Situated on the Caribbean coastline, and perhaps one of the most Instagrammed places in Mexico, Tulum is finding its way onto most people’s bucket lists, and rightly so.
With ancient Mayan ruins, crystal clear waters, beautiful white sand and a bustling nightlife, there’s plenty to do in Tulum, especially when travelling as a couple.
Although it’s no sprawling city, in fact, it’s a relatively small beach town, yet it can be hard to know the best places to stay in Tulum for couples if you’ve never visited. And when you’re vacationing, you want to ensure you’re located in the perfect area to make the most of it.
Luckily we were lucky enough to be based out there for a little while, and in this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on where to stay in Tulum for couples.
Where To Stay in Tulum
It’s important to mention that Tulum is growing, fast! There are tonnes of new complexes being built across the town and the popular neighbourhoods are expanding rapidly.
That being said, you’ve got a few choices when you’re choosing where to stay, each of which can be split into two categories: beach, or town. The town is slightly set back from the beach (around 3km), so still really accessible.
So then, where to stay in Tulum, beach or town? Travellers with a smaller budget, or staying for longer tend to stay in the town. And travellers with a little more spending money and who are wanting the Tulum they see on Instagram stay at the beach.
Staying in Tulum Town
Staying in the town is often going to be cheaper than staying on the beach and still super accessible to those white sandy beaches. Here, you’re much closer to shops, nightlife and restaurants, but it’s obviously a little further to the beach.
There are a few main neighbourhoods most people choose, Pueblo, Aldea Zama and La Valeta. We’ve explored each a little more below:
Pueblo, or downtown, offers everything you need. Here, you’ll one main road (307) that runs directly through Tulum, lined with restaurants, bars and shops with streets skirting off to the side.
The pueblo is pretty gritty, yet nice and lively and fairly compact which makes it easily accessible by bike or walking. You’ll find everything you need here including local restaurants, plenty of street food, multiple late bars and a few supermarkets.
There are plenty of smaller hotels here and it’s also where the majority of hostels are located.
If you’re wanting to find somewhere cheaper to stay in Tulum, that’s in the heart of the hustle and bustle, the pueblo is for you.
It is important to mention though, that in our experience it wasn’t the safest area. Whilst we lived in Tulum, most of the ‘incidents’ occurred downtown. So it’s something worth bearing in mind when choosing where to stay.
For all Pueblo hotels, hostels and apartments, click here.
Aldea Zama is a completely new area, in fact, every corner you turn, you’re likely to find a new luxury apartment block being built – it’s growing quickly!
Located just outside of downtown (yet completely walkable) this area is full of luxury apartments, boutique restaurants and modern cafes.
From our experience, it’s one of the pricier areas of town both for accommodation and for food. Wandering around the streets of Aldea Zama, it almost felt like a holiday village nestled in the middle of Tulum, it has a massively different feel from the rest of the town.
That being said, because of the nature of the area, it felt like one of the safer areas of town, just don’t expect to be paying ‘local’ prices for anything!
So if you’re looking for nice accommodation, plenty of upmarket restaurants and cafes and a safe, community feel, Aldea Zama is probably the place for you.
For all Aldea Zama hotels, hostels and apartments, click here.
Located right between Tulum Pueblo, Aldea Zama and the beach, you’ll find La Valeta – a popular area amongst visitors to Tulum, and the area we called home during our visit.
Similar to Aldea Zama, it’s an area undergoing a lot of development and here, there is also construction on almost every corner.
Whereas Aldea Zama feels like a completely new neighbourhood, La Valeta mixes old with new. You’ll find brand-new luxury apartment blocks right next to local houses. This gives La Valeta a much more authentic feel.
It’s a fantastic area in terms of location, it’s conveniently located for both the town and the beach. You can walk into town in about 15 minutes, and reach the beach in about 20 minutes on bikes.
You’ll also be able to find everything you need in La Valeta, there are traditional restaurants, fine dining, street food, cafes, gyms, hotels, and mini supermarkets. Although you’ll need to travel downtown to find the larger supermarkets.
For us, it almost felt like the best of both worlds, you’d got the blend of authenticity that you find downtown, combined with the modern luxuries and safety of Aldea Zama.
Staying At The Beach
So the majority of images you see of Tulum are the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, right? We’ll admit it, they’re some of the most stunning beaches we’ve ever seen, and if you’re looking for the best place to stay in Tulum, the beach might just be the one.
Here, you’ll have super easy access to the beach and be located in one of the safest areas of Tulum. There are cons though, staying at the beach is much more expensive, even for accommodation of the same quality. What’s more, although there are restaurants and shops, there’s nothing compared to the amount you’ll find in the town.
Staying in the beach area in Tulum can be split up into a few ‘zones’.
North Beach Zone
Towards the Mayan ruins at the north of Tulum you’ll find one of the quietest areas in Tulum. There are only a few smaller hotels, beach clubs and restaurants here. You’re also in very close proximity to some incredible cenotes.
The hotels in the northern beach area tend to be a little cheaper compared to further south down the strip.
Home to most of Tulum’s luxury resorts, and 90% of the pictures you see on Instagram you’ve got the central/ south beach zone of Tulum.
If you’re looking for beautiful private beaches, fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels for the perfect holiday, it’s the area for you. Just bear in mind, this is by far the most expensive place to stay in Tulum.
For all Tulum Beach hotels, hostels and apartments, click here.
Choosing the best place to stay for you
As you probably know by now, you’re options are split into two broad categories and it totally depends on what kind of trip you’re planning.
If you’re on a once-in-a-lifetime trip with a chunky budget, 100% head to the beach!
If you’re on a stricter budget and love hustle and bustle and nightlife, stay downtown.
If you want a little more peace, a bit more affordable luxury yet still some authenticity, La Valeta is for you.
If you’re wanting to stay in the newest, safest area of town, packed full of lovely restaurants, head for Aldea Zama.
Hopefully, that’s helped you choose where to stay in Tulum when you’re travelling as a couple. We’ve also written a post about the best things to do in Tulum as a couple, you should check it out!