Without a doubt, some of the most beautiful and picturesque locations in all of the Mayan Riviera are the serene beaches along the coast of Tulum. This colorful, tropical town is full of fun and relaxation. The question is, where will you choose to go to enjoy all the sights it has to offer?
One unique aspect to Tulum is that, although the beaches are all public, there aren’t many access points (due to all the private property along the coastline). Beach clubs are often your best bet–and usually the most enjoyable way to spend the day–and there are many to choose from. Here are a few options for you to consider!
Coco Tulum is a great place to stop in for a fun day, with an all-white décor to contrast with the seascape. Hang out in the bar swings and enjoy a margarita or 3 or get out on the sugary soft sand and enjoy the beach. Good music and a family atmosphere make Coco Tulum an excellent choice! If you happen to be there on a Sunday, you can enjoy a jamming beach party!
This is an excellent area for kite surfing (really all of the south beaches in Tulum ar,e) and lessons are offered right there if you’re interested in learning. They also have the “Zen Zone” with yoga and meditation areas.
How to find: Km 8 on the beach road you will see Coco Tulum Hotel
Zazil Kin is just south of the majestic ruins of Tulum. One of the neatest things about this specific beach is you are within eyeshot of the Mayan Temple perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea as you soak up the sun. (Makes for stunning photos!) From here it’s just a short 5-minute walk to the entrance of the archaeological site, if that’s something you want to add to your day.
This location offers just about everything you would want, since it services a small hotel and cabanas. There are many activities offered here as well: fishing, diving, snorkeling tours and more. It also provides wonderful relaxation and tranquil water; great for families with small children. The northern beaches in Tulum, such as this one, have calmer water and fewer waves because of the shallow coral reef that provides a bit of protection. (You’ll see it where the surf breaks a few hundred yards off shore.)
How to find it: Turn East off of the Federal Highway 307 onto the Boca Paila road. At the fork where you can turn either North (left) or South (right), you turn to the left heading North. Travel roughly 2.5 KM and Zazil Kin will be on your right.
Playa Maya beach club is about as close as you get in Tulum to public beach. This is wonderful, quiet stretch of beach that hosts some famously photogenic palm trees. With powdery soft sand and aqua water, it’s a gorgeous setting where you can relax the day away.
Mariachi Bar overlooks the beautiful turquoise waters and serves ice-cold Mexican beer and cokes at the plastic tables and chairs in front of the bar. Beyond that, you don’t get much service here, other than the local merchants strolling the beach selling fruit and candy or whatever else might be on hand for the day.
This amazingly wide beach is sparsely populated with sun bathers and a few swimmers. Often there are little fishing boats tied up or pulled ashore in this spot when they are not out on the sea, so it’s a nice location with a very local flavor.
How to find it: At roughly 2 km from the fork in the road (just south of Zazil Kin), you will see signs for Playa Maya and parking.
Paraiso Beach Club
Well-named, Paradise Beach is the home to a boutique hotel and has an excellent beach club. As you pull in to park here, friendly parking attendants will probably ask what you’d like to do. Just inform them you want to go to the beach club. Unlike the two above-mentioned beach clubs, you cannot bring in your own food or drinks.
Playa Paraiso has sun beds, umbrellas with lounge chairs, tables and chairs with luxurious palm trees offering you shade. It just might be the beach of your dreams. The beach club is open from 8am to 11pm and the on-site restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This is a beach club where you will be charged to use their beds, chairs, etc. But it’s usually very reasonable for a full day’s use and is very nice. If you are friendly and find the right people to negotiate with, you can often get a discounted price. This is an absolutely spectacular beach with calm, translucent water perfect for wading out with drink in hand!
How to find it: Directly south of the Playa Maya beach club
Papaya Playa Project
Papaya Playa Project or PPP is a real beach CLUB! Home to a double-decker bar overlooking the turquoise waters of the sun-soaked Caribbean sea. Also it has a “Skyscraper” observatory above the property with a 360-degree view from a private table. Along with that, there are typical lounge chairs as well hanging sun beds or charming palapitas for shade.
You can lay back and enjoy being served light food and drinks throughout the day as you listen to the soul and funk playlists compiled by local artists and DJs. On the weekends, the club hosts live events and gigs by a whole assortment of entertainers.
How to find it: At the fork in the Boca Paila road, turn right or South and it will be shortly ahead on your left.
Om Tulum is a wonderful place to enjoy the day and get some serious R & R! It’s a very nice restaurant and beach club with a romantic ambiance and delicious food. Wile away the day as you gently swing in a hammock under the coconut palms, watch the passersby from under the shade of a palapa, or stretch out on the beach beds and have a nap. Also you can enjoy the wide variety of food available from their excellent restaurant.
How to find it: Located at KM 9.5 on the beach road (Carretera Tulum-Punta Alen), heading south.
Ziggy’s Beach Bar
A very popular destination for many is Ziggy’s. From 9am to sunset, you can enjoy this scenic spot along with friendly staff and service. For day guests, there is no cover charge, just a minimum consumption charge of $25 USD per person (food or drink). That is pretty easy to hit if you’re spending an entire day!
Ziggy’s like many of the beach clubs already mentioned, has its own restaurant with a dining area and beach service. The staff will do their best to accommodate your group and can even set you up at a private table for two if you want to finish off the evening in a special way!
How to find it: Km 7 on the Boca Paila road (south), right next to The Beach Hotel & Los Lirios
La Zebra sits on another exquisite stretch of beach. They have just recently introduced what they call the Mulberry Project, which is a collaboration with the noted and well known New York City bar, Mulberry Project. It is a ship-wreck themed bar that sits on the waters edge, and their mixologist will make personally crafted cocktails for each guest, or “bespoke cocktails”.
The amazing bar and restaurant do not open until 11 am and close around dark at 7 pm but go and dig your toes in the sand with a wonderful cocktail and some delicious local food to complete a perfect day.
How to find: Km 8.2 on the beach road
Wherever you choose to enjoy the day in Tulum one thing is guaranteed, it will be beautiful. You have so many options and choices here it would take several visits to this wonderful little beach town to experience them all. Another wonderful way to scout out the next place you want spend the day is start strolling down the beach and see what you can see, and find the beach club that is perfect for you!