Tulum On A Budget: 10 Ways to Make Your Trip Affordable

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posted by Shelley | last updated January 30, 2021

Planning to travel to Tulum on a budget?

You’re in the right place because I used to live there, and can offer some (ex) local’s tips for how to visit Tulum Mexico and not break the bank! Truth be told, this is completely doable, no matter what your budget is.

Even though it’s not known as one of Mexico’s most economical travel destinations, Tulum, located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Quintana Roo state, can certainly be an affordable trip. How? you might be wondering…

Wondering Is Tulum open for travel right now? It is — and this article, or the podcast below, will tell you everything you need to know about traveling to Mexico during Covid.

Plan out your realistic budget, and stick to it.

The thing with writing a “Tulum on a budget” guide is that no two budgets are alike; one person’s Tulum budget trip might be $8,000, and another’s, $800. The only way to know you’re staying within your budget, is to know exactly what your budget is. Stick around, and we’re going to figure out how to budget for your Mexico trip.

Manage your Tulum trip expectations.

Tulum is one of the most Instagram worthy places in Mexico. Besides the gorgeous beaches and swimmable cenotes, Tulum’s main draw is all the artistic boho esthetics and rustic chic vibes. Keep in mind that some of the resorts, bars, beach clubs and restaurants you see on IG also come with less-than-budget-friendly price tags.

However, if there is somewhere on your Tulum bucket list that you must visit, then just work it into the budget, and make sacrifices in other areas. After all, there’s no point in making the trip all the way to Tulum, Mexico, and not having your perfect trip… but being on a budget means picking and choosing what’s most important.


find the info you need

Knowing Your Budget

How to Determine Your Tulum Budget

Let’s get real: the bottom line for most travelers — is money. When you’re making a budget, the most important thing is to budget honestly and within your own personal means, and not anyone else’s.

When determining your budget, take up that position that your budget is the judge and jury. When your budget says no to something, take it as a no as in No further questions, Your Honor… and don’t let anyone or anything peer pressure you into changing it.

With this mindset, you’ll create an honest travel budget for yourself, because let’s face it, you can’t be on-budget or within-budget, if you don’t know what your real budget is. Once you’ve run the numbers, you can get creative with how to divide them up.

🌴🏠 Wondering where to stay in Tulum? Head to these articles to discover best Airbnbs in Tulum at $99 and under, and the the best Tulum glamping Airbnbs!

Knowing Your Tulum Trip Priorities

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to dividing up your travel budget; it will differ from person to person. For some travelers, their top priority is a cushy place to stay, whereas some think of their accommodation as simply a place to sleep and shower; while other travelers place eating at all the top foodie spots and best restaurants in Tulum as more important than seeing the Mayan ruins.

Make a trip goal: First, know that whatever’s important to you is all that matters here! If your trip goal is rest, relaxation and beach time, that’s totally valid. In fact, having a trip goal will make budgeting so much easier. For those who do have this goal, budgeting is simple, as your money will mostly go towards a nice place on the beach, where you can walk from your room straight into the Caribbean Sea each morning.

Prioritize: Next, take a moment to determine your travel priorities from categories including accommodations, tours/sightseeing, food/shopping, and any others not listed that apply to you. While, yes, you want it all — do pinpoint what you want/need the most, as this is your #1 travel priority, followed by your #2 and #3.

Once you have an idea of where your priorities lie, use the guide below to insert your needs and wants accordingly.

See the Templo del Viento (Wind Temple) at Tulum Ruins: This is one of the best things to do in Tulum, and quite inexpensive at just $4 to visit.

Use This Travel Budgeting Formula

After you’ve determined what your needs/wants/must-do’s are for this trip to Tulum, you’ll know how best how to allocate your budget amounts. This plug-and-play formula will help you see how to divvy up your budget, so you have enough to do everything you want to do on your Tulum vacation.

