is tulum open

Is Tulum Open for Travel Right Now? [Updated May 2022]


Wondering, Is Tulum open for travel right now?

You’re in luck, because for the most part, it is — though not everything’s open! Don’t worry though; this article will tell you everything you need to know about safe travel to Tulum during Covid-19.

For those in the United States dying to scratch their wanderlust itch, and just a handful of countries allowing you entry without a quarantine period or vaccine verification, Mexico is one of the best countries for U.S. international travel, now more than ever. In fact, there are virtually no Tulum travel restrictions.

While, legally speaking, Tulum is open to travelers — Whether or not you should ethically be traveling is a question for each individual person. This article is not meant to argue either side; rather, to shine a light on what you need to know, should you travel to Mexico during Covid.

For anyone who chooses to travel to Tulum during the pandemic, please do so respectfully, safely, responsibly, and in accordance with all Mexican laws. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the info you need to do just that.

With that out of the way, let’s examine how to travel to Tulum during the pandemic.

Tulum Travel During Covid-19

Mexico’s Traffic Light System

Mexico disperses travel health notice information via a stop light system — with a color “grade” given to each state. Each state’s color is updated every two weeks depending on the number of Covid cases, so check the government’s website for the most current info on the state you’re visiting.

🤔 What state in Tulum in? Tulum is in Quintana Roo state.

Do I need a Covid Test to travel to Tulum?

• Do I need a negative Covid test for Mexico?

No — You do not need to arrive in Mexico with a negative Covid test; though that could change at any time!

• Do I need a negative Covid test to travel back to the U.S.?

As of January 26, 2021, you must have a negative Covid test to return to the U.S. from any other country. The negative test results must be dated within three days of your flight. This means your Covid-19 test results can be from one minute before your flight, up to 72 hours before your flight takes off.

According to the CDC, only an Antigen Test (also known as the Rapid Test or NAAT Test) is required; though that could change at any time.

The Tulum Follow That Dream sign, one of the top Tulum Instagram spots on the famed Tulum Beach Road.

Where can I get a rapid covid test in Tulum?

You can get a rapid Covid test in Tulum at the places listed below. Note: This page will continue to be updated as more Tulum Covid testing locations are added.

1. Colibri Boutique Hotels

This includes the following Tulum resorts: La Zebra, El Pez Tulum, Mezzanine Tulum Hotel and Hotel Mi Amor, and appointments are suggested. Rapid Covid Tests at a Colibri Tulum hotel costs $35USD — though you’ll want to verify on the Colibri website.

2. Cancun Airport Covid Testing

Authorities recommend using this only as a last resort, as testing is limited and on a first come, first served basis. ✈️ Note: There is no Tulum Airport, so you must use Cancun Airport. Rapid Covid Tests at Cancun Airport cost about $15USD — though you’ll want to verify on the Cancun Airport website.

3. Costamed Tulum Covid Testing Centers

This is a chain of medical centers, with locations throughout Quintana Roo state. Due to a high volume of tests being administered, Costamed recommends making an appointment. Rapid Antigen Tests at Costamed cost about $50USD — though you’ll want to verify on the Costamed website).

You can schedule your appointment online, or by calling the Tulum location at (+52) 984-124-0830. Tulum Costamed is located at Calle 3 Sur s/n-Lote 8, Villas Tulum, 77760 Tulum, Q.R., near the Starbucks and Super Aki grocery store on the main road in Tulum Town (downtown).

Cenote Calavera is one of the best cenotes in Tulum. (Photo: Mathilde Langevin via Unsplash)
is tulum open to us citizens?

Covid safety measures in Tulum

• Does Mexico make you quarantine when you travel?

No — There’s no quarantine period upon arrival as of December 2021; though that could change at any time.

• Will there be temperature checks in Tulum, Mexico?

Once you arrive, authorities in the airport may take your temperature at some point before you can leave the airport. Do note that if you have an elevated temperature above 99.5°F (37.5°C), you can be denied entry into the country.

After leaving the airport, you’ll notice temperature checks at most (if not all) places, with the exception of simply laying on the beach. As with the airport, those with an elevated temperature above 99.5°F (37.5°C), you’ll likely be denied entry.

• Do I need to wear a mask in Tulum?

