For a long time, the city of Tulum, located in Quintana Roo, Mexico, wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a vacation destination. However, little by little, travelers discovered that this small fishing town was actually a hidden gem.
With a gorgeous landscape, serene waters, and beautiful weather, the once quiet village now sees around 1.5 million visitors yearly!
While Tulum is an incredible sight to see any time of the year, some months are better for visiting than others. With some research, you can pinpoint the best time of year for ideal weather, affordable accommodations, and manageable crowds.
To help you in the process, we have compiled a list of items to consider while planning your memorable trip to Tulum, Mexico. For valuable insight, continue reading below!
Why You Should Visit Tulum
As we mentioned above, Tulum was discovered to be a top-notch travel destination once tourists uncovered the rare beauty that the landscape and water have in the area.
Arriving in Tulum is like visiting a quaint little village, and the experience only gets better from there. The white sand beaches open up to a turquoise blue sea that will leave you speechless.
The water is so incredibly clear that you will be able to watch yourself walk along the bottom, with small fish and sealife fluttering underneath. In addition, there are many natural sights to take in, including several cenotes.
Visiting a cenote is an opportunity to see a historical cave with permanent water sources that have resided in the area for hundreds of years. Essentially, cenotes are sinkholes that formed many centuries ago.
Many are placed on the level of a national park and require an admittance fee before entering.
The serenity you experience in a cenote is unlike any other and should be at the top of your list to partake in during your visit to Tulum. Some of the most popular cenotes within the area are Cenote Calavera, Gran Cenote, and Cenote Escondido.
Overall Best Time to Visit Tulum
At the end of the day, you’ll learn that the optimal time to visit Tulum is in November and December. There are several reasons for this, all of which tie back to the higher quality experience that you will receive during that time of year.
Traveling during these months gives you access to excellent weather conditions that are still warm but not stiflingly humid. Additionally, being in Tulum during November and December helps you to bypass the area’s rainy season.
You will see the most significant amount of crowds between the times of January and March. Therefore, traveling prior to that gives you access to less traffic, lower hotel rates, and calmer beaches.
Additionally, you’ll notice that it’s easier to get into restaurants without a lengthy wait. As another unsung benefit, visiting in November and December takes you out of the unpredictable hurricane season.
However, you will still get the telltale breezes that stick around after that time. While the temperatures will be more manageable, the bright and sunny days can wear you down, so having a cool breeze helps you to stay comfortable while on the beach.
Cheapest Time to Visit Tulum
If you are looking to save some money on your upcoming travel to Tulum, the month of September is the cheapest time to visit. There are substantial savings to be had during this particular month, but it comes at a cost.
The lower rates that you will be privy to in September come as a result of hurricane season. Because of the unpredictability that comes with these storms, many opt to schedule their vacation outside the time frame in which they could occur.
Thankfully for all involved, the chances of a hurricane occurring are quite slim. The last known hurricane to hit Tulum was in August 2021. The likelihood of these torrential storms coming into Tulum and causing extensive damage is rare.
For those willing to take a chance, the month of September will be the slowest period of tourism and provide the most significant discounts. Between hotel rates, airfare, and excursions during your stay, you’ll easily save a great deal of money.
Least Busy Time to Visit Tulum
The least busy time to visit Tulum also aligns with the cheapest window, making September the suitable month for both.
Because of the elevated risk of hurricanes that September brings, many tourists choose to schedule their visits for months that carry a lesser chance of severe weather.
The lack of tourism provides a slow travel season for Tulum, leaving restaurants, hotels, and beaches without many visitors. It is vital to note that visiting Tulum during September may bring higher levels of rainfall than what you’d prefer.
However, rain rarely occurs for long periods during the daytime. Most commonly, there will be a brief afternoon shower that clears up in a few hours.
If you are looking to explore the area without a huge crowd of people, then September (and even expanding into October) is the least busy time to visit Tulum. Not only will you save some money, but you’ll enjoy the area on your terms without lengthy wait times.
Worst Time to Visit Tulum
When planning a trip to Tulum, Mexico, it is essential to try to avoid the month of June, followed by January through March.
These months bring the highest crowds and the worst weather. Because many areas of the world are covered in cold temperatures and snowfall, it is common for travelers to flock to warm destinations.
For this reason, Tulum experiences a surge in tourism in January, February, and March. During these months, airfare, hotel, and excursions are likely to be higher than at other times of the year.
Additionally, you will experience long lines at restaurants and large crowds on the beach. Another month you want to avoid when it comes to a Tulum vacation is June.
The midpoint month in the year often brings significant amounts of rainfall to the area, which can cause excursions and beach time plans to fall through.
If you’re looking to have a quiet and peaceful vacation in the sun, it’s a better option to look into the November and December timeframe rather than opting for the popular and rain-soaked months of January, February, March, and June.
Things to Consider
When you are getting ready to travel to Tulum, it is vital to keep a few things in mind prior to your travels. These bulleted items below will help you to best prepare for whatever your visit throws your way.
