Where to Stay in Tulum

MexicoTulum › Best Places to Stay
Updated: February 19, 2024

My Favorite Tulum Hotels
• 5-star: MezzanineJashita
• 4-star: La ValiseEncantada
• 3-star: Coco Village
• For families: Jashita
• For couples: Mezzanine

Where to stay in Tulum.

La Valise on the beach in Tulum.

Best Places to Stay in Tulum

The big decision first-time visitors need to make is whether to stay in the Pueblo (affordable hotels, delicious restaurants, fun bars, and dance clubs) or on the beach (posh hotels, stylish party scene, fine dining restaurants, and boutique shopping). The beach itself is made up of 4 areas, each with a unique feel: the Beach Town and the North, Middle, and South Beach Zones.

It takes about 15 minutes to cycle from the heart of the Pueblo to the Beach, and then up to an additional 30 minutes to get to the most distant beach hotels. Most hotels offer free or cheap bicycles to guests, making it simple to stay in one spot and enjoy other stretches of beach. There are no street lights or bike lanes on the road that runs alongside the beach, so cycling there is best during the day.

The best places to stay in Tulum for partying are the Pueblo, Beach Town, or the Middle Beach Zone. For families, it’s the South Beach Zone or Aldea Zama. And for romance and honeymoons stay in the North or South Beach Zone (though pretty much every part of Tulum is perfect for a honeymoon holiday).

Best 5-star hotel on Tulum beach.

The fantastic Mezzanine hotel. Great setting and steps from the best swimming beach in Tulum.

Best Areas to Stay in Tulum

Where to stay in Tulum? Beach or town?

  • Most travelers to Tulum stay in one of two main areas: the Pueblo (downtown or the town) or the beach. It’s about 5 km from the Pueblo to the nearest stretch of beach.
  • The best luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, outdoor nightlife (beach and jungle parties), and boutique shops are on the beach. Most hotels on the beach have limited air conditioning.
  • The beach is wide and mostly sandy, though there are a few rocky patches here and there. The beach hotel zone is roughly divided into 4 areas: the North (quiet, romantic, near the ruins), the Beach Town (the most affordable beach area), the Middle (restaurants, beach clubs, and nightlife), and the South (family-friendly, lots of yoga, wide sandy beach, near Sian Ka’an bio-reserve)
  • The Pueblo offers a mix of midrange and affordable hotels with a walkable center, offering authentic Mexican restaurants and fantastic nightlife (all-night dance clubs, fun bars, and street parties). All hotels in the Pueblo have 24-hour air conditioning.
  • Just south of the Pueblo is a new luxury development called Aldea Zama (about halfway between the heart of the Pueblo and the beach). This is a quiet neighborhood with a suburban feel and a couple of boutique hotels and restaurants. Much of Aldea Zama is still under construction.

See Also

Staying in the North Beach Zone

Best beach for first-timers to Tulum.

The beach just north of Mezzanine hotel.

The North Beach Zone is the strip of beach running along the edge of Tulum National Park, where the Mayan ruins are. This generally means from the ruins in the north down 4 km south along Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila (the beach road) to its intersection with Avenida Coba (the road to the Pueblo) at the tourist police station. Unofficially, the North Beach Zone extends a little farther north to the Tankah neighborhood. This is the quietest area in Tulum, with just a few boutique hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs. Most hotels are on white sandy beaches, though there are a few areas of rocky coastline. Among the best beaches here are Playa Paraiso and Playa Pescadores (picturesque, soft, sandy beaches), Playa Maya (lots of cheap snorkeling trips here), Santa Fe (Tulum’s original hippie hangout – strong swimmers can swim the 500 meters to the ruins from here), and Ruins Beach (the beach right underneath the Tulum ruins). Just north of the beach zone, there are several gorgeous cenotes (natural swimming holes connected to underground river systems) with especially great swimming at Casa Cenote and Dos Ojos.

The Best Hotels in the North Beach Zone

  • Mezzanine(Hotel phone: +52 984 115 4728)
  • Jashita (In Soliman Bay, north of the North Hotel Zone) • (Hotel phone: +52 984 875 4158)
  • Mi Amor(Hotel phone: +52 984 188 4273)
  • O’ Tulum(Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241)

Staying in Beach Town

Beach Town is a cluster of hotels, restaurants, and shops from kilometer 4 to about kilometer 5.5 between the North and Middle Beach Zones. The beach is sandy and swimmable in the north end, with rocky patches for the southern 500 or so meters. In general, dining, drinking, and shopping are more affordable here than in the other beach areas. Most of the restaurants and shops are on the jungle side of the road, including Mateos, a fun 3-story restaurant with hammocks, and Tunich, a fantastic breakfast spot. Beachside dining is best at Zamas and Mina. Across from Zamas are 3 boutiques featuring Mexican clothing, crafts, and gifts: Mixik, Hilo Rojo, and Shalom. A little bit north of the Beach Town, you’ll find Kin Toh (a treetop restaurant/lounge) and Zak Ik (fashion boutique), both at stylish Azulik Resort. North of Azulik is Papaya Playa Project, the which hosts the wildest late night beach parties.

