How to Get Around Tulum

How to Get Around Tulum: The Ultimate Tulum Transportation Guide [2022]

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Wondering how to get around Tulum Mexico? You’ve come to the right guide!

I’m a travel blogger that lives in nearby Playa del Carmen and have visited Tulum countless times! If you’re not familiar with Tulum, this popular beach town can be confusing and costly to navigate. 

That’s where I’m here to help you understand all the transportation options available for getting around Tulum and the surrounding areas. 

In this Tulum transportation guide, I’m sharing all the best ways to get around Tulum, safety advice, and my top Tulum transportation tips.

How to Get Around Tulum Mexico: Best Transportation Options

Getting around in Tulum can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the area. The town is made up of 2 distinct parts–the trendy beachfront Hotel Zone (Zona Hotelera) and Tulum Town (Tulum Pueblo). 

These zones are about 3 miles (5 km) apart so you will need transportation to get around depending on which of the Tulum hotels you choose to stay at.  

Here are the best ways to get around Tulum and the answers the most frequently asked questions about each transportation method:

Walking

Walking around Tulum is a great way to see the sights and get a feel for this trendy beach town. Plus, it’s a great way to work off those vacation calories! 

Matcha Mama Tulum

Can you walk around Tulum?

Yes, Tulum is a relatively small town, so it’s easy to walk around and explore on foot. 

The best place to walk around Tulum is along the beach road in the Hotel Zone.  Here you’ll get to see the town’s bohemian architecture and earthy design elements–with Instagram photo spots at nearly every turn. 

And along the way, you can stop in the many designer boutiques, trendy restaurants, and tropical cafes and smoothie bars.  

Tulum Shopping
Tulum

You’ll just want to be very careful of passing road traffic as there are not always sidewalks along the main road, which means you’ll often be sharing the road with vehicles, taxis, and bicycles. 

If you’re staying in Tulum Town, you can also walk around easily and this area is within walking distance of many local restaurants, bars, and grocery stores. 

Tulum Town

Can you walk from Tulum town to the beach?

If you’re wondering how to get to Tulum beach, it’s technically possible to walk from Tulum town to the beach. 

However, it takes about 1 hour so the quickest and easiest way to get there is to grab a taxi to get between the two different locations.

Tulum Beach

Can you walk to the Tulum Ruins?

Yes, it’s possible to walk to the Tulum Ruins archeological site as it is located just outside of Tulum’s city center.  However, it takes over 1 hour to walk there so it’s easier to grab a quick taxi.

Tulum Ruins

Biking

Besides walking, the best way to get around in Tulum is by renting a bike, which is one of the most popular ways to get around. There are a number of bike rental shops in town, and most offer daily or weekly rentals. 

Cycling is a great way to see the sights in Tulum, and it’s one of the most affordable transportation options to get around town, visit cenotes, or go to the beach.

Just keep in mind that while Tulum is definitely bikeable, it can still take a bit of time to bike to the beach area so it’s best for those that are up for some exercise!

Bike Rentals in Tulum Hotel Zone

Where can you rent a bike in Tulum?

There are plenty of bike rentals available in Tulum, so it’s easy to find a bike that fits your needs. Most of the shops are located right off the main highway 307 or along the road to the beach.  

Some of the most popular bike rental shops in Tulum are Ola Bike Tulum, El Tigre Tulum, and iBike Tulum–some will even deliver to your hotel! 

Bike rentals are pretty popular (especially during high season) so it’s best to reserve your bike online in advance or by visiting the shop to check availability. 

Bike Rentals Tulum

How much does it cost to rent bikes in Tulum?

Bike rentals in Tulum are inexpensive and cost around $150 pesos (~$7.50 USD) per day and usually include a bike lock and helmet. 

You are also typically required to leave a damage deposit in cash (around $1000 pesos) OR leave a personal document like your ID. 

If you don’t want to leave cash, then I would recommend just leaving your driver’s license instead of a passport. 

Tulum Bike Transportation

Is it safe to ride bikes in Tulum?

Biking in Tulum is generally safe but can sometimes be challenging. You’ll want to use caution as there is not always a bike path. 

The roads in Tulum are not always in the best conditions and you’ll often be sharing the road with passing vehicle and pedestrian traffic. 

