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Uncover the Best Activities, Hotels and All-Inclusives in Tulum

Tulum is the heart of the Riviera Maya. As the quieter neighbour of Cancun, Tulum is nevertheless celebrated for its beauty, most notably its Mayan ruins and beaches.

As ancient ruins press themselves against the turquoise waters of Playa Paraíso, it’s hard to escape the feeling that this is coastal Mexico at its best.

Let trivago and Nomadarte talk you through the lesser known gems that this magical destination has to offer. Having travelled all of Latin America by car, Cynthia and Gustavo have just hit Mexico, so make sure to take note of their top tips for the best Tulum hotels and our favourites for Tulum all-inclusives.

Playa Paraíso

Tulum is known for being home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Playa Paraíso. Stretching out before you, as its name indicates in Spanish, is a true Mexican paradise (and one of the best maintained at that).

You can go snorkelling and follow the coast to explore the spectacular coral reef, the second-largest in the world. If it’s relaxation you’re after, why not take a walk along the shore and take in these unforgettable surroundings?

The Maya People

The magic of Tulum can be traced back to the 13th century, a time when the Maya people had chosen the Caribbean as one of their main settlements. Tulum as an archaeological site was one of the last cities of Mayan culture and had also established itself as a very important trading post.

The original name Zamá translates to “sunrise” as in the first rays of sunlight that could be seen emerging from behind El Castillo or the Templo de los Frescos. The panoramic views from the highest point on the cliff top are well-worth the early wake-up.

Things to do in Tulum

To really discover Tulum Pueblo, you need to explore each of its narrow alleyways, lit up with restaurants, bars, and countless hotels. From the outside, they may look discreet and unassuming but from the inside, they reveal themselves as lively spaces that combine to make Tulum a favourite for many travellers.

To help you make the most of this destination, here are a few tips that will be sure to transform your vacation into the perfect break for relaxing, having fun, and enjoying nature. No need for lounge chairs here, just lie back and soak up the sun on sand that is as white as snow and as soft as powder.

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Where to stay in Tulum, Mexico

When it comes to accommodation in Tulum, luxury options co-exist peacefully with eco-friendly options, however, one thing that makes this paradise location stand out is its wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Whether it’s close to the beach or a more central location you’re after, here are Nomadarte’s recommendations for hotels in Tulum:

O’Tulum

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This hotel is the ideal option for experiencing the “eco-chic” essence of Tulum, without compromising on comfort, or more importantly, good taste.

Its 12 rooms come equipped with everything you’ll need, and tasteful decor that creates an “adults only” ambiance of deep relaxation and tranquillity. This exclusive ambiance extends to the friendly service offered by the hotel’s staff, its relaxing pool, and easy transportation options to the attractions nearby.

Enjoy a refreshing drink from the O’Tulum bar lounge as you soak up the sun on the terrace, or if you prefer, while relaxing in the comfort of your room, as most rooms come with a balcony and room service.

Breakfast is included, and the hotel’s restaurant, Costa Brava, offers a fusion of exciting culinary styles for evening dining. Last but not least, O’Tulum has its own private beach – the jewel in the crown that makes this hotel the ideal option to complete your Tulum holiday experience.

O Tulum

Tulum
8.8 Excellent (194 reviews)

Elements Tulum Boutique hotel

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Another option that really shows off the best side of Tulum is Elements Tulum Boutique. This hotel opened just over a year ago and was quick to garner attention for its impeccable service.

Elements Tulum Boutique is located very close to the centre, which means you can borrow a bike from the hotel or simply enjoy the stroll into town. If you decide you want to visit the cenotes or water parks, the hotel will also help you organize transportation.

The hotel offers free valet parking, complimentary breakfast buffet, and a very pretty garden. All of the rooms have modern furnishings and luxury bed linens. Although the hotel doesn’t offer a spa, you can dial up a massage treatment in your own room.

Elements Tulum Boutique

Top rated
Tulum
9.0 Excellent (436 reviews)

Livetulum

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Looking for a home away from home? Livetulum offers an aparthotel with your own lounge, kitchen, and bathtub. The ambiance is so warm and inviting that the thought of returning to your actual home dare not enter your head.

The hotel has spa facilities, a garden, terrace area, and outdoor pool. It even has its own library, where you might get lost in a good book or relaxing in a peaceful environment destined for your personal unplug.

Because it’s an aparthotel, you can cook your own meals, and any money you save can be put toward one of the eco-friendly activities mentioned above, just ask the staff for transportation tips and let the fun begin…

Livetulum

Top rated
Tulum
8.7 Excellent (827 reviews)

Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort

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Whether it be stretching out on a Balinese bed overlooking the vanishing edge of the infinity pool or taking a free rental bike into town, Kore Tulum has no shortage of ways to make every day of your stay a little different.

Guests at this Tulum all-inclusive are treated to two restaurants, two bars, and room service around the clock, in addition to activities like yoga on the beach.

Hydrotherapy enthusiasts will have no other choice than to reserve themselves into one of Kore Tulum’s Luxury Jacuzzi suites which includes a private outdoor hot tub built into the balcony.

Kore Tulum Retreat and Spa Resort

Tulum
8.1 Very good (3310 reviews)

Dreams Tulum

1/3

The Unlimited-Luxury brand of the all-inclusive experience at Dreams Tulum goes beyond the top-shelf spirits and the gourmet à la carte dining. Treat yourself to a temazcal sweat lodge ceremony, free WiFi and long-distance calling and learn how to make your own spa products.

Teeing off at the Riviera Maya Golf Club is included in your room rate as is access to the Explorer’s Club for kids 3 to 12 and the Core Zone for teens 13 to 17.

Back in your guestroom make use of a mini bar that gets replenished daily, whirlpool tubs in select rooms and twice-daily housekeeping service. Families and groups coming to Tulum may be interested in requesting connecting rooms.

Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa

Tulum
8.4 Very good (2752 reviews)

Eating out in Tulum | Coctelería El Dorado

There’s nothing quite like sampling the typical dishes of a region, so why not make the most of your time in Tulum and visit Coctelería El Dorado, where you’ll be served up the best shrimp ceviche and snail dishes in the region. The prices are super affordable and the quality is second to none.

Eating out in Tulum | Restaurante Primitivo

The best thing about Tulum is that it caters to every taste – even the most demanding of palates. No matter how picky (or adventurous) you are, you’ll find a plate at Restaurante Primitivo. The food is fabulous, the presentation impeccable, and the succulent flavours of each dish will leave you wanting more. Our favourite pick — the octopus.

So there you have it. Need any more convincing that Tulum really is a paradise on earth?

This article originally appeared on trivago magazine Mexico in collaboration with Nomadarte.