- After identifying a few key places that you want to visit in Tulum, search for accommodations within that area to reduce transportation costs.
- The general consensus among previous travelers is that staying in the downtown area of Tulum provides the most for your money and access to popular attractions.
- Verify that the hotel offers currency conversion or if there is a place nearby that fulfills that need.
- As with all new places, be aware of any safety concerns. Speak with hotel staff and travel agents to understand what neighborhoods are safe to visit.
- In the event of an emergency, it is critical to know what protocols to follow, which numbers to call, and where the nearest hospital is located.
- If your group has any allergies, be sure to know the correct way to relay this information to restaurants. Purchasing a translation device or having a native speaker write down the necessary phrases can be helpful.
- Take time to research the public transportation options. While taxis and subways may be plentiful in some areas, they aren’t in others.
- Travel in groups. It is best for your safety to always have another person around you at all times.
- Before traveling to a new country, be sure to call your mobile service provider to verify what coverage you will have while on vacation. At times there are extra charges, which can add up while using your device in another country.
- While visiting a cenote is an incredible opportunity that provides an experience like no other, you want to research ahead of time to find which are safest to visit. Several have safety concerns due to age and decomposition, and others aren’t in safe locations.
Frequently Asked Questions
As with all new travel destinations, vacationing in Tulum, Mexico, comes with its fair share of inquiries. Below we highlight some of the most common questions received.
Is Tulum safe for tourists?
According to the United States Embassy, individuals traveling to Tulum should exercise heightened caution due to crime and rival gang shootings.
While Tulum has experienced varying levels of crime in the past, as well as cartel appearances, the caution level has typically been of moderate risk for tourists. At the beginning of 2022, the status changed.
The agency later reevaluated it in March 2022, and the warning of heightened caution was extended due to ongoing activity in the area. As with all vacation destinations, it’s pertinent to be aware of your surroundings and avoid dangerous areas.
Is it worth going to Tulum?
For those looking for an idyllic beach vacation, Tulum is the place to be. With clear water, golden sand, and perfect temperatures year-round, you won’t want to be anywhere else. All vacation destinations have their flaws.
While Tulum may have issues with crime that can spike from time to time, the consensus through the years has been that they are moderately safe for tourism. It is pertinent to weigh any trip’s pros and cons before investing in airfare and accommodations.
Only you know what you are comfortable with and what experience you want to get out of a vacation. Therefore, before committing, you should research all aspects of a potential trip and destination.
What are the best months to visit Tulum?
The best months to visit Tulum are November and December. While many tourists have an itch to escape the cold and snow that much of the world experiences in January through March, those aren’t the best options when traveling to Tulum.
Because of the large crowds that come with the need for sunshine and warmth, airfare and hotel accommodations are sky-high during the earliest months of the year.
Likewise, other popular vacation times, such as June, are often riddled with rainfall that can last most of the day. To get the best rates, fewer crowds, and phenomenal weather, your best bet is to travel to Tulum in November or December.
Is Tulum better than Cancun?
The answer as to which is better between Tulum and Cancun will boil down to preference. However, if you are looking for a laid-back vacation with beautiful beaches, then Tulum is better than Cancun.
Cancun is a more popular tourist destination, attracting a younger crowd of tourists than other famous Mexican places.
Tulum has a history of being a quiet fishing town and still has traces of that history today, which provides a different experience for visitors. It is worth noting that both Tulum and Cancun reside in the area of Quintana Roo and are just a few hours apart in travel.
Therefore you will find that the weather is similar in both places, and you can quickly and easily check the other one out during your vacation as several shuttles go between the two destinations.
Is Tulum safer than Cabo?
According to the United States Embassy in Los Cabos, both Tulum and Cabo have the same warning to exercise increased caution when visiting the area. For both, this warning is due to a higher level of crime. Much of which is happening as petty crimes within tourist areas.
Additionally, both areas have seen an increase in shooting activity due to rival gangs and turf wars. With that being said, risks are associated with every location you travel to on vacation and in everyday life.
It’s critical to be aware of your surroundings and stay alert as you travel through new places. You should also know where to go for help and medical attention if the need should arise.
Are there cartels in Tulum?
Yes, there are cartels in Tulum. Along with gang activity, cartels account for the increase in violence that has been taking place in popular tourist destinations.
Unfortunately, there have been occurrences as of late in which tourists have been injured or killed while being caught in the middle of a shoot-out in Tulum.
While they were nothing more than innocent bystanders, cartels and gang members encountered one another in a tourist-filled area of Tulum, and the crossfires claimed the lives of innocent civilians.
There are gangs and cartels throughout Mexico, as well as many other areas of the world. However, there are instances where violent episodes are more prevalent in one place instead of another.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Tulum?
If you’re considering a visit to the gorgeous location of Tulum, Mexico, you’re likely to have the best and least expensive experience by going in November or December.
With fewer tourists, you will have a reduced number of crowds and free reign of the beaches. Additionally, the weather will be moving away from the hurricane and rainy season, and you’ll have stable warm temperatures to enjoy each day.