How to Stay Safe in Tulum Mexico

Tulum Mexico Beach

Table of Contents

If you plan to visit or even move to the Mexican city of Tulum and experience the Caribbean coastline, this article will help you stay safe and make the most of your time! I will start by telling you that Tulum is generally considered a safer location compared to other parts of Mexico, where you can enjoy a relaxing and pleasant vacation. 

Be aware of natural hazards in the area of Tulum

Tulum’s biggest challenge is the Zika virus that spreads through mosquito bites. So, you will need to bring with you an anti-mosquito spray or lotion to stay away from this hazard. The city is also known for its high temperatures. To avoid the heat, stay out of the sun as much as possible between noontime and 4 p.m., and don’t forget your sunscreen. It will be wise to check when the hurricane risk is high before booking your trip to Tulum, as well. Since this is a coastline city, hurricanes happen yearly, usually around September and October. 

Avoid going out at night

Mexico is well-known for its crime risk that tends to be higher during the nighttime. Try to avoid getting out at night, especially if you are traveling alone. If you have to go out during late hours, stay away from dark streets, secluded beaches, and any area that doesn’t look safe to you. Sometimes, your gut instinct will know best and, if something looks shady, it probably is. 

Stay safe from petty crime while you are in Tulum

Even if there are small odds of getting murdered in Tulum, petty crime does happen and, if you are aware of it, you will be able to protect yourself better. You can avoid petty crime by keeping an eye on your most valuable belongings at all times. Also, don’t bring flashy or shiny items with you to not attract unwanted attention. Visible jewelry, as well as expensive accessories, are magnets for thieves and they put your safety in danger. 

Keep your eyes on your drink at all times

If you are going to party, do it wisely! This means that you should always hold your drink in your hand when you are at the pub or in a club so, no one else has access to it. Tulum is a place where spiked drinks are a fairly common trap for tourists but you can easily avoid such risks by guarding your drink and not leaving it on the table, unsupervised.

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What are the safest places to visit in Tulum?

For those of you who don’t want to take any risk, there are a few places you can check out in Tulum without concerns. 

Playa or the Tulum beach

Tulum Beach Mexico View from above

The Playa is the best choice for travelers who love the beach and want to have a safe vacation. This area mixes white beaches with rustic pubs and fancy villas as well as beautiful views to enjoy during sunset and sunrise. You can find plenty of hotels and restaurants with great, traditional food and it is a fairly short distance from the downtown area. If you like to practice water sports, at The Playa you will also find all the equipment you need and even trainers that will help you in these activities. 

Pueblo

Pueblo neighborhood Tulum City

The Pueblo is a neighborhood in the center of Tulum and if you want to experience life in this city, this is the best place to start. From the Pueblo area, you can get fast in any other tourist zone like the beach or the Ruins and Cenotes. Prices are at budget-friendly levels in the Pueblo and you can walk or ride your bike to different locals and restaurants within the area. 

Aldea Zama

In the south area of Tulum, you will find the small but safe neighborhood, Aldea Zama. From Aldea Zama, you can walk to the beach as well as to the Mayan Ruins and you will find all the restaurants and supermarkets you need nearby. This area is quiet and ideal for families who want to experience a peaceful, Mexican vacation. 

Tulum safety tips

You will notice right away that Tulum is not as dangerous as other places in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean it is completely safe. You should still be aware of the dangers of this city and know how to stay away from these risks. The following tips will help everyone who wants to spend some time in Tulum and put their safety first. 

Stay away from untravelled paths

If you see a street or an area that is not populated as much as others or tourists seem to not go there, you are better staying away from it. Being alone in an unknown area can make you the perfect target for petty robbery and other crimes.

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Watch your most important belongings

Keep an eye on your goods, especially your wallet and phone as well as your papers and other important things you have with you. If someone tries to steal your goods, you should consider your safety first and let them do that. Better to lose a phone than to get injured. It will also help you stay safe if you don’t show your phone all the time and you don’t make your wallet so obvious either. 

Have someone watching your belongings when you are at the beach

People on the beach in Mexico

If you want to go for a swim or to get something from the store while you are at the beach, leave one of your friends or family with your belongings. If you let your things unattended, you might not find them when you get back. 

Avoid drugs

Illegal drugs are not uncommon in Tulum and getting involved with people who have them might get you in a lot of trouble. Don’t trust strangers with your food or drink and don’t take anything without knowing what it is. 

Invest in a travel health insurance

You never know what might happen as you venture into a new country and if you get sick, injured, or a victim of an accident, medical bills can be significantly high. Good travel insurance can cover not only a big part of your medical bills but also canceled flights. Check the policy of your insurance to be sure it covers everything you need and take this worry off your shoulders. 

