Thinking about planning a trip to paradise but wondering “is Tulum safe”? In this article, I’m going to walk you through my top safety tips to make sure you have a fun and safe holiday while in Mexico.
You don’t have much to worry about. Let me assure you that Tulum is a pretty safe place-as long as you stay away from anything drug related.
Now, let me explain. If you’re looking for a fun, carefree holiday in Mexico, Tulum is a great option. However, generally speaking, Tulum has had an increase in violence when it comes to drug related incidents as well as robberies at night.
With that being said, we spend the last year living in Mexico (30 minutes away from Tulum) and while it sounds pretty scare, if you go there with common sense in mind, Tulum can be perfectly safe.
However, with that being said, there are a few important things to note when it comes to staying safe in Tulum, which is why we put together this article to cover any questions and concerns you might have.
The bottom line is that safety in Tulum has a lot to do with common sense. If you can exercise your best judgment in a range of situations, you should be fine.
Keep reading to learn how safe Tulum really is and how to protect yourself from the rare hazards you may encounter.
- 1 Quick Answer: Is Tulum Safe?
- 2 Safety in Tulum, Mexico: What You Should Know
- 3 Is Tulum Safe Right Now?
- 4 Travel Insurance while in Tulum
- 5 Safest Areas in Tulum (And Areas to Avoid)
- 6 Is Tulum Safe for Solo Travelers?
- 7 Is Tulum Safe for Female Travelers?
- 8 Is Tulum Safe for Families?
- 9 Top Tips for Staying Safe in Tulum
- 9.1 1. Use the buddy system
- 9.2 2. Avoid remote areas
- 9.3 3. Mind your belongings in crowds
- 9.4 4. Don’t flash your valuables
- 9.5 5. Watch your back at the ATM
- 9.6 6. Leave and lock valuables at your accommodation
- 9.7 7. Don’t leave valuables on the beach
- 9.8 8. Be mindful of the companies you book with
- 9.9 9. Think before you drink
- 9.10 10. Give up your belongings if someone asks for them
- 10 Tulum Safety FAQ
Quick Answer: Is Tulum Safe?
Is Tulum safe? The quick answer is YES! When many people think of Mexico, their minds jump to murder and drugs but Tulum is a safe town, no matter what kind of traveler you are.
This is because:
- Tulum experiences much less violent crime compared to other parts of Mexico. Since the area is super laid-back rather than a jumbo resort city, there’s much less likelihood of being assaulted here.
- Tulum also has few to no big chain resorts. Many of the Mexican vacation horror stories surround all-inclusive resorts, whether it’s spiked drinks, shady business or even getting ripped off in general. This isn’t too much of a problem in Tulum as most of the hotels are small and personal, rather than mega-resort chains.
Overall, Tulum is generally safe, especially compared to the rest of Mexico. Most of the crimes here are heavily related to drugs so it is advised to stay away from buying or consuming them. There has been a few recent incidents of tourists getting caught in cartel fights so bare this in mind when going to big clubs/ jungle raves.
That being said, there’s still plenty to be aware of when it comes to safety in Tulum. Just because it’s one of the safer areas in the country doesn’t mean that it’s totally free from hazards.
However, with a couple of Tulum safety tips, you should be just fine.
Safety in Tulum, Mexico: What You Should Know
Tulum is actually ranked the #2 Best Place to Visit in Mexico, according to the U.S. News & World Report travel rankings, and for good reason! This charming town is full of glorious beaches and plenty of places to explore.
In fact, Tulum has actually seen an increase in visitors – 300,000 in 2018, up from 250,000 the previous summer, showing that this is a popular place, as far as Mexican vacation spots go.
But I won’t sugarcoat the facts for you: Mexico, in general, has experienced an increase in crime and violence in recent years. However, this typically has to do with political unrest and the war on drugs, so as long as you keep your nose clean, this shouldn’t be an issue for you in Tulum, especially as the crime is concentrated in “hotspots” far away from the area.
Politics aside, the main safety issues to be aware of in Tulum are:
- Petty crime: While it’s highly unlikely for you to be murdered while in Tulum, if you aren’t on your guard, someone may try to sneakily reach into your purse or backpack.