The Best Hotels in Beach Town

Staying in the Middle Beach Zone

Beach club in Tulum.

The beach bar and restaurant at Ahau Hotel.

The Middle Beach Zone is the heart of Tulum’s beach area, with upscale dining, high-end boutiques, and stylish open-air nightclubs, especially chic Casa Jaguar and Gitano. Outside of the party scene, there is a plethora of ambitious restaurants serving fine-dining and creative menus. Among the best restaurants here are Hartwood, Arca, and Safari. Plenty of yoga studios and casual beach clubs also dot the strip. The Middle Beach Zone sits roughly between kilometers 5.5 and 8 on Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, from the narrow, rocky Sunset Beach at the north end to just past Arca restaurant in the south end. The beach is long, wide, and mostly sandy though there are some rocky patches between km 5.5 and 6. There are no street lights, sidewalks, or bike paths, but even still most people get around this area by walking or cycling, and it’s fairly easy to flag down a taxi here.

The Best Hotels in the Middle Beach Zone

  • Tago(Hotel phone: +52 984 871 1310)
  • Ahau(Hotel phone: +52 984 147 5225)
  • Dune(Hotel phone: +52 984 238 9529)
  • Cabañas La Luna(Hotel phone: +52 984 146 7737)
  • Coco Tulum(Hotel phone: +52 984 688 8592)
  • The Beach Hotel(Hotel phone: +52 984 157 9645)
  • El Pez(Hotel phone: +52 984 116 3357)
  • Cabañas(Hotel phone: +52 984 871 1132)

Staying in the South Beach Zone

Luxury beach hotel in Tulum.

The luxurious Sueños hotel in the quieter South Beach area of Tulum – though still walking distance to many bars and restaurants.

The South Beach Zone is great for kids with a long, wide stretch of sandy beach with no rocky parts. Located near the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, hotels in the south end tend to be more eco-conscious than hotels to the north, which is reflected in the bohemian vibe and abundance of yoga and wellness studios here. The South Beach Zone tends to be quiet, away from the central party zone but still within walking/cycling distance to fantastic restaurants and nightlife. This is a great place to stay for active families and couples who want to explore more of Tulum’s natural wonders, from beaches to jungles to cenotes. Amazing restaurants in the South Beach Zone include Nü, Charly’s Vegan Tacos, and Taqueria La Eufemia. The best yoga studios here are at Yäan Wellness, Alaya, and SUP Yoga Tulum, with classes held in various locations in and near Sian Ka’an.

The Best Hotels in the South Beach Zone

Staying in the Pueblo

Best hotel in Tulum town.

Una Vida is the best hotel in the Pueblo.

The Pueblo is the lively downtown area of Tulum, brimming with wonderful restaurants, bars, and clubs. Hotels tend to be in the budget or moderate range, though there are a handful of luxury hotels at a fraction of the cost of the beach resorts. The Pueblo is easily walkable and bikable with a grid layout, sidewalks, and street lamps in most parts. Food in the Pueblo is more authentic and affordable than what you’ll find at the beach; among the best are Taqueria El Carboncito, Antojitos la Chiapaneca, and La Gloria de Don Pepe, though there are many amazing spots to try. The nightlife is anchored by Batey Mojito Bar, with several great bars and clubs on that same block or along the main street, including Pasito Tun Tun and Kiki. Two of Tulum’s best yoga studios are here: Yoga Dicha (yoga with puppies every Monday morning) and Tribal Tulum (a yoga studio/dive shop). Though the Pueblo is a vibrant, urban area, it is completely surrounded by jungle, with lots of nature to explore just a short bike ride away. Several amazing cenotes are within a 5 to 25-minute bike ride north along Avenida Coba, including Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote, Cenote Santa Cruz, and Cenote Zacil-Ha (with a zip line).

The Best Hotels in the Pueblo

Staying in Aldea Zama

Aldea Zama in Tulum
Aldea Zama is a new luxury development in between the Pueblo and the Beach Zone. This neighborhood is primarily high-end homes, condos and Airbnbs, though there are a couple of boutique hotels, restaurants, and a playground – all connected by walking and cycling paths. Much of the development is still under construction, but there are plans to add luxury boutiques, restaurants, and bars. At the moment, this area has a bit of a sterile feel and hasn’t found its own personality yet. However, the location is perfect, offering easy access to the Pueblo and beach, while remaining calm and quiet at night.