In Tulum and Quintana Roo state, Mexico, masks are legally required in all indoor spaces. In midd-April 2022, the Tulum indoor mask mandate was lifted, so you don’t have to wear masks outdoors in Tulum, though you still need to wear them indoors, except when eating and drinking.

😷 Tulum Travel Tip: Rules, regulations and laws can still change quickly! To be on the safe side, carry a mask in your bag at all times, should you need to quickly put one on.

Where to stay in Tulum mexico?

You have plenty of options for Tulum accommodations! Use these articles to find your perfect places to stay in Tulum:

  1. Top 10 Best All Inclusive Resorts in Tulum
  2. 11 Best Cheap hotels in Tulum Mexico
  3. Tulum Beach House Rentals: 10 Best Beachfront Tulum Villas
  4. Tulum Glamping: 11 Best Treehouses, Glampsites & More
is tulum open for travel right now?

What’s open in Tulum right now?

Are Tulum Ruins open?

Playa Ruinas is the beach right beneath the Tulum Ruins Mexico. There is a staircase at the site you can take down to the beach after touring the Tulum Mayan Ruins.

Yes — As of May 24, 2021, the Tulum Ruins are open. The Tulum Archeological Zone is open daily, from 9am-5pm, with the last ticket sold at 3:30pm. There’s a maximum capacity of groups no larger than 10, and a total of 3,000 people per day — so arrive early to guarantee your admission.

As Covid measures in Tulum are still in place, you’ll need to get a temperature check at the entrance and be under 99.5°F (37.5°C). You must wear a mask all times and practice social distance during while visiting Tulum Ruins.

Mayan Ruins Near Tulum that are open

Chichen Itza: One of the Seven Wonders of the World! Located about two hours from Tulum, you can drive there with your rental car, take the ADO bus from Downtown Tulum, or opt for this Chichen Itza, Cenote, and Valladolid Tour group tour.

Ek-Balam Ruins: This is an off the beaten path Mayan Ruins in Mexico is located near the pueblo magico (magic town) of Valladolid — though it’s actually a fascinating and beautiful site. Since so few visit, you can climb the pyramids at Ek-Balam.

Coba: Coba is unique in that it’s more of a whole Mayan city, versus a Mayan pyramid site. It is located about an hour from Tulum, deep in the jungle (so don’t forget your eco-friendly bug spray 🦟). If you have to choose Chichen Itza vs Coba, Coba has far less crowds than Chichen Itza.

Though the INAH website for Coba says they are closed, I know several people who have visited Coba in 2022, so this website has just not been updated.

chichen itza, a mayan pyramid and wonder of the world - day trips from Merida
Chichen Itza
Coba Pyramid
stone temples at Ek-Balam Best Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan
Ek Balam Ruins
is tulum open now?

Are Tulum beaches open?

Yes — All beaches of Tulum Yucatan are open. When you visit, make sure to head to all of the best Tulum, Mexico beaches: Playa Paraiso, Playa Pescadores, Playa Ruinas (AKA Playita Tortugas, the beach cove beneath the Tulum Ruins), and Las Palmas.

For a unique experience, head to the Tulum Cenotes, Kaan Luum Lagoon and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, in addition to the beaches.

Best Beach Clubs in Tulum

For many, no visit to Tulum is complete without checking out the best Tulum beach clubs. Do know that they cost about $50-100USD for a day pass, for the use of their lounge chairs, beach beds, cabanas, hammocks, pools, showers, food/drink service, etc. Here is a list of Tulum’s best beach clubs:

Tulum has some epic beach clubs, like this one at Casa Malca. ▶︎ Book your stay at Casa Malca

At some Tulum beach clubs, there is an actual entry cost of about $50-100USD. However, some apply a part of that cost to your food/beverage tab. This is called a “minimum spend,” meaning that is the minimum amount each person has to spend at that particular Tulum beach club.

🏝 Tulum Travel Tips: If you’re traveling to Tulum on a budget, just grab your beach bag and head to the beach. The beaches in Tulum are all free — you just won’t have access to beach club services or bathrooms! You can also hit up these beach clubs during Tulum Happy Hour to save a few bucks.

Gran Cenote is one of the best cenotes in Tulum.
is tulum open for travel right now?

Are Tulum cenotes open?

