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Amazing 3 Day Tulum Itinerary

Amazing 3 Day Tulum Itinerary

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This 3 day itinerary for Tulum is all you need to experience this amazing spot in the Riviera Maya.

Planning a trip to Tulum, Mexico, is fun and exciting, but can also be a bit overwhelming if you don’t have any knowledge of the area. 

This article is your perfect 3 day Tulum itinerary. Of course, it would be ideal to spend an entire week in this tropical wonderland because there are so many fabulous things to experience. However, three days is a good amount of time to get a true feel of the magic vibe that makes Tulum so special. 

Tulum is a coastal town on the southern end of the Riviera Maya. It is known for its divine white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, ancient Mayan ruins, chic restaurants, extravagant party scenes, art-inspired hotels, Tulum yoga retreats, Tuluminati-style fashion, and much more. 

What was once a tiny seaside town has now exploded into a famous tourist hot spot. 

Whether you’re a beach lover, history enthusiast, or nature explorer, Tulum has something for everyone.

In this blog post, I will guide you through what I think is the best 3 day Tulum itinerary, packed with all the must-see attractions and hidden gems. I’ve been living in this region of Mexico for several years now and I make regular trips to Tulum to catch up with old favorites and new additions.

So grab your sunhat and flip-flops, and let’s dive into this tropical paradise.

When to Visit Tulum

The best time to visit Tulum is from late November to Early April. This is the perfect time to escape the cold months of North America and warm up down south. 

The climate in Tulum during these months is ideal. Daytime temperatures range from 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) to 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit). The sun is beautiful and warm but not as intense as you would expect in July and August. 

Humidity levels are also significantly lower in the winter season so you can comfortably enjoy being outdoors. 

There is usually a sea breeze in the evening which sometimes creates a chilly air, so I would pack a sweater or light jacket. The daytime is perfect for swimwear or shorts weather. Check out our full Tulum packing list so that you don’t forget any of the essentials.

Summer months (June, July, and August) are the low season in Tulum. The weather is hot and the humidity is high. Also, you may find unpleasant seaweed along the shores of the beaches. 

With that being said- if you are looking for a quieter getaway this might be the best time for you to visit. There are significantly fewer tourists during this time and prices for accommodations are lower as well.

woman walking along the beach in tulum with sun setting.

Be sure to pack plenty of beach-ready outfits for your trip to!

Where to stay in Tulum

Accommodation options in Tulum are endless. From extravagant eco-boutique hotels to glamping, from backpacker hostels to the best all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, Tulum has it all. 

Tulum is divided into a few different zones so depending on what type of experience you are looking for will determine where you want to stay. 

First, you have the hotel zone, famous for its beachfront and jungle view hotels, luxurious restaurants, and fancy nightlife. 

Second, you have the downtown where you will find an abundance of hotels, Airbnbs, and hostels, all with different price points. As well as so many delicious restaurants, cafes, and shopping. 

A new zone that is growing in popularity in Tulum is a residential neighborhood called Aleda Zama. This zone is located between the hotel zone and downtown Tulum. 

This new area offers high-end condos, Airbnb rentals, and small hotels. You will find chic restaurants and coffee shops. A

ll of Aleda Zama is connected with walking paths and there is a playground in the middle. Because it is a newer area, it is quieter and more laid back than the busier more well-known spots. Both the hotel zone and downtown are easily accessible from Aleda Zama by car, scooter, or bicycle. 

No matter what zone you book your accommodations, your 3 days in Tulum experience is going to be fabulous.

3 Day Tulum Itinerary

Now let’s dive into the fun information for a 3-day Tulum itinerary. 

Day 1 in Tulum

Explore the hotel zone and hit the beach. It doesn’t matter if you are staying in the hotel zone or not. It is something absolutely need to explore and experience on your own. 

The aesthetic of the hotel zone of Tulum transports you to a completely different world. A world where the jungle meets luxury and everything is created with artistic eco-inspired designs. 

Instagrammers and photographers will be in heaven because of all the trendy and beautiful “photo op” spots. 


Start your morning off with a fueling breakfast at one of the many restaurants along the strip. 

Check out Los Bowls de Guadalupe for vegetarian and vegan bowls packed with healthy natural and locally sourced ingredients.  

For classic Mexican-style breakfast dishes (and also American options), enjoy a beachfront breakfast at Casa Maria Mexican Grill. The green Chilaquiles are especially delicious here. 

Next on your Tulum itinerary is to explore this area on either foot or bicycle.

You will find appealing boutique shops to browse and art installations all throughout the hotel zone. Even the entryways to the hotels are grand and artistic. 

