Tulum, Mexico: Everything you need to know before moving
Currently, more than 4.7 million people in the U.S. are working remotely, at least part of the time. With more remote workers than ever before, it’s no wonder travel trends are evolving. Bleisure travel has blurred the lines between traveling and working, allowing digital nomads to take their work with them anywhere. The most popular destinations seem to be glamorous coastal cities, and given all these benefits, it’s no surprise Tulum has been a hot spot for digital nomads for many years.
Keep reading for answers to the most commonly asked questions about living in Tulum, Mexico.
First of all, why Tulum? This beach city has something for everyone. The area is rich with natural features – including beaches, forests, and cenotes. Yet still, it has the perfect cosmopolitan: exciting bars, restaurants, shops, and markets. Just a short trip from downtown, tourists can explore Tulum’s archaeological zone.
Tulum’s weather is famous for its consistent, warm temperatures all year. Many accommodations have high-speed internet connections and desks, so you can keep up with work from your new home.
Where is Tulum?
Tulum is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, east of the Yucatan peninsula. It is the southernmost city along the Maya Riviera and faces the Caribbean Sea. Tulum is usually divided into two distinct districts: the beach (Tulum Playa) and the town (Tulum Pueblo). The trip between the two areas is about 3 miles or a 15 minute bike ride, a 5 minute car ride, or a 45 minute walk.
Is Tulum safe?
In terms of safety, Tulum is one of the best of these coastal towns in Mexico. Natural disasters, like hurricanes, do affect this area, so be mindful of warnings and traveling during hurricane season. While petty crime rates are usually low, always be vigilant of your possessions and never leave valuables unattended or unlocked. In the tourist zones, there is an increased police presence to keep tourists safe, so when in doubt, stay in populated places and avoid wandering off the beaten path.
How to get to Tulum from Cancun airport?
Tulum does not have its own major international airport. This means most tourists and travelers will have to fly to Cancun airport, then make their way to Tulum. There are a couple of ways to do this, each with pros and cons.
- By Bus
The most common brand is ADO. Find the bus station in downtown Cancun and expect to pay around 260 pesos ($12.50 USD) each way. Your ride will last just over 2 hours and you will be dropped off in downtown Tulum Pueblo.
- Private Car
Traditional taxis and ridesharing like Uber and Lyft are not permitted in Cancun. Instead, you’ll find taxis that operate like private transportation companies. Most have fixed rates, so if you are worried about pricing, ask before you get in the car to find out how much your ride will be. To take a taxi or private car from Cancun to Tulum, you can expect to pay about 2000 pesos (~ $100 USD). This ride will take about 1.5 to 2 hours. Most taxis will only accept cash.
- Car rental
People who are planning to visit multiple destinations may opt for a car rental. You can organize the rental at the airport once you land or ahead of time online. Most rental companies will shuttle you from the airport to their rental facility, though some allow you to pick up the car directly from the airport.
Costs vary based on season, length of trip, and insurance options. Daily rates are often advertised in the $10-$20 range, however, this usually does not include extra insurance, fees, or local taxes. Be prepared to purchase Mexican Liability Insurance. It is fairly cheap (225-376 pesos or $10-15 USD) and the alternative is placing a hefty credit card hold of at least $2500 USD.
If two hours in a car or crowded bus doesn’t appeal to you, opt for a more chic mode of transportation and take a helicopter. You’ll have multiple helicopter transfer service providers at Cancun International Airport to choose from. They will take you to most parts of the Riviera Maya, not just Tulum.
Helicopters land at Tulum Naval Base and require a permit, filed at least 48 hours in advance. This means most helicopter companies will require a down payment when reserving your trip. Costs vary slightly from company to company, but expect to pay at least $950 USD per hour not including the airport tax of 377-565 pesos ($20-30 USD). The trip will take about 30 minutes.
What is the wifi speed in Tulum?
Not all WiFi in Tulum is created equal. The speed and bandwidth vary greatly depending on which neighborhood you’re in, your network’s capacity, and the season.
In terms of location, the beach will be tricky. There are fewer networks operating, often at slower speeds and smaller capacities than in Tulum Pueblo. We recommend sticking to neighborhoods in town, where there are stronger signals. If you pay attention to bandwidth measured in megabits per second (Mbps), you’ll want to find at least 2.5 (if you’re staying alone). In general, the more you have the better your connection will be.
Casai Getaways in Tulum all come with the fastest Wifi available. Whether you plan to work while you travel or simply want the top streaming speeds for watching Netflix, we’ve got you covered.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Tulum is susceptible to tropical storms that can suspend WiFi coverage regardless of your plan. We recommend purchasing a local SIM card for emergency calls and backup data. The most popular provider is Telcel.
Where to stay in Tulum?
There are many options for accommodations in Tulum, ranging from private rooms in hostels, villas, and 5-star hotels. As we mentioned before, the most important factor to consider is location.
Take your travel goals into account and weigh out the options: Tulum Pueblo – stronger WiFi and more options for food and drink yet a further distance to the beach – or Tulum playa – access to beachfront living, though less dependable connectivity and fewer activities and services available.
Once you settle on a location, look at the options available at your price point. Cheaper accommodations include hostels and rooms in shared homes. More expensive options would be beachfront hotels and jungle villas. Make sure you look at amenities as well, as more expensive options might offer more services you are looking for.
If you don’t want to worry during your trip, let Casai handle all the details. Our range of comfortable, trendy getaways in Tulum range in size and price, yet you always with the Casai guarantee: comfort, locality, and luxury. Book your stay here.
Tulum COVID-19 restrictions and COVI-19 testing
In 2021, the country adopted a “traffic light” system for tracking lockdowns and restrictions. The color status indicates if bars and restaurants are open, their capacity, and the curfew. As of March 2022, the state of Quintana Roo is currently in “green,” meaning most restrictions have been lifted – you can visit most restaurants, local businesses and attractions normally, following adviced sanitary measurements. Face mask use is advised, yet not mandatory.
In terms of testing, requirements for travel are changing rapidly. As of March 2022, all travelers entering the US from abroad must present a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country. If you plan on visiting Tulum, it’s worth reading up on the testing options before you travel, which range from private physicians who will visit your hotel room or house to public testing centers where you may have to reserve a slot ahead of time.
When in doubt or if you have questions, try asking your concierge staff or the front desk of a major hotel.
Tulum’s long, sandy beaches, ideal climate, and exciting attractions are just some of the reasons foreigners and locals alike flock to this incredible city.
It’s the culture, cuisine, and unique atmosphere that make people stay for weeks, months or years. If you’re ready to test out this amazing destination, stay with Casai to have all your needs taken care of. Our incredible getaways are in the top locations in Tulum Pueblo.
Each stay has pool access, fully-equipped kitchens, WiFi and workspaces, smart Tvs, and security. Make your move to Tulum as stress-free as possible.