Punta Laguna Nature Reserve

#5 in Best Things To Do in Tulum
Punta Laguna Nature Reserve picture
Regina Zuyeva / EyeEm/Getty Images

Key Info

J9V8+XP Nuevo Durango

Price & Hours

100 pesos (about $5.50)
7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

Details

Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Tours Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.4scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Less than 40 miles north of Tulum, Punta Laguna Nature Reserve offers one of the most unique sightseeing attractions in all of the Yucatán: spider monkeys. The creatures are a top draw for the reserve, which also showcases jaguars, pumas, howler monkeys and dozens of bird species.

The nearby Mayan village also allows travelers a glimpse of indigenous Mexican lifestyle, where you can tour thatched roof houses and watch people cook over open fires.

Many travelers highly recommend hiring a guide to tour the reserve, as guides are usually inexpensive and can provide a more authentic and informed experience for travelers new to the Yucatán. Past visitors reported paying 300 pesos (or about $16) for a guide. Many said that without the guide, they may not have spotted the monkeys. If you don't want to fork over the pesos for a guide, several recent travelers said you can still have a great experience just wandering around on your own and described it as a must-see attraction.

Punta Laguna lies just about 13 miles northeast of Cobá. From Tulum, you can take a bus, hire a taxi or drive. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the entrance fee is moderate (around $5 per person), but that does not include a guide.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Playa Paraiso

Just south of the Tulum ruins, the wide Playa Paraíso makes a relaxing end to a day exploring the area. With the recent arrival of the Playa Paraíso Beach Club, this stretch of sand has grown extremely popular with Playa del Carmen and Cancún daytrippers, as well as Tulum vacationers. But what it doesn't boast in seclusion it makes up for in activity – you'll find plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving, plus a few hammocks, lounge chairs and umbrellas to choose from (if you get to the ruins early, you'll arrive at the beach in time to secure one), and a few beach bars should you want refreshment.

Reviewers were divided on the necessity of paying for access to the beach club. Some said the price (250 pesos, or about $13 for two beach chairs) isn't worth it, while others found the cost reasonable for the convenience. To save a little money, you can pack your own towels, chairs and snacks. As for the beach itself, some travelers described the shoreline as "beautiful," while others were disappointed with the amount of smelly seaweed.

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