The Best Hotel in Aldea Zama

  • Naay(Hotel phone: +52 984 231 1241)

Tulum Map

Tulum Where To Stay Map and Where To Stay on Tulum Beach
Hotels on Map: 1. Jashita 2. O’ Tulum 3. Bardo 4. Una Vida 5. Casa Don Diego 6. Coco Hacienda 7. Hotel Tiki Tiki 8. Naay 9. Mezzanine 10. Mi Amor 11. Papaya Playa Project 12. Azulik 13. Punta Piedra Beach Posada Hotel 14. Zamas 15. El Pez 16. Tago 17. Coco Tulum 18. Dune 19. Cabañas La Luna 20. Cabañas Tulum 20. The Beach Tulum 21. Ahau 22. La Zebra 23. Alaya 23. Playa Mambo Eco Cabanas 24. Las Palmas Maya 25. Sueños 26. Encantada 27. La Valise 28. Be Tulum 29. Nômade 30. Casa Malca

Read More

  1. Staying at Be Tulum

    My wife and I are staying at Be Tulum at the end of this month for a ‘babymoon’. She found a few restaurants that look interesting and was wondering on your take: Mi Amor Restaurant, Kitchen Table and Mexican Experience. Also wondering if you have any other great restaurants nearer to our hotel.

    1. Mexico Dave The Hotel Expert

      Kitchen Table and The Mexican Dining Experience are wonderful restaurants that are both worth the trip to the north end of the beach. The restaurant at Mi Amor is also excellent, but a little overpriced for what you get. Definitely check out Nü, an upscale, open-air restaurant in the jungle, just a 5-minute walk from Be Tulum. Arca and Heartwood restaurants are both about 15 minutes’ walk from Be, and serve exceptional dishes with a rustic-chic ambiance. For something more casual but still high-quality, check out Taqueria La Euphemia (10-minute walk) and Safari Campfire Food (5-minute bike ride).

  2. Best Beach in Tulum for Kid-friendly Swimming

    What section of the Tulum beach has the calmest water and is good for kids to play and swim?

    1. Mexico Dave The Hotel Expert

      The waves are going to be about the same size no matter where you stay in Tulum, since the whole beach zone is pretty much a straight line down, not many natural bays or coves, except the rocky spot near Zamas and El Pez. So, it’s more the quality of the beach and amenities that make a spot good for families. That said, I’d go with the South Beach Zone: wide section of beach, great sand, lots of family-friendly hotels, and great restaurants within a short walk of most hotels. This is also the closest spot to Sian Ka’an bioreserve.
      Another option, if you don’t mind staying outside Tulum proper is to head up north to Tulsayab, which has two natural bays that have very calm water and are well-kept and cleaned by the local businesses (which is done less in Tulum because it’s so close to the protected nature park). The bonus here is that, if it does get too wavy or seaweedy for good swimming, it’s near the awesome cenotes Casa Cenote, Dos Ojos, and Sac Actun, plus adventure parks like Jungla Maya and Xel Ha.

  3. Great Beach Hotel in Tulum

    I am looking for a good location or beach hotel where I can relax and be pampered but also mix with a good crowd and socializing. Is the middle beach the best location? We are considering Coco Tulum.

    1. Mexico Dave The Hotel Expert

      The middle beach zone is most likely the best area for your needs. Many of Tulum’s best restaurants, nightlife, luxury hotels, spas, and yoga centers are within walking distance here, and many more are just a short bike ride away (north or south on the beach road). Coco Tulum is in a great location and has a lively beach area. You’ll find many of the area’s best restaurants and nightlife within a 15 minute walk of Coco, mostly headed south along the beach.

  4. Tulum Hotel with Best Beach

    Which are the hotels in Tulum that have the nicest beaches behind them? I sometimes look at hotels but the water looks murky or rocky. So I want the best of both hotel and beach.

    1. Mexico Dave The Hotel Expert

      Most of Tulum’s beach zone is sandy, though there are some rocky patches scattered down the length of the coast. Head to the south end of the beach for longer stretches of sand uninterrupted by rocks.

      In recent years, Tulum has had a problem with seaweed on the beaches, especially in some of the small, natural bays between km 5 to km 6 along the beach road (roughly between Zamas and Amansala Resort), though seaweed can occur anywhere. The higher-end resorts will have more resources to put toward keeping their beaches clear of seaweed.

      So, your best bet for a sandy beach with less seaweed and fewer rocks will be at the luxury resorts on the south end of the beach zone. Consider staying at La Valise, Casa Malca, Nomade, or Alaya.

  5. Beach Resort in Tulum

    What do you think of the Beach Tulum hotel?

    1. Mexico Dave The Hotel Expert

      The Beach Tulum is among the very best hotels in the area, a gorgeous, adults-only property on a stretch of powdery sand, home of the popular Ziggy’s beach club. Rooms all include a private jacuzzi or plunge pool and 24-hour a/c. Free perks include daily yoga in their treehouse studio, bicycles, and nightly live music. The location is fantastic, with a range of restaurants within a short walk or bike ride from the property.

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