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Tulum Solo Travel Guide: How To Have An Amazing Trip On Your Own

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By Shelley Marmor. Note that this Tulum solo travel guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners.

Planning on doing some solo travel in Tulum, Mexico?

You’ve landed on the right article because this Tulum solo travel guide covers everything you need to know to have an unforgettable trip when traveling to Tulum alone.

The bohemian beach town of Tulum, located in the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea, is one of the best destinations for solo female travel in Mexico.

If you’ve never traveled solo or never traveled to Mexico solo, you’re soon going to learn everything you need to know about Tulum — from how to get to Tulum, where to stay in Tulum, and all the best things to do in Tulum.

Now, for those who have done some homework on this beautiful beach town, you might be wondering if Tulum is expensive.

As a Mexico local, I’ll say that when compared to the rest of the country, it is; but a budget trip is also totally possible. You’ll learn more about how to save money below.

Ready to discover all the things you need to know for an epic solo trip to Tulum?

Before we get to all that fun stuff, let’s clear the air around the #1 question when it comes to Tulum solo female travel — safety.

Quick tip: While Tulum is safe for solo travel, it’s still smart to pack travel safety essentials. One top pick is the She’s Birdie Personal Safety Alarm, which is TSA-approved and can help scare away potential attackers.

Raw Love Cafe is a popular spot for Tulum solo travel
The entrance to Raw Love Cafe makes for one of the most iconic Tulum photos. (Photo via Rafael Cisneros Méndez/UnSplash)

Is Mexico Safe For Solo Travel?

When it comes to Mexico travel and how to travel alone successfully, the country has a bad reputation in the mainstream media, and perhaps you’ve been warned not to go to Mexico solo.

While most warnings are well-meaning, make sure you’re always considering the source of Mexico travel information.

As you probably know, the news has a habit of reporting the “doom and gloom” because that’s what sells. It is exactly because of this that you may have been warned by family members and friends not to travel to Mexico solo.

However, if you have any solo female traveler friends or acquaintances, especially those who have been to Mexico, consider asking them.

The best information on solo female travel will come from women who have done it, and for those who have, they’ll likely encourage you to go.

Is Tulum safe?

Wondering “Is Tulum safe for solo female travellers?” Here’s the low-down!

For the most part, Tulum is considered quite safe and is a great option for solo travel in Mexico.

The biggest threats to your safety in Tulum are usually hurricanes, mosquitoes, and sunburns, though petty crimes like phone and wallet theft do also happen — so make sure you know how to avoid pickpockets.

For instance, you can order hidden pocket garments from a company like Clever Travel Companion or hidden pocket scarves from Speakeasy Travel Supply.

As no place on Earth is 100% safe, you’ll want to follow these Mexico travel tips, and take the same general travel precautions you’d take anywhere else.

In Tulum, like most big tourist towns, you have to pay extra attention to your valuables and never leave anything unattended. As a town with a big party scene, you’ll want to watch your alcohol intake, and not take drinks from strangers.

Tulum is a pretty small town, so walking alone at night really isn’t that dangerous; however, always listen to your intuition, and if it feels safer for you to take a taxi, do that.

Tulum Ruins on Tulum Ruins Beach are one of the most popular Tulum destinations
The Tulum Ruins on Tulum Ruins Beach. (Photo via Anna Sullivan/UnSplash)

Getting To Tulum

What State Is Tulum In?

People often wonder, “Where is Tulum in Mexico?”

Tulum is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico. This is one of the three states in the Yucatan Peninsula, along with Yucatan and Campeche states. Of the three, Quintana Roo is the most visited.

It is a long, thin state, encompassing the entire coastline of Mexico that sits on the Caribbean Sea. For this reason, you might also hear this part of the Yucatan Peninsula called the Mexican Caribbean.

Quintana Roo has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, and some of the country’s top travel destinations. If you’re planning some solo travel to the beach, this state should definitely be on your radar.

Also in this state, you’ll find Cancun (there are so many great things to do in Cancun, by the way!), Playa del Carmen, and Riviera Maya, as well as Holbox Island and Bacalar Lagoon, two Mexico hidden gems.

What’s The Closest Tulum Airport?

As mentioned, Tulum is in the same state as Cancun. In fact, it is about 1.5 hours south of Tulum by car or bus. Since there’s no airport in Tulum, you’ll have to fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN).

