Famed for its powdery white sands and crystal blue waters, Tulum is a beach bum’s paradise. Its coastline stretches from the Tulum Ruins to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. With a 10km shoreline to pick from, we thought it’d be helpful to come up with a list of Tulum’s best beaches.
Some Things To Consider
We can divide Tulum Beach into two sections: the public and the private beach.
|Take note that beaches in Mexico are all public. But most hotels in Tulum limit access to their beaches, so you’ll need to pay to enter if you’re not a patron. If you need help with choosing the right Tulum beach hotel for you, check out this article.|
The public beach is also called the North Beach. This area, as its name suggests, is more accessible to the public. The beach is rockier and has less white sand, but you’ll still find a handful of stylish boutique hotels here.
The South Beach, or the private beach, is where you’ll find the upscale hotels. Beaches in this section are challenging to access if you’re not a guest. Check out our detailed guide on where to stay in Tulum, with notes about the different areas.
1. Playa Paraíso: The Best Beach
Playa Paraíso means Paradise Beach. As its name suggests, this beach is like paradise. It’s constantly named as one of the world’s best beaches. This scenic area is truly a gem. Its white sandy beach and swaying palm trees are what you see on postcards.
With this appeal, you might think Playa Paraíso is full of tourists. While that may be true, the beach stretches wide and long across the coastline — giving plenty of space for everyone. This wide public beach is also a popular place among yoga enthusiasts.
Known for its namesake beach club, Playa Paraiso has rows of lounge chairs, beach beds, and umbrellas. They offer beach-side massages and food and drink services. You may lounge under a palm tree for free or order snacks or drinks for a shaded cabana. Make sure you present your receipt from the restaurant to take advantage of their free parking.
Location: Paradise Beach, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
2. Playa Las Palmas: Best Swimming Beach
Playa Las Palmas is a wide sloping beach that is mostly untouched. Only two hotels occupy this beach, making it suitable for a leisurely swim. You can escape the crowds and enjoy its silky sand and serene blue waters because it’s more secluded than the other beaches.
Since there are only a few vendors and restaurants in this area, it’s advisable to pack your own snacks and drinks. Bring a picnic and enjoy your time in the sun for free. If you plan to lie on the sand for hours, bring a beach umbrella. There’s not a lot of shaded areas here.
|Note: If you’re travelling by taxi, leave the place by 5 in the afternoon. Not a lot of taxis will pick you up after 5 PM.|
Location: Zona Hotelera Tulum, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
3. Papaya Playa Project: Best Beach Hotel
Papaya Playa Project is one of the exclusive beaches on Tulum’s south side. It’s famous for its two-story beach club with seating pods and beach beds. You’ll need to pay a fee to use their facilities – beach bed, towels, and wait service. This boho-chic beach club also has an infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean sea.
Its laid-back feel during the day turns into a party scene on weekend nights. Since it’s one of Tulum’s most popular party spots, it’s often busy. Make a reservation if you plan to go on weekends. If you’re not the type who enjoys parties, visit this beach on weekdays. Yoga workshops on the beach are a usual sight during sunset on weekdays.
Location: Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila, Tulum Beach, Zona Costera, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
Website: https://www.papayaplayaproject.com/ | Phone: +52 984 871 1160
4. Playa Pescadores: Beach Club That Serves The Best Ceviche
You’ll witness fishermen (or pescadores) arriving with their day’s catch when you come to Playa Pescadores early in the morning. Playa Pescadores is a gorgeous long beach with clear calm waters north of Playa Paraíso. Its gorgeous beach offers an enchanting view of the Tulum ruins.
If you’re travelling with family, Playa Pescadores is a delightful spot to spend a day at. The beach clubs here, Villa Pescadores and Kai Tulum, are famous for serving the best ceviche. Stay until early evening to enjoy live music under the stars.
Various companies offer snorkelling tours in Playa Pescadores, too. It’s a good beach to go snorkelling and get a view of the Mayan ruins from underwater. Don’t forget to compare prices and haggle first. To make the most out of your marine adventure, visit between May and November. This is when you can spot sea turtles.
Location: 109, Zona Hotelera Tulum, 77780 Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
5. Playa Ruínas: A Must-See Landmark
Playa Ruínas is a beach right below the historic Mayan ruins. This quaint sandy beach is accessible by a wooden staircase that descends from the foot of El Castillo, Tulum Ruins’ largest pyramid.
El Castillo used to be a lighthouse in the 13th century. Historians cite it as Mexico’s third most visited archaeological site after Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá. Because of this, you can expect lots of tourists to flock here. Come early in the morning to enjoy its pristine sands, turquoise waters, and towering palm trees with fewer crowds.
Location: Zona Hotelera Tulum, 77765 Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
6. Secret Beach
Secret Beach is a secluded beach in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Its clear sparkling waters and fine white sands are away from the tourist radar. This is mostly visited by Mexicans, so it’s wise to brush up your Spanish!
Secret Beach is just outside Tulum and can be difficult to find. Don’t be shy to ask a local for detailed directions. It takes around an hour to reach by bike. If you’re driving, prepare for a bumpy ride. But it’ll be all worth it once you arrive at the beach.
Location: Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
Phone: +52 984 145 6696
7. Akumal Beach
Akumal Beach is a popular sandy stretch lined with palapa huts. It’s great for families and travellers looking for a bit more adventure. Snorkel and get up close with sea turtles (but do not touch them)!
Only less than 30 minutes away from central Tulum, Akumal is more developed than the other secluded Tulum beaches. It has a variety of restaurants and bars serving delicious food and ice-cold drinks all day. Beach umbrellas are also available for rent.
Location: Carretera Tulum, Yodzonot, Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico | Open in Google Maps
Surfing in Tulum
If you scanned all the way down to find a great beach for surfing, you’re in the wrong part of Mexico. However, if you like surfing you might be interested in these other activities in Tulum, or even a trip to a different beach in Mexico. Here is our list of the best beaches in Mexico.