Welcome to Tulum, a breathtaking destination nestled along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Known for its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and ancient Mayan ruins, Tulum has become a sought-after hotspot for travelers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience.
December is an ideal time to visit Tulum, as the weather is mild and pleasant, making it the perfect escape from the cold winter temperatures in North America. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Tulum offers something for everyone.
With its rich cultural heritage, vibrant nightlife, and boundless natural beauty, Tulum has emerged as a top destination for eco-conscious travelers who want to explore and immerse themselves in the wonders of nature. From exploring the ancient ruins of the Tulum archaeological site to snorkeling in the world’s largest natural aquarium, there is no shortage of amazing experiences to be had.
In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to plan a memorable trip to Tulum in December. Whether you’re looking for tips on what to pack, the best attractions and activities, or advice on where to stay and eat, we’ve got you covered. So, grab a margarita and let’s dive into the magical world of Tulum!
Weather in Tulum in December
December is a wonderful time to visit Tulum, as the weather is pleasant and warm, providing a welcome escape from the chilly temperatures in many parts of North America. During the day, you can expect average high temperatures of around 82°F (28°C), making it perfect for exploring outdoor attractions and enjoying the beautiful beaches.
The evenings in December can be slightly cooler, with average low temperatures around 68°F (20°C). It’s a good idea to pack a light sweater or jacket for the cooler evenings, especially if you plan on spending time outside after sunset.
One of the reasons why December is such a popular time to visit Tulum is because it falls during the dry season. Rainfall is minimal during this time, with only a few sporadic showers. This means you can expect plenty of sunshine and clear skies, ideal for lounging on the beach, snorkeling, or indulging in outdoor activities.
However, it’s important to note that Tulum experiences a tropical climate, which means that humidity levels can be high. It’s advisable to dress in lightweight, breathable clothing and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
If you’re planning to take a dip in the ocean, you’ll be pleased to know that the water temperature in December averages around 79°F (26°C). The warm, inviting waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports.
Overall, the weather in Tulum in December offers a delightful combination of warmth, sunshine, and comfortable temperatures. It’s a great time to enjoy outdoor activities, explore the stunning natural surroundings, and soak up the sun on the pristine beaches.
What to Pack for a December Trip to Tulum
When packing for a December trip to Tulum, it’s important to consider the warm weather, casual atmosphere, and the possibility of cooler evenings. Here are some essential items to include in your packing list:
- Light and breathable clothing: Pack lightweight and loose-fitting clothes made from natural fabrics like cotton or linen. This will help you stay cool and comfortable in the tropical climate.
- Bathing suits: Tulum’s stunning beaches and warm waters are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Bring a few bathing suits so you can alternate and have a dry one available.
- Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by packing sunscreen with a high SPF. Don’t forget to reapply frequently, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Hat and sunglasses: Bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun.
- Insect repellent: While Tulum is generally mosquito-free during the dry season, it’s always a good idea to pack insect repellent, especially if you plan on exploring nature reserves or cenotes.
- Lightweight sweater or jacket: Although the days are warm, evenings in December can be slightly cooler. Pack a light sweater or jacket to keep you comfortable during outdoor activities or evening strolls.
- Comfortable shoes: Tulum is a walkable destination, and you’ll likely spend a lot of time exploring on foot. Pack comfortable shoes like sandals or lightweight sneakers.
- Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial in the warm weather. Bring a reusable water bottle to fill up and carry with you throughout the day.
- Beach towel and beach bag: Don’t forget to bring a beach towel for lounging on the sand and a beach bag to carry all your essentials.
- Camera or smartphone: Tulum is incredibly photogenic, so be sure to capture the stunning landscapes and memorable moments with a camera or smartphone.
Remember to pack light and only bring what you’ll actually need. Tulum has a laid-back and casual atmosphere, so leave your fancy outfits and unnecessary electronics behind. Embrace the simplicity of beach life and enjoy the natural beauty of this remarkable destination!
Top Attractions and Activities in Tulum in December
Tulum offers a wealth of attractions and activities that cater to diverse interests. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or adventure seeker, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to explore during your December trip to Tulum:
- Tulum Archaeological Site: Situated on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the Tulum Archaeological Site is a must-visit. Explore the well-preserved ruins of this ancient Mayan city and learn about its rich history.
- Xel-Há: Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Xel-Há, a natural aquatic park and ecological reserve. Snorkel in the crystal-clear cenotes, float down the lazy river, and discover vibrant marine life.
- Akumal Beach: Visit Akumal Beach, famous for its resident sea turtles. Snorkel alongside these magnificent creatures and witness their graceful movements in their natural habitat.