  • 40% of your budget goes to whatever thing or category is most important to you (ie. accommodations, tours/sightseeing, food/shopping, etc.)
  • 25% goes to your second most important thing or category
  • 15% goes to your third most important thing or category
  • 10% towards non-fun, but necessary, things (like transportation to/from the Cancun Airport, taxi rides in Tulum, etc.)
  • 10% goes towards purchasing Travel Insurance or putting into your Emergency Fund

While no two budgets and no two travelers are alike — there is one thing that all travel has in common: Something will go wrong, and something else will not go as planned! This is part of the fun, adventure and excitement of traveling, btw; and not meant to scare you.

Now, if you budget for these “unplanned adventures” with a dedicated Emergency Fund or by purchasing Travel Insurance, these incidentals won’t ruin your Tulum vacation.

Curious about travel insurance for Mexico? Get a FREE quote from World Nomads below; they are one of the biggest names in travel insurance, and offer different plans for all kinds of travel styles and needs.

10 Tips: Tulum On A Budget

1. Visit in the Shoulder Season


Tulum, and much of coastal Mexico is a big winter destination for those escaping the cold. In fact, December is the busiest month for tourism in Mexico, and also when you can expect the highest price tags.

Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya, all located within a few hours of one another, are very popular with the Spring Break crowd and summer vacationers. This area is one of the most popular Mexico Spring Break destinations.

So what’s the best time to visit Tulum? The shoulder season! The shoulder season refers to the months in between all the busy times, when you’ll snag all those amazing Tulum travel deals. 

For those wanting to visit Tulum when it has the nicest weather and the best deals, January, February and November are great options. During these months, the weather is nice, there’s basically no humidity, the mosquitoes are at bay, the crowds are smaller, and prices are low.

Technically, September and October are also shoulder season months, though they also fall during Hurricane Season. Tulum, located on the Caribbean Sea, is susceptible to hurricanes, and while the season runs June 1-November 30, November hurricanes and rain storms are rare.

Tulum Weather Info

Tulum Weather

Below is an idea of what you can expect from Tulum Mexico weather, and in general, Yucatan weather averages. Tulum’s rainy season tends to run from mid-May through mid-October — and you can expect heavy rain storms during the rainy season. This is also Hurricane Season, and being right on the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is susceptible.

Pro tip: Especially in the summer months, Tulum temperatures often feel 10°F higher because of humidity. 😥 Make sure to pack your reusable water bottle, and better yet, a LifeStraw water bottle, which will add an extra layer of Mexico water filtration… so you don’t get the dreaded Montezuma’s Revenge on your Tulum vacation!

Tulum Packing List

Wondering what to wear in Tulum, what to put on your Tulum packing list, and more importantly what not to bring to Mexico? Tulum Mexico, and the Yucatan Peninsula, have a tropical climate, and are hot (and humid 😥) for most of the year.

As far as what to include on your Tulum Mexico packing list, 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 during the winter months, and maybe some comfy sweats to sleep in, but Tulum is really the place to break out your warm-weather wardrobe and bathing suits.

All those questions, and more, are answered in this article about Mexico packing, which also has outfit inspo for how to dress in Tulum. There’s also a FREE printable Mexico packing checklist below you can download that covers everything from clothing and accessories, to environmentally-friendly reef safe sunscreen and eco-friendly mosquito repellant.

2. Set a Fare Alert for Your Flight


Remember that part about knowing your travel budget?! Armed with that accurate number, you’ll know exactly how much you can spend on a flight without breaking the bank. Nowadays, sites like Google Flights and Kayak do the work for you with fare alerts.

The good news about Tulum is that you’ll fly into Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), which is a busy airport that has direct flights from most major cities in the U.S. If you’re able to travel during the shoulder season, and have access to a major airport, you’ll likely not spend more than $250 on a flight.

How do you set up a fare alert to find cheap Tulum flights?

This part is quite easy, with both Kayak’s fare alert service and Google Flights. Here’s a step by step of how to set it up in Google Flights. If you’d rather use Kayak, just sign in to your account, and follow these same steps.

How to Set a Google Fights Alert

Step #1: Open Google Flights, then input the city you’re coming from, and put Cancun International Airport (code: CUN) in the “to” airport, and click submit.

