Mexico

The Ultimate Digital Nomad Guide to Tulum: Cost, Packing List, Travel Stats

Chase at the best restaurant in Tulum Beach

Life in Tulum as a digital nomad

 Tulum has recently been gaining more and more popularity with digital nomads. It is know for it’s beautiful sand beaches, vibrant culture, and chill vibe, all of which make for a great location to get work done. Now that remote work is on the rise, so is the population of digital nomads in Tulum. This guide will help you get the most out of Tulum. Get ready to discover this amazing oasis in Mexico.

Cost of living as a digital nomad

Apartment: $600-$800 USD

 Tulum is one of the more expensive places I’ve lived as a digital nomad. Rent for a small 1 bedroom apartment can range from around $600-$800 USD. To live a more comfortable lifestyle I would recommend finding somewhere with a bigger kitchen, and a few small appliances to make your life easier. My friend and I got a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom luxury condo in Aldea Zama for $1200 USD. The best resources for housing are the facebooks groups. Search for housing groups on facebook, or send me an email and I can help you sort out a nice place to stay.

 Restaurant: $5-$15

 I love Mexican food, and Tulum has some of the best! Food prices depend on your appetite. You can pay prices similar to New York if you go to a beach club in the hotel zone, but I like to eat like a local. Head to downtown and find a hole in the wall restaurant or take an evening stroll behind the central park to find some delicious street tacos in the evening. If you’re lucky you can head to a local taco spot and spend $1 per taco and $1.50 per beer.

 Some of my favorite restaurants include:

  •  El Bajon Vegan Tacos $
  • Burrito Amor $
  • El Takazo Jr $
  • Ki’bok Tulum $$
  • Verdant $$$
💵 Cost 😙 Affordable: €1,373 / mo
💸 Tipping No
💸 100 MXN in USD USD 4.13
💰 Income level* Very Low: $704 / mo
💳 Cashless 💵 No, cash only (esp. for foreigners)
🏧 Suggested ATM take out: MXN 10,000 = USD 413
💵 Cost of living for nomad €1,373 / month
💵 Cost of living for expat €720 / month
💵 Cost of living for family €1,303 / month
💵 Cost of living for local €372 / month
🏠 1br studio rent in center €287 / month
🏢 Coworking €44 / month
🏨 Hotel (median price) €39 / night
🍛 Dinner €6
🥤 Coca-Cola (0.3L) €1
🍺 Beer (0.5L) €1
☕️ Coffee €1

 Best time of year to visit Tulum as a digital nomad

The best time to visit Tulum is June-August (yes, in the middle of the summer). The weather is perfect and the beaches are empty. It’s a great time to experience this incredible place with less tourists, less traffic and less noise. Many people will tell you that the best time of year to visit is November-February. While this time has the best weather, it is also the most crowded and most expensive time of year. Stick to the shoulder season if you’re trying to save cash.

⛅️ Weather (now) 🌤 30°C 87°F + 🥵 Sweaty (87%) = feels 39°C 102°F
⛅️ Temperature (now) Too hot: 30°C87°F (feels 39°C102°F)
💦 Humidity (now) Sweaty: 87%
💨 Air quality (now) 😐 76 US AQI  =  🚬 / day

Transportation to Tulum

 Tulum is about two hours away from Cancun airport. The most economic option to get to Tulum is by bus. Just ask at the information desk in the airport. A bus shouldn’t cost more than $10. Alternatively, you can take a colectivo(local transportation van) but they don’t have much room for luggage. The most expensive option is a taxi, which will cost $80-$100.

Tulum Pueblos Photo by Lou Stejskal

Getting around in the Tulum pueblo

 Biking: $5 per day

Tulum is very bike friendly, and our condo came with two bikes that were ready to ride. If you are staying in Tulum for one month or more, I would highly recommend getting a bike. You can either rent one from a local bike shop, or you can buy one and resell it at the end of your trip. The latter is the cheaper option.

 Taxis: $5-$7 pesos around town

 Taxis are an alternative. Currently the taxi mafia keeps Uber out of this area of Mexico. If you’re lucky, you can get a taxi for 100 pesos, about $5, but more recently prices have increased to 150 pesos.

 Scooters: $20-$30 per day

 You can rent a scooter from many different shops in the pueblo. A scooter will cost you about $20-$30 per day.

The best area to live in Tulum

Check out my guide for the best area to live in Tulum to get an in depth review of all your options. Here’s a short list of the top places to live.

  •  Aldea Zama
  • Centro/Tulum Pueblo
  • La Valeta
  • Hotel Zone

Internet + Sim Card: digital nomad essentials

Internet: 9mpbs average

I’ll be honest, Tulum does not have the fastest internet. You shouldn’t have a problem for voice and video calls, but you may struggle if you’re trying to upload large files. Average internet speed is 9mbps. In my apartment in Aldea Zama we averaged about 50mbps, but dealt with a couple of power outages every week. The outages were only for a couple of minutes, but if you’re in the middle of a client meeting it’s no bueno.

 Sim: $10 + $10 for 3gb per month

Buy a Telmex sim card as soon as you enter the pueblo. A sim card is around $200 pesos, and a 3gb monthly package is around $200 pesos as well. Using your phone as a hotspot is feasible if you don’t have any other options.

 

📡 Internet 9Mbps (avg)
📶 Free WiFi in city Bad
📱 Best wireless carrier Telcel
💻 Online electronics shop Linio
best beach restaurant

Coworking

  • Digital Jungle: $15 per day for fiber optic
  • The Good Space: $10 daily or $40 weekly

Wifi Cafes

  •  Botanica
  • Starbucks
  • Ki’bok Cafe
  • Babel Cafe
  • Vintage Cafe Tulum

Supermarkets

  •  $50 per person for a week’s worth of food
  • Chedraui – Similar to a Mexican walmart
  • Super Aki –  A smaller and slightly cheaper version of Chedraui

ATMS

The best atms are in the center of town. Always use an ATM at a bank. Local ATMs can be sketchy

Conclusion

 Living in Tulum is chill and a good place to work if you can deal with the intermittent power outages and hurricane season. It’s very touristic and one of the more expensive places in Mexico, although still much cheaper than the US. If you’re ready to check out this beachside paradise, pack your bag and prepare your palate.

⭐️ Overall score 3.77/5
👍 Quality of life score Okay
👶 Family score Okay
🚰 Tap water 🚫 No, not drinkable
🔌 Power 115V60Hz(Same as US)
🚕 Best taxi app* Local Taxis Only
😝 Fun Good
🎓 Education level* Mediocre
🙊 English speaking* Okay
👌 Safety Okay
🚶 Walkability Great
✌️ Peace (no pol. conflict) Bad
🚦 Traffic safety* Okay
🏥 Healthcare* Okay
😄 Happiness* Good
😁 Friendly to foreigners Okay
🗯 Freedom of speech* Bad
🤚🏿🤚🏻 Racial tolerance Okay
👩 Female friendly Good
🌈 LGBTQ+ friendly Great
⛪️ Religious government Religious
🏥 Best hospital Akumal Medical Center

Travel Resources

 If you’re ready to book your trip, check out the resources below. Make sure to shop around between the different platform to compare prices and find the deal

 

  • Airbnb – I’ve always had a great experience with airbnb. Make sure to check the reviews and the final price before booking.

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