Is Tulum Safe For Travel?

How do people stay safe in Tulum

Well, Mexico is seen as a chaotic and dangerous place to stay. Even the United States has warned its citizens not to travel to specific places in Mexico. Tulum is safe for travel, but a recent increase in crime and corruption has changed the narrative.

Tulum is one of the best places to go in Mexico. They have perfect beaches with white powdery sand, fantastic food, cafes, bars, restaurants, and taquerias. The wonderful experience you will get can cause you to consider staying or extending your stay in Mexico.

Sadly, the crime rate in Tulum is increasing, and we hear about petty theft, drug-related issues, burglaries, and robberies. As a tourist or visitor, you may be concerned about the crime issues in this city, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting. Tulum receives more than 300,000 visitors every year, and most trips are peaceful. I can admit that many who have visitors had an adventurous trip without any sad incidents.

I’ve found Tulum as one of the most beautiful places for tourists to visit in the world. In this article, I will provide you with top safety tips, which you can apply while staying or visiting Tulum, Mexico. Applying these simple safety tips and avoiding any drug-related activity will be safe.

Is Tulum safe? Why do I have to worry about safety in Tulum? This article will tell you about the security conditions of Tulum and how you can enjoy a safe vacation in Tulum. Read on to know how to stay safe while in Tulum.

Is Tulum Safe? (Tulum Safety Update)

Is Tulum Mexico Safe To Visit

Tulum is a resort town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast around 130km South of Cancun. As the third most archaeological site in the world, it is over 820 years; it is believed to have been constructed between 1200AD and 1450AD. There is only one thing that makes this town famous, and it is nothing else but the “Boho-Chic Culture” that has been developing over the years and the building of unique hotels and shops that are simply works of art.

In recent years, Tulum has become a popular destination for tourism, all thanks to its luxurious boho-chic hotels, top-notch beaches, world-class restaurants, seaside Mayan ruins, and laid-back hippie vibe. Also, Tulum increased in popularity during the pandemic when the restrictions started to loosen up. Tourism is a big business in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. The Riviera Maya is a hot spot for tourists looking to catch some fun and adventure, and this is where Tulum is located.

Tulum, with its endless white sand, beach, fancy hotels and beach clubs, world-class restaurants, and growing boho-chic culture, is rated as one of the most popular and most fantastic destinations for vacation on the Mexican Caribbean coast. It even became more popular during the pandemic when the restrictions started to loosen up.

Many remote workers from the USA, especially from New York City, flocked to the overdeveloped beach town to find some peace and relief from the COVID hysteria. Tulum is safe for travel even though recently, there has been an increase in high-profile safety incidents and unrest.

Let’s not dispute the fact that Tulum is a lovely and beautiful place one can desire to travel for vacation and relaxation. Still, you must consider specific safety measures and caution if you must have a beautiful trip to Tulum. For instance, COVID is still a reality in Tulum, and the vaccination is progressing. The situation in Tulum is constantly evolving; hence, it is a good idea to check Tulum’s COVID-19 vaccination and infection rates.

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Most safety issues are connected to cartels, corruption, and the clash of rapid development with residents. It was reportedly recorded that the situation has changed drastically from even a few years ago. Hence, educating yourself to assess your risk tolerance concerning travel in Tulum is best.

Despite being a popular tourist destination, Tulum has become notorious for corruption and cartel shootings, especially in beach clubs and restaurants. Although these shootings are not directly aimed at tourists and foreigners. However, the visitors are caught up in a crossfire between rival gangs in the city.

Generally, the police and authorities are not weak themselves. They also have a job to protect citizens, residents, and visitors. A lot of people and businesses in Tulum rely on visitors for income. Therefore, the authorities try everything within their power to keep visitors as safe as possible because this will make them keep visiting.

Your biggest threat during our stay in Tulum would be robberies and petty crime. Shootings and gang-related wars may sometimes be unavoidable if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Also, these shootings happen at night, mostly in restaurants or nightclubs. So, if you don’t go to clubs or parties often, you have nothing to worry about.

