Tulum Questions

It looks like we’re headed to Tulum at the end of May. For those who have been…

  1. Is it stupid to go this time of year?
  2. Would we be better off staying in Akumal? Note: my gf is not big on diving; we might do snorkeling for an afternoon.
  3. Better to rent a car or taxi?
  4. How bad is the drive from Cancun airport —> Tulum. Am I taking my life in my hand by driving? I don’t speak Spanish fluently so a bit concerned about navigation, etc.

Any other tips/suggestions would be gladly appreciated.


I would stay in Akumal. There is a decent beach bar - La Buena Vida. You can snorkel in the bay, or go to the state park (no waves) called Yal Ku to snorkel (must pay an entrance fee). Definitely visit a nearby cenote.

I would rent a car. Drive is not bad at all from airport. There is a modern 4 lane highway. When I started going in 1990 there was only a 1.5 lane road!

Tulum is beautiful, but one day there (or even 1/2 day) is plenty.

Driving is not a problem. Big 4 lane highway. The biggest risk us a shakedown by local law enforcement, which is infuriating, but not that expensive. Either Tulum or Akumal will be great.

That whole area is very tourist friendly. No Spanish needed except the polite basics. The roads are great; much better than MN or Chicago. Easy to drive and navigate. Check out the cenote/cavern tubing or snorkeling.

As others have said, driving not an issue. You run more risk if you drive in chicago

Yeah, basically it is a big highway from the airport to Tulum. As other have said I would stay furthur north than Tulum. Tulum is worth a day and has a spectacular white sand beach just below the ruins. The cenotes and local eco parks are great to visit. Zip lines, underground caves, snorkeling are everywhere. Best to plan ahead and pre-purchases of those activities are often cheaper. Eat the seafood!

Most of the posts cover what you want to know. However, Tulum has plenty to offer if you want to stay there. It just depends on what you are after.

Akumal is a better location for discovering the entire “Mexican Riviera” corridor.

On that highways stay alert or you will find yourself hitting some nasty speed bumps.

We took a tour from the Hyatt Zilara in the hotel zone. We were there for 2.5 hours. That’s plenty of time to walk around. If you’re driving, there’s a fee to park. There’s a small beach at Tulim. It’s a spectacular place.

It’s worth the small fee to hire a guide to take you through the ruins. When driving, do obey the speed limit. They are everywhere. Also, there is a wide variance in speeds drivenon the highway. It’s very common the come upon a vehicle doing half of the posted speed.

Thanks all.

Oddly enough I think driving is my biggest concern.

Where you go in the Mexican Riviera is sort of based on what you want to do. If you just want to lay on the beach and do a little snorkeling, Tulum is fine. If you want more restaurants, nightlife, etc., then stay in Playa. If you want to dive, then it’s Cozumel.

Driving really isn’t a problem at all.

The actual driving is easy. Certainly easier than around here. You will read all sorts of stories about the local police stopping tourists and threatening to arrest them, looking for a bribe. The rental car agencies provide you instructions on what to do if this happens and a special card to hand to the police. It is a very rare occurrence overblown on the internet. Mexico is aware of it and they certainly don’t want to hurt tourism in any way. As long as you don’t give the police a reason to pull you over by speeding, driving drunk etc you will just be fine. Do keep in mind that on the main highway speed limits change pretty abruptly. I have driven to Tulum and back many, many times with no issues whatsoever


Thanks George.

Tulum seems to be the hot vacation spot of the moment for the following people in my facebook feed: People who live in Brooklyn, startup-types from San Francisco, and people who go on yoga retreats.
Take from that what you will.

Tulum is a magical place. I went there 30 years ago before all this ^

It was quite unspoiled. I cannot imagine it, alone, being a vacation spot.