Welcome to the heart of sustainable travel Tulum, a paradise where the lush Mayan jungle meets the serene Caribbean Sea. This enchanting destination isn’t just known for its breathtaking beauty; it’s a pioneer in eco-conscious tourism, offering a journey that deeply respects and preserves its natural and cultural treasures.
Our guide has you covered with the best sustainable accommodations, activities, and eco-friendly practices.
We also share tips on activities to sidestep, opting for environmentally friendly transport, and ways to positively impact the local community during your stay.
Embracing Eco-Friendly Practices In Tulum
In Tulum, the journey towards modern infrastructure unfolds alongside a boom in wellness activities, eco-conscious dining, and vibrant nightlife.
Tulum’s charm lies in its commitment to preserving its pristine environment. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, diving into crystal-clear cenotes, or lounging on its powdery beaches, there are countless ways to make your trip to Tulum environmentally friendly.
Why Tulum Embraces Eco-Friendly Tourism
Tulum embraces eco-friendly tourism due to its unique ecosystem and cultural heritage. As a destination surrounded by natural wonders, including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, cenotes, and lush jungle, Tulum recognizes the importance of sustainable travel practices to preserve its environment.
This commitment ensures that both visitors and future generations can continue to enjoy and learn from Tulum’s natural beauty and ancient Mayan sites.
Eco-friendly tourism also supports local communities, promoting economic development that harmonizes with environmental conservation.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Hotels on the Beach
Choose from a range of green hotels and eco-resorts that prioritize sustainability in Tulum through renewable energy, water conservation, and minimal impact on the surrounding nature.
Habitas Tulum stands as a beacon of eco-luxury, harmonizing high-end amenities with strict environmental ethics.
This entirely plastic-free resort is constructed from local, natural materials, emphasizing its minimal impact on its surroundings. It offers natural and organic bath products, and reusable containers, and engages in comprehensive recycling and composting practices.
By partnering with environmental organizations, Habitas Tulum fosters a deep connection between guests, the local community, and nature, through activities like yoga and starlit dining with locally sourced ingredients, making it a model for sustainable tourism in Tulum.
CASA DE LAS OLAS
Casa De Las Olas in Tulum stands out as a pioneering example of sustainability in hospitality. This boutique hotel takes pride in its eco-friendly practices, aiming to leave a minimal environmental footprint while offering a serene and intimate guest experience.
Nestled at the edge of a pristine beach, it provides a tranquil retreat where guests can reconnect with nature. The hotel’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its use of renewable energy sources, water conservation efforts, and support for local communities, making it a preferred choice for sustainable travel in Tulum.
Azulik is an adults-only sanctuary that redefines the luxury eco-resort experience. Its unique, nest-like structures and absence of electricity encourage guests to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature.
The rooms are lit exclusively with candlelight to minimize light pollution, which adversely affects wildlife such as sea turtles. These creatures depend on moonlight for orientation during their breeding season, making such environmental considerations crucial.
Azulik’s emphasis on sustainable living extends to its use of natural materials in construction, minimizing its environmental footprint while offering breathtaking views of the sea and jungle. The resort’s dedication to art and spirituality further enhances the sense of tranquility and connection among its visitors.
Nomade Tulum is a haven for those seeking a holistic vacation experience. This eco-friendly resort focuses on wellness and environmental mindfulness, integrating sustainable travel Tulum practices such as eliminating electricity and AC into every aspect of its operation.
Guests are invited to participate in wellness workshops, healing ceremonies, and communal dining experiences that highlight organic, local cuisine.
Nomade’s approach to hospitality encourages a deep connection with oneself, the community, and the natural world, making it an ideal retreat for eco-conscious travelers.
La Zebra offers chic, sustainable beachfront accommodations that cater to environmentally aware guests without compromising on luxury. This boutique hotel’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its support for local artisans, its use of eco-friendly materials, and its dedication to preserving the natural beauty of Tulum. Guests can enjoy modern amenities and exceptional service while knowing their stay supports responsible travel practices.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Hotels in Tulum Centro
PRANA BOUTIQUE HOTEL
PRANA Boutique Hotel in Tulum exemplifies sustainable travel practices in its operations. To conserve water, the hotel launders towels and sheets every third day and repurposes glass bottles in construction, allowing natural light into spaces creatively.
