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Belize vs Tulum – Which is the Better Vacation?

Last updated on January 17th, 2023 at 04:56 pm

Belize vs Tulum – When deciding on a beach trip, Belize and Tulum are often compared. Between the two, Tulum gives you a luxurious yet hip and modern vacation while Belize is oozing with natural beauty, both with its underwater marine life and nature.

RELATED TRAVEL GUIDES: Cancun vs Belize, Akumal vs Playa del Carmen, Best Mexico Sim Card for Tourists, Best Mexico eSIM for Tourists

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Comparing Belize vs Tulum

Tulum is popular for its eco-hotels and Temazcal ceremonies while Belize boasts unmatched scuba diving and snorkeling. Belize can be less expensive than Tulum, as Tulum is super touristy, especially with how close it is to the United States.

Tulum is big on ecotourism and sustainability so a lot of the modern, hippy travelers go here, and it has an extensive digital nomad scene as well, so if this is what you’re looking for, you might have more fun in Tulum. For us, we like Belize better with its natural variety of things to do, both wildlife and forests and underwater activities.

Where to Stay: Belize vs Tulum

A total of $20 USD would be the range of your budget for accommodation in Belize vs Tulum. There are hotels mid-budget for $50-70 USD and you can find luxury accommodations starting from $120 USD.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION IN BACALAR BEFORE YOUR TRIP WITH BOOKING

Book your Travel Insurance- Tulum vs Belize

You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review

You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included

Getting There: Belize vs Tulum

Getting to Belize

Belize is in Central America, with Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. There are several ways to get to Belize:

By air: The most common way to get to Belize is by flying into the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. The airport is serviced by several major airlines, including American, United, and Delta.

By land: You can also enter Belize by land from Mexico or Guatemala. There are several border crossings along the border with Mexico, and one main crossing with Guatemala at Benque Viejo del Carmen.

By sea: You can also arrive in Belize by boat or cruise ship. The major port is in Belize City, but there are also smaller ports and marinas in other parts of the country.

Once you arrive in Belize, you can get around the country by bus, taxi, or rental car. It’s a good idea to have a plan for getting around before you arrive, as public transportation can be limited in some areas.

Getting to Tulum

There are a few ways to get to Tulum:

By plane: The nearest airport to Tulum is the Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is located about 90 minutes by car from Tulum. From the airport, you can take a taxi or rental car to Tulum. There are also shuttle services that offer transportation from the airport to Tulum for a fee.

By bus: If you are coming from another city in Mexico, you can take a bus to Tulum. The ADO bus company operates regular bus service to Tulum from cities such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Mexico City. The bus terminal in Tulum is located just outside of town, and from there you can take a taxi or collectivo (shared van) into town.

By car: If you are planning to rent a car, you can drive to Tulum from Cancun or other nearby destinations. Keep in mind that you will need to purchase Mexican car insurance and that driving in Mexico can be different than in other countries.

It is also possible to take a ferry from the island of Cozumel to the mainland and then drive to Tulum, although this can be a longer and more expensive option.

Beaches and Activities: Belize vs Tulum

Beaches in Belize

Belize has many beautiful beaches along its Caribbean coast. Some popular destinations include:

Ambergris Caye

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Located off the coast of Belize, Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize and is known for its beautiful beaches and clear turquoise waters.

Caye Caulker

Caye Cauker in Belize, Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Located just off the coast of Belize, Caye Caulker is a small island known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches.

Placencia

Located on the southern coast of Belize, Placencia is a popular beach destination with a long stretch of sandy beaches.

Hopkins

Located on the southern coast of Belize, Hopkins is a small village known for its beautiful beaches and friendly locals.

Dangriga

Located on the southern coast of Belize, Dangriga is a small town known for its beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage.

Punta Gorda

Located on the southern coast of Belize, Punta Gorda is a small town known for its beautiful beaches and diverse culture.

There are many other beautiful beaches to explore in Belize. It’s a good idea to do some research and choose a beach that meets your specific preferences and needs.

Other Top Activities and Things to Do in Belize

Visit the Maya ruins

Belize Xunantunich - Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Belize is home to many ancient Maya ruins, including Caracol, Xunantunich, and Lamanai. These sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the Maya civilization.

Explore the Great Blue Hole – Tulum vs Belize

Blue Hole in Belize - Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?lize vs Costa Rica
Explore the Great Blue Hole – Tulum vs Belize

The Great Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole located off the coast of Belize. It’s a popular destination for scuba diving and offers stunning views of the underwater world.

Visit the Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo is home to a wide variety of native animals, including jaguars, tapirs, and crocodiles. It’s a great place to learn about Belize’s rich biodiversity.