This is great because, as one of the busiest airports in Mexico, there are many daily, direct flight options from most major cities in the U.S. There are also direct flights to Cancun from many cities in Europe.

Visiting Cenote Calavera on a solo trip to Tulum
Cenote Calavera is one of the best cenotes in Tulum. (Photo via Mathilde Langevin/UnSplash)

How Do I Get From Cancun To Tulum?

This is a popular question that I think is important to answer in any Tulum travel guide.

From the airport, you can easily rent a car, arrange for private transportation, or take the ADO bus from Cancun to Tulum. For budget travel in Tulum, the ADO is the cheapest way to get to Tulum from Cancun.

Car Rental: There are numerous car rentals in Cancun Airport, and prices will range from $25USD per day if you skip the insurance, to $50USD per day if you take it. As your U.S. insurance usually offers no coverage in other countries, do consider insurance — though do check first to see if your credit card or travel insurance covers you. (And if you’re wondering “Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Tulum?” the answer is yes!”

Private Transportation: To arrange for private transport, start by asking your accommodation if they arrange this. Many hotels, hostels and Airbnbs do, and usually change about $100USD for roundtrip service.

ADO Bus: ADO is Mexico’s largest bus company, with a fleet of very nice, comfortable buses that have reclining seats, air conditioning, outlets to charge your phone, and a bathroom on board. You can take the ADO bus right from Cancun Airport to Downtown Tulum for about $30USD roundtrip.

Seeing the Follow The Dream sign on a Tulum solo female travel trip
The Follow That Dream sign on Tulum Beach. (Photo via Mathilde Langevin/UnSplash)

Getting Around Tulum

Tulum is a small town, and only about five miles from one end to the other. It is divided into two general areas, Tulum Town — also known as Downtown Tulum or Tulum Pueblo — and Tulum Beach.

Though the beach is only about two-to-three miles from downtown, Tulum is very hot and humid for the majority of the year, so you’d still want to take a cab or ride your bike from downtown to the beach.

Is Uber In Tulum?

You may have noticed Uber was not on that list — and that’s because there is no Uber in Tulum, nor anywhere in Quintana Roo state. This is also why you can’t Uber from Cancun to Tulum!

Renting A Bike In Tulum

Since there’s no Uber, you will have to get around Tulum by walking, taking taxis, or renting a bike.

Of all the options, many visitors rent a bike in Tulum as an eco-friendly, inexpensive, and fun option to explore the town.

Tulum bike rentals cost about $10USD per day. You can get one from any of a number of bike rentals in Tulum Town (Downtown) with your passport.

Should I Rent A Car For Tulum?

If you’re just staying in Tulum itself, and not planning to do much exploring of the surrounding areas, skip the car rental. As Tulum gets more and more popular, its traffic is getting worse, which is another reason biking is so popular.

For those who want to do some Tulum day trips, a car might be the best option.

As Cancun has more options, and you have to travel from Cancun to Tulum anyway, if you do want a rental car then pick one up in Cancun instead of Tulum.

To rent a car in Mexico, all you need is a valid driver’s license and a credit card.

By the way, you can use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Check it out here:

Tulum Neighborhoods: Where To Stay In Tulum

There are a number of Tulum destinations to choose from when visiting.

So in this section of our solo travel to Tulum guide, I’ll share some of the great local neighborhoods to choose from.

Tulum Beach

Tulum Beach is the side of Tulum you’ve likely seen on Instagram and YouTube. This is where all the large art sculptures, Tulum Mayan Ruins, boho shops, jungle cafes, and eco-chic hotels are located. 

If you stay here, you’re right on the beach and everything is within walking or biking distance. That is certainly very convenient, but also tends to come with a higher price tag.

For those who have a smaller budget, you’ll want to stay in Tulum Town as hotels start at about $200USD per night, but can go up to $2,000USD per night on the beach.

Besides the hotels, everything costs more on the beach, including restaurants, bars, shops, and even ATM fees.

Visiting Tulum Beach on Tulum solo travel journey
It’s easy to see why everyone wants to stay on Tulum Beach! (Photo via Spencer Watson/Unsplash)

Tulum Town

Tulum Town, though not as Instagram-worthy, provides a way to experience the more authentic side of Tulum.

As many locals live here, staying in Tulum Town often costs half as much as staying on the beach.

Here, you’ll find plenty of Tulum hotels and Airbnbs, averaging $50-100USD per night; for hostels, expect to pay about $30USD per night. The accommodations in Tulum Town are quite nice, so don’t be afraid to stay off-beach to save some money.

