Does the inevitable approach of winter make you dream of escaping to a tropical paradise with sun-drenched beaches? Picture yourself spending the day in Tulum on a broad stretch of white powdery sand lapped by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. You could be sipping a cool drink while lounging in the shade of a coconut palm tree; its fronds idly swaying in the gentle sea breeze. As you gaze at the crystal blue waves breaking on the distant coral reef and washing up in a champagne froth around your toes, any vestige of stress leaves your body!
Along the stunning coastline of the Mayan Riviera, the sugary-soft beaches of Tulum are by far the best. Well-named Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach) and adjacent Playa Maya have naturally shallow shelves of sand leading into the water—perfect for wading and swimming. Sloping palm trees lean towards the sea, providing absolutely picturesque views!
Take a minute’s stroll north up the coast and view the ancient Mayan ruins perched like sentinels on the limestone cliffs. Or wander the other direction for water sport options, snorkelling tours, and hip, laid-back beach bars and restaurants scattered sporadically on the coastline. Beach clubs like Playa Paraiso offer lounge chairs, hammocks, volleyball nets, drinks and snacks for a fee. But packing a cooler, chair and beach blanket lets you enjoy the beach on your own terms!
Visit between May to October and it’s turtle-nesting season! Endangered loggerhead and green sea turtles amble up the beach to lay their eggs, and tiny baby turtles emerge 50-60 days later, clambering over the sand to safety in the waves. Witnessing any part of this event is truly extraordinary!
Only 65 kms (40 miles) south of Playa del Carmen, Tulum beach is easily accessible but retains a rustic, bohemian charm that eludes some of the more well-developed resort destinations in the area. Boutique hotels are constructed with thatched palm roofs and rely on generators or solar panels for electricity, and no building is taller than a palm tree! The modern town proper hugs the highway—although it has quaint shops and restaurants, it is not on the coast.
Eco-friendly, stunningly stylish but low-key, Tulum is as unique as it is beautiful. Visit and find out how closely it resembles the beach of your dreams!
Written by Kelly G.