Tulum digital nomad

Tulum Digital Nomad Guide – Live & Work Remotely in 2023

Are you looking for a change of scenery? Maybe it’s time to find a new place to work remotely in an inspiring location. If that’s the case, then why not consider Tulum, Mexico?

With its stunning beaches, lush nature reserves and vibrant culture, Tulum is quickly becoming one of the most desirable places for people from all around the world to live and work remotely.

Let’s take a closer look at why you should choose Tulum for your next remote work destination. 

tulum digital nomad guide

Tulum Digital Nomad Guide – Live & Work Remotely

Why Live and Work in Tulum?

Tulum is located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and is bordered by the Caribbean Sea. As such, this area offers some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexico.

From white sand beaches tucked away in hidden coves, to crystal clear waters perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving – there are no shortage of activities available.

You can also explore ancient Mayan ruins or take a day trip to nearby Coba – an ancient city with some interesting pyramids scattered throughout its grounds.

Top 3 Things To Do In Tulum

coba tulum

Tulum has become a magnet for digital nomads and remote workers who come here looking for both a change of pace as well as an opportunity to experience authentic Mexican culture.

The locals are friendly and welcoming and there are plenty of affordable restaurants offering delicious local cuisine – from tacos al pastor to freshly-caught seafood dishes.

There are also plenty of opportunities to explore local culture through annual celebrations or by visiting nearby Mayan villages where you can learn more about this fascinating ancient civilization’s history and customs.  

Best Places to Live and Work in Mexico

tulum cost of living

What is the Cost of Living in Tulum?

The cost of living in Tulum varies massively depending on what you include in your budget.

Lavish activities like fine dining, luxury accommodation, yacht rental etc. are all readily available in Tulum – but there are also budget options available too.

Below is a quick breakdown of the various costs you might encounter:

tulum cost of living housing

Housing Costs in Tulum 

The cost of housing in Tulum can vary widely depending on your needs.

If you’re looking for a two-bedroom villa near the beach in a neighborhood like Aldea Zama, it will likely be a lot more expensive than other parts of town.

A one-bedroom apartment typically ranges from $600-$1000 USD per month.

Of course, if you’re willing to live further away from the beach, or rent something smaller, you can usually find something cheaper. 

It’s also worth noting that housing costs skyrocket around Christmas and New Year’s eve. Prepare your rent in advance, or consider renting out your villa over this period for some extra cash.

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tulum guide

Utilities and Internet 

Utility costs are fairly low in Tulum. Most people pay between $40-$100 USD per month for electricity and water, depending on usage.

Internet service is also available at reasonable prices; it typically costs around $30-$40 USD per month for good speeds. 

food costs tulum

Food and Groceries 

You can expect to pay around $50-$60 USD per week for groceries such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk and other staples.

Eating out will also be relatively inexpensive in Tulum town; most restaurants offer meals ranging from $2-$10 USD depending on where you go.

Of course, if you choose to splurge on finer dining options in the Hotel Zone then expect to pay a lot more!  

How Much is a Taco in Mexico?

how much are the average tacos in mexico

How to Find a Place to Live in Tulum

One of the challenges of moving to a new country is finding a place to live.

There are a few different options to choose from in Tulum, depending on what you’re looking for.

For example, Aldea Zama is a popular choice for those who want to be close to the beach. It’s also relatively close to Tulum town, so you can easily walk or bike into town for shopping or dining.

tulum housing aldea zama

La Veleta is another option, and it’s slightly further from town but offers more of a traditional Mexican feel.

There are also a number of other smaller neighborhoods and villages that you can choose from.

To get started, we recommend renting an Airbnb for your first month or two while you search for a more permanent place to live.

This can be a great way to get acclimated to your new surroundings while getting some help from your Airbnb host with things like finding a grocery store or signing up for utilities. 

follow that dream tulum

Signing Up For Utilities 

Once you’ve found a place to live, the next step is signing up for utilities like water, electricity, trash service, and internet.

This can be done online through various utility companies’ websites or in person at their offices.

Be sure to have your passport and visa handy as most companies will require one of these forms of identification when signing up for service.

coffee shop tulum

What is the Internet Speed in Tulum?

When it comes to internet speeds in Tulum, it really depends on where you are in town.