Step #2: When the results open, toggle Track prices on, and you’ll be opted in to receive emails when prices go up or down. When you’re comfortable with a price, then buy your Tulum tickets!

3. Take the ADO Bus


The closest airport to Tulum is Cancun International Airport (code: CUN), located about 75 miles north of Tulum. This drive takes about 1.5-hours by car, and closer to two-hours by bus.

Mexico’s largest bus company, ADO, has luxury-class buses that depart right from Cancun Airport and drop you off in Tulum Town. Prices for this route vary, but figure no more than $300 pesos ($15USD) for a one-way ticket. Check the Cancun to Tulum ADO schedule, and buy your tickets, here.

🚌💨 A quick note on the ADO bus: While bus travel in the U.S. tends to be sketchy, in Mexico it’s safe, comfortable, efficient and inexpensive. The ADO luxury-class busses are large, with soft reclining seats, AC, a bathroom, and outlets for your gadgets; most even give out a beverage and snack.

Budget Car Rental in Tulum

For those who want to explore the surrounding areas of Tulum, like the pueblo magico (magic town) of Valladolid, and Coba pyramids, may want to look into a rental car.

While there are some Tulum rental car companies in town, you really save no money waiting till you get there to rent a car.

If you’re planning to get a car, rent one in the Cancun Airport and drive to Tulum, as it’s usually about the same price to rent in Tulum vs Cancun.

As a general rule, driving anywhere in the Yucatan Peninsula is considered safe, including the drive from Cancun to Tulum. However, there’s the obvious caveat to that: You’ll be driving in another country. This means you should take the time to familiarize yourself with Mexico driving laws, ask the agent at your car rental for advice, or head to this article for 12 Mexico Driving Tips to help you with how to drive in Mexico.

4. Stay in Tulum Town


You’ll lower your Tulum trip costs by doing everything from staying in Downtown Tulum (AKA Tulum Town), to eating, drinking and shopping in there, compares to those same things on Tulum Beach.

Tulum itself is a popular Mexico travel destination, but downtown is less touristy than the beach.

Now, those Instagram worthy Tulum photos you’ve seen on social media are all located on the beach. However, not staying on the beach and eating the food on the beach, doesn’t prevent you from heading to the beach and taking those enviable Tulum photos on your Mexico trip.

Tulum, Mexico Map

Coco Tulum Hotel

If your heart is set on staying on Tulum Beach, opt for Coco Tulum. The Coco Tulum Beach Club is home to the Instagram worthy Tulum white beach swings, and for the money, it really is a great cheap Tulum hotel with rooms as low as $125 per night in the shoulder season. Coco Tulum has beachfront eco-cabanas and bungalows, and offers complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast.

<strong>Coco Tulum Beach</strong> <strong>Club</strong>
Coco Tulum Beach Club

Boutique hotel on Tulum Beach, that you’ve probably seen on Instagram because of its famous white beach swings. For Tulum Beach, the prices are great, the hotel is well-reviewed, and you’ll wake up to both the Caribbean Sea and free breakfast.

Cheap Hotels in TulumTulum Town

While nice and cheap Tulum hotels aren’t always easy to come by, there are a few good options out there. Below are three boutique Tulum hotels you can book via Airbnb, all in Downtown Tulum and with very high ratings, cool amenities, WiFi, etc.

Never used Airbnb? Sign up by clicking the image below and get up to $60 OFF your first booking.

Downtown Tulum hotels, like La Tulumeña, have boho vibes and comfy rooms, but not Tulum Beach resort price tags!
<strong>La Tulumeña</strong>
La Tulumeña

Boutique hotel in Tulum Town, with FREE breakfast in the garden, nice rooms, strong WiFi, and bike rentals on site.

<strong>Mimosa Tulum TeePee</strong>
Mimosa Tulum TeePee

Go glamping in Tulum at Mimosa, a boutique glampsite and hotel in Tulum Town, with FREE breakfast, a pool and lounge area, unique TeePee rooms, and WiFi.

