Are you looking for the best areas to stay in Tulum? Then you are in the right place!
Colorful, sunkissed, and tropical, Tulum is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico for a reason! As the perfect melting point of culture, nature, and nightlife, this little beach town has erupted over the past decade to overtake the likes of Cancun and Playa del Carmen and is as much of a hit with yogis and backpackers as it is with honeymooners and families.
But to make sure your stay is as dreamy as possible, you need to know exactly where to stay in Tulum. Beyond the town center, the beach strip area is split into two distinct areas and among those, you’ll find varying styles – and budgets – of accommodation and atmosphere.
Before you book your hotel, you need to familiarise yourself with the best areas to stay in Tulum and that is exactly why I prepared this guide to save you all the hard work!
*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*
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Overview of Where to Stay in Tulum
Peeking out from the Mayan jungle and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the beach town of Tulum is situated in the state of Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. In case you’re planning to spend more time in the peninsula, check out my post about the best Yucatan road trip itinerary!
It’s located 118 km (73.3 miles) south of Cancun International Airport and 65 km (40.3 miles) south of Playa del Carmen, another of Mexico’s most popular beach resorts.
Tulum is popular with all types of travelers, including couples, families, road trippers, and yogis.
At a glance, Tulum is divided into two distinct areas: Tulum Pueblo, the downtown area, and Tulum Playa, the legendary beach strip. But within these two districts, there are sub-sections to take into consideration when selecting the best part of Tulum to stay.
Tulum Pueblo is further broken down into smaller neighborhoods yet all are within close proximity to one another and you can get around easily via bicycle if you’re not driving.
Tulum Playa is located 5 km (3.1 miles) west of the downtown area and runs all along the coastline, offering a wealth of beachfront resorts, adorable cafes, and Instagrammable places.
As with downtown, the beach strip is further divided up into different zones, and my guide below will help you determine which segment is most suitable for the style of vacation you are planning.
When choosing where to stay in Tulum the key deciders will likely be your hotel budget as you will note a dramatic difference in price between accommodation in Tulum Pueblo and Tulum Playa.
Now let’s dive into a quick overview of the best areas to stay in Tulum so that you can get a handle on what might be the best option for you.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL|
|Tulum Pueblo (Downtown)||Budget-friendly, First-time visitors, Local food, Yoga||Hotel Bardo
|La Veleta||Boutique hotels, Budget-friendly||Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum
|Tulum Beach||First-time visitors, Nightlife, Photographers||Dune Boutique Hotel
|Tulum Beach North||Honeymoons, Tranquility, Adult-only hotels||Kai Tulum|
|Tulum Beach Middle||Luxury hotels, Upscale dining, Boutique nightlife||Ahau Tulum|
|Tulum Beach South||Family-friendly, Eco-friendly resorts||Encantada Tulum|
|Punta Allen||Local life, Nature & wildlife, Offbeat, Budget-friendly||Hotel Cielo y Selva|
Best Areas to Stay in Tulum
For those of you seeking a more in-depth guide, the following report is going to equip you with all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
I have carefully researched and selected the best places to stay in Tulum based on whether you’re traveling on a budget, looking for luxury, hungry for nightlife, or want something suitable for children.
I’ve even picked out three hotel recommendations for each of the areas selected. Let’s get into it!
1. Tulum Pueblo – Best place to stay in Tulum for budget-friendly accommodation
Tulum Pueblo, or Downtown Tulum, is the official town center. It’s usually overlooked in favor of the beach, however, it does have a lot of its own charm and a great ethos.
The town isn’t large and is surrounded by greenery. There is an incredible food scene with more traditional places to eat and an upbeat nightlife scene with friendly bars leading the charge.
While a number of the wellness-oriented hotels in the Tulum Beach Strip schedule yoga and meditation events, Tulum Pueblo is actually one of the best areas to stay in Tulum if you want to hop around a mix of studios during your stay.
As accommodation is significantly lower than the beach, Pueblo might be the best place to stay in Tulum if you are traveling on a budget. Besides a mix of mid-range and luxury hotels, you can find humble hostels and low-key guest houses.
You’ll need to have a car in order to get to the beaches and factor in parking costs or endure a long bike ride. But – swings and roundabouts – another plus of staying in the town center is that you can get a headstart on visiting the local cenotes which are only a short drive or bicycle ride from downtown.
Pros and cons of staying in Tulum Pueblo
- Accommodation is more affordable.