Yes — The Tulum cenotes are open. Do know that they are mostly privately owned, as they are technically the property of whose land they are located on, so the owners set the rules. If there are specific cenotes in Tulum you can’t miss, head to those earlier in the day.

Also, many cenotes are only opening at limited capacity — yet another reason to visit your must see Tulum cenotes early in the day. Depending on the crowd level, some many also enforce time limits, ie. you can only swim for one hour.

Tulum has so many cenotes to see within just minutes of downtown. Many of the best Tulum cenotes are located just off Highway 109, all within 25 minutes or less of Tulum Town (Downtown Tulum). You could ride your bike, hire a taxi or drive your rental car — but don’t walk to the Tulum cenotes.

Wondering — What is a cenote?

To make a long story short, cenotes (pronounced sen-no-tays) are basically underwater sinkholes containing crystal-clear, blue water. They are only found in a few places on Earth, with the largest concentration in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, where there are about 6,000 cenotes.

🐠 Tulum Travel Tip: If this will be your first visit to a cenote, check out this Cenote FAQ to ensure you’re a responsible visitor.

We can see and swim in them because the limestone once covering the water has collapsed and/or eroded throughout Earth’s existence, exposing the water beneath. Cenotes have freshwater, and a refreshing 75°F (24°F) year-round temperature.

Cenote Zacil-Ha is one of more photogenic cenotes in Tulum.
is tulum open for travel right now?

Best Tulum Cenotes

Gran Cenote: Gran Cenote and Cenote Calavera are the two most instagrammable cenotes in Tulum. Gran Cenote, meaning “big cenote,” is a larger site with several cenotes that meander along the jungle floor, connected to one another by wooden walkways. ▶︎ More info

Cenote Calavera: Cenote Calavera has three holes you can jump in to access the water below. This cool natural phenomenon is super popular, so try and arrive early to beat the crowds. ▶︎ More info

Cenote Tankah & Cenote Car Wash: These two are right next to one another, and make a great combo trip. Cenote Tankah is well known as the only Tulum cenote that has a zipline, perfect for adventure-seekers! Cenote Car Wash (AKA Cenote Aktun Ha) has a much more chill, lagoon vibe. ▶︎ More info

Cenote Zacil-Ha: This is an open, swimming pool-style cenote. Cenote Zacil-Ha has plenty of nice onsite amenities like covered/shaded areas, bathrooms and snacks for sale. ▶︎ More info

Cenote Santa Cruz Tulum: This one is just stunning, and also very conducive to hosting visitors with onsite bathrooms, shaded palapas, grassy areas to relax in, and more.

Best Tulum cenotes tours

Prefer to tour the Tulum cenotes? Check out these great options below ⤵

is tulum open for travel right now?

Is Tulum Safe for Travel?

Short answer: Yes, for most travelers, it is.

Longer answer: Safety is a tricky subject — in Tulum, and everywhere — because safety is a feeling, not a fact. Just because a place “feels” safe doesn’t mean it is, and just because an internet article says a place is safe, doesn’t mean you should let your guard down (quite the opposite, in fact).

However, as a general rule, Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula are considered quite safe for visitors. Aside from hurricanes, sunburns and drinking too much (get some Liquid IV Hangover Cure if you plan to party, and thank me later), Tulum is a safe place to travel solo and with a group.

You’ll want to, of course, follow the 10 General Travel Safety Tips below to err on the side of caution. However, these are the same safety measures you’d follow when traveling anywhere on Earth, and they should suffice in Tulum, Mexico.

10 General Travel Safety Tips
  1. This should be a no brainer since you’re traveling during a pandemic, but get Travel Insurance!
    • Safety Wing: Perfect for general travel coverage, and digital nomad who travel for extended periods of time.
    • World Nomads: Perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling.
  2. Don’t walk home alone at night if you can help it; take a taxi or ride your bike in Tulum.
  3. Always listen to your intuition because your intuition is always right.
  4. If you get a sketchy or uneasy feeling about a person or place, get away from that person or place immediately. If you feel you’re in danger, don’t worry about making a kind, nice, or politically correct exit from a creepy person or bad situation — Just get away ASAP.
  5. Don’t keep your phone, keys, wallet, passport, or anything valuable in your back pocket.
  6. Learn some basic Spanish. If you can’t learn it, save this infographic as an image on your phone so you have something to use even if you’re off-WiFi.
  7. Take all of your belongings into the bathroom with you, rather than asking a cafe/bar neighbor to watch your things.
  8. Speaking of bar neighbors, don’t ever accept drinks from strangers and/or leave your drink unattended near someone you don’t know.
  9. Don’t wear flashy clothes, expensive jewelry, designer sunglasses, etc.
  10. Keep some cash in your pocket so you don’t have to pull your whole wallet out every time you need to make a small transaction like for street tacos 🌮
Register for the STEP Program

Make sure you enroll in the FREE STEP Program before your trip. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP, allows U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico to document your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. In Tulum, that’s the Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen.

After you’ve registered, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate can contact you in the event of an emergency, including natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. STEP can also put you in touch with your family and friends back home, in the event of an emergency while abroad.

Mexico Travel Insurance

Want an added level of security and peace of mind during these strange travel times? Smart choice! Pretty much all travel insurance companies have Covid coverage, but always double check before purchasing.

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health during travel. If Mexico travel safety is the thing holding you back, get a free quote from the two companies listed below — two of the biggest names in Mexico travel insurance.

  • Safety Wing: Perfect for general travel coverage, and digital nomad who travel for extended periods of time.
  • World Nomads: Perfect for those who want to do adventurous activities while traveling.
is tulum open for travel right now?

Is Tulum Mexico safe right now?

The Ven a la Luz (Come to the Light) sculpture, the entrance to Ahau Tulum Resort and Raw Love Cafe, is one of the most Instagrammable Tulum spots.

Yes — On November 8, 2021, the U.S. reopened all borders with Mexico. While it was always legal to fly to Mexico, land borders were shut down for 20 months — however, all borders are now open for business and pleasure travel to Tulum and all Mexico.

Additionally, the World Travel & Tourism Council’s global travel safety program, Safe Travels, has certified many Mexico travel destinations, including Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, as safe for travel. To qualify for this program, countries must follow rigorous cleaning and hygiene protocols.

You can also check the U.S. State Department and CDC websites for the most up-to-date information.

is tulum open for travel right now?

Tulum Travel FAQ

1. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

No — U.S. passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is another reason why Mexico is one of the best travel destinations from the U.S.! When you arrive in Mexico and go through Immigration, you’ll receive your FMM tourist card.

🗣 Don’t lose your FMM, as you must give it back when leaving Mexico. If you lose it, there’s a $600 pesos ($30USD) fine, and you’ll want to arrive at Cancun Airport about one hour earlier than you normally would to fill out the necessary paperwork for your new FMM.

2. What’s the best time to visit Tulum?

Weather-wise, fall/winter is the best time to visit Tulum. It is technically the busy season in Tulum, though because of Covid, you’ll be able to get some great deals on flights and accommodations, and stretch your dollar further (for now!).

Tulum Weather

3. What do I pack for Tulum?

Tulum Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula, have a tropical climate. As you can see by the average yearly Tulum weather chart above, this part of Mexico is hot (and humid 😥) for most of the year, so definitely pack a Water-To-Go Bottle, which will filter your drinking water and keep you hydrated.

Mosquitoes are also an issue, so don’t forget your eco-friendly bug spray, and bring reef-safe sunscreen so you practice responsible tourism in Mexico. If you’re planning to drink a lot, these Anti-Hangover Pills are a lifesaver (thank me later!).

is tulum open for travel right now?

4. Tulum Style: What to Wear in Tulum?

As far as how to dress in Tulum — anything goes — you can dress as casual or as extra as you’d like. Check out the outfits below ⤵ to give you an idea of Tulum wear, and if you need more tips on what to wear in Tulum, head here for Tulum outfit inspo.

For the Tulum vibe, think flowy, tropical, breathable, cotton, and light-colored clothing; bonus points for anything that doesn’t show sweat! Besides all your summer-wear, you may use a light cardigan at night and comfy sweats to sleep in, but Tulum is the place for sundresses and bathing suits.

Tulum Packing List: Tropical sundresses, Boho chic attire, Bathing suits, Flowy maxi dresses, Kimonos, Shorts, Jumpers, Cover-ups, Cute/comfy Sandals, Water shoes for cenotes, Sunglasses, Sun hat, Hair scarves, Beach bag → Get the full Tulum Packing List here.

is tulum open for travel right now

5. Where is Tulum Mexico?

Tulum is in Quintana Roo state, located in the Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico. It is about 75 miles/two hours south of Cancun, and 40 miles/one hour south of Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.

