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The top 13 Things to Do In Tulum with Kids

Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is a family favorite for many, because of its kid friendly nature. The Yucatan is considered as a safe travel destination. And there’s lots to do. Hiking in nature, swimming in cenotes, exploring Mayan ruins and vacationing in a beach resort.

Speaking of the beach, bohemian beach town Tulum in Quintana Roo is the best place for families with an abundance of kid friendly beach resorts. And it’s ideally located halfway through the Caribbean coast. This means you can explore the majority of the Yucatán Peninsula with Tulum as your base.

Tulum is the perfect place for traveling families to explore. Everything that makes a trip to Mexico to special can be found in and around Tulum. The food is amazing, the beaches tropical and adventurous families will have no trouble finding thrilling things to do. Last, but not least, the Tulum ruins are located right on the coast, above a pearly white beach and surrounded by steep limestone cliffs. A breathtaking sight to see. In conclusion, there are many fun things to do in Tulum with kids so you won’t get bored.

Why Tulum is a great choice for a family visit

The Yucatán Peninsula, and more specific the Riviera Maya, where Tulum is located, is known to be one of the safest destinations to visit in Mexico. In fact, the US State Department labeled the Riviera Maya as the safest area in Mexico in 2023.

Safety isn’t the only reason why Tulum is an ideal family vacation destination. It’s very easy to get around by bike, Colectivo, car and on foot. We visited Tulum for a week, while on a family road trip through the Yucatán Peninsula and traveled around in a rental car. It was very easy to park our car everywhere we went. But most travelers opted for a bike, which is a more environmentally friendly option and also a fun way to explore a town for kids.

Read more >> Ultimate Yucatán Peninsula Family Road Trip Guide

Kid friendly food

The food is amazing in Tulum. What kid doesn’t like taco’s, nachos and churros? Not only the local food is great here. Because Tulum gets loads of visitors from abroad and houses a a lot of digital nomads, the international cuisine is well represented. Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, French, you name it and it’s available. And if you’re looking for burgers and fries, you won’t have any trouble finding it.

(All inclusive) beach resorts Tulum

You won’t have any trouble finding the right accommodation for your family. You can rent an apartment with a private (plunge) pool or you can book a family room at one of the many beach resorts in Tulum. From high end to basis, there’s something fitting for every family.

2 bikes are parked on the streets of Tulum in Mexico
Accommodation with a plunge pool in Tulum - Mexico

Tulum as a base to explore the area

This post is meant to tell you what the 13 best things to do in Tulum with kids are. But there’s another reason why it’s a great idea to visit Tulum. And that is to use it as a base to explore the region. Visit nearby Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Cozumel. Or check out Mayan Ruins Chichen Itza and Coba Ruins and go to one of the many adventure parks in the area.

We stayed in Tulum for a week and visited the majority of the sites I’ve mentioned here while road tripping through the Yucatan Peninsula. A week was great to do and see everything in Tulum and have two chill days (one on the beach and one in a few cenotes). But if you want to use Tulum as a base to explore Quintana Roo and beyond you should stay for at least 2 weeks in Tulum.

The 3 best places to stay in the Riviera Maya with kids when you want to explore the region are Cancun, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen.

Read more >> Where to stay in the Riviera Maya with kids: Cancun vs Playa Del Carmen vs Tulum

When to visit Tulum

The best time to visit Tulum with children is between December and April. This is when it’s not hot enough to be unpleasant and the evenings are cool. The downside of visiting Tulum during this time of year is that it’s peak season. The prices are high and the crowds big. Accommodation and tickets to the most popular sights and attractions should definitely be pre-booked. As well as rental cars.

July and August is shoulder season. You’ll experience extreme heat and humidity should spend your day wisely by exploring early morning and chilling at the beach or near a pool in the afternoon. You do get better deals when it comes to rental cars and accommodation.

