Tulum Safety & Security Guide

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Is Tulum Safe? 2023 Travel, Safety and Security Tips

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Is it safe to Travel to Tulum in 2023?

Yes. Tulum is considered a safe destination for travelers in 2023. Although travel to Tulum is generally secure, there have been more high-profile safety problems and disturbances in recent years.

Cartels, corruption, and conflicts between rapid development and the local population are significant contributors to the safety in Tulum issues.

Is Tulum Safe?
Layers of waves in Tulum Beach

It is vital and imperative to educate yourself on the safety and security of your vacation destination so that you can determine your personal risk tolerance with regard to a trip to Tulum Mexico as the safety situation has altered significantly from even a few years ago.

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About Tulum

One of Mexico’s most popular and beautiful beach towns is Tulum, a bohemian beachside community. The town is facing the Caribbean Sea and is part of the renowned Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, just two hours south of Cancun.

Once a destination for hippies from all over the world, today, Tulum hippies have been replaced by influencers, boho-chic digital nomads, and would-be yogis.
Tulum is now one of the most well-known Mexican beach resorts in the Riviera Maya. It is renowned for its endless beach,and unique Mayan archeological site, magical cenotes and great nightlife.

But it is most famous for becoming the preferred destination for trendsetters, artists, entrepreneurs of all kinds, and digital nomads who found Tulum to be their ideal beach getaway.

Hope this safety in Tulum Mexico guide help you have a safe trip and make your stay here even more memorable. 

Digital Entrepreneur bicycle in Tulum, Mexico
Biking in Tulum Mexico

But how safe is Tulum Mexico right now?

It really depends on who you are asking.

If we told you there are no safety concerns at all in Tulum, we would be lying to you. There is no denying that Tulum is experiencing a surge in recent years, of sometimes violent criminal activity.

Shootings in Tulum

There was at least one kidnapping of a tourist in 2022 and two ladies were slain by gang crossfire while dining at a restaurant in 2021.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council rates Tulum as “moderately safe.” Travelers are advised to “exercise increased caution” in Quintana Roo state, which includes Tulum, Cancun and Play del Carmen according to information from the US State Department.

Having said that, we have visited Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun for more than ten times in the last three years and have traveled throughout the Riviera Maya area by car and bike without ever feeling threatened.

Yes, you should keep your wits about you and watch out for pickpocketing and small thefts, but you should do that pretty much anywhere you go.

Pasatino Bar, Tulum

Here is a very honest and … no sugarcoating … guide of everything you need to know about Tulum’s safety and security so you can plan your trip here with confidence.

Tulum Safety and Crime Statistics

Tulum Crime Rates and Statistics
Tulum Crime Rates and Statistics (courtesy of Numbeo.com)


Looking at just the numbers from Numbeo Crime Rates Statistics it’s easy to see that Tulum is generally regarded as a safe destination for most tourists; the largest safety concerns often being hurricanes (hurricane season is June-October), hangovers, sunburns, and insect bites.

Although Tulum is among the safest tourism destinations in Mexico, no place on Earth is completely safe.

You should be especially cautious with your things and never leave anything unattended in Tulum. And even though the party scene in Tulum is very vibrant, you should limit your alcohol consumption and never accept drinks from a stranger or leave your drink with strangers.

What is happening with Tulum’s safety?

Tulum’s tourism has increased dramatically and exponentially in recent years as a result of its world-class beaches, Mayan beachfront ruins, exciting party scene, boho-chic hotels, and relaxed hippie ambiance….and some help from Instagram and other social media.

Is Tulum Safe? - Tulum Beach
Is Tulum Safe? – Tulum Beach

Tourism is also the main stream of revenue for the state of Quintana Roo. Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum are the tree main tourism hotspots in the area. And although the increase in tourism is fantastic news for the many locals who work in the industry, it has also led to more corruption and cartel activities in the otherwise quiet town of Tulum.

In general, cartels do not target tourists, and local officials have a strong motive to keep tourists safe. Your safety in Tulum Mexico will mainly and mostly depend on what you are planning to do during your stay. Generally, your main concern in Tulum is probably petty crime, pickpocketing, and robberies associated with tourism.

Of course, awful and unfortunate things can always happen regardless of your behavior, but following a few simple and important safety guidelines will help you have a fantastic day.

Travel insurance is in our opinion a must, not just for Mexico but for every country and trip you take. 

