Christmas in Tulum – Everything You Need To Know

Are you wondering what it’s like to spend Christmas in Tulum?

Spending Christmas in Tulum is a fantastic idea and let me tell you why…

Not only is this the perfect time of year weather-wise, but Tulum, like much of Mexico, knows how to throw a celebration. Image Christmas but with palm trees, cocktails in coconuts, and lots of music and dancing. As well as some wonderful local Christmas traditions.

We visited Tulum at the very start of our Central America backpacking trip and thought it was a pretty special place. The beaches are stunning, the weather is beautiful and there is so much to do in the area besides Christmas celebrations.

Christmas is celebrated in Mexico but not in the same way we are used to. You could argue their way is more fun. The celebrations start on the 16th of December and continue until Christmas Day. I will explain more about that shortly.

You will see things you recognise such as Christmas trees, lights, decorations, candies and nativity scenes. As well as a few things that will add a fun spin on your Christmas such as Mexican food and local dress.

a white sand beach in tulum, mexico on a bright sunny day

So let’s not keep you waiting any longer, here is our guide for spending Christmas in Tulum.

Save some time when planning your Christmas in Tulum…

Is December A Good Month For Tulum?

December is arguably the BEST month to visit Tulum.

Anywhere between December – April is the dry season in Tulum. Visiting in December means you will get warm sunny days without it being too hot. You will also be incredibly unlikely to see any rain, or even clouds for that matter.

The average temperatures in December are between 22-28°C. With sea temperatures around 27°C. Now tell me that doesn’t sound perfect.

December is also great to visit Tulum because it is not the height of the busy period yet. This means places won’t be too crowded and you shouldn’t have to book crazy far in advance to get a seat at your favourite restaurant.

But to be on the safe side I would book your accommodation at least a couple of months in advance as the actual Christmas Period can get booked up in advance.

a man riding a bicycle through Tulum on a sunny day

Christmas In Tulum – Las Posadas

One of the highlights of spending Christmas in Tulum is the Festivities known as Los Posadas.

Los Posadas was originally bought across to Mexico by the Spanish and has since been taken on by both Mexico and Guatemala. Of course, this is something that you will encounter if you spend Christmas in Tulum.

The festivities start on the 16th of December and continue for 9 nights until the 24th of December. Traditionally, each night the local people will dress as shepherds and angels and escort a couple dressed as Mary and Joseph through the streets. Stopping at houses and singing songs.

You can think of this as essentially a moving street party.

Each house is supposed to turn them away, following the story that Mary and Joseph could not find anywhere to spend the night. At last one house will invite everyone inside where the real party will begin.

This repeats each night until Christmas Eve when everyone will attend a midnight mass. After the mass, there is a huge feast and this is the ultimate Christmas Celebration in Mexico.

If you plan to celebrate Christmas like a proper local in Tulum then you will need to wait until the 6th of January to exchange gifts.

Where To Have Christmas Dinner in Tulum

One of the things we loved most about our time in Tulum was the food. Mexican food is AMAZING!

I will never get enough of Tacos and Tacos in Mexico just hit differently. Luckily there are plenty of great spots in Tulum to enjoy an incredible meal on Christmas day.

It may not be the type of feast you are used to but I can guarantee you won’t mind once you are chowing down on the local dishes with a Margarita in hand. Preferably in a spot with a sunset view.

Here are some of the best spots where I can fully recommend enjoying your Christmas day meal in Tulum;

A table of mexican food at a restaurant in Tulum

La Zebra restaurant on the beachfront is renowned for its incredible standards and luxury touches. Who wouldn’t want to have Christmas dinner right on the beach?

La Taqueria was our absolute favourite restaurant in Tulum. In fact, we ended up eating here multiple times it was that good!

They have a large outdoor space with cosy lighting and all the right atmosphere, not to mention the food here was amazing. If we were to come back to Tulum again for Christmas this is definitely where we would want to eat on Christmas day.

Casa Violeta Hotel and Restaurant are serving a traditional Christmas dinner in Tulum if you would like a little home comforts. You can book in advance with them to secure your spot.

Where To Stay When Spending Christmas in Tulum

When it comes to deciding where to stay in Tulum, you have 2 main areas to choose from. The beach or Downtown Tulum. We stayed in Downtown and loved it because we were so close to all the bars and restaurants.

Downtown is also more likely to be where you get to celebrate Christmas with the Local people.