- Convenient for amenities, local food, lively nightlife, and yoga studios as well as getting out to tour the local cenotes and Mayan ruins.
- No direct beach access so you can’t easily hop off for a swim after a day of sightseeing.
- The central parts are prone to noise and congestion.
Best places to stay in Tulum Pueblo
LUXURY – Hotel Bardo
Located in Tulum, 3.7 miles from Tulum Archeological Site, Hotel Bardo provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. With a garden, the 5-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom.
MID-RANGE – Azura Boutique Hotel
Offering a rooftop solarium, Azura Boutique Hotel is located in the heart of Tulum where you can find restaurants and shops, and just a 15-minute bike ride from the tropical beach. The hotel is 2.2 miles from Tulum Archeological Site, 2,800 feet from Tulum Bus station, and 1.6 miles from Tulum National Park.
BUDGET – Mimosa Tulum
Situated in Tulum, 1.7 miles from Paraíso Beach, Mimosa Tulum features accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and a terrace. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a concierge service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has family rooms.
2. La Veleta – Best place to stay in Tulum for boutique hotels
La Veleta is a small, green neighborhood just south of Tulum Pueblo that has been subject to gradual development over recent years.
Accommodation options are more boutique and deluxe than elsewhere in the town with an emphasis on sustainable practices and yet are drastically lower in cost in comparison with the beach.
Another huge bonus of La Veleta is how peaceful the neighborhood feels, making this one of the best areas to stay in Tulum for couples and families seeking solitude.
Depending on how far south in La Veleta you decide to stay, you will need to factor in a walk or short cycle ride to meet the central part of downtown. If you don’t fancy straying too far to eat, then there are also some excellent restaurants within walking distance within the La Veleta neighborhood.
Pros and cons of staying in La Veleta
- Convenient for the town center yet La Veleta is far quieter than staying in the main downtown area.
- Affordable rates for boutique, luxury, and eco-friendly hotels.
- No beach access.
- As popularity increases, hotels are likely to inflate their prices in the near future.
Best places to stay in La Veleta
LUXURY – Hotel Boutique TerraNova
Situated in Tulum, 3.7 miles from Tulum Archeological Site, Hotel Boutique TerraNova features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. The air-conditioned rooms provide a garden view and come with a wardrobe and free WiFi.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum
Offering a year-round outdoor pool and views of the pool, Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum is situated in Tulum in the Quintana Roo Region, 3.1 miles from Tulum Archeological Site. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. The hotel also offers bike hire and free parking.
BUDGET – Amaka Calma Riviera Tulum
Situated in Tulum, 3.7 miles from Tulum Archeological Site, Amaka Calma Riviera Tulum features accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a garden. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, a concierge service, and free WiFi.
3. Tulum Beach – Best place to stay in Tulum for first-time visitors
Situated at the end of Avenue Kukulkan, Tulum Beach marks the main entrance to the Zona Hotelera Tulum and is one of the busier parts of the area.
There are loads of hotels and restaurants to choose from in this section and it is the best part of Tulum to stay for nightlife, making it my overall pick for where to stay in Tulum if this is your first time visiting.
Furthermore, this is where you can start your content creation journey and visit some of the famous sculptures and installations that you’ll have scrolled past on social media. If you wish to do so, make sure to check out my guide to the best Instagram spots in Tulum!
As Tulum Beach is so desirable due to its handy location and amount of opportunities for getting around the local sights, accommodation in this area is particularly expensive. You can book in advance or choose dates in the shoulder season if you want to reduce your overheads.
Pros and cons of staying in Tulum Beach
- Convenient for downtown, the beaches, yoga studios, the Tulum Ruins, and all other amenities.
- An excellent atmosphere that will suit sociable travelers.
- Accommodation is very expensive.
- Noise and traffic – cars and bicycles – can be an issue.
Best places to stay in Tulum Beach
LUXURY – Dune Boutique Hotel
Featuring free WiFi and a terrace, Dune Boutique Hotel located at the party zone Tulum offers accommodation in Tulum. There is a juice bar and guests can enjoy tropical cocktails at the bar. Free private parking is available. Some rooms feature views of the sea or garden. Guests can enjoy delicious drinks and cuisine at the Dune Restaurant and Beach Club under the shadow of the palm trees.
MID-RANGE – Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins
Set in Tulum, 350 feet from South Tulum Beach, Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins offers accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, and a garden. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, a shuttle service, room service, and free WiFi.