<strong>Hotel Nicte-Ha</strong>
Hotel Nicte-Ha

Adorable hostel and boutique hotel in Tulum Town with onsite cafe, outdoor lounge space, AC and WiFi, located just a short 10 minute bike ride from the beach.

Cheap Airbnbs in Tulum

The good news for budget travelers is that Tulum Town and Aldea Zama, located between downtown and the beach, have plenty of inexpensive-yet-luxurious options. The one caveat is that you’ll have to ride your rental bike or take a taxi to/from the beach; though taxis average about $3 for a 20-minute ride and bikes rent at about $10 per day.

If you’ve never used Airbnb, sign up by clicking the image below and get up to $60 OFF your first booking.

Casa Frida Tulum

Pretty, affordable two-story apartment in Tulum Town, with AC, Smart TV, WiFi, outdoor lounge space, and convenient self check-in.

<strong><strong>NAAB Tulum Modern Studio</strong></strong>
NAAB Tulum Modern Studio

Adorable studio in Tulum Town with private outdoor space with a jacuzzi and grill, AC, WiFi, and onsite gym and 24/7 security.

<strong>Meteora Hostel & Coffeehouse</strong>
Meteora Hostel & Coffeehouse

One of the best hotels in Tulum, known to have the fastest WiFi. There’s also an onsite cafe, beautiful pool and communal, outdoor lounge spaces.


5. Rent A Bike


Tulum is a small town, at only about five-miles from one end to the other. However, it’s also usually 90°F during the day, so that means walking isn’t always an option. If you’re not renting a car, you’ll need another way to get around town.

For this, your options are to use taxis, or rent a bike or moped. Of those three, a Tulum bike rental is the most budget-friendly. Not only are bikes eco-friendly and allow you to sneak in some exercise, with a small town like Tulum, they work well.

There are Tulum Town bike rentals all along the main road in downtown, so locating them is simple. While prices vary a little, most bike rentals in Tulum cost just $200 pesos ($10) per day.

Biking is a budget-friendly way to get around in Tulum.

6. Visit Cenotes Over Beach Clubs


Thanks to Instagram, Tulum is just as famous for its cenotes as for its white sand beaches. While they are both stunning, the cenotes cost quite a bit less to enjoy; as some beach clubs cost $1,000 pesos ($50) for a day pass, cenotes average just $50-200 pesos ($3-10USD) for admission.USD

For those who have taken the advice to stay in an Airbnb in Tulum Town, there are several cenotes within 30 minutes by bike, and in fact, most of the best cenotes in Tulum are right near downtown. If you’re not renting a bike, you can take a taxi or drive your rental car to them, but don’t attempt to walk to these Tulum cenotes.

🧜‍♀️ Pro Tip: If this will be your first visit to a cenote, check out this Cenote FAQ to ensure you’re a responsible visitor who’s practicing sustainable travel in Mexico.

Best Cenotes in Tulum

  • 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, connected to one another by nice wooden walkways. Cost: $8
  • Cenote Calavera: Cenote Calavera, pictured above, has three holes you can jump in to access the water below. Located basically in someone’s backyard, this smaller cenote gets crowded, so arrive early. Cost: $3
  • 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! Cost: $6 Cenote Car Wash has a much more chill, lagoon vibe. Cost: $3
  • Cenote Zacil-Ha: This open, swimming pool-style cenote has plenty of nice onsite amenities like covered/shaded areas, bathrooms and snacks for sale. Cost: $5

Tulum Cenote Tours

There are some great budget-friendly Airbnb Experience options, like the Four Cenotes On A Bike Tour and the Bike, Cenotes, Jungle & Lunch Tour, for those who prefer group tours.

7. Go to FREE Beach Clubs


While most Tulum beach clubs charge as much as $1,000 pesos ($50) to enter, that money is applied to your food/drink tab. This “minimum spend” essentially means you’re just pre-paying to eat and drink, while having access to luxury beach facilities, pools, beach beds, bathrooms, etcc.

Now, for most Tulum budget travelers, $50 might be a whole day’s budget rather than a beach club entrance fee, but you still have options. Head to the beach clubs in Tulum that are just beach clubs, not resort beach clubs.

