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Best things to do in Tulum

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Where in the world: Mexico  /  Yucatan Peninsula  /  Quintana Roo  /  Riviera Maya  /  Tulum

Top 15 things to do in Tulum

1. Xcaret, Playa del Carmen

Take a short drive out of Cancun to Xcaret, where ecologically oriented activities cater to visitors of all ages. The theme park gets its name from a nearby settlement once inhabited by the pre-Columbian Maya, and some of the original village's structures remain. The park's 81 hectare (20 acre) grounds also contain a coral reef aquarium, bird and butterfly pavilions, bat cave, deer shelter, and a greenhouse designed to protect and display delicate orchids and bromeliads. Aiming to entertain both adults and children, the park's nature-based activities include snorkeling with sea turtles and swimming with dolphins. Check the official website for ticket discounts and a complete listing of special performances and family-friendly activities.
Suggested duration: 5h 30 min
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2. Tulum Archaeological Site

Discover a coastal paradise and a pre-Columbian culture at Tulum Archaeological Site, commanding the views over a pristine beach lapped by turquoise waters. On the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, these ruins mark the spot of a former walled city that served as an important port, one of the last built by the powerful Maya. The city thrived between the 13th and 15th centuries, managing to survive for several decades after the arrival of Spanish conquistadores. Abandoned after European diseases caused high fatalities among the Maya, the city's remains now serve as a major tourist attraction. Avoid the big tour groups and explore the site in relative peace by visiting early in the morning.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Climbing Tours

Scale the ancient walls of the only Mayan site that overlooks the ocean on a Tulum climbing tour. This experience is so much more than simple climbing--you'll be able to indulge your inner explorer with a range of thrilling adventures in the Mayan jungle. Choose from a vast array of activities, including trekking through the rainforest, soaring over treetops on a zipline, rappelling down sheer cliffs, swimming in cenotes, and snorkeling in caverns. The entire outdoor experience lasts around 4 hours.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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4. Spas

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Scuba & Snorkeling, Playa del Carmen

Release your inner explorer and discover the marine world, ancient history, and adventure parks of Riviera Maya on a guided snorkeling or scuba diving tour from Playa del Carmen. Most of these outdoor excursions offer more than underwater adventures around coral reefs, lagoons, and cenotes--an exciting blend of history, culture, and adrenalin-fueled activities awaits, including ziplining, rappelling, ATV jungle riding, and touring archeological sites. These tours can last from 2 to 12 hours, and usually include gear and round-trip hotel transportation.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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6. Paradise Beach

Blessed with white sands and an array of facilities, Paradise Beach stands as one of the area's most popular beaches.Every day, the wide-open expanse of seafront attracts huge numbers of visitors, who flock to the area to indulge in the sun and surf. Kick back in the sand, or rent a beach bed from one of the many reserved spots along the ocean to enjoy the view. Alternatively, hit the waves yourself and marvel at the waterfront view of swaying palm trees. Keep in mind that many of the boats in the area offer offshore snorkeling excursions.
Suggested duration: 6 hours
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7. Zipline, Playa del Carmen

Suggested duration: 5 hours
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9. Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, Quintana Roo

Take a tour tailor made for the ecologically conscious traveller at Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean, the biosphere shelters thousands of species and forms a spectacularly diverse natural environment. Take a boat through mazes of natural mangrove canals, snorkel on the Mesoamerican Reef among incredible marine life, and take a boat tour to ancient Mayan ruins. Be sure to bring along biodegradable bug spray and sunscreen, your swimsuit, and a camera to capture the abundance of magnificent wildlife.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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10. Scuba & Snorkeling

Experience the diverse ecosystems along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on a guided snorkeling or scuba tour from Tulum. The list of pristine diving locations your friendly local guide could take you to is too long to list here--to give you a little taste of where you can go, we'll mention Yal-ku Lagoon, Casa Cenote, and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an. You can also upgrade this underwater adventure with canoeing and ziplining, or pay a visit to Tankah Park, a Mayan village and a private nature reserve. These tours can last from 2 to 10 hours.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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11. Scuba & Snorkeling, Cozumel

Make the most out of your time in the area by joining a scuba or snorkeling tour from Cozumel. Most local agencies offer combo tours, and the long list of activities you can choose from includes self-drive off-road adventures by bicycle, buggy, scooter, or jeep, sunset cruises, kayaking, and glass-bottom boat rides. Nevertheless, snorkeling and diving with whale sharks, sea turtles, and multicolored fish remain the highlight of these popular tours, which can last between 2 and 7 hours.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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13. Punta Laguna Nature Reserve

Nicknamed "the home of the spider monkey and the puma," Punta Laguna Nature Reserve tempts the explorer in you with its shimmering blue lagoon enclosed by a sprawling dense jungle. Declared a national protected area in 2002, the reserve represents an excellent example of sustainable tourism created and run by local communities. The 5,367 hectare (13,262 acre) grounds are home to 120 Maya villagers, many of whom maintain the reserve and offer hiking tours for those wishing to learn more about the surrounding plant and animal life. You can arrange canoeing, ziplining and water hole rappelling with your guide. Softly tread the trails of this humid jungle and you may be rewarded with a glimpse of one of the hundreds of spider or howler monkeys that live here.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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14. Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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15. Cenotes Sac Actun

Its name meaning "White Caves" in the Yucatec Maya language, Cenotes Sac Actun represents an underwater cavern system near Yucatan’s Caribbean coast. Explore a part of the massive 230 km (143 mile) cave system, and visit the Sac Actun cenote. Swim in the underground freshwater basins and streams, dive in the interconnected cenotes, or snorkel to see small fish swim along the roots and vines. Admire the vast caverns, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, or try to spot the sea turtles that can be found near the opening of the cenote.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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