Within Tulum Town, a few distinct areas have started to pop up over the last few years. The two main neighborhoods within Downtown Tulum are Aldea Zama and La Veleta.

Aldea Zama: Aldea Zama is located between Tulum Town and Tulum Beach. Here, you’ll find nicer Airbnbs and mostly townhouse and apartment rentals.

Given its location in the center of Tulum, staying here puts you only one mile from both the beach and downtown.

La Veleta: La Veleta is on the westernmost edge of town. You can get some good deals here on places to stay in Tulum, but you’ll also be about one mile from downtown and three miles from the beach.

Tulum Town is a popular place to stay when visiting Tulum solo
Tulum Town has more of a local, casual feel than the beach. (Photo via Anna Sullivan/UnSplash)

Tulum Accommodation Map

Want to compare prices on hotels and self-contained rentals quickly and easily?

This Tulum accommodation map can help!

Zoom in and out as needed to have more or less properties show up on the map:

Best Things To Do In Tulum

Perhaps the most important part of any good Tulum solo travel guide is outlining all the can’t miss Tulum things to do. Below, you’ll find enough things to see in Tulum to keep you busy for about a week!

Remember, one of the biggest benefits of traveling solo is having ultimate freedom over your schedule, so feel free to adapt the below suggestions to suit your itinerary.

Visit Tulum Ruins & Nearby Mayan Ruins

One must-see Tulum site is the Tulum Ruins Archaeological Site. This is a Mayan ruins site overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

After exploring the site, head down the staircase to the beautiful beach cove below and jump in the water to cool off.

While it’s not a very big site, it is located right on Tulum Beach, so many do take the time to see it since it’s actually in town.

At only about $75 pesos ($4USD) to get in, visiting the ruins is a budget-friendly Tulum option.

Want to see more Mayan Ruins near Tulum?

Located one-to-two hours from Tulum, there’s also the Coba Ruins, Ek-Balam Ruins, and Muyil Ruins. If you want to climb some pyramids, Coba has the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan.

The Tulum Ruins site is a must when travelling to Tulum
One of the Mayan temples at the Tulum Ruins site. (Photo via Magaly Vasquez Montaño/UnSplash)

Enjoy A Lazy Day At The Various Tulum Beaches

Tulum is located right on the Caribbean Sea and has some of the best beaches in Mexico.

There are both free beaches, and beaches you have to access through a beach club.

Of the free beaches, there’s Playa Paraiso, Playa Pescadores and Playa Santa Fe.

If you want to check out some of the Tulum Beach Clubs, know that most of them have a minimum spend of about $50USD. This means you pay $50 to enter, then that amount is used to cover your food and drink tab, and you can use their facilities for the day.

If this price tag is high for you, just pack a cooler, grab a towel, and head to one of the free beaches instead.

Lounge At The Tulum Beach Clubs

For those who do want to enjoy the fancier amenities in Tulum, some of the best Tulum beach clubs are Casa Malca, Papaya Playa Project, Nomade Tulum, La Zebra and Mia Tulum.

There are also Tulum Beach bars, with first come, first served seating, like CoCo Tulum and Ziggy’s Beach Club. These are great options that do come with a limited amount of service, but you don’t have to pay a minimum spend entry fee.

Visiting Tulum beach clubs when backpacking in tulum
Tulum beach clubs provide everything for you to have a relaxing day. (Photo via Roberto Nickson/UnSplash)

Swim In The Tulum Cenotes

For most, no visit to Tulum is complete without swimming in a cenote (pronounced sen-no-tay).

Cenotes are swimmable sinkholes with fresh water that flows from a river located underneath the Yucatan Peninsula. They offer a scenic opportunity for active travel adventures you can’t have in most destinations you visit.

There are about 6,000 cenotes in the Yucatan, with some of the best cenotes located just minutes from Downtown Tulum.

Of the cenotes in Tulum you’ll want to check out, there’s Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote, Cenote Car Wash, and Cenote Zacil-Ha, all located on Highway 109 within two miles of downtown.

As cenotes are popular — and many are on the smaller side — you’ll want to visit earlier in the day before they fill up with people.

Remember to also not wear any lotion or sunscreen before entering, to protect the cenotes.

This is one of the top cultural activities in Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula!

