How Much Is a Trip to Tulum? (Full Breakdown 2023)

A trip to Tulum on the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, promises white sand beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and spectacular cenotes for digital nomads, travelers, and backpackers alike.

But how much does it cost to experience a corner of Mexico that – since the pandemic – has become one of the world’s most popular digital nomad destinations?

This article explores the costs associated with a Tulum vacation and also offers some tips for visiting Tulum on a budget (spoiler alert: Tulum might be a tropical paradise, but it’s not friendly on the wallet!).

How Much Is A Trip To Tulum?

In the below Tulum budget guide, we’ll break down the cost of everything you might encounter on your next trip.

We go into detail on each aspect to help you get the most out of your Tulum adventure.

If, however, you just want a quick overview of the prices to expect, we’ve also summarised the average Tulum prices here:

  • Accommodation: Budget ($30-$100), mid-range ($100-$300), and luxury ($300-$1,000+) per night.
  • Meals: Local restaurants and street food ($5-$10), fine dining ($40-$100+ per person).
  • Transportation: Taxi ($5-$10 within town), bike rental ($10 per day), car rental (from $30 per day).
  • Attractions: Tulum ruins ($8), beach clubs ($10-$50), and cenote entrance ($5-$15).
  • Activities: Water sports ($30-$100), guided tours ($40-$100), Mayan ruins day trip ($50-$120).

Getting There: Cancun International Airport and Beyond

how to get to tulum

Your journey to Tulum begins at Cancun International Airport, the closest major airport to Tulum.

Flight prices will vary depending on your departure city and time of year, so it’s essential to shop around for the best deals.

You can expect to pay around $200 – $300 when flying from the USA. From the United Kingdom and Europe, round-trip prices are $700+.

These are return flights to Cancun in June.

Upon arrival, several transportation options are available to get you from Cancun Airport to downtown Tulum, approximately 118 km (73 miles) away.

The journey will last around 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on traffic.

The most budget-friendly option is the ADO bus, which costs around $15.

Alternatively, you can opt for car rentals or a taxi ride but expect to pay more for these services. You can see the full cost of these in our guide to getting from Cancun to Tulum.

How To Get To Tulum?

Accommodation Prices in Tulum

Tulum offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels in the Hotel Zone to budget-friendly hotels in Tulum Pueblo.

Prices vary depending on your preferences and the time of year.

  • Luxury hotels: $300 – $1,000+ per night
  • Mid-range hotels: $100 – $300 per night
  • Budget accommodation: $30 – $100 per night

To save money, consider booking vacation rentals or beach bungalows outside the Hotel Zone or searching for deals on travel booking sites.

The best value areas to stay in Tulum town are La Veleta and the Pueblo itself.

Cenotes, Mayan Ruins, and Beaches: How Much Does it Cost to Explore Tulum?

No visit to Tulum would be complete without exploring the Tulum ruins, an ancient Mayan city perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Entrance to the Tulum Mayan ruins costs around $8, with an additional fee for parking if you have a rental car. You can book a day tour here.

Chichen Itza and Coba ruins are also nearby, perfect for a day trip if you’re eager to explore more Mayan history.

READ MORE: Which Mayan Ruins are Near to Tulum and Cancun?

Tulum boasts stunning white sand beaches, including Tulum Beach and nearby beaches at Playa del Carmen.

Many beaches are accessible to the public, but some require entrance to a beach club.

Tulum beach clubs typically charge a fee, ranging from $10 to $50 for entrance, which usually includes amenities like sun loungers, umbrellas, and on-site restaurants.

The Yucatan Peninsula is also famous for its cenotes: natural freshwater pools located in underground caves.

Some popular cenotes near Tulum include Cenote Calavera and Gran Cenote. Entrance fees vary but are generally between $5 and $15.

The Cost of Eating Out: Tulum Restaurants and Street Food

Tulum’s culinary scene offers both high-end dining and cheap eats.

Tulum Centro and La Veleta neighborhoods have many authentic Mexican food options, including street tacos and local delicacies.

An average meal at a local restaurant or food stall costs between $5 and $10.

Fine dining at Tulum’s on-site restaurants in the Hotel Zone can set you back around $30 to $50 per person.

To keep your travel budget in check, consider exploring Tulum’s street food scene and save fancier meals for special occasions.

READ MORE: How Much is a Taco in Mexico?

Getting Around: Bike Rentals, Car Rentals, and Local Transportation

Tulum is a small town, so many attractions are easily accessible on foot or by bike.

Bike rentals in Tulum typically cost around $10 per day.

Rental cars are also available, with prices starting at $30 per day.

Find a car in Tulum on Discover Cars

Local transportation, such as taxis and colectivos (shared vans), are another affordable option for exploring the area.

A taxi ride within Tulum Pueblo or to the beach should cost around $10 – $15, while a colectivo ride is even cheaper at approximately $1 to $3 per trip.

