The Beaches of Tulum


It is no surprise that most of the visitors come to Tulum because of its beaches. The Caribbean Sea, palm trees, fine sands, Mesoamerican reef..And all those paradisical photos circling the social networks suddenly are within hands reach.

Whether you prefer the comforts of a beach club or completely deserted beaches, or something in-between, Tulum has it all. Just take a few days to explore, and you will be amazed.

Tulum Beach Road

Only a few kms from the center of Tulum you will find many beaches worth visiting. This once pristine stretch of Carribean coast is now heavily populated with hotels. There are enough beach clubs to satisfy the requirements of all those that prefer the comforts of the umbrellas and the chaise longues in combination with exotic cocktails.

Photo by Barbbarbbarb, CC BY 2.0

Most of the beach clubs are in the Southern half of Tulum beach, between the roundabout and the arc at the entrance of SianKaan. Some famous places such as PapayPlayaProject, Azulik, AnayJose, LaZebra, Om are in this part of the beach.





Photo by Falco Ermert, CC BY-ND 2.0

At the North side, between the roundabout and the entrance to the ruins of Tulum, you will find a series of easily accessible beaches. Starting from Mezzanine and all the way up to Santa Fe beach is a long and beautiful stretch of fine sand. Some parts, especially Playa Paraiso, are very popular with local people and get quite busy in the high season.



North of Tulum

Photo by Mimi Cummins, CC BY-ND 2.0
Soliman Bay

Soliman Bay is one of the quiet beaches totally worth the visit. It is a semi-private community and the access to the beach is best through the famous Chamicos restaurant. Although the sand is not as fine as at other places, the shallow waters just off the beach are great for snorkeling. The bay is protected and calm even when the sea is rough. Water shoes are highly recommended for this beach.



Photo by Barbbarbbarb, CC BY 2.0
Tankah Bay

Tankah Bay is one of the places out of Tulum with relatively easy access. The reef in this part of the coast is worth exploring. There are a couple of dive shops in the bay that offer both diving and snorkeling trips to the reef. Another big plus is the vicinity of Casa Cenote which is just across the road. So Tankah Bay provides a perfect possibility to explore two different environments in one trip.


Photo by Diego_Cue, CC SA 3.0
Xcacel – Xcacelito

A favorite alternative among the locals and some of the adventurous soles visiting Tulum. This beach is in a reserve and is a  wild area with no hotels in the vicinity. Apparently, it is also a favorite spot for many nesting turtles. During the season you will see many marked turtle nests. With some luck, you might even see hatching baby turtles.  There is a small open water cenote nested in the mangroves just next to the beach that is totally worth exploring also. And finally, the snorkeling at the North end of the beach is amazing and the reef is within swimming distance. Come prepared because there are no vendors here and the amenities are limited to open fresh water showers. The site is controlled by the governmental environmental agencies and you will be asked for a small donation (3-5 $) at the entrance. Opening hours are from 9 to 5 pm.


South of the hotel zone of Tulum

Photo by Falco Ermert, CC BY-ND 2.0

Some of the most beautiful and hidden beaches close to Tulum could be found along the coast in Sian Kàan bio-reserve. The long coastal road between the Tulum Hotel Zone and Punta Allen features many kms of empty pristine beaches. All those, that like isolation and empty beaches lined with palm trees, could easily find a hideaway not far down the road. Some of the more remote places could be hard to reach as the road is infested with holes and rocks and could be dangerous during the rainy season. Still visiting the beaches of Sian Kaan is totally worth it. In this part of the reserve, there are options for beachfront accommodation in some really amazing properties.

In Sian Kaan you cannot help but notice how bad actually is the man-made pollution in the ocean. These pristine beaches are littered with trash washed away by the sea. To a degree that it looks hardly possible to clean it all. The sea currents dump here trash from all over the Carribean. And it is really a sad view.

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