Here are our top picks for places to stay in Downtown Tulum

📍 The Reserve Tulum

This is where we stayed in Tulum and it was perfect. Right on the edge of town so it was lovely and peaceful. Our apartment was HUGE with a great big comfy bed. The pool was also really nice to cool off in at the end of the day.

⭐️ Take a look at the Reserve Tulum and see why we loved it so much!

📍 Botanica Tulum

If you want somewhere a little more central, then this spot is ideal!

Located much closer to the centre of Downtown and only a super short walk from Cenote Calavera, this cosy hotel has a garden that feels like a tropical oasis and a whopping 9.5/10 from its reviews! That’s pretty tough to beat these days.

⭐️ Check out Botanica Tulum for yourself here!

Here are our top picks for where to stay by the beach

If you know you want as much beach over Christmas as possible then here are our top picks for places right by the sea;

📍 Dune Boutique Hotel

This stunning hotel could not be more aesthetically pleasing if it tried!

When many of us picture Tulum we instantly envision white sand, boho vibes and cozy sun loungers by a turquoise pool. Dune Boutique tick all of the boxes and has hundreds of awesome reviews.

⭐️ Take a look at the beauty that is Dune Boutique Hotel here!

📍 Casa Malca

If perfection existed then I guess it would look a little like Casa Malca.

Located right on the beach, with a topical garden and super sleek rooms, the energy and decor of this place will make you feel like you have entered heaven. People love to stay here because it is not just a place to spend the night but an entire experience.

⭐️ Check out Casa Malca to see it for yourself!

New Year’s Eve In Tulum

Tulum is a great place to visit if you love to party and New Year’s Eve is no exception. You can expect celebrations similar to the US and Europe, maybe even bigger.

The main difference is that you are surrounded by gorgeous beaches, jungle and tropical scenes while you count down to the new year.

You can either spend New Year’s Eve at one of the many beach clubs or find a bar in Downtown Tulum to spend the evening.

My main advice is to not drink too much and maintain awareness of your surroundings. Although Tulum is safe for visitors, petty crime towards tourists can happen so don’t get crazy drunk and go leaving your phone on the bar.

It is also wise to not walk around Tulum at night. Take a Taxi back to where you are staying if you go out and check out these drinking laws in Mexico before you go.

If you want to be extra safe before you visit you should always check your local government’s travel advice for your destination.

a girl sitting on a pink bike in front of the follow that dream sign in Tulum

Other Fun Things To Do During Your Stay In Tulum

Hopefully, you will have more time in Tulum, so here are some other ideas for fun ways to fill your time;

Spend a morning at Cenote Calavera

This is a really fun Cenote just outside of Tulum. We spent a whole morning here and had a blast! It consists of 3 holes in the ground with water below so all you have to do is jump in and explore. Don’t worry there is a ladder so you can get back out.

This was one of our favourite cenotes in Mexico because it was so unique. Make sure to go early to avoid the midday crowds. You can read more about what to expect at Cenote Calavera here.

a girl sitting on a swing in a cenote in Tulum, mexico

Explore Tulum Ruins

Mexico is FULL of ancient Mayan Ruins but luckily if you are staying in Tulum you do not have to go far to see some.

Situated just outside of Tulum, along the beach, you will find Tulum Ruins. You can easily spend an afternoon wandering the ancient walls and enjoying the incredible views over the sea cliffs.

Take a day trip to Chichen Itza

If you are in Mexico, it would be criminal to go all this way and not visit one of the 7 wonders of the world! Luckily, only a short distance from Tulum, you can easily visit here in a day.

There are multiple ways to get to Chichen Itza but It is best to either rent a car or join a guided tour from Tulum.

Tours like this one will pick you up from your hotel in Tulum and take you to Chichen Itza where you will be guided around the site by a local guide and then taken to a nearby Cenote for a swim. This tour even includes lunch! After the day’s activities, you will be dropped back off at your hotel. It is as easy as that.

⭐️ Explore Chichen Itza and a Cenote in a day with this guided Tour!

a couple standing in front of the Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico

Christmas In Tulum – Final Thoughts

Tulum is a well-loved and beautiful part of Mexico, so we can fully understand why anyone would want to spend their Christmas here. However, I highly recommend combining your visit as part of a bigger trip including Belize and Guatemala.

We loved our time in Tulum, lazing on the beach, cycling around downtown and swimming in cenotes. I hope you have the most amazing Christmas in Tulum and if you have any more questions then always feel free to get in touch!