Most Common Tourist Scams in Tulum

Biking to Tulum Myan Ruins
Tulum Beach : Biking to Tulum Myan Ruins

Even though fraud and crime can occur anywhere in the globe, Tulum has recently seen a worrying increase in these types of crimes. Particularly, you need to be careful of the following widespread con scams during your stay in Tulum:

ATMs Scams– Best to avoid using unattended ATMs on the side of the street. You should always try to go to a reputable bank; and use the ATM there. This will protect you from credit card scams and from an opportunistic cash grab.

Pickpocketing and Petty crime and theft – Petty theft and robberies are becoming more common in Tulum. Avoid flashing expensive objects and cameras, only carry a limited quantity of cash with you, and constantly be conscious of your possessions and surroundings to keep yourself secure. 

Police Corruption – Most expat and digital nomad Facebook groups, report a considerable increase in corruption. Though it’s difficult to describe every single instance, dishonest law enforcement officers are known to often seeks out bribery when visitors aren’t following the rules (intoxication, high on drugs, speeding, etc). Always follow the law and avoid being intoxicated in public, particularly if you’re alone.

Rent a Car in Tulum
Is Tulum Safe? – Renting a Car in Tulum

Car and motorcycle scams – Certain rental firms have been known to levy exorbitant insurance premiums and penalize travelers for damage that wasn’t their fault and the vehicle had before they ever picked it up. If you are booking your car from Cancun Airport make sure you use a reputable company.

Responsible Drinking: Be on the lookout for drink spikes since alcohol..this is true for visitors of both genders! Keep an eye on your drink at all times, and buy your alcohol from a trustworthy vendor.

Crime, drugs, gangs and cartels in Tulum

Unfortunately, Tulum has seen a rise in violent crime also and drug trade gang activity is responsible for most of it. Gang and drug-related crime has gone up by a staggering 783% since 2019. And the main reason for this rise in crime is visitors’ access to “party drugs”.

In other words, the number of party visitors to Tulum is directly related to the crime rate. The good news is that most of this drag cartel violence is usually gang-on-gang and is not directed toward tourists and visitors.

Simple safety tips: Avoid using or purchasing drugs when visiting Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mexico in general. You’re only increasing the risk of something bad happening to you. 

I Scream Bar Tulum
Is Tulum Safe? – Tulum Town I Scream Bar Tulum

Be warned that using illegal substances not only supports this corrupt system that has been driving up crime in Tulum, but can also make you a lot more susceptible to robberies, corruption, and dangerous situations in general.

Covid-19 Safety in Tulum

The Mexican state of Quintana Roo has completely removed Covid 19 restrictions on travel as of early 2023. Naturally, Covid still exists and should be taken into consideration, although the number of cases and the severity of the symptoms is quite small.

Is Tulum safe for Solo Travelers?

Tulum Nightlife Batey Mojito Guarapo Bar, Mexico
Tulum Nightlife: Batey Mojito Guarapo Bar downtown Tulum

Every year, thousands of people visit Tulum, making it an extremely popular vacation spot for visitors around the world. Many of these visitors come here alone and have an absolutely amazing time. But as every solo traveler should know, when you’re traveling by yourself, you do have to take some extra safety and security measures.

Use extra caution when you venture out at night. Avoid walking on deserted roads or trails or empty portions of the beach.

Always use a taxi (Tulum does not have Uber) to get to the restaurant or bar of your choice and back to your hotel. Definitely avoid cycling after dark as the roads in Tulum have little to no street lighting.

Almost all restaurants allow hawkers to enter and try to sell you things. This will for sure happen to you fairly often and even though this is not a problem in and of itself (they will leave you alone if you tell them no), they frequently bring their kids with them and the kids prowl, rob and pick pockets while their parents try to sell you things.

Is Tulum secure for females traveling alone?

Is Tulum Safe? Tulum Nightlife: Nana Rooftop Bar
Tulum Nightlife: Nana Rooftop Bar

Female travelers traveling alone can generally feel safe in Tulum. However, solo female travelers should be much more cautious. Avoid walking alone when going out at night. Never accept a drink from a stranger unless you have actually witnessed the pouring and preparation of it. And when you’re out in a bar or club, always…ALWAYS keep your eyes on your drink.

Is Tulum safe at night?

Tulum Nightlife: Kiki Dance Club
Tulum Nightlife: Kiki Dance Club

It’s not advised to walk at night in the streets of Tulum Town or Tulum Beach, especially if you’re all alone. We advise taking a taxi to go to the bar or restaurant of your choice and back to your hotel. The good thing is that Tulum has a lot of taxis and one will always be available.

Don’t walk around Tulum Beach or Tulum Town (Tulum Pueblo) at night unless it’s a very short distance.

Keep in mind that Tulum Beach Road is not properly illuminated. Many people decide to bring a headlamp to help them see where they are going or use the flashlight on their phones.

