Where to Stay in Tulum for the Best Jungle Getaway

Kimberly Miles Avatar
The Bahia Principe Luxury Sian Ka'an is one of the best resorts in Tulum, Mexico.
Bahia Principe Luxury Sian Ka’an is a romantic, adults-only resort. Photo credit: Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Located on the Yucatan peninsula of Quintana Roo, Tulum, Mexico is a small-town Caribbean paradise. Unlike the larger Cancun and Playa del Carmen areas, Tulum is the place to really explore Mexico’s Mayan culture and archaeology while being surrounded by lush jungle and natural wonders in the Riviera Maya.

Although small, Tulum offers several different areas to stay, all with different personalities. Whether your your vibe when you visit Tulum is to stay in town amongst the locals or lounge one of Mexico’s best beaches with the other tourists and travelers, our travel guide of where to stay in Tulum has got you covered so that you can to have your best getaway ever.

Aldea Zama

This new and quickly growing area is where to stay in Tulum if you prefer to stay in Airbnbs and vacation rentals versus a traditional large chain hotel. There you will find boho-style accommodations with private pools and relaxing cafes, as well as a couple of boutique hotels. However, one of the most attractive parts of this area is its great location.

Although this area is much less lively than the Tulum hotel zone or Pueblo, it is quiet with easy access to town as well as the area’s most beautiful beaches. It is also a good choice for families, as there is a playground as well as paths for jogging, bicycling or taking a stroll.

Visitors can expect this area to change drastically in the years to come, as much of the area is still under construction with plans to continue building luxury boutique hotels, bars, and restaurants.

Best hotels in the Aldea Zama:

  • Jade Tulum – A luxury apartment style hotel with a rooftop pool, just minutes away from the beach.
  • Naay Tulum Curamoria Collection – A boutique hotel nestled in a tree-lined area, minutes from the Tulum Archaeological Site.
  • Sessile Private Luxury Apartment – Offered by Booking.com, this luxury apartment rental offers garden views and a private plunge pool.

Tulum Pueblo

Also known as “downtown Tulum”, the Pueblo is where to stay in Tulum if you want to be in the center of it all without spending an arm and a leg on accommodations. It is where you will find most of the hostels, making it an ideal location for backpackers and budget travelers. It is also where you can vacation in a luxury hotel room at a fraction of the price of the typical beach resorts in the zona hotelera (hotel zone).

The Pueblo is the place to be for visitors seeking a more authentic experience in Tulum. The city is easily walkable with well-lit streets lined with authentic food stands and restaurants. There is also decent nightlife in the Pueblo, with some of the area’s best bars and nightclubs. Yogis will find Tulum’s best yoga studios (Yoga Dicha and Tribal Tulum) in this area.

It is completely surrounded by jungle and a great place for exploring nature. If taking a day trip to the Mayan Ruins or cenotes is on your agenda, the Pueblo is the best place to be, as many are just a short taxi drive or bike ride away. Along Avenida Coba you will find a few cenotes, including the Gran Cenote, Cenote Santa Cruz, Cenote Calavera and Cenote Zacil-Ha.

Best hotels in the Pueblo:

  • Coco Hacienda Hotel – A five star, adults-only luxury hotel with an outdoor swimming pool and restaurant on site, as well as bike and snorkel gear rentals.
  • Turquoise Tulum – A chic, colorful hotel with free wifi and air conditioning, just minutes from the Gran Cenote.
  • Mayan Monkey Hostel Tulum – A hip hotel for visitors looking for a party vibe and an excellent location.

North Beach Zone

The North Beach zone is where to stay in Tulum if you are looking for a more tranquil vacation. It is the quietest section of Tulum beach’s four hotel zone areas (North Beach, Beach Town, Middle Beach and South Beach) with a few restaurants, boutique hotels, and beach clubs, most of which sit on white sand beaches.

