La Veleta, Tulum: A Guide To Learn Everything About This Area

Tulum is the most expensive city in Mexico, and finding luxury accommodation for a reasonable price is challenging. Fortunately, 2 recent neighborhoods offer villas, apartments, and hotels whose quality/price ratio is much better than Tulum Beach. I’m speaking about Aldea Zama & La Veleta in Tulum.

Let’s be frank.

La Veleta is not a district for everyone.

By reading this guide, you can weigh the pros and cons and decide if you want to give it a shot.

I stayed 15 days in Tulum and collected a lot of accurate information and details about this area of Tulum. I hope you will find them helpful.

Let’s go!

👉 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.

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In 2 months, I’ve spent more than 10,000 USD to test the best activities in the Riviera Maya. Stay with me to quickly decide which experiences you should do and learn how to make the most of your trip.

Neighbourhood La Veleta, Tulum: the takeaway

You should know that you do not only have to choose between downtown and Tulum beach. There is also a “new” neighborhood named La Veleta.

Lying between Centro, Aldea Zama, and the beach, it is filled with luxury hotels, villas, and apartments. It is the perfect place if you are looking for property rentals for an extended stay in Tulum. La Veleta is the ideal place to be, from popular restaurants to grocery stores and top-notch villas at every turn. If you want a night out, walk along C. 7 Sur street. Here you will find many bars and clubs where people party till daybreak. The advantage of staying in La Veleta is the “easy” access to the beach if you have a car or are ready to pay for expensive taxi rides. Follow the Av. Kukulkan to Hotel Zone and find yourself on the pristine sandy beaches of Tulum.

On the other hand, this area has a lot of disadvantages that may be a red flag for you.

The alleys are deserted and unlit at night (which is not great for safety), and depending on where you are, you will hear annoying construction noises during the day. In short, choose your location carefully—between Calle 7 Sur & Avenue 307 if possible.

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 La Veleta, Tulum?

Los amigos Tulum hotels
Credit: Los Amigos Tulum

La Veleta offers you a range of luxury residential properties for rent or sale in a beautiful, quiet neighborhood. Here, foodies have several popular restaurants to sample, while partygoers have several spots to enjoy the cheaper nightlife. The beach is also quite near.

You’re closer to the beach than Tulum Pueblo.

You can ride a scooter on Kukulkan road for ten minutes to get to the nearby beach. The narrow road and its traffic may initially appear challenging, but it will become much simpler after a few trips. The ride is accompanied by the local scenery, which adds additional enjoyment to the journey. Riding a scooter is much faster and easier than riding a bike for 30 to 40 minutes in the heat. Take it slow at first if you have not previously ridden a scooter, and you will soon become accustomed to the experience.

Several cool spots for enjoying your daily life

The Gym & SPA at Central Park in Tulum is an excellent option to exercise and unwind simultaneously. A great coworking space with a down-to-earth atmosphere and great coffee, Digital Jungle, is the best choice. Also, if you want to eat and work in one spot, Once Tulum | Restaurant & Coworking has a great atmosphere and friendly, attentive staff. La Veleta has a lot of food options for vegetarians and vegans. If you choose to use a rental car, parking is simple and easy to come by. The rental process is simple and can be done at the Cancun Airport. Avant Rent a Car is a reputable company offering decent service rates.

Better value than Tulum Beach

Prices in Tulum beach can be super high most of the time, and unfortunately, the value for money doesn’t always hold up. When you book a room, you run a greater chance of being taken advantage of because Tulum beach is one of the most popular destinations. La Velenta, Tulum, predominantly comprises rental apartments that still provide a fair amount of luxury for the price. You’ll find much better deals at the hotels in La Veleta, like KAN Tulum and Hotel Boutique TerraNova. They have near-perfect reviews for their hospitality, location, pricing, and on-site amenities, and you can snag a 5-star, two-person suite for as low as USD 100 per night.

Quiet at night

La Veleta should better suit your pace as it is a 15-20-minute walk from Tulum Pueblo, which can be pretty chaotic into the evening. You’ll notice that the neighborhood is not too clubby and has more boutique shops and restaurants. On holidays such as New Year, parties are in the area, but that is to be expected. Most days, the Airbnb in La Veleta offered travelers the ideal balance of entertainment and relaxation. It provided a complete experience without compromising the quality of downtime and rest.

