Tulum vs. Cabo

Tulum and Cabo may be two of Mexico’s entries to the world’s best travel destinations, given the fame they built over the years, but these two seaside wonders could never be any the same. Offering different flavors, from the same gifted country, the question between them is better answered by those who know what they want out of a Mexican holiday.
Tulum vs. Cabo

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Authentic, ancient, and quirky, Tulum is one of the Riviera Maya’s pride. Sporting a rich combination of history, culture, and natural bounty, the town of Tulum is perfect for the laid-back traveler. Hailed as one of Mexico’s largest tourist meccas, Cabo packs a rather upscale punch to Mexico’s take on a tropical getaway. From celebrity-approved resorts and restaurants, golfing inland terrains, and the gifted Sea of Cortez, Cabo aims to leave you wide-eyed and well-tanned.


Tulum’s continuing allure stems from the marriage of ancient history and natural beauty. You may see yet another one of Mexico’s tourism achievements in this old and lovely town. Consider ruins bordering the renowned Riviera Maya’s beautiful blue, literally side by side with white powder beaches.

Tulum is one of the most popular tourist destinations on this side of the country, thanks to its great blend of all the best aspects of a historical seaside town. Ancient ruins, postcard-perfect beaches, dense and lush forests filled with wildlife, amazing shops, intriguing cenotes, and resorts that are meticulously maintained for tourists’ delight abound in this Yucatan jewel.

What Makes Tulum Unique?

The Iconic Cliffside Ruins

When you search for Tulum online, you will almost certainly come across images of ancient Mayan ruins perched atop a cliff, A: since the ruins are synonymous with the town, and B: because Tulum is extremely well-known for, most likely, A. If you’re a culture fan who also enjoys the beach, this seaside town is the spot to visit in the Riviera Maya.

The ancient Mayan ruins directly on the cliff, overlooking the unbelievably stunning beach, are Tulum’s most renowned attraction. For years, the allure of these ancient remains has drawn cultural buffs and ordinary people alike to its magnificent ruined walls. The temple is so rich in history and culture that you may require a guide or a tour to familiarize yourself with the once-great cultured who previously governed them.

Its most appealing feature, aside from the rich history lessons, is the ability to swim just underneath the perched remains while admiring the ruins overhead.

The Beach

Expect to witness some of the most stunning beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean, if not the entire globe, when visiting Riviera Maya. Apart from the towering ruins, Tulum is known for its natural beauty, with the beaches still being the most popular attraction.

The cobalt-blue waters that kiss the powder-soft white sand coasts, lined with palm palms that offer shade to both delighted beach users and the peaceful wildlife that lives throughout the area, are the beaches’ most appealing features. The beaches themselves are like rich chronicles of the town’s past, a wonderful juxtaposition against the ruins, and an even more vibrant local town.

Wildlife Within Reach

Animals and various different kinds of wildlife can be easily encountered outside of the town’s populous parts, especially because the town is surrounded by lush, vibrant forests.

Tulum’s jungles, adjacent caves and cenotes, and beaches are home to a variety of animals and birds, which may be quite a sight. The town is made even more fascinating by these creatures, which range in size from small yet venomous scorpions to large and terrifying jaguars that are potentially more hazardous.

Spider monkeys swinging through the trees are increasingly common, as are laid-back iguanas perched on ruins, rocks, and sunning on beaches, and there are even crocodiles on lake banks and colorful birds perched in canopies.

Soulful Pueblo

Tulum’s town center, also known as the “Tulum Pueblo,” is often referred to as the “heart of the town” because it is here that true local life can be found, making Tulum feel more authentic and less commercialized than Cancun.

You can see how the inhabitants live and go about their everyday lives right close to the touristy spots in Tulum Pueblo. You can also enjoy the town’s art, culture, and history, as well as the delicious local Mexican cuisine.

You can try to mingle with the friendly residents who will tell you stories and other intricacies about local life, enjoy the local cuisine scene, and gain more experience while living genuinely and discovering Tulum’s abundance.

Tulum is perfect for individuals who want a calmer pace rather than jam-packed frenetic beach days and rowdy booze-filled evenings. The town caters to individuals who enjoy exploring the history and natural beauty while also celebrating the holiday season.


