Where to stay in Tulum

Where to stay in Tulum? This famous beach town in Yucatán has the most beautiful luxury hotels, lovely boutique hotels and budget hostels. But it takes some searching between that overwhelmingly large selection to find those extraordinary places to stay in Tulum. As one of the most popular destinations in Mexico, there is a lot to choose from. Also, Tulum consists of mainly two very different parts and you should make sure to choose well where you want to base your stay in Tulum. This blog will help you make a choice. What are the best areas to stay in Tulum? And which hotels in Tulum are the best for an unforgettable travel experience?

In short, the best hotels in Tulum:

How to get to Tulum in Mexico?

Tulum is located on the Yucatán Peninsula, so in the far south of Mexico on the Caribbean coast. It is a fairly small town in the state of Quintana Roo that is best known as a tourist destination for its beautiful beaches and great attractions.

There are no direct flights to Tulum, as the town doesn’t have its own airport. The nearest airport is Cancun International Airport, which is only 2 hours from Tulum. You can easily take the ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum, as public transport in Mexico is really well organized with these comfortable and clean buses. If you are looking for a rental car, we recommend that you read our extensive blog about renting a car in Mexico to learn how to find affordable options, how to make sure you don’t pay (too much) extra for insurance and how to drive the Mexican roads safely.

The two districts of Tulum: Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Beach

Tulum consists of roughly two areas: Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Beach. They’re close enough to enjoy both during your time in Tulum. But as they’re not within walking distance to each other, it’s worth making a choice between these two very different parts of the city.

Detailed map of Tulum | Downtown, beachside and Mayan ruins Tulum | The Orange Backpack

Tulum Pueblo, the bustling city center

What can you expect from Tulum Pueblo?

Downtown Tulum – also called Tulum Center or Tulum Pueblo – is the city center. Downtown Tulum consists of a large main road with a few side streets. On that main road you will find most restaurants and it is bursting with souvenir shops and super hip boutiques. The neighborhood La Valetta, right next to El Centro, is centrally located between all the restaurants and shops and has beautiful places to stay in Tulum as well.

Downtown Tulum is much more affordable than Tulum Beach. The area has fancy luxury hotels as well, but they are much cheaper than Tulum Beach. El Centro is therefore a really good place to base yourself if you don’t have a huge travel budget or just don’t like to splurge on hotels. There are many great hotels in every price range. This part of Tulum is also the only area with budget-friendly hostels, which is perfect if you don’t mind a shared bathroom (with private room) or a dormitory.

Also, Tulum Pueblo has many great restaurants. We can highly recommend Burrito Amor for great burritos, Aguacate Limon for vegan food, Uno for Japanese ramen, Ki’bok for the best coffee and Del Cielo for breakfast. Don’t miss the street art in El Centro either. There is no specific place or route we’d recommend, as you’ll come along the murals everywhere. Since Tulum is a beach town, marine life is often the theme of these graffiti artworks.

Where to stay in Tulum Pueblo

#1 Hotel Boutique TerraNova for a beautiful boutique hotel with swimming pool, wellness, garden and bar. The well-designed interior with many light tones and wood is truly a picture. Its location just outside, but near the hustle and bustle of Tulum Pueblo has been praised by guests in their enthusiastic reviews.

#2 Coco Hacienda Tulum for an adults-only hotel that looks a bit like a luxury tree house. There are two swimming pools with sunbeds in a tropical garden, a spa and an on-site restaurant. You can choose from one of the beautiful rooms or suites, but also book a the private bungalow.

#3 Layla Tulum for a special adults-only hotel in a Moroccan riad style. With the luxury of a swimming pool, bar and restaurant, as well as spacious rooms with a private balcony or patio, this is an oasis of tranquility in bustling Tulum Pueblo.

#4 Hostel Oryx Tulum for the best hostel in Tulum, recognized with excellent reviews from hotel guests. The outdoor pool, green garden with hammocks and relaxed atmosphere make this a great place to stay in Tulum. There are both dormitories and private rooms with a private or shared bathroom.

#5 Maya Monkey Hostel for a delightful hostel, located on the outskirts of Tulum Pueblo towards the beach zone. This boutique hostel has a beautiful, atmospheric design and the luxury of an on-site restaurant with swings at the bar, an outdoor pool with sun beds and a tropical garden. There are dormitories, but also private rooms with shared or even private bathroom.

