Ven a la Luz wooden sculpture - best things to do in Tulum, Mexico
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Tulum bucket list: 15 best things to do in Tulum, Mexico

These are the bucket list things to do in Tulum, Mexico – one of the most iconic tropical destinations in the world located on the gorgeous Caribbean coast and surrounded by tropical forests from one side and turquoise waters from the other!

We spent four weeks in Tulum exploring everything in the city and all the famous bucket list destinations around it so I can safely say that there is something for everyone in Tulum!

In this post, you will find the best things to do in Tulum with descriptions, photos, and locations on the map. Authentic Mexican food, archaeological sites, best beaches with crystal clear waters and white sand – Tulum in a nutshell! Happy travels!

Read more » 20 most popular day trips from Tulum, Mexico

1. Start your day at the legendary Matcha Mama!

Tulum, Mexico-Matcha Mama in Tulum
A healthy breakfast bowl at Matcha Mama is one of the best things to do in Tulum!

Located at the far end of the Tulum hotel zone is one of the most iconic cafes in Tulum – Matcha Mama. Over the years this charming cafe has become a must-visit morning pitstop for every traveler to Tulum.

So starting one of your days during your Tulum trip right at this legendary cafe is one of the top things to do in Tulum, Mexico.

Matcha Mama offers smoothies, açaí bowls, ‘nice’ creams, juices, coconut water, and more! However, what makes it extra photo-perfect is the aesthetics!

Tulum, Mexico-Matcha Mama in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-Matcha Mama in Tulum

The idyllic Matcha Mama features pink and white wooden boards, pink plant pots, charming swings, and a surfboard with catchy writing – I love Tulum so Matcha. One of those iconic Tulum Instagram spots!

We also got ourselves two refreshing bowls and ate them while swinging on the swings and watching cars pass by. Honestly, I’m not really into these bowls and it could have been sweeter but I was happy to try!

If the Tulum hotel zone isn’t your area, then do a quick googling because Matcha Mama has multiple locations around Tulum including in Tulum town (Tulum Pueblo).

Location: Matcha Mama

2. Explore the seaside Tulum Archaeological Zone!

Tulum Archeological Zone in Quintana Roo, Mexico
The iconic view of the God of Winds Temple in Tulum Archaeological Zone

Tulum Archeological Zone is one of the most visited Mayan ruins in Yucatan peninsula and in Mexico. Located just a 5-minute ride from Tulum downtown, the scenic Tulum ruins sit on a 12-meter-high seaside cliff right next to the Caribbean Sea.

Did you know? Tulum in the Mayan language means ‘wall’ or ‘fence’.

Exploring the ancient seaside Mayan ruins was one of the most interesting things to do in Tulum! Its name comes from the fact that this Mayan city was protected by a 3 to 5-meter-high wall.

Tulum Archeological Zone in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Temple of the Frescos
Tulum Archeological Zone in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tulum Archeological Zone

Tulum was one of the last major cities built by the ancient Mayan civilization and they only reached prominence between the 13th- 15th centuries.

Although the site is beautiful, there are no pyramids or large temples which makes it a bit less impressive than other Mayan ruins in Yucatan. The most notable structures here are El Castillo (The Castle), Temple of the God of Wind, and Temple of the Frescos.

Tulum Archeological Zone in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Sea cliff at Tulum Archeological Zone
Tulum Archeological Zone in Quintana Roo, Mexico
Tulum Archeological Zone

Interestingly, the Temple of the Frescos was used as an observatory. Mayans are known for their ample knowledge of astronomy and their tracking of the sun.

The most iconic place in this archaeological zone is at the seaside viewpoint overlooking the coastal cliff, the Caribbean Sea, and the God of Winds Temple in the background (see first photo!). Another one was the Temple of the Frescos.

The parking lot for the ruins is located about 600-700 meters before the actual entrance. We had to pay the entrance fee in two parts – one was for the Tulum Mayan ruins and another fee was for entering Tulum National Park (small fee in cash!).

Location: Tulum Archeological ZoneParking lot

3. Visit the iconic Ven a la Luz sculpture park!

Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum
Sculpture park ‘Ven a la Luz’ is one of the most popular places to visit in Tulum, Mexico

Sculpture park ‘Ven a la Luz’ (‘Come to the Light’) is one of the most iconic tourist attractions and one of the best places to visit in Tulum, Mexico! This place is a beauty!