How to get to Tulum

Fly

Cancun Airport is a two hour drive away from Tulum. It’s the second busiest airport in Mexico, so make sure you have enough time for the drop off and check in when returning home. Arriving here was a breeze. It was a short walk from customs to the baggage claim and after collecting your luggage you walk to the exit in less than 10 minutes.

For your family trip to Tulum you can also opt to fly to and from Cozumel International Airport from several US and Canadian cities. Since Cozumel is only a 35 minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen and another hour by car, this could also be an option for your family.

We always book our international flights through Expedia, to get the cheapest fares.

When you’re already in Mexico or Central America and flying to Cancun or Cozumel from there, it’s better to book through 12Go. They offer the best continental and short international flight deals.

Bus & Ferry

To book your transport for your family road trip Yucatan Peninsula with kids, whether by bus or ferry, we recommend using 12Go. This is a user-friendly website that will show you all the different price options and comparisons as well as reviews from fellow travelers. Train is not yet an option, Mexico is hard at work creating a train network in the Yucatán Peninsula, but it’s hard to tell when it’s finished. I’ve heard everything from 2025 to 2028

There are many bus companies in Mexico, the most popular being ADO. They travel about anywhere in the peninsula. Whether you use them as an airport transfer or to get from one town to another, ADO is a way cheaper option than a taxi. And they’re always clean and have airco.

Powered by 12Go system

Getting around Tulum

Like I mentioned before you can get to most of the places of interest by walking, biking and car.

Since we were in Tulum for a week, we combined biking and driving our rental. We always use Discover Cars to rent cars all over the world.

ADO

The cheapest option when traveling from Tulum to nearby destinations is by taking the ADO bus. The main ADO bus terminal in Tulum is located on the main road in Pueblo. The Playa del Carmen ADO bus station also serves as a Riviera Maya transportation hub to nearby destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and Bacalar.

Colectivo

You’ve probably seen them on pictures before, the Colectivo, the large vans (or small buses) that can take you from A to B cheap and safe. You can find them all over Mexico. Lots of them are privately owned, so it’s good to know that they don’t have the strictest of schedules, but we’ve never waited more than an extra 10 minutes tops. Cash only and most trips cost between €1 to €5 for a one way ticket. It’s a great alternative for a taxi or Uber.

a boy running through the sand, surrounded by lush jungle. He's running towards a beachside accommodation in Tulum, Mexico

Top tours in Tulum with kids

By now you probably have had enough of the general information. It’s time to get to the juice. Here are the best 13 things to do on a family trip to Tulum.

13 Things to Do In Tulum with Kids

Roam around the Tulum Ruins

Spend time at a family friendly beach resort

Become instafamous and get your pics at some famous photo spots

Swim in a cenote

Go ziplining at the Jungle Maya Native Park

Spot Iguanas

Spend an afternoon at SFER IK

Relax on the beach

Go on a sea turtle tour

Book a bike tour

Eat street food

Explore the water in a catamaran

Day trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Roam around the Tulum Ruins

View of El Castillo at the Tulum ruins - Mexico
A boy sits on the shoulders of his father while looking at a Mayan ruin in Tulum Mexico

No Tulum family trip is complete without a visit to the beautiful Mayan Ruins. The remains of Castillo (castle) are located on the edge of a 12 meter limestone cliff. It’s surrounded by lush green trees and plants and the entire area is filled with what remains of the Mayan city of Tulum. It was a seaport, trading mainly in jade and turquoise.

After exploring the ruins it’s worth it to follow the pathway north of El Castillo. This leads to a sandy beach and the Caribbean sea.

The Ruinas de Tulum are one of the three most visited places in Mexico, so this is a definite must on this top 13 things to do in Tulum with kids list.

A toddler walks up to his mom who's shooting a picture of someone taking a picture of them. In the background the Tulum Ruins can be seen, surrounded by palm trees and lush green bushes.

