Can You Drink the Water in Tulum Mexico in 2024?

can you drink the water in tulum mexico header image

want to know is Tulum Water safe to drink?

If you’re traveling to Tulum soon, you’ve probably wondering — Can I drink the water in Tulum Mexico? and Is the water in Tulum safe to drink?

The answer to both questions is NO, please don’t drink the water in Tulum.

Mexico tap water isn’t considered safe for human consumption; not for locals and not for visitors. In fact, I have lived in Mexico since 2018, and I still can’t and don’t drink the water. So what can you do as a visitor?

OUR PICK

water bottles

Your best option is this Water-To-Go Bottle which both keeps you hydrated, and filters your drinking water in Tulum. 💸 Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF!

The Water-To-Go Bottle (seen above) is great because you don’t have to keep buying single-use plastic bottles — which are bad for the planet, and get costly after a while.

You can also boil your Tulum tap water before drinking it, though you must be in a Tulum Airbnb with a stove.

But don’t worry; we’re going to get into everything you need to know about Tulum Mexico drinking water.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly what to do to avoid Montezuma’s Revenge in Tulum so you don’t get sick in Mexico from the water.

Can you drink tap water in Tulum Mexico?

No — Tulum Mexico tap water isn’t safe for human consumption.

Know this does mean “all humans,” including Tulum locals, Tulum visitors, and even Tulum Mexico expats like me. I have lived in Mexico since 2018, and still don’t drink unfiltered Mexico water.

Can locals drink the water in Tulum?

NoTulum locals drink bottled water. Tap water in all Mexico is not safe to drink for anyone, so no one drinks straight tap water in Tulum.

agua fresca fruit waters in oaxaca mexico
Wondering, Can you drink water in Tulum if it’s in mixed drinks? YES — Any mixed drinks or agua fresca (fruit water) will be made with bottled water or purified water.

Since locals don’t want to get sick just as much as you don’t want to get sick, there will be no instance when anyone will serve you tap water.

To make Tulum water safe to drink, you must boil it or use a filterable water bottle like the Water-To-Go Bottles. 🤑 GET 15% OFF! Remember to use code SOLO15 for 15% off any Water-To-Go reusable water bottle purchase.

Many locals buy a garrafón (five gallon water jug), and keep those in their homes for use. While in-home water delivery service isn’t practical for visitors, a Water-To-Go Bottle is!

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Why can’t you drink the water in Mexico?

Many want to know, Why is the water in Mexico not safe to drink?

First off, waterborne illness isn’t exclusive to Mexico. You can get sick from water anywhere in the world, as water is a great carrier for things that make you sick, like bacteria, protozoa, viruses, toxins and parasites.

The reason tap water is “safer” in some places versus others comes down to one thing: filtration.

In recent years, Mexico water filter standards have improved, but still aren’t safe enough. For this reason, I recommend Tulum travelers get a Water-To-Go Bottle.

According to their website, the 3-in-1 filter membrane removes 99.9999% of all water-borne contaminants.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

What is in the water in Mexico that makes you sick?

Just like in the United States, tap water in Mexico has tiny microscopic organisms invisible to the naked eye.

The important thing here is these are often different microorganisms than you’re used to in the U.S. — but that doesn’t mean they are any better or any worse; just different.

Your body can tolerate the microscopic organisms it’s used to, but unfamiliar ones can lead to Montezuma’s Revenge, which is how many get sick in Mexico.

water bottles

There are three Water-To-Go bottle styles: The Classic Bottle, the Active Bottle and the Go! Bottle. Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF your entire purchase on any of these bottles.

What bacteria is in Mexico water?

There’s no one type of bacteria exclusive to Mexico water, but some types of microorganisms in Mexico water include giardia and e. coli.

Unless your water is tested right before you drink it, there’s really no way to know for sure what’s in that particular cup or bottle of water. This is where buying this Water-To-Go Bottle comes in handy, as their three-stage filter removes 99.9999% of all bacteria.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

What happens if you drink the water in Tulum?

For many travelers, absolutely nothing will happen — especially if it’s just a sip on accident. For some travelers, they will get sick. In a small percentage of cases, the person will get very sick.

pouring water in oaxaca mexico

This answer isn’t what many want to hear, but this is a case of “the luck of the draw.”

About three millions visitors come to Tulum each year, and only a very small percentage get sick from Tulum water. While it’s great to be vigilant, you don’t have to obsess or stress!

