Is Tulum Expensive?

by Kelly

Is Tulum expensive? Tulum can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it, here is how we visited Tulum on a budget!

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When is the cheapest time to go to Tulum?

The shoulder seasons are always the best time to travel if you want to balance the chance of good weather with cheaper pricing. For Tulum the shoulder seasons are May, July and August.

Where is the cheapest place to stay for Tulum?

Stay at Tulum town as there are way more choices in hotels to bring the cost down. There are some really beautiful and not crazy expensive accommodation options in Tulum town. You will also be surrounded by more choice in food and supermarkets so that cost will be less. If you are staying at the beach and don’t have access to transport then you would want to take a lot of snacks with you as food and drinks can add up quickly.

We stayed in Tulum town at a great apartment with a pool and easy walking access to downtown, a huge supermarket and the road to the ruins and the beach. The apartment is Tulum Nah and we stayed in room A2. This was ground floor so we could walk out to the pool anytime and have our breakfast here as well. It has a full kitchenette so we could cook ourselves and make cocktails there as well! It was really spacious which was great, there was even a laundry room to dry swimmers and towels. The price was affordable, we always recommend booking with as early as possible as it reduces the cost and using the same booking platform often results in them offering you a cheaper price. We have compared this so many times and Booking always comes out cheaper.

Tulum Town Accommodation:

Other options in both Tulum town and the beach areas. I have included the midrange section as well so you can see the price jump and decide on your budget as it is very subjective! On our Things to do in Tulum blog there are luxury hotel recs and all inclusive but they are really really expensive!

Cheap Tulum Hotels:

Castillo Tulum – great pricing, big rooms, nicely decorated.

Howlita Tulum – Adult Only friendly staff, comfortable rooms, great decor and pool. Breakfast included.

Midrange Tulum Town accommodation:

BAU Tulum – Great breakfast included, great location, lovely staff

Botånica Tulum – cool vibes, great decor, pool and breakfast included.

Tulum Beach Accommodation:

Staying at the beach will be more expensive but you’re in the thick of it all! The beach is stunning and if you can afford it I would spend a few nights to soak it up. The best deals we found were:

Budget Tulum Beach accommodation:

GlampIKAL – stunning location, glamping style with cool decor.

Chancabañita Tulum – great breakfast included, beachfront location, lovely stay

Hidden Treehouse Tulum Eco-Hotel – beautiful location, pretty hotel

Midrange Tulum Beach accommodation:

La Conchita Tulum – Really lovely hotel, right on beach but at a more midrange price (for Tulum!)

Los Arrecifes – excellent staff, great rooms with lovely ambiance and breakfast included.

Wherever you choose to stay make sure to book your accommodation as early as possible! We booked one night months in advance and it was really well priced. We booked the other night the day before and the prices only climbed up until that point. I can not stress enough how important it is to book as early as possible.

Is food expensive in Tulum?

Eat from supermarkets or cheap street food if you are looking for the cheapest way to eat in Tulum. The best supermarket is the Selecto Chedraui Tulum which was conveniently an easy walking distance from our hotel. It is huge and has everything from sunscreen to food to motorbikes! You can also find free samples in the back next to the cheese fridge! The bakery section is awesome, there is a ton of everything to choose from and even some gluten free treats. The fruit and veg gets discounted daily and there are some really good buys, at one point bananas were 20c per kg. The alcohol selection is pretty good and it is an all round huge supermarket.

We ate at the cheap food carts right next to the OXXO on C. Geminis Sur . They are only there in the evenings and were perfect to wander up to for some tacos after possibly one too many drinks by the pool! We loved the El Tio cart and their 5 for 50MXN al pastor tacos! Seriously good tacos and the cheapest we found anywhere! There are other food carts there but they were our favourite.

Eating out in Tulum

NEVER eat at a restaurant that doesn’t have pricing on the menu! – we wont even buy from a supermarket that doesn’t show pricing. This is honestly just a way for the owners to make up what ever price they want. As a rule, any restaurant that doesn’t show pricing on the menu is too expensive to eat in.

The beach clubs often have a minimum spend so if you want to spend a day there make sure to order food there so you are getting the spend on something you need anyway!

The best restaurant in Tulum town is Encanto Cantina! The food is next level, service is great and it is very Tulum chic. You won’t be disappointed and the meals are not crazy expensive. Better yet, do the Tequila Tasting. It is not cheap but you will taste multiple liquors, be served local Mexican food with each drink and it works out quite reasonable with the experience adding value.

Free activities in Tulum

Walk Tulum Town

Sightseeing is free – walking the town, taking photos, sitting and enjoying the views are all free. Lap this up as your memories rather than buying things in Tulum. Souvenirs are cheaper in Valladolid and Merida also! On our blog on things to do in Tulum I have listed great photo spots to snag some pics as well!


Cenotes are a great place to visit and they are free from sargassum. The natural freshwater pools are the most beautiful places to go swimming found all around the Yucatan. A few main cenotes such as Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos not too far from Tulum where you can swim, snorkel, and even dive.

Cenote Aldea Zama

This is the only free cenote I’ve heard of. It’s located in the back of Tulum, we walked through some very local streets to get here. We went super early, it says it opens at 9am but it doesn’t really close. You’ll want to come early as it gets really packed with locals. It is tiny! We walked to the FREE Cenote Aldea Zama from our accommodation and it was really easy, when turned up there was some rubbish left from the night before. I think people head there to drink in the afternoons. If you bring anything make sure to take the rubbish with you as it is sad to see such a beautiful area with trash around. Follow the directions on Google Maps above and take any of the bush paths through the little patch of forest you will see and they will take you to the cenote. It is really pretty, like a little uncovered hidden gem.

Find your favourite street art & murals in town

There’s loads of street art and murals painted all over Tulum town. Wander around in the early morning or late evening to find your favourites (it’s too hot during midday)

Swim at the beach

Tulum beach is really lovely, the water is perfectly blue and the sand really soft. We really loved Playa Paradiso and Playa Ruinas spending as much time down there as possible. It is free to enter but you do need to pay a national park fee each day you go to the beach so if you are on a really tight budget you could spend a whole day down there and only pay once. The fee is 60MXN, I would also take snacks and water as food can get expensive near the beach.

That is it! Hopefully you can plan a few days in Tulum and see as much as possible to fit your budget.

Where Next?

Things to do in Tulum

Mexico Travel Itinerary

Things to do in Bacalar Mexico

Things to do in Merida Yucatan Mexico

Best hotel in Merida Mexico

Mahahual Mexico

Things to do Isla Holbox

Valladolid Yucatán – all the best things to do

Tequila Tasting Tulum

Snorkeling in Costa Maya

Best hotel in Mahahual Mexico is Inkanto Luxury Hotel

Ragga Sailing Adventures – must do in Belize!

Caye Caulker must visit destination in 2025

The Lodge at Jaguar Reef – the best place to stay in Belize

The best itinerary for Belize!

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