Travelista Tip: Be sure to inspect your bike, lock, and brakes carefully before setting out.  You’ll also want to take pictures in case they try to charge you for any damage.  I once rented a bike in Tulum with faulty brakes and took a little bit of a tumble!

Riding Bikes in Tulum Mexico

Taxi

Taking a taxi is an easy way to get around Tulum if you don’t have a car. Taxis can be found all over town, and they’re easy to hail down. 

How much is a taxi in Tulum?

Taxis in Tulum cost anywhere from $50-$600 pesos ($3-$30 USD) depending on where you’re going.  There are no taxi meters so the rates are set by the Tulum taxi drivers.  

To get from the highway to Tulum beach, you can expect to pay around $200 pesos (~$10 USD) although this may be higher on weekends. 

When taking taxis in Tulum, always negotiate the price before getting in and try to speak Spanish to avoid getting overcharged.

Are taxis in Tulum safe?

Yes, it is generally safe to take taxis in Tulum although I would avoid taking them alone if possible.

It’s also a good idea to record the taxi number or send it in a quick text message to a friend in case there are any issues.

Rental Car

If you plan on doing a lot of exploring outside of Tulum, renting a car is the best way to do it.

This will give you the freedom to go at your own pace and explore some more distant destinations in the Yucatan peninsula like Chichen Itza or Valladolid.  

Where’s the best place to rent a car in Tulum?

There are a number of car rental companies in Tulum and the surrounding area. I recommend using Discover Cars, which is a handy online car rental marketplace where you can compare different companies and see lots of insightful ratings and reviews. 

👉 Search for car rentals in Tulum on Discover Cars by clicking here!

How much does it cost to rent a car in Tulum?

Tulum car rentals are relatively inexpensive and cost around $30 USD per day for an economy-sized vehicle.

If you’re worried about having to pay for parking, most restaurants and establishments in Tulum have a free parking lot for paying customers.

Do you need insurance for renting a car in Tulum?

This is somewhat of a heavily debated topic! Most car rental agencies will tell you that insurance coverage from your home country or credit card will not apply in Mexico.

Since everyone’s insurance and credit card coverage are different and the laws in Mexico can be extremely difficult to navigate, I would recommend just erring on the side of caution and purchasing the additional insurance if your budget allows.  

It would probably save you a lot of headache in the long run in case there were any issues! 

Driving in Tulum

Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Yes, it is safe to rent a car in Tulum although there are some important things to be aware of.  One thing you’ll want to avoid is renting a car at the Cancun Airport if possible.  

The Cancun Airport is known for its rental car scams so it’s usually easier to rent a car once you get to Tulum.  

Be sure to check the car rental policies carefully and read the fine print to avoid getting ripped off. You’ll also want to take plenty of time-stamped pictures in case they try to charge you for damage.

And when you’re driving in Tulum or taking mini road trips, it’s important to drive carefully and be sure to abide by the traffic laws at all times.  Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for police officers to pull over tourists in search of a bribe. 

🚨 Do you need travel insurance for Mexico? Yes! Most insurance plans in your home country will not cover incidents abroad. I recommend using Travel Insurance Master, which is a handy travel insurance marketplace where you can compare policies. Get a FREE quote by clicking here!

Scooter

If you’re looking for an easy way to get around Tulum, renting a scooter (moped) is another good option.  This will allow you to go further distances without the hassle of renting a car.  

You can easily rent a scooter to get to the Tulum Ruins, nearby Tulum cenotes, or attractions like Kaan Luum Lagoon

Where can you rent a scooter in Tulum?

Tulum scooters or mopeds can be rented at many of the same bike shops in Tulum like iBike Tulum

How much does it cost to rent a scooter in Tulum?

Scooter rentals in Tulum cost around $700 pesos (~$35 USD) per day. Keep in mind you will also need to return the scooter with a full tank of gas.

Is it safe to ride a scooter in Tulum?

Yes, it is safe to ride a scooter in Tulum.  Just be sure to wear a helmet and drive carefully–Tulum is known for its tight streets and abundance of pedestrians. 

When renting a scooter in Tulum, you will also need to provide a driver’s license and proof of insurance–digital nomad travel insurance such as Safety Wing will suffice.