In the Tulum town, you can expect to find some of the fastest speeds in the area. However, in the hotel zone, the speeds may not be as consistent.

Wifi is generally good in town, but there are areas where it can be spotty. The good news is that there are plenty of coffee shops in town, so you should be able to find a good signal most of the time.

However, if you’re looking for the fastest internet speeds for your villa or apartment, it’s better to be based somewhere in town like La Veleta or Aldea Zama.

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tulum digital nomad visa

Tulum Visa for Digital Nomads

One of the first things you’ll need to do before moving to Tulum is to understand the visa situation. Here is the best option currently.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visas are available on arrival at all major airports in Mexico, as well as at some land and sea border crossings.

US citizens do not need to apply for a tourist visa in advance, but will need to present a valid passport when they arrive in Mexico.

Tourist visas are valid for up to 180 days, and can be extended for an additional 180 days by applying for a Tourist Card at a Mexican consulate.

tulum beach

If you plan to stay in Mexico for longer than 180 days, you will need to apply for a different type of visa. For more information, US citizens should contact the nearest Mexican consulate or the Mexican embassy.

An easier option if you’re staying less than a year, is to fly out and fly back in again. Perhaps visit neighboring Guatemala or Belize?

What Are The Best Places in the World for Digital Nomads?

tulum beach view


In addition to a visa, there are also a few vaccinations that are recommended (or required) for travel to Tulum. These include vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, rabies, and typhoid fever.

Be sure to check with your doctor or travel clinic before your trip to ensure that you have all the vaccinations that you need. 

tulum housing

Tulum Health Insurance for Nomads

You’ll need to make sure that you have adequate health insurance coverage when moving to Tulum.

The public healthcare system in Tulum is generally quite good, but it’s not free. You’ll be required to pay a nominal fee for most medical services.

However, if you need specialty care or medications not available in Tulum, your health insurance will need to cover those costs. There are excellent health insurance companies that offer plans specifically for travelers and expats.

Make sure to do your research and choose a plan that’s right for you.

If you’re not sure where to start, we can recommend Safety Wing Nomad Health Insurance.

tulum how to move to tulum

How to Move to Tulum

Moving to Tulum as a digital nomad is relatively easy, especially since the government is now encouraging the influx of remote workers.

Once you take the leap, you’ll have an apartment waiting, great communities of people all around (and not just at beaches!), as well as plenty coworking options nearby too!

If you’re thinking of making the move to Tulum, here are a few things you should know:

1. You’ll need a visa.

Unless you’re from one of the countries that are exempt from visa requirements, you’ll need to obtain a visa before you move to Tulum.

The good news is that there are a number of visa options available, so there’s likely one that will fit your needs. For more information, click here.

2. You’ll need a passport.

In addition to a visa, you’ll also need a valid passport to enter Tulum.

find a place to live tulum

3. You’ll need to find a place to live.

Tulum is a popular destination for expats, so there are plenty of housing options available.

However, it’s important to do your research and find the right neighborhood and apartment for your needs.

TOP TIP: Check the Wi-Fi speed before signing any long-term lease. And if you’re looking at Airbnbs, ask your host to send a screenshot of the upload and download speed.

tulum wifi

4. You’ll need to have an income / savings

If you’re planning to move to Tulum as a retiree, you can go ahead and skip this part. However if you’re a digital nomad, you’ll be pleased to now that Tulum has an abundance of remote work opportunities!

One of the benefits of moving to Tulum is that it’s easy to find work as a remote worker or digital nomad, especially since you’re on the same time zone as the US.

There are a number of great resources available, such as the Tulum Facebook Groups and RemoteOK.

tulum weather

5. You’ll need to learn some Spanish.

Although English is widely spoken in Tulum, it’s still a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases before you move.

This will make life in Tulum much easier and help you connect with locals on a deeper level.

6. You’ll need to get used to the Latin culture.

Tulum’s people are known for their friendly and laid-back attitude, but it’s still important to be aware of some cultural differences before making the move.

For example, punctuality isn’t always considered important in Latin cultures, so don’t be surprised if people are late for appointments or meetings.

tulum beach view

Reasons to Move to Tulum as a Digital Nomad

Still need more convincing that Tulum is the right choice for you?