The North Beach Zone is where you will find some of Tulum’s best beaches for relaxing, swimming, surfing and snorkeling, including Playa Paraiso, Playa Pescadores, Playa Maya and Santa Fe. It is also where you can find Ruins Beach, which sits right under the Tulum ruins (hence its name). When you’re ready to give the beaches a break and explore some of Tulum’s archaeology, the Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park are walking distance down the beach road.

Best hotels in the North Beach Zone:

  • Mi Amor a Colibri – A high-end, adults-only boutique hotel with cabanas with private plunge pools.
  • Mezzanine Colibri Boutique Hotel – A romantic, luxury adults-only boutique hotel, considered to be one of the best boutique hotels for couples and honeymooners.
  • Our Habitas Tulum – A luxury beachfront hotel offering glamping with ocean view and jungle tents.

Beach Town

This sandy, swimmable beach area sits between the North and Middle Beach zones. It is generally one of the most affordable areas for enjoying Tulum’s food, shopping, and bar scene.

Here you can find cozy restaurants with hammocks, beachside dining, and Mexican clothing boutiques selling authentic clothing and crafts. You’ll also find some of the most unique boutique hotels here, including electricity-free hotels with treehouses. Beach Town is where you’ll also find clothing-optional private beaches and wild late night parties, so it may be best to steer clear of this area if traveling with little ones!

Best Hotels in Beach Town:

  • Azulik Tulum – Unique electricity-free accommodation featuring bamboo treehouses, outdoor beds, a clothing-optional private beach and a spa offering medicinal treatments.
  • Zamas Hotel – A chic, Bohemian-style boutique beach hotel located on a beautiful beach within Tulum National Park.
  • Papaya Playa Project – Sustainable beachfront cabins and cottages along Playa Pescadores.

Middle Beach Zone

Middle Beach Zone is the best area to stay in if you’re into the party scene and want to be amongst the best nightlife. It is considered the heart of Tulum’s beach area and home to the best restaurants, boutiques, and trendy open-air nightclubs that Tulum has to offer.

For the most part, the beach in this part of town is sandy, wide and long with some rocky areas. Along the strip, you’ll find numerous beach clubs and yoga studios. And when you’re ready to refuel after a long day at the beach, the Middle Beach Zone is where you will find numerous fine dining restaurants offering unique and creative menus.

The only downside of this area is that there are no sidewalks, bike paths or street lights, but that doesn’t stop anyone from walking or biking to get around. Taxis are also available and easy to find.

Best hotels in the Middle Beach Zone:

South Beach Zone

For the most family-friendly area in the Tulum Hotel Zone, the South Beach Hotel zone is the best place to consider. Here you will find a long, wide, and sandy stretch of beach with no rocky areas. It is also away from the party zone of Tulum and fairly quiet.

Because the South Beach Zone is located near the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, it is the best area to stay in if you are the outdoorsy type and interested in exploring Tulum’s natural wonders. It is also where you will find the most of Tulum’s Bohemian vibe as well as wellness and yoga studios. And for those who still want to enjoy some of the trendy nightlife and restaurants, you are just a short walk or bike ride away from it all!

Best hotels in the South Beach Zone:

  • La Valise – One of Tulum’s best boutique hotels with just 11 rooms and stunning views.
  • Nômade – A luxury wellness resort offering glamping tents and jungle treehouse accommodations.
  • Be Tulum – An exotic beach resort and spa offering two outdoor pools and three on-site restaurants.
Kimberly Miles is a mother of one and an experienced solo and single mom traveler. So far, she has traveled to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Dubai, Bahamas, Aruba, Mexico, and several places in the U.S. Kimberly was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, but in 2018 she took a leap of faith and made the beautiful beach town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico her home with her young son. In addition to writing for SheBuysTravel, Kimberly ghostwrites blogs on a variety of topics. She also provides marketing consulting services and business guidance to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and corporations via her independent business KNM Virtual Solutions. When she’s not traveling or writing, you can find Kimberly working out, eating tacos, dancing the night away, or spending time at the beach with her son. You can read more of her work at Travel Unapologetically.
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