Go cave tubing

Belize is home to many beautiful caves, and cave tubing is a popular activity that allows you to explore them by floating through the water on an inner tube.

Visit the Cayes

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

The Cayes are a group of small islands located off the coast of Belize. They are known for their beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere.

Go snorkeling or diving

Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and it’s a great place to go snorkeling or diving. You can see a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and colorful fish.

Learn about Belizean culture

Belize is a culturally diverse country, and there are many opportunities to learn about its rich cultural heritage. You can visit museums, attend cultural festivals, or interact with the local people.

Public Beaches in Tulum – Belize vs Tulum

Playa Paraiso

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Playa Paraiso directly translated to Paradise Beach is one of Tulum’s most stunning beaches as it sits in the Caribbean sea. It is known as one of the world’s most popular beaches.

Here you’ll see the National Park of Tulum and the archeological zone. Playa Paraiso is also an open and public beach. It’s a good beach for lounging around and gentle for family visits as well, with swimming and activities available.

Mayan Beach / Playa Ruinas

Just from its name, the Mayan Beach in Tulum overlooks the famous Mayan Ruins. This definitely gives you a bit of a balance of having a beach area and having a look at the ruins too, and of course, you can tour the Mayan Ruins being in closer proximity to it.

Playa Pescadores

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

A part of Playa Paraiso, Playa Pescadores is another open and free public beach of Tulum and one of the most beautiful as well. You can hire boats from this part of the beach to do tours in Tulum, but make sure that you book with a reputable boat or tour company as some are known to be unfriendly and aggressive.

Playa Santa Fe

About a 10-minute walk from the ruins, Playa Santa Fe is another beach you can spend time on if you want to be close to the Mayan ruins. Another beautiful public beach as well.

Playa Boca Paila / Playa El Canto

Belize vs Tulum
This is Playa Boca Paila and can usually be toured with Sian Ka’an

One of the hidden gems of Tulum, Playa Boca Paila, called Playa El Canto by locals, is located by the entrance of the National Park and Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an.

Private Beaches / Beach Clubs in Tulum – Belize vs Tulum

Ziggy Beach

Tulum vs Belize
This is the Ziggy Beach Club inside The Beach Tulum Property

Ziggy is a beach club hotel in Tulum, and one of the more luxurious and popular attractions in the area. You can have lounge areas here, and you’ll have access to their bar and restaurant. It’s one of the more expensive areas to stay in as Ziggy is considered high-end compared to all the places around Tulum.

Caleta Tankha Beach

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
The Caleta Tankah Beach

Caleta Tankah Beach is another of Tulum’s private beaches, costing around 100 Mexican pesos to enter. Beach clubs are good options if you want a little more “privacy” in that it’s not immediately open to everyone unless you pay, but still not the most expensive private beach in Tulum.

More Top Things to Do and See in Tulum

Tulum Ruins

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

The Tulum Ruins make Tulum popular and historic at the same time. Its ancient Mayan ruins overlook the beautiful Mexican Caribbean waters, making this part of the world not only exotic and unique but add to the beauty the Tulum beaches bring.

Coba Mayan Ruins

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
A day trip to the Coba Ruins is not to be missed when visiting Tulum!

The Mayan Coba Ruins are one of the most important parts of the Mayan Ruins or Tulum Ruins, about 28 miles or 47 kilometers inland from the Caribbean coastline. To access this part of the ruins, you’ll take a short drive from Tulum or Valladolid. This is one of the most frequented Mayan ruins in Tulum, so if you want to explore this part of Tulum’s beauty, take time to visit the ruins.

El Centro (Tulum Pueblo)

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
Image via Alma de Flores Tulum, El Centro

The Central city of Tulum, El Centro is the place to visit when you want to get away from beaches for a bit, and of course, see its local life – local restaurants and good food (Mexico is very popular for this of course), and try other activities in the town without being in the beach and the beach clubs.

Sian Ka’a Biosphere

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
This is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site in Tulum

Sian Kaʼan Biosphere Reserve is a biosphere reserve in the municipality of Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It was established in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. “Sian Ka’an” means “gate of heaven” or “a place where heaven begins.

Tulum Cenotes

Dos Ojos Cenote / Two Eyes Cenote

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

If you want the option to swim, free dive, and dive while being in one of Tulum’s picturesque cenotes, visit the Dos Ojos or Two Eyes Cenote.

Cenote Calavera / Skull Cenote

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Another of Tulum’s Instagram worthy cenotes, is the Cenote Calavera. Be careful as guides here may not be watching you as you swim but there are a lot of people in the area because of its popularity. Prices can be high too.

Big Cenote / Gran Cenote

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Gran Cenote or the Big Cenote is the most popular Cenote and is very touristy in Tulum. It’s on the way to Coba, so make sure you plan properly if you want to swim and take pictures here.

