TULUM NIGHTLIFE GUIDE
For first timers:
If you are coming to Tulum for the first time here is some useful information that hopefully will help you have a better and more joyful trip.
Tulum’s spectacular coastline – with all its confectioner-sugar sands, cobalt water and balmy breezes – makes it one of the top beaches in Mexico. Where else can you get all that and a dramatically situated Maya ruin? There’s also excellent cave and cavern diving, fun cenotes and a variety of eco chic lodgings and world class restaurants to fit every budget.
Some may be put off by the fact that the town center, where the really cheap eats and sleeps are found, sits right on the highway, making the main drag feel more like a truck stop than a tropical paradise. But rest assured that if Tulum Pueblo isn't to your liking, you can always head to the coast and find that tranquil, beachside bungalow, though it's gonna cost you.
Is important to note that there are 3 main and separate zones in Tulum which are the Beach Strip or zone, Downtown (commonly called, el pueblo) and the Tulum ruins. The Ruins are located on the beach about a 15 minute drive from downtown and about about a 15-20 minute ride to the main beach strip, the ruins are completely separated from the city or hotels zone and are considered a day activity. In downtown or "el pueblo" you will find most of the local restaurants, shops and affordable hotels and stays but when you are considering this consider that you are about a 20 minute car drive away (without traffic) from the beach or about a 30 minute bike ride.
Low season is consider from October to the first half of December this might be it because is considered rainy season although rain may come and go in 10 minutes or it might last for a few days its also when you will find the best prices from hotel rooms to flights and places not so crowded. Peak dates are considered New Years eve and 2 or 3 weeks after that were world renown electronic DJ's and events take place all over Tulum.
Tulum weather: the summers are short, hot, oppressive, and partly cloudy and the winters are short, comfortable, muggy, and mostly clear. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 62°F to 92°F and is rarely below 53°F or above 96°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Tulum for warm-weather activities is from late November to mid March.
The nearest airport is Cancun airport and is around a 1 hr 45 minute drive from Tulum there are hotels located all the way along the coast from the Cancun airport to Tulum to book and reserve your transfers with the best and safest transfer services visit our TRANSFERS SECTION.
Legal age to drink in Mexico is 18 years and be sure to bring your ID with you to clubs as they do ask for ID's specially if you look young.
Drugs are illegal in Mexico including weed (unlike other countries where weed is legal) even as recreational use.
Unlike other ‘popular’ beach destinations of the Caribbean, Tulum beach boasts a rich historical past. Being one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayas, Tulum beach hosts the ONLY archaeological site located along the shores of Riviera Maya. Most Tulum visitors remain on the beaches located right in front of the Tulum Ruins, but move further south and you will find the pristine beaches everyone talks about.
To reach the Tulum beaches outside of the Tulum ruins, take the Coba road east in the direction of Boca Paila and bear right on the Tulum beach road. There are beach clubs located along the Tulum beach road, where you can use their parking, restaurant and beach chairs for a minimum consumption.
With the soft white sand under your toes, you’ll understand why Tulum beach is a bohemian beach destination. Long stretches of uninterrupted beach allow for long walks, privacy, a feeling of solitude and few other people sharing your little paradise. The sand is finer than other beaches, and the water can seem ‘bluer’ than other cities.
Tulum beaches are loved by locals and visitors alike as people are scarce and beauty is abundant on the shores of Tulum. The simple pleasures found on the beaches of Tulum remain timeless! To see a list of the most happening beach clubs our recommendations and to book tables and make reservations for the best day parties visit our DAY/BOATS SECTION.
Tulum is one of those rare Caribbean destinations that actually has a developed culinary scene. There are now dozens of international renown restaurants in Tulum that have a unique personality. On the other end of the spectrum, downtown Tulum is full of budget-friendly, casual places to eat. To see our recommendations and make your reservations go to our RESTAURANTS SECTION.
It can feel like the entirety of New York’s fashion crowd decamps for Tulum at some point in the winter. So unsurprisingly, local boutiques (and their expat owners) have risen to the challenge of supplying unexpected and stylish buys. The shops in Tulum celebrate the local—most are stocked with only Mexican or Latin American designers. And you’ll find incredible buys here, from designer shoes (Katie James, a Tulum native, makes gorgeous leather sandals) to beachy cover-ups (pick them up at Caravana Montaecristo) or traditional crafts (at Mixik, with locations both on the beach road and downtown). And the shops here are open late—many until 10 p.m.—so you could easily pop in for some late-night retail therapy after dinner.