Spend time at a family friendly beach resort

A sign in the sand says Beach Club by Dos Ceibas. Palm trees are surrounding the sign and footsteps in the sand lead to sun beds near the sea in Tulum Mexico
A room in a tree house at beach club hotel Dos Ceibas is beautifully lit in the early evening. And is surrounded by jungle

Tulum is known for its beautiful beach resorts. Tulum beach hotel zone is filled with hotels with that true Tulum flavor aka mystical jungle vibes. You can make it as budget or luxurious as you want. If you want to have the ultimate dream vacation in Mexico’s hippest beach community than you won’t have a problem finding the perfect accommodation for your family. Just remember to book ahead, as all of the beach resorts are in high demand, all year long.

Tulum is one of the 3 best places to base yourself when you’re in the Riviera Maya with kids, Cancún and Playa Del Carmen are the other 2.

Read more >> Where to stay in the Riviera Maya with kids: Cancun vs Playa Del Carmen vs Tulum

Playing with sand at a beach club in Tulum - Mexico

The top five resorts to stay on your family trip to Tulum:

Become instafamous and get your pics at some famous photo spots

A Volkswagen van is decorated with painted pictures and the words El Dorado on the streets of Tulum in Mexico
Follow That Dream sign in Tulum - Mexico

You will find it hard to find a place in Mexico with more Instragrammable locations than Tulum. There are even tours that take you to most of the Instafamous spots. It’s a lot though. And while there are probably kids and parents who love checking off all these spots, I’m going to go on a limb here and guess that most of us like to visit less than a handful.

The most famous photospots in Tulum are the Follow That Dream sign, Ven a la Luz (the entrance to Ahau Tulum Beach Hotel) and Cenote Suytun.

Follow That Dream sign

Getting a picture in or under the Follow That Dream sign will not be a problem. You can pretty much choose any kind of day and won’t end up in a line of people.

Ven a la Luz

That is not the case when it comes to Ven a la Luz. People are lined up here to take a picture. If you go here as soon as the sun is up, you have your best chance of getting a family pic, pretty quickly. Other times of day the entrance is blocked by people standing in line for a picture underneath this beautiful wooden piece of art.

Cenote Suytun

Same goes for Cenote Suytun. People wait in line to walk to the end of the walkway in the middle of the cenote. You’ll be posing while dozens of people are watching. Early morning or just before closing time is your best bet of a small line of people in front of you.

Swim in a cenote

A father and his two sons are sitting in an undeep part of a cenote in Tulum Mexico
Things to Do In Playa Del Carmen with Kids - blog post

No list of best things to do in Tulum with kids is complete without exploring cenotes together. A cenote is a natural sinkhole and Mexico has loads of them. Tulum has some options as well.

Skip Cenote Suytun, because it’s completely filled with photographers and influencers to take that Instagram picture. Not a lot of people will pick this cenote for a swim anymore. But, there are loads of other options!

Cenote Zacil-Ha

One of the best cenotes for families is Zacil-Ha. It’s small and is known for its crystal clear waters. You can jump in from the rocks and even zipline through it. Great for kids ages 8 and up. But if you have younger kids or kids in multiple age ranges (like us) you can swim in the swimming pools and chill in the hammocks. It’s great for all age ranges and you get here in 15 minutes by car.

Cenote Aktun Ha

Also known as Cenote Carwash, Cenote Aktun Ha is a lesser visited cenote, near to Gran Cenote and about 10 minutes by car from Tulum. It’s quite an adventurous option and lots of free divers love to visit this place. That’s why this cenote is particularly great with teens who like to snorkel or freedive.

There’s also a diving platform, so the daredevils in your family can jump of into the cenote from approximately 3 meters!

Gran Cenote

Gran Cenote is a large and popular cenote located just outside Tulum. It is made up of a collection of caves, caverns and an open-air cenote connected by meandering wooden boardwalks and surrounded by lush greens. With its crystal clear waters and underground world, Gran Cenote is popular with swimmers, divers and snorkelers.

Because there are shallow and deeper places to enjoy, this is a great cenote to explore when you’ve got children of different ages.