Cabo is one of Mexico’s gems, and it is responsible for the country’s ascent to renown as a tourism destination. Thanks to Hollywood and all of its A-listers frequenting the resort city, chances are you’ve probably heard of Cabo. Cabo is the Pacific’s equivalent to Cancun, with a celebrity flair, and is known for its stunning landscape, prestigious beaches, and top-rated resorts.

Los Cabos, or simply Cabo, is the southernmost tip of the Baja California Sur, situated on Mexico’s western seaboard, fronting the enormous Pacific Ocean. While the Pacific shores of Mexico do not have the same sparkle as the Caribbean, Cabo has attractions that can rival Cancun’s.

What Makes Cabo Unique?

The Los Cabos Triple Charm

One of the most enticing things about Cabo is that you don’t only have Cabo San Lucas to explore and enjoy, you also have its quainter and more authentic sister city, San Jose del Cabo, and an 18-miles stretch that runs between them called The Corridor. All three offer different sceneries, flavors, and atmosphere that help paint a diverse palette to your Cabo experience.

Cabo San Lucas

One of the most appealing aspects of Cabo is that you can explore and enjoy not only Cabo San Lucas but also its more modest and authentic sister city, San Jose del Cabo, as well as an 18-mile length known as The Corridor that runs between them. All three have unique scenery, cuisines, and atmospheres that serve to create a diversified Cabo experience.

San Jose del Cabo

This charming town is older and offers a more accurate representation of a classic Mexican town, making it ideal for individuals who wish to take it easy while on vacation in Cabo, with evening strolls being the most popular activity. While the town is more laid-back, relaxed, and traditional, you can still enjoy excellent food and an ambiance that exudes the romanticism of a tropical vacation.

The Corridor

Cabo’s greatest hotels can be found along this 18-mile (29-kilometer) stretch of coastline that runs between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Top-rated resorts, ranging from mid-range to high-end and downright extravagant, flank the Sea of Cortez, giving a luxury home away from home for visitors, particularly Hollywood celebs.

The Aquarium of the World

Cabo and Los Cabos as a whole are located near both the Pacific Ocean and the immensely diverse Sea of Cortez, providing incredible opportunities for a variety of activities. Water activities are enhanced by the abundance of marine life; you can swim with whale sharks or simply observe them when snorkeling, parasailing, or simply taking a simple trip out to sea.

Because of the abundance of marine life, the area was dubbed “the Aquarium of the World” by the famed French explorer Jacques Costeau. You may also charter fishing boats to catch large fish like snappers, dorado, swordfish, and the fabled marlin.

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas

A trip to Cabo isn’t complete and worthwhile unless you see the famous and distinctive monument at the peninsula’s very tip. El Arco, often known as the Land’s End, is a defining element in the Cabo experience. The arch is a rough rock feature protruding out of the sea, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, and has become a landmark synonymous with the famous name of Cabo San Lucas.

During low tide, you can take a tour of the arches as well as the neighboring Lover’s Beach, or the Playa del Amante. The Los Frailes islets, two rocks that erupt from the sea and are frequently visited by sea lions, may be included in some trip packages, adding to the richness and wealth of Cabo’s marine wonders.

Blue Flag Beaches

Just as draws help define a well-known tourist destination, there will always be downsides, even if they aren’t enough to detract from a place’s best features. Cabo is noted for having multiple beaches that are unsuitable for swimming due to turbulent waters and strong undertows, which can put swimmers in danger. However, there are still a few beaches with a blue flag indicating that they are safe.

What makes this odd is that it demonstrates how seriously Cabo takes vacationer safety. High safety requirements, such as cleanliness and accessibility, excellent water quality, and the protection of shorelines and ecosystems, are indicated by blue flags. Medano Beach, Chileno Beach, and Acapulquito Beach are just a few of the area’s 19 blue flag beaches.

The Endless Sunny Days

Being on the shores of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean offers its advantages, such as broad views, waters in a range of blue and green hues, and especially pleasant weather. You may expect days of sun and warmth in Cabo. With 350 sunny days on average per year, you can expect great weather in Cabo for that much famous Mexican tropical experience.

Between May and October, temperatures can reach the scorching 30s C or 90s F. The selling feature, though, is that the humidity is minimal in comparison to the rest of the tropics, and the felt heat diminishes as soon as the sun sets. Rainfall is expected to be light, averaging roughly 10 inches per year across 15 days.

