Tulum’s spectacular coastline – with all its confectioner-sugar sands, jade-green water, balmy breezes and bright sun – makes it one of the top beaches in Mexico. Where else can you get all that and a dramatically situated Maya ruin? There’s also excellent diving, fun cenotes, great snorkeling, and a variety of lodgings and restaurants to fit every budget.
Some may be put off by the fact that the town center, where the really cheap eats and sleeps are found, sits right on the highway, making the main drag feel more like a truck stop than a tropical paradise. But rest assured that if Tulum Pueblo isn't to your liking, you can always head to the coast and find that tranquil beachside bungalow.
Exploring Tulum's surrounding areas pays big rewards: there's the massive Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an and the ruins of Cobá, both doable day trips.