Why you might not like La Veleta, Tulum

Hotel Panacea Tulum (1)
Credit: Hotel Panacea Tulum

Not everything is perfect in La Veleta.

More unsafe at night

The property manager at a local Airbnb emphasized the significance of adequately locking your home or vehicle. They pointed out that theft is fairly common because many of the area’s construction workers are from outside the province. Also, if you drive at night, be ready for police checkpoints where you might have to pay the officers to get off.

Also important is not to walk alone at night, especially in dark places. However, you should remember that you can still have a safe and enjoyable trip with some basic street smarts and respect for the area’s culture. You should rarely encounter bag eggs if you avoid drug or cartel-related activities or individuals. It’s advised to check with the Airbnb or property manager to see if there is a safe to keep any valuables secured.

It is a new neighborhood

One thing to bear in mind is that construction is ongoing in many places, so you’ll have to deal with noise throughout the day. If you want peace, book a location far from any known construction sites. Another thing to note is that some streets might not have enough lighting, which can be unsafe.

When traveling, sizable potholes occupy the roads all over La Veleta, making it irritating to drive, especially when it rains, as your clothes get dirty from the splashback. They haven’t built a road in five years, so don’t expect things to be too streamlined. As well, being a developing area, La Veleta lacked the charm of other neighborhoods, so it might not be the best choice if you want a district with personality.

Better to have a car, bike, or scooter

Since walking around is not the most pleasurable experience, most people rent cars, scooters, or bikes. I recommend purchasing a bike rather than renting one if you intend to stay for more than a week. For prices between $180 and $300, Chedraui sells nice bikes with gears.

If you want to be closer to the action, stay between C.7 SUR Street and Avenue 307. However, this means you will be at least 2.5 kilometers from Tulum Pueblo’s nightlife district. Keep in mind that taxis in Tulum always upcharge tourists.

You will be far from the beach when staying in Tulum Pueblo. A one-way ride to the beach hotel zone for clubs or popular restaurants will set you back at least 600 pesos. If there is no traffic, the ride only takes ten minutes. 

Best hotels in La Veleta Tulum

La Veleta is known for luxury hotels with services that give guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Relaxation is the focus; the services are meant to ensure your stay is stress-free and fulfilling.

Hotel Boutique TerraNova: A Home Away from Home

The hotel is only 5 minutes away on foot from the town center and 35 minutes by bike from the beach. It provides easy access to a bike rental shop, restaurants, markets, and a nearby holistic center.

The rooms are welcoming, spotless and air-conditioned. Your included toiletries will be top-quality, and the showers have hot water. The warm and welcoming staff, along with owner Raffa, will treat guests like family and make you feel right at home!

Hotel Casa Santiago Tulum: Destination Relaxation

The rooms and grounds are clean, and the hotel staff will go above and beyond to address your requests. The air conditioning and WiFi perfectly service all areas of the spacious room, allowing for optimal sleep and mid-day relaxation.

Despite its peaceful setting, the property is conveniently located close to Italian bistros, wood-fired pizza restaurants, and gourmet coffee shops. This option is the way to go if you are eyeing up some diverse local eateries.

The Reserve Tulum: Live Life Comfortably

The modern apartments unit will offer you a comfortable bed, a clean bathroom, and kitchen facilities. It’s situated in a quiet neighborhood that’s conveniently located near restaurants, street food, supermarkets, and laundry facilities.

The friendly staff welcomes you in like neighbors to enhance the feeling of living in the city. It may be less luxurious, but certainly, an excellent route if living in the comfort of your home is a vibe you are looking to achieve.

Los Amigos Tulum: Easy Breeze

The apartment is fully furnished and well-maintained, with all staff being professional and helpful while working hard to make your stay comfortable. The view from the rooftop pool is ideal for watching the sunset, providing a cool retreat from the heat.

A lot of charming restaurants can be reached within a short distance on foot. Despite its quiet street location, Tulum Centro, the beach, and the surrounding area should be explored by car to make the most of your stay.

Era Hotel & Spa Tulum: Self-Care Sanctuary

From arranging transportation to warmly welcoming guests and providing free bicycles to explore the Tulum ruins, the Era Hotel & Spa staff go above and beyond. With impeccable service and a friendly attitude, they are always ready to attend to your requests and offer recommendations on activities and dining.