- Natural hazards: The Zika virus is present in Tulum, so it’s best to protect yourself from mosquito bites as best as you can. The sun is also quite strong in Tulum, so be sure to pack (and use!) sunscreen regularly during your trip. Finally, as Tulum is also on the coast, there’s always the risk of hurricanes and other harsh weather during part of the year.
So when all’s said and done, Tulum is a relatively safe place to visit so long as you stick to the beaten path, don’t go looking for trouble, and wear plenty of sunscreen!
Regardless, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance during the duration of your trip. Our top recommendation for this is Safety Wing due to their extensive coverage for Covid 19.
Is Tulum Safe Right Now?
Due to COVID-19, there has been a decrease in travel to Tulum. As international travel picks up again, it’s important to stay up to date with advisories from both the WHO and your local government. For U.S. citizens, you can refer to this Mexico travel advisory for the latest.
Tulum is safe right now, but only if you contribute to keep it that way. It’s advised to wear a mask or face covering to protect yourself and the local population from coronavirus, coupled with frequent handwashing and not touching your face.
It’s also worth booking accommodation or a Tulum Airbnb that has strict hygiene and cleaning standards so you don’t have to stress out over having enough sanitizer.
As the situation is ever-changing, it is vital to check Tulum and your home country’s travel status, as you may be required to take a COVID test before traveling to Mexico or face a compulsory quarantine upon returning to your home country.
Tulum is still welcoming tourists at the moment and there is no quarantine required at the start of your holiday in Mexico.
With an impressively long stretch of beach, you shouldn’t face any challenges with social distancing if you choose to travel to Tulum right now.
Travel Insurance while in Tulum
For some peace of mind on your Tulum adventures, purchase travel insurance beforehand. Accidents happen, no matter how cautious you are, so it’s a good idea to be covered in case of a mishap. We recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing, depending on the type of traveler you are.
At the moment, we are preferring Safety Wing as they have better Covid-19 coverage, plus, like any travel insurance, you can get a coverage just for the length of your stay.
For more in-depth information on traveling to Mexico, go to our Mexico Travel Tips page!
Safest Areas in Tulum (And Areas to Avoid)
The whole of Tulum is quite safe, especially around the sleepy town and main drag of beach.
Since downtown Tulum is where most restaurants and shops are, it’s generally the safest area you can be, especially if you’re looking for a secure place to stay. You’ll never have to worry about walking home alone at night as the main streets tend to be well-lit and full of people into the wee hours of the morning.
There is also a selection of hotels along the beach in Tulum that offer safe places to stay. The only downside is that the beach is a little ways from town, leading to dark bike rides on empty streets if you plan on heading home late one night.
However, Tulum Beach is a favorite among tourists so it’s unlikely you’ll ever be left on your own.
When it comes to areas to avoid in Tulum, you should be wary of wandering into residential neighborhoods at night as there’s a lack of streetlights, making it easy for someone to creep up on you. If you are staying in a quieter area of town, opt for a taxi ride home instead of walking.
Besides that, you should be just fine taking on the different areas of Tulum.
Is Tulum Safe for Solo Travelers?
Tulum is safe for solo travelers and you’ll find that the hostels and hotels are packed with stag adventurers on their own.
With Tulum’s free-spirited atmosphere, it’s easy to find other solo travelers to link up with during your holiday, as well as people to grab a bite or drink with, or a buddy to walk home with at night.
The social atmosphere definitely helps as Tulum is an ultra-friendly and safe place for solo travelers.
Here are some top safety tips for staying safe as a solo traveler in Tulum.
Avoid petty theft & going places alone at night!
This means secluded beaches, dark and empty streets, or anywhere else that looks sketchy to you. Trust your gut on this one and if it doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t.
Being on your own makes you a target at night, so if you do plan to wander off the beaten path, bring a companion with you. If you’re looking for fun (and safe) Tulum beach clubs to enjoy while you’re in the area, check out this post featuring the best beach clubs in Tulum.
Choose accommodation with security (Hotel Zone is Pretty Safe)
Most places have a 24-hour front desk or security gate to keep the property safe, but as a solo traveler it’s worth verifying this before booking your accommodation, especially if you’re staying by yourself at an Airbnb.
It also helps to pick accommodation close to town as you won’t have to wander around Tulum alone at night. If you want to stay near the beach, most places in the Hotel Zone have security.