Tulum Map

is tulum open for travel right now

6. What’s the closest airport to Tulum?

To travel to Tulum, Mexico, you’ll fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN). It is the closest airport to Tulum, at about 75-miles away, as there is no airport in Tulum. From Cancun Airport, the most stress-free and hassle-free option is to take a private shuttle, but there are other options below.

Besides the private shuttle, there’s the shared shuttle, you can rent a car, or take the ADO bus to Tulum. Keep scrolling for detailed info on all these options. This drive is 1.5 hours on Carretera Cancun-Chetumal (Highway 307) — which will take you straight from Cancun to Tulum.

💸 Tulum Travel Tip: Take out some cash at a Cancun Airport ATM! Cash is king in Mexico and Tulum, where many places are cash only.

Cancun to Tulum private transfer service
🚐💨 Head here to read Cancun Airport Transportation reviews, the best airport transfer from Cancun to Tulum!

7. How do I get from Cancun to Tulum?

Is there Uber in Cancun & Tulum?

Wondering if you can take Uber from Cancun to Tulum? Unfortunately, no. While there is limited Uber service in Cancun, they won’t take you as far as Tulum. There’s also no Uber in Tulum itself, though there are plenty of taxis — just make sure you have cash in pesos to pay.

🚕💨 Tulum Travel Tip: When taking a taxi in Mexico, you negotiate and agree on the fare before entering the taxi.

Cancun Airport to Tulum: Shared Shuttle

Cancun Car Rental: Drive to Tulum

The easiest, most convenient way to travel from Cancun to Tulum? A rental car, of course. Discover Cars is a great option — which I personally use! — because they have several Cancun Airport rental car options.

Cancun Airport is the best place to rent a car for Tulum because all the big name companies have locations there, and you only want to use a reputable company. For a complete guide to Mexico car rentals and 10 Mexico driving tips, head to Renting A Car in Cancun: Everything You Need to Know.

Find Your Rental Car

Cancun to Tulum Bus

If you’re traveling to Tulum on a budget, the bus is the cheapest way to get from Cancun to Tulum.

The largest bus company in Mexico is ADO, and you can take one straight from Cancun Airport to the main bus station in Downtown Tulum. Prices will vary, but should generally be less than $300 pesos ($15USD) for a one-way ticket, which you can buy online here or at the airport.

is tulum open for travel right now?

Final Thoughts: Is Tulum open right now?

Writing about travel during a global pandemic is a grey area, to say the least. However, the fact remains that Tulum is legally open for travel — whether I wrote this article or not. In fact, Mexico never fully “closed,” and Tulum has been welcoming tourists since June 2020.

You might be wondering why it has been open for so long, when most places were closed. Great question; and the answer is of course, tourism dollars.

Quintana Roo state (home to Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar Lagoon, Holbox Island, etc.), is nearly a 100% tourism-based economy, and the Mexican powers-that-be decided not to cut off their main economic artery.

Responsible Tulum Travel during coronavirus

For the record, I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t travel to Tulum during Covid — that is a moral question for yourself. What I’m saying is that you legally can take a Tulum trip, and I’d imagine Tulum’s small business owners and locals would love to accept money from responsible, safe travelers.

For those in the U.S. planning to travel during corona virus, and just a handful of countries allowing you unrestricted entry, Mexico is very attractive for travel right now. However, keep in mind travel is a privilege, and for those traveling to Tulum, do so safely, legally, responsibly and respectfully.

Tulum Podcast

So many people have slid into my DMs wanting to know about Tulum travel during Covid, that this article is now available as a Tulum, Mexico podcast episode. 🎧 Check it out below, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts.

It has all the info contained in this post about traveling to Tulum during Covid-19, as well as suggestions of things to do in Tulum, where to stay in Tulum, the best restaurants in Tulum, can’t miss Tulum cenotes, and more.

Mexico Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance? 100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Mexico? No — You’ll want to buy a 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)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Mexico? 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)

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

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Mexico accommodation? For Mexico hotels and hostels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb!

🧳 What do I pack for Mexico? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights? For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 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 need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.