Excursions From Tulum And Day Trips

Find out about the top day trips to take from Tulum that offer exciting experiences such as exploring ancient Mayan ruins and embarking on thrilling jungle adventures.

Don’t miss out on these must-see excursions! 

When you think of Tulum, you might imagine a variety of stunning sights. Such as the numerous historic Mayan ruins or the picturesque cenotes with their crystal-clear blue water. 

There is an abundance of natural and man-made beauty waiting to be explored in Tulum. 

Although Tulum is a fantastic destination, it would be a missed opportunity if you didn’t take advantage of the surrounding areas by going on some of the most amazing day trips available from Tulum. 

Don’t miss out on exploring these exceptional locations and discovering the places you should absolutely visit.

Excursions From Tulum And Day Trips 

Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve

Sian Ka’an is a UNESCO Heritage Site and the most well-preserved area in the Mexican Caribbean. With a vast range of flora and fauna including birds, marine creatures, reefs, forests, and wetlands.

You can opt for a Tulum boat trip by renting a kayak or a boat to explore this natural reserve. It’s an exceptional way to observe the ecosystem, from the lush greenery to the underwater world teeming with fish.

Here’s a guide on how to organize a trip from Tulum to the Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve:

Getting to the Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve from Tulum is straightforward and involves following the same route as the Muyil Ruins. You have the option of taking a car, bus, or taxi to reach the reserve.

Alternatively, you can opt for a half-day trip from Tulum that combines both the Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve and the Muyil ruins.

This excursion allows you to explore the untamed jungle of the Mayan civilization while floating along the lagoon.

You can end the day by relishing a variety of snacks at sunset, which is the epitome of relaxation.

Ruins of Muyil


The Muyil Ruins are situated within the Sian Ka’an Reserve, allowing one to enjoy two Tulum excursions in one trip. 

These ruins are one of the oldest and most inhabited ruins in the Quintana Roo region of eastern Mexico. 

You can explore the jungle trail and be fascinated by the numerous buildings and structures, such as a castle, a cave, and a temple.

Here is a guide on how to plan an excursion from Tulum to the Muyil Ruins:

To reach the Muyil Ruins from Tulum, the quickest method is to rent a car or take a taxi and drive on Highway 307 for approximately 30 minutes. 

The most economical way to travel is by taking a bus from the ADO bus station located in Tulum’s city centre.

Inzulik Uh May

Azulik Uh May is an extraordinary artisanal city located in the midst of the Tulum jungle, characterized by a distinct handmade design that appears otherworldly, almost resembling a city on Mars. 

This location is best described as a fusion between a gallery and an art installation.

This innovative “smart city” features various facilities including an art museum, restaurant, healing sanctuaries, and villas, all situated in the heart of the Tulum jungle.

The art museum, Sfer Ik, is characterized by its unique and fully immersive design. 

The smart city’s fine dining restaurants are similarly unconventional, where the food is considered an art form, and experiments with flavours from the surrounding forest are frequently incorporated into the dishes.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Azulik Uh May:

Azulik Uh May is located in Francisco Uh May, approximately a 30-minute drive from Tulum, and can be easily accessed by car or taxi. 

The attraction is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm, and the entry fee is $20 USD per person.


Coba, an ancient Mayan city, is located approximately 30.6 miles (49.3 km) from Tulum and is a popular tourist destination, despite being less popular than other ancient ruins in the area. 

The main attraction of Coba is the Nohoch Mul Pyramid, which distinguishes itself from other ancient ruins in the region by allowing visitors to climb to the top. 

Additionally, Coba features three cenotes, with the young cenotes being located close together, either in or near a nearby cave.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Coba:

While a taxi ride to Coba is the quickest option, it is also the most expensive, costing approximately $24 USD for a 45-minute one-way trip. 

For those looking to save some money, the ADO bus provides an affordable alternative, with a one-hour trip to Coba costing only around $5 USD for a first-class ticket.

For those who prefer guided tours, there is a full-day Tulum and Coba archaeological tour available that includes a visit to both ancient Mayan sites, as well as a chance to swim in a natural sinkhole. 

The ruins are open daily from 8 am to 5 pm and require a $4 USD entrance fee.

Isla Holbox

Holbox Island, located 168 km away from Tulum, is a relaxed destination known for its lack of cars and mostly unpaved roads, with locals getting around in golf carts. 

The island boasts a variety of charmingly colourful buildings, but the real highlight is the bioluminescent lights visible on the shore at night, particularly from May to September.

Viewing the glow-in-the-dark plankton is best on moonless nights.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Isla Holbox:

Reaching Isla Holbox from Tulum requires multiple transfers due to the distance. While a private charter is the quickest option, it can be expensive. 

A more affordable alternative would be to drive to the nearby town of Chiquila and take a 15-minute ferry from there.


If you’ve ever wanted to swim with sea turtles, the best Tulum excursion you can make is to Akumal.