Is Tulum safe for families?

Yes, Tulum is generally safe for families and kids. Tulum is not just a fantastic destination for solo travelers, honeymooners, and backpackers. It is also great for families with kids. 

No need to worry at all as there are plenty of things and activities to keep you and your children occupied and happy. Our kids love to visit the adjacent theme parks, visit the Mayan ruins, go ziplining, or just go snorkeling in one of the many and stunning Tulum Cenotes.

El Gran Cenote Tulum Mexico
Is Tulum Safe? El Gran Cenote Tulum Mexico

Mosquitoes are for sure a nuisance, especially in the evenings and near the cenotes and other freshwater sites. Use a lot of insect repellent, cover up as much as you can, and avoid fresh water sources at sunset if you want to avoid those nasty mosquito bites.

Children are LSO considerably more prone to heat stroke and sunburn, so please take extra precautions, keep them hydrated through the day, cover them in sunscreen and keep them in the shade when the sun is at its highest.

Tulum is an incredibly beautiful destination and your family should be completely safe during your stay if you follow the law and common sense.

Are Taxis in Tulum safe?

Taxi drivers have a poor image and reputation in petty much every corner of the earth. I’m happy to report that Tulum taxi drivers are an exception. Just make sure you settle with them on the price before you go.

It shouldn’t be hard to find a taxi in Tulum at any time of the day because there are simply so many of them. However, if unsure or have second thoughts, ask your hotel or hostel for a trustworthy driver.

Is driving in Tulum safe?

Driving in a developing country is an experience on its own. And Mexico is no different. So if do you plan to drive in Tulum,make sure you are a confident driver.

Driving in Tulum is usually needed for those short trips to the nearby cenotes or Mayan ruins. However, be aware cause Mexican drivers are swift, unpredictable, and hostile.

Some basic Spanish will for sure help you communicate with police officers and comprehend some of the traffic signs.

Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Travelers should be careful as many have fallen victims of the several car rental scams that local companies use. For instance, reserving a car online, only to arrive at the rental office, and find out that there is no car available.

Also be mindful of hidden costs and outrageous insurance fees that they might add to your price at the counter.

Aside from these potential scams, renting a car in Tulum is secure.

Can You Drink Tulum’s Tap Water?

Tap water is not clean and you should never drink it. This is not just true for Tulum, but across all of Mexico. This also applies to ice cubes. Always ask if the ice cubes at restaurants or bars are filtered cause it would be terrible to be stranded in your hotel room with stomach pains because you drank tap water or something that contained tap water.

So, while drinking bottled water isn’t the most environmentally friendly option, bottles water is actually the only option while in Mexico.

Is it Safe to Live in Tulum?

Casa Banana Restaurant
Is Tulum Safe? – Tulum Beach Casa Banana Restaurant

In addition to having a reputation as an off-the-beaten-path and ecofriendly vacation spot, Tulum is also home to a vibrant and growing expat and digital nomad community, and actually very easy to understand why. Living in Tulum you can enjoy swarm, tropical weather all year long, spend your days in stunning white sand beaches and get daily dosages of plenty of sunlight.

Expats here, though worry about small crimes like car theft, house invasions on a daily basis, and of course never feel safe strolling alone at night. 

However, Tulum is generally a serene location where the expats and retirees come together to enjoy all that this amazing corner of the earth has to offer.

It’s crucial to do your research before deciding to migrate to a new destination and always use common sense. Join Facebook expat groups and  visit other expat forums before you make any decisions.

So should you travel to Tulum right now?

Yes, in terms of safety. And as we have mentioned above, even though Tulum has had its fair share of drug- and gang-related crime over the last few years, if you are not planning to use drugs — which you really shouldn’t in the first place—then you should not be running into any problems.

Which is safer Cancun or Tulum?

Tulum is for sure safer than Cancun. When it comes to safety, Tulum has generally been considered a safer option than Cancun due of its laid-back atmosphere. Tulum was also ranked first on a US News list of the top tourist destinations in Mexico.

Ahau Beach Club
Beach Hotels – Ahau Beach Club

Tulum and Cancun are both popular tourist destinations in Mexico, but they offer vastly different experiences. Tulum is an eco-friendly quiet beach town, while Cancun is a bustling resort city with nightlife and entertainment options. Tulum also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration, such as visiting the Mayan Ruins and going snorkeling or diving in the absolutely magificent Tulum National Park. 

