Once the last stronghold of the Maya, modern Tulum is one of the premier resort towns on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Mixing ancient landmarks with scenic coastlines, deep lush jungles, and upscale nightlife, this is the place to be if you want to party like a celebrity.
But, not all of us have the budget for a luxe celebrity-style trip.
Never fear, Tulum also has options available for the more price-conscious traveler. It’s just a matter of choosing the trip elements that matter most to you and setting cash aside to splurge where you think it’s worth it.
Average Trip to Tulum Cost in 2023
A week in the Tulum costs just under $3,000 for two people:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $150 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $300 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $75 per person, per day
- Transportation: $20 per day
- Total Cost:$2,840
These are, of course, just average prices. If you are not picky about accommodations, you can find hostels for under $20 a night. If an ocean view, a concierge, and high-count linens are all on your “must-have” list, your budget will have to change accordingly.
Our researchers have dug into options at every price point in multiple categories to help you decide how much your Mexican Caribbean adventure will cost.
Prices are translated from Mexican pesos into US dollars around the current rate of exchange. Read on to see how the numbers add up.
Tulum Trip Cost: Average by Item
Some aspects of a trip’s costs, like airfare, are fairly inelastic once you lock in dates. Others offer you a range of choices at different price points, each with different features. These are some of what we’ve found for different travel styles.
Tulum has a luxury reputation, but still offers a ton of options for accommodations at every price point. If you are looking for something that is low-cost but still right on the water, consider the Diamante K.
This laidback hotel has a view of the Caribbean Sea and is just a couple of kilometers from the Tulum Mayan ruins. Rooms cost around $50 to $100 a night, depending on how and when you book.
Looking for luxury accommodations on the water? Consider the Papaya Playa Project. for around $300 per night, you can stay in an upscale cottage retreat on Playa Pescadores Beach. The hotel is about six km from the Tulum town center.
Amenities include a spa, on-site fine dining restaurants, multiple pools, and a range of live entertainment.
Looking for something closer to the town center? Consider the Layla Tulum Boutique Hotel & Restaurant. This small hotel has rates that range from $100 to $200 per night, depending on the season.
It is right in the middle of the action, with restaurants and nightlife nearby. On-site amenities include a pool, rooftop bar, and burger bar.
One of the benefits of choosing any destination in Mexico is cheap airfare. A flight from JFK in New York to Cancun International Airport will cost around $300 round trip.
You can save a small amount of money by choosing a longer layover. Some flights stop for a few hours in Miami, and the long layover may give you time to check out some local sights.
However, the amount you save only amounts to $20 to $50, so it doesn’t make sense to take a long layover for money savings alone. One thing to note when traveling to Tulum by air: Cancun is the only nearby airport, and it is about an hour and a half away from Tulum.
If you want to get there fast, your best bet will be to rent a car or hire a driver to get you to your final destination. You can also take the ADO bus, which costs around $28 per person.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Food, drink, and entertainment are areas where expenses can add up quickly. By strategizing before you go, you can decide how you want to spend your money to get the most out of your trip.
Tulum has become a popular luxury tourism destination, and there are plenty of high end restaurants for those who want that sort of experience. One popular choice is Hartwood Tulum, a farm and sea to table restaurant.
They create a daily menu based on fresh local offerings. Expect to pay around $25 for fish like robalo or coronado, and about $40 for a ribeye steak.
Breakfast is often the cheapest meal to eat out, and offerings in Tulum are no exception. At a typical restaurant like Ki’bok Coffee Shop, you can find chilaquiles and huevos rancheros for around $10 a plate.
Prefer something lighter? Consider Del Cielo near the town center. A plate with coffee, a croissant, jam, and a glass of juice is a little over $5.
Lunch is another meal you can easily find cheap things to eat. Taco joints like Antojitos la Chiapaneca offer options like tacos al pastor starting around 50 cents a piece. The basic taco layers a flour tortilla over a corn one and includes cheese.
You can add additional toppings like avocado for a few cents more. Food on the beach, unsurprisingly, costs a bit more than food in the town center. However, you are still only looking at $3 to $5 for a shrimp mole verde taco.
You can also save a bit of money by picking up snacks and the makings of a meal at the grocery store. At Chedraui, the largest supermarket in the area, you’ll pay around $2 a kg for chicken, and around $4 for a half a pound of cheese.
Tulum is home to impressive Mayan ruins. You can tour the ancient walled city of Tulum for an entry fee that’s around $8.50 per person.
Once you are inside, you have free rein to engage in a self-guided tour. If you want to hire a tour guide, you can typically find one who will drive you to the ruins and provide a half-day tour for about $40.
