Is Tulum safe for travelers who are new to Mexico?
Over the years the small beach town of Tulum has become somewhat of a hit sensation for its visitors for various reasons.
With all the negative reports centered around Mexico, this is a question many travelers who a visiting Mexico for the first time want to know.
In this guide, I’ll break down some of the common questions and queries most unexpecting travelers have when visiting Mexico.
Is Tulum Safe?
The quick answer: Yes!
Tulum is the small-ish town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s iconic Yucatán Peninsula.
The corridor is named after it since it was one of the top destinations in the whole of Mexico in its heyday. But what else is Tulum known for?
Aside from its exotic wildlife and cenotes, Tulum is best known for its beaches and well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city and there aren’t many left, so Tulum is a treasure in that regard.
The main building itself is a large stone structure called El Castillo, perched on a rocky cliff above the white sandy beach and turquoise-colored sea. These are the only Mayan ruins found on a beach.
El Castillo attracts thousands of visitors per year.
Near the ruins is the Parque Nacional Tulum, a coastal area with mangroves and cenotes, many of which visitors enjoy diving into.
Where is Tulum?
The ever-growing popular haven of Tulum is found in the extreme southeast of Mexico.
It’s located within the tropical region of the Riviera Maya, around 3 hours south of Cancun and two hours from Playa del Carmen.
Tulum has its own Caribbean coast along its east and is also close to the Sian Ka’an Natural Biosphere.
The beachside town is situated within the state of Quintana Roo, with Campeche lying to the west, and Yucatán to the north.
Heading further south you’ll find the border with Belize, which is the gateway into Central America. A popular Gringo Trail route for many.
Is it safe, though? Let’s find out.
How Safe is Tulum?
Tulum is an awesome destination with a lot to offer. Set on the Maya Riviera, it’s a coastal town that is home to literal Mayan ruins.
There are also nearby relics and jungles to explore if you feel adventurous. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a great party scene and beautiful beaches to laze around on all day.
This cool town may be in Mexico where danger is possible, it doesn’t face loads of issues with gang violence.
Still, Tulum does have a few issues with petty crime, getting things stolen on the beach isn’t unheard of. Nothing a locking beach bag won’t solve, though! But it’s no good leaving your valuables unattended.
💡Smart Travel Tip
Always be cautious and never leave your things scattered around the beach unless you have a trusted person keeping an eye on your things.
Quintana Roo Crime Rate
Since Tulum is ofter considered as part of the wider region, let’s look at some of the crime rate statistics in the wider area of the Yucatan.
⤵️ Tulum crime rate statistics:
Do take extreme caution whilst on the roads in Tulum. Whether that be by Ado bus, collectivo, or, when traveling in your own vehicle.
Why not get the most out of your trip by renting a car in Tulum for as little as $15 a day? You can save money when traveling with a group.
Is Tulum Safe to Travel Alone?
Yes, Tulum is safe for solo travelers!
The Riviera Maya and Cancun have come under scrutiny in the press recently for some safety issues when it comes to violent crime.
However, for the most part, these are isolated incidents, which don’t actually affect the tourists that visit this area.
Many solo travelers looking for a bohemian style stay will choose places such as Turquoise petit as their first port of call.
Or, if traveling on more of a backpacker’s style budget plan, choose one of the more traditional hostels in Tulum that are in the town area.
Tulum is not Cancun and is a lot more laid back, so there are no issues here with violent crime – this is one of the reasons it become popular.
💡Smart Travel Tip
Even when you compare Tulum vs Playa del Carmen for example, you’ll find some major differences between the two nearby locations.
You’ll find that both are equally as popular with similar types of travelers. But it all depends on your personal preference, of course.
Where to Stay in Tulum
There are two main areas to stay in Tulum. The first is within the town center, where all the best amenities and restaurants are located.
It’s also right next to the bus station and meeting point for colectivos, making access across the region very easy.