If there’s one theme running through the hotels of Tulum, it’s their commitment to eco-friendly practices. Several places don’t use air conditioning, bath amenities are all organic so as not to harm the environment, and everything is as local as humanly possible. The places to stay in Tulum range from world arquitectural master peaces like Azulik hotel and the cozy Papaya Playa Project to Casa Malca, from a design-world heavy hitter. And Tulum’s healthy ethos extends throughout the accommodations as well—almost every single hotel offers daily yoga classes and fresh, rejuvenating juices. You can also find more economic stays heading downtown or at Aldea Zama. We have chosen our favorite ones which you can book through us to get best rates and amenities on our STAYS SECTION.
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Partier's guide to Tulum
You can get a shuttle, public bus, taxi or private transportation from Cancun airport to Tulum, the prices vary accordingly, there is no Uber or service alike .
While Tulum’s nightlife doesn’t have the whistle blowing, tequila shooting madness of its northern neighbors, Playa de Carmen and Cancun, it has an upscale nightlife scene inspired by New York and Los Angeles mixed with world renown electronic events and DJ's immersed in a jungle setting. Take away the cover charge, dress code, and pretentiousness and add a jungle locale and a lot of house music, now you’re in Tulum now known world wide for its unmatched nightlife personality.
Cash: A lot of bars in Tulum accept cash only, even the high-end ones. Some accept U.S. dollars, but most require payment in Mexican pesos. If given the option, pay in pesos to get the best rates; you will always overpay if using dollars. Many bars that do allow credit cards add a 3% surcharge.
Tipping: Tipping is part of the custom here, and 10 to 15% is the standard rate. But first check bill for the word “propina” (meaning tip) to see if it has already been added to the bill. If so, add the necessary amount to bring the propina total up to 10 to 15%. Tipping in pesos is best, so the staff don’t have to pay a bank to exchange it into pesos.
Most of Tulum’s best bars are in the Pueblo (PRE COVID) or Middle Beach Zone. The Pueblo has more laid back, affordable bars, while the Middle Beach Zone has more chic, upscale spots. Most bars in the beach zones are on the jungle side of the road with outdoor seating.
Closing times: Pre Covid party venues would close 4 or 5 AM now in Covid times 12AM is closing time, except for your private after parties.
If is your first time in Tulum check out the Tulumcrawl they do nightly bar crawls and take you to 4 or 5 happening places in one night, so its a nice introduction to town and its guests.
There are all kind of yacht options going out of Puerto Aventuras marina (45 mins away) so if a yacht party is what you are looking for let us know and we will make it happen for you (CLICK HERE)
As with anywhere in the world, it pays to stay informed and practice sensible precautions when traveling here. Tourism authorities in Mexico have pointed out the rarity of violent events and the low numbers of victims of crime compared to the 28 million American tourists who travel to Mexico each year, and this is worth bearing in mind when planning your travel. This said Tulum is VERY safe for tourists.
Some simple tips to ensure a safe visit to Tulum:
Try to remain within the popular tourist zones.
Consume alcohol in moderation.
Do not do any drugs or ask around for any drugs to anyone, and ignore people who offer them.
Do not do anything you would not do back home.
DRINKS AND DRUGS
The legal age limit to buy alcohol and tobacco is 18. Officially you have to be 18 to get into the clubs. It is illegal to drink alcohol walking on the streets. Most venues that had events were closing around 4AM preCovid, after Covid most events close at 1AM but there are exceptions.
In regards to the possession of drugs, the situation is simple, THEY ARE ILEGAL! In Mexico, personal possession of any drug is a criminal offense.
Needless to say it is not only very stupid but also ILLEGAL TO DRINK AND DRIVE. And of course, this is the case for driving under the influence of drugs, too. The penalties are severe, and accidents will get you into jail.
As a result, traffic controls and searches by the police are becoming increasingly more common, and they test for alcohol as well as drug usage while driving.
BE SENSIBLE AND BE CAREFUL