When arriving to a new destination for the first time it helps to know the best attractions you should visit, especially if you’re limited on time. Tours are the most efficient way to do this. When it comes to looking for the best Tulum tours, we have you covered.
Tours are not just convenient, as they usually offer free pick-ups from your hotel and already organized for you, but it’s also a great way to meet other travellers.
Tulum and the surrounding area offer many spectacular day trips, incredible ancient Mayan ruins to explore, a multitude of cenotes to cool off, and much, much more.
Luckily there are organized tours to all of these attractions to make your life easier. All you have to do is sit back, book, wake up and enjoy the tour. Here we’ll cover our favourite and most recommended tours to the best spots in Tulum.
The Best Tulum Tours
1. Cenote Tours
One of the most popular Tulum tours to take is simply an excursion to one of the several cenotes surrounding Tulum. The Yucatan peninsula is covered in over 6,000 remarkable cenotes, and Tulum has some of the best ones!
One of our favourite tours is Cenote Trail which also includes a cave and bike tour! The duration of the tour is about 5 hours and covers 3 different cenotes including the Gran Cenote, and Cenote Escondido & Cristal.
2. Chichen Itza and Valladolid
Perhaps the most famous pyramid in Mexico, Chichen Itza is an ancient Mayan city and was once a massive center of trade for the region upon it’s founding in 600 AD. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’.
While Chichen Itza is quite far from Tulum (around 2 hours by bus) it’s still one of the most popular day trips from Tulum. If you’re planning on going yourself without a tour, check out our guide on how to get from Tulum to Chichen Itza here.
Our favourite tour to Chichen Itza is the Cancún/Riviera Maya tour which also includes a visit to the charming little town of Valladolid on the way, tequila tasting, a meal, and of course a cenote to cool off in the hot weather!
3. Free Guided Tour
Everyone likes free, so of course, we had to include free guided Tulum tours on our list. Unfortunately, there are no free guided tours in Tulum, unless you’re staying at a hostel in the main town, they usually have walking tours.
If you still want to save money and want a free walking tour, there is also the GPSmyCity app for iOS and Android which offers free sightseeing guides for many cities around the world.
Simply download the app and you’ll find tours created by other users that you can use for free with headphones while you walk around the town. Here is a free Tulum guide you can use.
We find the best way to really discover and get to know a new place is to simply walk around yourself and explore, you’ll be amazed at what you find. In Tulum, we recommend renting a bike, it’s the best way to get around.
4. Coba Ruins
Founded in the 1st century AD, the Coba Ruins are an impressive ancient Mayan site only 50 minutes from Tulum. The site remains mostly unexcavated with over 6,000 structures buried deep within the jungle still waiting to be revealed.
It’s such a big area, you need bicycles to explore the area, it’s also one of the few ruins in the Yucatan that you’re allowed to climb, with Nohoch Mul being the main attraction with 120 steps.
If you’re looking to take a tour of this impressive site, we recommend this Tulum and Coba Full-Day Archeological Tour which includes lunch, a visit to the Mariposa and Chen-Ha cenotes, and of course an extensive excursion of Coba with a certified guide.
If you’re looking to just explore Coba yourself at your own pace, check out our extensive Coba Ruins guide here.
5. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a remarkable protected natural habitat about 30 minutes drive south of Tulum. The nature preserve extends well over 1.3 million acres with many things to do and see such as the Muyil ruins, Boca Paila, Punta Allen, lagoons and stunning beaches.
There are many different tours to the reserve, some of which are multi-day tours as the place is so expansive and there’s so much to do.
If you’re short on time we recommend the Sian Ka’an and Muyil Ruins tour so you can hit two birds with one stone. The tour includes hotel pickup and dropoff, a boat ride and tour of the lagoon, and Muyil ruins tour. Doesn’t include entrance fee to the reserve, which is only $5.
6. Snorkeling and Sailing
If you love snorkeling, there are many amazing spots around Tulum and the surrounding area to check out. Our favourites are Akumal and the island of Cozumel off the coast of Playa Del Carmen.
If you’re looking for a relaxing but exciting tour, we highly recommend El Cielo and Palancar at Cozumel, which includes snorkelling and an open-bar with ceviche. You’ll for sure see stingrays, sea turtles, tropical fish and colorful corals.
7. ATV and Zipline Tours
One of the best ways to get around the region is by ATV, it’s also one of the funnest modes of transportation. There are alot of parks between Tulum and Cancun which offer ATV excursions.
One of our favourite Tulum tours is the Emotions Native Park Tour which includes 3 different zipline rides, a guided ATV ride through the jungle, a swim in a cenote to cool off, and roundtrip transportation from any location.
8. Isla Mujeres Full Day Tour
While Isla Mujeres is closer to Cancun (around 2 hours from Tulum) it still makes an excellent day trip and tour from Tulum, just to experience the white sand beaches and incredibly clear blue water.
If you’re lucky, you may even get to see whale sharks depending on the season (June – September is the best).
If you’re looking for a simple, relaxing tour, we recommend the Isla Mujeres Catamaran Sailing Tour which is a fun tour that includes snorkeling among vibrant coluorful reef, drinking at the open bar, exploring downtown Isla Mujeres, and more!