The primary safety issues to be careful about in Tulum include:

  • Petty crime: Although it is highly unlikely for you to be killed in Tulum as a visitor if you are not vigilant, someone may stealthily reach for your bag, luggage, or backpack to steal your belongings.
  • COVID: There are little to zero Covid-19 restrictions in Tulum. Many places are open air, and masks aren’t required for entry.
  • Natural Hazards: If you don’t know, the Zika virus is in Tulum. Therefore, you should keep yourself protected from mosquito bites. Also, the sun in Tulum isn’t light, so you may need to come with your sunglasses. Since Tulum is on the coast, hurricanes and other harsh weather are always at risk during that part of the year.

Despite the crime in Mexico City, Tulum is still a safe place to stay. Crimes in Tulum are less violent compared to other places in Mexico. Since the area is more laid-back than a jumbo resort city, there are zero chances of you getting assaulted. Moreover, Tulum is just a handful of big chain resorts.

As we mentioned, a lot of crimes committed in Tulum are drug-related. Hence, it is advised to abstain from buying or consuming them. Recent reports of tourists getting caught in cartels or gang fights have been reported. So, remember this before going to big clubs or jungle raves to enjoy yourself.

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Covid-19 Safety in Tulum

Currently, Mexico has no Covid-19 travel restrictions, meaning no PCR tests, quarantine, or paperwork is required. The Riviera Maya area and Tulum are places of attraction, and there are no strict Covid-19 regulations such as wearing face masks.

Several Mexican towns are receptive to travelers. Even if you don’t have a PCR test report, getting one done for your next destination or return trip back home wouldn’t be a problem because there are lots of testing centers and clinics for you to do it in Mexico.

According to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), Tulum is moderately safe to visit. However, visitors should be cautious in the area, especially in Quintana Roo There are many safety concerns, such as COVID-19, contaminated water, cartel activity, and natural disasters.

You can protect yourself and the local community from COVID by wearing a mask, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands regularly. You can consider booking accommodation or an Airbnb in Tulum with cleaning standards and strict hygiene to reduce your stress of getting sanitizers when you run out of supply. For further information about Covid-19 in Mexico, you are encouraged to do your research.

What Areas Are Safe in Tulum and What Areas Should You Avoid?

The entire Tulum area is safe for tourists, especially the sleepy town, along with the beach’s main drag. Since downtown Tulum is where you find most bars, shops, and restaurants, that’s the safest place you can stay. The area is full of people; even in the wee hours of the morning, the streets are well-lit, and you don’t have to worry or fear while walking home alone in the dark hours of the night.

There are several hotels along Tulum beach that provide adequate security. The only drawback is that the beach is a bit far from the main town, so you may likely find empty streets heading home late at night.

For places to avoid in Tulum, you should be cautious of treading into residential areas at night – especially those poorly lit areas. The lack of streetlights makes it possible for a stranger to snoop on your movement, creep on you, and steal or extort money from you. If you plan to stay in a quiet area of the town, board a taxi instead of walking alone at night.

Is Tulum Safe For Female Travellers?

Can you drink water in Tulum

Many people will feed you horror stories about why Tulum or Mexico isn’t good for solo female travelers. However, Tulum is very safe for female travelers, even those traveling alone for the first time. As a female traveler, don’t walk alone at night; get reliable accommodation and keep an eye on your drinks.

Is Tulum Safe For Solo Travellers?

You will find several hotels and hostels that are stacked with stag adventures. The free-spirited and welcoming atmosphere makes it easy to link up with other solo travelers during your trip. You can make friends with other travelers, have a drink with them, or walk home together.

Safety Tips For Tourists and Travellers in Tulum

Many tourists visit Tulum without encountering any issues. We have provided some safety tips to help you and your family get the best out of your vacation or trip to Tulum.

1. Don’t Walk Around At Night

Avoid walking around Tulum at night, especially alone. Don’t walk dark alleys alone, get familiar with the routes and environment ahead of time, and be careful and wary of strangers. If you aren’t comfortable talking to someone, be nice but firm and walk away.

If you want to explore the city or do any sightseeing, do it during the day and get reliable transport back home if you are out at night. Avoid dark and empty streets, secluded beaches, remote areas, or any place like looks unsafe and strange to you.

Although Uber isn’t available in the town, you will find taxis easily. You can also consider renting a car in Tulum, getting one in Cancun, and driving to Tulum.

