10 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Tulum, Mexico - Updated 2024

| 4 min read

Tulum was once a walled city during the pre-Columbian era and served as a major port. The city is situated on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula and the popular ruins overlooking the cliffs are certainly a sight to behold. The area is known for having some of the best preserved ancient ruins in the whole country. Tulum is popular with tourists who want to check out beautiful beaches and old-world architecture. But despite the tourist-centric areas of Tulum city and the ruins, there’s much more to experience here that’s a little off the beaten path. Here are some of the non-touristy things to do in Tulum Mexico.

1. Take part in a temazcal ceremony (from USD 145.0)

Take part in a tradition as old as the Mayans themselves. This is certainly off the beaten path for most tourists and is a great experience. The idea is that guests enter an enclosed and sacred space with a center that is’ filled with volcanic rock. A shaman guides you through the purification ceremony while you sweat away the toxins in your body.

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Private or Shared Mayan Temazcal Ritual from Tulum

Duration: 5 hours

16 reviews

2. Visit Aktun Chen Cave (from USD 129.0)

Aktun Chen Cave is definitely one of the most interesting caves in Mexico. Located in an eco-park the area surrounding the cave also has lots to see and do. If you’re more the adventurous type, try zip lining through the forest canopy or if you’re more the hiking type of tourist walk through the lush forest and into the caves. A tour guide will bring you through the caves and provide a nice history of the local Mayan culture.

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Tulum Ruins and Underground Cenote Tour from Cancun

Duration: 9 to 10 hours

54 reviews

3. Explore Labnaha’s Eco Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Known as the “Magic of the Mayan World” guests can explore this amazing natural wonder in a bunch of different ways. Tour groups operate in small numbers to keep the problems of mass tourism away and for guests to experience the park in a unique way. Guests can explore caves where they can dive in the cave’s water or snorkel through it. All tours are guided allowing guests to stay safe and to hear about the knowledge of these Mayan caves.

Labnaha’s Eco Park

Address: Carr. Tulum - Cancún km 240, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Website: Labnaha’s Eco Park](http://www.labnaha.com/)

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (closed on Sunday)

Price: 50 USD

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4. Enjoy deep massage at Yaan Wellness Energy Spa

Source: Pixabay

Most hotels in the area will probably offer some kind of massage and spa service but the Yaan Wellness Spa is worth the trip. Yaan prides itself on using the four elements as a means of refreshing the body and mind so you can walk away relaxed and refreshed. Enjoy herbal baths, deep tissue massages, and even a temazcal ceremony.

Enjoy a deep massage at Yaan Wellness Center

Address: Carretera Boca Paila KM 10, QROO 15, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Website: Yann Wellness Center

Opening hours: 9:30am - 9pm

Price: 285 USD

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5. Take a class on SUP Yoga

SUP yoga at CLSP July 2015 (20242533376)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Virginia State Parks used under CC BY 2.0

Take a yoga class unlike any other you’ve been to before. The idea at SUP Yoga is that you hop on a paddleboard, head out into the private lagoon with the class and then do yoga, on your board in the middle of the water. The wading of the water helps with balance and the views are unlike any other Yoga studio you’ve been to. After the class guests can paddle at their leisure and even receive a free vegan snack and transport back to the meeting point.

SUP Yoga Tulum

Address: Chetumal, Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

Website: SUP Yoga Tulum

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (closed on Sunday)

Price: 100 USD

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6. Enjoy salsa party at La Zebra

palm trees / beach
Source: Photo by Flickr user Paul Keller used under CC BY 2.0

La Zebra is a boutique hotel located on the beach in Tulum and whether or not you’re a guest here, their salsa nights are legendary around the area. Head over to La Zebra for salsa Sunday’s and party on the beach. Live bands, lots of liquor and good vibes all night. It doesn’t matter if you know how to salsa dance, you can just enjoy the music and party at your own pace.

Salsa at La Zebra

Address: Carretera Tulum-Boca Paila Km 8.2, Zona Costera, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Website: Salsa at La Zebra

Price: Free

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7. Learn Spanish at Meztli

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Just because you’re on vacation it doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two! At Meztli, you’ll walk away from a couple of lessons feeling much more confident in your Spanish speaking abilities. Meztli offers much more than just a classroom, you’ll learn Spanish outside by the shade, listening to the sounds of the water and the day to day happenings going on in Tulum. But Meztli also offers Mexican cooking classes, yoga classes and salsa dance lessons all free of charge.

Learn Spanish at Meztli

Address:Calle Júpiter Sur manzana 17, Centro, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

Website: Meztli

Opening hours: 9am - 10:30am

Price: 193 USD (for a week)

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8. Ride an ATV around jungle (from USD 95.0)

Get down and dirty in the jungle in this half-day tour outside of Tulum. You’ll ride on some off-road paths through the trees and bushes stopping along the way to spend some time on a beach or two and cool off in a freshwater lagoon. All equipment is provided along with some light refreshments for your journey.

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Atv Ziplines Cenote Mayan energy

Duration: 5 hours

1 review

9. Participate in a pre-Hispanic cooking class (from USD 274.0)

Most people are probably familiar with modern Mexican cuisine but very few people are probably familiar with pre-Hispanic cooking. Learn the fundamentals of Mayan cooking and participate in a class cooking up some dishes from the ancient menu. You’ll be guided through the cooking lesson and learn about the dish you’re preparing so it’s also a bit of a history lesson.

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Pre-Hispanic Cooking Class and Lunch from Tulum

Duration: 4 hours

10. Go snorkeling at Yal-Ku Lagoon (from USD 141.0)

go snorkeling at yal-ku lagoon
Source: www.viator.com

Sure you can lounge on the beach and work on your tan but why not head out into the water and take in some sights people rarely get to see. The crystal aqua blue waters of Yal-Ku Lagoon are filled with amazing wildlife from tropical fish to sea turtles so secret paths and areas. What makes Yal-Ku Lagoon so special is that it is protected from the rougher areas of the sea so the water is always gentle and calm.

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Tulum, Snorkel & Cenote

Non-touristy in Tulum

Tulum is full of tourists relaxing on the beach, exploring the ruins or hanging out at their hotels. But you miss so much nature and culture is that’s all you’re doing. Head out to these off-the-beaten-path activities and take in the beauty and ancient culture of Tulum.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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