Tulum Solo Travel: How to Safely Visit Tulum Mexico in 2024

woman on a hammock at the beach doing tulum solo travel in mexico

Planning your solo trip to Tulum, Mexico?

You’ve landed on the best Tulum solo travel guide! I live in Mexico, not far from Tulum actually, and I have traveled all over Mexico by myself since 2018.

In this article, you’re going to get all my best Tulum travel tips and tricks, so you have a fun and safe solo Tulum trip.

Tulum is one of the best destinations in Mexico for solo travelers, yogis, digital nomads, artists, social media influencers, backpackers, and everyone in between. As a pueblo (small town), it’s easy to meet people and make friends when traveling to Tulum alone.

man holding sign in front of a brand new SUV from the best cancun to tulum shuttle service

Safest Way to Get to Tulum

The easiest, safest, and best way to get from Cancun to Tulum is to book this private Tulum shuttle. Round trip service from Cancun Airport to your Tulum hotel is just $310 USD.

Personally, I consider it one of the easiest and best destinations for solo female travel in Mexico. However, if you’ve never traveled alone, or never done solo travel in Mexico, you’ll want to learn as much as you can so your first trip to Tulum goes smoothly.

In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about traveling to Tulum Mexico. From how to get to Tulum, where to stay in Tulum, all the best things to do solo in Tulum, how to get around, and the best Tulum safety tips, it’s all right here.

Ready to discover all things Tulum Mexico?! Let’s dive in, beginning with the #1 question when it comes to Tulum solo female travel — Is Tulum safe for travelers?

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is Tulum safe for solo female travelers?

For the most part, Tulum is safe for the majority of visitors — and its biggest threats are hangovers, sunburns, hurricanes and mosquitoes.

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However, since no place on Earth is 100% safe, you’ll need to observe the same general travel precautions you would when traveling anywhere.

If you stay aware of yourself, your surroundings and your belongings, you should likely have a very safe Tulum vacation. Remember to watch your alcohol consumption, and never take a drink from a stranger (even a cute one), or leave a drink unattended with one.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is Tulum safe at night?

Tulum is a pretty small town, so walking alone at night isn’t too dangerous.

mojito at batey bar tulum
Batey Bar in Downtown Tulum is a popular option for mojitos and live music.

However, always listen to your intuition, meaning that if it feels safer to take a taxi ride instead of walking, do that. While there’s no Uber in Tulum, taxis operate all day and night.

One quick Tulum Mexico safety tip is that the Tulum Beach Road is not well lit.

If you’re staying on the beach, or plan to spend a lot of time there at night, many people bring a head lamp to help them see, or you can use your phone flashlight as long as it’s charged.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is Mexico safe for travelers?

For the most part, yes. However, safety is a complex subject so since no place on Earth is 100% safe, check out Is Mexico Safe for Visitors? for a deep dive into this topic.

Planning to take some Tulum day trips and enjoy the things to do near Tulum? Then of course you need to know about Mexico travel safety in the country as a whole. There’s some great information here, but you’ll also want to check out Is Tulum Safe?

⚠️ Mexico Travel Warnings

Mexico gets a bad wrap in the mainstream media, and I can’t say it’s not somewhat deserved. There are both safe places to visit in Mexico, and unsafe places in Mexico. However, by and large, all the top Mexico travel destinations are safe for visitors.

Still, you may have been warned not to do solo travel in Mexico. One suggestion I can make is to consider the source of who’s giving you the warning.

If it’s someone who’s never been to Mexico, or someone who’s never traveled solo — they frankly aren’t a credible source. ✈️ Need inspiration and tips for traveling alone? Check out all of my Mexico solo travel blogs here so you feel confident traveling solo.

For the best advice, ask your solo female traveler friends; bonus points if they’ve been to Mexico

The best solo female travel tips and info will come from women who have done it — and for those who have, they’ll likely encourage you to go travel to Tulum, Mexico and beyond.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Shootings in Tulum Mexico

In late-2021, two tourists visiting from the U.S. (Jennifer Henzold and Anjali Ryot) were hit by stray bullets in one of the Tulum bars, and tragically died.

While I can’t say definitely this won’t happen again, I can say it’s a rare occurrence — and largely related to the cartel.

The cartels are a fact of life for those of us who live in Mexico. In most places, it’s easy to steer clear of them, but the fact remains that many Tulum visitors want to party, and cartels are happy to sell them drugs.