Cenotes Casa Tortuga

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Cenotes Casa Tortuga in Tulum is not only a place in the middle of the jungle of Tulum that you can stay in, you also have access to 4 beautiful cenotes on the property when you stay here.

Instagrammer Popular Areas in Tulum

Ven a la Luz at Ahau Tulum Beach

Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
Ven a La Luz Artwork in Ahau Tulum

This artwork is arguably one of the top Instagrammer worthy photos in Tulum and it’s an artwork in the Ahau Tulum Beach Resort. It’s a beautiful sculpture on its own, and definitely an easy spot to recognize to mark your visit to Tulum.

Cenote Suytun

Cenote Suytun is one of the most Instagrammer worthy places in Tulum, Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?
This is Cenote Suytun in Valladolid Mexico

Hard to miss the most Instagrammer worthy photo in Tulum, which is the Cenote Suytun. Okay, Instagram shows it as part of Tulum, but it’s an hour and a half drive away. If you’re staying or visiting

Cost of Travel: Belize vs Tulum

Budget for Belize, for one week, one person

The cost of traveling to Belize for one week can vary depending on factors such as the time of year you go, the mode of transportation you choose, and the type of accommodation you prefer. Here are some rough estimates of the costs of traveling to Belize for one week as a single person:

Airfare: Prices for flights to Belize can vary widely depending on where you are coming from and when you travel. Expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,000 or more for a round-trip ticket.

Accommodation: There is a wide range of accommodation options in Belize, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Prices can range from $50 to $500 or more per night. If you are on a budget, you may be able to find a room in a guesthouse or hostel for around $50 to $100 per night.

Food: The cost of food in Belize can vary depending on where you eat and what you order. Expect to pay around $10 to $20 or more for a meal at a mid-range restaurant. If you are on a budget, you can save money by eating street food or cooking your own meals.

Transportation: The cost of transportation in Belize can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Renting a car can cost around $50 to $100 per day while taking a bus or taxi can be cheaper.

Overall, it’s a good idea to budget around $100 to $200 per day for your trip to Belize. This should cover the cost of accommodation, food, and activities, but you may need to adjust your budget up or down depending on your specific needs and preferences. For a one-week trip, this would come to a total of around $700 to $1,400.

Budget for Tulum, for one week, one person – Tulum vs Belize

It is difficult to give a specific budget for a trip to Tulum, as it will depend on a variety of factors such as your travel style, the type of accommodation you choose, and your activities and dining preferences. Here are some things to consider when budgeting for a trip to Tulum:

Flights:

Prices for flights to Tulum can vary depending on where you are departing from and the time of year you are traveling. On average, you can expect to pay around $500-$700 for a round-trip flight from the United States to Tulum.

Accommodation:

Tulum offers a range of accommodation options, from budget hostels to luxury resorts. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30 per night for a budget hostel to $500 or more per night for a luxury resort.

Food: Tulum has a variety of dining options, from street food to fine dining restaurants. A meal at a local restaurant can cost around $10-$15, while a meal at a more upscale restaurant can cost $30 or more.

Activities:

Tulum has many activities to offer, such as visiting the ancient Mayan ruins, snorkeling in the cenotes, and exploring the surrounding jungle. Prices for activities can vary, but you can expect to pay around $20-$50 for a tour or activity.

Overall, you can expect to pay around $1,000-$1,500 per week for a budget trip to Tulum, not including flights. This budget would cover accommodation, food, and some activities, but you may want to budget more if you plan to do more expensive activities or stay in a luxury resort.

Which is more expensive, Belize or Tulum?

It is difficult to say which destination is generally cheaper, as it will depend on a variety of factors such as the time of year you are traveling, the type of accommodation you choose, and your activities and dining preferences. That being said, Tulum tends to be more expensive than other destinations in Mexico due to its popularity and limited capacity, while Belize is generally considered to be more affordable than other Caribbean destinations.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly destination, you may want to consider other factors such as the cost of flights, the availability of budget accommodation options, and the overall cost of living in the destination.

It is always a good idea to do some research and compare prices before deciding on a destination, to make sure you find the best deal that fits your budget and travel preferences.

Top Food to try – Tulum vs Belize

Food to Try in Belize

Belize has a diverse and flavorful cuisine that is influenced by a mix of indigenous, African, and European traditions. Here are some top foods to try when in Belize:

Rice and beans: Rice and beans is a popular and flavorful dish that is served throughout Belize. It is typically made with red kidney beans and white rice, and is often seasoned with herbs and spices.

Stewed chicken: Stewed chicken is a popular dish in Belize that is made by simmering chicken in a flavorful sauce made with tomatoes, onions, and spices. It is typically served with rice and beans and a side of vegetables.