Golf Mecca of Latin America

Cabo’s golf culture, with its many courses strewn across the interiors, is another unique feature. 18 championship golf courses, both public and private, can be found in the vicinity. You can expect some of the most top-notch courses, giving the best experiences, designed by notable names including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, and Peter Dye. The courses’ distinctive locations, however, will come with a hefty price tag.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can test your skills on some of Cabo’s premier courses, including El Dorado Golf and Beach Course, Cabo del Sol, Chileno Bay Course, and Diamante Golf Course.

Cabo San Lucas, dubbed “one of Mexico’s greats,” is a must-see location that lives up to its reputation. This resort city has provided people seeking the proverbial vacation experience with which Mexico has become synonymous with unique charms and adventures. Cabo will continue to live up to its reputation as Mexico’s pacific pride, from the beautiful blue of the Sea of Cortez to the interior’s unique environment, Cabo San Lucas’ cosmopolitan highs, San Jose del Cabo’s charming appeal, and The Corridor’s luxury resorts.

Which Is Better – Cabo or Tulum?

Cabo and Tulum are an unlikely pit due to the sheer difference they have, but nonetheless, they are both some of the best of the many Caribbean destinations, full of appeals that brought them the fame that has endured for years. Their completely distinct flavors leave so much room for comparison giving travelers a rather easier time to decide between them.

Cabo is a celebrity-famous, Americanized resort area that has tickled a lot of people’s fancy because of its upscale cosmopolitan highs, and the broad spectrum of activities it can offer, from golfing, horseback riding, to deep-sea fishing, and diving. Everything you could think of in a vacation is offered richly in Cabo. The only drawback is the scarcity of swimmable beaches. There are only a handful of beaches where anyone can swim safely, often indicated by a blue flag.

Tulum on the other hand is famous for the authenticity it offers, giving visitors a vivid image of what a quintessential Mexican seaside town life is. However, Tulum’s simplicity is often undermined by the attractions that call it home. The ancient ruins atop a cliff overlooking the beach are one sight to behold, giving the town an extra flair for culture. Plus, the surrounding lush greenery provides the town with a rich wildlife that has become so noticeable that it became a draw on its own.

While you can find that proverbial Mexican R7R on both destinations, Cabo is best for those wanting to have more than just the beaches, but a plethora of activities that are as enriching, combined with pleasures that the cosmopolitan life of the city offers. Tulum is best for pure R&R, a relaxed, laid-back time in one of the most beautiful stretches in the Caribbean, the Riviera Maya. These vast differences can and will only appeal to travelers looking for the exact things they provide. Are you the type to have a relaxed, authentic living in a small Mexican town, or do you prefer to have your days in Mexico jampacked by activities, parties, and shopping?


How Far Is Cabo to Tulum?

Tulum is approximately 2,325 km or 1,444 miles from Cabo, directly, literally crossing entire central Mexico. Getting in between them, you can take the most common ways, by bus, by flying, or by driving using a rental car.

However, since Tulum doesn’t have its own airport, you can take a bus to either Chetumal Airport, or Cancun, and take a plane to San Jose del Cabo. And from Los Cabos International, you can take another transportation, possibly another bus, to your accommodation in Cabo.

Whether you’re flying from Chetumal or Cancun, you can fly with a plethora of air carriers that operate around Mexico, such as Volaris, American Airlines, Aeromexico, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Viva Aerobus.

Cabo vs. Tulum for Wedding

While both offer all the Mexican classics for an ideal wedding destination, both have differences that make them run their own kind of theme for weddings. Similarities and differences aside, there are no clear winners, because at the end of the day the couple’s personality will ultimately decide which is which.

Cabo’s greatest draw has to be the countless activities it offers, from inland leisures to the gifts of the sea, you can never run out of things to do here, perfect for that pre-wedding fun. Plus, the characteristic desert-meets-the-sea setting of Cabo is perfect to induce that wedding romance vibe that is both aesthetic and exciting. The nightly happenings also help make your wedding week come with a flair.

Tulum is best reserved for couples who prefer a quaint and more laid-back wedding by the beach. Blessed with uber-gorgeous beaches, rich natural landscape, and a friendly town packed with history and culture, Tulum is magical, to say the least. Though not as packed with attractions and activities as Cabo, Tulum has a certain magic that washes over you especially when you let it.