Tulum is a beautiful destination located on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Known for its epic nightlife, white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and ancient Mayan ruins, Tulum is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the area.
If you’re short on time and only have one day to explore this unique and interesting town, we’ll help you hit the best spots without wasting your time.
While we do recommend doing Tulum for around 4-5 days, it can definitely be done in 1 day as well. Here’s our Tulum 1-day itinerary that will hopefully cover the must-see attractions for your short time here.
8:00 am – Breakfast at Ki’bok Coffee
Start your day off with a delicious breakfast and coffee at Ki’ bok Coffee, a trendy coffee shop located in the heart of Tulum. This place is a local favorite, and for a good reason.
They serve some of the best coffee in town, as well as tasty breakfast options that are sure to fuel you up for the day ahead. The avocado toast and huevos rancheros are some of the most popular items on the menu, but they also have smoothie bowls, pastries, and sandwiches.
It’s also a great place to get some work done, as it has excellent wifi and ideal seating for digital nomads.
9:00 am – Visit the Tulum Ruins
After breakfast, head over to the Tulum Ruins. This is one of the most popular attractions in the area and for a good reason. The ruins are a fascinating glimpse into the past and provide breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
The site is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, so it’s best to arrive early to beat the crowds and the heat. The entrance fee is 80 pesos, and you can hire a guide or explore the site on your own. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
11:00 am – Swim at Gran Cenote
Once you’re done exploring the ruins, it’s time to cool off in one of Tulum’s many cenotes. To make the most of your time, we recommend heading to Gran Cenote.
This natural swimming hole is located just a few miles north of Tulum and is one of the most popular cenotes in the area. The water is crystal clear and is a refreshing break from the heat.
There’s also an underwater cave system that you can explore if you’re feeling adventurous. Snorkeling is a popular activity here, as the cenote is home to a variety of fish and turtles. The entrance fee is 180 pesos, and you can rent snorkeling equipment on-site.
1:30 pm – Lunch at Taqueria La Chiapaneca
After you’re done enjoying the cool waters of Gran Cenote head back to Tulum for a casual lunch at Taqueria La Chiapaneca. While Tulum is full of so many delicious restaurants, this spot is in the center of town, so it’s an easy stop from the cenotes before hitting the beach next.
The place serves up amazing tacos de pastor for a really good price, they also sell tortas, gringas and much more!
2:30 pm – Beach Time at Playa Paraiso
No visit to Tulum is complete without spending some time on the beach. Playa Paraiso is one of the most beautiful beaches in Tulum, with soft white sand and crystal-clear waters. It’s also one of the most accessible, only a 20-minute bike ride from the town center.
Check out our guide here for the best way to get from Tulum town to the beach.
You can rent a beach chair and umbrella at one of the beach clubs, or bring your own towel and a cooler of drinks and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze and sunshine.
There are also vendors selling fresh coconuts, snacks, and souvenirs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a paddleboard or a kayak and explore the coastline.
5:00 pm – Happy Hour at Batey Mojito Bar
After a day of exploring and relaxing, head to Batey Mojito Bar for happy hour. This popular spot is known for its delicious mojitos made with fresh sugar cane and local rum.
The outdoor seating area is a great place to people-watch and soak up the lively atmosphere of Tulum. They also have live music on some evenings, so be sure to check their schedule on their Instagram here.
6:30 pm – Dinner at Arca
Finish off your day in Tulum with a delicious dinner at Arca. This upscale restaurant is known for its inventive dishes and beautiful presentation. They use locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to create a menu that changes often.
Try the octopus with chorizo, avocado, and chile and the short rib with mole and grilled pineapple. The cocktails are also top-notch, and the outdoor seating area is a romantic spot for a special dinner.
9:30 pm – Cocktails at Gitano
End your day with a nightcap at Gitano, a trendy outdoor bar and restaurant located in the jungle. The atmosphere is magical, with twinkling lights, palm trees, and a large dance floor.
The cocktails are inventive and delicious, and the music is a mix of electronic, disco, and Latin beats. If you’re feeling hungry, they also serve small plates and snacks.
11:00 pm – Late-night Dancing at Papaya Playa Project
If you’re not ready to call it a night, head to Papaya Playa Project, a beachfront hotel and nightclub that hosts some of the best parties in Tulum. The music is eclectic, with a mix of live performances and DJ sets, and the crowd is a mix of locals and tourists. The atmosphere is festive and lively, and the beach setting is stunning.
Once a month, on the Saturday closest to the full moon, they throw a spectacular Full Moon party that is not to be missed. The cover charge for this exclusive event typically starts at 500 pesos ($25), but it’s worth every penny for the unforgettable experience you’ll have.
If that’s too far out of the way for you from the main town center, then Straw Hat Hostel is a good alternative, they have very fun rooftop parties until late into the night, before moving on to Santino, which is also located in town. Follow our extensive nightlife guide here to find out more.
Tulum 1 Day Itinerary Summary
Tulum is a magical place with endless things to see and do, and this itinerary is just a small taste of what this beautiful town has to offer. While we do recommend staying longer in this awesome beach town, you can definitely experience the best Tulum has to offer in just 1 day.
Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or nightlife, Tulum has something for everyone. So grab your sunscreen, your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore this stunning part of Mexico.