BUDGET – Coco Tulum Zen Zone Hotel
Located in Tulum, Coco Tulum features a private beach, spa services, and a Mexican-Italian fusion restaurant. Each room and cabin offers free Wi-Fi and views of the Caribbean Sea or jungle. Rooms and cabins at the Coco Tulum feature mosquito nets. Rooms in the main tower also include fans and private bathrooms, while the cabins have shared bathrooms.
4. Tulum Beach North – Best place to stay in Tulum for honeymooners
Tulum Beach North covers the stretch of coastline that heads up from Tulum Beach to the Tulum National Park and Tulum Ruins.
Beautiful resorts and hotels characterize the area, offering sanctuaries of peace and quiet that are set back beyond the busier areas of Tulum Beach and Tulum Beach Middle.
With long swathes of soft golden sand, the beaches here are some of the nicest in the area and there are plenty of snorkeling and diving opportunities to look out for as well.
While accommodation is still pricey in comparison to downtown and La Veleta, you are more likely to scoop a deal on a luxury place in Tulum Beach North.
There is a solid selection of adult-only hotels and resorts that cater specifically to couples, making Tulum Beach North my shout for the best place to stay in Tulum for honeymooners or those celebrating a special anniversary.
Pros and cons of staying in Tulum Beach North
- Variety of adult-only hotels, romantic hideaways, and wellness resorts.
- Serene natural environment with pristine beaches and snorkeling conditions.
- Limited nightlife, restaurants, and other entertainment.
- A rental car is required for the best overall experience.
Best places to stay in Tulum Beach North
LUXURY – Mi Amor a Colibri Boutique Hotel
Combining sensuality, design, nature, and style, Mi Amor is nestled upon a small rocky hill where the sea serenades the shoreline. Mi Amor’s playful decor and design invite you to ignite your spirit, awaken your senses, disconnect, reconnect, and be free. Relax and get lost in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.
MID-RANGE – Kai Tulum
Kai Tulum is set in Tulum, 0.7 miles from Tulum Archeological Site, and has a garden and a bar. Guest rooms at the hotel are fitted with a seating area. Every room is fitted with a private bathroom, while selected rooms have a terrace and others also offer a sea view. All guest rooms at Kai Tulum have air conditioning.
BUDGET – Diamante K
Diamante K has a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and garden in Tulum. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a sun terrace. The accommodation features evening entertainment and a 24-hour front desk. An American breakfast is available each morning at the hotel.
5. Tulum Beach Middle – Best place to stay in Tulum for luxury
Heading further south of Tulum Beach and Tulum Beach North, Tulum Beach Middle is where accommodation, leisure, dining, and nightlife take a turn for the fancy!
Picking up where the main Tulum Beach zone left off, Tulum Beach Middle is the location of a number of the most Instagrammable places in Tulum as well as some of the hippest boutiques, coolest beaches clubs, and most appetizing restaurants and cafes in the area.
Tulum Beach Middle is brimming with places to stay and is the best area to stay in Tulum if the sky’s the limit and you are seeking the full barefoot luxury experience.
While prices are high, the quality of the hotels is out of this world and you’ll be sure to get the full celebrity treatment. That being said, there is a scattering of more affordable hotels and plenty of markets if you want to watch your expenses.
Pros and cons of staying in Tulum Beach Middle
- Superior quality accommodation, food, and beach clubs.
- Although beneficial, having a car is not essential.
- You will need to call ahead to make reservations at the most revered restaurants: the organization will pay off in one of the best areas to stay in Tulum for food.
- Very expensive.
Best places to stay in Tulum Beach Middle
LUXURY – Ahau Tulum
Ahau Tulum is an eco-friendly and pet-friendly property that offers free Wi-Fi connection, yoga lessons, and massage services for a fee. It features solar and wind panels for heating and a rain catch system to recycle the water. Tulum’s beach is just a few feet from the property. The suites have mosquito nets and fans, plus views of the Caribbean Sea are available from some rooms.
MID-RANGE – Alaya Tulum
Located on the beach-side of Tulum, Alaya Tulum by Ahau features an on-site restaurant. The property has a special terrace to practice yoga and a private beach area with sunbeds for the guests to use. At Alaya Tulum by Ahau, you will find a garden, a terrace, and a bar. Free parking is offered on site.
BUDGET – Casa Violeta
Offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, Casa Violeta is set on the beautiful Tulum Beach. It features charming and carefully decorated bungalows, a spa, and a restaurant. Casa Violeta is located on the main Tulum beach road, just a short distance from the Sian-Ka’an Biosphere and Tulum National Park.