The cenotes, sinkholes full of clear, cool water, are one of the top attractions in the area. Many have a small admission fee that will cost around $20 to $25 US for admission. Be sure to also read our guide to the best cenotes in Mexico!
Bring cash if you can. Many, like Cenote Calavera, charge a 5% fee for foreign credit or debit cards. There is one free to enter cenote near Tulum, the cenote at Grand Bambu Hostel.
It’s located on the grounds of a restaurant that visitors say has affordable food and drink specials.
Many of the beaches, such as Tulum Beach and Playa Mirador, are free to enter. Just be flexible when planning beach days. Beaches, especially the smaller ones, are sometimes closed due toe the presence of nesting turtles.
You may be able to rent equipment like snorkels and beach chairs while visiting. A snorkel, mask, and fins costs around $15.
Jungle tours are another popular attraction. Many of these combine admission to a cenote with attractions like zip lining or ATV rides. Expect to pay around $100 per person for this sort of adventure tour.
A number of tours include a Mexican-style lunch in the price. Tulum is as famous for its nightlife as it is for the natural beauty that surrounds it. Most of the bars and nightclubs are located in the main town and out in the Middle Beach Zone.
Once you are in a nightlife district, you can typically get around on foot.
The places in the downtown area are not as upscale, but also have cheaper drinks, appetizers, and admission. Expect to pay around $3 for a beer and up to $9 for a cocktail.
The bars and clubs on the jungle side of the beach tend to be pricier and fancier. Spots like Kin Toh have features like hanging nests where guests can view the bar and the surrounding jungle from up in the treetops.
The bar has a $25 minimum consumption rule, which can be hit easily with a round or two.
Some of the more exclusive nightclubs, such as Bonbonniere Tulum, have expensive cover charges. On nights they host famous DJs, expect to pay $60 to $250 just to get in the door.
Renting a car from the airport is inexpensive, usually less than $10 a day. However, be aware that you may have trouble parking in high-demand areas like the beach.
If you don’t feel like driving in an unfamiliar country, though, you have a lot of other options for getting around. The area is very bike-friendly. Bicycles can typically be rented for around $6 a day.
Taxis are plentiful. There’s usually a $100 peso minimum, about the equivalent of $6. This should be around the cost to take you from downtown to the beach.
One option that will be novel to US travelers is the collective. These are vans that follow specific routes, sort of like privately-owned buses. Fares are typically under a dollar.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider before booking a trip to Tulum:
- Bring cash, as many places do not accept credit or debit cards. A mix of US dollars and Mexican pesos is best.
- Commercial airlines no longer provide Tourist Cards on arrival. To save time and trouble, fill out an Entry Immigration form (FMM) online. The form is free, but must be submitted by the time you arrive.
- Tipping is customary and expected in Mexico. Around 15% is usual. Double-check your bill, however, to see whether gratuity has already been included.
- No need to bring a converter kit for your hairdryer and electronics. Mexico uses the same 110 setup as the US.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions to help you budget your trip to Tulum:
Is Tulum more expensive than Cancun?
Tulum is a bit more remote, which means that it can be a bit more expensive than Cancun. That said, you can plan vacations at all price points no matter where you choose to go.
What is the cheapest month to go to Tulum?
You’ll find the cheapest rates during the shoulder months of May, July, and August. As a bonus, you’ll enjoy less crowded beaches by going here during the less popular times of year.
Is a week in Tulum too much?
A week in Tulum gives you enough time to chill on the beach while also making forays into the surrounding area. The Yucatan Peninsula has a lot to recommend it, so it is worth adding a few extra days to your trip.
Why is Tulum so popular?
Tulum neatly checks off the boxes of an ideal Mexican Riviera vacation. Great beaches, historic Mayan ruins, flourishing nightlife, lush jungle, and cenotes, deep sinkholes filled with crystal clear water. There are few spots on earth you can find all of these things in one place.
Do I need cash in Tulum?
Many places in Tulum do not take credit or debit cards. Make sure you have some cash in hand before you leave the airport for taxi drivers and other tipped workers. You can get pesos from the ATMs at the airport or at the bank in town.
So, What Is the Average Trip Cost for Tulum?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$150 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$300 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$75 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$20 per day|
|💲 Total Cost||$2,840|
A trip to Tulum can be a shoestring budget backpacking adventure or a luxe, upscale escape. This all depends on what sorts of hotels you like, whether you get into the nightclub scene, and a dozen other variables.
All that said, an average trip for two to Tulum will cost about $3,000.
How much you spend is all up to you. Watch airfares and hotel deals, and plan your trip carefully to get the most value out of your Mexican Riviera vacation.
So, with so much to see and do and the ability to visit this lovely destination on a budget, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Tulum has to offer. Happy travels!