Is Tulum Overrated? A Traveler’s Opinion.

Just an hour south of Cancun, Mexico, Tulum has become a popular tourist destination. Some believe Tulum has become overcrowded and overrated, but is that really the case?

Tulum is not overrated. Though it can become crowded and touristy, there is plenty to do in the city outside of tourist attractions. Tulum offers beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and incredible food.

Tulum offers various attractions, including beautiful sandy beaches, natural wonders, the animals that inhabit them, jungle hikes, and ancient ruins. Adventure awaits in Tulum, and if a spot becomes overcrowded, there’s always somewhere new to explore. 

Why Is Tulum So Popular?

Tulum’s beaches and attractions are some of the most popular destinations in the world. Tulum offers long-stretching beaches with incredibly unique marine life and stunning sights. Tulum offers a glimpse into Mayan history with ancient Mayan ruins outside the city. 

Dating back to 1200 A.D., the ruins of Tulum are a true peek at the history of humankind. The Mayan jungle surrounds Tulum, flooding the city with beautiful sights and wildlife. It is no wonder that Tulum has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. 

Tulum Provides Beautiful Long-Stretching Beaches

Beaches in Tulum are among the most beautiful in the world. Tucked on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum has some of the longest-stretching beaches with deep turquoise waters. The beaches of Tulum are popular tourist destinations with ornate marine life in the waters and beautiful sights all around.

A gorgeous strip of beach is in the National Park and Biosphere of Sian Ka’an, known as Boca Paila. Boca Paila divides the sea from the lagoon and offers marine life uncommon in other areas of the world. Ideal for nature fishing, bird watching, and nature hikes, the Boca Paila is one of the most stunning, virtually untouched areas to visit if Tulum becomes crowded with tourists.

Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum

The Mayan ruins and cenotes of Tulum are attractions that can be less crowded with tourists. The Mayan ruins outside the city are a breathtaking view and suitable for exploring. Also, at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the Mayan History Walk is a guided tour through the Muyil archaeological site and Mayan jungle, offered by Airbnb. 

Tulum has various hidden cenotes that are destined not to be crowded by tourists. Cenotes are natural pits or sinkholes that have filled with water over time. The Cenote Corazon Del Paraiso is a cenote in the heart of the Mayan jungle. This cenote offers a beautiful jungle atmosphere and underwater garden with stunning marine life. 

Natural Attractions and Wildlife of Tulum

National Parks, Biospheres, and Natural Reserves are everywhere in this beautiful city. If the overcrowded tourist areas of Tulum are something you are trying to avoid because it seems like an overrated experience, then check out one of the many nature and wildlife areas of Tulum.

Deep in the Mayan jungle on the Ma’ax Yetel Kooh nature reserve, the Punta Laguna offers more activities than a week-long stay could fill. With wildlife all around, local activities, and attractions, the Punta laguna is one of the most prominent attractions in the area.

Some of the most interesting activities include:

  • Wild Monkey Tours
  • Mayan Inland Expedition
  • Mayan Jungle Adventure
  • Birdwatching
  • Ziplining
  • Canoeing

Tulum is loaded with nature and wildlife at every turn. The Punta Laguna is one of many nature reserves in Tulum. There are dozens more around the city that are just as incredible and teaming with wildlife. If the tourist areas in Tulum become overcrowded or overrated, there is always somewhere new to visit and something to explore. 

Avoiding Tourists In Tulum

Avoiding tourists is sure to make your trip to Tulum more enjoyable, but how do you go about doing that in a city that is the ultimate tourist attraction. The key is to take notice of the locals and what attractions appeal to them, explore on your own, or take guided expeditions into the Mayan jungle. These attractions will show you the less crowded, less touristy side of Tulum.

Do as the Tulum Locals do to Avoid Crowds

The locals of Tulum are there for the culture and feel of the city, and they know how to avoid tourist destinations. To avoid crowds of tourists, act as the locals do. Airbnb offers a “popular with locals” section in their Tulum destination activities, but in general, locals choose to:

  • Explore Tulum on Bikes
  • Spend time hiking or exploring the jungle
  • Exploring underground caves and cenotes
  • Eating local food
  • Salsa dancing at local studios

The locals of Tulum spend their time differently than the tourists that visit the city. Dancing, drinking, and local food are a sure bet to avoid most of the tourist crowds congregating on the beaches of Tulum. Exploring the jungle around the city is another sure bet to beat the crowds. 

Explore Outside the City 

Tulum has more to explore than meets the eye. Most tourists will not venture too far out of the city to explore. The Cenote Esqueleto or Temple of Doom, is an underground cenote just outside the city of Tulum that is perfect for exploring. The Cenote Esqueleto will not be buzzing with tourists, so exploring the underground cave can be done in peace. 

Tulum has many cenotes like the cenote Esqueleto. Take your exploration outside the city, and you will not be disappointed. Some adventures in Tulum offer day trips or treks to multiple cenotes. A guided tour can become touristy, but many of these are offered to small groups, so it could be an intimate adventure to Tulum’s underground cenotes with your friends or family.

Visit the Vast Mayan Jungle

The Mayan jungle surrounds the city of Tulum and is an incredible sight to explore without being bothered by groups of tourists. Adventure companies based in Tulum offer private group tours of the Mayan jungle, including ziplining and visits to archeological sites. The jungle’s difficulty to navigate can often be void of tourist groups, so you will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds without interruption. 

Why Tulum Is An Ideal Destination

Tulum has boomed in popularity because of its beautiful beaches and activities. However, some now consider it overrated. Tulum is an ideal destination if you know how to avoid the city’s touristy areas. Tulum offers natural wonders and wildlife unmatched nearly anywhere on the planet. You would be doing yourself a disservice not to take it all in. 

Visit Tulum without the worry that tourists will overcrowd and ruin your experience. Beaches and activities in the water can become crowded, but Tulum offers hundreds of underground cenotes to explore and a massive jungle to experience just outside the city. There are natural wonders, incredible wildlife and marine life tucked into unsuspecting spots surrounding Tulum. The city’s outskirts are littered with Natural parks, reserves, and ancient Mayan ruins. Nothing about this beautiful city could be overrated if you know how to explore it.  

Tulum, Mexico, just an hour south of Cancun, has become a popular tourist destination, and some feel that it is becoming overcrowded and overrated. Knowing how to navigate Tulum is essential before visiting the city. Natural reserves and wildlife in the jungles outside the city offer a more personal and intimate way to view the city. Tulum Mexico is not overrated; it is a breathtaking destination that you should not pass up.

Alex Gomez

Alex Gomez is a professional writer, travel enthusiast, and the creator of Mexico Travel Buddy. His favorite destination is anywhere in Mexico. Having ventured to Mexico numerous times, he enjoys sharing valuable tips, tricks, and insights he's gathered along the way.

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