Looking for a safe place to stay on your trip? Check out our list of recommended places to stay in Tulum
Take taxis at night if you’re on your own
This is especially true if you want to stay near the beach! Riding your bike back might be tempting, but being alone on dark streets makes you an easy target. If you’re traveling solo, make sure you take down the taxi number and share this with a friend.
You can even do the whole pretend phone call, giving the taxi’s plate number so the driver knows you’ve shared your details with someone else. Be warned though that taxi drivers in Tulum tend to charge exorbitant fees!
Unfortunately, Uber isn’t available in the area so you will have to trust your gut and haggle down the prices!
Stay alert if you choose to party
It’s no secret that Tulum is brimming with parties day and night. While these offer an unbelievably good time and the opportunity to meet others, do yourself a favor and don’t get completely wasted. This increases the likelihood of losing your belongings, becoming vulnerable or ending up on your own after drinking too much.
Trust me, if you want to stay safe in Tulum, be mindful of how much you drink… and say no to drugs! Take caution when random people hand you drinks. If possible, always stick with your group!
Keep in touch with family and friends
It’s good to get in the habit of checking in with someone at home every day. Not only will you get to stay in the loop, but touching base helps folks back home know what’s up with you too.
If talking to mom, dad or your best friend daily is too much, Apple devices and some Android apps allow you to share your location with select contacts, which may come in handy when you least expect it.
Overall, Tulum is a really safe spot for solo travelers, just so long as you follow the safety tips above and use your common sense when it comes to safety.
Is Tulum Safe for Female Travelers?
Tulum is an easygoing place for female travelers, and there’s not much to worry about besides the standard safety advice. There are a few things to be conscious of during your stay but more times than not, you’ll feel perfectly comfortable as a female traveler in Tulum.
Most of the crimes in Tulum and drug related so if you avoid putting yourself in situations like this, you should generally be fine. Here are some safety tips, if you’re a female traveler in Tulum.
Stay in town
When you stay near Tulum Town, it’s easy to meet other travelers so you’ll never really be on your own. It also tends to be the safest part of Tulum, so if you don’t want to worry about having to take taxis at night as a woman, staying in town is your best bet.
Avoid Wearing Flashy Items
Petty crime is an issue in Mexico so it is best to avoid wearing flashy items when traveling, just to avoid unwanted attention. Leave the bling at home and enjoy some boho vibes instead.
Watch your drink
When you hit the bars in Tulum, be sure to watch out for your drink. Keep it in your hand at all times (don’t leave it on a table or bar) and actually keep an eye on it. Spiked drinks in Tulum is something that happens, but is completely avoidable so long as you don’t get totally hammered and watch what you consume.
Oh, and don’t accept any open drinks from others… you never know what’s in them!
You’ll find that there are heaps of female travelers in Tulum who have no problem at all when it comes to safety. Just remember that there’s power in numbers and to not go wandering off by yourself. If you stick to this, you should have a safe trip.
Is Tulum Safe for Families?
Tulum tends to be super safe for families, and you’ll find that there are plenty of activities to enjoy with the little ones like exploring ruins, visiting cenotes, and playing on the beach.
Here are the main things to know about family safety in Tulum!
Keep an eye on kids in the water
This may seem like an obvious one but water can present a serious hazard to kids in Tulum. Cenotes can be deceptively deep and ocean currents can be strong. It even pays to keep an eye on the older kids when it comes to water time. On a side note, if you’re looking for tops on the best Tulum cenotes to visit, check out our full guide.
Choose a kid-friendly hotel
Tulum is a total honeymoon destination and for that reason, many of the hotels cater mostly to couples or are “adults only”. However, there are plenty of spots that are kid-friendly, so be mindful of this when booking accommodation!
Protect kiddos from the elements
Tulum is a world class beach destination which means, it can get HOT! Since kids are especially susceptible to harm from the sun, make sure to reapply sunscreen way more than you think is necessary, especially if they’re spending a lot of time splashing about!
Also be sure to cover little ones with bug repellant (unless you want to hear “mommmm I’m itchy!” for your entire vacation), mainly when visiting cenotes and at night when the mosquitos are out in full force.
With these tips in your back pocket, you’re destined for a fun-filled (and very safe) family vacation in Tulum.
Top Tips for Staying Safe in Tulum
Besides everything mentioned above, here are some top tips for staying safe in Tulum, no matter what kind of traveler you are.
