Tulum has become a favorite destination for travelers seeking a unique and authentic experience. Known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and ancient Mayan ruins, this magical town on the Caribbean coast of Mexico has something for everyone.
And one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Tulum is La Veleta, an up-and-coming area that is attracting a growing number of visitors and expats alike.
The History of La Veleta
La Veleta is a relatively new neighbourhood, having been developed over the past decade or so. It was once a quiet residential area, but in recent years, it has become one of the most popular areas in Tulum, thanks to its growing number of restaurants, bars, and boutique hotels. Despite its rapid development, the neighbourhood has managed to maintain its laid-back vibe and sense of community.
La Veleta is located on the south and west side of Tulum town, just a short bike ride from the town center and around a 20 minute bike ride to the hotel beach zone straight south.
It’s a relatively small neighbourhood, covering an area of just a few blocks. Despite its small size, there is plenty to see and do in La Veleta, and it’s a great place to explore on foot or by bike.
Things to do in La Veleta
La Veleta is home to a variety of attractions that make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tulum. Here are a few of the top things to do in the La Veleta neighbourhood:
Restaurants & Bars
La Veleta is home to some of the best restaurants in Tulum, with a range of international and local cuisine options. From fresh seafood to traditional Mexican dishes, there’s something for everyone.
La Taqueria is one of our favourite taco joints, conjuring up a fusion of Mexican and international tacos, including the must-try steak tacos! They also have nice outdoor seating and a good craft beer selection.
Off The Vine Tulum Wine and Deli Bar is what you’d expect – a wine bar serving tapas and delicious cheese and wines from all over the world. The waiters are very knowledgeable in pairing the wines with certain snacks, if you’re looking for a sophisticated night out, come here.
Mistico Garden is a cool hooka lounge/cocktail bar/restaurant that is definitely worth checking out. With a delicious surf and turf menu at very affordable prices (including a happy hour), delicious cocktails and fun games (jenga), it’s definitely not to be missed if you’re in La Veleta.
La Veleta is home to some of the most stylish boutique hotels in Tulum, offering a unique and authentic experience for travelers. These hotels are often designed with a focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility, making them a great choice for eco-conscious travelers.
Some of the top boutique hotels in La Veleta include TerraNova, a luxurious but affordable spot with a pool and garden right in the center of La Veleta; Jungle Keva, a bohemian-chic hotel with an organic farm-to-table restaurant; and Holistika, a hotel focused on yoga and wellness, located right in the jungle.
Central Park is an environmentally-conscious, all-encompassing apartment complex that boasts a state-of-the-art gym, a serene spa, and an exceptional Thai restaurant, Curry by Po Thai.
While these amenities are exclusively reserved for Central Park residents, non-residents are also welcome to use the Los Amigos Gym & SPA, which is a prominent fitness center in Tulum and highly recommended for their excellent spa services. Additionally, the restaurant serves authentic and delectable Thai cuisine that is sure to please your taste buds!
La Veleta also has a few local markets worth exploring. These markets offer an authentic and unique shopping experience where you can find locally-made goods, artisanal products, and traditional Mexican crafts.
The Gypsea Market focuses on delectable organic vegan and gluten-free cuisine as well as groceries, this establishment also provides a range of other products such as kombucha, soaps and natural household items. They stock various rare and difficult-to-find items that are not available elsewhere in Tulum.
Chultun fresh market is another great option, with organic and locally-sourced produce, fresh juices, and natural products.
La Veleta is known for its relaxed and bohemian lifestyle, attracting artists, musicians, and creatives from all over the world. The neighbourhood has a unique and vibrant energy, with a strong sense of community and a focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness.
Many of the restaurants and hotels in La Veleta are designed with a focus on environmental responsibility, using sustainable materials, and supporting local initiatives.
La Veleta is a small neighbourhood, and it’s easy to get around on foot or by bike. Bikes are available for rent at a daily rate throughout the neighbourhood, and there are plenty of bike paths and cycle lanes. If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car or hire a taxi to explore the area.
Why Not to Stay in La Veleta?
La Veleta Tulum possesses its own distinctive charm; however, there are factors to contemplate that may make it less ideal for certain travelers. Firstly, its distance from the beach means it may not be the best choice for those looking for immediate beach access or beachfront accommodations.
Additionally, the neighborhood’s nightlife scene is relatively limited compared to other vibrant areas in Tulum, which could be a drawback for those seeking lively entertainment options. There is always constant construction and roadwork in the area as well, which can be an annoyance.
Furthermore, La Veleta’s accommodations primarily consist of boutique hotels, guesthouses, expensive condos and smaller establishments, which may not offer the extensive range of resort-style amenities found in larger resorts in Tulum. The neighborhood has a quieter atmosphere, making it suitable for those seeking a peaceful getaway, but it may not appeal to those who desire a bustling and energetic environment.
Despite these considerations, La Veleta Tulum remains an enchanting option for travelers seeking a tranquil and authentic Tulum experience, as it boasts its own unique artistic and local charm.
La Veleta Tulum Neighborhood Summary
La Veleta is a hidden gem in Tulum, with a unique and authentic vibe that’s hard to find in other areas of the town. With its growing number of restaurants, bars, hotels, and art galleries, there’s always something new to discover in this vibrant and creative neighbourhood. If you’re looking for a relaxed and bohemian experience in Tulum, La Veleta is the perfect place to explore.