2. Get Secure and Reliable Accommodation

For your safety, choose accommodation or hotels with tight security and ensure that the security facilities are stable for 24hrs before making your booking or reservations. You can verify the hotel and read online reviews before booking your accommodation – especially if you are coming as a solo traveler at an Airbnb.

Additionally, it helps to get lovely accommodation close to town so you won’t have to wander alone at night.

3. Learn Some Spanish

You can do yourself a favor by learning the local language – Spanish. Learning the local language will help you communicate and blend easily with shop owners, taxi drivers, restaurants, and people. Also, you will not be used or quickly taken advantage of by strangers.

4. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption

Ensure you always keep an eye on your drink as you drink. Drink spiking is increasing daily, and you should be cautious about what you consume. Don’t accept open drinks or any form of drinks from strangers and people you don’t know because you never know what’s in them.

Additionally, do not leave your drink unattended for any reason. Even in your drinking, you must drink moderately, protect yourself against drinking spikes, and ensure alcohol is purchased from a reputable source like a liquor store.

5. Never Flaunt Your Money and Valuable Items

It’s better to stay on the low in public. Only carry a small amount of cash on you, don’t flash valuable items, and always be careful of your belongings. To avoid getting unwanted attention from people, you should dress simple and avoid eating flashy clothes. The wealthier you look, the easier you become monitored.

Other safety tips you should take into cognizance include:

  • Mind your luggage and belongings, especially in crowds.
  • Rather than keeping your valuables in your pockets, pack them in your bag and ensure that the bag is properly zipped.
  • Keep your valuables (expensive phones, jewelry, passport, electronics, items, etc.) in a Pacsafe portable safe in your room.
  • Robberies and extortion are common in Tulum, don’t carry too much cash around. Carry money that you can spend for a day.
  • You can consider carrying a dummy wallet with expired credit cards and little cash. So when you are about to be robbed or extorted, hand over the dummy wallet.
  • Only use ATMs in your hotel, banks, or places you’ll not be watched.

ATM tampering is a common practice in Quintana Roo, so withdrawing cash from the ATMs provided by banks is the best option. If you feel an ATM has been tampered with, give the card slot a jiggle. If it moves too quickly, it’s unsafe but secure; you can use it. Use ATMs with legitimate banks and avoid the ones on the streets.

6. Leave and Lock Your Valuables At Your Accommodation

I strongly advise you to keep your valuables at your hotel or accommodation. Precious items such as cash, credit cards, laptop, passport, and other valuable items should be kept in your hotel and hostel and locked with a padlock.

You don’t have to take all your valuables to the beach because you may forget or lose them there. If you want to dip in the water, you can leave your items and belongings with a friend or wear a dry bag when diving in the water. You can leave your belongings and items with you can consider making copies of important documents like your passport just in case anything happens.

7. Stay Away From Drugs and Other Prohibited Substances

Furthermore, crimes in Tulum are heavily related to drugs, so it is advised to stay away from buying or consuming them just for your safety.

You will be fine if you avoid drug-related activity and stick to the city’s rules. When you are involved in illegal drugs and other prohibited substances, you put yourself in direct line with the cartels and the Mexican police.

Never carry drugs for yourself or any other person. Moreover, don’t be noticeably drowsy or intoxicated in public. Doing drugs is a serious issue and could end in terrible circumstances.

8. Keep Yourself Informed With The Latest Tulum News

With reports on Covid-19 and drug wars in Tulum, it’s a good idea to check the latest news and stories in Tulum right now. Networks such as The Yucatan Times and Riviera Maya News provide Tulum news in English.

Everything To Know About Safety In Tulum

9. Keep an Eye on the Weather

When visiting Tulum with your family, you will want to check the weather. For instance, Quintana Roo is warm between November and April and may get hot between May and October. You may also consider natural hazards like mosquito bites and the sun. The sun there is quite intense; therefore, using sunscreen regularly can be helpful during your trip.

10. Stay in the Popular Areas of Tulum

There are many places to stay in Tulum, but you are advised to get a hotel or accommodation in a popular area. Stay in the popular areas of Tulum, as your safety will largely depend on what you do and where you go. Thankfully, staying in popular areas that are well-lit with people will prevent pickpocketing and likely reduce the chances of getting robbed.

