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Tulum has been getting quite a bit of hype lately as the perfect place to work from (or not work from) during these challenging and confusing times. And for a good reason! Whether you’re looking for to travel with a friend or some Tulum solo travel, it’s a perfect destination for many. From turquoise waters and art exhibits in the jungle to some of the best dining options in the world, it’s hard not to love this slice of paradise. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that Tulum has become quite commercialized over the years, and I’ve seen those changes first hand over my many visits. But it is definitely still worth a visit in my opinion!
If you’ve landed on this post you’re probably thinking about visiting Tulum, Mexico as your next solo travel destination? Or maybe you want to visit Tulum but have no one to go with. The good news is that I highly recommend Tulum as one of the best solo travel destinations. The following Tulum solo travel guide will cover everything you need to know to book that next adventure. And if you do, make sure to send me all the beautiful pics!
Solo Female Travel Articles
There are so many factors to consider when choosing a destination for your next (or first) solo female adventure including cost, safety, and the ability to mingle with other solo travelers. If you’ve never solo traveled before you may want to start with my top tips for solo female travel, and of course my guide to smart solo travel safety tips. Here are a few other guides I recommend:
- Backpackers Hostel: How to Choose the Best Hostel
- Solo Hiking: 9 Hiking Tips for Female Travelers
- How to Make Friends When Traveling Solo
- Why Everyone Should Experience Solo Travel
- How to Take Your Own Photos as a Solo Traveler
Tips for Visiting Tulum, Mexico
- Currency: Mexican Pesos – While some upscale restaurants and hotels take credit cards, cash is preferred at most places. There are plenty of ATMs around town. I always recommend having two different cards that you can withdraw money with.
- Language: Spanish, but most locals know some English.
- When to visit: Visit during the low or shoulder seasons for cheaper prices. I recommend visiting during the October-December months if possible.
- Travel Tip: Do not drink the tap water in Tulum or anywhere else in Mexico. Ice is fine at any of the resorts and most restaurants. However if you’re not sure, just ask!
Is Tulum Safe for Solo Travel?
As far as female travel, and solo female travel specifically, is concerned, I personally felt super safe throughout my solo trip to Tulum, Mexico. Tulum is located on the Yucatan peninsula. While travel safety in certain parts of Mexico is questionable, Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula are well-known as a safe and beautiful destination. Tulum is quickly becoming one of Mexico’s trendiest destinations, known for their bohemian beach vibes, yoga retreats, and delicious healthy cuisine.
However, no matter where in the world you’re traveling, you’re going to want to follow my smart solo female traveler safety tips. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself safe as a solo traveler in Tulum, and still have a great time. It is important to do your research in advance, so that you understand these nuances and can have a great trip. Based on my own travels and experiences, I feel that Tulum solo travel can be safe, as long as you are taking the right safety measures. I have solo traveled in Tulum before, and plan to do so again in the future!
Basic Solo Travel Tips
Here are a few high level tips for staying safe as a solo female traveler in Tulum, or anywhere else in the world.
- Research in advance – make sure you understand which neighborhoods are safe, common methods of thievery, and any cultural customs that you should be aware of. In general I felt safe throughout Tulum’s city center and beach areas. But I wouldn’t wander down the beach in secluded areas alone late at night.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are going, so you can avoid having your head down in your phone or map. Try to avoid wearing headphones when walking around.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or showcasing expensive electronics, especially if you’re traveling alone at night.
- Find a buddy to travel with! It’s super easy to make new travel friends if you’re staying at hostels (which I’ll provide more details on below). Even if you’re not staying at a hostel, there are plenty of ways to make friends in Tulum.
- Don’t carry all of your credit cards and cash at once! This is definitely something that I’ve been guilty of in the past, which has resulted in me having all of my money stolen – oops Taylor! I recommend always leaving behind one debit card and one credit card in your hotel or hostel room, plus any extra cash that you won’t be needing that day. My secret tip is that I hide $100 bill in my large backpack or suitcase.