The important thing to know is not even locals tap water in Tulum, so there’s pretty much no chance you will either.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

What do I do if I’m sick in Tulum Mexico?

If you’re very sick, go to the nearest hospital immediately. However, if it’s not a medical emergency, you should still go see a doctor asap — especially if you’re vomiting or have diarrhea, which can both lead to dehydration.

🇲🇽 Tulum Travel Tips: If your Spanish isn’t great, download the Google Translate app. With this app, you and the doctor can speak into your phone, and the translation is spoken back to you both.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

How do I see a doctor in Tulum?

Unlike in the U.S., going to the doctor in Mexico is usually an inexpensive and quick process. If you find yourself sick in Mexico, open Google Maps, find one of the big chain pharmacies near you, and go straight there.

pharmacy in mexico (farmacia similares)
Friendly Dr. Simi of Farmacia Similares, one of the biggest Mexico pharmacy chains. (Photo: Golden Emporium via Flickr)

These best Tulum farmacias include Farmacia Similares, Farmacia Yza and Farmacia Guadalajara.

Once there, you’ll want to head to their walk-in clinics — which are sometimes called consultorios. Not all pharmacies in Tulum have these clinics, but most do.

Usually within 15 minutes or so, a doctor will see you, assess your symptoms, and since you’re already at a pharmacy, you can get any meds you need right then and there.

If you require further medical assistance, the doctor will let you know after the exam.

💁‍♀️ Here’s my experience at a clinic in Mexico

I was bit by a spider in Bacalar, Mexico, and wanted a doctor to assess the bite. After the trip, I want to a walk-in clinic and saw a doctor in less than five minutes. The exam, antibiotic pills and a cream for the bite cost $8 USD.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

What is Montezuma’s Revenge Mexico sickness?

Known as Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico, the medical name for this sickness is Traveler’s Diarrhea, or TD.

Not exclusive to Tulum or Mexico, TD can happen to any traveler in any country, so be cautious in Tulum, but know this type of illnesses can occur anywhere.

🇮🇳 For example, TD is called Delhi Belly in India. This is a play on words using the Indian city of Delhi, which is pronounced “deli,” and makes the rhyme “deli belly.”

TD happens because your microbiome (natural gut bacteria) can’t handle whatever’s in the food and water in the place you’ve traveled to.

I’m no doctor, so take this with a grain of salt, but you can strengthen your microbiome before you travel to Tulum with these probiotic supplements.

HOW LONG DOES MONTEZUMA’S REVENGE LAST?

It will vary from person to person, so there’s no real answer for all people across the board.

Some people are lucky and have it for 12 hours, but for others, it can last several days. If you feel sick in Tulum, go see a doctor immediately.

💊 Treatment for Mexico Stomach bug & TD

The treatment depends on the severity of each individual case. For many, an over the counter medication like Imodium works just fine.

I recommend traveling to Tulum with Imodium and keeping it in your purse or book-bag so you have it the moment you need it. It’s not common to find the Immodium brand in Mexico, but Treda is an equivalent you’ll find throughout Tulum.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Drinking Water in Tulum to Avoid Dehydration

When most travelers think about getting sick in Mexico, they think it’s only the Mexico drinking water itself that will do it. Wrong!

In reality, many Mexico travel horror stories often end up being about all the other types of sickness no one prepared for — namely, dehydration.

Tulum Water & Temperature Averages

tulum mexico weather chart

As you can see above, Tulum is hot year-round. Mexico is closer to the Equator than many places, and the sun’s rays are stronger.

For me, when I carry a water bottle around, I remember to keep drinking throughout the day, which has saved me in Tulum’s heat many times.

If you didn’t already add this Water-To-Go Bottle to your cart, preventing dehydration is just one more reason to get one. (🤑 Remember to use code SOLO15 for 15% off your entire purchase).

These refillable bottles 1) filter your drinking water so you don’t get sick, 2) help you stay hydrated, and 3) you won’t have to keep buying bottled water in Tulum.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

What’s the best bottled water in Tulum Mexico?

Now that you know to avoid tap water in Mexico, just what do you drink?! The answer is bottled water, which is readily available everywhere. Taste-wise and reputation-wise, many say the best water in Mexico is from the Epura brand.

Though Epura has a good reputation overall, that’s in no way a guarantee each and every bottle of water is 100% free of waterborne contaminants. Regardless of brand, there are two things to consider about bottled water in Tulum:

  1. Even from the best brand, they can’t ensure each individual bottle is of exceptional quality, and
  2. Single-use plastics from disposable water bottles are horrible for the environment.

