13 Day Trips From Tulum
This blog post is all about the best day trips from Tulum!
Tulum is definitely one of the prettiest places on Earth, but if you are looking for an extra spice during your trip, and want to discover more places around Tulum, I got you covered!
In this blog post, we are going to talk about the TOP 13 best day trips from Tulum!
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13 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM TULUM:
Visit Ek Balam
The lesser-known Mayan ruins of Ek Balam are an interesting addition to every Yucatan itinerary.
That is because you can still climb the pyramid here and view some intriguing stucco sculptures that are not commonly seen at other Mayan archaeological sites.
Ek Balam, also known as the City of Black Jaguar, was once the capital of the Kingdom of Tlalol.
It was an important power centre because it connected several Mayan cities including the powerful city of Coba.
There are several interesting things to do at Ek Balam.
These include climbing the Acropolis for some stunning views of the Yucatan jungles, marvelling at rare stucco carvings, and exploring the Oval Palace which was once the seat of burial ceremonies.
Nearby is the open-air Cenote Xcanche which is quiet and devoid of crowds.
It is easy to get to Ek Balam from Tulum by car. The drive takes less than 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Valladolid and then ride on a colectivo from Valladolid to Ek Balam.
Ek Balam makes for an amazing day trip from Tulum also because the site is just an hour away from the more famous Chichen Itza.
If you don’t mind a long day, you can see both Chichen Itza and Ek Balam in one day.
Recommended by Soumya from Stories by Soumya
There’s no shortage of amazing cenotes to see in Mexico. In fact, there are about 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, which is the world’s largest amount of cenotes found in one place.
With so many options, you probably want to know how to choose the best cenotes.
Many of the cenotes are beautiful and worth checking out, but Cenote Suytun is unique because it’s an underground cenote that’s in a cave.
It is located between Tulum and Merida, Mexico — and actually one of the best cenotes near Merida.
Cenote Suytun makes for a great day trips from both cities, and is also located not far from the town of Valladolid and the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins.
Located inside a cave, Cenote Suytun has an otherworldly look. There is a hole above the cenote so a single ray of light gets in, shining down on a circular platform in the center.
The platform is perfect for photos, which is why this is known as one the most instagrammable cenotes in Mexico.
As with many other cenotes, if you want those Instagram worthy photos without people in them, arrive by 10am, and preferably on a weekday rather than over the weekend.
This cenote is small, and very popular, so it fills up fast.
Cenote Suytun is located about 1.5 hours by car from Tulum. It is about 45 minutes from Chichen Itza, so you can combine these two places on your Tulum day trip.
There are other cenotes nearby as well, like Cenote Oxman and Cenote Zaci. Cenote Suytun is just off Highway Carretera 180, east of Valladolid.
It is open daily, from 9am-5pm, and costs $120 pesos ($6.50 USD) to enter.
Recommended by Shelley of Travel To Merida
Visit Lake Bacalar
Lake Bacalar Mexico is the second largest freshwater lake in the country, after Lake Chapala in Jalisco State.
It is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, about two hours south of Tulum by car or bus.
Bacalar Lake is bright blue in color, with crystal-clear freshwater that has earned it the nickname, the Maldives of Mexico, after the famous Maldives Islands.
The locals also call it the Lake of Seven Colors, because they say you can see seven shades of blue.
The reason for this is because the lake has a lot of varying depths.
In the shallows, the water shows up as clear and turquoise, but in the deep parts of the lake, it looks deep blue or indigo.
In its deepest parts, Bacalar Lake is 295-feet-deep (90 m). It is also a large lake, at about 26-miles-long (42 km).
The best way to see it is on a boat tour, and there are tours going all day from the popular Balneario Los Cocalitos, that will take you to the popular sites around the lake, like Canal de Piratas (Pirate’s Channel) and Cenote la Bruja (Witch’s Cenote).
After the boat tour, head to another popular balneario (beach club) called Los Rapidos.
This is located on the south end of the lake, and has semi-fast moving rapids that you can float around in.
There’s also a restaurant and hammocks in the water to enjoy before heading back to Tulum.
Recommended by Shelley of Travel Mexico Solo
One of the easiest and most rewarding day trips from Tulum is Coba ruins, which are among the most interesting Mayan sites in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Unlike all other Mayan sites, tourists can still climb the pyramids in Coba, and take in the surrounding views of the lush forest that is typical of the Yucatan.
Coba flourished between 600 and 900 AD, when it was the most important city in the area and it used Tulum as its ports.
The site is very widespread. There are temples, ball courts and more. To explore it, you will have to rent a bike or hire a bici-taxi, or be ready to walk a lot – just make sure to wear comfortable shoes or walking sandals for your visit (flip flops won’t do!).
You may even want to consider a guided tour to better appreciate its importance.
To get from Tulum to Coba Ruins, you can hop on a colectivo that will take you to the entrance in around 45 minutes.
Keep in mind colectivos don’t stop there on the way back, so you will either have to hire a taxi, get the ADO bus back, or walk to the main road to catch a colectivo back.