- Coba Ruins: Take a day trip to the Coba Ruins and climb the ancient pyramid for panoramic views of the surrounding jungles. This archaeological site is less crowded than Tulum and provides an opportunity to explore lesser-known ruins.
- Gran Cenote: Discover the magical underworld of Tulum by visiting Gran Cenote. Swim in the crystal-clear waters of this cenote, surrounded by stunning rock formations and underwater caves.
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve: Embark on an eco-adventure in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a boat tour through the mangroves, spot wildlife, and marvel at the diverse ecosystems.
- Tulum Beach: Spend a day relaxing on the iconic Tulum Beach, known for its powdery white sands and turquoise waters. Lounge under a palapa, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing dip in the Caribbean Sea.
- Cenote Dos Ojos: Dive into the depths of Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the most famous cenotes in Tulum. Swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and admire the mesmerizing underwater rock formations.
- Zipline Adventure: Get your adrenaline pumping with a zipline adventure through the jungle canopy. Soar above the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding nature.
- Tulum Pueblo: Take some time to explore the vibrant town of Tulum Pueblo. Wander through the colorful streets, browse local shops and boutiques, and savor authentic Mexican cuisine.
These are just a few of the countless attractions and activities available in Tulum. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the rich Mayan history, explore the natural wonders, or simply relax on the beach, Tulum offers a truly unforgettable experience for all visitors.
Festivals and Events in Tulum in December
Tulum is not only known for its natural beauty and historical sites but also for its vibrant and lively festivals and events. In December, this coastal town comes alive with music, art, and cultural celebrations. Here are some of the top festivals and events to look out for during your visit:
- Tulum Art and Wine Festival: Held annually in December, the Tulum Art and Wine Festival combines art, music, and fine wine. Explore the work of local and international artists, enjoy live music performances, and indulge in a variety of wines from around the world.
- Tulum New Year’s Eve Celebration: Bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new year in style at one of the many New Year’s Eve parties in Tulum. Beach clubs, restaurants, and hotels host lively celebrations featuring live music, fireworks, and dancing until the early hours of the morning.
- Tulum Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival: Foodies rejoice at the Tulum Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival. Discover the diverse culinary scene of Tulum with tasting events, cooking demonstrations, and gourmet experiences that showcase the region’s flavors and gastronomic traditions.
- Tulum Yoga Festival: For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, the Tulum Yoga Festival is a must-attend event. Participate in yoga classes and workshops led by renowned instructors, practice meditation on the beach, and embrace the spiritual energy of Tulum.
- Tulum Vegan Fest: Embrace a plant-based lifestyle at the Tulum Vegan Fest. This festival showcases the best of vegan cuisine with food stalls, cooking demonstrations, and talks by experts in the field. Experience the vibrant flavors and health benefits of vegan food.
- Tulum International Film Festival: Film buffs will enjoy the Tulum International Film Festival, featuring screenings of national and international films across various genres. This festival celebrates the art of storytelling and showcases the talent of emerging and established filmmakers.
- Tulum Cultural Festival: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Tulum at the Tulum Cultural Festival. Experience traditional music, dance performances, and art exhibitions that highlight the Mayan culture and the artistic traditions of the region.
These are just a few of the festivals and events that take place in Tulum in December. Keep an eye out for local posters, websites, and social media channels for up-to-date information on specific dates and locations. Attending one of these events is not only a fantastic way to embrace the local culture but also an opportunity to connect with fellow travelers and create lasting memories.
Where to Stay in Tulum in December
Tulum offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From luxurious beachfront resorts to eco-friendly boutique hotels and budget-friendly hostels, there’s something for everyone. Here are some popular options for where to stay in Tulum in December:
- Beachfront Resorts: Tulum is known for its stunning beachfront resorts that offer direct access to the white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. These resorts feature luxurious amenities, spacious rooms, and often have onsite restaurants, bars, and spa facilities. Some popular beachfront resorts in Tulum include Azulik, Papaya Playa Project, and Be Tulum.
- Eco-Friendly Hotels: Tulum is renowned for its commitment to sustainability, and eco-friendly hotels are a popular choice among conscious travelers. These hotels often feature unique design elements, use renewable energy sources, and incorporate environmentally friendly practices. Places like Alaya Tulum, Ahau Tulum, and Habitas Tulum are notable options in this category.
- Boutique Hotels: Tulum is dotted with charming boutique hotels that offer a personalized and intimate experience. These hotels usually have a distinctive style, attentive staff, and a cozy ambiance. Consider staying at El Pez, La Zebra, or Mi Amor Boutique Hotel for a memorable boutique hotel experience.
- Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers or those looking for a more social experience, Tulum has several hostels available. These accommodations offer dormitory-style rooms or private rooms at affordable rates. Hostels like Mama’s Home, Lucky Traveler Hostel, and TuboTulum are popular options among backpackers and solo travelers.
- Airbnb and Vacation Rentals: Another option for accommodation in Tulum is to rent a private villa or apartment through platforms like Airbnb. This provides the opportunity to have a more independent and home-like experience during your stay. Look for beachfront villas, jungle hideaways, or cozy apartments depending on your preferences.
No matter where you choose to stay in Tulum, it’s advisable to book well in advance, especially if you’re planning your trip during December when the destination tends to be popular among travelers. Consider your desired location, amenities, and budget when making your decision, ensuring that it aligns with the type of experience you’re seeking during your stay in Tulum.
Where to Eat in Tulum in December
Tulum has gained a reputation as a culinary hotspot, offering a diverse range of dining options that cater to every palate and dietary preference. From traditional Mexican dishes to international fusion cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving. Here are some top recommendations for where to eat in Tulum in December:
- Hartwood: Known for its farm-to-table concept, Hartwood is a renowned restaurant that focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and wood-fired cooking techniques. The menu changes daily based on availability, ensuring that you’ll always enjoy a unique dining experience.
- Arca: Arca offers a contemporary twist on traditional Mexican cuisine. This restaurant showcases an inventive menu that highlights seasonal and local ingredients. Don’t miss their authentic wood-fired dishes and creative cocktails.
- Posada Margherita: If you’re craving delicious Italian fare, Posada Margherita is the place to go. This charming beachfront restaurant serves homemade pasta, freshly caught seafood, and mouthwatering desserts. Enjoy your meal while taking in the breathtaking ocean views.
- Humo: For those who appreciate the flavors of grilled meat and barbecue, Humo is a must-visit. This Argentinean-inspired restaurant offers a variety of succulent steaks, slow-cooked ribs, and mouthwatering grilled vegetables.
- Taqueria La Eufemia: Experience authentic Mexican street food at Taqueria La Eufemia. This casual beachfront spot serves up delicious tacos, ceviches, and cold beers in a laid-back and vibrant atmosphere.
- Morro: Craving seafood? Head to Morro, a seafood-focused restaurant with a contemporary and artistic vibe. Feast on fresh ceviches, grilled octopus, or their signature whole fish prepared with a variety of flavorful sauces.
- Hummus Há: For a taste of the Middle East in Tulum, Hummus Há is a fantastic choice. This vegetarian-friendly spot offers a variety of Middle Eastern dishes, including homemade hummus, falafel, and flavorful salads.
- Raw Love: Health-conscious travelers will love Raw Love, a vegan and raw food café. This vibrant eatery serves up delicious smoothie bowls, salads, and raw desserts. It’s the perfect spot for a nutritious and refreshing meal.
- Gitano: To enjoy a unique dining experience, visit Gitano. This trendy restaurant and mezcal bar offers a fusion of Mexican and Mayan flavors with a modern twist. Dine under the stars while sipping on mezcal cocktails.
- El Camello Jr: If you’re in the mood for local seafood, El Camello Jr is a beloved spot among locals. This unassuming restaurant offers fresh and affordable seafood dishes, including ceviches, fish tacos, and shrimp cocktails.
Tulum’s culinary scene is continuously evolving, with new restaurants and eateries opening up regularly. From upscale dining establishments to casual beachfront spots, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy your taste buds during your visit to Tulum in December.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Tulum in December
Tulum is generally a safe destination for travelers, but it’s always important to take precautions to ensure a secure and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while traveling to Tulum in December:
- Stay hydrated: Tulum has a tropical climate, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated, especially during the warmer months. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
- Sun protection: The sun in Tulum can be strong, so it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF, wear a hat, sunglasses, and seek shade during the peak hours of the day.
- Keep valuables secure: While Tulum is generally safe, it’s always wise to keep your valuables secure. Use hotel safes to store your passport, cash, and other valuables. Avoid carrying large sums of money and be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas.
- Use reputable transportation: When traveling within Tulum or exploring nearby attractions, it’s best to use reputable transportation options. Opt for licensed taxis or arrange transportation through your hotel to ensure a safe and reliable journey.
- Be cautious with nightlife: Tulum has a vibrant nightlife scene, particularly during the festive season. Enjoy the nightlife responsibly and be cautious with your alcohol consumption. Watch your drinks and avoid accepting drinks from strangers.
- Respect the environment: Tulum is known for its stunning natural beauty, and it’s essential to respect the environment. Follow designated paths, avoid littering, and refrain from touching or damaging coral reefs and other natural formations.