- Don’t tell strangers that you’re traveling alone. It’s best to not let strangers on the street know that you are traveling alone as a solo female. Of course, if you’re staying at a hostel and mingling with other solo travelers, feel free to share.
As for the safety of traveling alone in Tulum, as long as you are taking the necessary precautions, you can have a super fun and safe solo adventure!
Getting to Tulum
The closest airport to Tulum, Mexico is the Cancun International Airport, which is located approximately an hour and a half away. You have a number of options to get to Tulum from Cancun Airport, including by bus, private car service, or taxi. The easiest and fastest is definitely by car, but the ADO bus is a super easy option, and a safe option for solo travelers. A one-way ticket to Tulum from the airport on the ADO bus costs just $10 USD and takes about two hours. Note, you may need to transfer in Playa del Carmen. I have put together a full guide on how to get to Tulum from Cancun airport.
You can easily find direct flights to Cancun from cities all over the US, as well as from Central America. I found that it is super easy to find affordable direct flights from New York, Miami, Chicago and more, on airlines such as JetBlue, Delta, and United.
Direct flights from NYC to Cancun are just under four hours, while flights from Miami are under two hours. Be flexible with your dates to find the best flight deals.
How to make friends traveling alone?
I think it’s easy to assume that traveling alone is lonely, but that honestly couldn’t be further from the truth. Solo travel involves a great deal of alone time – but that’s not the same as loneliness. On the contrary, as a woman traveling alone, I also keep quite busy and I regularly meet new people. In fact, I’ve met some of my closest friends while on solo travel trips (and my boyfriend). Sometimes it can even be difficult to find a bit of alone time! Of course, this is totally going to depend on what type of trip you’re looking for.
So how do you make new friends when traveling solo?
Hostels are probably the best place to meet other young, solo travelers in Tulum, or really anywhere in the world. If you’re new to solo travel you might be wondering, what the heck is a hostel? A hostel is a budget hotel where you can share a room with other solo travelers. These range from 4-bed dorm rooms to 22-bed dorm rooms. These are usually bunk beds, but it totally depends on the hostel. You can often choose between female-only dorms or mixed dorms as well. Not all hostels are the same, so I’ve written a full guide on how to choose the best hostel for solo travel. Personally, I always look for hostels that have a common area and free activities for socializing, but not necessarily a party hostel.
If hostels don’t sound like your thing for your Tulum solo travel adventure, that’s totally fine! If you’re still looking to meet new people then I recommend booking a tour or class! This is a great way to have your privacy, while still meeting new people with similar interests.
Another option? Use your online community to meet new people in your destination. As a travel blogger and content creator, I was able to reach out to other content creators who were visiting Tulum at the same time. You can even look at recent location tags on Instagram to figure this out! Or just invite me on your next trip – I’m a great travel buddy 🙂
Where to stay in Tulum
When deciding where to stay in Tulum, it’s good to understand that there are two distinct areas in Tulum: Zona Hotelera (the beach area) and Tulum Pueblo (the city center). Typically the hotels and hostels in the center are going to be a lot cheaper, while beachfront properties can easily start at $300 night and go way up. Most hostels are located in the city center.
Hotels in Tulum
Una Vida is a great, moderately priced accommodation option in Tulum. Located in Tulum center, Una Vida has a large, Instagrammable pool, minimalist decor, and a great location for exploring the city. Prices start around $90 USD/night.
Be Tulum is one of the top hotels in Tulum, but with it comes a steep price tag. A night at Be Tulum averages close to $1,000 USD/night, for what will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Everything about Nomade is perfect, from the decor to their various restaurants. Not to mention, your room will be only steps from the beach! Rooms typically range from between $300 USD – $700 USD per night.
Azulik is a luxury, eco-friendly haven. With no wifi or electricity, this hotel boasts some of the most interesting looking rooms. Whether you stay here as a guest, or stop by for a meal, Azulik should definitely be added to your Tulum itinerary.
Amorcito Corazon Hotel y Hostel
The rooms are clean and the staff is super friendly and helpful. The property has both a downstairs common area and a rooftop with a small pool. Dorm beds start at $16 USD/night, while private rooms start at $50 USD/night, making it a great option for anyone traveling to Tulum solo or on a budget. Breakfast is included in the price of the room. Note, dorm rooms may not currently be available.
Mama’s Home hostel is a great option if you’re traveling solo and looking for a more social atmosphere. Dorm beds start at $16 per night and private rooms start around $65/night.
Although I haven’t personally stayed at Che Hostel, I have heard absolutely amazing things. Dorm bed start at $9 per night. It is an awesome place to meet other solo travelers in Tulum, plus there is a pool.
AirBnbs in Tulum
Although I have not personally stayed at an AirBnB in Tulum, there are plenty of great options. This is a good choice if you’re not looking to splurge on a hotel, but are craving a bit of privacy.
What to Pack for Tulum
Packing for Tulum is relatively easy, as you’ll be spending a good amount of time on the beach during your Tulum solo travel. However you’ll also want to bring some nicer outfits, as Tulum has quite the dinner and bar scene. Here are a few items you shouldn’t forget:
- Bikinis and cover ups for lots of time on the beach
- Travel beach towel or sarong
- Hat for protection from the sun
- Casual shorts
- Maxi dresses or skirts for evenings out in Tulum
- 1 pair of flip flops
- 1 pair of good walking shoes or sneakers for visiting the ruins
- 1 pair of nicer sandals
- Passport for non-Mexican citizens
My Tulum Packing Essentials
What to do in Tulum Solo Travel Guide
The Coba Mayan Ruins are located 44 kilometers and approximately 40 minute drive from Tulum city center by car. You can also take the ADO bus to reach the ruins.
The cost to enter the ruins is 75 Mexican Pesos, or approximately $3.50 USD. Once in the park, you can choose to get around by walking, by bike, or driven around on the back of a bike.
If you’re looking to visit the ruins with a group, I recommend checking out to see if there are any hostel arranged tours to the ruins. You can also find some group tours online.
Azulik Uh May
Azulik Uh May is an interactive art installation in the middle of the jungle that is completely free to visit. Need I say more? But seriously, whether you’re enjoying Tulum solo travel or visiting with friends, Azulik Uh May should definitely be on your Tulum itinerary.
The exhibit is located about 35 mins from Tulum city center. You will need a taxi or private car to reach.
Note: Cameras and shoes are not allowed within the exhibit. However, you’re free to take photos with your phone.
Enjoy a Day (or a Week) on the Beach
If you’re visiting Tulum, you’re probably interested in some serious beach time. Luckily Tulum has tons of beautiful beaches to enjoy. There are a mix of public and private beaches, however many of the private beaches will get you hang out if you purchase food or drink.
Take a (Beachfront) Yoga Class
One of my favorite experiences in Tulum was taking a yoga class, whether that is beachfront yoga at Sanara or in the epic yoga studio at Azulik. No matter which of the many yoga studios in Tulum you choose, they are all great ways to meet like-minded solo travelers.
Go for a Swim at a Cenote
There are tons of cenotes in and around the Tulum area that should most definitely be included on your Tulum solo travel guide.
You might be wondering, what the heck are cenotes? Cenotes are natural sinkholes that have formed by cave ceilings collapsing, creating epic swimming spots. There are also tons of diving options in the Tulum area. I don’t personally have any experience diving, but here is a comprehensive article on everything you need to know about diving in Tulum.
Here are a few of the most popular cenotes:
- Gran Cenote
- Dos Ojos
- Cenote Carwash
- Casa Cenote
- Cenote Calavera
Also, a less popular option is Cenote Choo Ha. This is located just outside of the Coba ruins, so you can easily visit both in one day.
From restaurants to bars, there is quite the vibrant nightlife scene in Tulum. You won’t find the clubs or crazy parties of nearby Playa del Carmen or Tulum, but you will find plenty of great spots to enjoy good food and drinks!
