What is the best area to stay in Tulum for you?

An honest map of what each area of Tulum is like

spring break Tulum

What is the best area of Tulum to stay in?

Tulum is an increasingly popular destination for tourists in the Riviera Maya. Even after people visit other places like Playa Del Carmen, they will spend some time there. But how do you know what is the best area of Tulum to stay in? Tulum is spread out and has distinct parts to it. There are advantages and disadvantages to staying in different areas. We want you to have the best vacation possible, so we made this honest map and article for you. We hope you find it helpful for your vacation planning in Tulum. At the end of the article are further articles that will help you discover everything Tulum has to offer.

Here are the key factors to look at for where to stay in Tulum

  • Picking and between the beach (hotel zone) and the town area of Tulum.
  • Budget, there are all levels of places to stay in Tulum. Everything from hostels to high end boutique hotels.
  • If you want a chill vacation without leaving your hotel for very much or if you will be active visiting places around Tulum.
  • In the downtown area you need to decide if you will be with a car to get around, a bike or walking. Some areas are far from things you will want to see and need. See the marker where the Chedraui supermarket is on the map. This is the main place to shop for food, so location might be important to you.

Our map of Tulum Mexico for you

We made this map so you can see what areas you might be interested in staying in for your time in Tulum. Below the map is a further explanation of the areas and what hotels you might like.


The three beach areas of Tulum

We have divided the Hotel Zone of Tulum into three areas. Even though this area is on the beach, each of these areas to stay in Tulum are different in some ways. Lets start with the northern end which is purple on the map.

North end of Tulum beach for staying

This area has a narrow strip of land between the beach and road where there are small hotels and guest houses. At the northern most end you will find an back entrance to Tulum ruins. The road is a dead end so there is not a lot of traffic except for the public beaches at the far north end. In this area there are not many restaurants or shops. In general this is not the most popular area of the beach to stay in.

What are some of the best hotels in this area?

Central area of the Hotel Zone in Tulum

This area of the beach is on its’s way to the most popular area of the Hotel Zone. There are some good places to stay here but you will not be in the heart of the area with restaurants and shops. It is however between the downtown and the southern end of the Hotel Zone. So if you stay here you have easier access to the downtown area. 

What are some of the best places to stay in this area?

area to stay in Tulum
Enjoy wonderful sunrises each morning from your own deck at Azulik Hotel.

South end of the Tulum Hotel Zone

This is ground zero for the chic and famous to visit Tulum. This area is dense with palms and is dotted by open air restaurants and tiny boutique shops. Most of the hotels here are small, exclusive and expensive. This area of Tulum is for people that want to chill on the beach and not really leave the hotel. Many of the places are more about the hotel as the destination. This is one of the most popular areas for Instagram photos of Tulum.

What are some of the best places to stay in this area?


Places to stay in the downtown of Tulum

In our map above we have three main areas of the Tulum downtown. There are La Veleta on the south end (pinkish color), the heart of downtown Tulum area (green color) and the yellow slightly off the main drag. There is also the orange area at the top of the map. This area is mainly residential for locals and there are only a few places to stay in this area. The area is farther away from the main street, shopping, grocery stores and the beach. So we don’t really recommend this area. Below is a breakdown of the three areas of the downtown to stay in.

La Veleta area to stay in Tulum

This area is almost all new. Some of the streets in this area are sill dirt and it is a random mix of new houses and quickly built local housing. You might see some low prices for hotels or beautiful houses in this area. It should be noted that it is on the far south end of town and you will need to drive to the beach or make a long bike ride. As noted before, there is only one beach access road as of now, and it is on the north end of town.

La Veleta can be best suited for people looking for a longer term stay and more budget friendly.

Places to consider in this area

The heart of the downtown Tulum

This was the original main drag of Tulum along the 307 road. It has transformed into a little more pedestrian friendly area with lots of shops, restaurants and bars. It is a little easier to get around this area and prices for accommodation will be less than the Hotel Zone. This area of Tulum has some of the older hotels (pre 2014) and some new ones. Tip: Booking newer hotels usually will give you a little more luxury and style. Tulum is an area of the world for cutting edge eco chic design and you can find some cool places to stay here.

Places to look at for this area of Tulum

The yellow area just our of the center

Since the downtown area has been infilling, this area just above the heart of the downtown has been showing signs of more new hotels. You can find some nice places here, just remember the area is not totally charming. There are local street and there just might be a house with roosters next to a hotel here.

Places to stay in this area

The two areas along the road to the beach

The last two areas to stay in Tulum are both along the road leading to the beach. One is the small yellow area and the large orange area between the beach and downtown. Here is more about each of these areas.

The Yellow area with a few hotels and rentals

In this area you can find some Airbnb rentals and some of the original hotels that were built between the downtown and the beach. This area puts you between the beach and downtown but you still need to bike or drive to both.

Places to stay in this area

The orange area with luxury rentals

This area of Tulum is all new! It was forest before and now is a planned community. This area has retained it’s trees and natural feel. All the streets are paved now and it is developing into a modern luxury community. Here you can find mainly luxury condo rentals and houses. This area has become popular with people looking for space for a stay and luxury but close to the beach and town.

Places to stay in this area

The area of Tulum ruins with no hotels

On the map you will see a dark area on the right side of the map. This is where you can find Tulum ruins and a large reserved forest. There are no hotels in this area and no developments.

areas to stay in Tulum
Tulum ruins.

Other Tulum related articles on our website for you

Here are some interesting articles that you might find helpful when planning a trip to Tulum.

Our other hotel guides for the area

Thanks for reading our article on what is the best area in Tulum to stay. We hope you have a great stay in Tulum wherever you choose. Let us know in the comments below if you have recommendations for other readers. 

best area to stay in Tulum
One of the most iconic hotels in Tulum, Azulik.

About The Author


  1. THis is a very helpful guide for Tulum. I have been looking online at the amount of places to stay and it is hard to select one. I am glad I saw this because I was going to stay on the south end of Tulum but did not know how far it was from the beach. I thought there would be a connection between the roads there and beach zone.

    • Hello Carl

      Tulum is a developing place and it is kind of disconjointed. We wrote the guide to help people have a good stay. We have seen some photos of hotels that looked great only to arrive and find them not to be enjoyable, and this was in Tulum. So that helped motivate us write this guide.

  2. I have been to Tulum several times and this guide is spot on. You don’t want to spend your vacation walking far or taking taxis late at night to get everywhere. Pick the beach or downtown. I love Zebra Beach Club but the hotels there are too expensive for me. I stay in the downtown on the north side and bike to the beach. There is a lot of nightlife in town, more then at the beach.

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