Traveling to Tulum for an epic vacation is honestly so much fun. But, before you jump on a plane there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some important tips that will help ensure you have a smooth and mishap-free trip to Mexico.
How to Get to Tulum
- Tulum does not have its own airport
- The closest airport is Cancun International (Code: CUN)
- Once you land, the drive to Tulum takes about 90-120 minutes. Keep this in mind when picking an arrival time into Mexico.
- You have options to get to Tulum: Public transportation, schedule a private transfer, or renting a car.
- I did a private transfer with Travel Yucatan and definitely recommend it! It's so much easier and, especially if you are in a big group, makes more sense financially.
Read on: Full Tulum Travel Guide
Speak the Language
Spanish is the leading language throughout Mexico, but you'll find that most locals speak a bit of English. Learn the basics before you go for a smoother trip. The locals really appreciate the effort.
Live off the grid
Wifi is limited in Tulum. A lot of the hotels have it, but connections are sometimes mediocre at best. Embrace being off the grid instead of complaining.
Water in Mexico
Ever seen Sex and the City? I used to think they were being dramatic... but apparently not. Do not drink the water in Tulum - or anywhere in Mexico really. I have a super sensitive stomach and kept getting sick. It got better when I started using bottled water to brush my teeth and wash my face. Also, be very careful with ice in water and cocktails.
Read on: Where to eat in Tulum
Plugs in Mexico
If you’re visiting from the US, you won’t need to bring a power converter! Yay - happy dance. Mexican power outlets are the same as the US.
Read on: Packing List for Mexico
AC is a luxury in Tulum and many hotels don't offer it. Be extra careful when booking if this is important to you.
A word on renting cars in Mexico
- I don't think a car is necessary - there are so many taxis in Tulum.
- If you’re renting a car and driving into Tulum, it’s a straight shot on one road, so you can’t miss it.
- I have heard that police set up check points close to Cancuns airport to nab tourists with big fines (or bribes) before they head home.
Taxi Rides in Tulum
As you're waiting for the taxi to arrive, ask your hotels receptionist what the price of the ride should be. When the taxi picks you up ask for what the price is before you leave. Don't be afraid to tell them you were told a lower number. Up-charging gringos is a common practice in Mexico.
Tulum Beach Taxi Rides
Taxis along the main Tulum Beach road generally run about 100-150 pesos one-way.
Bike Rentals in Tulum
If you don't have a car and want to save money on taxis book a hotel that includes bike rentals. It shouldn't be hard to find, most hotels offer this service free.
Read on: Why you should stay at Tata Tulum
Money Tips for Tulum
- Grab cash from inside the airport (preferably an ATM and not a money exchange booth) before you leave for Tulum.
- Cash only stores and restaurants are abundant in Tulum.
- Cab drivers only take cash. Be sure to carry pesos on you at all times.
- Tulum ATM's can be hard to find. They are more common in the nicer beach hotels and in the downtown city center.
Final Thoughts on Tulum
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).