Not everyone can afford the crazy prices of Tulum beach for lodging. That’s why many travelers decide to stay in Aldea Zama, the new trendy neighborhood in the Riviera Maya.
Is staying at Aldea Zama worth it? What are the Pros and Cons?
I stayed 15 days in Tulum and took the opportunity to collect a lot of information about this area!
A practical guide with the advantages and disadvantages of staying in Aldea Zama, as well as the best hotels, villas, and restaurants!
Keep reading to make the right decision.
👉 Don’t hesitate to read our Tulum guide to plan your vacation and not make any more mistakes. You will find all our articles about this destination.
Dream makers 😎
Best places to stay in Aldea Zama
Neighborhood Aldea Zama, Tulum: the takeaway
Aldea Zama is a new residential area of Tulum, ideally located between the beach and Tulum downtown.
With its character of a safe and chic boho neighborhood for expatriates, it offers good accommodations in terms of quality and price, whether for holidays (e.g., Naay Tulum Curamoria Collection hotel) or longer stays (e.g., the Arthouse Art Residences or Gorgeous Flowy Space Wrap-around Private Pool condos).
It has excellent amenities of restaurants (e.g.,La Barra Estelar for its Mexican brunch or the delicious Japanese restaurant Kokoro Tulum) and leisure activities.
You need a transport mode, and the area is permanently in works, causing some noise and access nuisance.
Want to optimize your itinerary and quickly decide where to stay in Tulum? Just read my expert local guide 😉
Why stay in the district of Aldea Zama, Tulum
Here are the main advantages of choosing Aldea Zama.
1# Aldea Zama is the closest district to Tulum Beach
Access to the beaches from Aldea Zama is easy. But you will need transport to get there.
Taxis are expensive, so it’s best to use a scooter or bike, avoiding Kukulcan, which is unsafe for two wheels.
The beaches to the north are closer and easier to get to. As an indication, Playa Pescadores, a public beach, is a 45 minutes ride away.
The neighborhood is well-equipped with bike paths; however, they stop on the road to the beach. Avoid riding in the evening or after dark, as it’s poorly lit.
2# Excellent apartments and hotels for a better price
The real estate market is quite good. Furthermore, many hotels and condominiums grant reductions as the area is under construction.
Whether you want to laze by the pool in a hotel or be a little more independent by choosing an apartment, Aldea Zama is a great place to avoid expensive beach hotels while enjoying good amenities and fun activities in a beautiful tropical setting.
And no doubt you’ll enjoy the view from the many rooftops.
3# Aldea Zama is great for long-term stay
Why not settle down for a while in Aldea Zama Tulum?
Its stylish and modern architecture, set in the vegetation, invites you to experience a no-stress chic lifestyle in a comfortable, green environment.
Built on the tropical forest, this quiet and safe residential neighborhood continues to develop.
Many construction sites are underway; with its tree-lined pedestrian walkways, the finished area around the Fit-a-licious is a pleasant place to wander.
There are several trendy hotspots to occupy your day; shopping in places such as Afrodita, sweating at the TULUM FIGHT CluB, or relaxing at the Lotus Spa Tulum, and at night, sipping a sunset cocktail at Muuyal Rooftop.
A reliable Wifi will also reassure businessmen and women working from home.
4# Aldea Zama is safer than the other districts
During the day, Aldea Zama is very busy. The traffic is heavy on foot, in cars, and on two wheels. The area is safe if you don’t show off your jewelry.
Avoid the area between Aldea Zama and Tulum Pueblo, especially at night, even if you are by bike.
Called “the invasion,” this area is the fief of illegal dealers that the government struggles to dislodge, and poverty is well-marked.
During the day, a tourist attracts stares that make you uncomfortable and induce covetousness.
So if you need to get to Aldea Zama from Tulum Pueblo or vice versa, better to go by the beach road.
5# Upscale residential areas
Besides the beautiful natural environment and nearby dreamy beaches, Aldea Zama is a small and friendly neighborhood.
It offers the comfort of all the amenities and leisure for vacationers and those who settle there year-round to escape the hustle and bustle and insecurity of big city life.
The area is part of an urban plan making it one of Tulum’s best-equipped zones regarding transport, networks, and security.
If you favor local food, you will eat at moderate prices, and the real estate market remains affordable for rent or sale.
Considering the continuous expansion of this area, purchasing a property in Aldea Zama is a good investment.
Why you might not like Aldea Zama, Tulum
Living in Aldea Zama can have its drawbacks.
1# You’ll need to rent a car/bike/scooter or pay an expensive taxi
Traffic is heavy, especially in high season, so a bike is a good option for shopping and going to the beach.
Hire a bike from Aldea Zama Bike Rental, which takes care of everything, or buy one depending on the length of your stay; it will be more economical.