In short, don’t buy drugs in Mexico and you’re in a better position for safety.

🤔 Wondering, How safe is Tulum Mexico? If you want to check for an official Tulum travel advisory, the U.S. State Department website keeps updated information on Mexico travel safety. 

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Where is Tulum Mexico located?

Tulum is located in the Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico. It is about 1.5 hours south of Cancun and 45 minutes south of Playa del Carmen.

🗺️ Tulum Map

If you’re a visual person (like me) you might be wondering, Ok, so where is Tulum Mexico exactly? This map of Tulum above should help locate this popular destination in North America.

What state is Tulum in?

Tulum is located in Quintana Roo State. This is one of the three states in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, along with Yucatan State and Campeche State.

Of these three Mexico state in the Yucatan, Quintana Roo is the most visited because it has popular places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Cozumel.

The most-visited places in Yucatan State are Chichen Itza Ruins and the colorful colonial city of Merida. The least visited state in Yucatan is Campeche, though if you love venturing off the beaten path, it is a great option.

🇲🇽 Quintana Roo, Mexico

woman climbing coba pyramid in mexico
Among the best activities Tulum Mexico has, you won’t want to miss the nearby Coba Ruins, which has pyramids you can climb and some of the best hiking in Tulum.

Quintana Roo is a long, thin state, stretching the entire length of coastline along the Caribbean Sea. It spans the entire eastern side of Mexico that sits on the Caribbean Sea.

Because of this, you may also hear this part of the Yucatan Peninsula called the Mexican Caribbean. It is where so many of the most popular Mexico beach towns are located.

Quintana Roo has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, including Playa Maroma, which has the best overwater bungalows in Mexico.

Also in the state, you’ll find Playa del Carmen, Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Holbox Island and Puerto Morelos. There’s also Laguna Bacalar, AKA the “Maldives of Mexico,” which is the second largest lake in Mexico after Lake Chapala near Ajijic.

There’s also Mayan Ruins including Chichen Itza and Coba Ruins, Mexico cenotes (natural jungle pools), beautiful beach resorts, and so much more to see in this area.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

What’s the closest Tulum Airport?

The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport (code: CUN). This is one of the biggest airports in Mexico, so you’ll easily find direct flights and cheap flights to Cancun from cities all over the world.

🤔 How far is Cancun Airport from Tulum?

  • Cancun Airport to Tulum distance: 73 miles (118 km)
  • Downtown Cancun to Tulum distance: 81 miles (131 km)
  • Cancun to Tulum drive time: 1.5 hours in normal traffic
Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is there an airport in Tulum Mexico?

There is no airport in Tulum Mexico — so you therefore can’t buy a flight to Tulum Mexico.

✈️ Tulum travel tips: According to the Mexican government, there will be an airport in Tulum soon, so you might be flying to Tulum before you know it.

However, as someone who has lived in Mexico since 2018, I have seen these large-scale projects take wayyy longer than expected many times.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

How do I get from Cancun to Tulum?

For getting to Tulum safely, I highly recommend booking the private shuttle service with Cancun Airport Transportation, but you do have other options.

If you’re wondering how to get to Tulum using other methods, I’ve got you! This section is all about finding Tulum, and how to get to Tulum by plane, and then by ground transportation.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Safest & Best Option: Private Shuttle to Tulum

man holding sign in front of white van from the best cancun to tulum shuttle service

Book now with Cancun Airport Transportation and your friendly driver will be at Cancun International Airport waiting for you with a greeter sign.

For safety, I always recommend booking this private shuttle service with Cancun Airport Transportation for all female solo travel Mexico excursions.

It is the safest, fastest, most stress-free and best way to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport is private transportation.

You’ll get picked up curbside outside the airport, your luggage will be packed up, and you’ll be driven to your Tulum accommodation — while you sit back and relax!

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Cancun Airport Car Rental: Driving to Tulum

I only recommend this if you’re planning to take a lot of Tulum day trips to visit the Mayan Ruins near Tulum, nearby cities like Valladolid and Izamal, and Tulum cenotes.

If not, skip the rental car because driving in Tulum traffic is no fun, and parking costs really add up fast.

If you do want to rent a car in Cancun, I recommend and also personally use Discover Cars.

They search international companies and local Mexico car rental companies so you get the best rate. I always get their full coverage insurance as well, which averages just $10 USD per day.

