The Best Things to See and Do in Tulum

July 6, 2022
By TAO Mexico

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The Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful and fascinating coastal areas in the world. We’re not just saying this because of its white-sand beaches and turquoise blue waters, but because it’s a region full of Mayan heritage, featuring unique natural beauty, archaeological sites, ancestral cuisine with modern flair, and a growing range of wellness services.

Tulum is no doubt a beloved destination. It has something for everyone! Beyond its world-famous beaches, here are the best things to see and do in this incredible place.

Cenotes

In Tulum, an absolutely unmissable visit is to the surrounding cenotes.

But what’s a cenote? In a nutshell, a cenote is a natural pool, formed by the collapse of a cave which later on filled up with fresh water from underground rivers.

It’s estimated that there are more than 7,000 cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula! The soil in the region is porous in nature, so over the years, rainwater has seeped out to create underground rivers and caves that are quite spectacular.

The cenotes in the area can be small or big, and their waters are crystal clear so you can see the colorful fish and plant life there. Some have rock formations, stalactites and stalagmites, while others are deep enough to dive.

It’s quite easy to visit any of the cenotes that surround Tulum. Some of the best known are the Gran Cenote, Zacil - Ha, Aktun - Ha and Dos Ojos.

Incredible cenotes near Tulum

Great Mayan Reef

The Great Mayan Reef, also known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, is another of the area's great attractions. It’s a complex ecosystem and the second largest barrier reef in the world, which extends over 1,000 km (620 miles) and spans five countries.

The reef’s just half a mile away from the Tulum coastline and attracts divers from all across the world. It’s known for its large number of brightly colored corals where hundreds of species of fish, mollusks, crustaceans and turtles live. An underwater spectacle like few others in the world!

If you’ve never dived or you’re a first-time diver, it’s not hard to find companies in Tulum that offer diving and snorkeling excursions accompanied by professional guides.

Great Mayan Reef near Tulum

Mayan Ruins

Another one of the great charms of Tulum are the impressive and well-preserved Mayan ruins nearby.

First of all, there’s the Archaeological Zone of Tulum, which is located on a cliff with incredible views of the Caribbean Sea. On the site, you can visit ancient temples and palaces in a very good state of preservation. Best of all, these ruins are located next to the hotel zone and downtown Tulum, so it’s super easy and convenient to get to them.

Another nearby archaeological zone that’s well worth visiting is Cobá, where the tallest Mayan pyramid in Mexico is located (watching the sunset from the top of it is spectacular!). And, of course, we cannot fail to mention Chichén Itzá, which although it’s a little further away (about 2 hours by car), is the most famous Mayan archaeological site and was listed as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World.”

Chichen Itza near Tulum

Wellness Offerings

In recent years, Tulum’s become a health and wellness haven, where people come in search of spiritual and emotional healing while surrounded by beautiful nature. The destination’s known to be a point for ancient Mayan energy, and for such has a perfect vibe to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with oneself.

All kinds of healing and wellness treatments are offered here, many of which incorporate ancient Mayan techniques or rituals. Yoga’s one of the most sought-after activities, so if you’re already a practitioner or are interested in getting started, Tulum’s the perfect place to do it. Prepare to take in all of the positive Mayan energy that’s breathed in the environment!

Wellness offer in Tulum.

The Food Scene

Tulum’s a tourist and real estate hotspot so it was to be expected that its food scene would be good. But it’s not just good, it’s unique, too!

Although it began with small restaurants and eateries on the beach, its culinary offerings have grown to include restaurants of renowned chefs who masterfully combine traditional Mayan spices and flavors with international ingredients and innovative preparation techniques.

Being in Tulum, you must try all kinds of places: from the seafood tacos in street stalls to the micro-seasonal haute cuisine menu of restaurants like Arca.

Best restaurants and food scene in Tulum.

Everything you can do and see in Tulum’s very exciting, and that’s why it’s become one of the top places not only to vacation but also to live.

If you’re interested in putting down roots in Tulum, you’ve come to the right place. At Tao México, we specialize in real estate in Tulum and other destinations in the Riviera Maya, and we can help you buy the house of your dreams in this earthly paradise.

Get in touch with us and we will gladly tell you about the exclusive luxury properties that we have available in Tulum, in addition to helping you solve all the doubts you have about the home buying process in Mexico.

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