The impressive 10-meter-high sculpture was created by a South African artist. It was made for a festival that took place in Tulum in 2018 but ever since has become a landmark in Tulum for all its visitors.

Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-Ven a la Luz sculpture park in Tulum

The sculpture and other art installations are located in a closed area that you can visit for an entrance fee. When we visited in the morning it was 80 pesos per person.

The sculpture park symbolizes the deep connection between humans and nature.

Although other art installations inside the small park are quite simple, the massive ‘Ven a la Luz’ statue is impressive and I very much appreciate the work that was put into creating this piece of art! Worth a visit!

Location: Ven a la Luz

4. Tour the most famous cenotes near Tulum!

Tulum, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Atik Tulum
Cenote Atik Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Atik Tulum
Cenote Atik Tulum

Cenotes are unique water-filled natural sinkholes in the ground and are amongst the must-see places for every traveler visiting Tulum and the Yucatan peninsula. There are a couple of amazing cenotes near Tulum that are worth visiting.

Tip! If you ever come to Tulum when the beaches are covered by the smelly sargassum, visiting cenotes is the best way to spend an enjoyable day at the water!

Cenote Atik Tulum, located just a 15-minute drive from downtown, is my favorite cenote near Tulum. It is a gorgeous cenote with turquoise water and a waterfall and features a jungle park filled with hidden sculptures, art objects, and photo spots.

Cenotes in Mexico - Cenote Taak Bi Ha
Cenote Taak Bi Ha
Cenotes in Mexico - Cenote Taak Bi Ha
Cenote Taak Bi Ha

Another one of my favorites was Cenote Taak Bi Ha a 30-minute drive North of Tulum. It is an underground cenote boasting turquoise crystal clear water as well as large rock formations – stalactites and stalagmites. A popular spot among for scuba diving!

Tip! Dos Ojos Cenote is another popular cenote next to Cenote Taak Bi Ha. It is worth checking it out!

You can jump into the water from a stone platform built above the water. It is a bit more remote cenote and we even got some time inside for ourselves while we were there alone for a moment in between some small groups of snorkeling tours.

Cenotes near Tulum, Mexico - Cenote Calavera
Cenote Calavera
Tulum, Mexico-best cenotes near Tulum - Gran Cenote
Gran Cenote

Then there is Gran Cenote – one of the most popular cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula and one of the most popular cenotes near Tulum located just a 10-minute drive from the center of Tulum. The most special thing there is that you can swim with turtles!

Another favorite is Cenote Calavera (Skull Cenote) just a 5-minute drive from downtown Tulum. It got its fame on social media thanks to its unique looks – a big circular hole in the ground that resembles a skull and photo-perfect stairs and a swing.

If you do not enjoy popular places, I recommend visiting the so-called Coba cenotes – cheap large underground cenotes just a short drive from the nearby Coba Archaeological Zone. I especially loved Cenote Tankach-Ha!

Location: Cenote Atik TulumCenote Taak Bi HaGran CenoteCenote Calavera

5. Explore the Coba Archaeological Zone in the jungle!

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and ruins of an ancient Mayan city Coba at Coba archaeological zone
Nohoch Mul Pyramid in Coba is amongst the highest ones in the Yucatan Peninsula

Exploring the ancient Mayan city of Coba should be on anyone’s Tulum bucket list! Coba Archaeological Zone is one of the largest Mayan sites in the Yucatan peninsula and one of the closest ones to Tulum!

The ancient Mayan ruins are located just a 45-minute drive from Tulum making it the perfect place to go for a fantastic day trip from Tulum to discover an ancient city in the jungle!

Coba ruins once were one of the most important ancient Mayan cities in the area. The archaeological site boasts multiple stone pyramids, temples, and other important structures.

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and ruins of an ancient Mayan city Coba at Coba archaeological zone
Ballgame court in Coba
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and ruins of an ancient Mayan city Coba at Coba archaeological zone
Astronomical Observatory in Coba

Entrance to the site is paid in different parts – parking and two different entrance fees, so don’t forget to bring some cash with you. All the buildings are pretty much scattered around the jungle so you can rent a bike there (we walked, it was ~5 kilometers).

One of the most impressive buildings is the temple pyramid Nohoch Mul. At 42 meters (137 feet) it is one of the highest Mayan structures in the Yucatán Peninsula. Only Calakmul in the State of Campeche is higher than the Coba pyramid.