Tulum Scooter

Colectivo

The most inexpensive transportation in Tulum is taking a colectivo, which is a shared taxi-style van that is extremely popular in this part of Mexico.  

Once you get the hang of it, taking a colectivo is easy, convenient, and the cheapest way to travel between towns.  

Tulum Colectivo Public Transportation

Where can you take colectivos in Tulum?

The most common colectivo routes in Tulum are along the main highway 307 between Tulum and Playa del Carmen (north) or between Tulum and Felipe Carillo (south). 

Basically, if you want to go anywhere along the main highway between these towns, you can take a colectivo. 

Colectivos do not have set schedules or stops, but rather depart when full and stop on the side of the highway when requested.  If you don’t speak Spanish, it’s best to tell the driver where you’re going as soon as you get on.

Tulum to Playa del Carmen Colectivo

How much do colectivos cost in Tulum?

Colectivos in Tulum typically cost around $50-$100 pesos (~$2-5 USD) depending on how far you’re going. 

You’ll pay the driver upon exiting and it’s best to have small bills on hand (Mexican pesos) as most drivers will not have much change. 

Is there a colectivo in Tulum along the beach road?

Yes, there is a colectivo in Tulum that runs along the beach road however it is primarily used by locals and hotel employees so it can often fill up quickly and you’ll have to wait a long time for another one to come along. 

ADO Bus

After a colectivo, the ADO bus service (pronounced “Ah-day-oh”) is the second best option for getting between towns in the Yucatan peninsula.  

The ADO is one of the largest bus companies in Mexico, offering charter-style buses that are much larger and more comfortable than taking a colectivo.

Tulum ADO Bus

Where is the ADO bus station in Tulum?

The ADO bus station in Tulum is located right off the main highway 307 in Tulum’s city center.  Once you arrive, you’ll be able to take a taxi or walk to your destination. 

Where can you take the ADO bus in Tulum?

ADO buses go from Tulum to all of the major tourist destinations in the region including the Cancun International Airport, Downtown Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Bacalar, Chiquila, Merida, and Valladolid. Most routes have several departures each day.

How much does the ADO cost in Tulum?

ADO tickets cost anywhere from $100-$600 pesos (~$5-$30 USD) each way depending on where you’re going. 

Bus tickets can be purchased on the ADO website, through Busbud, or directly at the main bus station. 

I would recommend booking your tickets on Busbud as the ADO website is only in Spanish and sometimes does not accept international credit cards.

👉 Buy ADO tickets on Busbud by clicking here!

How to Get Around Tulum at Night

If you don’t have a car, the best way to get around Tulum at night is by taking a taxi. In general, I would avoid staying out too late in Tulum to reduce the safety risk.

If you do need to travel around Tulum at night, be sure to go out with friends and avoid going places alone.

Is it safe to walk in Tulum at night?

Yes, it is safe to walk in Tulum at night if you stick to the main areas. That said, it’s always best to take precautions and avoid walking alone or in deserted areas after dark. 

If you’re not comfortable walking around at night, there are plenty of taxis available to take you where you need to go.

Getting Around Tulum at Night

How to Get to Tulum from the Cancun Airport

The closest airport to Tulum for international flights is Cancun International Airport, which is located about 1.5 hours away. 

These are the different options for getting to Tulum from the Cancun Airport:

Private Transfer

For the quickest and easiest way to get to Tulum from the airport, you’ll want to book private transportation.

This is honestly what I usually do and recommend for anyone visiting because it is just so convenient having a private car pick up and dropoff with door-to-door transportation service.

I recommend booking with Cancun Airport Transportation, which is a trusted company that provides private and reliable airport transfers with convenient online booking options and bilingual private drivers. 

Current rates from Cancun Airport to Tulum are $110 USD each way or $210 USD roundtrip for up to 3 people.

👉 Book a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation by clicking here!

Cancun Airport Transportation Private Transfer to Tulum

ADO Bus

The cheapest option for getting from Cancun to Tulum is to take the ADO bus. At only $340 pesos ($17 USD) each way, the ADO bus is safe, comfortable, and provides great value for the money. 

The charter-style ADO bus is very large and comfortable with air conditioning, restrooms, and televisions onboard. The travel time from Cancun Airport to Tulum is about 1 hour and 55 minutes.