You can also choose a house that includes a bike rental.
Taxis are expensive and hard to find; it’s better to have phone numbers of 5 or 10 different ones.
2# Noise constructions
Tulum is constantly growing, with new projects coming up non-stop.
There are no days off for the many ongoing construction work sites, which don’t stop until late in the evening.
So you may also be disturbed by construction noise on Aldea Zama. Before booking, better learn more about the vicinity.
3# No Mexican vibes
Aldea Zama is a residential area for expats, so unless you go to Tulum Pueblo, you won’t experience the Mexican vibes or the Tulum life.
In short, the area is excellent if you want to enjoy the comfort of your residence and only leave it to go to the beach or visit a tourist site such as the Mayan ruins.
Best hotels in Aldea Zama Tulum
Here is a selection of the best hotels in Aldea Zama to help you find yours.
1# KASA Hotel Kuyen – Adults Only
A stylish and comfy design makes Kasa Hotel Kuyen the ideal place for a romantic stay.
You can enjoy Tulum weather by the rooftop swimming pool or book a suite with a private pool and a kitchenette if you want more intimacy. All the suites have a patio view, but those on the ground floor are a bit dark.
The staff is friendly, and the restaurant serves good Mexican cuisine.
The area is quiet and safe, but the hotel is relatively far from downtown Tulum. You can rent bikes on-site even if the cost is a bit high.
2# Naay Tulum Curamoria Collection – A nice little corner with a great rooftop
The Naay Tulum Curamoria Collection is a quiet spot in an enjoyable environment with many good restaurants.
Its new and elegant architecture and large and stylish rooms make it suitable for couples and families of up to 4 persons.
The hotel has a lovely infinity pool surrounded by a terrace with duckboards lined with palapas. Looking for something even more romantic? Enjoy the pool on the rooftop and order a cocktail at the bar-restaurant.
Feel free to go out for a good breakfast, as the one served in the hotel is limited in choice.
3# Zereno Boutique Hotel – Bobo chic vibe in a green haven
Set in a secure and expanding area, this stunning boutique hotel offers a chic bohemian vibe, perfect for couples or families.
The suites with a leafy terrace are spacious. Some are equipped with a microwave and a fridge. Duplexes are located on the ground floor. However, the rooms could be better soundproofed—road noise and building works in the area may disturb sensitive ears.
A lovely garden surrounds an outdoor swimming pool.
4# Irie Tulum Boutique Hotel – A stylish apartment hotel
A nice design and stylish furniture make Irie Tulum a pleasant resort in a fast-growing area.
This apartment hotel offers suites of different sizes and capacities. Most of them are equipped with a kitchenette, while the high-standard ones have a private rooftop pool. Note that the ground-floor rooms overlooking the pool lack some intimacy. Also, the location isn’t great (far from everything).
This boutique hotel is suitable for couples, families, or groups of friends. I’m sure you’ll love the garden, outdoor pool, and fitness center 😉
Best Villas & Apartments in Aldea Zama Tulum
Here is a selection of the best villas and flats in Aldea Zama to help you make the right decision.
1# Jungle luxury Tulum Condo: private pool & jacuzzi – A stay with your friends
The friendly and helpful staff will ensure your stay is pleasant in this spacious, modern, and fully equipped condo that can accommodate up to 5 people. Note that you might be disturbed by some construction noise as the residence is located in a growing neighborhood.
You will enjoy a lovely outdoor area with a patio, private pool, and terrace with your friends. And to spice up your stay, take the condo’s bike to discover Tulum Pueblo, 10 minutes away.
2# Casa Wahh – Good location for a family stay
Casa Wahh is a condominium near restaurants and leisure facilities, with bright and well-equipped contemporary-style apartments.
The upper-floor flats’ bay windows open on lovely balconies, and the largest apartments can accommodate up to 7 guests and have a fully equipped kitchen.
Depending on the location of your flat, you will enjoy one of the 4 private outdoor swimming pools in a peaceful patio. If you want to have the choice, ask when booking.
3# Arthouse Art Residences – A cozy experience for couples or friends
With its elegant architecture in a tropical setting and its contemporary art gallery, this residence offers spacious apartments with refined, high-end furniture.
Some apartments have a small private swimming pool on a terrace.
They all have access to a garden, a lovely shared pool with sunbeds, and a hydrotherapy pool.
The access could be more attractive without the various building constructions around.
4# Lumina at Looltum Tulum – Spacious and luminous apartments
The residence offers huge, bright flats with comfy furniture. Local culture with a Mediterranean influence inspires the elegant design.
The flats have a balcony, and some of them have a rooftop.
All apartments have access to a shared swimming pool and a nicely landscaped outdoor area with a shady pergola and a barbecue area.
The residence is a bit far from Tulum downtown, so better to have your own means of transportation (car or scooter).