🇲🇽 Tulum Travel Tips: You don’t have to order bottled water in Tulum restaurants, Tulum cafes, or even Tulum taco shops!

You can ask for the FREE filtered water from the garrafón (five-gallon jug). As not all filtered water is created equal, pour that cup of water into your Water-To-Go Bottle. (🤑 Remember to use code SOLO15 for 15% off your entire purchase).

the (real) best water in Mexico

To give you the best chance on how to NOT get sick in Mexico on your vacation, I recommend boiling the tap water, and then going one step further and running it through your this Water-To-Go Refillable Water Bottle before you drink it.

You can also buy a large bottle of water from a Mexico convenience store, keep it in your Tulum hotel or Airbnb, and refill your Water-To-Go bottle as needed.

Wondering, Is it overkill to filter bottled water? It depends on who you ask, but for me, no it’s not. This is actually a near-guarantee that you’ll drink clean water in Tulum, and the best way to prevent sickness.

💧 What is water-to-go?

With BPA-free Water-To-Go bottles, you have access to clean water anywhere in Tulum without having to buy environmentally damaging, single-use plastic water bottles.

Meaning, you can fill water straight from the tap, and safely drink it from your Water-To-Go bottle.

We envision a world where everyone has access to clean drinking water, free of single use plastics. 

Water-To-Go Mission Statement

Water-To-Go bottles have a three-stage filter that removes 99.9999% of waterborne contaminants.

This includes viruses, bacteria, chemicals, parasites, microplastics, and more — turning all water, even non-boiled tap water, into safe Tulum Mexico drinking water!

The 3-in-1 filter is a net within a net within a net, making it nearly-impossible for contaminant to get through.

Wondering what happens to the water filter when you have to replace it? Great question! ♻️ The filter membrane is biodegradable and the shrouds are recyclable.

water bottles

Use code SOLO15 for 15% OFF your entire purchase at Water-To-Go!

Tulum Mexico Tap Water FAQ

Can you brush your teeth with tap water in Tulum?

No — Some people will use bottled or purified water to brush their teeth, or you can just avoid putting water on your toothbrush before brushing.

While this may or may not prevent getting sick in Mexico, you can always just avoid wetting the toothbrush before you brush your teeth, which should be enough of a preventative measure.

Now, to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth, you’ll want to use bottled or filtered water.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Can I open my mouth in the shower in Mexico?

Yes, but don’t — While you should not drink water from the shower, if some splashes on your mouth, you’ll likely be fine.

Did you also see the episode of Sex & the City where Charlotte accidentally opens her mouth in the shower, swallows some water, and gets really sick in Mexico!?

While you likely won’t get as violently ill as Charlotte did after swallowing some shower water, do your best not to drink any.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Can you shower in Tulum water?

Yes — The shower water is absolutely safe. In fact, I use it every single day 🤣

Can I cook with tap water in Tulum?

Yes — This is 100% safe if you’re boiling the water before cooking with it.

If you’re making a delicious Mexican soup or pasta dish, you’re completely fine to cook with Mexico tap water, since you will be killing off the microorganisms in the boiling process.

🧊 Ice in Mexico is a different story, as you’ll see below.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Is it safe to wash dishes with tap water in Mexico?

Yes — If you’re staying in a Tulum VRBO or Airbnb and need to wash any dishes, it’s the same process as in the U.S.

Just use plenty of dish soap and warm water, and you’re good to go with clean dishes.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Are salads safe in Mexico? 

Yes — While you may have come across info saying Don’t eat salads in Mexico, this is simply untrue 🥗

veggies in oaxaca market in mexico
The fresh fruit and veggies from Tulum markets is safe to consume if cleaned with produce wash.

Many assume that since raw veggies are only run under tap water to clean them in the U.S., this is done the same way in Mexico. It’s not!

As you now know, Mexico tap water is not safe to consume, so running veggies under tap water would also make them unsafe to eat.

In Mexico, produce isn’t just rinsed with tap water, because you can’t actually clean anything in water that itself isn’t well, clean.

Rather, many use a vinegar-water mixture, warm soapy water, and even store-bought produce wash to clean their fresh fruits and veggies.

If you’re concerned about eating fresh produce from all the amazing markets in Tulum, make sure to bring some with you.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Can I drink ice in Tulum?