Recommended by Claudia, My Adventures Across The World
Valladolid makes an amazing trip from Tulum for a day.
It is one of the best places to visit in the Yúcatan peninsula due to its history, culture, and food.
The city is only a couple of hours away from Tulum, making it the perfect day trip.
Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time in Valladolid.
The easiest way to get to Valladolid from Tulum is by bus or car. There is a direct bus connection from Tulum to Valladolid, or you can take a car if you want more flexibility in your itinerary.
Once you’re in Valladolid, there are plenty of things to do. The main square, Plaza Mayor, is the perfect place to start.
The most famous street in Valladolid is Calle de Los Frailes, which is lined with colourful colonial-style buildings and has plenty of good restaurants.
A visit to the cenotes in and around Valladolid is a must.
The cenotes are natural swimming holes that were created by the collapse of limestone bedrock, and they are a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
There are many different cenotes to choose from, so you can pick one that best suits your interests.
The best are just outside of town, but you can easily get there by car. Or rent a bike in town and use it to get to the best cenotes!
We highly recommend combining Valladolid with a trip to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza.
These ruins are some of the most famous in Mexico, and they’re definitely worth a visit.
You can get there by car or bus – it’s about an hour away from Valladolid.
Recommended by Maartje & Sebastiaan, The Orange Backpack
Swim in Cenote Isla Alamos
Cenote isla Alamos is not for everyone. You will love the cenote if you have an adventurous mind and you don’t need facilities and comfort, and, most of all if you have your own car.
Located on the main road that connects Tulum with Coba, Cenote Isla Alamos is well hidden in the jungle and there no sign to find it.
You need to make a right turn when you see the sign for Valamna Rancho India Blanca just follow the side road and you will eventually see a random sign for Cenote Isla Alamos on a wall.
There you will have another 2 km in the deep jungle.
There is a good chance that you will find yourself on your own in the cenote, in the middle of nowhere and with no phone line, which can be scary for some people.
Otherwise, because of the cenote unusual shape and the thousands of alamo trees surrounding it it’s paradise for photographers and adventurers.
Cenote Isla Alamos a semi- open cenote shaped like a ring with an isle in the middle covered in Alamo trees, hence the name.
It’s easy to enter the cenote through some man made stairs and the water is shallow so there is no danger.
It can look murky but that’s because of all the trees and the natural sandy bottom.
Otherwise you are good to swim and cool off from the jungle heat. Keep in mind that there is no bathroom or any other facilities.
So in order to preserve the cenote make sure you are not wearing any lotion on your skin or repellent.
You can use the repellent once you come out of the water. Being in nature you will be under mosquito attack. Also remember to bring water.
Recommended by Mexico Cenotes And Ruins
Very few people know about Punta Laguna, but it’s beautiful natural place worth checking out It’s located between Tulum and Valladolid at about 1hr 20 minute drive from Tulum.
The place is managed by a local community and once you pay the entrance a guide will be assigned to you to take you around the place where you can have multiple activity.
The main one is a walk in the jungle where you will be shown the local flora and fauna but most of all you will meet the funny Spider monkeys jumpiung around from treetop to treetop.
And the more naughty once may throw you stuff at you. No worries they are free in their natural habitat and they are now used to visitors but never get too close.
You may be able to hear the howling monkey from a distance as well but those are a rare see.
The walk will take you down to the Lagoon where you can enjoy a boat tour or just observe the tranquil landscape or swim.
There is a small cave cenote where you could rappel down the cave with a very unstable stair made of wood and cords, which is for the more adventurous.
And they have recently added a zip line if you want to do the complete tour.
Recommended by boundlessroads.com
Visit The Chichén Itzá Pyramid
One of the most exciting day trips from Tulum, is actually near Valladolid– and it’s the Chichén Itzá Pyramid day trip!
I actually went on the Chichén Itzá day trip that includes a Chichén Itzá guided tour, a stop in a beautiful cenote, and anoter stop at the beautiful Valladolid city.
I had so much fun on this day trip, and I got a great deal on it through Get Your Guide (which is a super affordable discounted attractions website).
Related: Best Things to do in Cancun, Mexico!
Go on a Playa Del Carmen Day Trip
If you are looking for an easy day trip from Tulum in the Yucatan Peninsula, then look no further than Playa del Carmen.
It is a beautiful town on the Caribbean Sea, and it’s only about an hour’s drive from Tulum.
There are plenty of things to do in Playa del Carmen, from shopping and dining to swimming and sunbathing.
Playa del Carmen is home to 5th Avenue, which is a shopper’s and tourist’s paradise.
There are tons of pretty shops and restaurants to explore here. You will find affordable and delicious Mexican food and souvenir shops here.
Located in Playa del Carmen is a museum and a restaurant dedicated to Frida Kahlo.
On a day trip, one can surely pay a visit and check out the exhibits.
If you didn’t know this already, Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican artist who is best known for her paintings of self-portraits.
One of the best ways to explore Playa del Carmen is by bike. There are plenty of bike rental shops in town, and it’s a great way to see all the sights. One can also choose a day tour, or just wander around on your own.