These places, Ziggy’s Beach Club, Revolución Pancho Villa, and Coco Tulum Beach Club, don’t have a minimum spend, and allow you to be there for as long as you’re ordering food and drinks. Head to budget-friendly Revolucion Pancho Villa, which offers 2-4-1 drinks all day long, but skip the food.

Now, if you’re slamming $15 piña coladas (yes, they often cost that much on Tulum Beach), that adds up quickly. However, if you’re ordering an agua fresca (fruit water) and ceviche for $15, you can realistically hang around for a few hours.

🏖 Pro Tip: The beaches in Mexico are public domain. This means you’re totally allowed to just head to the beach, lay your towel in the sand, and enjoy Tulum Beach and the beautiful Caribbean Sea for $0.

8. Stick to the Tulum Ruins


The Yucatan Peninsula is amazing in so many ways, one of which is all the Mayan ruins and fascinating Mayan history associated with this part of Mexico. There are a few popular Mayan ruin sites in the Yucatan, including the Tulum Ruins on Tulum Beach.

The Tulum Ruins are only about a 15-minute bike ride from Tulum Town, and cost $75 pesos ($4USD) to enter. This is by far the most budget friendly way to see Mayan ruins in Tulum.

The Tulum Ruins Mayan pyramids site, and Playita Tortuga (Turtle Beach Cove) beneath it.

Right after seeing this admittedly smaller Mayan site, take the staircase down to the beach cove beneath. This is a popular place to go, but since we’re talking Tulum on a budget, you can head to the ruins for $4, then go lay on the beach and swim for $0, so this makes for an inexpensive day.

If you want to check out some other sites, opt for Coba and/or Ek-Balam over Chichen Itza. As one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is the most popular, and most expensive, site to visit at $250 pesos ($13), and about $400 pesos ($20) for round trip bus tickets. By contrast, visiting Coba and Ek-Balam would be about half that total amount.

9. Hit Up Tulum Happy Hours


Tulum has some pretty great Happy Hours, which tend to run from about 4pm-6pm. This is a short window, but you can pick one place to check out each day so you’ll be able to experience all the bars while sticking to your budget.

Here are some of the best Happy Hour Tulum bars:

  • Coco Tulum: Head to this boho chic paradise, one of the most instagrammable places in Tulum, for 2-for-1 cocktails from 5pm-7pm.
  • Mulberry Project Tulum: Located at the La Zebra Hotel, this upscale spot only offers Happy Hour on Tuesdays, from 5pm-7pm, so make sure to check it out if you’re in Tulum on a Tuesday.
  • Ziggy’s Beach Club: Head to this popular Tulum Happy Hour bar, and lay in a hammock beachside while you sip delicious frozen daiquiris from 5pm-6pm.
  • I Scream Bar: Located on the jungle side of Tulum Beach, enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails for only $100 pesos ($5) each day from 6pm-8pm.
  • Mateo’s Mexican Grill: One of the best places to see the sunset in Tulum! Head directly up to the rooftop platform for Happy Hour sunset cocktails and live music from 6pm-8pm each night.

10. Eat in Tulum Town


Besides booking your Airbnb in Downtown Tulum, and biking around instead of taking cabs, one of the last big ways to save money on your Tulum trip is to eat in Tulum Town. Truth be told, the food here is better and more authentic than on the beach anyway, and all the best street tacos are in Tulum Town.

As mentioned, Tulum Beach is where you’ll get the instagrammable Tulum photos, but Tulum Town is where the locals live and eat. While the places might not be as photogenic, the food is so much better and so much cheaper. There are cheap eats on Tulum Beach as well, including the two seen below, Matcha Mama, home to the I Love Tulum So Matcha sign, as well as cheap acai and smoothie bowl, and I Scream Bar for tacos.

Matcha Mama Tulum is perfect places for cheap eats on Tulum Beach. 🌮 Get the full list of Tulum Beach Cheap Eats here.

