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Where to Stay in Tulum: Weighing the Best Locations

where to stay in tulum

Tulum is one of the best places to visit for vacation, whether it’s a honeymoon, a family trip, or you want to connect with your inner Mayan. At Tulum, you can check out their intimidating Mayan ruins, fantastic beaches on the Caribbean sea, gorgeous cenotes, and a vibrant food scene. But before booking your flight, you need to figure out where to stay in Tulum. 

If you’re asking, ‘Where should I stay in Tulum?’ This guide has got you covered. We look at top hotels before covering the best areas to stay in Tulum based on your budget and traveling party. Tulum is a big place, but you can get the most out of your trip by staying in the right area. Let’s take a closer look.

 Weighing the Best Locations to stay in Tulum

Check out our Mexico travel guides too, from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and many more. Enjoy your trip!

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22 Awesome, Fun Things to Do in Quintana Roo
Soak up the Sun on These Amazing 18 Beaches in Cancun
Experience the 20 Awesome and the Best Cenotes in Tulum
Experience Scuba Diving in Tulum: 20 Awesome Cenotes and Reefs
Downtown Tulum Guide: How to Get the Most of Your Stay
The Best Hotels to Stay in Tulum
The Best Hotels to Stay in Cancun

Best 12 Hotels to Stay in Tulum 

  1. Mezzanine 

Mezzanine is a gorgeous boutique hotel on the beach close to the Tulum ruins. It gives a romantic vibe that couples and honeymooners will appreciate. It is located inside Tulum National Park, with a wide range of room options and a Thai restaurant and bar.

  1. Casa Malca 

This is Pablo Escobar’s old mansion and is now a luxury place to stay in Tulum, Mexico. It is a popular wedding destination, with a chic restaurant and bar, two outdoor pools, a rooftop terrace, and a private beach. You can easily reach the Mayan Ruins and Calypso Dive Center.

  1. Una Vida 

This hotel is located in the downtown area, offering an urban lifestyle that some travelers are looking for. Enjoy the spacious rooms and pool. Tucked in the Tulum jungles, the hotel is a few minutes away from downtown and a short drive from the beaches.

  1. Hotelito Azul   

One of the best boutique hotels in Tulum is the Hotelito Azul, which offers easy access to the Tulum beach strip. The pet-friendly hotel is close to Highway 307 and the Mayan city ruins, with oceanfront suites and villas to look out for. 

  1. La Valise 

Although this hotel is new, it has quickly become one of the best places to stay in Tulu. It’s a luxury hotel on the south end of the beach. Eleven well-furnished rooms allow you to enjoy great beachfront and jungle views and easy access to the airport and Gran Cenote.

  1. Dune Boutique Hotel 

Located on the beach strip in Tulum Beach, this is the best beachfront hotel for those looking for great views and a romantic environment. It is situated in the Tulum party zone, so you can expect vibrant nightlife aside from the terraces and free WiFi. 

  1. Casa Don Diego 

If you’re visiting Tulum on a budget, you should check out the Casa Don Diego in the downtown area. The small hotel has a great pool, jungle garden, and an apiary. The hotel is a short walk to shops, the bank, and fantastic food spots in Tulum.

  1. Coco Hacienda 

The Coco Hacienda Hotel in Tulum features abundant gardens, two swimming pools, villas and rooms, resting palapas, and a restaurant. Previously a plant nursery, this unique place is an adults-only hotel, perfect for those who want to connect with nature. 

  1. Cabanas La Launa 

Families in Tulum should consider staying in Cabanas La Luna. Combining a hotel with a beach restaurant, this place has a rustic design and a familiar ambiance that tourists will like. It is close to Mayan ruins, with eclectic huts that offer free WI-Fi, air-conditioning, mosquito nets, and great views.

  1. Joy Tulum 

Another adults-only hotel, Joy Tulum, is located in the downtown area. It offers an outdoor pool, sun terrace, clean and modern bathrooms, and palapas with comfortable beds and electricity. 

  1. Las Palmas Maya 

Another budget option in Tulum is the Las Palmas Maya, which features a shared kitchen and bikes for commuting. The retreat hotel is in the jungle of Tulum, offering easy access to the road and the airport. You can enjoy the communal benefits of staying in a hostel at the eco-hotel.

  1. Suenos

This luxury hotel in Tulum is perfect for families to stay in. The boutique hotel is on Tulum beach, with an outdoor swimming pool, yoga classes, and spa treatments. There are only 15 rooms available, so you should book your room at this mystical peaceful place early.

What Area in Tulum Should You Stay in?

The vibe you get during your vacation depends on where you stay in Tulum. Our guide covers the best areas to stay in Tulum, whether in the Pueblo, the downtown area, or the beach.

Tulum Pueblo offers budget hotels, fun bars and nightlife, and modern restaurants, while the peach is known for its stylish party scene, sophisticated hotels, and boutique shopping. The beach is divided into four main areas: the Beach Town and the North, Middle, and South Zones.

