SCUBA DIVING TULUM
Tulum is a smaller, quieter version of nearby Playa Del Carmen, and is a great base for those wanting to explore lots of amazing cenotes in the area. Besides all the cenotes, you can also explore Sian Ka’an Reserve.
Tulum is a popular hideout for backpackers, and scuba divers alike. You could of course stay in Playa Del Carmen and still visit the same cenotes, with longer drives, but some prefer the smaller and quieter Tulum, where it’s easier to relax.
There is one main highway going through Tulum, with plenty of little shops and restaurants, and you can easily get around most of the town by walking.
Just like most coastal Mexican towns, Tulum boasts a wide, pristine beach that is amazing to relax on, when you’re done exploring ruins and diving cenotes.
This being cenote central, the closest town to the most famous cenotes such as Gran Cenote, The Pit, Dos Ojos and more, there are plenty of dive shops in town that can take you out.
But if you want a break from cenotes, you can check out the dives offshore, around what’s called the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, specifically the Sian Ka’an Reserve, a UNESCO site of Mexico.
BEST DIVE SITES
The Sian Ka’an Reserve is worth a visit, just offshore, especially if you like turtles. There are a few good sites outside the reserve, with names like Dream Reef, Stingray and Ballena.
In our opinion if you want better ocean dives, you would probably be happier heading to Cozumel, which isn’t a big journey form Tulum, or Mahahual down south. Those locations seem to have much more reefs and marine life, and more sites.
The real diving jewels of Tulum are the countless cenotes. There are cenotes for everyone, from Openwater diver to cave divers, and even for snorkeling. Some are closed to recreational divers, and can only be explored by tec dives, while others can be experienced by everyone.
Instead of listing all the cenotes here, with information on how to get to each, we put together a comprehensive guide to 72 of the Best Cenotes In Mexico, so that you have all the info you need!
BEST TIME TO DIVE
Tulum is a year-round destination. For uncrowded sites and great visibility, book your holiday between May and November.
There is no bad time to dive the Caribbean. In fact, the water temperatures remain constant year-round and cool only slightly during the winter months, meaning it’s possible to dive approximately 300 days each year.
HOW TO GET TO TULUM
Tulum is located down the coast from Playa del Carmen, or even further down from Cancun. Private shuttles and taxis can be arranged, but the best option is to take the bus to Playa Del Carmen from Cancun/airport, then transfer to a second bus (run by ADO, AU, or Mayab) to take you the rest of the way.
The bus from Cancun to Playa Del Carmen will cost less than $10, a little more if coming from the airport, and the bus from Playa to Tulum will cost less than $5. The whole journey from the airport will take less than 2 hours, depending on wait time for that second bus at Playa station.
HIGHLIGHTS OF TULUM
Besides all of the cenotes that could keep you busy forever, there is also the customary Mayan ruins dotting the area, and even the white beaches.
Check out the Coba ruins and Muyil archaeological site.
There are also a lot of tour companies in town that can take you on interesting day trips, such as the famous Chichen Itza pyramid, Bullshark diving in Playa Del Carmen, Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, and countless others.
In town, you can take some traditional cooking classes, or just go on a food tour or the areas best eats.
If nothing else sounds fun besides exploring cenotes and then lounging on a white beach during your surface interval, we wouldn’t blame you for that!