Fry jacks: Fry jacks are a popular breakfast food in Belize. They are made by deep-frying a dough made from flour, baking powder, and salt, and are often served with beans, eggs, and cheese.

Cassava bread: Cassava bread is a traditional bread that is made from the root of the cassava plant. It is a staple food in Belize and is often served with meals.

Conch Salad or Conch Ceviche Bahamian Cuisine, Belize vs Tulum - Which is the Better Vacation?

Conch ceviche: Conch ceviche is a popular seafood dish in Belize that is made with raw conch that has been marinated in lime juice, onions, peppers, and spices. It is typically served as an appetizer or a light meal.

Ceviche: Ceviche is a popular seafood dish in Belize that is made with raw fish or seafood that has been marinated in lime juice, onions, peppers, and spices. It is typically served as an appetizer or a light meal.

Plantains: Plantains are a popular side dish in Belize that are made from a type of banana that is cooked and served like a vegetable. They are often fried or baked and served with meals.
Overall, there are many delicious foods to try in Belize, and it’s a good idea to try a variety of dishes to get a sense of the local cuisine.

Best Time to Visit: Belize vs Tulum

Best Time to Visit Belize

Belize has a tropical climate with hot and humid weather year-round. The country has two main seasons: a dry season that lasts from November to May, and a rainy season that lasts from June to October.

The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit Belize, as the weather is relatively dry and sunny, and there is less chance of disruptions due to storms. During this time, the average temperature is around 80°F (27°C) during the day and 70°F (21°C) at night.

The rainy season is also a good time to visit Belize, as the country is lush and green during this time, and the rain tends to come in short bursts rather than all day long. However, it is important to be prepared for rain and to pack a rain jacket or umbrella. During this time, the average temperature is around 85°F (29°C) during the day and 75°F (24°C) at night.

If you are interested in outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the Maya ruins, the dry season is probably the best time to go. If you prefer to relax on the beach or enjoy the lush vegetation, the rainy season may be a good time to visit.

Click here to know about the weather in Belize

Best Time to Visit Tulum – Tulum vs Belize

There are 2 seasons dry and wet season. The rainy season starts in May. The best time to visit Mexico is from the months of November to April because it is the months of the dry season. However, lots of tourists prefer to travel from January to March since it’s not peak season but it can be rainy for a few days.

Click here to know more about the weather in Mexico

Currency and ATMs – Tulum vs Belize

Belize

The official currency in Belize is the Belize Dollar, with the symbol BZD or BZ$. The good thing is it’s easily converted to USD or US Dollars. The current exchange is 2.01 Belize Dollars to 1 USD

ATMs in Belize only dispense in Belize dollars so keep that in mind. ATMs accept both Visa and Mastercard. Some businesses accept USD, and most accept cards. However, it’s best to have local Belize Dollars we well. You can always exchange in hotels.

Check the updated currency exchange here

Mexico

Mexico has its own currency called the Mexican Peso. A $1 USD=19 MXN. There are lots of ATMs and exchange currency in many parts of the country. And you have to know that the country’s dollars are very common and well-accepted.

Click here to know more about the exchange rate of Mexico.

Tulum vs Belize – Which is the Better Vacation for You?

If you’re looking for the digital nomad scene, focused on ecotourism and sustainability, with cenote activities and rituals like the Temazcal ceremony, this vibe belongs to Tulum. If you prefer more of the natural scenery, wildlife, forests, hiking, and incredible blue beaches with unparalleled scuba diving and snorkeling, Belize is better for you.

Here are some key differences between Tulum and Belize:

Geography:

Tulum is located on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, while Belize is a country located on the eastern coast of Central America.

Tulum is known for its white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters, while Belize has a longer coastline with a variety of beach environments, including coral cays, sandy spits, and mangrove-fringed lagoons.

Culture:

Tulum has a strong Mayan cultural influence, with many ancient ruins and cultural sites to visit. Belize has a diverse cultural heritage, with influences from the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, and Mennonite communities.

The official language of Tulum is Spanish, while the official language of Belize is English.

Attractions:

Tulum is known for its ancient Mayan ruins, cenotes (natural swimming holes), and eco-tourism. Belize is known for its natural beauty, including its rainforests, waterfalls, and the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Belize is also home to many ancient Maya sites, such as Caracol and Xunantunich.

Overall, Tulum and Belize are both beautiful and culturally rich destinations with a lot to offer travelers. It really depends on what you are looking for in a vacation destination. We choose Belize. How about you? Either way, you’ll have a blast. Tell us what you ended up choosing, and we wish you the best trip! Til our next guide.

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.