Guests enjoy the use of refillable glass water bottles in their rooms, reducing plastic waste. Toiletries are provided in reusable bottles, and the hotel’s wastewater is treated and used to irrigate its lush garden, showcasing PRANA’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship in Tulum’s hotel industry.
Spotlight on Eco-Friendly Eateries in Tulum
Tulum’s culinary scene is brimming with farm-to-table restaurants and eateries that source locally produced, organic ingredients, reducing the carbon footprint and supporting the local economy.
Hartwood, renowned for its pioneering approach to sustainability, sets an exemplary standard in Tulum’s culinary scene. By harnessing solar power and emphasizing locally sourced ingredients, Hartwood offers a menu that is not just a feast for the senses but also a testament to ethical dining practices.
This commitment to sustainability and the local community ensures every dish tells a story of Tulum’s rich agricultural heritage and environmental dedication.
- Google Maps Location: 📍 Hartwood
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5:30 pm – 10 pm
- Website: HARTWOOD
- ➡️ Reservation Availability: Book Here
Arca Tulum brings to the table a menu deeply inspired by the Yucatán Peninsula’s diverse ecosystem, showcasing the area’s culinary richness through dishes crafted from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond its menu, embracing eco-friendly practices that minimize its environmental footprint while enhancing the dining experience. Arca stands as a culinary beacon in Tulum, inviting diners to explore authentic flavors in an ambiance that mirrors the natural beauty and ecological ethos of the region.
- Google Maps Location: 📍 ARCA
- Hours: 5 pm – 10:30 pm
- Website: ARCA
- ➡️ Reservation Availability: Book Here
BOTANICA GARDEN CAFÉ
A lush oasis tucked away from the hustle of Tulum Centro, BOTANICA Garden Café is a tranquil haven offering dishes bursting with freshness and flavor.
Daily changing menus feature locally sourced, organic ingredients, promising a novel dining experience with each visit.
Highlights include their innovative avocado toast with beetroot hummus, vibrant açaí bowls, and the nourishing ‘Farmer’s Breakfast.’
Renowned for its innovative approach, Raw Love serves up a 100% plant-based menu free from refined sugars, dairy, and animal products. Its breakfast offerings are packed with vivid, fresh superfoods, delighting both the eyes and taste buds.
- Google Maps Locations: 📍 Raw Love Beach |📍Raw Love Town
- Hours: 9 am – 6 pm
- ➡️ Website: RAW LOVE | MENU
OTTI CACAO & SMOOTHIES
Famous for its diverse cacao offerings, OTTI provides both hot and cold beverages, including smoothies, juices, and bowls.
The Cacao Smoothie, blending raw cacao with almond milk and honey, is a fan favorite for its delicious taste and health benefits.
- Google Maps Location: 📍 OTTI Cacao
- Hours: Mon – Fri 8 am – 4 pm | Sat closed | Sun 9 am – 2 pm
- ➡️ Website: INSTAGRAM
LIEFS VEGAN VAN & FARM
Lief’s captivates with its vintage van set in a peaceful outdoor ambiance, offering a rustic and serene dining experience in Tulum. Its menu, focusing on conscious comfort cuisine, features a variety of bowls, sandwiches, and smoothies that are as flavorful as they are nutritious.
Sustainable Tours and Activities in Tulum
Opt for tours that respect wildlife and natural habitats. Whether it’s snorkeling in cenotes, bird watching, or guided tours of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, ensure your sustainable travel Tulum adventures contribute positively to conservation efforts.
CENOTE SNORKELING TOURS:
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Tulum’s cenotes, which serve as windows to the vast underground river systems unique to the region. These natural limestone pools offer an unparalleled snorkeling experience, revealing a hidden world of aquatic life and stunning rock formations beneath the surface.
➡️ Check out our favorite cenotes near Tulum!
- Best Snorkeling Cenotes
- Best Cenotes Near Tulum
- Casa Tortuga Cenotes – Contains 4 stunning cenotes
- VESICA Cenote Sanctuary – my favorite gem
- Cenote Aldea Zama – The only free cenote in Tulum
- Cenote Car Wash – used to be a carwash
- Laguna Kaan Luum – A huge open-air cenote. Looks like a lagoon.