Gran Cenote is a must-visit when enjoying Tulum solo travel
Gran Cenote is only about 10 minutes by car from Tulum Town. (Photo via Mathilde Langevin/UnSplash)

Photograph The Tulum Instagram Sites

As one of the most Instagram-worthy Mexico destinations, you’ll want to check out some of the places, art, and sites that put Tulum on the map.

All of the following places are located on Tulum Beach:

  • Follow That Dream Sign: This street sign is located outside of the Lolita Lolita shop.
  • Matcha Mama: A small cafe with swings next to the I Love Tulum So Matcha surfboard sign.
  • Raw Love Cafe/Ven a la Luz: The iconic wooden man sculpture, and the entrance to Raw Love Tulum.
  • CoCo Tulum: Beachfront Tulum bar with boho chic white swings and rustic decor.
  • Casa Malca: Where you’ll find the hanging couch next to the wedding dress drapes.
  • Crooked Palm Tree: The palm tree growing sideways on Tulum Beach, located outside Playa Paraiso Beach Club.
  • Azulik Hotel: The original Instagrammable Tulum hotel, with great photo opportunities all over the place. Note: You can only take photos in the hotel with your phone camera; no “real” cameras are allowed.
  • SFER IK Museum: Right next to Azulik is the SFER IK Museum, which has a similar esthetic. Note: It costs $10USD to enter the museum.

Tulum Nightlife

Tulum is pretty infamous for its nightlife. Most of the Tulum party scene can be found along the beach road, with clubs up and down the street. Some, like Casa Jaguar Tulum, are relaxed restaurants during the day but after 10pm, turn into clubs. Even the restaurants that stay restaurants can be found blasting music and celebrating, especially on the weekends.

Keep in mind that many clubs will have a cover charge, usually around $20.

Book Local Tulum Tours

There are a number of options for fun local tours in Tulum.

These can be great for solo travelers as you’re not just learning about the destination, but they provide the opportunity to meet locals while traveling as well as other tourists.

A few highly recommended tour options when traveling to Tulum include:

Click here for a full list of tours in Tulum.

Tulum Restaurants: Where To Eat In Tulum

No Tulum solo travel guide is complete without talking about all the great paces to eat in Tulum.

This town has everything from high-end spots to beachfront dining to $1USD tacos — and also options in between.

Below are 12 Tulum dining options, with choices for all budgets.

Tulum Town Cheap Eats ($-$$)

If you’re sticking to a budget, or just love tacos, the street tacos in Tulum Town at Taqueria Honorio and Antojitos La Chiapaneca are amazing.

There’s also Burrito Amor in Tulum Town, for when you want to switch it up from tacos to burritos.

For a sit-down meal where all the locals eat, head to El Camello Jr. This well-known Tulum restaurant is famous for fresh seafood and low prices so there might be a wait to eat there, but it is worth it.

One of the top Tulum travel tips would be to have a smoothie at Matcha Mama
Enjoy a healthy smoothie at Matcha Mama on Tulum Beach. (Photo via Roberto Nickson/UnSplash)

Tulum Beach Cheap Eats ($$)

There are also some great taco shops on Tulum Beach, though they do cost more, but I Scream Bar and Taquería la Eufemia are both yummy choices.

Another fun place on the beach is Clan-Destino, which has a cenote you can swim in after eating. Clan-Destino is known for having the best burgers in Tulum.

Matcha Mama is the perfect place for a refreshing fruit smoothie, acai bowl, or vegan “nice” cream. While there, make sure to snap a photo next to the I Love Tulum So Matcha sign on the swings.

Best Restaurants In Tulum Beach ($$$-$$$$)

Foodies should head to Arca Tulum, led by Mexican/American Chef Jose Luis Hinostroza. Before Arca, he worked at Noma in Denmark, which is often regarded as the best restaurant in the world.

If you can’t get a reservation at Arca, try Hartwood, Jaguar or Gitano. As they are all small restaurants, you’ll still want to make a reservation if you’re planning to dine on a weekend.

Beautiful beaches make it clear there aren't many other places like Tulum in the world
Tulum is one of the best solo travel destinations in Mexico! (Photo via Tanja Cotoaga/UnSplash)

Tulum Travel Tips

You should now have the full picture of how to get to Tulum, and where to stay, eat and play in Tulum.

Here are just a few more quick Tulum tips to keep in mind so you have an amazing solo trip.