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and ruins of an ancient Mayan city Coba at Coba archaeological zone
Temple pyramid in Coba
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and ruins of an ancient Mayan city Coba at Coba archaeological zone
La Iglesia pyramid near the entrance

Most of the structures in Coba date back to the 7th-10th centuries. Coba once was a large center of the Mayan civilization reaching 50 thousand inhabitants but was already abandoned by the 16th century during the Spanish conquest.

A couple of years ago it was possible to climb the pyramid in Coba, but not anymore. I wasn’t sad about it tho – it was fun walking the narrow paths through the jungle and finding Mayan ruins along the way!

Exploring these ruins was one of my favorite things to do in Tulum. We arrived an hour before the closing time so we almost had all the pyramids all to ourselves as everyone else was already leaving when we got here. It was amazing!

Location: Coba Archaeological ZoneParking lot

6. Hunt down the best Mexican tacos in Tulum!

Tulum, Mexico - best tacos in Tulum, Mexico - La Taqueria
Tulum, Mexico - best tacos in Tulum, Mexico - Taqueria Honorio
Taqueria Honorio

One of my favorite activities to do in Tulum during our four-week stay was hunting down the most authentic Mexican tacos all around Tulum. It is a great way to get to know a local culture – through food!

One of the must-visit taco spots in Tulum is Taquería Honorio – a local taco legend and a popular taco spot in Tulum! It got its fame after it appeared on Netflix’s Taco Chronicles but kept its reputation thanks to high-quality, delicious, authentic Mexican food!

Tulum, Mexico - best tacos in Tulum, Mexico - Best Tacos Pepe
Best Tacos Pepe
Tulum, Mexico - best tacos in Tulum, Mexico - OLA TACO!

One of my favorite places for the best tacos in Tulum was La Taqueria. This one is on the pricier side but sometimes it is exactly what you’re looking for – nice place with great atmosphere and mouthwatering tacos. This place had exactly that!

However, if you are a budget traveler you might want to check out taco street stands. Two of the absolute best taco stands in Tulum are Best Tacos Pepe and Tacos Many’s Tulum. It can’t get more authentic than that!

However, if you are a seafood fan I highly recommend checking out OLA TACO. I can safely say that OLA TACO! serves some of the best fish tacos in Tulum! This comes from a person who isn’t particularly keen on eating seafood and fish.

Read more » 10 spots for the best tacos in Tulum, Mexico

7. Take a photo at ‘Follow That Dream’ and Tulum signs!

Tulum, Mexico-follow that dream street sign in Tulum, Mexico

Follow That Dream street sign is one of the most iconic Instagram spots in Tulum and the Yucatan peninsula. Thanks to the publicity on social media, this simple sign has become its own symbol for all kinds of travelers.

Once this sign was part of a local boutique shop business housed in the nearby building. As of 2024, the business has moved to a different location in Tulum downtown but the iconic sign remains in the same spot at the side of the street in Tulum hotel zone.

Tulum, Mexico-the colorful Tulum letters photo spot
Tulum sign at Tulum Brewery
Tulum, Mexico-the colorful Tulum letters photo spot
Graffiti of Tulum letters

Another iconic photo you must collect is with the Tulum letters. Every city, town, and village in the Yucatan peninsula has at least one colorful photo spot in a central location of the name of the place. Tulum is no exception.

Check out all the best photo spots of Tulum letters here!

We found multiple Tulum letters around the city in all shapes, colors, and sizes – in Parque Dos Aguas, the main park in Tulum downtown, next to the Tulum archaeological zone, and unique blue letters at the Tulum Brewery.

Location: Follow That DreamTulum letters at the main parkTulum brewery letters

8. Explore AZULIK City of Arts in Uh May!

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
One of my favorite things to do in Tulum was exploring AZULIK City of Arts

Located in the jungle a 30-minute drive from Tulum, AZULIK City of Arts is an out-of-this-world handmade artisanal creation that takes you on a journey through never-seen-before spaces. It is a contemporary art museum like no other!

When I first entered this place my first thoughts were about the The Lord of The Rings movie where elves lived in those otherworldly places. It was hard to fathom how they built and how they even came up with all of that!

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May

First, they took us by a wooden bridge to the entrance, performed some kind of ritual, and then asked us to take off our shoes. You can only walk around barefoot there. Then they let us enter the building. Only phone cameras are allowed in.

The City of Arts is a massive building all connected in one space – there are wooden pathways built to explore the upper side of the building and then lead you down to the floor. The ground level is connected with other rooms and spaces.

Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May
Tulum, Mexico-AZULIK City of Arts in Francisco Uh May

Every room and space features something unique and creative. Once you are done exploring you get your shoes back and can walk outside to explore the surroundings. There is a pool, a restaurant, and more hidden nooks to explore.

Entrance costs 400 pesos per person. If you think you can appreciate such unique beauty, it is well worth a visit. I have traveled to many places and countries but this was something truly magical. I felt like I was on a different planet.

Did you know? There is another museum in the Tulum hotel zone – SFER IK Tulum. From what I gathered from reviews it is a much smaller place for the same price and thus feels not as price-worthy. Read more about these museums on their website!

Location: AZULIK City of Arts – SFER IK Uh May

9. Go on a day trip to the famous Chichén Itzá!

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
The most famous ruins in the Yucatán Peninsula – Chichen Itzá

Chichen Itzá is the most famous Mayan site in Yucatán and one of the most visited places in Mexico. A place that must be on your Tulum itinerary! It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted among the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Chichen Itzá is just a 2-hour drive away from Tulum thus you can turn this landmark into an easy day trip during your stay in Tulum! It is such a lifetime experience!

Historically Chichen Itzá was one of the largest Mayan cities dating back to 600 AC. It existed as a major regional center for many centuries until its decline by the 12th century. It still operated until the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Temple of Kukulcan in Chichén Itzá
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Group of a thousand columns

Chichén Itzá archaeological zone consists of multiple temples, pyramids, structures, and even a sacred cenote (cenote sagrado) where Mayans deposited valuables and gifts including human sacrifices as a form of sacrifice to their rain god Chaac.

The most famous structure is, of course, the great pyramid El Castillo (the castle) which is also known as the Temple of Kukulcan. The pyramid with the temple on top of it is 30 meters high and was built sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
El Caracol – a Mayan observatory
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Puuc architecture on La Iglesia building

Besides the Chichen Itza pyramid, other structures nearby include the Temple of the Warriors with a group of a thousand columns around it, the Temple of the Great Tables, the Ballcourt, and the Eagles and Jaguars platform.

A little bit further away you will find one of my favorite buildings – El Caracol (the snail) which is a Mayan observatory dating back to the 10th century. Next to it, there is a building complex – Las Monjas – boasting an extravagant Puuc architectural style.

Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Puuc architecture on Las Monjas building
Yucatan peninsula, Mexico - Mayan pyramids and Mayan ruins around Yucatan - Chichen Itza
Northeast side of the Chichen Itza pyramid

Visiting the Chichen Itza pyramid site is one of the bucket list things to do in the Yucatán Peninsula. Because of that, this place gets super crowded so I recommend arriving first thing in the morning.

The site opens at 8 AM, the parking lot opens at 7:30 AM. We arrived even before that so that we could be amongst the first ones in. At 8 AM there was already a long line of people so it is best if you have a rental car and can arrive early.

For parking, we paid more than 100 pesos (in cash) but for the entrance fee (by card) we paid more than staggering 620 pesos each. If you want, you can hire a guide on the spot (extra fee) who will tell you the history and take you all around the site.

Location: Chichén Itzá

10. Stop by Cenote Suytun and Cenote Ik Kil!

There are two more famous sites to add to your Chichen Itza day trip – Cenote Suytun and Cenote Ik Kil which are two of the most famous cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula!

The cylindrical Cenote Ik Kil with hanging tree roots is just a 5-minute drive from Chichen Itza but the famous Cenote Suytun is a 50-minute drive from Chichen Itza and a 10-minute drive away from Valladolid.

1. Cenote Ik Kil

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote Ik Kil is one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico

Cenote Ik Kil is a famous destination in the Yucatan Peninsula and a visit here is often combined with visiting Chichen Itza – both sites are located just 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart.

Cenotes are natural sinkholes and this cylindrical cenote stands out with its circular shape and 26-meter walls covered by hanging plants and tree roots. Cenote Ik Kil is 40 meters deep and served as a place for sacrifices for ancient Mayans a long time ago.

Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Walls are covered with plants and tree roots
Valladolid, Mexico - most beautiful cenotes near Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil
Cenote was a place for sacrifices for Mayans

The cenote is located within the territory of a hotel and a restaurant so you can not only go for a swim here but buy a combined ticket that offers a buffet-type catering. That’s why it is a popular place amongst tour buses. Arrive early to avoid them!

