Tulum has long been hailed as a paradise for beach bums, backpackers and those who enjoy being “off the grid,” but in recent years it has also emerged as a hotspot for jetsetters and wellness seekers, with luxury boutique hotels, dance parties, yoga classes and massages on the beach becoming the norm.
“Once a sleepy outpost, Tulum has become a fashionable yet decidedly low-key escape on a bohemian Grand Tour that might take in Marrakesh, Goa and Phuket,” writes Travel + Leisure. “During the past decade, stylish expats have set up shop, working with native craftsmen to build chic yet authentic Mexican hotels and produce small accessories lines, while adventurous chefs have drafted the fire of habaneros into a global cuisine with Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern accents.”
Where to Relax and Unwind in Tulum
Situated on Mexico’s only Caribbean coast just south of Playa del Carmen and less than two hours from the Cancun International Airport, Tulum has a more laid-back vibe than its larger neighbors and offers easy access to unspoiled, secluded white-sand beaches. Here are seven of the best beaches in Tulum – take your pick among them or visit them all and see which one is your favorite – we love them all!
Hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexico, Playa Paraiso is definitely one of the best beaches in Tulum, attracting countless visitors every year from around the world. Although that might sound like it would be overcrowded, the beach actually stretches far and wide, so it offers plenty of space for everyone. Come early and get the perfect spot – two beach chairs, an umbrella and a table is only 200 pesos (about $10 USD).
This gorgeous beach has calm, clear waters and also happens to be where you can find some of the world’s best ceviche! Situated just north of Playa Paraiso in the Hotel Zone, Playa Pescadores also offers breathtaking views of the ancient cliffside Mayan ruins of Tulum. From May through November you can spot sea turtles here and snorkeling tours are available, and live music can be found on the beach most evenings.
3. Playa Ruinas
As the name suggests, this beach lies just below the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, making it one of the most picturesque (aka Instagrammable) beaches in the world! Set just below the dramatic cliffs that hold the El Castillo pyramid resting on top, the beach is lined with gently swaying palm trees upon glittering white sand. If pure tranquility is what you seek, I recommend going first thing in the morning – you definitely won’t be sorry!
This pristine sun spot offers a serene expanse of soft white sand framing clear turquoise waters in one of the more secluded options listed here among the best beaches in Tulum. There are still vendors at the Las Palmas Public Beach from time to time selling snacks, jewelry and souvenirs, but be sure to bring your own umbrella, water, and some food if you are feeling hungry. Also, if you use a taxi for transport, just be aware that you may need to call for a ride if you want to stick around later than 5 p.m.
5. Akumal Beach
A sandy expanse of pristine white sand topped with palapa huts, Akumal beach is about 30 minutes north of downtown Tulum, offering a fantastic day trip for families or vacationers who are looking for a lively, more commercialized beachside experience. The facilities here are very nice, including a wide variety of bars and restaurants serving mouthwatering food and drinks, while the sea life here is also plentiful – especially the turtles. Be sure to bring your snorkels and get ready for some up-close action – just be sure not to touch!
6. Soliman Bay
Located just south of Akumal and just north of Tulum, Soliman Bay is a tranquil, upscale community, with beachfront restaurants serving the freshest ceviche and views that simply can’t be beat! Somewhat of a hidden secret and home to gorgeous private villas, the beach is open to the public and offers a fantastic place to spend the day. Snorkeling here is fantastic, or you can rent kayaks to explore the calm waters of the bay.
7. Secret Beach
Situated inside the incredible million-acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve just south of Tulum, Secret beach is off the beaten path in an isolated area where nature is still wild, offering sparkling crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. Just be sure you have good directions or take a taxi – this beach isn’t easy to find and will take about one hour to reach via bicycle from Tulum proper – hence the name!
As one of the world’s most popular beach destinations, it’s only fair that visitors check out all of the best places in Tulum to soak up the sun with your toes in the sand! Brimming with stunning natural beauty, friendly faces and a truly dizzying array of exciting activities that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, the beaches of Tulum are perfect for lounging with a cocktail or taking a nap after exploring the warm Caribbean waters. If you’re like us, you will definitely visit them all!
Do you have additional questions about where to find the best beaches in Tulum, Mexico? Tell us in the comments section below!