Tulum is a charming town on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.

Known for its Mayan ruins, white and sandy beaches, nearby cenotes and natural wonders, alternative arts and yoga scene, and vibrant nightlife, there is literally something for everyone in Tulum.

But the area of Tulum is quite spread out between the neighborhoods in Tulum town and different areas along the coast.

You’ll want to base yourself in the perfect area of Tulum for your interests and budget, especially considering some parts of Tulum cost quite a bit more than others.

In this guide, we’ll cover where to stay in Tulum for every travel style and budget, whether you’re a backpacker, family, or somewhere in between!

Read on to learn more about our picks for the best places to stay in Tulum.

Where to Stay in Tulum

Looking for the best hostel and hotels? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Tulum.

If you’re traveling on a budget, we’d recommend checking out Tulum’s best hostels. They’re affordable, offer super comfy beds and you’ll be able to meet like-minded travelers from all over the world!

There are also epic VRBOs in Tulum to suit all budgets.

Best Airbnb in Tulum: Stylish container studio

Stylish container studio

Palmar Stay offers a completely different concept in Tulum in terms of design and sustainability. They are fully equipped shipping containers, fitted with 24/7 Air Conditioning, a double bed, a full private bathroom and a private outdoor living room. The containers were turned into beautiful apartments immersed in the middle of the Mayan jungle. It is located just across the street from the white sanded beach of the Mexican Caribbean, you will find the best beach clubs, restaurants, boutique shops and many of the beautiful cenotes that Tulum has to offer. Since it’s so unique, we’d consider this one of the best Airbnbs in Tulum – if not THE best!

Best Hostel in Tulum: LUM

LUM

This super stylish hostel isn’t just located in the heart of the main area, it’s also our pick for the overall best hostel in Tulum. It’s a super chic place with minimalistic interior design. You can choose between dorms and private bedrooms, but each option offers a crazy comfy bed and a strong AC. Breakfast isn’t included but you can get a free bike to ride around the area if you feel like it. There’s an on-site bar and a great common area, which is perfect to meet likeminded travellers and have some predrinks befor a night out!

Best Beach Hotel in Tulum: Zamas Hotel

Zamas Hotel

Located on an unspoiled beach within Tulum National Park, the colorful, rustic cabins offer a tranquil paradise away from home. The hotel features an open-air restaurant, massages and beauty treatments, and more!

This property is one of the best values in Tulum.

Tulum Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN TULUM
Tulum beach
FIRST TIME IN TULUM

Playa

The Playa area of Tulum is the perfect base for first-time visitors and anyone wanting to stay on the beach.

ON A BUDGET
tulum village
ON A BUDGET

Pueblo

The Pueblo neighbourhood is located at the heart of Tulum. Sitting on both sides of highway 307, this neighbourhood is ideally situated for exploring all that the region as to offer.

NIGHTLIFE
NIGHTLIFE

Col Huracanes

East of the Pueblo neighbourhood is Col Huracanes. A relatively small neighbourhood, Col Huracanes is also where you’ll find the best and liveliest nightspots in Tulum. From clubs and bars to pubs and cafes, this is where to stay in Tulum for nightly fun.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
tulum fortress
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Ruinas

The Tulum Ruinas neighbourhood is located outside of the city and northeast of the beach. It is an archaeological site where you’ll find the top tourist attraction in Tulum, the Mayan Ruins.

FOR FAMILIES
Sian Kaan reserve
FOR FAMILIES

Aldea Zama

Aldea Zama is a small neighbourhood located to the south of Tulum city centre. On the border of the national park, this neighbourhood is a short distance to the Mayan Ruins and a quick walk to the beach.

Tulum is a smaller town on the Yucatan peninsula in eastern Mexico. Located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is a perfect picture of paradise with its white sand beaches, aquamarine waters, and vibrant green palm trees.

Tulum is most famous for the impressive Mayan Ruins that sit high atop a cliff overlooking the sea. As a former port city, Tulum was one of the last walled cities to be built by the Mayans and is incredibly well preserved.

Each year, thousands visit Tulum to wander around these relics of bygone times, lounge on the white sand beaches, and explore the nearby cenotes.

Whether you’re interested in history and culture or natural scenery, there’s plenty to keep visitors occupied in this charming, alternative town.

To help you plan your time in Tulum, this guide will break down the town’s “must-sees” and top attractions by interest.