Did you know? Ik Kil from Mayan means ‘place of the winds’.

We visited Ik Kil Cenote on the same day we went to Chichén Itzá. The entrance fee to the cenote was 200 pesos per person. At first, you can observe the cenote from above and then descend 90 steps through a tunnel to the water. It was gorgeous!

Location: Cenote Ik Kil

2. Cenote Suytun

Valladolid, Mexico-most beautiful cenotes in Yucatan Peninsula - Cenote Suytun
Cenote Suytun is one of the most unique cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico

Cenote Suytun is one of the most iconic cenotes near Valladolid and in the Yucatan peninsula. Nowhere else you will find a stone pathway leading into the middle of a large underground cenote with a hole in the ceiling right above it.

If you time your visit right, there will be a light beam shining through the hole and illuminating the whole place. Or maybe it will shine right onto the stone platform. We arrived in the morning so we did not see the light beam.

Tip! We visited this cenote on March 9th and the stone platform was dry. However, the water level can be higher or completely cover the platform after rainy periods. The best way to make sure how it looks is by checking recent reviews on Google Maps.

Location: Cenote Suytun

11. Spend a day at the tropical beach in Tulum!

Tulum, Mexico-crooked palm trees in Playa Paraíso in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-crooked palm trees in Playa Paraíso in Tulum

With so much to do in and all around Tulum, don’t forget to spend a fun day at the tropical beaches of Tulum! We chose Playa Paraíso or Paradise Beach for this special occasion!

Playa Paraiso is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Tulum. Thanks to its white sands and tropical palm trees it also is one of those perfect Instagram-worthy places.

Playa Paraíso is a public beach with toilets and changing rooms but there are also beach clubs on this beach with all the facilities you would need for a relaxing time at the beach.

Tulum, Mexico-crooked palm trees in Playa Paraíso in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-crooked palm trees in Playa Paraíso in Tulum

The beach is located inside the Tulum National Park and it means that at one point you will have to pay the entry tax (it was something like 60 pesos when we visited).

To get to the beach, we parked our car at the parking lot for the Tulum archaeological zone and then walked to the beach (20-30 minute walk). Near the parking lot, they offer bicycle rentals for the day if you wish.

Location: Playa ParaísoPhoto location

12. Grab a marquesita at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum downtown!

Tulum, Mexico - street food at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum downtown
Marquesita at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum downtown

An evening stroll to Parque Dos Aguas park to grab some street food was one of my favorite things to do in Tulum. One of the park’s adjacent streets – Calle Sol Ote. – is filled with street food stands in the evening.

Trying street food is one of the must-do things when visiting Tulum and this park is a great place to do that. I especially recommend trying one of those marquesitas – rolled thin waffles with different sweet fillings. Our go-to combo was Nutella and banana!

Tulum, Mexico - street food at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum downtown
Churros at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum
Tulum, Mexico - street food at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum downtown
Esquite at Parque Dos Aguas in Tulum

Marquesita is a street food that was created in the Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula so it makes it a must-try food when visiting this part of Mexico. And it really is tasty!

We also saw street food stands selling elotes, esquites, fried potatoes, churros, and many more. The park is a busy place in the evening with people hanging out and other events happening here quite often. Don’t miss it!

Location: Parque Dos Aguas

13. Walk along the hotel artworks at Tulum Hotel Zone!

Tulum, Mexico-Mía restaurant and beach club by Selina
Mía restaurant and beach club

You probably won’t believe this but walking along the main road at the Tulum Hotel Zone and admiring the creative and unique hotel entrances is actually one of the most interesting things to do in Tulum!

Tulum Hotel Zone is like no other! The whole beachfront is lined with hotels, beach clubs, and restaurants and there is one thing you will notice immediately as you walk down the main street – they have the coolest photo-worthy entrances!

Tulum, Mexico-Soy Tulum Beach Club
Soy Tulum Beach Club
Tulum, Mexico-Roc Luxe Tulum
Roc Luxe Tulum

Probably one of the most well-known and most photographed entrances is for Mía restaurant and beach club. They have created a gorgeous wooden tunnel with boards like sunrays laid out on all sides.

One of my personal favorites was the blue bunny at Soy Tulum Beach Club. I know, it is a bit creepy to walk through its mouth and those eyes are especially weird but I can also acknowledge that they did a creative job here, haha!