  • Tulum Weather: The best time to visit Tulum when you’ll have the nicest weather is from November to May, during the dry season. As it’s right on the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is susceptible to hurricanes. Note: Atlantic Hurricane Season technically runs June 1-November 30, though the weather’s usually nice by late October.
  • Tulum Low Season: The best time to visit Tulum is during the slower season months of February to May. In these months, the weather is still nice, Tulum isn’t crowded and hotel prices are on the lower end.
  • Tulum Temperatures: If you’re checking the Tulum forecast before your trip, remember to add about 5-10°F to all temperatures to account for the humidity.
  • Carry Cash: Not all businesses in Tulum take credit cards, so make sure you always have cash. If you’re going to be taking taxis or eating street tacos, you’ll definitely have to pay for those in cash.
  • Tulum Mosquitoes: As it’s a tropical beach jungle, the mosquitoes in Tulum can be vicious, so pack some eco-friendly bug spray.
  • What to Wear in Tulum: In Tulum, anything goes, from boho casual to the decked-out influencers and fashionistas. As it’s quite hot, think cotton clothing, flowing sundresses, sun hats, sandals, and bathing suits — like the cute and eco-friendly swimwear from Wolven Threads.

Mexico Travel Insurance

When visiting Mexico — or anywhere else in the world — make sure to get travel insurance.

One of the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country.

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

Click here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Solo Travel Tulum FAQs

Still on the fence about Mexico solo travel? The answers to these common questions about visiting Tulum solo may help.

Q) Is Tulum safe to travel alone?

Yes, Tulum is generally a safe place to travel. The most common threats are pick pockets, so be sure to keep your phone and wallet secure. Otherwise, just take the same precautions you’d take traveling anywhere – especially if taking advantage of the famous Tulum nightlife – and you’ll have a great trip.

Q) Is Tulum a good place for solo travel?

Yes, Tulum is a fantastic place for solo travel. In fact, it might be one of the best solo travel destinations in Mexico. It’s easy to get to and there’s so much to do, whether you opt to spend your time in Tulum or explore on day trips.

Q) Is Tulum worth visiting?

Absolutely. If you love beautiful beaches, cute cafes and restaurants, and Mayan ruins, Tulum may become your favorite destination. It’s definitely worth spending at least a few days!

General Solo Travel Advice

New to solo travel?

The above video shares some important solo female travel tips, from how to plan the perfect trip to how to stay safe when traveling alone.

The goal:

That by the end, you feel confident planning a meaingful and memorable trip on your own!

Savvy Solo Traveler Email Course

New to solo travel?

My free Savvy Solo Traveler ecourse can help you successfully plan your first solo travel experience!

The six-day ecourse is designed to help you feel confident about booking your first solo trip and exploring the world alone.

Lessons include:

  • Common solo travel fears and how to overcome them
  • How to choose your perfect solo trip
  • How to tell loved ones you’re hitting the road solo
  • Mentally preparing for your solo journey without losing your mind
  • Essential steps for staying safe on a solo trip
  • How to take amazing solo selfies

Bonus Mexico Travel Guides:

6 Best Beaches In Holbox, Mexico (Stunning!)

15 Best Beach Clubs In Holbox Island, Mexico

23 Best Things To Do In Holbox Island, Mexico (+ Sample Itinerary!)

3, 4, & 7 Day Cancun Itinerary

14 Travel Tips For Puerto Vallarta For A Fun & Safe Trip (In-Depth Guide!)

Solo Travel In Puerto Vallarta: The Ultimate Guide

5 Active Ways To Explore Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

Puebla, Mexico: The World’s Only To Make Talavera Ceramics

12 Things You Didn’t Know About Puebla, Mexico

21 Best Vegan Resorts In Mexico

Solo Travel In Mexico City: The Ultimate Guide

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About Shelley Marmor

Shelley is a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world! After visiting Mexico City in 2018, she decided to stay in Mexico permanently. She created the Travel Mexico Solo blog to inspire women who have always dreamt of Solo Travel & Mexico Travel, but haven’t (yet!) accomplished either goal.

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Hi, I’m Jessie on a journey!

I'm a conscious solo traveler on a mission to take you beyond the guidebook to inspire you to live your best life through travel. Come join me!

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3 Comments

  1. Digi on at 7:41 am

    JESSIE so thank you, Very useful. I read this post and gained a good knowledge. It has good content. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Brittany Jones on at 9:06 pm

    Thank you so much! I needed this and I am so excited for my first solo trip!

  3. Ella on at 2:00 am

    Just what I needed, thank you so much!

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