If you’re planning a trip to Tulum, you might be wondering how many days in Tulum is enough. The answer, of course, depends on what you want to do and see while you’re there.
If you’re interested in exploring the Mayan ruins, we suggest spending at least two or three days in Tulum.
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This will give you enough time to visit the significant sites and enjoy some other activities the city offers, such as swimming in one of the many cenotes or relaxing on one of the beautiful beaches.
That said, the answer really comes down to the type of holiday you’re looking for.
If you love being on the go and are happy to see everything at a fast pace, 2 days in Tulum might be enough for you.
But if you’d like to slow things down, and have a little more time to spend at each attraction, you might want to consider 3 days in Tulum instead.
I put this guide together to help you figure out how many days in Tulum you’ll need. You’ll find all the things you need to think about when planning the length of your stay, along with a guide to Tulum’s highlights.
I’ve also suggested how long you should plan to spend at each one so that you can create a realistic itinerary for your visit that will ensure you enjoy every moment of your trip.
How To Decide How Long To Stay In Tulum
Deciding how long to spend in Tulum depends on a few things: arrival time, hotel check-in, what you want to see, mode of transport, and more!
To help you figure out exactly how long you’ll need in Tulum, make a list of what you want to do in Tulum, and consider the time of arrival and departure. Then, look at the distance between places to keep it realistic.
At the end of this exercise, you’ll know how many days in Tulum you’ll need.
Time Of Arrival, Hotel Check-In Time & Time Of Departure
If you decide on a 2-day or 3-day stay, consider whether your hotel check-in and departure times allow for a full day’s sightseeing.
If not, you might consider adding an extra night to your stay. Another important consideration is what you will do with your luggage.
If you want to get to Tulum early to make the most of your day, you might need to store your luggage somewhere for a few hours before it is time for you to check into your accommodation.
Most hotels and accommodation providers will offer this service, but not all. So don’t just assume that there will be somewhere to leave your bags – find out for sure before you go.
Activities In Tulum
As with most major cities, Tulum is full of things to see, do and explore.
This means you must think carefully about which attractions appeal to you the most and plan how to fit them all in – especially if you’re thinking about a short stay.
The list of highlights below will help you put your itinerary together, but be careful not to schedule every single moment of your day.
It’s always a good idea to leave a little leeway for things like long queues and transport delays – or simply to spend longer at the places you like the best!
Note that many travelers prefer to book tours and activities in advance to save time, skip the queues and make the most of their holidays.
Pace Of Activities
When thinking about how many days in Tulum you’ll need, ask yourself if you want a relaxing break or one that’s a whirlwind of activity. The shorter your visit, the busier you will be.
So if you are the type of person who likes to enjoy the sights at a more leisurely pace – or a foodie who wants to have enough time to appreciate the local cuisine – then 3 days in Tulum will definitely suit you better than 2.
Think carefully about how you will get around during your visit. While it makes sense to visit attractions that are close together, you will still need to factor travel time into your days.
Can you visit attractions on foot? Will you reach your destination by bus, or by taxi? Do your research to find out how you will visit the places you wish to visit and keep the distance and time to reach your destination to build your itinerary in Tulum.
Make sure your itinerary is logical and that you visit nearby attractions in one go. That way, you won’t waste time traveling between places that are far apart.
That said, if you’re going to Tulum directly from the airport, you could book a private transfer to save time on arrival.
If you’re on a budget, you could book an Ado bus to reach Tulum.
Finally, you could also rent a car if you want a bit more freedom.
What To Do In Tulum
Here are some of the best sights and experiences to enjoy in Tulum, along with our recommendations for how long to set aside for each.
The Ruins Of Tulum
Set atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the ruins of Tulum are one of Mexico’s most popular archaeological sites.
A former Mayan city and trading post, today the ruins are a major tourist attraction and well worth a visit. You can book your tickets here.
Suggested time: 2 hours
Cenote Dos Ojos
Cenote Dos Ojos is a series of connected underground caves and pools, located just a short drive from the ruins of Tulum.
Popular with both tourists and locals, the cenote is a great place to cool off on a hot day. You can take a look at our guide to the best cenotes around Tulum to learn more.
Alternatively, you could book a guided tour that will bring you to 4 famous cenotes in Tulum.
Suggested time: 1-2 hours
Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s most famous archaeological sites and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A former Mayan city, today the ruins are a popular tourist attraction, located just a short drive from Tulum. You could book a guided tour (full day-trip) to visit Chichen Itza. Most tours include a visit to a cenote and other nearby sites.
If you don’t have time to visit Chichen Itza from Tulum, you could always book a day trip from Cancun instead.
Suggested time: A full day trip
Tulum beach is one of the most popular beaches in Mexico and a great place to relax and enjoy the Caribbean Sea.
There are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas to rent, as well as restaurants and bars serving refreshing drinks and delicious food.
You can either spend an afternoon at one of the best Tulum beach clubs or simply head to the beach for a quick swim.
Suggested time: A few hours
Final Thoughts On Tulum Getaways
Tulum is an excellent destination for a long weekend getaway. With its beautiful beaches, fascinating ruins, and delicious food, there’s plenty to see and do.
Just remember to factor in travel time when planning your days to make the most of your time in Tulum. And if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of ways to save money, from taking the bus to booking tours in advance.
That said, many travelers love using Tulum as a base for their travels in the Yucatan peninsula.
So if you have time, consider adding some of the other nearby sites to your itinerary. Chichen Itza, Coba, Akumal, and Valladolid are all within easy reach.
Visiting Mexico soon? Read one of the following guides: