Is Tulum safe? 15 tips for solo travelers

Tulum is at the top of many travelers’ lists of places to go in Mexico. Can you blame it, with its crystalline rocks and white sandy beaches?

In the past decade, Tulum has exploded in popularity and transformed from a sleepy backpacker village into one of the top beach destinations in the country. Although its reputation as a great beach paradise is well deserved due to its natural beauty, the rise in tourism has also contributed to some security concerns in the city. So, is Tulum safe?

Below I will list my top tips for staying safe while visiting Tulum, so that you can have a great time there, worry-free:

1. Do not buy or use illegal substances

There is a lot more to Tulum than partying.

With Tulum now being one of the most bustling party destinations in Mexico, it’s no surprise that the city has seen a huge increase in demand for illegal substances. The result is that the cartels are fighting over the turf in Tulum, and Innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire.

When you buy party drugs in Tulum, you are actively contributing to the violence by supporting these groups. There is no other way to put it. You also run the risk of mixing with the wrong crowd. Plus, you never know what these substances could interfere with – and even if they’re pure, ingesting them can lower your inhibitions and therefore put you at risk.

2. Consume alcohol responsibly

While drinking in Tulum is not as dangerous as buying and consuming drugs, it is always best to be careful. Make sure to drink plenty of water if you drink alcohol, and never leave your drink unattended. It’s very common in Tulum for people to spike their drinks, so don’t let them out of your sight.

If you’re traveling alone and meet up with other travelers in Tulum, you have a buddy system if you decide to go out to the bars. This way, you and the other person will be looking out for each other and can make sure everyone gets home just fine.

3. Be aware of your surroundings


This refers to the two points above but also applies to going out in the daytime as well. Whether it’s on the beach, on the street in the hotel area, or in the Tulum Centro, there are petty thieves waiting for you to let your guard down so they can pass your belongings. Especially if you are alone, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings.

Trust your gut if you feel like something. I’ve had random people come up and sit next to me on the beach in Tulum and start a conversation out of nowhere. It felt weird, so I got up and left, because I didn’t know what their intentions were. I didn’t miss anything by walking away – and I won’t miss you either.

4. Don’t bring valuables to rocky outcroppings or beaches

Also, never bring anything to the beach or anything you’d hate to lose. Leave your cards in your room and stick to the cash. If you bring your phone, consider putting it in a waterproof case, so you can carry it with you if you decide to go into the water. Another option is to bring in a file Portable safe You can secure the closure and then clip it to your beach chair.

some cenotes near Tulum (for example, Gran Cenote and Cenote Cristal) have lockers that you can rent, but not all of them. There are no lockers on the public beach in Tulum, Playa Bogna.

5. Lock up your valuables

Whether you are staying at a resort, hotel, hostel or Airbnb in TulumMake sure there is a place to store your valuables (passport, credit cards, jewelry, etc.). Resorts and hotels usually have safes in the rooms, but hostels and Airbnbs don’t. If I know I’ll be staying at a hostel or Airbnb, I’ll make sure to bring my own Portable safe.

6. Let friends know about your plans

This tip isn’t specific to Tulum—it’s applicable anywhere you travel on your own. You always have at least one person you trust and who knows what your plans are: where to go, with whom, where to stay, what you plan to do, and so on. I also recommend sharing your live location with a friend who can check you in if they haven’t heard from you for a while.

I know this may sound a little over the top to some people. But if anything, letting a friend know about your plans can help put your mind at ease. For me, just knowing that someone is looking for me, no matter the distance, takes away a lot of stress.

7. Choose your accommodations wisely

Tulum has many neighborhoods and areas where you can stay. The main three are: the hotel area, which stretches along the beach. Al-Diyaa Zimna, a newly built neighborhood of apartment buildings and some accommodations; and Tulum Centro, also known as Downtown. Each of these is good to stay in, but Aldea Zamna is the safest, because there aren’t any bars or clubs there, where miserable people can congregate. It’s also a good idea to stay in the hotel zone as far as safety is concerned, though the rates are quite steep.

Tulum Centro is the largest hurling game. If you haven’t been to Tulum before, staying at the Centro is a good central place for you. However, some areas are less safe than others. Stick to places within two blocks of the city’s main thoroughfare, Carretera Chetumal-Cancún.

There are Airbnbs and hotels located outside the downtown area in safe neighborhoods, but there are also many that are so far off the beaten path that getting to and from your accommodations at night can be risky.

8. Never walk alone at night

Even in the hotel zone, which is constantly swarming with people at night, it’s not a good idea to walk alone after dark. Doing so makes you an easy target for petty theft and other crimes. Uber is not in Tulum, but taxis are easy to come by at night and mostly trustworthy.

9. Always agree on a rate with taxi drivers

You can easily get to El Gran Cenote by taxi

Tulum taxi drivers occasionally try to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers by overcharging – double, or even triple. To avoid this, ask the driver how much it will cost to take you to your destination. If you don’t speak Spanish, just ask, “¿Cuánto cuesta llevarme de aquí a X?

Although it is not inherently dangerous for a taxi driver to overcharge you, the controversy surrounding it can be dangerous. Drivers can be unpredictable in how they interact with you demanding to give you a fair price after the fact. In general, it is much safer to avoid this type of interaction by agreeing to a fare Before You get into the car.

10. Avoid traveling at night

The highway from Cancun to Chetumal that runs through Tulum is safe to travel during the day but can get dangerous at night. From Tulum to Bacalar, there are many sections of the highway where there is no phone signal. In the past there have been kidnappings and other crimes in this area at night. If you are Travel from Tulum to other parts of the Riviera MayaAvoid doing this at night, even on the bus.

11. Follow the news


In the weeks leading up to your trip to Tulum, keep an eye on the current news there. I mentioned before that Tulum’s rampant drug scene is giving way to growing insecurity due to turf wars. This type of violence tends to come in waves, so it’s a good idea to monitor any news reports that come out of Tulum to see if there are any security threats like this.

If you’re visiting Tulum during hurricane season (July to November), it’s also a good idea to check the weather before you go. Usually, tropical storms appear on radar days before they hit land, so I recommend checking the storm’s status before heading to Tulum, so you can decide whether or not you want to make some changes to your itinerary. Sometimes tornadoes are so strong that they have to evacuate the hotel area, which you obviously want to avoid if possible.

12. Get travel insurance

Taking out travel insurance is a great idea anywhere you go – and Tulum is no exception. Whether you get sick there or need to reroute your trip due to a hurricane, travel insurance has your back. world nomads is one of the most popular companies; It even has options for more adventurous travelers, in case you’re hoping to do some scuba diving or other high stakes Activities in Tulum. You can also find an in-depth comparison between World Nomads and another company, Safety Wing, over here.

13. Use of ATMs inside banks only

In Tulum you can find ATMs on the street, but I wouldn’t recommend using them. First of all, the fees can be insane. Secondly, they are right on the street, and someone could easily get behind you and snatch your money without consequences.

Stick to ATMs inside banks. These always have a door that you can lock from the inside while you’re pulling. There are also cameras that prevent thieves from even trying to strike. I recommend withdrawing cash from Citibanamex or Santander, because ATM fees are lower and the exchange rate is usually better.

14. Carry only the cash you need

Once you withdraw your money, bring it immediately to your residence and keep it in a safe place. Carry only the cash you need. Since pickpocketing is very common in Tulum, this is the best way to avoid having huge amounts of cash stolen from you in one go.

15. Don’t drink tap water

…and wash all the fruits and vegetables!

Very simple: you don’t drink any tap water in Mexico, ever, anywhere. There may be exceptions to this rule, but I don’t know of any, and Tulum certainly isn’t. Even the locals don’t drink tap water here. You don’t have to worry about accidentally drinking it across the ice in your drink, because the ice is made from bottled water. Drinks in restaurants also use bottled water, so the risk of accidentally consuming tap water is very low.

In terms of brushing your teeth with tap water, it’s probably a good idea to do so. I lived near Tulum for about a year and always brushed my teeth with tap water without any issues.


Keeping these safety tips in mind can make for a low-pressure trip to Tulum, which means your days of lounging on the beach and exploring cenotes will be that much sweeter. Tulum is a great destination for solo female travelers, as it is very easy to meet people due to the social atmosphere.

Many travelers think Tulum is overrated, but I think there is still a lot to love about this magical place. From magnificent Mayan ruins and pristine beaches to breathtaking edifices and dense forests, Tulum still definitely deserves a place in your life. Mexico bucket list.

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