5# Cave Apartments Mexico 5 – Spacious and bright duplex with rooftop
A modern and elegant design and tasteful decoration give a lot of charm to this newly built duplex, whose double bed and two single beds make it a family-friendly option.
The first level has a lovely and bright living room opening on a balcony with armchairs and a view over Tulum, while the upper level has access to a rooftop with a small pleasant pool and a pergola.
The area around the property is a bit isolated and poorly lit at night.
6# Gorgeous Flowy Space with Wrap-around Private Pool – A floating island flat
Two bedrooms with bathrooms, one of which has two double beds, make this lovely flat, with its stylish contemporary architecture, a pleasant place to stay with family or friends.
Large bay windows let in the light, and the living area opens onto a patio with duckboards and a private swimming pool surrounding the flat.
The secure neighborhood is quiet at night while being close to many restaurants.
You can hear building noise in the vicinity.
7# Vibrant Condo, FiberOptic WiFi, Workspace & a Pool – A great spot for workaholics
The apartment, surrounded by vegetation, is on the first floor of a new condominium complex.
A modern and functional design, a colorful living room, and a pleasant outdoor space with a palapa lounge and a swimming pool make it a good option for a stay with family or even friends.
The flat has a work area and a good Wi-Fi connection.
A gym center is available in the residence.
The two bikes provided are not in tip-top condition but are still helpful.
Bars & restaurants in Aldea Zama, Tulum
Some good spots to eat or drink in Aldea Zama.
1# Rossina Cafe – A greedy way to start your day
This popular little café offers many copious, well-made dishes for breakfast.
The fast service avoids long waits despite the busy atmosphere.
2# Safari – The best tacos
In a nice environment, Safari offers tasty tacos and delicious cocktails. You won’t be disappointed by the desserts either.
The welcome and service are agreeable.
3# Mamazul (can get super lively!) – A great selection of Mezcal
Mamazul offers an engaging culinary experience with Mezcal tasting menus for each dish.
The team is friendly and professional, and Lalo, the manager, is an enthusiast.
4# LA BARRA ESTELAR – Mexican brunch with a delicious coffee
This cozy place serves excellent, fresh Mexican breakfasts while listening to good music.
Smoothies are also a highlight.
5# NORITA TULUM – For dinner overlooking a sparkling pool
This restaurant, set in a lovely lush backyard around a beautiful swimming pool, offers thematic menus depending on the day of the week.
Live music concerts may take place on certain evenings.
It’s open for breakfast and lunch as well.
6# KOKORO TULUM – A great Japanese cuisine experience under the stars
This Japanese restaurant offers original, fresh, and refined dishes in a gorgeous tropical rooftop venue.
Its delicious Sushis are served in a delightful atmosphere by an attentive staff.
7# CAMPANELLA CREMERIE – Good spot for a little hunger
This Italian café, with its relaxed vibe, offers paninis, pastries, ice creams, and hot or cold drinks.
Its waffles are particularly popular.
8# Bejuco Restaurant – For Italian food lovers
Open in the evening, this Italian restaurant, with its impeccable decor, offers high-quality cuisine served with good taste.
The menu includes a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes.
The staff is pleasant.
9# Fit-a-licious – For a tasty, healthy breakfast
This early bird café-restaurant serves healthy food made with fresh products.
It offers vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
You can eat here at any time of the day, the service is fast, and the staff is friendly.
10# Elysium Tulum Cafe & Bar – For a short lunch break
This café-bar serves mainly falafels, bagels, and tacos at lunchtime.
Kratom and Kava’s drinks are available.
The staff is friendly, even if the service is sometimes slow.
11# Muuyal Rooftop – Dinning with a sunset view from a rooftop
This restaurant, located on the rooftop of a hotel, offers tasty cuisine in a friendly musical ambiance.
It’s also a great place to spend an afternoon with friends while sipping a good cocktail – Margaritas are famous.
12# Zamanik – To enjoy until the end of the night
Zamanik is a stunning club with an intimist vibe that opens at 11 pm. Excellent sound quality and light effects serve the music of famous DJs.
The team is friendly, and they have delicious drinks.
La Veleta vs Aldea Zama
Aldea Zama and La Veleta are two residential areas of Tulum in full development and located opposite each other.
From an ambiance point of view, the two areas are equal, although Aldea Zama, which cultivates its bohemian-chic-community personality, is more lively and more established with its many restaurants and shops.
Aldea Zama is also safer at night.
La Veleta has no pedestrianized areas, few street lights, and the roads are in poor condition, which is a pretext for taxi drivers to raise their prices.
La Veleta has a good selection of Airbnb accommodations for different budgets, but the area is far from downtown Tulum.
Aldea Zama offers a better location, between the town and the beaches. Therefore transportation times are shorter, and taxi costs are lower.