For cheap eats in Downtown Tulum, you’ll want to check out these places:

  • Taqueria Honorio: Where the locals go to eat the best tacos in Tulum. This is a no-frills restaurant, and it’s all about the food. Try the cochinita pibil and lechon, and wash it all down with an agua fresca (fruit water), just like the locals do. They close early, so head there for lunch.
  • El Camelo Jr.: Known for their fresh seafood plates and ceviches, El Camelo Jr. is a Tulum institution.
  • Antojitos La Chiapaneca: While not an authentic Yucatan food, Mexico and tacos al pastor are synonymous. Try this Mexican staple dish at La Chiapaneca, a late night favorite among locals and visitors.
  • Burrito Amor: Head here for the best burritos in Tulum, with meat, seafood and vegan options available.
  • Ki’Bok Tulum: An adorable coffee shop, and arguably best cafe in Tulum. Enjoy local Mexican coffees, traditional breakfast and brunch items, like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, pastries and lighter plates.

Final Thoughts: Tulum On A Budget

Tulum is a fun place that everyone should check out at least once, if only to form your own opinion of it. The reality is, as it gets more famous and Instafamous, it starts to become less and less special because more and more people have already been there, done that.

If you’re looking for a place to relax, enjoy the scenery, lay on a beautiful Carribean beach, take a lot of photos and swim in the cenotes, then Tulum is your place. Like all places on Earth, the key to enjoying Tulum is managing your expectations of it… Think Instagram vs. Reality!

Tulum is very pretty, but like most Instagram vs. Reality places, many build it up in their mind, only to be letdown.

If you understand what you’re signing up for — high prices tags by Mexico standards, rustic boho vibes, large numbers of other tourists — and you don’t mind those things, you’ll enjoy your Tulum trip. If you also follow (at least some of) the tips in this article, you’ll definitely also enjoy your Tulum trip on a budget.

The instagrammable Tulum Follow That Dream sign, located on Tulum Beach Road in front of the Lolita Lolita boutique shop.

Tulum Mexico Travel FAQ

What’s the best time to visit Tulum?

The best time of year to visit Tulum Mexico, weather-wise, is during the fall/winter months from October-March, when the weather’s cooler and not so humid. The busiest months for tourism are March-April with the spring break crowd, and December-January during the winter break/holidays. Located in the tropics, it rains (even pours ☔️) pretty much daily during the peak of the Tulum rainy season, June-September.

Tulum Weather Info

Tulum Weather

Below is an idea of what you can expect from Tulum Mexico weather, and in general, Yucatan weather averages. Tulum’s rainy season tends to run from mid-May through mid-October — and you can expect heavy rain storms during the rainy season. This is also Hurricane Season, and being right on the Caribbean Sea, Tulum is susceptible.

Pro tip: Especially in the summer months, Tulum temperatures often feel 10°F higher because of humidity. 😥 Make sure to pack your reusable water bottle, and better yet, a LifeStraw water bottle, which will add an extra layer of Mexico water filtration… so you don’t get the dreaded Montezuma’s Revenge on your Tulum vacation!

Do I need a visa to visit Mexico?

No, U.S passport holders don’t need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one of several the reasons why Mexico is one of the best travel destinations from the U.S.! Find out four more reason in the linked article.

When you arrive in Mexico and go through Customs and Immigration, you’ll receive a 180-day FMM tourist visa. This is a small piece of paper you need to hold on to so you can give it back to Immigration at the airport when you leave the country.There is no charge for the FMM, but if you lose yours, there’s a fine of about $600 pesos ($30), and you’ll need to arrive early to fill out the lost visa paperwork at the airport.

Where is Tulum located?

Tulum is in Quintana Roo state, in the Yucatan Peninsula. This southeastern region of Mexico is comprised of three states: Yucatan state, Campeche state, and Quintana Roo — home to Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar Lagoon, etc.

As you can see on the Tulum Mexico map, it is located on the eastern side of the Yucatan. This side of the country is known as the Mexican Caribbean because it’s right on the Caribbean Sea.

Besides its beautiful beaches, there’s so much within a few hours drive from Tulum in your rental car — including cenotes, pueblos magicos (Mexico’s historic “magic towns” like Valladolid) and Mayan ruins.