Tourism-related activities, particularly swimming with wild loggerheads and green sea turtles, were causing harm to the environment. 

The situation got worse as many tourists failed to comply with the rules. As a result, several tours to the area were discontinued.

Akumal Bay has implemented more rigorous measures to ensure the safety of sea turtles in their natural surroundings. 

These measures involve limiting the number of tourists who can visit the beach, so it is advisable to arrive early to avoid disappointment. 

Additionally, visitors are strictly prohibited from touching the turtles, and it is crucial to respect the animals and their natural habitat. 

To reach Akumal from Tulum, you can take a bus that will get you there in just 20 minutes, and the fares are generally reasonable. 

Another option is to book a five-hour tour for the Marine Turtle Observation in Akumal that includes hotel pickup in Tulum, as well as drinks and snacks. 

The bay is open most days from 9 am to 5 pm, except for Mondays and from September to February.

Cenote Journey

Tulum is home to some of the most wonderful cenotes out of the 6,000 on the Yucatan Peninsula. 

These natural sinkholes offer incredible opportunities for snorkelling and diving, as they are filled with crystal-clear waters that host various marine creatures. 

Cenote Calavera, Dos Ojos, and El Gran are some of the most frequently visited cenotes during Tulum excursions.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to nearby cenotes:

While it is possible to reach some cenotes in Tulum by taking a bus or colectivo, their schedules may not be very reliable. 

Therefore, travelling by car or taxi may be a more convenient option, albeit more expensive. 

Some cenotes, such as El Gran Cenote, have an entrance fee, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time and carry some cash with you. 

There are also tours available that include hotel pick-up and drop-off, like this snorkelling and underground cenote excursion.


Bacalar is not as crowded with tourists as some other destinations, and as a result, it is more cost-effective to visit. 

It provides visitors with a more authentic Mexican atmosphere that is not too noisy. Although it does not have a beach, Bacalar is an excellent location for water activities, 

such as kayaking, fishing, and jet skiing. Additionally, visitors can also swim in the nearby Cenote Azul.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Bacalar:

The ADO bus provides an affordable transportation option for travelling to Bacalar from Tulum. The journey is approximately three hours and the cost is around $16 USD.

Isle of Women

Isla Mujeres is a peaceful island with pristine beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. 

The island offers several activities such as souvenir shopping, dining at local restaurants, and exploring various museums. 

One of the most fascinating attractions is the underwater museum, which has a collection of sculptures. 

You can observe the art pieces up close by snorkelling or opt to take a glass-bottom boat to see them from above.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Isla Mujeres

To reach Tulum from Isla Mujeres, you need to take a ferry for about 30 minutes. Since Isla Mujeres is an island, there is no direct transportation available. 

If you prefer driving, you can reach Playa Tortugas, take a ferry to Isla Mujeres, and then a two-and-a-half-hour drive from there to Tulum. 

Alternatively, you can take a three-hour ADO bus from the city centre to Tulum.

Snorkeling Around Tulum 

Tulum is well-known for being one of the best places for snorkelling in the Yucatan area, and you don’t have to venture into the ocean to experience it. 

The region has an abundance of cenotes, which offer an excellent opportunity to explore their underwater caves. 

Additionally, the stunning underwater museum in Isla Mujeres is worth a visit.

How to Plan a Snorkeling Excursion from Tulum

Going snorkelling in Tulum doesn’t require a guided tour. In case you forget to bring your own snorkelling gear, you can rent it. 

There are several free snorkelling spots available, with Akumal, Cozumel, and Sian Ka’an nature reserves being some of the best places near Tulum.

Dive With Whale Sharks

Tulum is home to various marine life, including fish, coral reefs, and other aquatic animals. However, the whale sharks found in these waters are exceptional. 

Between May and September, thousands of these spotted creatures migrate to Tulum to feed on plankton, creating a breathtaking sight for snorkelers. 

This period is known as the whale shark season in Tulum.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Swim with Whale Sharks

For novice divers who seek professional guidance, the Isla Mujeres whale shark encounter tour is an ideal choice. 

It allows you to get a closer look at the whale sharks in their natural habitat. Despite their gentle nature, it is advisable to reserve a tour with a trustworthy agency to guarantee a safe and memorable experience.


Ek Balam is a less crowded alternative to the popular Chichen Itza that attracts many tourists. It offers a fresh perspective on the ancient Mayan ruins. 

The highlight of the site is the El Torre pyramid, which stands 100 ft (30 m) tall and is open for visitors to climb. 

Additionally, visitors can enjoy the nearby Cenote Xcan Ché, a beautiful blue-watered sinkhole, where one can enjoy a zip line adventure.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Ek Balam:

To reach the Ek Balam Ruins from Tulum, you can take a three-hour bus ride from Tulum to Valladolid, and from there, transfer to another bus to reach the ruins. 

The most cost-effective means of transportation to the ruins is taking the bus. The entrance fee for the ruins is $22 USD, and they are open from 8 am to 5 pm.

