Tulum Bucket List: 10 Must-Do Activities For the Adventure Seeker

Tulum Bucket List: 10 Must-Do Activities For the Adventure Seeker

Tulum is a beautiful and unique coastal hub located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is home to some of the best beaches in the world and is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a fun beach-based holiday. It has everything from Mayan ruins to pristine beaches to delicious food and a plethora of exciting activities.

Tulum's popularity as a tourist destination has skyrocketed in recent years. But beyond its stunning white sand beaches, Tulum offers an array of activities for adventurous tourists, from exploring the ancient Mayan ruins to swimming in vibrant cenotes and even taking in the natural beauty of its wildlife reserves. Here are the top 10 things to do in Tulum to get the most out of your vacation:

1. Explore The Tulum Ruins

The Tulum Ruins (Tulum Archeological Zone) is a Unesco World Legacy Site where the old Mayan city of Tulum once stood (unique Maya name Zamá). This seaside city was a bustling religious and trading center for the ancient Maya from the 11th to the 16th centuries. They built a large pyramid (El Castillo) and an impressive Temple (Temple of the Frescoes) here. This is one of the most unusual Mayan sites in all of Mexico.

It is perched on cliffs that are 40 feet high and 12 meters high, with a view of the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. The cliffs are lined with palm trees and other tropical plants.

2. Swim In The Epic Tulum Cenotes

The Sac Actun underground river, the world's largest underwater cave system, can be found in the Cenotes of Tulum and the Riviera Maya region. Over 6,000 cenotes—freshwater sinkholes with clear water—connect to the ocean in this area, creating a filtered network of swimming holes with clear water. A getaway in Tulum is just unfinished without looking at basically a couple of these epic cenotes.

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3. Explore Tulum Town (Pueblo) By Bicycle

Tulum Town, which is also known as Pueblo or Centro, is the main area right next to the beach strip (Tulum Hotel Zone or Tulum Playa). Even though many tourists go straight to book a room at a resort closer to the beach and skip the pueblo.

In fact, the main road in town has some of the best cafes, bars, restaurants, and boutique shops. The best way to get to know a place is to rent a bike, and ride around, going from markets to cafes and everywhere in between.

4. Take a Trip to Cozumel

On your Tulum vacation, do you want to discover the Riviera Maya? It doesn't get much better than traveling to Isla Cozumel, an island in the Caribbean. One of Mexico's best tropical island locations is where you can relax on white-sand beaches, snorkel or scuba dive coral reefs, and sip cocktails! From Tulum, a day trip to Cozumel only takes two and a half hours each way.

Essentially take the ADO transport or drive your own rental vehicle up to Play del Carmen and bounce on the 40-minute ship. Assuming you will do any Caribbean scuba jumping or are interested in learning, then the best shop on the island is Pungent Undertakings, which obliges proficient jumpers and fledglings. Palancar Gardens and the massive C-53 Wreck are two excellent dive sites on the island's Marine Park reefs.

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5. Visit the Well-Known Tulum Beaches

Tulum has always had a laid-back vibe, and one of the best things to do here is just relaxed! The town of Tulum is just a short bike ride or a short drive away from a number of beautiful public beaches, and if you stay on the Hotel Strip, you'll be right there. Imagine pristine beaches with crystal-clear water, white sand, and coral reefs where you can snorkel.

Some of the best Tulum's beaches are:

Playa Paraiso is one of Mexico's most stunning beaches! Playa Ruinas is a picturesque beach lined by palm trees beneath the ancient Mayan ruins of the Tulum Archaeological Zone. This long stretch of sugar-white sand is ideal for unwinding and basking in the Caribbean sun.

Las Palmas is a private public beach south of Playa Paraiso with no obnoxious vendors or restaurants.

Secret Beach is a magical, off-the-beaten-path location deep within the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Akumal Bay is a picturesque beach located just 30 minutes from Tulum where you can swim and snorkel with sea turtles.

Unlike many private beaches in Mexico, some of these beaches, like Playa Paraiso and Las Palmas, are free to roam and enjoy. This implies that ocean-side jumping here is exceptionally simple and perhaps the best thing to do in Tulum.

6. Do Yoga With Rescue Dogs

Yoga with rescue dogs is one of the most unique things to do in Tulum. Yoga Dicha has one of the best yoga retreats and schools in Tulum. Twice a month, they hold yoga classes with rescued dogs from a shelter nearby.

You can find the yoga school in Tulum pueblo just a short walk from the main strip of restaurants. If you want to adopt a puppy, you can also do that!

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7. A Day At The Mexican Adventure Parks

The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday. If you are coming from Tulum, the straight Tulum-Cancun Highway will take you about 45 minutes to drive up. Once you get there, you can explore the huge park, which is made up of natural forests with waterfalls, caves, and even some cenotes.

The park has zip lines, ATV rides, and rafting. It's a pretty unique place to go, and your kids will probably thank you for taking them to one of the craziest things to do in Tulum.

8. Eat Delicious Street Food Tacos

In Tulum town, you can find some delicious taquerias and taco stands just off the main streets. The majority of these guys accommodate partygoers in Tulum's lively nightlife scene by serving delicious street food all night.

However, their tacos are absolutely UNREAL and cater to vegetarians as well. Some of the other best restaurants in Tulum include Arca, Campanella Cremerie, Dona Paty Tacos de Guisado, and Encanto Cantina

9. Join In On The Tulum Nightlife Scene

Participate in the Tulum nightlife scene by strolling the city's streets, which are lined with numerous famous bars and extended happy hour pubs. Even though this charming Mexican town isn't just about the partying and nightlife, one of the most popular things to do in Tulum at night is to get a beer or a cocktail!

Some of the best beach clubs on the Yucatan Peninsula are also in the hotel zone. Even though many of them host nightly live music events, you can expect to pay significantly more for a drink there than in the town.

10. Visit Chichen Itza

It's safe to say that Chichén Itzá is one of the most interesting ancient sites. This Mayan city has been kept in perfect condition and has some amazing buildings, like the Kukulkan Pyramid (El Castillo), which has a strange equinoxial alignment.

But since this is the most-visited archaeological site in Mexico and one of the most-visited places near Tulum and Cancun, you can expect to see a lot of people here.


Tulum is a wonderland, that offers a unique mix of beaches, Mayan ruins, and diverse wildlife. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or a more adventurous getaway, there’s something for everyone in Tulum.

From exploring the ruins to diving in the cenotes, and from zip-lining to trekking across the nature reserves, you’ll be sure to make memories that will last a lifetime! Make sure to take full advantage and explore the top 10 things to do in Tulum to get the perfect vacation.

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