Is Tulum Safe?

This is the # 1 most asked question about visiting anywhere in the country — Is Mexico safe for travel? Given the mainstream media’s demonization of the entire country, Mexico has a very bad wrap. However, this is a huge country, and yes, there are parts you should avoid… but chances are you weren’t planning to head to those parts anyway.

Tulum is not one of those parts! In fact, the entire Yucatan Peninsula is considered quite safe, not just Tulum. For the most part, all places in Mexico that promote tourism are by-and-large, safe. As tourism is Mexico’s largest source of income, the federal and local governments of Mexico’s top travel destinations do their part to maintain safety.

⚠️ Pro Tip: Always remember that no place on Earth is 100% safe, but for peace of mind, purchase travel insurance.

Have any Tulum on a budget travel tips?

Please join the conversation in the comments down below and share your knowledge!

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I’m Shelley, a former Miami travel magazine editor who ditched the office for the world!

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  1. Daphna

    These are good tips- especially the “understand what you’re signing up for”. Tulum is beautiful, but there are so many other places to see in Mexico that are more budget friendly.

    • Shelley

      Hey Daphna: Thanks for commenting… and I couldn’t agree more! I do my best to suggest those other places, but in the end, *everyone* wants to visit Tulum so they can experience it first hand, which I totally get, but hopefully this guide helps for visiting but not breaking the bank.

  2. Jade

    This is such an insightful article on Tulum! Thank you for writing this 🙂

    • Shelley

      Hi Jade: You’re welcome, and thanks for checking it out. I hope it’s helpful for your Tulum, Mx, travels.

  3. Ashlee Fechino

    I loved reading your Tulum on a budget post. When I was in college, we backpacked through Central America and I spent a few days in Tulum. Your photos took me back to such a special trip. I remember the white sand beaches and blue water like it was yesterday. What a great share – hope to visit again with my husband someday (soon). Mexico is actually one of my most favorite countries to visit.

  4. Brittany

    This is such a helpful, thorough post! I really liked what you had to say about managing expectations. I felt the same way about Paris. I went in with too high of expectations when I really should have had more realistic expectations, instead. Thanks for sharing!

    • Shelley

      Hi Brittany: It happens to the best of us! I really think it’s why I didn’t enjoy Bali…. I built it up too much in my own head.

  5. cass

    This is the first place I’d come to plan a trip to Tulum! as you know, I like to travel on a low budget, and I really like the way you have categorised all the different tips. I think it would be very helpful.

  6. Rachel Hall

    I’d love to visit and as an avid budget traveller, this is so helpful!! Also, I am most excited to go to the cenotes over the beach club so I am so thankful that they are much less expensive to enjoy!! Thanks for sharing and putting my mind at ease!!

    • Shelley

      Hi Rachel: Thanks for writing… and I hope I helped you see Tulum on a budget is doable. It takes planning and some cut corners here and there, but it’s totally doable. Also, the cenotes are much cooler than the beach! You’re going to love them.

  7. Denise Macuk

    Great tips and your photos really want to make me go! The closest I’ve been was Cancun years ago!

  8. jetlaggedroamer

    Great post! I was just in Tulum, wish I discovered this article sooner. Would love to visit again, but excited to explore more of Mexico. Pinning so I have this guide when I return.

  9. Natasha

    I’ve been seeing so much of Tulum, and I really want to go! Your guide is jam-packed with awesome tips and I’ve saved this for when I can take trips from the U.S. again.

  10. Krista

    I try to budget as much as possible when I’m travelling, so these tips on visiting Tulum will really come in handy!

  11. Josy A

    Oooh nice! I have to admit, I had never considered Tulum as a budget destination, so it is great to find there are cheaper options to explore this area!

    I love the sound of the Cenotes, the ruins, those beeeautiful beaches and the amazing food.

    • Shelley

      Hi Josy: You are so right to not consider it a budget destination! If you don’t go there with a plan, Tulum can get expensive quickly. I lived there for a few months, so I know it is possible, but you have to finagle. I hope my blog was helpful in seeing that you can totally do just that.


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