Last updated: 09:15 AM ET, Thu December 17 2015

Why Tulum Is an American Favorite

Destination & Tourism | Mexico Tourism Board | Janeen Christoff | December 17, 2015

Why Tulum Is an American Favorite

Tulum is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico for Americans – which racked up more than 20 million visits in 2014 – and that number is expected to increase for 2015. Market Research predicts 4.6 percent growth from tourism arrivals and claims that tourism will jump to one of Mexico’s top cash sources by 2018.

What is making Tulum one of Mexico’s fastest-growing destinations?

One of the drivers of tourism traffic is its easy-to-reach location. Tulum is a 90-minute drive away from the Cancun International Airport. It is also home to some of the world’s most famous Mayan ruins, which attracts approximately 1 million visitors per year.

The Sian Ka¹an Biosphere Reserve is another attraction that brings visitors to the shores of Tulum with its wide variety of bird species, rare animals and protected plants that are scattered throughout coral reefs, mangroves, wetlands and lagoons.

Watersports are abundant in the area: Tulum is home to the world¹s second-largest coral reef and a colorful variety of sea life occupies the waters of the area bringing divers and snorkelers eager to swim and explore its depths. In addition to the coral reefs offshore, it is surrounded by a unique 65-million-year-old underground cave system that is enjoyed by cave divers — and visitors — from around the world.

Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Wellness and an eco-conscious lifestyle create a special atmosphere in Tulum. Many visitors are focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Currently, there are 36 cycling routes in Tulum. Golfers can head to the nearby Bahia Principe golf course, and spa enthusiasts can rejuvenate with various local treatments at spas throughout the region, including the luxurious Yaan Wellness Energy Spa, located on the jungle side of the beach zone, which offers sophisticated healing techniques that incorporate the elements of water, air, fire and wood.

Tulum’s dining scene is also on the rise. New York’s Eric Werner’s Hartwood restaurant draws lines of eager diners each night with organic cuisine sourced from fresh, local ingredients. Simple is known for its fresh fish and offers a menu of fresh caught fish which changes daily and is cooked to the customer’s specifications.

Fashion has come front and center in Tulum. The area now hosts a yearly event — the Tulum Fashion Show — and the holiday season becomes a veritable who’s-who of the fashion industry, with many famous names visiting the area for work or to spend the holidays relaxing in the sun.

While being eco-friendly is not as much of a tourism draw, it still gives the area a sense of uniqueness and because of this, sustainable practices are a continued focus. Most of Tulum’s beachfront boutique hotels still rely on solar energy and rainwater systems that were established in Tulum centuries ago by its Mayan inhabitants. Environmental responsibility still remains deeply ingrained in the local consciousness. Biodegradable products remain a first choice for hotels spas and restaurants, which also buy locally and seek out organic options. Many of the area’s architects often use local materials in their construction.

It looks as though Tulum’s popularity has a long future of attracting visitors – both short and long-term. One of the other factors driving visitation to the area is the housing market. Many U.S. property buyers are looking for second homes. Real estate in the Riviera Maya, which offers a gorgeous coastline and all of the aforementioned lifestyle amenities, is an attractive draw for those who are looking for more permanent digs in a high-end luxury destination that also offers affordability.

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