Tulum — Luxury On The Yucatan Peninsula
Travel4 Minutes Read

Tulum — Luxury On The Yucatan Peninsula

March 18, 2022 Share

White sand beaches, Mayan ruins, an epic party scene — what’s not to like about Tulum, Mexico?

Cancun’s little brother is growing up fast, and it’s no wonder that it made the US News list of top destinations in Mexico in 2021.

Tulum’s charm comes from its well-preserved Mayan ruins which overlook several stunning beaches. Nothing beats exploring the ancient temples and followed by a dip in temperate waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Riviera Maya on Tulum’s beautiful coastline. Credit: Darren Lawrence

The resort scene in Tulum is on point. A personal favourite is La Valise Tulum, a beachfront bungalow done in style. La Valise boasts 11-luxury suites situated somewhere between the beach and the jungle. Balinese architecture and bright, airy rooms decked out in white linen give off a serious paradise vibe.

Try their master suite for true luxury — double the size of the other rooms with an incredible private terrace. Prices vary but expect to pay around $500 to $700 a night for a standard room.

If La Valise is booked, the equally luxurious Be Tulum has 65 suites tucked away in the jungle and on the sea. The resort also offers private villas of a funky, wooden design that offer groups the perfect getaway. With exquisite restaurants serving locally sourced Yucatan food and a full wellness centre to boot — this resort leaves nothing to be desired.

A resort in Tulum on the beach.
Plenty of beachside luxury resorts dot Tulum’s coastline. Credit: Spencer Watson

Now that you know where to stay, what should you do? Tulum is full of excursions, both close by and a little further afield.

Tulum’s Mayan ruins sit on a clifftop overlooking the ocean and can be explored freely or with a guided tour — bring lots of water as it gets hot during the day and there is very little shade. Tulum’s ruins are some of the best-preserved in the world, the towering pyramids and stone temples are a testament to the Mayans’ ingenuity. After you’re done with the ruins, the beach below is sure to seem inviting.

A Mayan ruin in Tulum overlooking the beach.
Tulum’s Mayan ruins sit upon clifftops overlooking the beach. Credit: Anne Sullivan

For a day trip check out the great pyramids of Chichen Itza — which is truly a marvel of the ancient world. Seriously, this site is up there with the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

The massive structures can be reached by car in about two hours from Tulum, your hotel should be able to arrange the trip.

Chichen Itza is a popular day trip from Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum — get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds and the heat.

Chichen Itza Mayan ruins, a short drive from Tulum.
Chichen Itza, a true wonder of the ancient world, is located a short drive from Tulum. Credit: Mario La Pergola

So, you’ve had a swim in the Gulf of Mexico, explored the Mayan ruins, now you fancy a night out. Tulum has got you covered. If you want a chilled-out experience on the beach, head to Nomade. This beach bar turns into a club by night and plays chilled out tunes serving tacos and other snacks. It’s a great place to watch the sunset.

If you want to go out-out, fear not, Tulum has a great club scene where DJ sets go until the early hours of the morning.

A beach resort in Tulum at sunset.
Tulum has a plethora of clubs, right on the beach. Credit: Tanja Cotoaga

Try Papaya Playa Project, this sustainable beachside hotel has become iconic for its Saturday night and full moon parties. Here you can dance the night away with Tulum’s beautiful people. They serve great food and host world-class performers every Saturday.

Tulum is firmly on the map now, and with good reason. It possesses a subtle class and a vibe that outshines Mexico’s most famous vacation spot, Cancun. It’s time to pass the torch — move over to Cancun, Tulum is here to stay.

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Author: Matthew Dooley