At the centre of town, you have the neighbourhoods of Pueblo and Col Huracanes. Sitting on both sides of the main highway, these neighbourhoods are where you’ll find a great selection of bars, restaurants and accommodation options.

South of the city is the quiet and residential neighbourhood of Aldea Zama. Perfect for families, Aldea Zama is nestled between the city and nature, and a short distance from all the town’s top attractions.

Lining the shore is the beautiful area of Playa. Combining relaxation and play, this neighbourhood is great for first-time visitors to Tulum as well as anyone looking to have a beachfront stay.

Travel northeast along the coast and you’ll reach the Ruinas neighbourhood. Home to Tulum’s top attraction, this neighbourhood is also where you’ll find good restaurants, great beaches and stunning views.

Still not sure where to stay in Tulum? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Is This the Best Travel Backpack EVER???
nomatic backpack black

We’ve tested countless packs over the years, and now we’ve found our absolute favourite: the nomad-approved Nomatic Backpack.

Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

Learn More Now!

5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Tulum

Tulum is a small city that’s divided into three distinct areas: the beach, the ruins and the city. Within these districts are a number of neighbourhoods just waiting to be explored.

Are you looking to lounge on the beach and enjoy the sun, sand and surf? Perhaps you want to explore Tulum after dark? Or, maybe you’re interested in experience the historic, cultural and natural side of Tulum. All of these things are possible if you stay in the right area.

Here are the top five neighbourhoods in Tulum broken down by interest.

1. Playa – Where to Stay in Tulum for the Best Beaches

Tulum beach
Playa, Tulum

The Playa area of Tulum is the perfect base for first-time visitors and anyone wanting to stay on the beach.

Spanning the coastline, this is where you’ll find white sandy beaches, rustic bungalows and huts, luxurious villas, and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. It’s also home to a number of Tulum’s top eco-resorts.

A short drive from the town centre, this neighbourhood is home to a good selection of hotels, bars and restaurants.

There are many travel and rental agencies located in Playa offering tours of the area as well as water sports equipment hires. Enjoy paradise at your front door by staying in Tulum Playa.

Best Airbnb in Playa: Stylish container studio

Stylish container studio

Palmar Stay offers a completely different concept in Tulum in terms of design and sustainability. They are fully equipped shipping containers, fitted with 24/7 Air Conditioning, a double bed, a full private bathroom and a private outdoor living room. The containers were turned into beautiful apartments immersed in the middle of the Mayan jungle. It is located just across the street from the white sanded beach of the Mexican Caribbean, you will find the best beach clubs, restaurants, boutique shops and many of the beautiful cenotes that Tulum has to offer.

Best Hostel in Tulum: LUM

LUM

This super stylish hostel isn’t just located in the heart of the main area, it’s also our pick for the overall best hostel in Tulum. It’s a super chic place with minimalistic interior design. You can choose between dorms and private bedrooms, but each option offers a crazy comfy bed and a strong AC. Breakfast isn’t included but you can get a free bike to ride around the area if you feel like it. There’s an on-site bar and a great common area, which is perfect to meet likeminded travellers and have some predrinks befor a night out!

Best Hotel in Playa: Diamante K

Diamante K

Enjoy rustic elegance at the Diamante K. Located on the beach this hotel is ideally situated for a holiday in paradise. It is close to the Tulum Ruins and is a short walk into town.

The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, and each room has it’s own private terrace. Enjoy a variety of modern amenities at this charming seaside hotel.

Things to See and Do in Playa

  • Enjoy a relaxing and luxurious day at Papaya Playa Project, a stunning beach club that offers delicious food and drinks.
  • Dine on authentic Italian fare, including pizza, pasta, salads and more, at Posada Margherita while enjoying an awesome view and ambience.
  • Strap on a mask and snorkel in the clear blue waters off Tulum beach.
  • Center yourself at Maya Tulum by indulging in a yoga, meditation and wellness afternoon.
  • Enjoy delicious food and a casual and cosy atmosphere at Mateos restaurant.
  • Learn to scuba dive in the calm turquoise waters of Tulum, where you’ll see fun, colourful and interesting sea creatures.
  • Take a stroll along Playa Paraiso, a stunning stretch of golden sand.
  • Great views and delicious food are on offer at Zamas, a charming and rustic seaside restaurant.
  • Rent stand up paddleboards and glide across the water as you take in great views of the Tulum and sea.

