Skip to main content

Winter travel tips: 13 of the best things to do in Tulum, Mexico

Escape the winter blues in Tulum

Empty balcony near the beach of Tulum, Mexico
Roberto Nickson / Pexels

Are you tired of shoveling snow off your driveway? Do you dream of basking in the warmth of the sun instead of having to blast the heater in your home all day? If you want to escape the cold reality of winter where you live, Tulum, Mexico, might just be the perfect getaway for you.

Here are 13 of the best things to do in Tulum during winter.

Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico
Yuri Manei / Pexels

Best things to do in Tulum, Mexico

1. Explore the Tulum Mayan ruins

Explore the ancient Mayan civilization at the Tulum Ruins. Perched on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea, these ruins offer a glimpse into the past as well as stunning ocean views. But remember – the early bird gets the shade! With little shelter from the scorching sun, you should plan your visit for the cooler morning hours.

2. Plunge into cenotes

Tulum boasts a unique landscape dotted with cenotes, which are natural sinkholes formed by the collapse of limestone. Once they were water sources for the Maya. But today, they offer those interested a refreshing plunge into cool water. Dive into the majestic Gran Cenote, explore the mystical underwater caves of Dos Ojos, or simply unwind on the sun-drenched shores, basking in the beauty of these natural wonders.

3, Hit the beach

Tulum has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, so why not take advantage of them? Playa Paraiso, with its iconic leaning palm tree, is a must-visit. Escape the chill of winter and spend your days swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the coast. Explore lesser-known beaches like Playa Ruinas or Playa Santa Fe for a quieter experience. And don’t forget to pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a palapa.

4. Go snorkeling or scuba diving

Want to get below sea level? Discover the underwater world off the coast of Tulum. Explore coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, turtles, and even dolphins. Book a guided snorkeling or scuba diving excursion to explore sites like the Tulum Reef or the Cenote Angelita, where you can witness mesmerizing underwater landscapes and marine life up close.

5. Visit Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must for nature lovers. Hike through the lush jungle, kayak through mangroves, check out crocodiles and monkeys, and relax on pristine beaches.

6. Take a yoga class

Find your inner peace with a yoga class on the beach or in a jungle studio. Join a sunrise yoga session to start your day with mindfulness and tranquility, or participate in a yoga retreat to deepen your practice amidst the serene surroundings of Tulum’s natural beauty.

7. Indulge in a temazcal ceremony

Experience a traditional Mayan purification ritual in a sweat lodge — this unique ceremony is a powerful way to connect with nature and yourself. Seek out experienced local guides or shamans to lead you through the temazcal ceremony, where you’ll cleanse your body, mind, and spirit through the purifying heat of volcanic stones and aromatic herbs.

8. Shop at Tulum Pueblo

Tulum Pueblo, the town center, is a charming maze of colorful streets lined with boutiques, art galleries, and local shops. Find unique souvenirs, handcrafted jewelry, and bohemian clothing. Support local artisans and entrepreneurs by purchasing handmade crafts and artisanal products. And don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price!

9. Savor the food scene

Tulum’s culinary scene is a fusion of Mexican flavors and international influences. From fresh seafood and tacos to gourmet restaurants and trendy cafes, there’s something for every palate. Don’t miss out on trying local specialties like cochinita pibil and poc chuc.

10. Experience the nightlife

Tulum comes alive at night with vibrant bars, beach clubs, and live music venues. Once the sun goes down, it’s time to dance under the stars, sip cocktails on the beach, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

11. Go on a dolphin-watching tour

Set sail on a boat tour and swim alongside dolphins in their natural habitat – an unforgettable experience perfect for families and animal lovers alike.

12. Take a bike ride

Explore Tulum and its surroundings on two wheels. Rent a bike and cruise along the beach, or cycle through the jungle to hidden cenotes and Mayan ruins.

13. Relax and unwind

Tulum is the perfect place to simply relax and recharge. Spend your days lounging on the beach, reading a book by the pool, or enjoying a spa treatment. Let the Caribbean breeze and gentle waves wash away your winter blues.

Ruins of Tulum, Mexico and a palm tree overlooking the Caribbean Sea in the Riviera Maya
jkraft5 / Adobe Stock

Bottom line

If you want to trade snow for sand, explore ancient ruins, and plunge into the serenity of hidden cenotes this winter, it may be time to take a trip to Tulum, Mexico.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelly Baker
Kelly is a writer who loves good books, baking homemade bread, playing the piano, and spending time with her family.
How to find the best street food (and other travel tips), according to YouTube megastar, The Food Ranger
The dos and don'ts of everything from street food to digital safety when traveling.
Food ranger eating noodles

Trevor James, The Food Ranger, eating a bowl of noodles in Chongqing, China. thefoodranger / Instagram

With over one million followers on Instagram and almost six million subscribers on YouTube, Trevor James (better known by his social media handle, The Food Ranger) has made a career of traveling for food. Over the years, James has traveled to over 40 countries, creating food and travel content on countries ranging from luxurious omakase sushi in Tokyo to drinking camel milk straight from the udder in Pakistan.

Read more
Travel tips: Study says these are the best (and worst) airports to catch a connecting flight
Travel tips: If you can't fly nonstop, travel through this airport

Choosing a good airport for your connecting flight is essential for a smooth air travel experience. An efficient airport can significantly impact your journey, minimizing the risk of delays, missed connections, and other hassles. FinanceBuzz recently performed a study ranking the best and worst airports for a connecting flight- and some of the airports on the list may surprise you.

The best airports and worst airports for connecting flights
The study ranks these hubs as the best airports for connecting flights:

Read more
Are you a minimalist? Then here’s how to pack and travel like one
Packing hacks to lighten your load
A person packing their suitcase with dress clothing.

Minimalism is all about eschewing extra "stuff" and embracing the experience. Some travelers go to extremes, like carrying only what they can fit in their pockets and relying on their destination for everything else. But traveling like a minimalist doesn’t have to mean sacrificing comfort -- quite the opposite.

How many times have you packed a whole bunch of stuff "just in case," only to find much of it unnecessary? If you’re willing to give up the big, heavy suitcase, along with clothing and gear you don’t really need, in exchange for comfort and convenience, we can help.

Read more