ADO Cancun Airport to Tulum

Tickets can be purchased on the ADO website, through BusBud, or directly at the ADO counter at the airport.  

I would recommend booking your tickets in advance for the return trip only since it can be very hard to predict what time you’ll actually being leaving the airport after going through Customs and luggage collection.

When arriving to Cancun, it’s easier to just purchase your tickets at the ADO ticket counter at the airport and hop on the next departing bus. 

👉 Buy ADO tickets for the return trip on Busbud by clicking here!

ADO Counter Cancun Airport

Taxi

Taxis can also be taken from the Cancun Airport to Tulum but I would only suggest this as a last resort because it will cost you a pretty penny!  

Normal taxis are not allowed at the Cancun Airport so only “official airport taxis” can operate there–meaning they can get away with charging insanely high rates. 

The price of a taxi to Tulum from the Cancun Airport can be over $150 USD. You’re much better off booking the private transfer for $110 USD for a more safe and reliable ride. 

🚗 Wondering how to get from Tulum to Playa del Carmen? Check out my full Tulum to Playa del Carmen transportation guide here!

Tips for Getting Around Tulum

Follow these tips to get around Tulum safely and conveniently:

  • Ride carefully along the beach road: The beach road in Tulum is narrow, doesn’t always have sidewalks, and is not in the best condition so you’ll want to be very careful when walking or riding along this road as you’ll often be sharing it with pedestrians, bikes, and vehicle traffic.
  • Always confirm the price of a taxi upfront:  Always confirm the price of the taxi before getting in.  Taxi drivers will definitely overcharge tourists. 
  • Bring cash: Taxis in Tulum do not accept credit cards so you’ll need to pay in cash.  In addition, connectivity in Tulum is not the best so it’s not always possible to pay with a credit card for bike or scooter rentals.  Bring enough cash to cover your transportation expenses in case paying with a credit card is not an option. 
  • Try to speak Spanish: If you can, try to speak Spanish when negotiating with taxi drivers or local transportation providers as you are more likely to get a fair rate. 
  • Take time-stamped pictures: When renting a car, bike, or scooter in Tulum, always take lots of time-stamped photos before setting out.  It’s not uncommon for rental companies to try and charge you for damage. 
  • Avoid walking alone at night: Unfortunately crime and theft does happen in Tulum so it’s best to stick to well-known areas and avoid walking alone especially at night. 
  • Wear comfortable shoes: The roads in Tulum are not always paved and can be in poor conditions so you’ll want to wear comfortable walking shoes or sandals to walk on uneven terrain.  Ladies, you can pretty much skip the heels in Tulum!
  • Don’t forget sunscreen: The sun in Tulum can be very intense all year round so don’t forget to wear biodegradable sunscreen when walking, riding bikes, or experiencing the tours and fun things to do in Tulum. 
Tulum Mexico

FAQs About Getting Around Tulum

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about how to get around in Tulum:

Is it hard to get around Tulum?

It can be a bit hard to get around Tulum because the town is spread out between two separate areas–the Hotel Zone and Tulum Pueblo.  These areas are not within close walking distance so you’ll need to use taxis, bikes, or public transportation to travel between them. 

Can I get around Tulum without a car?

Yes, there are multiple ways to get around Tulum without a car. You can walk, take a taxi, or rent a bike or scooter to get around town.  To go further distances, the ADO bus and colectivos are also available. 

Is there Uber in Tulum?

Uber is not available in Tulum. There have been many attempts by Uber to start service in the region that have been unsuccessful.

Protests from the taxi syndicate and transportation authorities have blocked Uber and other shared ride apps like Lyft from operating in Tulum.

How far is Tulum from the airport?

The Cancun Airport is approximately 73 miles (118 km) away from the city of Tulum, which takes about 1.5 hours by car. 

Tulum Mexico Beach

Conclusion: Tulum Transportation Guide

Tulum has a variety of transportation options to get around town and explore everything this boho-chic beach destination has to offer. 

I hope this Tulum transportation guide was helping in understanding all the different ways to get around Tulum!  

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to travel around Tulum with ease whether you want to relax on beautiful beaches, party at a beach club, visit ancient Mayan Ruins, or experience the fun day trips from Tulum to other parts of Riviera Maya.