With its top restaurants and world-class art scene, Tulum has established itself as one of Mexico’s main tourist destinations. However, what really makes the city stand out from the crowd is its collection of amazing beaches. Blessed with powdery white sands, blue waters and impending palm trees, Tulum is truly a paradise for beach lovers. Here is our summary of the best beaches in the city and its surroundings.
1. Playa Ruinas
Tulum’s reputation for its breathtaking aesthetics is based primarily on Playa Ruinas, which has well-preserved Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Without a doubt one of the most beautiful (and photographed) sites in America, the beach combines white sand, turquoise waters and a site of true historical importance. The Castillo cliff was built as a watchtower in the 13th century and is now the third most visited archeological site in Mexico after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza.
2. Playa Paraíso
Playa Paraíso, which translates as Paradise Beach, is another of Tulum’s most ready places for Instagram. This majestic stretch of virgin sand is surrounded by palm trees and steep cliffs. A popular place for yoga and iguana enthusiasts, the beach is big enough to ensure it never gets crowded. There are also many restaurants on site to buy food and cocktails and boats that offer snorkeling excursions in the warm sea.
3. Las Palmas Public Beach
Las Palmas has been blessed with a serene stretch of sand and soft turquoise waves. More isolated than Playa Paraíso, you will not find vendors or restaurants in the immediate area. Although this may be less convenient, it also means that Las Palmas is the perfect place for tourists looking to escape the crowded beaches of Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Bring your own picnic and immerse yourself in the serious matter of absorbing the rays.
4. Akumal Beach
Less than 30 minutes drive from downtown Tulum, Akumal Beach is an extensive and popular stretch of sand ideal for families, sandcastles and swimming. Notably more commercialized than the lonely beaches surrounding Tulum, Akumal is supported by a wide selection of palapa roof bars and restaurants. You can rent beach umbrellas and offer excellent meals and ice cold beers throughout the day. With that in mind, you may never want to leave.
5. Secret Beach
While Playa Ruinas and Playa Paraíso are usually the center of attention, venturing out of the ordinary can earn great rewards in Tulum. Head to the Secret Beach, which lives up to its name by offering a secluded place located deep within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, an area that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. This beautiful Virgin beach has calm waters and is often literally deserted. It takes approximately one hour to reach the beach by bicycle from the center of Tulum. Bring your own lunch and a Spanish dictionary: Secret Beach is still a secret and is mostly visited by Mexicans.