Watch as the party resorts of Cancun disappear in the rear view mirror, and sink into the tranquillity of Tulum. Majestic Mayan ruins stand tall over a flour-sand cove, overlooking the comings and goings of yoga classes and sun-worshippers. Out at sea, waiting dive boats hint at the treasures beneath the waves. While inland, people come from days out exploring ancient jungle cities, ready for a cool cocktail and gourmet meal at their luxury boutique hotels.
Ruins, reef diving and relaxation in this serene spot on the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Things to do
The powder-fine beaches of Tulum, dotted with palapas and daybeds, are the places to see and be seen. Settle in at a beachfront bar for some celeb spotting over fruit smoothies or fresh sugar cane mojitos. For a different perspective on the coast, hop aboard a boat out to a dive site. Tulum is bordered by colourful coral reefs, with the chance to see everything from sea turtles to leopard sharks.
One monument stands out in Tulum – the majestic ruins of a Mayan seaport, perched on a rocky cliff above white sand and cobalt sea. This spectacular site is worth a few hours exploration, although it does draw day-trippers from up and down the Riviera Maya. For somewhere quieter, venture into the jungle to Cobá, where the trees have began to take root in the towering pyramids.
Tulum sits on the edge of the jungle – and there are plenty of natural treasures to discover in the tangled interior. Nearby you’ll find some of the Yucatán’s most spectacular cenotes. Ancient Mayans believed these water-filled sinkholes to be portals to the underworld. And you may well think so too at Dos Ojos. This mystical cave has ‘two eyes’ of water: one clear blue for snorkelling, and one deep and darker for scuba diving.
Bohemian, eco-conscious Tulum is the place to go in search of inner peace, with yoga classes on the beach and massages in shore-side cabanas.
Top tip from SLH