Tulum, Mexico-Vagalume Beach Club Tulum
Vagalume Beach Club Tulum
Tulum, Mexico-Akiin Beach Club Tulum
Akiin Beach Club Tulum

One entrance that stood out to me the most was Roc Luxe Tulum. The entrance has a gorgeous white-greyish space that continues as a tunnel with big holes dotted all over them and plants sticking out through the holes. So unique!

There was another monster at Akiin Beach Tulum. Seemed like a dragon or something from the Mayan culture. However, Vagalume Beach Club had a wooden hand and a bee. There were simpler wooden entrances at Ziggy’s as well as Leemba Beach Club.

We stopped by all of them in the morning and they were all crowd-free so we could easily take photos and nobody said a single word to us. If you have time, I highly recommend taking a walk along the road to check out these masterpieces!

Location: Mia RestaurantSoy Tulum Beach ClubAkiin Beach TulumVagalume Beach Club

14. Go on a trip to Muyil Archaeological Zone and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve!

Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Muyil Archaeological Zone features one of the most unique pyramids in Yucatan

Located just a 20-minute drive from Tulum is a wonderful Mayan pyramid and ancient ruins – Muyil Archaeological Zone. Although the ancient Mayan city is not among the biggest sites, it is among the most unique ones!

Firstly, this is one of the longest-inhabited ancient Mayan cities in the area, and some artifacts there date back to the 4th century BC. They lived here possibly up to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Temples at Muyil Archaeological Zone
Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Muyil Archaeological Zone

Secondly, Muyil ruins stand out with their unique architecture – it has characteristics of an architectural style typical in the Peten region in modern-day Guatemala which signifies close ties with ancient Mayan cities in the South.

We visited Muyil during our four-week stay in Tulum. There is a parking lot right in front of the entrance to leave your car. At the ticket office, we were offered different deals – entrance to the site, a visit to the Sian Ka’an lagoon, or even a boat trip.

Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Lagoon in Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Boardwalk through the jungle

We opted for a visit to the archaeological zone and a visit to the lagoon. There is a wooden boardwalk through the jungle to the lagoon to see the gorgeous water and a massive observation tower in the jungle. The views were incredible!

It is believed that Muyil was part of a long trade route that connected the ancient Mayan cities in today’s Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico.

Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Views from the observation tower
Muyil Archaeological Zone in Yucatan peninsula, Mexico
Observation tower in the jungle

Mayans used a network of water canals to ship goods like jade, chocolate, honey, and salt as well as other goods. Coba was one of Muyil’s main trading partners!

Muyil archaeological zone features a group of different structures and temples and a big pyramid deeper into the jungle. It is a unique-looking pyramid and you won’t see a pyramid like this anywhere else in Yucatan – definitely worth a visit!

Location: Muyil Archaeological Zone

15. Check out the colorful street art in Tulum downtown!

Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown
Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown

One of my favorite activities in Tulum was hunting down the most colorful street art murals in Tulum downtown. They do have a lot of them over there!

The easiest way to spot street art is just by keeping your eyes open whenever you are walking around or commuting to places in Tulum downtown.

Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown
Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown

However, there are some places we discovered that featured especially cool and colorful street art. One of those places was Calle Sol Oriente Street.

We walked a section of this street starting from Parque Dos Aguas park along Calle Sol Oriente Street up until the intersection with Calle Geminis Sur Street.

Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown
Tulum, Mexico-Colorful street art in Tulum downtown

I counted about 20 to 30 different street art murals during this 10-minute walking distance! There were especially many murals at the Tulum Art Factory and some were hiding in the side streets.

However, there are also many of them along the main street in Tulum downtown – Avenida Tulum. Just walk along and check out the sidestreets. We spotted this cool astronaut street art (last photo) in the Calle Beta Sur side street.

Location: Calle Sol Oriente Street

Happy exploring!

We stayed for four weeks in the hustle and bustle of Tulum exploring everything this famous destination had to offer including the mysterious Mayan ruins, secret cenotes in the jungle, tropical beaches, the rich local food scene, and cutest photo spots.

Besides our stay in Tulum, we also spent a couple of months traveling around the Yucatán Peninsula, including the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo, and exploring all the corners of this beautiful peninsula.

From white-sand beaches to dark underground cenotes, and ancient pyramids – there’s just so much to see! I hope you enjoy your time there as much as we did and I hope you get some travel inspiration from this blog post for your travels! Happy travels!

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Tulum bucket list - best things to do in Tulum, Mexico
Tulum bucket list - best things to do in Tulum, Mexico

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