6. Tulum Beach South – Best place to stay in Tulum for a family-friendly vacation
Tulum Beach South is the most southerly segment of the Tulum Beach Strip, right before you reach the fauna and flora-rich Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
The pace of life on the strip cools down in this southernmost point and while you’re still within walking distance of the restaurants and clubs of Tulum Beach Middle, you will find the environment and beaches to be distinctly quieter.
With accommodation being more affordable, the area less crowded, and the beaches more serene, Tulum Beach South is the best part of Tulum to stay for families.
The proximity to the reserve is a bonus for kids and wildlife enthusiasts alike and, in fact, if you are looking for a closer connection with nature, Tulum Beach South is the setting of a handful of eco-lodges and yurts!
Pros and cons of staying in Tulum Beach South
- Ideal for those seeking a quieter vacation destination in Mexico.
- Handy for the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
- A rental car is essential.
- You are further away from the major sites and landmarks and will need to factor in a lengthy drive from the airport.
Best places to stay in Tulum Beach South
LUXURY – Encantada Tulum
Situated on an unspoiled beach between the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Tulum National Park, Hotel Encantada offers tropical gardens, a free Wi-Fi zone, and stylish rooms with sea or garden views. Decorated with local textiles and artwork, each charming room has sliding glass doors which open onto a private terrace.
MID-RANGE – Hotel Dos Ceibas Eco Retreat Tulum
Hotel Dos Ceibas Eco Retreat Tulum has a model of sustainable tourism. Set on a private area of Tulum Beach, this eco-resort offers a typical Temazcal sauna, yoga classes, and a range of massages. It is located next to the beautiful Sian-Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. The bungalows are powered by solar panels and wind energy, have traditional décor, and come with mosquito nets.
Located in Tulum, within 650 feet of South Tulum Beach and 8.1 miles of Tulum Archeological Site, Cormoran Boutique Hotel & Cenote Tulum provides accommodation with a garden and free WiFi throughout the property as well as free private parking for guests who drive. Each accommodation at the 3-star hotel has garden views, and guests can enjoy access to a terrace.
7. Punta Allen – Best place to stay in Tulum for local life
Waving farewell to the Tulum Beach Strip and continuing south to the tip of the Boca Paila Peninsula, you will come to the teeny fishing village of Punta Allen.
There are no grand resorts and beach clubs in this neck of the woods: accommodation is modest and generally, you’re looking at laid-back guest houses, homestays, and locally run eateries.
This is ideal if you’re eager to get off the beaten track and see a different side to Tulum. Located within the limits of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Punta Allen is also one of the best areas to stay in Tulum for nature.
If you are heading to Tulum for the first time and want to soak up that famous energy of the beach and downtown, then Punta Allen might not be the best area to stay in Tulum. However, choosing accommodation in Punta Allen is a great shout for a repeat visitor or if you’re eager to avoid the tourist center.
Pros and cons of staying in Punta Allen
- Offers a chance to see untouched nature and connect with the community spirit and traditions of the Yucatan.
- Accommodation is more affordable.
- The road to Punta Allen from the Tulum Beach Strip is rather rough in places so you will need to take additional care while behind the wheel.
- Lacks the iconic Tulum sights and overall vibe of the Tulum Beach Strip.
Best places to stay in Punta Allen
LUXURY – Hotel Cielo y Selva
Located in Punta Allen, Hotel Cielo y Selva provides accommodation with an outdoor pool, free WiFi, a restaurant, and a bar. A terrace can be found at the lodge, along with a garden. Manati Beach is 350 feet from Hotel Cielo y Selva, while Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve is 24.2 miles away.
MID-RANGE – Las Palapas de Punta Allen
Located in Tulum, 350 feet from Manati Beach, Las Palapas de Punta Allen provides air-conditioned rooms and a garden. Among the facilities at this property are room service and a tour desk, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The guest house features family rooms.
BUDGET – Villas Roseliz
Villas Roseliz is a small family hotel in front of the Caribbean Sea within the Sian Ka`an Biosphere Reserve. The hotel is in front of the beach of the town of Punta Allen, being in the common area you can see the Caribbean Sea.
That concludes my guide to the best areas to stay in Tulum. I hope that now you have a greater sense of the layout and characteristics of the different areas within the beach town district and downtown and that you feel confident to book a hotel in your selected area.
Have you already visited Tulum? Let me know which area you stayed in and whether you would recommend it to other travelers!
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