Kaan Luum Lagoon

Laguna Kaan Luum is a shallow lake or very large cenote, mostly used by locals. It’s kind of a unique thing to do in Tulum with kids. Kaan Luum Lagoon is filled with turquoise blue water (not on our pics, because it was cloudy so it’s beauty is not really noticable on the pictures). The safe part is demarcated by ropes, so you know where you can swim with your kids. The cenote area has a depth of 85 meters and only accessible if you’re a certified diver or with a diving instructor.

Cenote Azul

The most beautiful and kid friendly cenote close to Tulum is Cenote Azul (Blue Cenote). There are many shallow spots here so you can visit this cenote with kids of all ages. Older kids will enjoy the pool with a cliff you can jump off from. We spotted a few iguanas in this area. They walk around the entire area, but we only saw them here. Because of the diversity of depth and adventure, this is our number one cenote in to visit when in Tulum with kids. It’s only 25 minutes by car from Tulum Centro (aka Tulum Downtown).

3 Cenote Tour from Tulum

If you’re short on time or perhaps want to squeeze in many of Tulum’s best cenotes in a single day, then here’s a really great tour for you.

A boy wearing a life vest is enjoying a swim in a cenote while his father looks at him lovingly

Go ziplining at the Jungle Maya Native Park

A man enjoys a zipline adventure through the jungle. His arms spread in excitement

Jungle Maya Native Park is a great place to enjoy a ziplining adventure through the jungle. It’s an amazing thing to do in Tulum with children.

It’s not called a park for nothing, so you can also enjoy some other thrilling adventures here. You can rappel into and swim in a cenote and snorkel in the longest underground river in the world.

Spot Iguanas

An iguana is sun bathing on a large rock in Tulum Mexico

Iguanas can be spot everywhere in Tulum. On the beach, near the jungle, but mostly at the Tulum ruins, the Black Spiny Tailed Iguana can’t be missed.

Legend has it that the he iguanas in Tulum are not your regular iguanas. They are bearers of the Mayan spirit, messengers of something waiting to be communicated in languages and forms we’d understand. A lovely tale to share with your kids.

Spotting iguanas is one of the best cheap things to do in Tulum with children. A lot of people pick them up and take selfies with them. They’re wild animals, so please don’t copy that behavior and take you pictures without touching these beautiful creatures.

Spend an afternoon at SFER IK

SFER IK museum can be found within the walls of the architectural gem Azulik Hotel. A beautiful eco-resort built to have a strong connection to the jungle around it.

This museum is fun for the entire family because it evolves around different materials in fun shapes and natural elements woven into the art-viewing experience. It’s not a traditional museum, but more an experience. With plants cut through pathways and trees forming floors and walls this is a place unlike any other.

Take of your shoes and enjoy the ride!

Relax on the beach

You can spend a day at the beach of your beach resort during your family trip to Tulum, but if you don’t have a room at one of the resorts in Tulum Hotel Zone, then you can still enjoy a beach day together.

Single day pass at a beach club

At most beach resorts and clubs you can buy a day pass. Enjoy playing in the sand and sea and combine it with mocktails or cocktails and great meals. Book a spot and about 50% of the cost of your day pass counts as credit for food and drinks in the restaurant or bar. Not all resorts and clubs welcome children though, so do your research beforehand.

La Zebra Tulum is a great family friendly option, they even have a playground for toddlers. Taboo Tulum Beach club is also a club where children are welcomed and the food is also kid friendly. You can switch up a dip in the ocean with a dip in the pool.

Playa Paradiso Beach Club

For people who don’t want to pay a large sum of money, Playa Paradiso Beach Club is a great budget option. You can go there for free, but you have to pay 5 USD per sun lounger. You can’t bring your own food and drinks, so you do have to pay for that by ordering it there.