Yes — You can safely drink ice in Mexico; I do every single day! In a hot place like Tulum, you will want to have a cold beverage, though I have seen plenty of other articles online saying not to drink ice in Mexico.

Wondering, Is ice safe in Mexico? It is, so don’t miss out on all the unique Mexican drinks that have ice, like agua de jamaica, one of the best Mexican non alcoholic drinks.

As mentioned, locals don’t drink the tap water, and don’t make ice cubes with it either. While boiling water kills bacteria, freezing it does not.

I have seen plenty of other articles online saying to avoid ice in your drink, but there’s no reason anyone would make ice with tap water.

Now, if you want to avoid ice for peace of mind, then go ahead.

If you really want peace of mind, however, keep reminding yourself that locals would also get sick from that ice, so it’s more likely that no one’s making unsafe ice, and your ice is totally fine.

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Can you drink the water in Mexico resorts?

Drinking water in any Tulum hotels or any Mexico hotels is unsafe — unless the staff tells you it’s OK.

woman on beach drinking water in oaxaca mexico
Don’t drink the water in any of the Mexico resort towns or resorts unless the staff tells you it’s safe.

Some of the most upscale 5 Star Mexico resorts have elaborate filtration systems, but this is far from the norm. Err on the side of caution, and don’t drink the tap water in your resort.

Whether you’re headed to Tulum or the Yucatan beaches, know that your best defense is a good offense.

If you have your Water-To-Go Bottle with you while traveling, you always have access to clean, purified drinking water in Mexico and Tulum. (🤑 Remember to use code SOLO15 for 15% off your entire purchase).

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Can I drink coffee in Tulum?

Yes — Coffee is made with purified water, like all drinks in Mexico. If you’re drinking hot coffee, there’s even less chance the microorganisms in the water haven’t died as a result of the heat.

As Mexico has some of the best coffee in the world, don’t skip the delicious Mexican coffees on your trip. Here are the best Tulum cafes where you can enjoy all that delicious coffee!

Can you drink the water in Tulum mexico?

Should I get Travel Insurance for Tulum?

forms for travel insurance for mexico
RELATED ARTICLE 🇲🇽 Best Travel Insurance for Mexico

In an article focused around the question, Can I drink the water in Tulum?, I’d be remiss not to discuss Mexico travel insurance.

For me, Mexico travel insurance is a must — as it can mean the difference between a $2,000 hospital bill and a $2 hospital bill if you get sick in Tulum.

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

If Mexico travel safety and health are on your mind, get your FREE quote below from World Nomads and Safety Wing, two of the biggest names in travel insurance.

Safety Wing

The best Mexico travel insurance for digital nomads and long-term travelers who plan to stay a while. Plans start at only about $42 USD per month — so this is a no brainer. Get your FREE SafetyWing quote now!

World Nomads

They have the Standard Plan with general travel coverage, and the Explorer Plan, perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling in Tulum, like climbing the Mayan Ruins or snorkeling in Tulum.

Plans average about $7 USD per day. Get your FREE World Nomads quote now!

Final Thoughts: Can you drink the water in Tulum?

woman drinking from a water bottle in tulum mexico
These new Water-To-Go Travel Bottles are made from carbon-sequestering sugarcane so they’re eco-friendly, durable and machine washable.

As you now know, no one drinks tap water in Tulum — not locals, not visitors and not Tulum expats (me included).

I get bottled water delivered to my home, but as a visitor, that’s impractical. For this reason, I recommend getting this Water-To-Go Bottle with a built-in filter. (🤑 Remember to use code SOLO15 for 15% off your purchase).

Your Water-To-Go Bottle filters 99.999999% of bacteria, viruses, toxins and microplastics, which both covers your Tulum water safety, and helps prevent dehydration.

Carrying a water bottle at all times means you’re more likely to keep drinking, which is important in Tulum heat 🥵

Getting sick in Tulum from the water is a crap shoot. It can happen whether or not you’re obsessing over it, so there’s definitely no point in doing so.

You now have several tips on how NOT to get sick in Mexico, so make good choices and enjoy your Tulum trip to the fullest.

Tulum Travel Planning Guide

1. Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

2. Can you drink the water in Tulum?

No — You’ll want to buy this Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

3. Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

4. Will my phone work in Tulum?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy this Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

5. What’s the best way to book my Tulum accommodations?

For Tulum hotels, Booking.com is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.

6. What do I pack for Tulum?

Head to the Ultimate Tulum Packing List to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

7. What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

8. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa or passport stamp upon arrival.