Approximately 40 miles southwest of Playa del Carmen and 80 miles southwest of Cancun, Tulum effectively the seaport and gateway of the larger ruins at Coba, still very much worth a visit and 30 miles directly west. With its famous Mayan cliff-top sitting alongside the Pacific Ocean, Tulum remains the perfect place to chill out after any Cancun raucousness. Until a handful of years ago, it was a sleepy place with a few backpacking spots and only one or two eco-lodges; today's Tulum still is a relaxed place, but the prime oceanfront has been largely all taken up, except the majority of the stretch that goes through the large wildlife reserve of the Biosfera Sian-Ka'an (in which it is claimed jaguars still roam). The "Riviera" Tulum runs from approximately 15 miles south of Playa del Carmen and down to Tulum through Puerto Aventuras and Akumal, and this is where many Tulum MICE venues are found.
The only airport hereabouts is the one serving Cancun, the Cancun International Airport (CUN) is happily on the Tulum side of the hotel zone of Cancun, approximately 70 miles northeast of Tulum. It has flights to all across the United States and Canada, mainly catering to sun-seekers and convention-goers.
Tulum does not have its own convention center, but in Playa del Carmen the 491-room Grand Viejas Riviera Maya has a 31,000-square-foot convention center for up to 2,700 persons. MICE hotel venues in Tulum and nearby mostly have event space, as opposed to meeting space, since weddings are a big draw. Those able to host groups in Akumal include the 630-room Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, which does have dedicated meeting space, five rooms, the largest able to host 600 persons; 252-room Catalonia Royal Tulum, and 241-room Akumal Beach Resort. A little farther toward Cancun in Puerto Aventuras is the huge Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya & Mayan Beach, which has 960 guest rooms and meeting space for up to 230 persons, and 320-room, adults-only Ocean Maya Royale, which has four meeting spaces, the largest able to host up to 400 persons. In Tulum itself, meetings will largely be outdoors and probably include yoga mats and fruit juice.
Tulum does have some unique function spots, though. Tulum MICE venues include OceanProKite, which teaches kite boarding and organizes excursions and In the Biosfera Sian-Ka'an, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is the rudimentary, stilted Centro Ecologico Sian Ka'an events hut with views, as well as the opportunity to kayak, fish and conduct wildlife tours. The massive eco theme park Xel-Ha is an event planner's dream, with restaurants, bars, event spaces and swimming with dolphins, as is the sometimes slightly Disney-esque theme park of Xcaret, which is just southwest of Playa del Carmen and has a tubing river, also has swimming with dolphins and even possesses a legitimate but minute Mayan ruin. Among the more chilled-out, gorgeous Tulum eco-lodges is La Zebra, which has a thatched-roof restaurant and bar and all manner of water activities
The best restaurants in the area also are at those relaxed eco-lodges. Shoes optional! Choose between the eco-hotels of Be Tulum; Mezzanine, which has Thai cuisine and a martini bar; Playa Azul Tulum, which has a hippy vibe (if that is possible to discern among all the other chilled spaces) and a superb fish menu; Encantada, one of the most south-westerly resorts, and Nueva Vida de Ramiro, where Casa Banana serves up Argentine dishes.