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Your guide to Tulum
All About Tulum
With towering Mayan ruins standing tall on the skyline, powder-white sandy beaches, shocking blue seas, and swaying palms, the walled city of Tulum is nothing short of breathtaking. Within its fortified walls, you’ll also find delicious restaurants on both the high and low ends of the price spectrum, enchanting underwater limestone caves called cenotes, and a boutique hospitality and wellness scene. All of these vibrant features make this spot on the Caribbean Sea a coveted vacation destination.
Wander amongst Mayan ruins that date back to the 13th century, dine on new-wave Mayan cuisine at world-class restaurants, or amble between beachfront spas. Explore the downtown’s main drag and the Mercado de Tulum, where you may just eat some of the best albondigas (meatballs) and tacos you’ve ever had.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Tulum
Tulum’s climate is warm and mild year-round. It does, however, get rainy for a few months of the year, so if you’re looking for full, almost guaranteed sunshine, avoid going in June, September, and October. The winter months, from January through to March, are usually warm and dry, and see the most visitors, especially around the winter holidays and spring break. For the perfect sweet spot between warm, dry weather, and fewer crowds, aim to visit sometime between the end of October and mid-December.
Tulum plays host to a myriad of cultural festivals all throughout the year — from Carnaval just before Ash Wednesday in February or March to Festival de Cultura del Caribe in May, to Day of The Dead and the Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival in November. For fans of marine animals, a trip here during the late summer months means you’ll be around for the whale sharks and sea turtle hatching season.
Top things to do in Tulum
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Named “Origin of the Sky” by the Mayans, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve is heavenly for nature and animal lovers. Spanning roughly 75 miles of untouched coastline, it’s one of Mexico’s largest protected wildlife areas, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amongst lagoons, tropical forests, beaches, and palm savannahs, you’ll have the chance to spot animals like manatees, turtles, jaguars, pumas, and an incredible variety of fish and bird species, always from a respectful distance.
Gran Cenote may not look like much from the top, but plunge into its depths and an otherworldly experience awaits. A complex of underground caves is linked by sinkholes of icy water, shimmering under beams of sunlight that pierce through between stalactites and stalagmites. Dive in, and you’ll be sharing the water with sea turtles and tiny blind fish — overhead, don’t be surprised to hear the swooping of bats as you swim through the tunnels.
SFER IK contemporary art gallery
Leave your shoes at the door when you enter SFER IK contemporary art gallery, where experiencing the art and architecture is a multi-sensorial experience. The building is as impressive as the art it houses — built with ancient Mayan geometric principles and natural materials indigenous to the Yucatan, being inside feels like wandering around a giant, whimsical, treehouse. Exhibitions highlight both internationally-acclaimed contemporary artists as well as nurture the local talents with residency programs and workshops.