The property is impressive, with no detail overlooked, making for a rejuvenating experience without compromising on the city’s fun.

 Hotel Panacea Tulum: A Private Escape

You’ll be granted access to a back garden, a private swimming pool, and spacious rooms during your stay. The cleaning is meticulous across all common facilities. Decorated with lush gardens, the attentive staff will help with any needs.

The complimentary breakfast is a bit limited but features fresh food and pastries, with the chef hand-making excellent guacamole. Close proximity to many restaurants and street food is a standout element of the hotel.

Best Villas & Apartments in La Veleta Tulum

There are villas at every corner of La Veleta, Tulum. They offer different comforts and luxuries, such as pools, hot tubs, breathtaking views, and serenity. Take your time finding the right place for your stay. Your friends will love it.

Yaakunah Tulum Homes: Homey Perfection

This villa tailors the type of traveler that wants to kick back and unwind. The cleanliness will leave you with no doubts and allow you to relax fully during your stay.

All throughout, the villa is furnished with locally made pillows, baskets, rugs, and pottery. It features a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor space for dining and lounging. The second floor offered a terrace with an L-shaped couch, an outdoor tub and shower, and room for music and games.

Palacio Lofts: For the Adventurous

The loft is a cozy penthouse with a pool and hot tub. The property is 5.7 km from Tulum Archeological Site and offers air-conditioned accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi. All units have a seating and dining area.

Diving, fishing, and snorkeling are available, and apartment guests can rent bicycles.

Trendy Tulum Escape Condo: Breathtaking Perspective

This condo is the one for those who appreciate a view. It features large windows in every room, living area, and balcony, allowing you to seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor spaces while immersing yourself in the natural surroundings.

The apartment boasts 2 elegantly decorated bedrooms, each with a full ensuite bathroom, a spacious open-plan living and dining area, and sliding glass doors allowing plenty of natural light and neutral colors that complement Tulum’s jungle ambiance.

Apartment with Private Plunge Pool at Madara Tulum: Pool Party Paradise

From start to finish, the apartment provides everything you need to ensure you don’t go without. A pool, barbecue, and professional-quality cooking tools are ideal for unwinding in the evenings or hosting a gathering during the day.

The fully-furnished rooms offer a free and fast internet connection for downtime. A minimum of 2 nights is required, so it is the perfect fit for visitors looking to get comfortable and spend most of their time on the apartment grounds.

Luxury Condo for 4 Casa Azul: For the Modern Family

It’s a new building that feels very secure. The unit itself has nice living areas, a full kitchen, and an interior comfortable for 4. The pool area comes with hammocks to kick back in.

One heads-up is that the building may be tricky to find as it’s on a new road with little signage. It is accessible with a rental car, but it may not be the best if you travel on foot.

Alicat Villas: A Hidden Gem

The villa offers a calm environment and rooms equipped with necessary amenities and private balconies. The mezzanine is a hit with children who enjoy having their own area, and the swimming pool below will provide you with a cooling break from the Tulum sun.

You should remain cautious, as dirty bed sheets and cutlery have been noted. Poor WiFi connectivity is another low point. Renting a car is recommended to explore the area, with free private parking available on-site.

My Soul Home Studios: Simply Wonderful

The room has the necessary amenities, with no unneeded touches. A serene and peaceful aura is cast among the grounds due to the decor and cleanliness. It is the minimalist’s ultimate vacation. The hosts’ recommendations will send you to all the neighborhood offers. The nearby streets have charming cafes and shops, making them ideal for extended stays.

One drawback is that the beds may be too firm for your liking. The hot water supply in the shower can be erratic and improved.

Casa Yaakun: Chillax All the Way

The modern, well-equipped hotel provides a well-rounded experience if you are on a one or two-week vacation. Numerous cafes and bars offer a variety of breakfast options in the neighborhood.

Casa Yaakun is one of the cheapest accommodations considering the location. However, there is frequent construction noise from nearby sites. It usually stops by 5 p.m. and does not occur on weekends.

Sonido del mar Hotel Boutique & Yoga Loft: A Meditative Experience

An Italian-influenced loft, the staff is exceptionally hospitable. The loft features a restaurant bar with delectable and reasonably priced dishes. The yoga studio provides a serene environment to meditate or self-reflect.

You should be prepared to experience power outages which are not uncommon. These are temporary but can cause frustration if recurrent. The location is on the outskirts of the developing town and is surrounded by construction.