Excursions are an excellent way to meet people in Tulum. The more you interact with people, the more you get familiar with the environment, culture, and lifestyle.

11. Keep in Close Touch with Family and Friends

Continually cultivate the habit of keeping in touch with someone; it could be a close friend or a family member. Keeping in touch helps those back home to know your whereabouts and what you are up to. You can also share your location with a few selected contacts, which may come in handy when you least expect it. It is a good idea to interact, make friends and hang out with other tourists.

If you feel talking to your spouse, best friends or parents is excessive. You can use the Share My Location feature your smartphone offers. Android and Apple devices offer features for you to share your location with specific contacts.

12. Be on Alert If You Want To Party

Without a doubt, Tulum is buzzing with parties day and night. While this is a good time to relax, have fun and meet new people, make sure you stay on alert and don’t get drunk or carried away. You may be offered drinks with the intent of getting you intoxicated. This increases the chances of getting extorted or robbed.

Ensure you don’t get wasted entirely in parties because it makes you vulnerable to robbers and petty thieves, who will cart away your belongings. As we rightly said, mind what you drink and consume; avoid drugs. Never accept drugs from anyone – even someone you’ve just met. If you come with a group, stick with them and don’t leave the company.

13. Take Taxis At Night If You are Alone

Walking alone on the dark streets of Tulum makes you prey and an easy target to thieves, thugs, and robbers. Perhaps you had a great time on the beach, and it’s dark, so it can be tempting to ride your bike back to your hotel. If you want to board a taxi, take down the number and share it with a friend or a contact just in case things go south.

Moreover, you can feign a phone call, providing the taxi’s plate number to inform the driver that you’ve shared his vehicle’s details with someone else. It is essential to let you know that taxi drivers in Tulum tend to charge high fees for a price. Since Uber isn’t available in the area, you may have to negotiate the price.

What Are The Common Scams In Tulum?

Scams happen all over the world, and Tulum is not an exception. Here are the common scams in Tulum that you should be aware of:

1. Petty Theft & Robbery

Like in other places in Mexico, there are robberies and petty theft incidents in Tulum. Ensure that you stay safe always. Don’t flash valuable items, carry only a small amount of cash with you, and be conscious of your belongings.

2. Alcohol

Tourists should be careful with their drink consumption in Tulum because drink spiking is expected there. Don’t accept drinks from anyone because you never know the content. Do yourself a favor by purchasing alcohol from a trusted and reliable source like a bartender or liquor store. Moreover, keep an eye on your drink; if you leave the area, do not come back for the drink.

3. ATM Scam

If you are short of cash, ensure that you don’t use unsupervised and random ATMs on the streets. Instead, find a legitimate bank where there is a provision for ATM and make your withdrawal. Apart from safeguarding your credit card, this will help you avoid opportunistic cash grabbers and extortionists.

4. Car and Motorcycle Rentals

It may be risky to rent a car in Quintana Roo because the rental companies are famous for charging exorbitant insurance rates for visitors. Ensure to do your due diligence before renting a car in Mexico.

Is Tulum Safe For Families?

Tulum can be safe for families, and there are lots of activities such as visiting cenotes, the beach, and other things you can do to enjoy with your little ones. However, you must keep some things in mind, such as:

1. Choosing a kid-friendly hotel: Many hotels in Tulum cater to adults, but few are kid-friendly. If you are coming with your family, you may consider finding a secure and reliable hotel for your kids.

2. Watch your kids while in the water: Your kids can be attracted to play in the water. Be sure to keep an eye on them when they get into the water; the cenotes and ocean currents in Tulum can be strong.

3. Give your kids some protection: Protect them from strangers and never leave them to wander far from you as they may get missing. Tulum may get hot, and you may want to get sunscreen to give them some protection.

is tulum safe

Is The Water In Tulum Safe To Drink?

Avoid drinking the water in Tulum; unless you want dysentery and other water-borne diseases. Even the locals and residents don’t drink tap water. Hence, buy and drink water from sealed bottles. Although Tulum’s water is processed and filtered at a water plant, the pipes used to haul the water to homes and other places are known to contact harmful bacteria, which pollute the water.

