Where to Stay in Tulum – Tulum Beach Strip or Tulum Town?
Updated: Feb 5
Tulum is a tranquil and friendly place that encompasses a long list of activities that many desire when booking a Mexican vacation. There are two main areas to spend your nights when visiting Tulum—Tulum Town and the Tulum Beach Strip. Which one you choose makes a difference as to what your vacation will be like.
Check out these pros and cons of each place and decide if you will spend your vacation in Tulum on the Beach Strip or in Tulum Town.
Tulum Beach Strip
You’ll find boutique hotels here with beautiful beach views and a peaceful atmosphere—but it comes at a price.
Pro: Wide variety of resort options
From boutique hotels and eco hotels to big-name resorts, there are many accommodations to choose from along the beach. Accommodations can be found on both sides of the main road.
Pro: Beachfront properties, but…
Many of the hotels along the Tulum Beach Strip run on energy gathered from power plants and solar and have limited utility services, as this now popular destination had rustic beginnings and used to have a much smaller tourist draw. This means that many hotels don’t have air conditioning or fresh water. Even though, the hotels have beachfront access, and you won’t want to miss out on the great beaches here. Tulum has some of the best beaches in Mexico, so they are a can’t-miss no matter where you choose to stay!
Con: Beachfront traffic
In the high season, the traffic on the beachfront roads can be quite busy, disrupting the usually quiet road and interfering with the crashing of the waves.
Con: Higher Prices
While still affordable, you will find higher prices at souvenir stalls and in restaurants because the area is directly geared towards tourists. If you want an excellent and inexpensive meal, it may be best to drive or take a taxi into Tulum Town.
Also known as the pueblo, the town and its wonders extend far beyond the main tourist street.
Pro: No need for a car
This is a real time-saver for those who don’t enjoy the rental car experience. In town, it is easy to walk, bike or use inexpensive colectivos and ADO buses to get around town, to the beach, cenotes, or to Tulum ruins and surrounding archaeological sites.
Pro: Local eats and authenticity
Staying in town offers you a greater experience and appreciation of Mexican culture in a safe town. Go beyond the souvenir shops on main street--you’ll find artisanal bakeries, coffee shops, public parks, local performances in the squares, and delicious little local restaurants for half the price and twice the taste of what is found on the Beach Strip.
Pro: Close to ruins
Biking to the ruins would only take you twenty minutes on the scenic roads. Or, a bus or car can take under ten minutes.
Con: Not beachfront
For many, hearing the sounds of the ocean waves is a quintessential part of a Mexican holiday. The beach is about three miles away from town.
The verdict? In the end it is up to you—everyone’s vacation will differ and choosing one or the other will not lessen your experience of this beautiful place. For the truest Tulum experience with less hassle and more authenticity, we recommend Tulum Town.
To learn more about Tulum and to find the best location to stay in the heart of Tulum Town, visit Ki'imak Tulum.