  • Note: You legally need Mexican insurance to rent a car
  • Cost: $30-45 USD per day (including insurance)
  • Time: It usually takes 30 minutes to get the car, then 1.5 hours for the drive to Tulum
  • Book now with Discover Cars

Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Tulum?

For the majority of travelers, it is. The Cancun Airport to Tulum route is pretty straightforward; in fact, you’ll really only travel on one road, Highway 307.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Shared Shuttle to Tulum

If you’re a solo traveler on a budget, the shared shuttle is a great way to save some money when compared to the private transportation shuttle mentioned above.

This is a semi-private transfer for up to 12 passengers.

It does take longer than the private shuttle, as it makes stops at all four Cancun Airport terminals, then often some other cities on the drive to Tulum — like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Playa Maroma and Akumal.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

ADO Bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum

ado red bus in mexico
ADO is Mexico’s largest bus company, with luxury-class buses to take you on your Cancun to Tulum travel journey! (Photo: Flickr, ADO Bus Cancun to Tulum)

ADO is Mexico’s largest bus company, with a fleet of luxury class buses that have reclining seats, AC, outlets to charge your phone and a bathroom on board.

You can take ADO buses from Cancun to Tulum (and Tulum to Cancun) for about $15-20 USD each way. 

  • Note: The bus services Terminals 2, 3 and 4; Check here to see what terminal your flight lands in.
  • Cost: $30-40 USD for round trip tickets
  • Time: 3 hours
  • Book now with BusBud
Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Taxi from Cancun Airport

While this is an option, please know I do not recommend taking a taxi from Cancun to Tulum unless you have no other options.

You can read all about why here, but in short, taxi drivers in Cancun (and any tourist destination) are known to rip off visitors.

Most end up paying as much as a private shuttle, which would be safer and more comfortable, so I recommend just booking this private Cancun shuttle.

  • Cost: $150 USD (approx.) for one-way service
  • Time: 1.5 hours
Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Uber from Cancun Airport to Tulum

We’re going to get to Tulum Ubers later in the article, but for now just know that it’s illegal for your driver to pick you up at the Cancun Airport — so you can’t Uber from Cancun Airport to Tulum.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Cancun to Tulum Colectivo (Shared Van)

colectivo tulum mexico
Colectivo vans are the best option for those backpacking Tulum. (Photo: Travelling to Tulum)

Much like the taxis, I don’t recommend the colectivo to Tulum. While it’s the cheapest way to get from Cancun to Tulum, it’s also the longest and most uncomfortable route.

In the end, you only end up saving $15 USD versus the ADO bus, which is much more convenient and much more comfy.

  • Note: Read more about the Cancun to Tulum colectivo route here.
  • Cost: $5 USD (approx.) for one-way service
  • Time: 4 hours
Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Neighborhoods in Tulum

When planning Tulum Mexico trips, you’ll need to know which neighborhood works best for you!

Tulum is a small-sized town; think just five miles (eight km) from end to end. It is actually one of the Mexico pueblos magicos, which means magic towns, or more specifically, magic small towns.

There are three main areas, which you can see on the map of Tulum above.

Tulum Travel Blogs: Where to Stay When Traveling to Tulum

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Tulum Beach Zona Hotelera (Hotel Zone)

Tulum Playa, or Tulum Beach, is the Tulum that you’ve seen on TikTok, in Instagram photos and YouTube videos.

The beach is where you’ll find all the large art sculptures like Ven a la Luz, boho shops, Tulum Ruins, cute jungle cafes, trendy bars, eco-chic hotels, and more.

If you stay in one of these hotels on Tulum Beach, everything is within walking or biking distance. With this prime location in the middle of all the action, you’ll also see higher price tags.

For those visiting Tulum who plan to splurge, the beach is the place to stay.

For solo travelers with a smaller budget, you’ll want to stay in Tulum Town as hotels start at about $100 USD per night, versus $300 USD-3,000 per night on the beach.

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

🏝️ North Beach Tulum (Tankah Bay)

Playa Santa Fe is one of the best Tulum beaches, and located in the North Beach area near the Tulum Ruins.

If you want to rent a Tulum beach house, Tankah Bay is the place to be.

It’s right on the border of Tulum and Akumal, and where you’ll find the amazing Dreams Tulum All-Inclusive Resort, one of best Tulum all inclusive resorts within city limits, and one of the best resorts in Tulum for singles.

