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Plan Your Trip to Tulum: Best of Tulum Tourism

What is Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best?
This award is our highest recognition and is presented annually to those businesses that are the Best of the Best on Tripadvisor, those that earn excellent reviews from travellers and are ranked in the top 1% of properties worldwide.
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Explore Tulum

Yes, Tulum may well be one of the most Instagrammed spots in Mexico, with plenty of smoothie stands and yoga retreats, but this Riviera Maya beach town is so much more than a photo-op. In between dips in the crystal clear waters, you can hike through dense jungle among howler and spider monkeys at Punta Laguna Nature Reserve or explore the pre-Columbian Mayan ruins perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Adventurers can hop on an ATV for off-roading across white sand dunes or go diving or snorkelling in the underwater caves of Cenotes Dos Ojos or Sac Actun. After, refuel at authentic mezcalerias, low-key beach shacks, or celeb-chef, fine-dining spots. Find the best spots with our recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Tulum

How to do Tulum in 3 days

Beach bike rides, blue lagoons, and an ancient Mayan temple
Read on

A high/low eating tour of Tulum

The more time you spend in Tulum, the more you appreciate the well-known chefs that have transformed the area into a serious dining destination. But you also have to salute the unsung heroes who turn out local, homestyle meals that never get old. To get the full Tulum eating experience, I recommend a bit of both. Here are my top spots.
Jamie Ditaranto, New York City, NY
  • El Camello Jr.
    This open-air eatery has plenty of delicious grilled seafood dishes on the menu. But the thing to order here is the ceviche, which is served in a variety of ways and comes in heaping portions. But you'll never complain about small servings at this Tulum Centro mainstay, a reliable go-to when you’ve got a big appetite. Don't love fish? There are also nachos and other Mexican favourites.
  • ARCA
    The kind of place where you may need to make a dinner booking long before you book a plane ticket, ARCA is one of the crown jewels of the high-end dining scene in Tulum. The menu is designed by chefs who are mad geniuses at combining traditional flavours and locally sourced ingredients while using the most sophisticated techniques. As a nod to traditional Mexican cooking, all the small plates are cooked over an open fire.
  • Negro Huitlacoxe
    Once you get a taste for huitlacoche, Mexico’s little-known fermented corn, you’ll order it every time you see it on a menu. I'm a super fan, in case you couldn’t tell, which is why Negro Huitlacoxe is such an exciting addition to the Tulum dining scene. The kitchen showcases heirloom varieties of corn from across Mexico, serving it up in tortillas and tamales, as well as grilled with the must-have sprinkle of cotija cheese.
  • Wild
    Toward the end of the Beach Road, this jungle oasis shaded by an Instagram-worthy concrete canopy is a cool spot for cocktails. (And it gets even better after the sun goes down.) The tasting menu is consistently inventive, with dishes that embrace classic Mexican snacks like chicharrones (pork rinds) and satisfying mains like sea bass flavoured with hoja santa (a peppery herb). The star dish is the ravioli, stuffed with huitlacoche and white truffles.
  • Sabor De Mar
    It has a reputation for being one of the best spots for seafood in Tulum, so you might encounter a long wait at Sabor de Mar. It’s worth it for the quality of the dishes that come out of the kitchen, particularly the coconut-fried shrimp. Visually, you can’t beat the drama of the gravity-defying towers of shrimp, octopus, and fish. Whatever you order, expect traditional Mexican flavours that more than live up to the hype.
  • Cetli
    This off-the-beaten-path eatery is perfect for when you’re on your way back to Tulum, maybe from a day of exploring the ruins of Coba. When you're tired and just want some traditional food, it hits the spot. The menu is inspired by cuisine from the city of Puebla, giving you the chance to try many different kinds of mole (not just guacamole). The decor is folksy in a Day of the Dead kind of way.
  • Nü Tulum
    Every time you drop by Nü Tulum the menu is going to be completely different, but there are a couple of things you can always count on: fresh seafood from the Caribbean, locally sourced ingredients from around the Yucatan, and traditional cooking methods. It's a simple formula, and one that works beautifully. I love the romantic atmosphere, the tables set in a lush garden, and the Mexican wine list at this Beach Road eatery.
  • Los Morros Aldea Zama
    The traditional aguachile—shrimp and fish marinated with lime juice, peppers, and other ingredients—is the speciality at this casual outdoor dining spot in Tulum Centro. The dish is best paired with a local craft beer. Los Morros might seem quiet at first, but you can expect the crowds to arrive at mealtime. In addition to classic Mexican dishes like seafood tostadas, you'll also find solid vegetarian and vegan options.