With winter still in full swing and freezing temperatures plaguing most of the United States, there is truly nowhere Americans would rather be right now than the sunny Mexican Caribbean.
Famous for its unspoiled beaches, great weather and sweeping ocean vistas, the whole region is seeing a boom in popularity this season, though one resort spot in particular seems to have won the hearts of U.S. vacationers (we're not talking about Cancun).
Located roughly two hours south of the Caribbean metropolis, this smaller municipality is currently a leader in bookings, with Sectur, Mexico's tourism authority, reporting a local occupancy rate of 88%, even higher than Cancun's own 81.4%.
Tulum is smashing records left, right and center, and we have decided to look into some of the reasons why:
What's So Special About Tulum That Keeps Tourists Coming Back For More?
First of all, Tulum has been named one of the best destinations in the Mexican Caribbean in Tripadvisor‘s latest Travelers' Choice Awards, up there with Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, acknowledged for an award-winning service and diverse tourist offer.
Americans expect nothing less than being treated like royalty when going on an all-inclusive vacation south of the border, and Tulum's latest accolade only proves resorts distributed along its fast-growing development strip comply with the highest standards in hospitality.
It hosts some of the best-rated properties in the Caribbean provinces, including Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, ranked 17th best in the whole of Mexico, and the adults-only Secrets Tulum, equipped with swim-out suites and state-of-the-art spa facilities for guests' utmost relaxation.
Tulum also fits the average American traveler's budget: while it's easy to splurge, considering the high concentration of luxurious stays that dot the coast, with varying levels of comfort and noteworthy amenities, the town itself still makes for a relatively affordable tropical getaway.
That is, by American standards.
The World Capital Of All-Inclusive Getaways
According to Budget Your Trip, the average hotel cost for a one-week stay in Tulum comes in at $1,057, and consumer prices are not as exorbitantly high away from the overdeveloped Zona Hotelera and its high-end eateries, where it's typically locals who are frequenting.
Don't be mistaken: Tulum is definitely at the pricier end of the Mexican Caribbean, and somewhere most people go for getting pampered and taking in the tropical scenery, without all the stress that goes into planning a week-long stay abroad.
Everything is taken care of for them instead, from daily activities to meals, but they shell out the dough for the privilege.
For instance, booking a last-minute overnight stay at the Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive this winter can set you back by a cripplingly-expensive $953 per night now that room availability is lower.
Cheaper bungalow-style rooms can be found at the Tuup Oceanfront, in the heart of the Hotel Zone, for a more acceptable $468.
Other than the beautiful resort-lined beachfront, Tulum is known for being one of Mexico's cultural hotspots:
A Cultural Hotspot On The Rise
Its archaeological zone stands among the best preserved of the Mayan World, and the soon-to-be-inaugurated Frida Kahlo Museum will shine a light on the controversial Mexican painter and feminist icon's extensive legacy.
The Tulum ruins are an icon of the Mexican Caribbean and easily the region's most photographed site, with ancient temples that sit atop a rugged cliff face towering above a white-sand beach and overlooking the bright-blue Caribbean.
Soon enough, two more sections of the archaeological park will open to the public for the first time ever, making it an even more exciting time to visit if you're a History buff keen on Mayan culture and unearthing the remnants of the lost civilization.
It's Much Easier To Travel To Tulum In 2024
Two further developments have contributed to renewed interest in Tulum in 2024: the inauguration of an international airport, the first ever to serve the town, and the accompanying Maya Train, which is already revolutionizing travel in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The nonstop flights to Tulum will make it easier for Americans to reach the secondary hub without first touching down in Cancun, a two-hour drive north, while the Maya Train has greatly improved landside connectivity for destinations it calls at.
The Cancun-Chetumal line, which will include stops in Tulum Airport and the center of town, will launch in July, making it easier and safer for tourists landing in Cancun, still the leading hub in the Mexican Caribbean, to get to Tulum.
Tulum Is Very Safe For American Visitors
Speaking of safety, the reinforced security in Downtown Tulum makes it an incredibly low-risk destination by Latin American standards: it is extremely tourist-friendly, and all of the major tourist hotspots, including the ruins and the resort strip, are protected by round-the-clock patrols.
In general, U.S. visitors feel very safe here, but that's not to say they should let their guard down: according to the State Department, Tulum is a Level 2 destination, meaning crime is not rampant, but visitors should still maintain a high level of situation awareness.
Danger comes in the form of petty criminals, pickpockets, and taxi scams, but simply by following simple safety guidelines, a majority of guests are left unaffected.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.