Tulum is the largest community in the municipality of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is located on the Caribbean coast of the state, near the site of the archaeological ruins of Tulum. It is also the setting for Raymond Avery Bartlett’s 2015 novel, Sunsets of Tulum.
As recently as the early 1990s Tulum Pueblo was a quiet village 2 km from the archaeological site, and tourism outside of the ruins was limited to a few small shops and simple cabanas on the beach. As of the 2010 census, population of Tulum Pueblo has grown to 18,233 permanent inhabitants with the addition of a number of residential developments in the jungle areas nearest Tulum’s downtown. With the increase in tourism, vacation rentals, small hotels and hostels, as well as restaurants and bars populate the town. Grocery stores, boutiques, bicycle rentals, gyms, tour operators, banks, ATMs, internet cafes, and various other commercial stores are available in Tulum Pueblo. Spanish Language Schools are popular in Tulum, including Meztli Spanish Language School and Jardin Espanol.
Two kilometers from the town center, the “hotel zone” of boutique hotels on the Tulum beach has grown to over 70 small hotels. Most of them are cabañas built in the traditional Maya style with thatched palm roofs though there are some more high end hotels as well. There are many new restaurants, particularly on the jungle side of the road, some of which have received significant praise in the international press. There are also a few beach clubs and public beaches.