As a solo female traveler, please make sure to always be mindful of what and how much you are drinking. When possible, befriend other travelers who you trust, but of course always make sure that you can rely on your own judgement to keep yourself safe. This includes:
- not drinking excessively
- understanding how to get back to your accommodation
- arranging safe ways to get home in the late evening
Where to Eat in Tulum
You could spend a week just dining at all of the best restaurants in Tulum. Plus, I swear Tulum has the most Instagrammable spots, and this includes their cute cafes and restaurants.
Where to Eat in Tulum Beach Zone
- Taqueria La Eufemia – before I share my long list of amazing beach zone Tulum restaurants, I want to share this classic taco spot. This is one of the best spots for delicious and cheap tacos (and margaritas) on the beach strip.
- Matcha Mama – If you follow me on Instagram, you know that matcha is the key to my heart. It’s funny because the first time I lived this spot in 2016, I blogged about how I couldn’t quite get into matcha. Oh boy has that changed! Matcha Mama is the cutest stand with swings, smoothie bowls, and, of course, matcha.
- Raw Love – Raw Love is a plant-based raw cafe in the best jungle setting. I love their raw pad thai and all of their hot drinks. Their smoothie bowls are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up as well. Note: Raw Love is cash-only.
- Macondo at Nomade – Macondo is a plant-based, Moroccan style restaurant at Nomade hotel. The vibes are absolutely perfect, and the food is delicious. Prices are on par with Tulum’s beach area. I recommend the mexican hot chocolate.
- Azulik – If you’ve spent any time on Instagram looking at Tulum pics, you’ve probably come across Azulik. Unfortunately, staying here can be quite pricey. Luckily, non-guests are allowed to dine here as well! They have two restaurants on-site to check out.
- Hartwood – Hartwood is consistently named as one of the best restaurants in Tulum. Prices aren’t cheap, and snagging a table can be a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it!
- Posada Margherita – Fresh italian food on the beach in Mexico? Sounds weird but I promise you it is so so good. Prices are high but totally worth it for the delicious, fresh ingredients.
- Gitano – If you’re looking for trendy jungle vibes, Gitano is your spot. Known for their mezcal cocktails and dishes cooked in a wood-fire oven, it a meal you won’t forget.
Where to Eat in Tulum Center
- Antojitos la Chiapaneca – don’t expect anything fancy coming here, but the 10 MXN tacos are delicious! I have probably eaten here 10 times over my various trips to Tulum.
- Burrito Amor – this place is known for their burritos, and it is a bit fancier, but the food is affordable and delicious!
- Taqueria Honorio
- El Asadero – they are known for their meat selection, but I personally love their quesadillas and tacos! This is a great sit down restaurant in Tulum center for quality food at low prices.
Getting Around Tulum
Both the beach strip and Tulum town are super walkable, but if you are trying to get between the two I recommend biking. It is a super cheap, easy, and active way to get around Tulum on a budget. If you’re traveling to one of the nearby cities, or from Cancun airport to Tulum, the ADO bus is an easy option for solo travelers visiting Tulum.
Tulum by Taxi
Taxis in Tulum can be quite pricey, so it is important to make sure that you are getting the right price! In some areas, unofficial taxis may have rigged meters that lead to a huge charge. For this reason, I typically prefer to negotiate the price ahead of time.
On my recent trip to Tulum, I had a great experience with a local taxi driver, Juan de la Cruz. You can trust that he will provide a reasonable rate and a safe ride. You can reach Juan on WhatsApp at +52 984 137 7794. Note, Juan does not speak any English so all communications will need to be in Spanish.
Tulum by Bike
By far by favorite way to get around Tulum is bike. Not only does it give you tons of flexibility, but it is also a great option if you are visiting Tulum on a budget. If you’re staying in the city center, it takes anywhere from 20-40 minutes to reach the beach resorts and restaurants in the hotel zone. There is a bike path along the main road 109. If you’re biking in Tulum, make sure to be careful of traffic!
Exploring Tulum? Here are some other articles to check out:
- Tulum on a Budget
- Best Tulum Instagram Spots
- 7 Best Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico
- The Ultimate Tulum Itinerary