Cheapest Time To Visit Tulum

The cheapest time to visit Tulum is during the low season, which spans from May to October.

During these months, you can expect lower prices for flights, accommodations, and even some attractions.

However, be prepared for a tropical climate with higher temperatures and a chance of rain.

Tips To Save Money in Tulum

To save money on your trip to Tulum, consider the following tips:

  • Book accommodations outside the Hotel Zone for more budget-friendly options.
  • Choose local transportation, such as colectivos and ADO buses, over taxis and rental cars.
  • Eat at local food stalls and restaurants in Tulum Centro for cheap, authentic Mexican food.
  • Visit public beaches instead of opting for pricier beach clubs.
  • Travel during the low season for better deals on flights and accommodations.

Tulum Vs. Cancun: Which is more expensive?

You might be weighing up a trip to either Tulum or Cancun and wondering about the price differences.

While they have similar costs attached in terms of flying and transport, there are a few key comparisons to be aware of.

The table below has broken down the key price differences between Tulum and Cancun:

Expense CategoryTulumCancun
AccommodationBudget: $30-$100Budget: $20-$80
Mid-range: $100-$300Mid-range: $80-$200
Luxury: $300-$1,000Luxury: $200-$800
Food and DrinkLocal meal: $5-$10Local meal: $5-$10
Fine dining: $30-$50 per personFine dining: $30-$50 per person
Street food: $1-$5Street food: $1-$5
TransportationTaxi (within town): $5-$10Taxi (within hotel zone): $10-$20
Bike rental: $10 per dayBike rental: $10-$15 per day
Car rental: from $30 per dayCar rental: from $25 per day
ADO bus (from Cancun Airport): around $15ADO bus (to Tulum): around $15
AttractionsTulum ruins: $8Cancun ruins (El Rey, Tulum): $4-$8
Beach clubs: $10-$50Beach clubs: $20-$60
Cenote entrance: $5-$15Cenote entrance: $5-$15
NightlifeDrinks at local bars: $3-$8Drinks at local bars: $4-$10
Clubs and live music: $10-$50Clubs and live music: $20-$70
ActivitiesWater sports: $30-$100Water sports: $40-$150
Guided tours: $40-$100Guided tours: $50-$120
Mayan ruins day trip (Coba, Chichen Itza): $50-$120Mayan ruins day trip (Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza): $60-$150
Local ShoppingSouvenirs: $5-$50Souvenirs: $5-$50
Local markets: $10-$50Local markets: $10-$50
Artisanal crafts: $10-$100Artisanal crafts: $10-$100

Please note that these prices are approximate and can vary depending on factors such as the time of year, specific locations, and individual preferences. Always research current prices before planning your trip.

Is Tulum Safe?

Tulum is generally considered a safe destination for travelers.

However, as with any popular tourist spot, it’s essential to take common-sense precautions.

Keep your belongings secure, avoid poorly lit areas at night, and be cautious when using ATMs. It’s also a good idea to invest in travel insurance for added peace of mind.

That’s why at $1.50 per day, we recommend Safety Wing travel insurance.

The Cost of Your Tulum Adventure

tulum cost

A trip to Tulum can be tailored to suit various travel budgets.

Personally, I lived in Tulum Pueblo for 6 months and found that it can be as expensive – or as cheap – as you want it to be.

Eating out in the Hotel Zone every night, for example, will clearly raise your costs compared to eating from the taco stands in town.

The cost of your Tulum vacation will depend on factors such as your choice of accommodations, dining preferences, transportation, and the attractions you choose to visit.

By incorporating some of the money-saving tips mentioned in this article, you can experience the beauty of Tulum without breaking the bank.

Check Out Our Tulum Digital Nomad Guide

My first impressions of Tulum

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to Tulum from Cancun International Airport?

The most budget-friendly option is the ADO bus, which costs around $15. Car rentals and taxis are also available but more expensive.

What is the price range for accommodations in Tulum?

Luxury hotels range from $300 to $1,000 per night, mid-range hotels from $100 to $300 per night, and budget accommodations from $30 to $100 per night.

How much does it cost to visit the Tulum ruins?

Entrance to the Tulum Mayan ruins costs around $8, with an additional fee for parking if you have a rental car.

Are Tulum’s beaches free to access?

Many beaches are public and free, but some require entrance to a beach club, with fees ranging from $10 to $50.

What is the cost of eating at Tulum restaurants and street food stalls?

Local restaurants and street food stalls cost between $1 and $10 per meal, while fine dining in the Hotel Zone can cost between $50 – $100 per person.

How much do bike rentals and car rentals cost in Tulum?

Bike rentals typically cost around $10 per day, while car rentals start at $30 per day.

When is the cheapest time to visit Tulum?

The low season, from May to October, offers lower prices for flights, accommodations, and some attractions.

Is Tulum a safe destination for travelers?

Tulum is generally considered safe, but it’s important to take common-sense precautions and consider investing in travel insurance.

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