Playing in the sand at a beach park on the island of Cozumel - Mexico

Go on a sea turtle tour

A sea turtle is enjoying a meal of seaweed in the sea near the coast of Akumal Mexico

Book a tour from Tulum to Akumal to swim with turtles. An awesome thing to do if you’re staying in Tulum for more than a few days and you have a day to go on a tour.

Most tours that offer a turtle encounter in Akumal are combined with a visit to either a cenote in Tulum or to the Tulum Ruins. So if you don’t have a car then booking a combo like this is a great option!

Just make sure you book an eco friendly tour, where it’s not possible to touch and feed the turtles.

Book a bike tour

One of the best ways to get to know a destination is by exploring it by bike. There are multiple tours you can book in Tulum that will take you to lots of highlights. For people with an accommodation outside of Tulum Downtown or Tulum Hotel Zone, this is a great way to see more of the area.

If you don’t want to go on a tour, but do want to explore Tulum by bike, then check at your hotel if they have bikes available. Most do.

The other option is to rent a bike, there’s a popular one located in Aldea Zama. Aldea Zama is one of the fanciest neighborhoods in Tulum with lots of apartment buildings. We stayed here in an AirBnB, because we wanted more space, a kitchen, a pool as well as a private plunge pool. A great option if you don’t want to stay in a hotel. But I’m getting off topic here ;).

Eat street food

A streetfood court filled with tables where people are enjoying food they bought from the stalls in Tulum Mexico

The food is amazing in Tulum and you can go budget by getting street food. There’s a food truck area called Palma Central in downtown Tulum where you can get great pizza, taco’s, burgers and even Pad Thai.

We highly recommend a visit, since the food is great and it’s fun to sit at one of the tables and get different kind of dishes. Each family member can pick their favorite.

Explore the water in a catamaran

People get on a white catamaran to do a tour of the waters near Tulum Mexico

An awesome thing to do on your Tulum family trip is a day trip on a catamaran to Isla Mujeres. While enjoying a sail on the sea to get to this tropical island the catamaran stops at a few places, so you can snorkel and swim for a bit.

If you’re short on time and/or money you can also book one of the half day tours. You’ll sail for a bit and then stop to snorkel and swim. The rest of the time you can enjoy the breathtaking views.

Day trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Beautiful white sandbanks and green bushes in the waters of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Mexico

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is an oasis of tranquility offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature. It’s only 25 minutes by car from Tulum and well worth a visit. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site

There are miles of untouched beaches to wander around and you’ll feel as if you have the whole place to yourself. We enjoyed one of the best family picnics in our life’s here.

The UNESCO biosphere reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, ranging from colorful birds to majestic marine creatures. You can go on guided tours and learn about all the different species of birds and fish. If you’re really lucky you can spot animals like jaguars, tapirs, monkeys, and manatees. We weren’t but I hope you are!

Water activities are also popular in Sian Ka’an. You can try kayaking through the mangroves, or go scuba diving.

And that’s it for this list of top 13 things to do in Tulum with kids!

FAQ – Tulum with kids

Before I end this post let’s answer some frequently asked questions about family travel to Tulum. If you don’t have time to read the entire article, read this FAQ for a quick fix.

Is Tulum good for families?

Tulum is a great destination for families. It offers lots of activities suitable for children - swimming in clear cenotes, exploring Mayan ruins, or visiting ecological parks.

The warm climate and friendly locals create a welcoming and safe environment. The town is also known for its delicious, kid-friendly cuisine. Whether your family loves adventure or relaxation, Tulum has something for everyone.

Is Tulum kid friendly?

The people are welcoming towards children and restaurants are accommodating towards kids as well. Some beach clubs and restaurants are adult only, so check if your club and restaurant of choice welcomes families with children.

Tulum isn't very stroller friendly, with its high curbs and uneven pathways. A back carrier is the better option.

This list op top things to do in Tulum is aimed at kid friendly activities. On top of that you'll also find playgrounds in Aldea Zama and at some beach clubs.

Is Tulum safe for families and kids?