After some exploring in the morning, it’s time to cool off in the sweet Caribbean Sea. 

famou sign that says follow your dreams with a woman standing next to it.

Perhaps the most famous sign in Tulum, it’s an essential stop on your 3 day Tulum itinerary (located in the hotel zone!).


This town is famous for its extravagant Tulum beach clubs and parties. Each club offers its own cool atmosphere with pleasing decor, refreshing cocktails, exquisite dishes, and 5-star service. A lot of the clubs have DJs spinning music and some clubs even have oceanfront pools. 

Entry to these types of beach clubs does come at a higher price tag but they are really fabulous to experience at least once in your life. The beach clubs are an essential part of any Tulum itinerary because they are a uniquely Tulum experience.   

If this is your style of daytime activity check out Bagatelle, Taboo, or Rosa Negra Beach Club, all of which are located in the hotel zone of Tulum. Head to their websites to book a spot ahead of time, especially during the peak winter season when they book out a week or more in advance.

If a beach club beach party isn’t your style you are absolutely welcome to enjoy the beach in Tulum at your own leisure and completely free. Bring a towel down to the beach and choose a free patch of sand. All beaches in Mexico are public, so you never have to pay to access the beach here.

Pop into one of the many beach restaurants along the hotel zone for a delicious lunch and swim in the ocean. La Zebra is one of my personal favorites for seaside enjoyment. 

Be sure to stay at the beach until sunset. With the soft white sand and the clear blue water, the sunsets of Tulum are some of the most beautiful that I have seen in the Riviera Maya. 

Due to the sun setting in the west over the jungle, you don’t actually get to witness the sun setting over the water, but the colors cast in the sky are simply incredible. Also “golden hour” is prime time for natural glowy golden skin photos. 

nighttime on the beach with lights on at a beachfront bar.

Be sure to book ahead for all of your nighttime restaurant spots before you leave for your trip!


With too many restaurants to choose from, food lovers will be in heaven. Any cuisine you are dreaming of you will be able to find it in the hotel zone of Tulum. 

Freshen up and dress in your best Tuluminati-style outfit. You will want to look boho-chic for a night out in Tulum.

Mostly all of the restaurants in the Tulum hotel zone are stylish and have beautiful candle-lit ambiance and chill music playing. Some of the restaurants even turn into dinner clubs in the later hours where you are encouraged to dance and let loose. 

Find your way to Mamazzita or Gitano for one of these experiences. 

Day 2 of your 3 Day Tulum Itinerary

Cenote Exploring and discovering downtown Tulum are on the docket for today’s schedule.

Morning / Afternoon

You will want to wake up nice and early for this day to take full advantage of sunlight hours and hours of operations of the cenotes near Tulum

If you don’t know what cenotes are, they are giant sinkholes in the earth that have filled with fresh water from the underground river system here in the Riviera Maya. You’ll find some cenotes near Playa del Carmen and Merida, too. However, they are unique to this region of Mexico.

These sinkholes are perfect for swimming and cooling off from the hot Mexican heat. Cenotes are also home to many species of animals and play an important role in ancient Mayan Culture. 

Grab a hearty breakfast at one of the many incredible breakfast spots in Tulum. For local Mexican breakfast options at a good price, Don Cafeto is a local favorite. For something a little bit healthier, DelCielo is a personal favorite. 

Your cenote exploring day is done the easiest with a car rental. This way you can visit a few different cenotes in the day, you are free to your own timeline, and you can choose the cenote that you wish to visit. Check prices and book your rental car with Discover Cars here.

There are so many cenotes in the area that it may be hard to choose which ones to visit. Gran Cenote, Cenote Cristal, and Cenote Carwash are some of the most famous in the area.

I like to recommend Cenote Escondido because of its beautiful blue and green colored water and surrounding foliage. There is also a relaxation area with tables and hammocks and a rope swing for the person seeking a thrill. 

Generally speaking, cenotes usually have operating hours from 9 am to 4 or 5 pm. You will also be charged an admission fee depending on which cenote you visit, which can range from 150 pesos and up (about $9 USD).

It’s best to have local currency on hand (Mexican Pesos) because cards are rarely accepted as forms of payment at cenotes. Read our guide to dealing with money in Mexico if this is your first trip to the country.

drink on a table at the beach with the sea behind it on a 3 day tulum itinerary.

Be sure you make plenty of time for relaxing on the beach in Tulum!


Once you have explored to your satisfaction, head back into Tulum to freshen up for dinner and a night in the town.

