3 day Tulum, Mexico Itinerary & Travel Guide
- by Ari Travels
Because it’s a pretty short flight from most major US cities, Tulum is the perfect destination for a long weekend trip that will still blow you away when your flight lands in paradise. Tulum offers everything from cenote swimming, Mayan ruins, day clubs, nightlife, beautiful architecture, and more. Tulum was such a VIBE and I cannot wait to share what I did during my trip here.
Things to Know About Tulum
- Tulum can be pricy if you plan on spending a lot of time at the Hotel Zone. I would plan on going here during shoulder season. I went in October and there were fewer crowds and lower prices
- There is no airport into Tulum. You must fly into Cancun. Tulum is about 2 hours south of Cancun. To get to Tulum, you can either take the ADO bus right from the airport for cheap or choose to do a shared taxi.
- Plan on staying at an Air BnB on road 307/the city center if you have a group or if you’re traveling solo, there are TONS of great hostels to stay at to save money. The hotel zone will be pricier, so choose to stay in the city center.
Recommendations for Hostels in Tulum
Budget-friendly suggestions for Hotels in Tulum
- Unless you are just spending time on the hotel zone strip, you will NEED cash. Mexico is a country that uses mostly cash. Their form of cash is pesos. Use a Charles Schwab Debit Card to withdraw cash from ATMs without getting the ATM fees. There are ATMs everywhere. If you do use a credit card, use a card that doesn’t charge them such as the Capital One Journey card.
- As for getting around, I highly recommend renting a bike while you spend time in Tulum. You will save lots of money on taxis and it's a great form of exercise.
- The water is generally safe in Mexico to drink from the tap. Bring a water bottle to save money on purchasing plastic ones, plus you help the environment so it’s a win-win
- Mexico is currently open for tourism but always double-check travel restrictions before going to your destination. Sign up for Travel Medical Insurance if the country requires it, and print out all your documents before heading to Mexico.
More information about traveling to Tulum on a Budget in this blog post.
Day 1: Cenote Hopping
Mexico is famous for its beautiful Centoes. Cenotes are basically underground caves. Popular for snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming. These things are magnificent. I would recommend waking up early and going to Gran Cenote first and then heading over to Cenote Calavera. Both of these cenotes are within walking/biking distance.
After your cenote hopping adventure, enjoy the beach. The beaches are pretty much all free to enter around Tulum unless you try and enter through a day club that is charging cover.
If you are feeling up to some nightlife, head over to Gitanos for some drinks.
(Pictured Beach at Ziggys)
Day 2: Explore the Mayan Ruins
Start your morning off by getting a smoothie bowl at Matcha Mama. These things were incredible. Head over to the Mayan Ruins and enjoy the ancient architecture!
After exploring, make sure to get the BEST burritos ever at Burrito Amor. These things were only $3 USD and were so good.
Day 3: Wake up for Sunrise at the beach
I highly recommend waking up extra early to enjoy a Caribbean sunrise at least once on your trip here. Let me tell you, the sunrise was out of this world.
Spend the day walking around the Hotel Zone strip. There is so much to see and do. Admire the architecture and more of what it has to offer. Maybe leave your credit card at home if you’re trying to save some money because the shops can be pretty pricey ;)
Things to see/do when you’re on the hotel strip
- Take a photo in front of the iconic Ahau Tulum sculpture. Be aware that lines here get long for photos
- See Pablo Escobars mansion (Casa Malca)
- Take a Yoga Class
- Workout at Jungle Gym
Enjoy a nice dinner at Macondo. Macondo is a holistic type of Mediterranean restaurant. Probably some of the best Mediterranean food I’ve ever had and the ambiance is the cherry on top.
Day Club and Night Club Recommendations
I chose not to do this, but If you want to spend the money, I do recommend going to one of the famous day clubs such as Papya Playa, Ziggys, Selina Beach Club or Cocos. There is plenty of nightlife in general on the strip itself if you decide not to go to the actual clubs. I’m talkin’ plenty of $1 tequila shots at the bars. Another option for nightlife is Batey. Batey is located in the city center, so it will be cheaper. They are known for their mojitos.
Tulum Day Trip Recommendations
If you are looking to see more of Mexico, there are so many day trips you can do from Tulum
- Chichen Itza, Cenote & Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
- ATV Tour and Cenote Swim
- Half-Day Boat Sailing on Caramoran with All-Inclusive Open Bar
- Cenote Hopping
I hope this itinerary was helpful! Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions regarding your upcoming trip. For more information about traveling to Tulum, Mexico, you can book a consultation call with me or request a custom itinerary by heading to this page. Happy traveling!
This looks like my dream trip. I am planning on going to Tulum next year. I love all your itineraries and adventures. Keep up the good work :)