Jungle Adventure

The Quintana Roo is full of tropical rainforests and jungles. You don’t have to travel far to find a jungle here. 

You’ll even come across some villas and accommodations in the heart of the jungle.

Tulum is where the jungle meets the sea and is full of adventures with various zip lines, cenotes, and lagoons.

How to Plan a Jungle Excursion from Tulum: 

Experience a jungle paradise by signing up for the Jungle Maya Full-Day Tour. 

You can enjoy rappelling down to Yaxmuul Cenote in the jungle or ziplining over the trees. Additionally, you can participate in an ancient Mayan ritual after the activities.


Xel-Ha is a popular water theme park that provides an excellent way to beat the heat during summer. 

Its name, which means “where water is born,” is appropriate since the park is home to several underground rivers. Visitors can engage in a variety of water and land activities, such as snorkelling with marine creatures, zip-lining, water tours, exploring hidden caves, and more.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Xel-Ha

Xel-Ha Park, located just 20 minutes away from Tulum, is easily accessible by car, taxi, bus, or shuttle. 

To avoid the ticket line, consider purchasing the all-inclusive ticket to the park, which provides access to 20 attractions as well as a buffet and drinks.


This town is a lesser-known tourist spot and less crowded than Tulum and Cancun. 

The town’s unique features are its art and architecture, which attracts many visitors. The town has several historic churches, pastel buildings, and the Convent Of San Bernardo, which are must-visit attractions. 

The town also has natural wonders such as Cenote Zaci and many other cenotes in the surrounding areas.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Valladolid

The ADO bus company provides daily transportation to Valladolid with departures every four hours. 

The journey lasts less than two hours for a one-way trip. Alternatively, taking a taxi will take slightly over an hour.

Playa Del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is a popular destination on the Yucatan Peninsula that offers stunning views of the coast, luxurious beach resorts, and vibrant nightlife. 

Visitors can indulge in various activities such as swimming with marine creatures like whale sharks and turtles, and exploring the natural beauty of the Caverns at Rio Secreto. 

or immersing in the city’s cultural offerings, including the Frida Kahlo Museum and street art in the city centre.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Playa del Carmen

To travel from Tulum to Playa del Carmen, taking the bus is the recommended and affordable option, with a travel time of only one hour. 

Alternatively, you can save some money by taking a minivan or a collective instead.

Boat Excursion

Tulum is situated on the coast, and it is surrounded by various water sources, such as beaches and lakes. Hence, it is an ideal place to go on a Tulum sailing excursion.

You can either rent a private yacht or sailboat and choose your destination or opt for a guided sailboat tour, where someone else will steer the boat.

How to Plan Tulum Sailing Excursions:

This full-day boat tour is an excellent way to explore Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres. You’ll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the beautiful waters of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Las Coloradas

One of the must-visit places on your Tulum, Mexico excursion is Las Coloradas, a pink lake located nearby. 

The lake owes its unique colour to the presence of algae and plankton thriving in the high-salinity water, giving it a beautiful magenta-pink hue. 

This natural wonder is often compared to the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve as one of the pinkest places in Mexico.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Las Coloradas

Although Las Coloradas is quite a distance from Tulum, it is still possible to visit on a day trip. It takes approximately four hours by bus or three hours by car to reach the location.

Ria Lagartos

Although Ria Lagartos does not have a pink lake like Las Coloradas, it is still a top contender for the title of the pinkest place in Mexico. 

The town is known for its vast population of pink flamingos, with over 40,000 of them residing in the nearby bio reserve. 

In addition to flamingos, the reserve is home to 395 other species of birds and animals.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Rio Lagartos

It is recommended to visit both Rio Lagartos and Las Coloradas on the same day as they are located very close to each other, and can be easily reached with a short 16-minute drive between the two towns.

Xcaret Park

Xcaret Park, located near Playa del Carmen, is an eco-tourism nature theme park that offers over 50 natural and cultural attractions that are indigenous to Mexico. 

Some of the park’s features include a coral reef aquarium, Mayan ruins, and a butterfly pavilion.

How to Plan an Excursion from Tulum to Xcaret Park

Getting to Xcaret Park from Tulum is relatively easy, requiring a 40-minute drive on Highway 307, which can be done by car, taxi, or bus. 

To avoid waiting in line, visitors can purchase an Xcaret Plus admission ticket, which includes lunch, parking, and access to numerous other attractions.

Practical Tips For Planning Your Tulum Excursions

  • The period between November and April is the optimal time to explore Tulum and its neighbouring attractions, as this period generally experiences less rainfall and humidity. 

However, it is also the busiest time of the year, so visitors should expect larger crowds during this season.

  • Cancun is the nearest airport to Tulum. The duration of travel time from Cancun to Tulum varies depending on traffic, and it can take anywhere from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half hours.
  • Before heading to the ticket station to purchase bus tickets, it is recommended to check online for potential discounts.