Although every part of Tulum is excellent to stay in, you should consider the best part of Tulum to stay in based on what you want to enjoy during your vacation. 

The Beach Town: Best for Partying 

Beach Town comprises hotels, shops, and restaurants between the North and Middle Zones. This is the best part of Tulum to stay for partying and exciting nightlife, especially since dining and drinking here are cheaper than in the rest of the beach area. The beach is sandy and swimmable, and the restaurants and shops are either in the jungle or by the beach.

Aside from restaurants, you can look out for the Papaya Playa Project for amazing beach parties, boutiques for clothing, gifts, and crafts, and the Kin Toh, a treetop lounge offering a unique experience. 

Best Hotels 

If you’ve decided to stay in the Beach Town, Tulum, here are some top hotels to check out:

  • Papaya Playa Project
  • Punta Piedra Beach Posada
  • Azulik
  • Zamas

Pros 

  • Affordable nightlife.
  • No post-sunset traffic jams.
  • Amazing beach views.
  • Hotels offer private beach access.  

Cons 

  • Hotels are a bit costly.

North Beach Zone: Best for Couples

The North Beach Zone is the best location to stay in Tulum for couples and honeymooners. The beach strip goes along Tulum National Park, which takes you close to the Mayan ruins for easy exploration. It extends to Tankah, a quiet spot in Tulum with beach clubs, hotels, and restaurants. 

Most of the North Beach Zone hotels are on white sandy beaches. North of this beach zone, you can visit Casa Cenote, Dos Ojos Cenote, and several others for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. You can also go snorkeling on a budget at Playa Maya or swim at the Santa Fe beach. The Ruins Beach is right under the Tulum ruins, while Playa Pescadores and Playa Maya offer picturesque views and soft beaches for your Instagram page.

Best Hotels 

These top hotels in the North Beach Zone will make your stay much better:

  • Mezzanine
  • Villa Pescadores Tulum
  • Mi Amor
  • Jashita
  • Hotel El Paraiso
  • O’ Tulum

Pros 

  • Walking distance to the Mayan ruins in Tulum.
  • Fantastic sandy beaches to explore.
  • Includes a public parking lot.
  • Hotels are relatively less expensive.

Cons 

  • Few options for nightlife.
  • Only a few restaurants are available.

Middle Beach Zone: Best for Convenience and Quiet

A group of friends, couples, and older travelers looking for a place in Tulum that is quiet and convenient should consider staying in the Middle Beach Zone. Located in the heart of the Tulum beach area, this area is the best part of Tulum to stay for all ages. It features a vibrant party scene, with upscale dining and open-air nightclubs.

The restaurants offer creative menus, with options like Arca and Safari, and there are different casual beach clubs along the strip. The Middle Beach Zone also features yoga studios and sandy beaches. It is a walkable area, with options for cycling or taking a taxi. 

where to stay in Tulum

Best Hotels 

Some of the best hotels to check out in the Middle Beach Zone include:

  • Tago
  • Dune
  • Cabanas La Luna
  • The Beach Hotel
  • Ahau
  • Zamas Hotel
  • El Pez
  • Coco Zen Zone
  • Cabanas
  • Tunich Jungle Cabanas

Pros 

  • Great location at the center of the Tulum beach zone.
  • Easy to get to the beach or town.
  • A great mix of beach clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops.
  • Amazing beachside nightlife. 

Cons 

  • Hotels are expensive.
  • Difficult to access the beaches if you aren’t a guest.

South Beach Zone: Best for Luxury Travelers

The South Beach Zone is a fantastic option if you don’t mind spending a bit more than usual when looking for where to stay in Tulum. It appeals to luxury travelers, families, and honeymooners in Tulum, as it offers a long stretch of sandy beaches with no rocky parts.

This area is close to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, so most hotels are eco-conscious. You can also get a lot of wellness and yoga studios in this area. Although this is a quiet part of the beach zone, you can quickly cycle or walk to exciting nightlife spots and restaurants. The South Beach Zone is close to many of the natural wonders in Tulum.

Best Hotels 

  • Casa Malca
  • La Zebra
  • Encantada
  • Selina Tulum
  • Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas
  • Be Tulum
  • La Valise
  • Nativus Glamping
  • Nomade
  • Alaya
  • Suenos

Pros 

  • A great mix of beautiful beaches and beachside restaurants and bars.
  • Some of the best restaurants and shopping spots are here.
  • Boho chic accommodation options are available.
  • Offers the best beachside nightlife.

Cons 

  • Traffic can back up to the beach road.
  • Prices are high.