Mid Beach Tulum

All the best hotels on Tulum beach are located in the center of the beach. Staying right in the center also means you’re easily able to walk to both ends, so you’re only steps away from all the best things to do on Tulum Beach.

Sian Ka’an (SOUTH BEACH TULUM)

Located all the way south on the Tulum Beach Road, you’ll enter the Sian Ka’an Preserve.

This natural area is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Wetland, and a protected area. There are some nice Tulum resorts here, like Libelula Tulum, for those wanting a more natural experience.

Akumal, Mexico

quintana roo travel: swimming with turtles in akumal, mexico, in akumal bay
Even if you don’t stay in Akumal, don’t pass up the opportunity to swim with the turtles in Akumal!

Akumal is one town north of Tulum, but it’s where you’ll find many of the best Tulum all inclusive resorts.

Some visitors like to stay on the Akumal-Tulum border for a more relaxed vacation, but also for easy access to swim with the turtles in Akumal.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum or Tulum Pueblo)

colorful shops in Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum or Tulum Pueblo)
Tulum Town (AKA Tulum Pueblo or Tulum Downtown) has more of a locals’ feel to it.

Though Tulum Town may not be as Instagrammable as the beach, it provides a more authentic travel experience because it’s where the locals live.

The accommodations in Tulum Town are still nice, so don’t be afraid to stay off-beach if you want to save some money.

This is the part of town where you’ll find all the best cheap hotels in Tulum, as well as Airbnbs and VRBOs that average $50-100 USD per night.

For hostels in Tulum Town, expect to pay about $20-30 USD per night, and about $50-60 USD for private rooms.

Within Tulum Town, you have three distinct areas — La Veleta, Colonia Huracanes and North Tulum. Here is a breakdown of these three sub-neighborhoods.

🏡 La Veleta Tulum

Ajal Tulum Treehouse Hotels, located in West Tulum, is one of the most unique places to stay in this beautiful town! (Photo: Expedia, Mexico solo travel destinations)

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

It’s a quieter area, which will appeal to some visitors.

🌴 West Tulum

Head southwest on Highway 307, past downtown, and you’ll find many of the best Tulum bungalows and eco-lodges.

This is a natural area located in the jungle, so if you’re looking to connect with nature, opt for the Nahouse Jungle Lodge or Ajal Tulum Treehouses.

🏡 Colonia Huracanes

This is the main area of Downtown Tulum Pueblo. If you want to be just steps from the shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, this is your area.

The one downside is that if you pick a place near one of the bars, it might be loud at night, so pack these Loop noise-canceling earplugs.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Aldea Zama

woman in bikini at a pool doing tulum solo travel
Holistika Tulum Hotel, located in Aldea Zama, is a popular option for a Tulum solo female travel getaway. (Photo: Expedia)

Aldea Zama is located between Tulum Town and Tulum Beach.

Here, you’ll find nicer Airbnbs and VRBOs, townhouses and apartment rentals. Given its location in the center of Tulum, staying here puts you only about one mile from both Tulum Beach and Tulum Town.

Personally, I always stay in Aldea Zama near the Tulum Town center. If you’re looking for recommendations, I love these places:

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

How to Get Around in Tulum Mexico

Tulum is a small town, and only about five miles from one end to the other, so getting around in Tulum isn’t too complicated.

It is divided into three general areas, Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum or Tulum Pueblo) to the north, Tulum Beach to the south, and the Aldea Zama neighborhood located in between the two.

Though Tulum Beach is only about 2- to 3-miles (3.2 to 4.8 km) from downtown, Tulum is incredibly hot and humid, for the majority of the year.

In short: It’s not comfortable to walk far distances, so you’ll still want to take a cab or ride your bike from downtown to the beach.

You may have noticed Uber was not on that list of Tulum transportation options — and you’re about to see why.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is there Uber in Tulum?

There’s no Uber in Tulum, and there’s also really no Uber anywhere in Quintana Roo state. This is also why you can’t take Uber to Tulum from Cancun Airport.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Renting a bike in Tulum

bike rental in tulum mexico
I wouldn’t be a good guide to Tulum if I didn’t recommend you get a bike (or scooter) to get around town.

Since you can’t use Tulum Uber, walking (but not far distances), taking taxis, renting a bike, renting a moped or renting quad (4X4) are the best ways to get around in Tulum.

Personally, I love getting a Tulum bike rental for an eco-friendly, inexpensive and fun option to explore the town.