#6 Una Vida for a family-friendly hotel on the jungle side, so at the western edge of Tulum. The small-scale design hotel has seventeen rooms and suites, including a complete house for families. It is not cheap, by the way, but the special design, the swimming pool and the great service ensure rave reviews.

#7 Copal Tulum for a beautiful and budget-friendly hotel with family rooms, studios and apartments in very diverse price ranges. The beautiful swimming pool, the jungle garden, the beautiful design and the good service make this a wonderful place to stay in Tulum.

Tulum | Yucután Mexico | The Orange Backpack

Tulum Beach, bounty beaches and boutique hotels

What can you expect from Tulum Beach?

The other side of Tulum is the beach zone on the Caribbean coast. This is where to go for the tropical, bounty beaches that Yucatán is known for. Tulum’s beautiful sandy beach stretches from the Mayan ruins in the north to Instagram Street further south. In between, Tulum has the most beautiful beaches and most hotels and resorts.

On the beach side of Tulum are the most beautiful hotels, most luxurious resorts and instagrammable spots. Most of the beaches are part of beautiful beach clubs and resorts that often have their own private beach. The most luxurious, expensive and beautiful resort is the instafamous hotel Azulik Tulum, which is a work of art in itself. Instagram is full of it, but you’ll get that this comes with a hefty price tag. Next to this iconic hotel, you will also find the equally beautiful museum SFER Ik, where you can get a small taste of Azulik.

Just around the corner of Azulik, is the famous ‘instagram street’ of Tulum, which is known for its street art and instagrammable spots. One of the most well-known places is RawLove, a vegan hotspot on the beach, with an impressive entrance gate. It is an impressive wooden work of art in the shape of a person, which you’ll probably have seen online when researching Tulum. If you continue along this street, you’ll pass a lovely view of the ocean and our favorite coffee spot Coati Café and (at the store Lolita Lolita) the famous ‘follow that dream’ sign that you see a lot on Instagram.

Which restaurants on Tulum beach are great recommendations? We cannot mention our favorite coffee spot Coati Café often enough. For breakfast, go to RawLove or Matcha Mama for smoothie bowls and Tunich for a more extensive breakfast. We also loved the small food market with food trucks and picnic tables.

Where to stay at Tulum Beach

#1 Azulik Tulum for the most iconic, but probably also the most expensive hotel in Tulum. The adults-only beach resort is a work of art with luxurious tree houses instead of hotel rooms. If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Tulum, Azulik should be at the top of your bucket list.

#2 Papaya Playa Project for a beautiful, sustainable boutique resort with beach cottages. The location on a beautiful private beach of 900 meters is a wonderful place for sunbathing. The cabins, bungalows and cottages have a view of the green jungle or the white sand beach. There are different types of rooms, including family rooms, with very different price ranges.

#3 Chancabanita Tulum for one of the most affordable boutique hotels with basic bungalows on Tulum Beach. A wellness, a private beach, free bicycles, a lovely breakfast and a private parking make this the perfect base to explore Tulum.

#4 Pal Mar Glamtainer Tulum for a unique glamping experience in Tulum. The ecological hotel has an idyllic vibe and offers hotel rooms in containers. For Tulum standards, the prices are also quite affordable.

#5 La Valise Tulum for one of Tulum’s finest beach hotels, where beach and jungle come together, creating a tropical luxury hotel. There is a heated infinity pool with a view of the sea, a wellness area and a private beach. Every single detail is well-designed and the staff is praised in the extremely positive reviews.

#6 La Zebra a Colibri Boutique Hotel for an idyllic boutique hotel on the Caribbean beach. The hotel offers a unique holiday experience with its special atmosphere, private spa, outdoor bar, family rooms, good restaurant and private beach.

#7 Villa Pescadores Tulum for a small-scale, eco-friendly hotel with spacious rooms, an attractive design, a paradise vibe, a private beach and idyllic cabanas. There are different room types in different price ranges, but each room has the same beautiful decor and tropical atmosphere.

Tulum in Yucatán, Mexico | The Orange Backpack