➡️ Check out this preparation guide for more information to help you on your cenote adventure.
SIAN KA’AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE TOURS:
Embark on guided tours through Sian Ka’an, a UNESCO World Heritage site that spans over a million acres. This vast protected area is a mosaic of tropical forests, marshes, and a barrier reef, all teeming with diverse wildlife and flora.
It’s a perfect adventure for nature lovers keen on exploring untouched ecosystems.
MAYAN RUINS ARCHAEOLOGICAL TOURS:
Explore the remnants of ancient Mayan civilization at iconic sites such as Tulum Ruins, Coba, and Chichen Itza. These tours not only offer a glimpse into the architectural genius of the Mayans but also provide insights into their rich history and culture, set against the backdrop of the Yucatán Peninsula’s stunning landscapes.
SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAMS:
Join efforts to protect and conserve endangered sea turtles in their natural habitat.
Participating in these conservation programs, especially during the nesting and hatching season, allows visitors to contribute to the preservation of these majestic creatures while learning about their life cycle and the threats they face.
BIRD WATCHING EXCURSIONS:
Tulum’s diverse ecosystems make it an ideal spot for bird watching, where enthusiasts can observe a wide array of native and migratory birds.
From the dense jungle to coastal areas, these excursions offer a chance to witness the rich avian biodiversity of the region in its natural setting.
Health and Wellness Activities in Tulum
Nomade Hotel’s wellness activities are diverse, starting the week with a communal Temazcal ceremony every Monday, symbolizing rebirth and purification. Tuesdays feature the Gratitude Tent, offering talks on topics like energetic lovemaking, while Wednesdays and Saturdays are reserved for Transformational Breathing classes, complemented by Biogmagnetic & Sound Healing, focusing on physical and emotional well-being through alternative healing practices.
Holistika Hotel emphasizes daily yoga practices, catering to guests seeking to maintain their wellness routine in a serene environment. The hotel’s focus on yoga aligns with its overall ethos of holistic health and well-being.
- Google Maps Location: 📍 Holistika Hotel
- ➡️ Booking: Activities | Wellness Booking– +52 9842543355 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Explore More: Holistika’s famed Art Walk is an immersive experience, blending nature and creativity. Wander through their tropical gardens, and you might stumble upon intriguing art installations.
AZULIK MAYA SPA YOGA DOME:
The Yoga Dome at Azulik offers a visually stunning and energetically uplifting space for practicing yoga. The dome structure is often designed to enhance the acoustic experience, making it ideal for yoga and meditative practices that benefit from a serene, immersive environment.
Ahau Tulum introduces unique yoga activities like Aerial Silk Yoga, Healing Flow Yoga, Alignment Flow Yoga, Mind Body Vinyasa, Acroyoga, and Therapeutic Yoga. These practices combine art with traditional yoga poses, offering a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Activities To Avoid:
DOLPHIN DISCOVERY TULUM-AKUMAL:
This attraction features dolphins performing tricks and allows swimming interactions with them in pool settings. It’s advised to consider the welfare of animals, prioritizing support for sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers that focus on animal health and safety over tourist entertainment.
DOLPHINARIAUS TULUM (part of the Bahia Principe Hotel Tulum):
Located within the hotel, this facility offers dolphin entertainment for visitors. Due to concerns over animal welfare, it’s recommended to explore accommodations and attractions that do not exploit animals for entertainment purposes.
Getting Around in Tulum
Embrace Tulum’s bike-friendly culture by cycling to your destinations. Not only is it a great way to reduce emissions, but it also offers a more intimate connection with Tulum’s stunning landscapes and vibrant street life.
Most hotels have free bikes that you can take along the main street that runs along the beach strip.
Here are a few recommended bike rental shops in Tulum:
- 📍 Tulum: Call +52 984 240 5172, located on Ave. Coba.
- 📍 IBike Tulum: Contact +52 984 802 5518, also on Ave. Coba.
- 📍 La Veleta Rental Bike: Reach them at +52 722 155 5854, situated in La Veleta.
Walking is not only a practical mode of transportation but also the most sustainable travel in Tulum. Whether you’re strolling along the beach or navigating the town’s roads, walking minimizes your carbon footprint and allows you to enjoy Tulum’s natural and architectural beauty up close.