I like to rent from the Nubike Tulum shop at La Tulumeña Tulum Boutique Hotel in downtown. They have nice bikes which cost about $10 USD per day, but also offer moped and dirt bike rentals if you prefer something with a motor.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Should I rent a car in Tulum?

If you’re only traveling for a few days, staying only in Tulum itself and not planning to explore any of the surrounding area, skip the Tulum rental car.

As Tulum gets more and more popular, the Tulum traffic has been getting worse and worse, and parking fees have gone up.

For those who want to do some day trips from Tulum, a rental car might be the best option if you don’t want to take any Tulum tours.

As Cancun has many more options, and you have to travel from Cancun to Tulum anyway, if you do want a car, Cancun is the best place to rent one.

To rent a car in Mexico, all you need is a valid driver’s license and a credit card. Cancun car rentals average about $30-40 USD per day, with full coverage insurance. I always rent from Discover Cars because they offer the best rates, both for cars and insurance. 

Best Things to Do in Tulum Mexico for Solo Travelers

Marvel at the Tulum Ruins

tulum mayan ruins in mexico
Located in the Tulum Hotel Zone, visiting the ruins is one of the best things to do in Tulum solo. (Photo: Canva, Travel Guide Tulum Mexico)

The #1 most popular of all things to do in Tulum! Tulum Mayan Ruins is a must see Tulum site. These are some of the best Mayan Ruins in Mexico because they overlook the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

After visiting, head down the staircase and spend the rest of the day in the sea (don’t forget your quick dry towel).

These are the only Mayan ruins in Tulum, and since they are within city limits, most visitors have this famous archaeological site on their Tulum itinerary.

The entrance fee is only $75 pesos ($4 USD), so this is one of the best things to do in Tulum on a budget.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Indulge at the Tulum Beach Clubs

beach club in tulum mexico

If you do want to enjoy the more posh amenities in Tulum, some of the best Tulum beach clubs are Casa Malca, Papaya Playa Project, Nomade Tulum and La Zebra.

These beach clubs are all connected to hotels, so if you’re a guest, you have free access to the beach club.

If you want to check out the best Tulum beach clubs, know that most of them have a minimum spend of about $150 USD.

This means you pay $150 to enter, then that amount is used to cover your food and drink tab, and you can use their facilities for the day.  

There are also nice Tulum Beach bars, like CoCo Tulum, which has no minimum spend, and Ziggy’s Beach Club with a $70 USD minimum spend.

The perfect place to watch the sunset in Tulum and hear live music is Mateo’s Mexican Grill, on the jungle side of the Tulum beach area. They are have a pretty good Happy Hour, with discounted drinks and food.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Hit the Best Tulum Beaches

playa paraiso beach tulum slanted palm tree | best beaches in mexico
Don’t miss the photogenic learning palm tree located just outside Playa Paraiso Beach Club, part of the El Paraiso Hotel Tulum.

If the Tulum beach clubs admission is high for you, head to one of the free Tulum beaches instead. (🤑 In fact, here are more suggestions of things to do in Tulum for free.)

They are just as nice, but you won’t have access to services, food and drinks, which is why you’ll want to pack a cooler, this quick dry microfiber towel and even a beach umbrella for shade.

Located right on the Caribbean Sea, Tulum has some of the best white-sand beaches in Mexico.

Of the so-called free beaches in Tulum, there’s Playa Paraiso, Playa Pescadores and Playa Santa Fe. A bit further south, there’s Punta Allen in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

Now, all beaches in Mexico are free, so you can lay on any beach you want.

The reason you’ll see Tulum free beaches vs Tulum Beach Clubs talk is because you have to pay to use the services at the beach clubs, like restrooms, restaurants, beach beds, pools, showers, etc.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Swim in the Tulum Cenotes

man jumping into cenote calavera tulum
Cenote Calavera is one of the most popular Tulum cenotes, and along with Cenote Suytun, one of the most Instagram worthy cenotes.

No visit to Tulum is complete without swimming in the best Tulum cenotes (pronounced sen-no-tays). Cenotes are swimmable sinkholes with freshwater that flows from a river located underneath the Yucatan Peninsula.

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

Of the cenotes in Tulum you must see, there’s Cenote Calavera, El Gran Cenote and Cenote Zacil-Ha.

🧜‍♀️ Prefer to go with a tour? Check out the these 11 Best Tulum Cenotes Tours, and join a local Tulum travel guide to see the best off the beaten path and hidden cenotes in Tulum.