2. Pueblo Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Tulum on a Budget

tulum village
source: Lou Stejskal (Flickr)

The Pueblo neighbourhood is located at the heart of Tulum. Sitting on both sides of highway 307, this neighbourhood is ideally situated for exploring all that the region as to offer.

From the Ruins and beach to the Cenotes and beyond, all of Tulum’s top attractions are just a short drive away.

Tulum Pueblo is also where you’ll find the best value accommodations. Boasting a wide variety of styles and options, the Pueblo neighbourhood is the ideal destination for travellers on a budget. You’ll be within walking or biking distance from great restaurants, cafes and bars too.

Best Airbnb in Pueblo: Entire house with pool

Entire house with pool

If you know anything about Tulum, you probably know it’s becoming a quite popular and expensive destination. With that said, this is probably one of the best deals you will find on Airbnb for this area, and it comes with a pool! Located on a main avenue, this bedroom has a queen bed. The bathroom has all the amenities you need, and the kitchen and is beautifully decorated with furniture made by Mayan artisans.

Best Hostel in Pueblo: LA PALMITA

LA PALMITA

Normally when it comes to budget accommodations, the options we can offer you are “just” decent. However, this amazing place changes the game completely! Not a hostel, but a budget hotel, La Palmita offers you amazing rooms for an incredibly low price. Some of the studios can accommodate up to 4 people at a time and act like dorms, but there are private suites as well. Each room is equipped with a strong AC, a private bathroom and a super comfy bed. If you feel like meeting new people, just head up to the rooftop and enjoy a chill evening in the hammock while making small talk with likeminded travellers!

Best Hotel in Pueblo: Meteora Stay & Coffeehouse Tulum

Meteora Stay and Coffeehouse Tulum

This cool hotel is similar to the hostel option we just presented. Meteora Stay & Coffeehouse Tulum doesn’t just offer charming private rooms, you can also opt to sleep in a shared room. If you need to watch your expenses, you’ll have a lot of different room options to choose from. No matter which one you choose, you can definitely enjoy the refreshing shared pool, a great common area and an amazing location in the heart of Tulums centre. The hotel offers breakfast too (but for an additional price) at the on-site restaurant.

Things to See and Do in Pueblo

  • Rent bikes and explore the best of Tulum on two wheels, a convenient option for navigating the city.
  • Take a short drive to the Cenote Calavera, an otherworldly underwater cave of turquoise water that you can swim in and explore.
  • Dine on cheap, delicious and authentic Mexican fare at El Camello.
  • Don’t miss this chance to try the best tacos al pastor in Tulum at La Chiapaneca, an authentic and inexpensive Pueblo restaurant.
  • Dive into the azure waters of Cenotes Casa Tortuga Tulum and spend a day swimming and exploring this natural wonder.
  • Eat delicious empanadas at El Sudaca, an authentic Latin American restaurant in the heart of Tulum.
  • Take a relaxing stroll through Parque Tymben Ka, an oasis at the centre of Tulum.
  • Browse original paintings, sculptures, and ceramics at the unique MiNiAtUrE art Gallery.

3. Col Huracanes – Where to Stay in Tulum for Nightlife

Col Huracanes Tulum
image source: Pierre-Selim (Flickr)

East of the Pueblo neighbourhood is Col Huracanes. A relatively small neighbourhood, Col Huracanes is also where you’ll find the best and liveliest nightspots in Tulum. From clubs and bars to pubs and cafes, this is where to stay in Tulum for nightly fun.

As for nature, Col Huracanes is only a bike ride from the beach and ruins. You can drive to other beaches, cenotes, and more. It has a great selection of shops and home to some of the city’s best restaurants.

Best Airbnb in Col Huracanes: Big home with touch of nature

Big home with touch of nature

Casa Huuh has a privileged location since it’s located downtown, just a few steps away from the bicycle path that leads to the beach and 3 minute from the supermarket. In only a few minutes you can get to restaurants either by foot or by bicycle. The style and decor suits the area, as it’s all designed with local materials. This house is great for a trip with friends and it fits up to 5 guests.

Best Hostel in Col Huracanes: Mama’s Home

Mamas Home

Located in the center of Tulum town, Mama’s Home is a charming and cosy hostel. This hostel is close to restaurants, shops, and the best bars in the city.

It has air-conditioned rooms, a chill patio, and a relaxing common room. Enjoy delicious, daily breakfast and a comfortable stay in Col Huracanes.