SCOOTERS or ATVs:
Renting a scooter or ATV can be a fun and flexible way to explore Tulum, especially for reaching sites a bit further afield. While more environmentally impactful than walking or biking, choosing electric models where available can help reduce emissions.
Scooter and ATV Rentals: Available for $30- $40 USD at numerous rental shops in Tulum’s main road.
- 📍 Rent A Scooter Tulum: Website | Booking
- 📍 Scooter ATV Bikes rental tulum KIN Rental: Website | Booking
- 📍 Scootere Rental Tulum: Website | Booking
Taxis are a convenient option for quick trips within Tulum, offering the chance to support local drivers. Establishing a rapport with a local taxi driver for longer journeys can offer a more personalized and cost-effective experience.
Opting for shared rides when possible further reduces the environmental impact.
Engaging with Tulum’s Sustainability Initiatives
SUPPORT LOCAL COMMUNITIES:
Engage with and purchase from local artisans and businesses to help sustain the community that makes Tulum so unique.
LEAVE NO TRACE:
Always clean up after yourself, especially at the beach or cenote visits, to preserve these natural wonders for future generations.
CARRY REUSABLE BAGS:
Tulum’s shopping scene is fantastic. Remember to bring a reusable bag for purchases at local markets.
USE NATURAL BUG REPELLENT:
Mosquitoes are prevalent in the evenings, especially near green areas. Apply eco-friendly repellent before dining outdoors.
USE BIODEGRADABLE SUNSCREEN:
Swimming is a must in Tulum, but traditional sunscreens harm coral reefs and cenote waters. Choose reef-safe sunscreens.
CARRY A WATER BOTTLE THAT FILTERS WATER OR A LIFE STRAW:
To avoid plastic waste, since Tulum lacks clean tap water, use a filtering water bottle. Eco-friendly accommodations may offer alternatives like bulk water in glass bottles—check before your visit.
BRING A MICROFIBRE TOWEL:
Reduce laundry water use by bringing your microfiber towel for the beach or pool.
FAQs on Sustainable Travel in Tulum
Is Tulum Eco-friendly?
YES – Tulum’s dedication to eco-tourism and community-based initiatives sets it apart. Not only is there resounding natural beauty around you, but many hotels make a serious effort to preserve the land and sea so travelers can enjoy it for generations to come
How Can I Contribute To Tulum’s Sustainability?
Simple actions like using reef-safe sunscreen and eco-friendly mosquito repellent, staying on designated paths, and choosing eco-certified tours can make a big difference.
Why Is Everyone Going To Tulum?
Tulum has become a coveted destination for travelers seeking a blend of natural beauty, ancient Mayan culture, and a vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere. Its pristine beaches, cenotes, and sustainable travel Tulum accommodations offer an immersive experience that contrasts with more commercialized locales.
Tulum’s emphasis on sustainability and preserving its unique environment appeals to those looking for a more conscious travel choice.
Is Tulum Better Than Cancun?
IT DEPENDS – Comparing Tulum and Cancun depends on the type of vacation you seek. While Cancun is renowned for its all-inclusive resorts, being very crowded, and containing lively nightlife, Tulum offers a more serene and authentic experience, emphasizing eco-tourism, wellness, and cultural exploration. Tulum attracts those looking for relaxation, natural wonders, and a deeper connection with the environment.
What Is A Cenote?
A cenote is a natural pit or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
Commonly found in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were used by the ancient Maya for water sources and ritualistic purposes. They are known for their stunningly clear, fresh water, making them popular for swimming, diving, and snorkeling.
Cenotes vary in type, including open, semi-open, and cave cenotes, each offering unique landscapes and ecosystems.
- Open-air cenotes: Natural swimming pools with open skies above.
- Semi-open cenotes: Partially covered with openings that allow light to enter.
- Cave cenotes: Fully enclosed, accessible through openings at the land’s surface.
Tulum invites you to immerse yourself in its natural beauty and ancient culture, all while championing sustainable travel Tulum practices. By choosing eco-friendly options and being mindful of your environmental impact, you’re not just visiting Tulum; you’re helping preserve its magic.
Drop a comment below if you have any questions or want to share your experiences with us! Stay tuned for more Tulum adventures with Aqua Apple.
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