Ok fine, here are our top 9 reasons to move to Tulum as a digital nomad:

1. The Weather is Perfect

If you’re sick of the cold winters and hot summers, then Tulum is the perfect place for you. The weather is warm all year round, with an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. You can enjoy the sun and the beach all year long!

2. It’s Affordable

Tulum is a relatively affordable place to live, especially when compared to other popular digital nomad destinations such as Costa Rica or Mexico City. You can easily find a comfortable apartment for under $800 USD per month, and your other living expenses will be very reasonable as well.

tulum guide

3. There’s a Great Community of Digital Nomads

There is a large and growing community of digital nomads in Tulum, which makes it easy to meet new people and make friends. There are also many co-working spaces and meetups that you can attend.

4. The Internet is Fast and Reliable

One of the most important things for digital nomads is having fast and reliable internet, and Tulum definitely delivers in this department. You’ll have no problem working from anywhere in Tulum town, however the beach road can sometimes be challenging.

tulum beach is it safe

5. It’s Safe

Tulum is a safe place to live, with a low crime rate and friendly locals. You can feel confident walking around alone at night or taking public transportation.

6. There are Plenty of Things to Do

Tulum is not just a beach town – there are plenty of things to do here. You can explore the ancient Mayan ruins, go scuba diving or snorkeling, or take a day trip to one of the nearby cenotes (natural swimming holes). There’s something for everyone!

cenotes in tulum

7. The Food is Delicious

If you love good food, then you’ll be in heaven in Tulum. There are many great restaurants serving both Mexican and international cuisine, and the seafood is fresh and delicious. You won’t go hungry here!

8. It’s Easy to Get Around

Tulum is a small town, so it’s very easy to get around on foot or by bicycle. If you need to go further, there are plenty of taxis and local collectivo buses available. Getting around Tulum is a breeze!

9. It’s Simply Beautiful

Last but not least, Tulum is just an incredibly beautiful place to be. From the stunning beaches to the lush jungle, there’s no shortage of natural beauty here

tulum beautiful

Tulum Digital Nomad FAQ

Is Tulum Safe?

Yes, Tulum is safe. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and the crime rate is low. However, it’s always important to take precautions when traveling to a new country. Be aware of your surroundings, don’t leave your belongings unguarded, and always keep your passport and visa handy.

What is the Time Zone in Tulum?

The time zone in Tulum is Central Standard Time.

Is Tulum Expensive?

The cost of living in Tulum is generally lower than in other popular expat destinations, like Costa Rica or Colombia.
However, the cost of living will vary depending on your lifestyle and how much you want to enjoy the luxury available in Tulum.

Do You Need a Passport to Fly to Tulum from USA?

Yes, a passport is required to fly to Tulum from the USA.

What’s the Weather Like in Tulum?

The weather in Tulum is typically hot and humid year-round. The best time to visit is during the winter months (December through February) when temperatures are a bit cooler.
March through November is the rainy season, so be prepared for occasional showers and humidity levels that can feel quite oppressive.

Where is Tulum?

Tulum is located in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The closest airport is Cancun.
You can see our full guide to Tulum’s location here.

How Far Is Tulum From Cancun?

Tulum is about 80 miles or 129 kilometers away from Cancun.
You can see our full guide of how to get to Tulum here.

Why Move to Tulum as a Digital Nomad?

So if you’re considering moving abroad but don’t want to sacrifice lifestyle perks like access to great food options, incredible natural beauty and cultural experiences – then Tulum might be worth considering!

Whether it’s just for a few weeks or months at a time, or even setting up shop permanently – this Mexican paradise offers something for everyone who wants an adventure away from home while still having easy access back home when needed (thanks Wi-Fi!).

So why not give it a try? See what this magical destination has in store for you!

READ MORE: Best Places to Live and Work Remotely in Mexico

My first week in Tulum!

One Comment

  1. Walter Linder says:

    Reading your writeup, for me it sounds like, you never been in Tulum.
    First Tulum is one of the most expensive places, there is nothing cheap.
    The whole town looks more like a big Garbage Dump, including Aldema Zama.
    The beach, is not great, because of the Sargassum issue. What can you expect when the hotels along the beach, let for years all the used Water right there in the ocean, and the tourists are swimming in there own…..This is from someone, who spend the last 10 years in Tulum, and is not going to the beach

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