Credit

Courtesy of Matteo Colombo/Getty Images

Getting Around Tulum

The best way to get around Tulum is by taxi. You can walk or bike to the beaches, to the ruins and to Tulum Pueblo, but there's a chance of overexerting yourself. You can rent a car in Cancún or Playa del Carmen, but it is not recommended because of reported auto crimes. Buses aren't a viable option either – the only ones available are the shuttles that take vacationers to and from the other Riviera Maya areas, and to and from the airport in Cancún.

Privately owned buses travel the difference between Tulum and the rest of Riviera Maya, as do colectivos, or chauffeured white vans. To visit the island of Cozumel, you can take the bus to Playa del Carmen, followed by a ferry ride.

Keep in mind, there is no airport in Tulum, so you'll need to fly to a neighboring airport and travel from there. The closest airports to Tulum are the Cancún International Airport (CUN), which is about 75 miles north, and Cozumel International Airport (CZM), which is about 50 miles northeast. Because Cozumel is an island, you'll have to take a ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen and arrange for transportation from there to Tulum.

Car Driving from Cancún or Playa del Carmen to Tulum is not worth the hassle – residents motor the rocky roads swiftly, and you could easily be overwhelmed. Some travel sites have also reported problems with auto robberies (particularly at night) and even police scams, where the officers pull drivers over and then demand a bribe. If you do decide to drive, you will not need to obtain an international driver's license; your U.S. license is valid in Mexico.
Taxi Taxis pretty much have a monopoly on getting you from your hotel to the beach (your other options are to walk, bike, drive yourself – and the last one is not recommended), but you can also use them to get to the ruins or the reserves. They hang out around the hotel areas, but you can also find them near the bus terminal. Luckily, the fixed fares are reasonable. You'll pay around 100 pesos (about $5) to ride from the popular hotels to the beach and ruins. 
Bike

You'll get a little exercise, and a little independence, by biking your way around town. Some hotels offer complimentary bike rentals to their guests, but there are also a handful of companies (including Ola Bike Tulum and iBike Tulum) that will deliver wheels directly to your hotel. Some also offer tours of the area to cenotes and beaches.

On Foot Walking is always affordable, and in Tulum, it's also feasible. You could choose to walk from the hotel areas to the beaches, the ruins and even Tulum Pueblo, depending on where you're located. However, you may find taxis are a more comfortable option, given the heat. And you should always exercise common sense and not walk long distances alone at night.

Explore More of Tulum

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019