Stay away from shady areas

The general rule when it comes to places to avoid in Tulum says that you should keep your distance from untravelled paths. Being it a street or a neighborhood, if you notice that tourists don’t go there, you don’t need to go there either. If you are alone in a secluded area, you increase your risk of being rubbed and even become a victim of a more serious crime. 

Is Tulum safe to travel alone?

It is understandable to want to travel alone now and then and if you have your heart set on checking out Tulum, you want to know that it is safe to do so as long as you follow the safety tips. However, if you travel alone, there are even more aspects you need to pay attention to so you can stay safe during your trip. 

Choose a social hostel instead of a classic hotel

If you travel alone, you will notice right away that hotels can be a bit more expensive since you will not share the room costs with anyone else. You might appreciate it better if you find a social hostel with a good rating to stay at and even meet other people. Social hostels are not only cheaper but they can also be more fun since people from all over the world choose this accommodation option. 

Choose an Airbnb accommodation

City from above Mexico

Another accommodation option that you might want to try is an Airbnb place. Choosing to stay at a local apartment will help you get the vibe of Tulum much better and you have the freedom to cook for yourself and feel more at home. But it is important to choose the location wisely. Find a place that is not in a secluded area and has good reviews. Also, you want to check if the owner is going to offer you some help in case you need it. 

Try local tours

You are free to venture alone in Tulum as long as you don’t do that at night which can turn out to be unsafe in a variety of situations, but you will enjoy organized tours. If you join one of these tours you will find out a lot about the area and its history and in a shorter time frame as well.

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Stay in touch with your friends and family

Even if you are traveling, it is important to keep your friends and family updated with your whereabouts. Besides the fact that you will most likely miss them if you don’t keep in touch, letting them know where you are and how you enjoy your Tulum trip will help you stay safe as well, in case you get in trouble. 

Is Tulum safe for female travelers?

Female travelers can have a great time in Tulum and meet incredible people. But there are aspects that you need to consider if you want to explore Tulum as a solo female tourist. 

Check the reviews of your accommodation

Whether you are planning to stay at a hotel, hostel, or AirBnB, it will help you a lot to check the reviews of the accommodation. Focus on those reviews that other women left and decide if it is a safe place to stay at or you should keep looking. For females that travel alone, a social hostel tends to be the best choice as you will be surrounded by different people and you don’t risk being alone too much. 

Choose to stay close to the downtown area

Mexico City Tourists Street

The downtown area is not only where the fun is but it is also the safest area in Tulum. Choose your accommodation close to this area so you don’t have to walk long distances to get back to your accommodation after you went out to eat for instance. 

Wear casual clothes

Tulum is a place where people go to the beach so, your outfits should be according to this atmosphere. Try not to dress too fancy or too provocative especially if you are traveling alone. After all, you don’t want to attract unwanted attention.

Join a local group or tour

Rather than exploring Tulum by yourself at all times, you can join a local tour like most solo tourists. You will find plenty of local tours in Tulum that show you around the city and give you precious information about it. Joining a local class like a cooking class is also a good idea and a great way to make new friends while you are in town.

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Is it safe to drive from Cancun to Tulum?

If you want to drive from Cancun to Tulum, it will take you roughly two hours. The coastline road will offer you a beautiful view as you enjoy your ride. However, it is essential to check if your car is in a good state because you don’t want to stop along the way. Stopping on the road from Cancun to Tulum can expose you to different risks such as rubbery and scams. 

There are more safety concerns if you are planning to travel at night on this route. It is best to take this road during the day but, if you have to drive at night, don’t stop when others ask you to and make sure you check your car beforehand. You want to have enough gas and good tires to avoid any potential pullovers. 

You can also take a bus between Cancun and Tulum as there are about 30 buses on this route each day. Taking a bus will give you a more local experience, and you will be able to enjoy the views much better, without the stress of driving. 

What is the crime rate in Tulum, Mexico?

Compared to other areas of Mexico, Tulum is much safer for tourists of all kinds. The crime rate is moderate but it started increasing in the past three years which is a reason for concern.

While certain crimes are still low, others can reach significant levels that tourists need to acknowledge to protect themselves. Types of crimes that rank the highest are corruption and bribery crimes, stolen objects, drug consumption, and vandalism. On the low section of the crime scale, you will find random attacks, racist attacks, or stolen cars.

Murders do happen in Tulum but this can’t be considered a high risk compared to other Mexican cities since they are rare and usually, tourists are not at risk.

Conclusion

Using common-sense safety rules will keep you away from the potential risks you can come across in Tulum. On the other hand, if you are planning a family trip here there are plenty of activities you can do with your kids. If you bring your kids with you, your attention should be on their time in the water. The ocean currents are strong and the ground is not leveled so, don’t leave the children alone in the ocean. With these safety aspects in mind, enjoy your trip to Tulum and you will make some cherishing memories! 

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