Surrounded by exceptional vegetation and natural beauty, Tulum is one of the new Mexican destinations not to miss. Getting there is made simple by its proximity to the already popular Cancun International Airport. Buses from Cancun start at $15, shared rides at $21, and private options at $80. From Playa del Carmen there are cheaper options ranging from $1.75 to $4. Once there, local buses cost $0.80 and renting a bike to move with freedom is $6 per day.
Tulum Key Information
There are 2 main areas where travelers stay in Tulum: Pueblo or the town, where you can actually enjoy more of the local culture and where you'll find more affordable hotels and restaurants.it's about 10min away from the beach. The 2nd area is the private and public beach divided into 3 areas: the North (very quiet), the Middle (more nightlife, clubs and restaurants), and the South (this is the more family friendly area). Both are very good options depending on the travelers type of vacation.
The tricky part
Renting a car is always the most convenient option but keep in mind that it might be difficult to find free parking spaces in the beach or in town during the high season and, while you always have the option to take a taxi, they can often be overpriced, especially during the nighttime.
In general Tulum is not credit card friendly as most places are cash only. ATMs are available but keep in mind that even though they expend USD and EUR it is best to have Mexican pesos as you will get better purchase prices. Also, it is recommended to exchange Mexican pesos before getting there to avoid any problems as ATMs are not the most reliable and there are many scams happening with credit card cloning.
Tulum is considered one of the safest places in Mexico. Still, travelers are recommended not to walk alone in beaches at night or to wander around the streets, also to stay in well-lit areas and never accepting a cab that is not clearly identified as one since robberies do happen. Also, it is recommended to exchange money to the local currency beforehand specially due to scammers trying to deceive tourists when making purchases, paying at local restaurants, or even when paying for gas.
Getting to Tulum
Best known for its white-sand beaches and Mayan ruins, its cenotes, or underwater sinkholes, Tulum is a great gateway for tourist looking for one of the world's greatest beach destinations.
Arriving at Tulum means you'll be landing at Cancun International Airport, approximately a 81 miles 131 km ride. Depending on your choice of transportation it may take between 1:30hrs and 2hrs to get there.
Those options include:
Bus service from Cancun International Airport starting at $15 with a local company ADO, buses usually run early in the morning at 7am and 3pm in the afternoon.
Shared transfers also from Cancun International Airport to Tulum starting at $21 with Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels and private services door to door services start at $80 with the same companies Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels.
If you are departing from Playa del Carmen you may also find ADO buses for $4 that run hourly from the Bus station that is at the southern end of Fifth Avenue near Playacar. This bus makes 2 stops along the way at Xcaret and Xel-ha. Another option is the Mayab bus for $1.75 that makes more stops but it is a cheaper option if you are on a budget. Both options have a/c.
Car rental: due to the short distances and convenience, this is a popular option for travelers. You can book in advance and pick up at the airport with the option to drop off in Tulum. Price starts at $19.
The Frugal Option
The best option is flying to Cancun International Airport then take ADO Bus, they pick up from different locations outside each terminal. You can buy in advance from starting at $15. They have no luggage restrictions and drop offs are at the main bus terminal in Tulum.
A shared shuttle is considered a good option to get to Tulum, it’s economical to get directly to your hotel. This form of transportation is available 24hs from Cancun airport. The shared rides start at $21 per person with Yamevi Travels and BDS Travels
Private Transfer Options
The Mozio Recommendation
Moving AROUND Tulum
If you are looking for a great "local experience", then buses are the best choice, they are like a shared van with fixed stops, the cost is around $0.80. If you are not in a hurry and want to save money, it’s the way to go. Keep in mind that it's the main transport for locals so it can be very crowded at times.
Taxis are also a good option to explore Tulum and the nearby area, they are always available and depending on the area the prices range from $2 up to $12.
The Frugal Option
While in Tulum, many hotels offer bikes with your stay. You can also find bike shops everywhere in town. Renting a bike is also possible from starting at $6 per day. There is a nice sidewalk connecting the town and the beach to get your way around.
Buses are also a great choice, they are like a shared van with fixed stops, the cost is around $0.80. If you are not in a hurry and want to save money, it’s the way to go.
Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In Tulum?
Car Rental Options
There’s a large rental car center in Cancun including worldwide brand and local agencies: Alamo, Avis Renta de Autos, Hertz, Renta de Autos en Tulum | America Car Rental:
Pick up point: Cancun International Airport, prices start at $19 per day and the distance is 117 kilometers to Tulum. Pick up point: Playa del Carmen ADO Terminal, prices also start at $19 per day and the distance is 64 kilometers to Tulum. The basic rate includes total insurance.
Rental requirements are passport or ID card, driving license, and a valid credit card. There is no distance limit to your rental usage.
Day Trips Around Tulum
Playa del Carmen
Best known for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, Playa del Carmen is considered to be the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is located 65 kilometers from Tulum, the ticket costs $4 and only in 1 hour you can be at the beach enjoying a sunny day. Taxi cost is $30 and car rental starts at $19.
From Playa del Carmen you can also take a ferry to the popular island of Cozumel. There’s only one ferry company operating the service, . The ferry takes off every hour starting at 7am to 11pm, the cost is $10 per passenger.
Considered to be one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a must destination. It is located 126 kilometers from Tulum, taking the the ride takes about 2:30 hours and the ticket cost starts at $12. Taxi cost is around $15 and car rental starts at $19.