Best Hotel in Col Huracanes: Hotel Blanco Tulum

Hotel Blanco Tulum

What could be worse than having to share a loud dorm while trying to cure your hangover? If you know the struggle, you’ll love this amazing hotel. The quiet and bright rooms make the way to recovery so much easier, and once you feel halfway decent again, you can head up to the rooftop pool and spend the rest of the day admiring the jungle view while stepping up your tanning game. It’s not the cheapest hotel in Tulum, but if you’re here to explore the nightlife, this place offers you the perfect space for before and after your night out. And what’s even better: it’s an adult only hotel! So no screming kids or unneccesary loud noises!

Things to See and Do in Col Huracanes

  • Spend a wild and fun night at Damajuana Mezcaleria, a vibrant nightclub that specializes in handcrafted Mezcal cocktails and hosts deep house DJs each week on the rooftop terrace.
  • Live music, a great atmosphere and the best mojitos in town await you at Batey Mojito and Guarapo Bar, a charming and eclectic downtown bar.
  • Another hip and cool Mezcal bar is Pasito Tun Tun, where you can enjoy good cocktails, a friendly atmosphere, and great music nightly.
  • Spend a day floating in the calm and beautiful blue waters at Cenote Zacil-Ha.
  • Eat cheap and delicious tacos at Taqueria Honorio.
  • Coffee, breakfast, art and more, the Tulum Art Club is the ideal hipster hangout for artists, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads in Tulum.

4. Ruinas Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Tulum

tulum fortress
Ruinas Neighborhood

The Tulum Ruinas neighbourhood is located outside of the city and northeast of the beach. It is an archaeological site where you’ll find the top tourist attraction in Tulum, the Mayan Ruins.

The site of a Maya walled city, these impressive ruins stand on a 12-meter tall cliff on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Tulum Ruinas is also one of the coolest neighbourhoods in this small Mexican town. In addition to the ruins, Ruinas is conveniently located near the beach and the city; it’s a great base for taking day trips throughout Tulum and the Quintana Roo state.

Best Airbnb in Ruinas: Stunning Jungle Penthouse

Stunning Jungle Penthouse

If you’re already choosing to stay in one of the coolest areas in Tulum, you might as well do it in style! This Airbnb is by no means a cheap place, but it does offer a shit ton (excuse the language) of bang for your buck! Overlooking the jungle, you’ll be able to enjoy a tranquil getaway with luxury touches and a location that is unbeatable.

Take your bicycle and ride to the beach or step outside your door and find yourself pretty much staring at the famous ruins. There’s space for up to 6 guests, so ideal for bigger groups or families as well. Savor sunsets from the terrace and enjoy fantastic shared amenities including gym, hot tub, 25-meter pool, yoga area & outdoor cinema.

Best Hostel in Ruinas: Gastello INN Tulum

Gastello INN Tulum

This family-run hostel will make you fell like you’re at home. With some of the kindest staff, you’ll feel incredibly looked after when staying at this place. The rooms are spacious and offer super comfy beds. The ruins are less than a minute walk from your doorstep, so exploring the area will be super easy. On top of that, you can opt to chill out in the hostels hammock while sharing cool travel stories with your fellow backpacking friends. It’s a great place to meet likeminded travellers while being able to chill and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the party streets of Tulum.

Best Hotel in Ruinas: Hotel & Cabanas Zazil Kin Tulum

Hotel and Cabanas Zazil Kin Tulum

This charming resort is nestled between Tulum beach and the Mayan Ruins; the perfect location for a holiday in paradise. Made up of 40 rooms and private seaside bungalows, it also boasts an on-site bar, private beach and free wifi throughout.

Close to Tulum’s top attractions as well as restaurants, this hotel is a great base for your time in Tulum.

Things to See and Do in Ruinas

  • Explore the Mayan Ruins, an impressive seaside clifftop site that dates back more than 500 years. Visit early in the morning to enjoy the site without the large crowds.
  • Spend a relaxing day enjoying the sun, sand and surf a Playas Ruinas.
  • Take a day trip to the nearby Cenotes Labnaha and swim through the beautiful system of caves.
  • Discover the magic of Cenote Xel-Há, located in the heart of the jungle a short 20-minute drive from the city.
  • Explore the lush natural scenery at Tulum National Park.
  • Float downstream along the crystal clear waters of Casa Cenote, a river that flows through a lush green mangrove forest.
  • Sit back, relax and enjoy the view at Mayan Beach, a stunning white sand beach a short walk from the Mayan Ruins.
  • Go scuba diving, swimming or snorkelling through Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the most magnificent underwater cave systems in the region.

