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Tulum Travel Guide

Tulum Travel Guide

Everything you need to know about planning a trip to Tulum, Mexico

TULUM TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS

Quick Info | Planning Your Trip | Things To Do | Where To Stay | Restaurants | Nightlife | Budget | FAQ

This Tulum travel guide is from our experiences visiting and living in Tulum Quintana Roo. Popular to young travelers, Tulum is a small town that is known for its nightlife, beaches, and cenotes loop. Through the years, travelers visiting Tulum have not been limited to Spring Breakers as families traveling with kids are also drawn to Tulum.

Tulum travel is not for everyone but many people who don’t make it as their main destination also visit for a day trip from Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Bacalar, and other neighboring towns.

✈️ Tulum Travel Quick Info

🇲🇽 State: Quintana Roo

⏰ Timezone: Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5)

✈️ Airport: Cancun International Airport

💲 Currency: The currency in Mexico is called Mexican pesos (MXN). Mexico also uses the $ sign so don’t be confused if you see this all over town – it’s not in USD so don’t be fooled!

🔌 Power plug: Mexico uses a type A socket (US, Canada). For more information about power plugs in Mexico, see this link (with photos)

📱 Mexico sim card: The best provider that works in Oaxaca is Telcel. See our complete Mexico sim card guide for more information.

🛃 Visa: In November 2021, Mexico stopped granting visitors a 180-day visa. It really depends on the immigration officer how many days he/she will give you but just show proof of accommodations (with dates) and it should be fine.

🤟 Language: Everyone in the travel industry can speak English in Tulum although some local street food stalls can only speak Spanish.

🪅 Culture: Tulum has a small town culture where everyone knows everyone. It is a famous party destination for Spring Breakers and is also a great travel destination for those who wish to see cenotes.

📶 Wifi: Not all areas of Tulum have good wifi but resorts and boutique hotels can have up to 25 Mbps Internet speed.

🗺️ Tulum Map

Click here to open this Tulum map in full view.

🧳 Tulum Travel Planning Tools

🌮 Tulum restaurants

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🍸 Tulum bars and nightlife

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💰 Money and Costs

To have an idea of how much you need to prepare for your trip to Tulum, here are some price estimates. All prices below are in US dollars.

ItemPrice
Boutique hotel for 2from $65 USD
All-inclusive resort stay for 2from $350 USD
A bed in a hostel dormfrom $25 USD
1-way airport transfer (private)from $75 USD
1-way airport transfer (shared)from $20 USD
Eating out in a restaurant (one meal)from $15 USD
Street food tacosless than $5 USD
Beer in a pub$3 USD
Cocktails in a bar$7 – $10 USD

💵 US dollars: Tulum is still a cash society and only Mexican pesos is widely accepted. Some establishments will accept US dollars but at a lower conversion rate.

You can also exchange USD to Mexican pesos upon arrival at the airport.

🏧 ATMs: As a small town, Tulum experiences cash shortage on ATM machines. It is best to take out money once you arrive at Cancun International Airport, before taking your airport transfer to Tulum.

💳  Credit/debit cards: Credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments in Tulum but not everyone accepts Amex. Visa and Mastercard are the most accepted credit cards.

💸  Tipping: f you didn’t like the service, 10% will do but if you liked the service, you can tip up to 20%. Tipping is recommended especially in restaurants as Mexico’s daily minimum wage is very low.

The tipping culture in Mexico and the US is the same so you can also tip as you would do it back home in the US.

⁉️ Tulum Travel FAQs

The best months to go to Tulum are from November to April. At this time, you will experience great weather (with no hurricanes or rain showers!) These months are the high season in Tulum so expect to pay higher prices.

Tulum is not for everyone so before planning your trip, make sure you know what to expect during your travel and if it caters to the type of traveler that you are. A trip to Tulum is always worth it if you love archaeology, Mexico cenotes, and pristine beaches.

It is hard to say if Tulum is better than Cancun because these Mexico destinations are dependent on the traveler type. If you like to travel with friends and have a week of partying, choose Tulum. If you are traveling with family and loved ones, Cancun is more appropriate.

Both Cancun and Tulum are in the state of Quintana Roo, which is also the most visited of all Mexico states. There isn’t an exact indicator that Cancun is safer than Tulum but bear in mind that these touristy areas will not do anything to harm tourists. Bad things happen to locals (which is not fair at all) but crimes are very rare to tourists unless you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The number one thing you should avoid in Tulum is buying drugs. Tourists are very safe in Tulum and locals are always the ones who are hit by crimes but if you put yourself in the drug business (let alone buying weed), you can get into trouble in Tulum.

Tulum is very popular because of its small-town vibe, endless parties, pristine beaches, and of course, the cenotes. Tulum has been visited by over 600,000 tourists in 2021 alone.

3 days is enough for Tulum if you are getting on a direct flight to Cancun International Airport. If you are stopping in Mexico City, you will spend a full day traveling (back and forth) so you will only enjoy Tulum for 3 days if you hop on a direct flight. Otherwise, the shortest recommended stay in Tulum is 5 days.

Yes, Tulum is more expensive than most Mexico destinations. It is now even more expensive than Los Cabos, Baja California Sur

The walk from Tulum town to Tulum beach about an hour so better take a taxi or rent a bicycle.

🇲🇽 Tulum Travel Resources

  • ✈️ Flights to Cancun: The airport that serves Tulum is Cancun International Airport. Use the code MXINSIDER to get discounts on flights to Cancun upon checkout on WayAway.
  • 🏥 Mexico Travel Insurance: do not travel to Mexico without insurance. Check insurance plans on SafetyWing for as low as US$40 for full travel coverage.
  • 🚕 Cancun Airport to Tulum transfer: the travel time from Cancun to Tulum is approximately 1 hour. Book your airport transfer for as low as US$40.
  • 🚗 Cancun Airport rental cars: Rent a car and go around Riviera Maya for only US$35 per day (credit card required for car deposit). Check prices at Rental Cars Cancun.
  • 🚌 Tulum bus transportation: you can also book bus tickets online to get to and from Tulum and around Riviera Maya. BusBud Tulum is the best platform to use!
  • 🧭 Tulum Tours: find over 50+ things to do in Tulum including day trips, boat cruises, and more. Find the best deals on Viator Tulum.
  • 🛏️ Tulum Hostels: backpackers and young travelers, you can stay in a dorm bed in Tulum for as low as US$21! Check Hostelworld Tulum for the best rates.
  • 🏨 Tulum Hotels: hotels in Tulum start at US$55 (for 2 pax). Booking.com Tulum has many properties you’ll love!
  • 🏖️ Tulum Resorts: get resort deals in Riviera Maya for as low as US$350. There are many resorts to choose from and great deals can be found on Expedia Tulum.
  •  Tulum Travel Planner: we have local staff on the ground in Sayulita. Contact us and we will help you plan your trip for a fixed rate. No hidden fees, just simple charges
  • 📧 Tulum Updates: subscribe to our newsletter and get honest and transparent updates about Tulum. You will love our monthly news in your inbox! NO SPAM. NEVER.
  • ☕ Buy us coffee: readers who support Mexico Insider help us continue bringing you the most honest content about Tulum. Consider donating to our coffee fund if you like the content that we do.
tulum travel guide
tulum travel guide

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