast of Mexico. It is near some interesting sites like Tulum Lighthouse, which is not very far away, so visitors have the option to walk or to take a cab, and it is one of a number of popular spots in the area.

Historical attractions like Temple Of The Sea provide a nice compliment to a soothing day at Playa Tulum, and provide beachgoers with the opportunity to learn about Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean's past, without straying too far from the coastline. As a matter of fact, this coast is only a brief walk or taxi ride away from this historical destination.

If you're looking for other nearby attractions or activity options, this beach isn't far from any of the items in the following table.

Activities and Attractions Near Playa Tulum
Attraction Type Distance Direction
Tulum Lighthouse Lighthouse 0.4 mi. N --
Temple Of The Sea Historical Site 0.5 mi. N --
Temple Of The Initial Series (Temple Of The Stellae) Historical Site 0.6 mi. N --
Tulum Outer Wall Historical Site 0.6 mi. N --
Temple Of The Pinturas Historical Site 0.6 mi. N --
Tulum Maya Ruins Historical Site 0.6 mi. N --
House Of The Chultun Historical Site 0.6 mi. N --
Temple Of The Descending God Historical Site 0.7 mi. N --
House Of The Columns Historical Site 0.7 mi. N --
The Grand Palace Historical Site 0.7 mi. N --
Temple Of The Wind Historical Site 0.7 mi. N --
Casa del Cenote at Tulum Mayan Ruins Historical Site 0.8 mi. N --

Cities and Towns

Guests visiting Playa Tulum who are seeking a little additional excitement might consider checking out Tulum, since it's in the vicinity and is an area full of activity. From the coast, Tulum isn't far off, about two miles (three kilometers).


The mood here——social and lively, or virtually empty—— will vary depending on the time of day, particularly in the high season when hotels overflow with tourists. At this beach, you can expect to encounter quite a few travelers staying at the closest accommodations.

Beach-goers looking to find a hotel room not far from the beach won't have a tough time, as there is no shortage of resorts and hotels to pick from close-by. You'll find the closest and most convenient lodging options by viewing what's listed in the table below.

Accommodations near Playa Tulum
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Cabanas El Mirador 0.2 mi. N Hostel
Mezzanine 0.7 mi. SW Hotel
Diamante K 0.8 mi. SW Lodge
Cabanas Los Arrecifes 0.9 mi. SW Cottages
Xbalamque Tulum Eco Camp 1.1 mi. N Lodge
Blue Tulum Resort and Spa 1.5 mi. SW Resort
Zahra -- -- Cottages
L'hotelito 2.0 mi. W Hotel
Zamas Hotel 2.3 mi. SSW Hotel
Posada Luna del Sur 2.4 mi. W Hotel


A trip to the beach isn't complete until you try a nearby restaurant, where you'll be able to sample the local chefs' favorite dishes, without having to stray too far. One of the closest restaurants is Don Cafeto. When you start to get hungry, you won't need to wait too long to eat since it's just a short distance away.

Restaurants closest to this beach are shown in the following table.

Restaurants near Playa Tulum
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Don Cafeto -- -- -- 0.0 mi. W
La Cantina -- -- -- 0.0 mi. NW
Santa Fe (612) 145-0340 -- -- 0.1 mi. NNW
El Mirador -- -- -- 0.3 mi. N
Mezzanine (303) 578-1301 Thai Informal 0.7 mi. SW
La Condesa no phone -- -- 0.7 mi. SW
Selva Maya -- International -- 0.8 mi. NNW
Diamante K -- Caribbean, International Informal 0.8 mi. SW
Don Cafeto -- International -- 0.8 mi. NNW
King Kebab -- Fast food restaurant -- 0.8 mi. NNW
Pizza Pizza -- Italian -- 0.8 mi. NNW
Subway Tulum Parque -- American Very Casual 0.8 mi. NNW

Other Beaches

Of course, Playa Tulum is just one of many beaches you might like in Mexico.

Travelers who like this beach might also enjoy Hidden Beach, situated definitely within a car's reach. More active guests, though, may be interested in Tulum Mayan Ruins Beach, which could provide more action, and isn't far from other tourist hot-spots. It's located a half mile to the north.

You might also want to visit Playa Akumal, which is close-by and another fun spot in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean.

Of course, there are lots of other things to do and see in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean; then again, visiting Playa Tulum or the other beautiful beaches in the area can make your time in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean even more memorable.


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