I can imagine you’ve worked up quite an appetite swimming and exploring cenotes all day, so find yourself a tasty spot for a well-deserved dinner. 

The culinary scene in downtown Tulum is incredible. Restaurants, bars, and ice cream shops line the streets and the smell of sweet cooking fills the air at dinner time.

You will find cuisine of all types. One of my favorite Italian restaurants in Tulum is Bacaro. I have tried many of the dishes here and everything had been incredibly delicious.  

If you are in the mood for dancing or partying you can find plenty of bars and clubs to fulfill your wishes. Dance the night away at Santino or Animal, both clubs with DJs playing Latino and electronic music. Check out our guide to Tulum nightlife.

Downtown Tulum is also a great place to shop for souvenirs and hand-crafted artisan pieces. The streets are lined with small shops and local vendors all selling their goods well into the night.

Day 3 in Tulum

Tulum ruins and more beach and water activities will keep you busy on day three.


There is something fascinating and magical about ancient Mayan ruins. The Tulum ruins are so easily accessible. It is an attraction that you don’t want to miss on your 3 day Tulum Itinerary. 

Entrance to the Tulum ruins costs 90 pesos (about $5 USD) with hours of operation from 8 am to 5 pm. 

Arriving early is a good idea because a long line tends to form in the late morning. That being said, the line does move quite quickly.  

It takes about two hours to fully tour the Tulum ruins.  You can do a self-guided tour or book onto a guided tour which will mean you don’t have to wait in line for your tickets. The guide can be helpful to learn special stories about the importance of this old Mayan village. 

For a simple walking tour with a guide, this tour is a great option. It’s affordable at under $20 per person and you simply meet the tour guide at the entrance to the ruins. Book onto that tour here.

If you don’t want to rent a car or hire a taxi during your time in Tulum, you can take this tour which includes transfers to and from your hotel as well as a stop at two different cenotes. Book onto that tour option here.

Admire the views of the made structures and pyramids.  There is also a lookout zone with an incredible view of the Caribbean Sea. 

tulum archeological site in the distance with the beach and caribbean sea in the foreground. Must experience things on any 3 day tulum itinerary.

Exploring the Tulum Archeological Site is one of the must-do things on any Tulum itinerary!


There is a beach zone very close to the Tulum ruins. After a hot morning of walking and touring the ruins, a dip in the sea to cool off is more than necessary. 

This long stretch of beach is called the Archeological Zone which runs from the Tulum ruins to the beginning of the hotel zone. Separating the Archeological Zone and the hotel zone is a big rock cliff that is impossible to pass on foot. 

Pack a cooler, a bathing suit, and a beach towel, and enjoy the long white sandy beach and refreshing sea. 

There are also many restaurants along this stretch of beach offering tasty eats, cool cocktails, sun loungers, and bathroom facilities. 

You might be surprised to hear that this section of beach is becoming more popular as a surf and windsurfing spot. Depending on the day and with the right wind conditions, you can catch some decent-sized waves.

It is the perfect place for a beginner or intermediate surfer or anyone just looking to have a fun time out on the water. 

Snorkel tours are also available off of the shore of the beach. Local tour guides will be offering their services to take you to the Mesoamerican Coral reef nearby. The reef is less than a 10-minute boat ride and the price will include all your necessary snorkeling equipment. 

To finish off the day, catch a happy hour promotion at one of the restaurants along the beach and indulge in a margarita while the sun goes down. 

woman standing at the entrance to one of the many stylish bars in Tulum.

There are so many beautiful spots around Tulum that you will want to stop for a photo opp!


Because you have already explored the hotel zone and downtown Tulum, you can choose where to spend your evening. 

Splurge and hit up one of the fancy dinner clubs in the hotel zone. One of my favorites is the Funky Geisha. Check out some of the dinner clubs in our guide to the best restaurants in Tulum.

For an extraordinary and unforgettable experience make a reservation in the luxurious tree-top restaurant Kin Toh at the Azulik Hotel. Kin Toh offers a dining experience like no other. With dishes that look like art, nest-style seating in the trees, and impeccable service this is dinner like no other. 


Find your way back downtown for some of the best tacos in the Riviera Maya (ok, this is totally biased, but they are AMAZING!).

Taqueria Honorio is a must visit. Serving up traditional Yucatan-style street food, this is a great way to finish off your three days in Tulum.

Have More Time in Tulum?

If you have more time, or you are able to pack some of these days into single days (like the cenote and archeological tour in one day), then you may want to consider other day trips from Tulum.

Some of my personal favorite day trips include:

Check out Some of these Epic Tours of Tulum