5. Aldea Zama – Where to Stay in Tulum with Family

Aldea Zama Tulum
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Tulum. image source: Tim Gage (Flickr)

Aldea Zama is a small neighbourhood located to the south of Tulum city centre. On the border of the national park, this neighbourhood is a short distance to the Mayan Ruins and a quick walk to the beach.

Close to shops, restaurants and supermarkets, Aldea Zama is conveniently located. Quiet and relaxed, Aldea Zama is a one of the best neighbourhoods in Tulum for families on vacation. Here you’ll find a variety of family-friendly restaurants and accommodations as well as activities and rental agencies.

There’s a lot to see, do and explore for kids of all ages in Aldea Zama.

Best Airbnb in Aldea Zama: Family jungle villa

Family jungle villa

Settle in and unwind at Villa Rubio while surrounded by the lush rainforest of the Yucatan Peninsula. Enjoy serenity on the terrace, in the top-floor soaking tub. This spacious three-story home will provide you with all the amenities you could possibly need, including a pool and a hot tub. The kitchen is fully equipped and there is even a dishwasher, which is perfect if you’re travelling with a family.

Another Airbnb in Aldea Zama: Luxury Private Casa

Luxury Private Casa

Why not treat yourself and your loved ones to a bit of luxury? And by a bit, we actually mean A LOT! This stunning family homes offers enough space for 6 guests, so ideal for bigger families as well. The modern place is designed very minimalistic but still incredibly welcoming. You’ll have a pool in your closed community courtyard of the complex and a total of two bredrooms, all equipped with super comfy beds. The location is ideal as well, super close to shops, attractions and dining options. And on top of that, staying here won’t even break your bank!

Best Hotel in Aldea Zama: The Highline Tulum

The Highline Tulum

The Highline Tulum is a modern property nestled between Aldea Zama and Tulum centre. A short walk to the beach and the ruins, this hotel is close to restaurants, shops and other noteworthy attractions.

It features an outdoor swimming pool and charming garden. Each room features a balcony, coffee machine, air-conditioning, and comfortable beds.

Things to See and Do in Aldea Zama

  • Take a day tour to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a lush nature park where you can see crocodiles, dolphins, turtles, birds and more.
  • Dine on tacos, seafood, pasta and more at Chipi Wein, a friendly restaurant perfect for families, large groups, and couples.
  • Head out into the nearby national park and keep your eyes peeled for iguanas sunning themselves and colourful birds flying throughout the trees.
  • Cool down after a hot day with a refreshing and tasty helado (ice cream)
  • Rent bikes and cruise throughout the city, taking in the colourful buildings and houses that line Tulum’s quaint streets.
  • Rent snorkels and explore beneath the waves, spotting fish, turtles, and other sea creatures in the clear Caribbean Sea.
  • Rent a beach hut and build sandcastles with the golden sand on one of Tulum’s many beaches.
  • Head to La Zebra on a Sunday for a night of fun, great music, and salsa dancing.

FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Tulum

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Tulum and where to stay.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Tulum

This alternative, touristy town on the Caribbean is packed with things to do for all ages. You, of course, have the Caribbean sea and powdery beaches, nearby diving, and cenote exploring, food for all styles and budgets, Mayan ruins, and so much more!

Choosing where to stay in Tulum will largely dictate your experience, as Tulum town will grant a very different experience than staying closer to the beach, and style and expense largely vary by area. That’s why we’ve broken down the 5 best places to stay in Tulum.

Still not sure which neighborhood is right for you?

Whether you’re a solo traveler, group of backpackers, or a vacationer on a budget, we recommend the hostel Rancho Tranquilo for its location, beautiful garden, and vibe.

Located in the Pueblo neighborhood – the neighborhood we chose for where to stay in Tulum on a budget – you’re situated near restaurants and bars for every budget, and the hostel has a communal kitchen to cook your own food. Moreover, the hostel is just a 10-minute bike ride to the beach.

Hotel Casa Sofia Tulum is the perfect stay if you want to choose a local and intimate accommodation. With only 11 rooms, the hosts pay attention to their guests at this colorful, Mexican style hotel. You’re a short walk from Tulum’s vibrant bar scene!

And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.


Find out how YOU can support the site.

We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers (that’s you!). Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂

For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a piece of gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only link to stuff that members of the Broke Backpacker team has actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support!