The only downside is that it can often feel quite over-touristy, which often leads travelers to head to the more secluded areas.
The 15 highway runs adjacent to Tulum’s Caribbean coast and is where you’ll find the more upscale and popular nightlife options and hotels.
Places such as Casa Abanico make a great option for being within walking distance of shops, restaurants, bars and even the bus station.
All in all, Tulum is the perfect place to base yourselves if you want great beaches at your feet.
It also has a sense of peace and quiet that is more difficult to find in the town center.
Tulum really has everything for everyone when it comes to nightlife.
Along the beach, you’ll find lots of laid-back bars to watch the sun go down with a beer or one of the popular Mojito cocktails in hand.
Within the town, there are lots of bars and nightclubs that are open (and lively) most days of the week, such as Caribe Swing and Xibalbar.
Later into the night, there are many full-moon-style parties that spill out into the beaches.
For a more unique night, you can head to some of the alternative events and private parties that are held within the nearby jungle.
Backpacking Tulum Safely
As a traveler backpacking Mexico and further south, it can be tricky.
Most of the bordering regions with other countries have a difficult reputation and traveling alone is not highly recommended but safe.
You’ll find that the Yucatan is safe compared to the rest of Central America and traveling around the region via collectivos is common.
Mexico is an amazing country to navigate, but you definitely need to look up which regions should be avoided when backpacking.
Quintana Roo can be the starting point for many backpackers taking the long route down to Colombia to see all the Central American countries before the end of Panama.
This is the ideal place to start on your trip since it has most of the best sights in Mexico plus it’s so close to Guatemala and Belize.
Tours in Tulum
Becoming ever more popular each year, Tulum has seen a large increase in tourism and tour providers.
Located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, it’s naturally a great place to base yourself to then explore the region which is abundant with natural sights and spectacles.
The Dos Ojos Cenote is one of the most popular visits from Tulum, and can be reached using colectivo within half an hour.
However the most visited has to be the Archaeological Ruins of Tulum.
These fantastic ancient Mayan structures are some of the only in Mexico to be located next to the coast, and after a long day exploring in the hot sun there’s a beach right there to take a cool dip.
Tulum: Travel Safety Tips
Don’t take Yucatan lightly just because it’s considered a safe area.
Tourists are targeted in all locations around the globe, so look out for petty crime. Especially, when traveling by car or public transport.
⤵️ Tips to help you on your journey:
How to get to Tulum from Cancun
Many people traveling to Tulum will first arrive in Cancun. To get to Tulum from Cancun Airport you can get a shuttle, direct bus, or taxi.
The distance is around 131 kilometers and takes between 1.5 – 2 hours depending on traffic and weather conditions.
If you decide to travel by bus in Mexico be sure to follow the tips on this blog. The ADO bus (read AHH-day-OH) is the most popular bus company and is renowned for its reliability and comfortable interior.
If you take the bus from Cancun to Tulum you’ll save money and can plan the rest of your journey with confidence.
Travel Insurance for Tulum
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Best time to go to Tulum
Tulum has a clear dry and wet season. The dry season runs from November until May, and has average temperatures of between 73-80°F, highs of 92°F and evening lows of 62°F.
Rainfall is at its lowest this time of year, with between 1-2.5 inches falling each month (March is the driest month). The wet season runs from June to late October and sees hotter averages between 77-80°F.
Highs here can reach up to 90°F, with lows dropping to 69°F. Rainfall is much heavier this time of year, with between 4-7 inches falling each month (September is the wettest month to visit Tulum).
Is Tulum Safe? Final Words
If you’ve always wanted to dive into the cenotes of Riviera Maya, or dive into Mexican heritage, there’s no better place than Tulum.
Whether you’re a backpacker passing through or a two-week all-inclusive tourist, El Castillo offers everything you need. Not only is it quite safe, but it’s extremely popular.
Book your trip to Tulum today and see what it has to offer. If traveling soon, see this list of things to do in Tulum for more inspiring ideas.
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