PDC also makes for a nice spot to relax. One can also hang out at a private beach, or opt for an amazing photo tour in the city! Playa del Carmen’s nightlife is also amazing.
There are tons of bars and clubs, and the party goes late into the night.
No matter what you choose to do, you’re sure to have a great time in Playa del Carmen.
If you’re looking for a day trip that’s full of fun and adventure, Playa del Carmen is the perfect destination.
Recommended By Mayuri from To Some Place New
Lagoon Kaan Luum
Lagoon Kaan Luum is a spectacular enormous lagoon at only 10 km drive from Tulum and if you are planning a vacation in the area it would make an amazing day trip from Tulum.
It used to be a hidden gem but it has become very popular over the years for its spectacular shades of blue which reminds a little of Bacalar lagoon of the seven colors.
What makes this lagoon so peculiar is the 84deep cenote inside it. Therefore if you look at it from a drone perspective you can see the shape of the internal circle of the cenote very well.
The lagoon opens every day from 9 am to 4 pm and the entry fee is 300 MXN (15USD) which is somewhat expensive compared to the other natural attractions nearby but it’s worth it if you spend a few hours there.
You are not allowed to swim in the cenote unless you are diving with a guide, but you can swim around within the marked limits, where the water is only 2 mt deep and it’s safe.
You can also rent kayaks or relax in the hammock or on the platforms.
Bring a book or simply enjoy the peaceful nature and the spectacular surroundings.
Recommended by Isabella, Let’s Travel to Mexico
Visit Isla Mujeres
If you would like to see a little paradise outside of Tulum, make sure to visit Isla Mujeres.
It is one of the places where you can relax without many crowds. With so many amazing islands in Mexico like Isla Holbox or Cozumel, you should definitely explore one of them.
The best way to get to Isla Mujeres from Tulum is to drive to Cancun. One of the cheapest options is taking a bus, then ferry.
You should reach your destination in four hours, so make sure to start your day trip early.
You can explore the island with a golf cart or just relax at the beach. The water color is incredible and there are plenty of beach bars and restaurants where you can enjoy your time in Mexico.
Green Demon Beach Club offers amazing cocktails and a lot of entertainment. On the other hand, if you would like to try seafood visit Oceanvs beach club.
The island is very small, but there are many amazing things to do.
You can admire beautiful cliffs in Punta Sur or enjoy the sun at one of the beaches. Playa Centro or Hermosa Caleta are just a few of them in Isla Mujeres.
Recommended by Paulina, UKeveryday.com
Visit Akumal Bay
Akumal is a small beach town located about 17 miles north of Tulum.
The name Akumal means “place of the turtles” in Maya and it is on the sugar sand beaches of Akumal Bay where sea turtles lay eggs each year.
The bottom of the bay is lined with sea grass that the sea turtles love to eat, and as such it’s a fantastic place to spot them in the wild.
To swim with the turtles, visit the Akumal Dive Shop to rent equipment or join a snorkeling tour.
The local tour companies have a special area of the bay roped off for snorkelers, so you don’t have to worry about watching out for boats while you swim!
You should always try to keep a respectful distance from the turtles, though, they may approach you.
Don’t swim over top of them as they need to be able to reach the water’s surface to breathe.
Akumal is still a fantastic place to visit even if you’re not interested in swimming with the turtles.
It’s a lovely, protected bay, with beautiful beaches. The beaches are sloped very gently, meaning there are lots of shallow areas to swim in.
It’s fantastic to for families with young kids or anyone who wants a mellow swim!
When you’re ready for lunch or refreshments, head to the Lol-Ha restaurant to enjoy a tasty meal with a view of the bay!
The easiest way to get to Akumal is via colectivo from Tulum. The trip takes about 25 minutes.
Recommended by Janine in the World
Go on a Cozumel Day Trip
Cozumel is a beautiful island located off the shore of Playa del Carmen and north of Tulum.
Whether you’ve been enjoying delicious Mexican street food or days in some of Tulum’s best beach clubs, you might need an island escape.
Cozumel is just a short ferry ride away from Playa del Carmen and tickets cost around $10.
The ride is quick and will take you to the stunning white sand beaches of Cozumel.
The island is large and a lot of it is uninhabited. One of the best things to do on the island is to go on a snorkeling tour to El Cielo.
This beautiful beach and underwater spot is located in an inaccessible part of Cozumel and is best reached by boat.
You can spot dozens of starfish in the water here and the scenery is extremely beautiful.
There are also a lot of other beautiful snorkeling spots around Cozumel and tours are absolutely worth it.
Food and drinks are usually included and you’ll have an incredible day on the water.
Afterwards, you can stroll through the town of San Miguel de Cozumel, have lunch or relax in one of the many beach clubs.
Cozumel is one of the best day trips from Tulum and should be high on your list of things to do.
Recommended by Victoria, Guide Your Travel
And that’s it! This blog post was all about the best day trips from Tulum, Mexico!
13 Day Trips From Tulum, Mexico [Unique & Fun!] 2023
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