As the best cenotes in Tulum cenotes are all very popular, plan to visit earlier in the day to avoid the crowds.

Do not put on any lotion or sunscreen before entering to protect the cenotes and practice responsible tourism in Mexico. Instead of sunscreen, many use a long sleeve bathing suit.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Photograph the Instagram Worthy Tulum Sites

tulum follow that dream sign
Follow that solo female travel Tulum dream!

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.

As solo travel photography isn’t for everyone, consider this Photoshoot in Tulum InstaSpots experience with a local Tulum photographer. I did this with my boyfriend, and highly recommend it!

1️⃣ Tulum Follow That Dream Sign

This street sign is located outside of Sueños Tulum Hotel and the Lolita Lolita boutique shop, on the Tulum Beach Road (the main road that runs north to south along Tulum Beach).

2️⃣ Matcha Mama Tulum Cafe

tulum photoshoot at matcha mama

They now have two Matcha Mama locations, but the original one on Tulum beach has the famous swings next to the “I Love Tulum So Matcha” surfboard sign.

3️⃣ CoCo Tulum Beach Hotel

Looking for the famous Tulum white swings? They are located here at CoCo Tulum, a hotel and beach bar in Tulum.

4️⃣ Raw Love Cafe & Ven a La Luz Sculpture

woman walking into ven a la luz Tulum sculpture of a wooden man
When going to Tulum alone, book the Photoshoot in Tulum InstaSpots experience with a local Tulum photographer, so you can be in all your best Tulum photos!

The iconic wooden man sculpture, called Ven a la Luz (Come to the Light by Daniel Popper), used to serve as the entrance to the Ahau Tulum Resort and Raw Love Tulum Cafe. It is now in the Tulum Sculpture Park.

Tulum Tips: Arrive early! People line up for hours to take pictures here, as it’s one of the best Tulum photo spots. After your photo, walk through the man and enjoy a smoothie at Raw Love Cafe.

5️⃣ Azulik Tulum Resort

Head to Azulik Hotel for some epic photos, and if you’re going to splurge on dinner, enjoy a meal at Kin Toh Azulik. (Photo: Austin Distel via UnSplash)

Azulik Hotel is the Instagrammable Tulum hotel that put the city on everyone’s Mexico bucket list. It has great photo ops all over the place, including the nest tables at Kin Toh restaurant.

6️⃣ SFER IK Tulum Museum

Just next to Azulik, there’s SFER IK Museum. It has a similar aesthetic to the hotel, and a rotating line-up of exhibits to enjoy. SFER IK admission is $10 USD per person.

Tulum Mexico Travel Tips: You can only take photos on your phone in Azulik and SFER IK. Professional cameras aren’t allowed unless you pay the permit fee, which is about $2,000 USD.

7️⃣ Casa Malca Tulum Hanging Couch

In a photogenic resort town like Tulum, the Casa Malca hanging couch and wedding dress drapes stand out!

Once owned by Pablo Escobar, Casa Malca Resort is tropical sexy all the way! There are many great photo ops here, including the famous hanging couch next to the wedding dress drapes.

Tulum Tips: You must be a guest of Casa Malca Tulum to take a photo on the couch in the lobby. Even if you buy a Casa Malca day pass, you won’t have access to the hotel lobby.

8️⃣ Tulum Sideways Palm Tree

The learning palm tree or crooked palm tree in Tulum is located just outside Playa Paraiso Beach Club, which is a part of the El Paraiso Hotel Tulum.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Where to Eat in Tulum Mexico

street taco shop called Antojitos la Chiapaneca in Tulum Mexico
Whatever you do, don’t skip the street tacos AKA the best part of visiting Tulum!

Wondering where to go in Tulum by yourself for a good meal?! There are so many places to eat in Tulum, with dining options ranging from high end restaurants on the beach, to $1 street tacos, and plenty of options in between.

Best Tulum Restaurant for Cheap Eats ($-$$)

woman eating a burrito doing tulum solo travel
Burrito Amor is one of the best Tulum vegan spots, but also has meat and seafood options, and best of all, low prices by Tulum standards. (Photo: Dusan Jovic via UnSplash)

Best Restaurants in Downtown Tulum

If you love tacos (uhh, who doesn’t?!), you must eat at Taqueria Honorio and Antojitos La Chiapaneca, which have the best tacos in Tulum.

