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Where to Stay in Tulum? Hotel Zone vs Town Center

tulum where to stay

Where to Stay in Tulum? Hotel Zone vs Town Center

Ever dreamed of an exotic beach getaway in a rustic yet stylish setting? Look no further than the bohemian beach town of Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. 

As a popular eco-chic destination, Tulum offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and laid-back luxury. Now the big question is – where should you stay during your magical escape to Tulum? Y

ou have two main options: the scenic Hotel Zone right on the beach or the charming town center a few miles inland. Each area has its pros and cons, so let’s explore your choices for the perfect Tulum accommodation. 

Get ready to be enchanted by swaying palm trees, Mayan ruins, and the world’s most stylish beach scene. Your relaxing beachfront retreat awaits in Tulum!

Tulum Travel Guide 2023

Exploring the Hotel Zone in Tulum

If you want a dreamy beach getaway, the Hotel Zone is calling your name. This popular area located along Tulum’s coastline offers gorgeous white sand beaches, eco-friendly accommodations, and a relaxing vibe.

Beach Bliss

  • The Hotel Zone boasts some of the best stretches of beach in Tulum, including the famous Playa Paraiso. You’ll find picture-perfect turquoise waters and soft white sand, ideal for swimming, sunbathing, or beachcombing.

  • Looking for adventure? Try paddle boarding, snorkeling with sea turtles, or beachside yoga. Many hotels offer beachfront activities and equipment rentals.

Convenience and Natural Beauty

  • Everything you need is within easy reach in the Hotel Zone. Rent bikes to cruise from beach to beach, or walk between hotels, cabanas, and the Tulum Ruins.

  • Just a short bike ride inland, you’ll find cenotes like Cristal and Escondido to cool off in. Zip through the jungle on ziplines or spot wildlife in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

Eco Chic Accommodations

  • Hotels in the Hotel Zone are focused on sustainability, with rustic-chic cabanas, palapa-roofed bungalows, and minimalist rooms amid lush greenery. You’ll find spas, beachfront dining, stargazing at night and waking to the sound of waves.

For a perfect mix of natural scenery, activities, and beach bliss, the Hotel Zone in Tulum is calling. Come discover your own personal paradise in this eco-friendly, barefoot-luxury destination.

tulum hotel zone
Tulum Hotel Zone
Tulum strip
Tulum Strip

Discovering Downtown Tulum

f you want to experience the heart of Tulum, downtown is where it’s at. This charming area of Tulum Pueblo offers a perfect mix of relaxation and activity.

Shopping and Dining

Downtown Tulum is known for its shops and restaurants, offering a variety of options for visitors. You’ll find everything from bohemian boutiques to artisanal goods, with cuisine ranging from traditional Yucatecan fare to fusion and vegan options. Some recommendations would be:

  • Hartwood for an upscale dining experience with local ingredients

  • Taqueria Honorio for no-frills street tacos

  • Ki’bok Coffee for organic java and fresh pastries

An Authentic Glimpse

By staying downtown, you’ll get an authentic glimpse into local life in Tulum. In the mornings, pickup trucks roll through selling fruit, tamales, and churros. In the evenings, families gather in the town square, often called ‘El Parque,’ while kids ride bikes and play. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture, downtown Tulum is the place to be.

Lower Key Relaxation

While the hotel zone boasts Tulum’s famous beaches, downtown offers a lower key vibe for relaxation. Unplug at a yoga studio, get a massage at an eco-spa, or simply stroll colorful side streets. As an added bonus, hotel and dining prices tend to be lower here compared to the beach.

For a magical trip to Tulum that blends culture, cuisine and rejuvenation, staying in downtown Tulum is your best bet. You’ll get an authentic taste of this boho beach paradise without the high prices of the hotel zone. Now, all that’s left to do is book your trip!

tulum city
Tulum Center Street
Tulum Downtown

Finding the Best of Both Worlds at Aldea Zama

If you want the best of Tulum’s natural beauty and amenities, consider staying in Aldea Zama. This small neighborhood is located conveniently between Tulum’s hotel zone and town center, offering a perfect combination of tranquility and access.

Beautiful Beaches

Some of Tulum’s most stunning beaches are only a short walk or bike ride from Aldea Zama, including Playa Paraiso and Playa Ruinas. Playa Paraiso is a picturesque cove with soft white sand and clear turquoise waters. Nearby Playa Ruinas offers views of Tulum’s famous Mayan ruins in a pristine setting.

Amenities Galore

While staying in Aldea Zama, you’ll have everything you need close at hand. Just outside the neighborhood you’ll find restaurants serving fresh seafood, tacos, and Yucatan specialties. There are also several yoga studios, spas, and beach clubs along the beach road. For groceries, head to San Francisco de Asis, a popular supermarket only a mile away.

Safety and Calm

Aldea Zama provides a safe, peaceful respite from the bustle of Tulum’s town center. The streets are well-designed, and the area has 24-hour security. Lush greenery and minimal traffic create a sense of calm. You can enjoy the natural surroundings from secluded walking paths.

Modern Conveniences

Although tucked into the jungle, Aldea Zama offers comfortable lodging with AC, WiFi, and other amenities. Accommodations range from budget-friendly cabanas to luxury villas. Some properties have their own beach club access, spas, and restaurants.

If you want to experience Tulum’s natural splendor while still enjoying creature comforts, Aldea Zama is an idyllic place to stay. Close to spectacular beaches and with a relaxed vibe all its own, this special spot lets you get the best of both worlds in Tulum.

ALDEA-ZAMA
Tulum Aldea Zama
ALDEA-ZAMA
Tulum Aldea Zama

Plan your escape to Tulum!

So you’ve decided to visit the magical town of Tulum. Now comes the hard part – where will you rest your sandy feet after a long day exploring ancient ruins and swimming in cenotes? The hotel zone offers pristine beaches and resort amenities but lacks character. The town center oozes charm with boutique hotels, colorful cafes and a hipster vibe but the beach is a bike ride away. For the best of both worlds, consider somewhere in between like the eco-chic Aldea Zama with beach access and a quick ride into town. Wherever you choose, you really can’t go wrong in this tropical paradise. 

Start planning your escape to Tulum today – the Mayan jungle awaits!

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Mateo

Mateo

Meet Mateo: Your Tulum Insider Mateo, a passionate travel blogger, is your go-to source for all things Tulum. He uncovers the town's hidden gems and shares invaluable travel tips to make your Tulum experience extraordinary. Beyond his blog, Mateo collaborates with local experts to bring Tulum's culture and history to life. His passion for sustainable travel is evident, as he champions responsible tourism practices that protect the environment and support the local community. With Mateo as your guide, you'll unlock the secrets of Tulum and embark on a journey that transcends the ordinary and leaves you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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