1. Use the buddy system
It’s always a good idea to stick with another person or a group, and to avoid wandering off alone at night.
2. Avoid remote areas
While it can be tempting to discover untouched natural beauty, being in remote places can make you an easy target as you’re far from town and anyone who can help you.
3. Mind your belongings in crowds
Large groups of people make it easy for pickpockets to score big. Make sure your valuables are in your bag rather than pockets and ensure your bag is always secured around your body and zipped completely.
4. Don’t flash your valuables
This goes for jewelry, large bills, and electronics, namely your smartphone. The wealthier you look, the easier you are to target. Leave the fancy jewelry at home, only carry small bills, and keep your smartphone tucked out of sight.
5. Watch your back at the ATM
While it’s unlikely you’ll be robbed at an ATM, it’s still important to be alert while using one and avoid using them at night. Once you get your cash, secure it in a safe place and do not walk around with tons of it!
6. Leave and lock valuables at your accommodation
I cannot stress this one enough! This goes for your passport, laptop, spare cash, and credit cards, along with anything else that’s precious. Pack a padlock for your hostel or hotel and make copies of your passport ahead of time just in case anything happens.
It also doesn’t hurt to bring along a money belt to wear under your clothes for any valuables you do keep on your person.
7. Don’t leave valuables on the beach
I have actually gotten my entire purse stolen off a beach while swimming and highly recommend you avoid this experience at all costs. You can buy a dry bag to take in the water with you if you’re worried or leave your belongings with a friend while you take a dip.
8. Be mindful of the companies you book with
Only book tours with reputable companies to protect yourself from any hazards, and to protect the local environment, too! If you can, book with companies set up by locals as a way to give back and support the economy.
9. Think before you drink
Even if you’re traveling to Tulum with friends or family, the more you drink, the more vulnerable you become. While that midnight swim after the bars seems like a good idea, if you’ve been drinking, avoid the water and try to stay coherent to make it home in one piece.
10. Give up your belongings if someone asks for them
In the unlikely circumstance that someone accosts you and demands your belongings, give them up! Don’t argue or try to plead and reason with them… whatever you’re carrying can be replaced and simply isn’t worth your life.
Tulum Safety FAQ
Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in Tulum?
Tap water in Mexico is NOT safe for drinking! You can brush your teeth with it, but definitely buy bottled water. If you’re staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, bring a reusable water bottle to refill as most will have a water dispenser on site.
What’s the Safest Way to Get to Tulum?
From Cancun, the safest way to get to Tulum would be either a bus or a private transfer. You can check out your options from Cancun to Tulum in this article.
What Areas are Safe to Stay in?
The safest areas are definitely the ones near the beach where the hotel zone is, or in the main town itself. Otherwise, if you’re booking an Airbnb, make sure you double check the location as some of it can be pretty far out.
Is there an Airport in Tulum?
Unfortunately, Tulum doesn’t have it’s own airport yet and it won’t likely get one. For now, your best option is to fly to Cancun International Airport which is just an hour and 40 minutes away. Playa del Carmen is around 40 minutes away from Tulum!
Should I be worried about Hurricane Season
In general, September and October is known as hurricane season in Tulum so if you can avoid it, definitely do that. However, with that being said, even though it is raining season, there are still loads of sunny days where you can enjoy the beach!
The best time to visit Tulum is from November to December as it is right after Hurricane Season, and before the peak period. If you want to know more, check out my guide on best time to go to Tulum.
Can I pay using USD dollars or should I use Pesos?
We always recommend that you use the local currency as this will save you a lot of money. Do not exchange money in the airport as this has the worst conversion rates! You’re also likely to get scammed! Instead, you can get a travel card like Transferwise or Charles Schwab and just withdraw money from the ATM to get some Mexican Pesos.
As you can see from everything laid out above, Tulum is safe, but it’s also like visiting any other foreign country. There are certain things to be on your guard about and others to be cautious of. So long as you know them in advance, you should have no trouble at all when it comes to Tulum safety.
Planning a trip to Tulum? Check out these articles!
- Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Areas + 15 Awesome Tulum Hotels
- Airbnb in Tulum, Mexico: 15 Incredible Places to Stay
- 20 Amazing Things to Do in Riviera Maya, Mexico (Don’t Miss Out Any!)
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