There’s also El Asadero and Burrito Amor, for when you want to switch it up and eat the best burritos in Tulum instead.

If you’d prefer to sit down and eat, there’s DelCielo for brunch and lighter fare. For a nice seafood meal where all the locals eat, head to El Camello Jr. This yummy Tulum restaurant is known for fresh ceviche, locally-caught fish, and low prices.

Best Restaurants on Tulum Beach

There are some great places to eat on Tulum Beach, like La Taqueria – Pinches Tacos Shop for tacos, and Tunich for the best brunch in Tulum. (Note: This article used to list Taquería la Eufemia as the best tacos on Tulum Beach, but sadly, it has closed.)

Another fun place on the beach is Clan-Destino, which has the best burgers in Tulum, and also an on-site cenote you can swim in after eating. Besides a great meal, it’s also very Instagram worthy!

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Best Tulum Restaurant for to Splurge ($$$-$$$$)

arca restaurant tulum food photos
For a splurge on dinner in Tulum, nothing beats Arca Restaurant on the Tulum Beach Road.

For foodies travelers, head straight to Arca Tulum, a chef-driven restaurant led by Jose Luis Hinostroza (who used to work at Noma). Hinostroza is widely known as one of the best chefs in Mexico today.

You’ll also want to check out Hardwood in Tulum, with a menu that changes daily based on seasonality.

Reservations at Arca Tulum aren’t always easy to come by, so if you can’t get one, try Jaguar Tulum, ArtBeach, BAL NAK Tulum, Gitano Tulum and Posada Margherita.

You’ll also want a reservation at all of these as well, especially for weekend dining in the Tulum high season months.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Tulum Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

You now have all the details on how to get to Tulum, as well as the best places to stay, eat and play in Tulum Mexico.

Here are just a few more Tulum travel tips to keep in mind so you have an amazing Tulum vacation.

What are the best Tulum hostels for solo travelers?

woman eating a burrito doing tulum solo travel
Meteora Tulum is one of the best Tulum hostels, especially for digital nomads because they have an on-site coffee shop and strong WiFi. (Photo: Meteora)

Tulum has long been a town that appeals to bohemian travelers who love venturing off the beaten track.

As such, it’s the ideal destination for hostels — and what better place to meet other solo travelers than the common areas of your Tulum hostel!? Here are my top picks for the best hostels in Tulum:

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is Tulum expensive?

Compared to many places in Mexico, yes, Tulum is expensive.

That’s not to say Tulum budget travel is impossible, only that you’ll have to plan carefully and make sacrifices here and there.

If you’re looking for cheap beaches in Mexico near Tulum, there’s El Cuyo and Puerto Morelos.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is Tulum overrated?

This answer will depend on your travel style. If you want to party, take lots of Instagram worthy photos, lay on the beach, and don’t mind crowds, you’ll love Tulum.

If you understand what you’re signing up for — a small town with beautiful beaches, high price tags and large crowds, amazing Mayan Ruins and semi-rustic accommodations — then you will love your solo travel Tulum experience.

If this doesn’t sound like the Mexico beach town you want, you’ll find a few other suggestions below for beaches that have a Tulum vibe (minus the crowds and high prices).

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

What are some places like Tulum?

adorable couple at isla holbox island mexico
Holbox Island is one of the best Mexico hidden gems! Check out this Cancun to Holbox Travel Guide to learn all about this amazing Mexico island.

Looking for where to go instead of Tulum? If Tulum sounds like it’s not for you after all, consider Lake Bacalar, the “Maldives of Mexico,” located a few hours south of Tulum.

There’s also Isla Holbox Island and Cozumel Island, both with white sand beaches and a Tulum vibe, and both located only a few hours away.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

What’s the best time to travel to Tulum?

The best time for trips to Tulum is from (approx.) November to April.

This is during the dry season when you’ll have the nicest weather. This is also the peak season or busy season in Tulum, so for lower prices, you might want to visit Tulum from May to October.

🏝️ Tulum Slow Season

You will definitely get rain during the Tulum rainy season from May to October, as it typically rains for a few hours each day.

Also, June 1 to November 30 is Atlantic Hurricane Season, and as it’s located right on the Caribbean Sea, Tulum hurricanes can happen.

🏝️ Tulum Shoulder Season

The shoulder season is that magical time when the weather in Tulum is still nice, the prices are still somewhat low, and the crowds are small.

Personally, I enjoy visiting Tulum most from November to early-December, and from late-January to early-April.