When buying a new bottle of water, check to see if the seal is intact. If the seal is broken, don’t drink the water. As we stated earlier, you should be careful, especially when it concerns consumables, and this applies to the ice cubes in your drinks and the water used to wash uncooked fruits and vegetables and prepare meals.

Most people use tap and bathroom water to wash their hands and brush their teeth. While this is fine, ensure you do not swallow too much of the water.

If you stay at a hotel, chances are that their water is healthy to drink. Some hotels in Yucatán have their filtration systems. So, before chugging their water, first, confirm if the hotel has its filtration system by inquiring at the front desk. To be safe, purchase large bottled water at any store or get a reusable water bottle refill if your hotel provides you with a water dispenser.

Is There an Airport in Tulum?

Tulum doesn’t have an airport, and it may not be getting one soon. If you travel by air, the reliable option is to fly to Cancun International Airport, roughly 100 minutes away. Also, Playa del Carmen is around 45 minutes away from Tulum.

What state is Tulum located in?

Tulum is located in the Mexican State of Quintana Roo, along the Caribbean coast. Also, Quintana Roo is renowned for the Riviera Maya, an overlay of the famous beach vacation destinations in Mexico, including Tulum, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen.

Is the Riviera Maya safe?

Generally, the Riviera Maya is a safe travel destination. However, that depends on the particular location, as crime rates are higher in larger cities of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum than in other quieter and smaller Mayan Riviera beach towns such as Akumal, Puerto Aventuras, and Puerto Morelos.

What is the crime rate in Tulum?

The crime rate in Tulum is moderate but has increased over the previous years. However, it is generally safe to travel right now. Many people, especially foreigners, want to migrate and move to Tulum.

Tulum is safe to live in and has attracted digital nomads and people from other walks of life. Expect a safe and fun trip while in Tulum. The influx of tech experts, digital nomads, and foreigners has made the area so popular that the Mexican government made internet access a top priority in Tulum.

Are Taxis Safe in Tulum?

Taxis in Tulum charge exorbitantly, and they may raise the price if they discover you are a visitor, but you can negotiate the price. There are licensed taxis in Tulum, which are safe. The taxi drivers are also pleasant and friendly; you can try to speak Mexican Spanish to open a conversation with them during the ride.

A one-way trip may cost anywhere from 100 – 150 pesos, that is, £3.50 and £5.00. Drivers don’t use apps or maps on their phones. If you already have route maps on your device, you can redirect them whenever they make a wrong turn.

Should I be worried about the Hurricane season in Tulum?

The hurricane season in Tulum comes around September and October. If you are coming with your family, you can avoid it. Although this is a predominant rainy season, there are still sunny days.

The ideal time to visit Tulum is between November and December, just after the Hurricane season.

Can I pay using USD dollars or Mexican Pesos?

As a tourist or visitor, you may like to trade and buy some things during your time in Tulum. You are advised to use the local currency, which is the Mexican Pesos. Doing so will save you a lot of money. Perhaps, if you are looking to exchange the USD or any currency for Mexican currency, don’t go to the airport because that’s where you get the worst conversion rates. You are likely going to be ripped by scammers there as well.

Instead, you can get a travel card like TransferWise, and withdraw some cash from the ATM to acquire some Mexican Pesos.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Tulum is a safe spot if you follow the safety tips above and use your common sense regarding safety. Give up your belongings if, per adventure, a robber demands them, and don’t try to argue or plead or reason with them. Regardless of the documents and valuables, you’re carrying in your bag, give it up because it isn’t worth your life.

At this point, I would say that even though Tulum has been tagged as an unsafe area, there are many exciting things one can do after observing the safety tips above. You can consider visiting the Tulum archaeological site during your stay in Tulum. This site consists of countless ruins once part of a vibrant culture where the world’s archaeological history emerged.

A visit to the Cenotes Sac Actun is another fantastic and exciting thing one can do in Tulum. The Cenotes represent an extensive network of caves filled entirely or partially with crystal-clear underground waters. Finally, Tulum beach is not left out on our list of exciting things to do in Tulum.

On this beach, you get to see the beautiful white sand, palm-studded beaches, blue and green water, breaking surf, and many undersea animals like sardines, triggerfish, and many more undersea animals you may not have been privileged to see before. Having all these in mind and sticking to them should guarantee a wonderful and safe vacation in Tulum.

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