Bars & restaurants in La Veleta, Tulum

Il bacaro La Veleta Tulum
Il bacaro La Veleta

There are a lot of bars and restaurants to visit and explore in the C. 7 Sur street area! 

Best Tacos in Tulum: A Sizable Experience

At Best Tacos Pepe, you’ll be greeted with an array of selections to choose from. The people are super friendly and will offer you super large portions to keep you well-fed.

Boccanera Pizzeria y Cerveceria: A World-Class Service

You should prepare to come hungry, as you’ll be served home-cooked pizza that is considered the best around. Various cocktails are available to order as well.

Asian Bodega Restaurant & Bar: Calm and Collected

Here you’ll meet a flavorful Asian fusion menu that includes dishes like the grouper Thai radito, green curry moules frites, curry, and brownies. It is the perfect spot for a romantic date night.

Smokey O’s BBQ: A Taste of Texas

Locals have crowned this the best Texas barbecue in Tulum! Granted, one of the few, it still cooks up amazing brisket, potato salad, beans, and drinks.

La Taqueria: You Get What You Pay For

This spot has some awesome vibes, including swing seating. You’ll pay tourist prices in that taco restaurant but be served quality meals.

Mistico Garden La veleta: Like an Old Friend

The outdoor seating will make you feel like you’re hanging at a friend’s house, with games like jumbo Jenga, Connect Four, and more. They have an excellent hookah flavor selection too!

Il bacaro La Veleta Tulum: Exceptional Experience

With industrial Tulum-style architecture featuring a spacious ceiling, a large bar to the left, and a massive fire in the rear, this restaurant boasts a stunning design with all-wood furniture and a lovely atmosphere. They offer a good selection of Italian-style dishes, including pizza, pasta, and salads, and their cocktails are exceptional, making it an ideal spot with medium pricing.

Nativo Tulum: Going the Extra Mile

It is one of the many taco places, but the customer service is unmatched. The meals are complete with handmade tortillas with many options plus much more toppings than surrounding restaurants.

Restaurante Gaudea: Stunningly Romantic

The restaurant’s ambiance is stunning, creating a romantic and peaceful atmosphere perfect for a special night out. Along with the delicious food, the friendly and attentive service make it an outstanding option that won’t break the bank. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking an exceptional dining experience.

La Veleta vs Aldea Zama

Tulum’s Aldea Zama and La Veleta are two distinct areas that provide visitors with distinct experiences. Compared to La Veleta, Aldea Zama is a gated community that is more established and has a few shops to explore. As a result, it is more convenient and developed. However, La Veleta has a unique town-jungle vibe thanks to its numerous small restaurants.

Aldea Zama is considered safer at night due to its lively atmosphere, although both areas lack sidewalks and streetlights. While the roads in both areas are rough, the state of the streets in La Veleta can cause taxi drivers to charge more for their services. Aldea Zama may be a better option for people who want to save money on transportation and reduce their commute time.

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I have been traveling around Colombia and Mexico since 2015 to discover new experiences and help travelers make the right choices.

3 comments

  1. Kassandra says:

    Hi Tom and Adrix,

    Thank you for sharing your blog, it is super helpful! I am planning a last minute trip to Mexico and came upon what looks like a beautiful Airbnb in La Veleta. The blog provided great insight to the pros and cons. I typically steer away from touristy areas, however this is one of the few places where the flight is not obscenely expensive (leaving from NYC or BDL). I prefer quiet places and I always rent a vehicle. I read the roads are pretty rough there. Any tips on transportation? I do not see myself riding a scooter or a bicycle. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again!

    • Hi Kassandra, the easiest way is to pay expensive taxi—take their phone numbers if you find good ones. Or you can rent a car at the Cancun airport and drive to La Veleta. Look for a place with parking lot.

  2. Dawn says:

    Hello Mr. Espeute,
    Thank you as this information is exactly what I needed! I am staying in La Veleta this spring (2024), flying into the new Tulum International Airport. To reduce transportation costs, I plan on taking the ADO Bus line to get closer to my stay, and it seems that I would have to go to Tulum Centro and then take a cab to my destination in La Veleta. Is the distance from the Tulum Centro ADO Bus station to La Veleta expensive by cab? Also, I have downloaded the ADO app, with no stops listed in La Veleta.

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