12 Tulum Safety Tips

Tulum is one of Mexico’s most safe and secure destinations. Despite this, you should still use caution, especially after leaving the touristy parts of the city. The following safety tips are very important:

  1. Be Alert: Be cautious of your surroundings while you’re out and about, especially at night. Make an effort to blend in.
  1. Leave your valuables behind: if you have expensive jewelry or an expensive watch leave it at the hotel safe or at home. You don’t want to draw any unwanted attention.
  1. Be extra careful at night: Exercise extra caution at night especially if you’re out alone. Tulum isn’t particularly hazardous at night, but there are certain areas that aren’t well-illuminated. If possible, avoid walking alone after dark, particularly between the town center and the hotels along the beach. Take a taxi instead
  1. Mind your money – Don’t carry all of your cash in your pocket or wallet. Spread it around so that if your wallet is stolen or you are robbed, you will still have money safe somewhere else (some in your wallet, some in the hotel safe, and some in your bag).
  1. Keep your phone safe – Pickpockets like preying on irresponsible travelers, so always keep your phone out of their reach. If you leave your smartphone out of your site for a few seconds, it may vanish like thin air.
  1. Download an offline map on your phone – If your phone doesn’t support international roaming, its a good idea to download a map for offline use. 
  1. Pick up some Spanish – It’s usually beneficial to know a few words of the local language. It can open doors for you, make you more sociable, and make you less likely to become a target. It can also be helpful in an emergency. You can call 911 for any emergency in Mexico.
  1. Use ATMs with caution; never use one outside of a bank. Use only indoor ATMs to protect yourself and your valuables.
  1. Be careful of riptides – Tulum’s beaches are very beautiful, but the riptides can be quite deadly. To be safe, never swim too far from the beach. Stick to the pool if you’re not a good swimmer.
  2. When looking for hotels consider safety ratings and reviews from other travelers. Our list of the best hotels in Tulum offers some amazing picks that you won’t want to miss! It’s also essential for peace of mind when traveling with a family to arrange secure transportation.
  3.  Cancun International Airport has some great and excellent private service that can help ensure your safe arrival from Cancun International Airport to Tulum. 

Hope these safety trips help make your experience here even more special. 

Tulum Safety FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, as long as you avoid doing drugs, wandering alone at night, and staying out past dusk, it is safe to travel to Tulum right now. The US State Department has not issued any crime-related travel warnings for Tulum. However, they do formally recommend that people in Tulum proceed with greater caution. As always and for every destination you visit, getting a Mexico travel insurance for you trip is highly reccommended.

Tulum is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the Caribbean Sea on the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico. It is situated about 120 kilometers south of Cancun, and about 110 kilometers southeast of Playa del Carmen. Tulum is part of the Riviera Maya coastal region and is renowned for its pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and crystal clear waters.  It is the easternmost state and is bordered by Belize, Yucatan, and Campeche. Quintana Roo is home to an array of stunning natural attractions, including the spectacular Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza, and the second largest reef system in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef.

Tulum is known for its laid-back atmosphere and reputation as a party town. The city has plenty of fun nightlife options, from beach bars to clubs. For those looking for more serene activities, there are plenty of outdoor activities such as snorkeling, kitesurfing, and kayaking. The city also has a great selection of local restaurants, ranging from tacos to upscale seafood.

Healthcare is another major factor for expats considering Tulum. The city has several hospitals and clinics that offer a range of services, including routine check-ups and specialists.

Both Uber and Lyft are not operational in Tulum.

As a result, visitors must rely on taxis and other forms of public transportation to get about.

Unless the roads are flooded and saturated during or after a tropical storm or significant rain, public transportation in Tulum is safe. If this occurs, you should avoid traveling at all during storms or reduce your driving duration.

Regarding food safety, there are certain items you should avoid and some behaviors you shouldn’t engage in, but there isn’t much that can stop you from devouring tacos or bingeing on burritos. We have some fantastic recommendations for you to help you navigate Tulum’s cuisine scene.


One of the finest choices you can make for your vacation to Tulum is to stay in an Airbnb. Not only is it quite secure, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to see the city from the perspective of a resident. In Tulum, the majority of Airbnb hosts are exceptionally kind and accommodating. For their visitors, they are renowned for going above and above. Never hesitate to contact your host if you need advice on things to see and do in Tulum.

Additionally, you’ll feel secure using the trusted Airbnb booking platform. Because both hosts and visitors may evaluate one another, there is a highly courteous and reliable exchange of information.

Avoid doing the following when in Tulum.Avoid leaving your possessions unsecured on the beach strolling about in remote areas, and using ATMs late at night. If you are being robbed, do not struggle.

The city center is the safest area in Tulum. It is usually packed with tourists and locals and is also close to most activities, dining options and nightlife in Tulum.