Downtown Tulum: Best Budget Option

Anyone hoping to save cash while in Tulum can check out the Pueblo or Downtown area. This lively town area is one of the best areas to stay in Tulum regardless of age and appeals to budget travelers, large groups, backpackers, and party animals. The hotels are usually in the budget range, and even the luxury hotels are more affordable than the Tulum beach resorts. Downtown is walkable and bikeable.

Food in Downtown Tulum is also authentic, with many Mexican restaurants like La Gloria de Don Pepe and Taqueria El Carboncito. The Pueblo also offers amazing nightlife with bars and clubs in the same areas, yoga studios, and a lot of nature to explore. You can visit the cenotes like Gran Cenote, Cenote Zacil-Ha, Cenote Calavera, and Cenote Santa Cruz, with a 25-minute bike ride.

Best Hotels 

  • Una Vida
  • Hotel Tiki Tiki
  • Coco Hacienda
  • Maka Hotel Boutique
  • Mimosa Tulum
  • Joy Tulum

Pros 

  • Affordable accommodation and boutique hotels.
  • Close to the bus station and easily bikeable.
  • Convenient access to local stores, grocery stores, bars, and restaurants.
  • Has activities for all ages.

Cons 

  • Getting to the beach puts you in traffic at peak times.
  • Security concerns in the town area.

Aldea Zama: Best for Families 

The Aldea Zama is between the Beach Zone and Pueblo and is a new luxury development that appeals to families vacationing in Tulum. This area features high-end homes, Airbnbs, condos, a wide range of restaurants, boutique hotels, and a playground. There are convenient walking and cycling paths.

Although this new area does not have a vibe yet, it is quiet and peaceful, with seamless access to Pueblo and the beach. It’s also an excellent choice for long-term visitors to Tulum and has amazing restaurant options like The Pitted Date Vegan Restaurant and Bejuco Restaurant. Keep in mind that this area is still under construction. 

Best Hotels 

  • Naay Tulum Curamoria Collection
  • Hotel Panacea Tulum

Pros 

  • One of the safest places to stay in Tulum.
  • Modern apartments, luxury hotels, and playgrounds.
  • Easy access to the beach and Pueblo.
  • Bikeable and walkable area.

Cons 

  • The area is still under construction.
  • It’s a bit expensive for a neighborhood that isn’t complete.

Tulum Beach vs Tulum Pueblo 

When considering where to stay in Tulum, your main decision is between the Pueblo and the beach area. Most travelers stay in one of these areas, so which one should you stay in? This depends on what you’re looking for, although both are unique spots and easy to access from each other.

Tulum Pueblo 

The Pueblo offers affordable hotels, a walkable and bikeable center, and fantastic nightlife in street parties, dance clubs, fun bars, and authentic Mexican restaurants. You get access to full air conditioning at the hotels. The Aldea Zama is just south of Downtown Tulum, offering a suburban feel and luxury restaurants. If you’re on a budget and won’t mind traffic when commuting to the beach, you should book a hotel in Pueblo.

Tulum Beach

The Tulum Beach area is where most of the excitement happens. It’s the best location to stay in Tulum for luxury hotels, outdoor nightlife like jungle and beach parties, upscale restaurants, and boutique shops. Although the hotels have limited air conditioning, you can feel the ocean breeze through open windows. The Tulum beach is wide and sandy, with a few rocky areas. It is divided into four zones depending on what you’re looking for.  

Tips on Staying in Tulum 

Is Downtown Tulum Safe? 

Tulum is relatively safe, and like any other tourist spot, several crimes target tourists. You can stay safe by being alert and avoiding strangers. 

Best Time to Visit Tulum 

Tulum’s peak months are between February and April, with high prices and crowded beaches. But, you should visit during November and January, just after hurricane season but before peak season.

Surfing in Tulum 

Most breaks in Tulum are only chest high, but the tourism town is terrific for wind and kitesurfing. 

Is There an Airport in Tulum? 

There is no airport in Tulum, although one is being constructed to be completed in 2023. You can get to Tulum from the Cancun International Airport.

Should I Stay in Tulum or Cancun? 

Cancun is better for those who stay in Mexico for a short time since it has an airport. But Tulum offers better beaches, and you can explore cenotes and Mayan ruins. 

Should I Stay in Tulum or Playa del Carmen? 

If you’re looking for a vacation spot near the beach, Tulum is always a better choice. The tourist town has loads of sandy white beaches and gorgeous cenotes. But remember that Playa del Carmen is a larger city with affordable options and vibrant nightlife.

What Should I Avoid in Tulum?

When in Tulum, avoid walking around at night, flashing valuable items, or carrying large amounts of cash. You should stay in popular areas and stay away from prohibited substances. Ensure you don’t drink too much regardless of how much fun you have, and do your best to stay in a group.

Enjoy Your Stay in Tulum

Whether you’re staying on the beach or in the downtown area, there’s no doubt that Tulum has a lot of excitement for its tourists and visitors. With our detailed guide, you can easily decide where you want to stay for a fantastic vacation. 

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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