Should I spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Tulum?

Should you spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Tulum?

Most visitors spend three to five days in Tulum when visiting. The archeological town offers so many things to see and explore, so you'll want to take full advantage of the limited time you have. Highlights include scuba diving and snorkeling, the beaches, the museums and landmarks, and the nightlife.

Tulum is a popular resort town on the Caribbean side of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. While it was once a backpacker hangout, today is has many upscale resorts and is well established as a vacation destination. The beaches are beautiful with white sand and blue water. There are also world-famous Mayan ruins, unique cenotes, and impressive resorts.

Do you have one or two days to visit Tulum? Here's our comprehensive breakdown of how much time you might need for your trip along with some suggestions for things to do.

Is one day enough time in Tulum?

One day is generally not enough time to experience the beach and other activities of Tulum. A shorter schedule may leave you with a sense of urgency to enjoy the most popular activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling, the beaches, the museums and landmarks, and the nightlife. To genuinely appreciate the archeological town, a longer visit is recommended so that you can have more time to relax at the beach. Many tourists opt for at least 3 or as many as 5 days here, after all. After all, Tulum offers plenty of activities and attractions and remains a top choice for tourists. However, if you're working with limited time, we have some great ideas for making the most of your stay below.

How to spend a day in Tulum

Scuba diving and snorkeling around Tulum is world-class, and is one of the main reasons why so many visitors come here. Spend a day exploring the beauty of the surrounding underwater world. The water along the coast is shallow and clear, which is perfect for snorkeling. There are also dive trips that take you a short distance out to diverse and beautiful reefs.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Discovery Scuba Diving ($149)
  • Tulum Area Experiences Guided E-Bike Tour- 3 Cenote's Snorkel/Swim & Local Lunch ($195)
  • 1.5 hours Snorkeling at Tulum's paradise reef ($40)

This town is very popular for nightlife. After the sun goes down, head out to one of the many popular venues around town. It's world renowned for its wild nightlife scene and you'll find iconic beach parties, jungle raves, and trendy Tuluminati parties. Most of the local places that are a bit more affordable are in town, and the more touristy and expensive places are around the Middle Beach Zone.

Tulum is a very walkable city. With only a day in the town, you'll have no trouble exploring the local sights. It's easy to walk around downtown Tulum and explore on foot.

Is a weekend (two to three days) enough time in Tulum?

The very popular town of Tulum has many activities and attractions for visitors. Given only a weekend, you will likely be rushed to explore the underwater world, lounge on the beach, browse through museums, and dance the night away. To truly savor all that the town offers along with the beach, a more generous amount of time is usually needed. Many travelers opt for three to five days to relax and explore here. However, if your schedule is tight, we have a handful of recommendations for making the most of your visit.

The beach of Tulum, Mexico The beach of Tulum, Mexico

How to spend 2 days in Tulum

If you have more than a weekend (two to three days) in Tulum, you'll appreciate the added time for everything the town has to offer.

The beautiful beaches await you in Tulum, so spend the day (or several, if you can) relaxing on the sand or swimming in the water. World class beaches with turquoise water and long stretches of sand make this a true beach-lovers paradise. Playa Paraíso is a favorite beach in the area and many consider it among the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Kayak Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve ($230)
  • Tulum, Snorkeling with Sea Turtles, Cenote and Beachside Lunch ($179)
  • Tulum Sian Ka'an Muyil Ruins, Boat Eco Tour & Float Down Mayan Canals - Lunch ($205)

You'll absolutely want to spend some time enjoying the food scene in this town, so make sure you spend time at one of the local restaurants where you can taste the delicious cuisine for a meal or two. Despite being well established as a top tourist destination in Mexico, you'll still find authentic and delicious local cuisine. Favorite dishes around town include the ceviche, tacos al pastor, and sopa de lima (chicken soup).

A few tour suggestions include:

  • Mexican Cooking from Scratch and Mezcal Tasting in a Local Home in Tulum ($88)
  • All-Inclusive! Tulum Ruins, Tequila Tasting + Swim in 3 Cenotes in Small Group! ($159)
  • Tulum Local Walking Food Tour ($82)

Public transit in Tulum is easy and efficient. In just a few days, you should be able to get around the town quite easily. There are shared vans, Collectivos, that provide transportation through the area. The Tiburon is also a local bus that runs along the coastline.

More Info

If you're looking for more information about Tulum, we have even more advice to help you plan your journey.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.