Yes, Tulum generally is considered safe for families, including those with children. It’s a popular tourist area with a laid-back atmosphere. The area is patrolled and well-maintained, ensuring a safe environment for visitors.

However, as with any travel, it's important to take common-sense precautions. Including supervising children at all times, particularly when swimming in cenotes or the ocean, respecting local wildlife, avoiding isolated areas late at night, and protecting against the sun and staying hydrated in the heat.

Make sure accommodations and travel plans meet your standards for child safety. As for health, it's always recommended for travelers to have insurance coverage and to take necessary precautions about food and water safety. Always check travel advisories for the most current information before your trip.

How far is Tulum from Cancun?

Driving to Cancun will take you about 2 hours. The same goes for the ADO buses that go back and forth.

How far is Tulum from Playa Del Carmen?

Driving to Playa Del Carmen will take about an hour by car, Colectivo and ADO.

What airport do you fly into to go to Tulum?

Internationally, you’ll probably arrive at Cancun Airport. It will take you about 2 hours to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum.

You can also fly to and from Cozumel International Airport from several US and Canadian cities. Since Cozumel is only a 35 minute ferry ride to Playa Del Carmen and another 45 minutes by car to Tulum, this could be a great option for you.

What is Tulum famous for?

Tulum, located on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, is famous for a few reasons.

The beautiful ancient Mayan Ruins of an ancient Mayan port city, perched on an outcrop above the white sand beach and Caribbean sea.

Tulum has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, renowned for their clear blue waters, soft white sand and it's surrounded by jungle.

The last thing Tulum is famous for is the large number of cenotes. These natural underground reservoirs offer unique snorkeling or diving experiences. The Grand Cenote and Dos Ojos Cenote are especially well-known.

Is it safe to swim in Tulum?

Yes, it is generally safe to swim in Tulum. The beaches of Tulum are known for their clear, calm, and warm waters which makes swimming fairly safe for people of all ages. However, as with any beach, it's essential to be aware of changing conditions, like waves, currents, and undertow.

Also, stingrays and sea urchins can be found in these areas, so take care when walking in shallow water or when placing your feet on the ocean floor.

If you're planning to swim in cenotes (natural sinkholes filled with fresh water), it's usually safe but there can be deep areas and cold currents under the surface. It's recommended to always use life jackets and follow safety rules, especially for children.

Regardless of where you swim, be it a beach or cenote, always respect local advisories and recommendations, and never swim alone or without supervision for safety.

About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloDownload my FREE printable bucket lists

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About me Sas Crossing Countries

Hi, I’m Saskia!

I travel the world with my family of 4 and write about our adventures.

Sas Crossing Countries is a family travel blog. It’s created to inspire other parents to travel the world with their kids. Gift your kids the world! It’s the most valuable present you can give them.

With all the experience I have as a traveling parent I’ve got lots of tools and tips for you. So on this site you’ll not only find family travel blog posts, you can also download FREE pocket guides, travel checklists and eBooks from my resources page.

All that I share can be used to plan your own ultimate family road trip!

above a couch you see 4 illustrated poster maps of different countries in the colors brown, blue, green and white. This picture leads to the shop page where you can buy illustrated poster mapsbanner image with the text get access to my free ebook with all the tools and tips you need to plan out and enjoy your ultimate family road trip. The title of the book is also shown and is The Ultimate Beginners Guide: Planning a Family Road Trip. A mock up is shown of a laptop, tablet and phone showing the cover of the ebook and 3 small images giving a sneak peak of 3 pages inside the book.5% discount link Heymondo Travel InsuranceVisit our travel shop!Download my FREE printable packing listsBuy your 3D wooden world map @ Enjoy The Wood with 10% discount code SASCROSSINGCOUNTRIESUPBecome a member of my private family travel Facebook groupLink to shop The Adventure BookRent a car via Discover CarsGet my free downloadable family travel pocket guidesGet an eSim from AiroloDownload my FREE printable bucket lists