- Follow safety guidelines for water activities: If you plan on engaging in water activities such as snorkeling or swimming in cenotes, follow local safety guidelines and listen to the instructions of experienced guides. Always wear a life jacket if provided.
- Stay informed about local conditions: Stay informed about any local advisories, weather conditions, or potential natural hazards during your visit to Tulum. Follow the guidance of local authorities and take necessary precautions.
- Trust your instincts: Trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings at all times. If something feels unsafe or uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation and seek assistance if needed.
- Travel insurance: Lastly, consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost belongings. This will provide you with peace of mind in case of any unforeseen incidents.
By following these safety tips, you can ensure a worry-free and enjoyable experience during your trip to Tulum in December. Always remember that personal vigilance and common sense are essential wherever you travel.
Transportation Options in Tulum in December
Getting around Tulum in December is relatively easy, thanks to the variety of transportation options available. Whether you’re exploring the town, visiting nearby attractions, or venturing beyond, here are the main transportation options to consider:
- Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular choice for travelers who want the freedom to explore Tulum and its surrounding areas at their own pace. Several car rental companies operate in Tulum, offering a range of vehicle options. Just be sure to have the necessary documents, including a valid driver’s license and insurance.
- Taxis: Taxis in Tulum are plentiful and serve as a convenient and reliable mode of transportation. You can find taxis at designated stands or hail one on the street. It’s advisable to agree on the fare before getting in and, if possible, have small bills for payment.
- Bicycles: Tulum is a bike-friendly town, and renting a bicycle is a popular way to get around. Many hotels and rental shops offer bicycles for daily or hourly rates. Exploring Tulum by bike allows you to soak in the scenery and makes it easy to navigate the town and its surroundings.
- Colectivos: Colectivos are shared vans that operate as a cost-effective means of transportation between Tulum and nearby destinations such as Playa del Carmen or Cancun. These vans follow specific routes and can be flagged down along the main road. Colectivos are a popular option for day trips or exploring the Riviera Maya.
- Public Buses: A budget-friendly option for transportation is the public bus system. ADO buses operate from the Tulum bus station and provide routes to various destinations, including larger cities like Cancun and Merida. This option is ideal for longer distances and intercity travel.
- Private Transfers: If you prefer a hassle-free and comfortable transportation option, private transfers are available. These can be arranged through tour operators or directly with transportation companies. Private transfers offer convenience and flexibility, especially for airport transfers or personalized day trips.
- Walking: Tulum Pueblo and the beach area are relatively compact, making walking a viable option for getting around. Many of the main attractions, restaurants, and shops are within walking distance of each other. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes and stay hydrated, especially in the warmer months.
When planning your transportation in Tulum, consider the distance, convenience, and your preferences. It’s always advisable to research and plan ahead, especially during the busy December season when demand for certain transportation options may be higher. With the variety of transportation options available, you can easily navigate Tulum and its beautiful surroundings.
Tulum in December is a magical time to visit this stunning destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. With its pleasant weather, diverse attractions, and vibrant cultural scene, Tulum offers a truly unforgettable experience for travelers. Whether you’re exploring the ancient Mayan ruins, snorkeling in crystal-clear cenotes, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, there is something for everyone in Tulum.
From a weather standpoint, December provides comfortable temperatures and minimal rainfall, making it the perfect escape from the cold North American winters. Pack light, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and all your beach essentials to make the most of the sunny days and warm ocean waters.
Tulum’s attractions and activities cater to various interests, ensuring that every traveler finds something they love. Immerse yourself in history at the Tulum Archaeological Site or indulge in the refreshing waters of the cenotes. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant food scene, where traditional Mexican dishes, international fusion cuisine, and fresh seafood await your palate.
Throughout December, Tulum buzzes with festivals and events that showcase the art, music, food, and culture of the region. Dance the night away at one of the New Year’s Eve parties or uncover the creativity at the Tulum Art and Wine Festival. These events provide a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local scene and create lasting memories.
Ensuring your safety and well-being is essential during your trip. Take precautions such as staying hydrated, protecting your skin from the sun, and securing your valuables. Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts when exploring the town and its surroundings.
Transportation options in Tulum are plentiful, providing convenience and flexibility for getting around. Choose from car rentals, taxis, bicycles, colectivos, public buses, or private transfers based on your preferences and specific needs.
In conclusion, a December trip to Tulum promises an extraordinary experience combining natural beauty, rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. From the breathtaking beaches to the tantalizing flavors, Tulum is a destination that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let Tulum enchant you with its unparalleled charm.