Belize vs. Tulum: Which Is Better for Vacation?


There are many destinations throughout the world that cherish their seaside or tropical allure as popular beach resorts. Belize, located in the Caribbean, and Tulum, located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, are two wildly different yet geographically similar resort destinations. Each destination’s vibe and atmosphere are different, yet vacationers will certainly appreciate the coastal atmosphere; which is the better choice for vacation?

In terms of overall things to do and see, vacationers will likely appreciate Belize’s tropical atmosphere a bit more than Tulum. There are so many similar things to do in each destination, yet Belize is more popular overall and its major destination for scuba diving. 

CategoryBelizeTulum
Cost Per Person (One Week)$686$252
Main AttractionsScuba diving, Ambergris Caye and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Lighthouse Reef Atoll and the Blue Hole, Placencia PeninsulaTulum Ruins, Sian Ka’an, Sistema Sac Actun, Xel-Ha Park, Playa Paraiso, Playa Ruinas, Gran Cenote, Scuba diving
FoodThe cuisine of Belize is heavy on seafood, with fish being the primary staple; Latin American cuisine is also a stapleMexican cuisine features a strong mixture of fresh and natural ingredients with bold, rich flavors with varying amounts of spice and heat
WeatherThe weather of Belize is hot and humid throughout most of the year, with only mild wintersThe weather of Tulum is hot and humid throughout most of the year, with only mild winters
SafetyBelize is considered to be a moderately dangerous country, even for tourists; precautions should be taken at all times and resist the urge to travel aloneTulum is a relatively safe destination for vacationers; only low amounts of petty crime are reported against tourists
TransportationBelize features water taxis, regular taxis, places, and boats as forms of transportation; public bus service is also availableWalking and bicycling are a popular mode of transportation around for a Tulum; taxis and public buses are also available
CustomsYou must have a valid passport to vacation in Belize, as well as proof of a return ticket out of the countryTo vacation in Mexico, you will need to have a valid passport and an approved entry permit

Both Belize and Tulum are inexpensive destinations, which is always a great trait when planning a vacation. There are many similarities between the two destinations: both are tropical and coastal, and both have a distinctive cultural atmosphere. In terms of differences, Belize is a bit more popular overall. This article will further explore each destination through a range of categories to discover, which is better for vacation. 

Cost of Stay

A standard, one-week vacation in Belize will usually cost about $686. Belize is a unique place in that the cost of accommodation is certainly affordable; however, your daily expenses can certainly go up depending on what all you get up to on the island. A one-week vacation in Tulum is even more affordable at about $252. Again, the main bulk of expenses at this destination is going to come down to your daily expenses.

One great way to save money at either of these destinations is to consider staying at an affordable hotel, which can help drive down your costs even further. 

Affordable Hotel Options

In Belize, there are a few affordable hotel options worth considering. Overall, the best choice is to consider renting a vacation property, with DB Towers offering the most affordable rate with both quality and a large range of amenities being the main selling points of the property. Free Wi-fi and beachfront views are the main things about this property that sticks out, yet the range of unit types is also very convenient. 

In Tulum, there are also many affordable options. The Beach Tulum Hotel is a large property that features 20 huge suites. The property comes with a range of convenient amenities and beachfront views. A complimentary breakfast is also included for one low price, and you are only walking distance away from restaurants and bars. 

Main Attractions

Scuba diving and spending time on the beach are undoubtedly the two most popular pastimes in Belize but consider branching out to see the other sites of the island. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve on the island of Ambergris is a sprawling collection of coral reefs, mangroves, and undiluted natural views of Belize’s marine life. 

In Tulum, a visit to the Tulum Ruins is certainly to be an adventure you won’t soon forget. Situated along the high cliffs overlooking the Yucatan Peninsula, the Tulum Ruins are the still intact site of the Maya civilization, said to have first been built during the 13th-century. This site is wonderful to photograph from afar, but a walking tour amongst the ruins is the best overall experience. 

Food

When you are vacationing in Belize, the best places to dine are usually the most unassuming and local. With this in mind, dining at Chef Rob’s Gourmet Cafe is certainly one of the best choices to consider. This small, outdoor, beachfront eatery specializes in French, Latin American, and local Belizean cuisine. 

In Tulum, one of the most popular casual eateries is Mateo’s. This small bar and grill happens to be one of the most popular places in Tulum to watch the incredible sunset views. The menu is a nice balance between authentic Mexican cuisine and tropical dishes, and the bar serves up refreshing and unique drinks. 

Weather

Both Belize and Tulum’s weather is hot and humid throughout most of the year, with only mild winters. Since both of these destinations are in the tropics, the threat of hurricanes is high during the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1-November 30). Be sure to exercise caution if you choose to vacation to either of these destinations during these months. 

Safety

Belize is considered to be a moderately dangerous country, even for tourists; therefore, precautions should be taken at all times and resist the urge to travel alone. On the other hand, Tulum is a relatively safe destination for vacationers with only low amounts of petty crime that is reported against tourists. In terms of overall safety, Tulum is certainly the better choice. 

Customs

You must have a valid passport to vacation in Belize, as well as proof of a return ticket out of the country. To vacation in Mexico, you will also need to have a valid passport and an approved entry permit to show upon your arrival or entry into any point of Mexico for an extended period of time. 

Transportation

Belize features water taxis, regular taxis, places, and boats as forms of transportation, as well as a public bus service that will get you to many points across the island. Walking and bicycling are popular modes of transportation around Tulum, and taxis and public buses are also available to reach certain areas around the city. 

Conclusion

So, between Belize and Tulum, which of these tropical destinations offers a better vacation choice? In terms of popularity and more seaside attractions and things to do, you will probably be happier in Belize. Belize can be dangerous in certain areas, so this may be a no-go if you are worried about safety and well-being. 

Tulum offers many more historical relics to see; therefore, Tulum may appeal more to vacationers who appreciate a bit of history on their trip. In terms of safety and things to do from a cultural perspective, Tulum is better than Belize.

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