🌡️ Tulum Weather

tulum mexico weather chart

If you’re checking the yearly weather in Tulum before your trip, remember to add about 5-10°F (2-3°C) to all temperatures to account for the humidity.

It is much more humid in the summers compared to the winters, but you can expect some humidity in Tulum year-round.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Is it easy to meet people in Tulum Mexico?

Tulum is a great place to travel alone because it’s easy to meet fellow travelers and make new friends with the locals.

If you’re a bit shy to talk to strangers, consider joining some Tulum Facebook groups, like Tulum Conscious Community and Tulum for Expats and Locals.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Are there mosquitoes in Tulum?

There sure are! Tulum is a tropical paradise, and it’s located partially on the beach, and partially in a jungle.

The Tulum mosquitoes are especially vicious in the rainy season months of May to October — so add this eco-friendly bug spray to your Tulum packing list.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Which are the best ATMs in Tulum Mexico?

mexican peso bills and coins
🤑 The good news about Mexican pesos? The different bills are different colors, so you won’t confuse denominations.

One of the most helpful tips for Tulum is that you need to carry cash at all times.

Many businesses in Tulum don’t take credit cards, so make sure you have cash for taxis, street tacos, local bars, and most restaurants in Tulum Town (AKA Downtown).

The best place to use an ATM in Tulum is actually Cancun Airport! There are ATM machines in Tulum throughout town, but they are known to run out of money from time to time, charge exorbitant fees, or just not work properly.

Before leaving the airport in Cancun, stop at an ATM and take out $1,000-2,000 pesos (approx. $50-100 USD) for each day you’ll be in Tulum. For most travelers, this should be enough.

If you need more, use the ATMs in Downtown Tulum, not the ones on the beach.

💰 Tulum Tip: Pay in Pesos, Not Dollars

You will want to use pesos not dollars in Tulum, though most places accept dollars anyway.

Those that do offer a low a terrible exchange rate because they then have to take your dollars to an exchange, and pay the exchange service’s fee to convert them to pesos.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

What do I pack for Tulum Mexico?

You’ll want to pack light because it will be hot when you visit, since the weather in Tulum is hot year-round.

We’ll get to what to wear in Tulum below, but just know you can get away with only a few outfits if you’re strategic about it. To help you, these Space Saver Packing Cubes are everything.

Besides clothing and the basics, you’ll want water shoes if you’re visiting the cenotes and a ASAKO underwater camera (it’s basically a GoPro, but much cheaper).

If you’re visiting the Mayan Ruins and pyramids in Mexico, a sporty outfit and good sneakers.

To shield yourself from the sun, definitely bring a cute sun hat, but also consider a long sleeve bathing suit (AKA rash guard).

You’ll likely use sunscreen each day, and I love this sunscreen/bug repellent combo from Bullfrog, one of the best natural sunscreen brands.

You can not drink unfiltered tap water in Tulum, or anywhere in Mexico, but you will need to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

As single-use plastics are horrible for the planet, these Water-To-Go bottles have a three-stage filter that makes Tulum tap water safe to drink.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

What do I wear in Tulum Mexico?

One of the last things you’ll want to know before your solo travel to Tulum adventure is what to wear in Tulum.

In short: Anything goes in Tulum! You can look as casual, or as extra, as you’d like.

If you need Tulum outfits inspo, think boho casual, but you can also go all out like the influencers do.

As it’s quite hot in Tulum, you’ll want flowy sundresses, breathable materials like cotton and linen, sun hats, sandals, and of course, bathing suits.

Tulum Solo Travel in Mexico

Final Thoughts: Tulum Solo Travel Guide

Tulum sees many solo female travelers each year, and with basic “travel common sense,” you’ll have an amazing first solo trip to this special place.

There’s so many solo travel adventures in Tulum you can have, and I hope this Tulum travel guide gives you the confidence you need!

If you still have friends and family members wondering, Is Tulum safe to travel? or How safe is Tulum Mexico? Direct them to the U.S. State Department website to check for any current Tulum Mexico travel advisory warnings — because there usually aren’t any.

If you want to continue on with your Mexico solo travel journey, check out this article with the 20 Best Solo Travel Destinations in Mexico.

In it, solo female travelers discuss their favorite places in Mexico, like San Miguel de Allende, Mexico City, Isla Mujeres, Akumal, Oaxaca City, and Puerto Vallarta.

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.