By day Tulum’s beautiful white-sand beaches are an ideal place to relax, take a yoga class, enjoy a fruit smoothie, and people-watch. When the sun goes down, you’ll find a vibrant party scene with a host of chic bars and restaurants. Although not as hard-partying as further up the coast in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Tulum’s nightlife scene still offers plenty of options for great drinks, music, and fun, with a more casual, laid-back atmosphere.
There are two main areas to check out. Tulum town, usually referred to as “Tulum Pueblo,” sits right on the highway coming from Cancun and Playa del Carmen and heading south to the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve. This is the town center, where you’ll find cheap eats, budget-friendly accommodations, and affordable bars and clubs. Right off the mains strip, Calle Centauro is a cool enclave of restaurants and bars.
The beach zone, which is some 10 minutes drive from the pueblo, has more chic, upscale spots. Boutique hotels are on the beachside, some have a beach club that visitors can access during the day. Most of the bars in this zone are on the jungle side of the road, with outdoor seating. The bars and restaurants here are mostly “rustic chic” establishments where you can sip on tropical cocktails, munch on some tapas (or something more filling), and enjoy the swaying rhythms of salsa or the thrumming beats of EDM.
The bar scene in Tulum is eclectic and fun. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect sunset view, a relaxed jungle ambiance, or are looking to dance the night away, Tulum provides a nightlife scene that can take you from a laid-back bar with mariachi music to a sleek cocktail lounge, to a dance party on the beach under a full moon.
Begin the evening at one of these chill rooftops where you can enjoy dinner along with a drink or two (some spots have great happy hour specials) as you watch the sun go down. Then follow the party trail to one of Tulum’s lively bars.
- Naná Rooftop Bar in Tulum pueblo is a great spot for specialty drinks, music, and sweeping panoramic views..With a varied and daring drinks menu, take your choice of mezcal from different regions of Mexico, or select from a variety of cocktails prepared with fresh juice, seasonal fruits, and herbs. The atmosphere is sophisticated, yet casual and relaxed. The DJ enhances the scene with underground electronic and house music.
- Mateo’s Mexican Grill is a restaurant/bar with multiple levels. Order burgers, burritos, or fish tacos and watch the sun set over the jungle from the rooftop deck. The lower terrace is filled with hammocks. Enjoy a fun, casual sunset party often with a DJ, sometimes with live music.
- Puro Corazón is a restaurant near the beach (with some vegan options like coconut ceviche) that has its very own sunset observation deck (also known as Ciel Rose Sunset Bar). This is a prime location to watch the nightly spectacle of colors unfolding over the Mayan jungle. Enjoy the pleasant breeze of the Caribbean with a delicious cocktail in your hand.
There are a number of buzzing bars in Tulum pueblo where you can have a good time without breaking the bank.
- Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar is located in the heart of Tulum Pueblo’s bar scene. One of its top attractions is seeing how fresh sugar cane is pressed in a converted VW beetle to add to their mojitos. Have a classic mojito, or sample one with a local fruit like prickly pear or a fun combination like cucumber basil. There’s live music most nights.
- Pasito Tun Tun has delicious, creative cocktails and a lovely outdoor back garden seating area. The bar up front is nearly always busy, but find a spot in the garden patio area for a change of pace. Live bands and DJ sets begin after 10 p.m.
- Santino Bar Tulum is where the locals go to have a few drinks, unwind and dance to reggaeton music.
These bars in the beach area are swankier and more pricey:
- La Zebra Hotel is located on a gorgeous stretch of beach. Seasonal pop-up The Mulberry Project offers bespoke cocktails, handcrafted to fulfill your wishes, while renowned chef Eleazar Bonilla serves up authentic local cuisine. There’s live music on Friday afternoons, and salsa dancing on Sundays.
- Casa Jaguar is a trendy Caribbean restaurant with an open-air jungle setting. Go any night for dining, drinks, and dancing. On Thursday nights starting around 11 p.m., there’s a jungle party hosted on their back terrace. Local and international DJs set the tone with electro and house tracks.
- Gitano, an elegant restaurant with a sultry mezcal bar in the back, hosts live DJ nights with a cool, bohemian vibe. Gitano is the place to be on Friday nights. DJ sets start around 11 p.m. with all-night drinking and dancing under a jungle canopy. They also host smaller parties on Friday nights. On Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, live bands play earlier in the evening.
Events or Activities
Go on a Tulum Pub Crawl if you’d like a knowledgeable local to escort you to a few of the best nightlife venues. This is a good option for solo travelers or anyone looking to join a larger group. The crawl includes 4 or 5 of the most happening bars each night.
Tips for Going Out in Tulum
- Know where to go each day of the week. You can enjoy Tulum’s nightlife scene from Monday through Sunday, but the action concentrates in certain spots on specific nights. Mondays are generally quiet in Tulum. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Battey Mojito & Guarapo Bar is the place to be. Casa Jaguar hosts wild jungle parties every Thursday; on Fridays head to Gitano. On Saturdays, the action is at Papaya Playa Project (with the biggest party of the month on the Saturday closest to the full moon), and Sunday is salsa night at La Zebra Hotel.
- Take pesos. Most of the bars in Tulum only accept cash, even the high-end establishments. A few will take U.S. dollars, but you’re better off paying in pesos to get the best exchange rate. Bars that do take credit cards may add a surcharge.
- Tip for good service. Tipping is customary, with 10 to 15 percent being the standard rate. Check your bill for the word “propina” (which means tip) to see if it’s already been added. If so, add to it to bring the total tip to 10 to 15 percent. It’s always best to tip in pesos.
- Dress casual, but nice. Bohemian chic is the style of choice in Tulum. Leave your heels at home, don’t wear beachwear, and be comfortable but cool.
- Don’t forget to spray. When going to outdoor establishments, especially on the jungle side of the beach, it’s a good idea to spray some bug repellant on, and bring some with you in case you need to re-apply.