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.

Located in the Riviera Maya, Playa Tulum is on the East coast of Mexico. You might think about stopping by even if you aren't staying particularly close by. Playa Tulum stands out because it's one of the best spots for escaping the typical tourist haunts. Most other beaches you'll come across in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean may have the same pleasing, tropical setting as Playa Tulum, but are usually busier since they're near some of the most popular hotels.

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, restrooms will not be available here, which is something to consider if you plan to spend a full day in the sun.

Remember to take into account that Playa Tulum's immediate surroundings are a popular spot, so show up early.

What's Nearby


Playa Tulum is always a lovely side-trip when you're in the area. Look for it on the East coast of Mexico. It is close to Tulum Lighthouse, which is only a short distance away, so tourists could take a cab or probably walk to this attraction, and it is one of the the area's interesting attractions.

If you're intrigued by Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean's history, there are nearby attractions where you can learn about their culture and traditions. One of the closest attractions of this sort is Temple Of The Sea, which is a half mile away.

If a visit to the Playa Tulum isn't enough to keep you busy all afternoon, the beach is located near the attractions 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

Playa Tulum is in the Tulum area, so a trip into the city is a definite option. Playa Tulum guests looking for other opportunities for exploration might want to consider going to Tulum, because it's in the vicinity and is an area full of activity. From the beach, Tulum isn't far off, roughly two miles (three kilometers).


The popularity of this spot on any given day can vary, depending on when you visit, and how many people have booked nearby hotels. You can typically expect to share the sand with more than a few vacationers who are staying in the area.

Guests trying to find a room near Playa Tulum won't have a tough time, as there are plenty of accommodations to pick from in the area. You'll find the closest lodging options by viewing those shown in the table that follows.

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


If you start getting hungry during your afternoon at the shore, you'll have some great cuisine to choose from, and you don't have to go far from the shore. One of the closest places to eat is Don Cafeto. You and your group can get to this restaurant and start eating in just a few minutes as it's only a short distance away.

Some nearby restaurant options 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

Playa Tulum is just one of many beaches you can visit in Mexico.

Another location you might enjoy is Hidden Beach, situated a little ways off, but can be reached in the car. More active guests, though, may be interested in Tulum Mayan Ruins Beach, which could provide a little more opportunity for excitement, and is closer to additional things to do and see nearby. You'll find it a half mile to the north.

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

Perhaps Playa Tulum is the most convenient coastline for you to visit, but some travelers itch to explore more; if so, Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean offers a variety of beaches for travelers who wish to try elsewhere.


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