Is Tulum Safe to Visit In 2022 – Everything You Need to Know

3. Is Tulum Safe to Visit1
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If you’re thinking about visiting Tulum, you’ll have a great time (and be completely safe), provided you use the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of crime. The most frequent crimes, dangerous areas, and safety advice will all be covered in this guide!

Although travel to Tulum is generally safe, there have been more high-profile safety incidents and unrest in recent years. Cartels, corruption, and conflicts between rapid development and local residents are a large part of the safety problems. Even a few years ago, the situation has drastically changed, so it is best to educate yourself to determine your own level of risk tolerance before traveling to Tulum.

Is Tulum Safe in 2022?

Tulum’s tourism has exploded in recent years due to its world-class beaches, seaside Mayan ruins, great parties, luxurious boho-chic hotels, and laid-back hippie vibe. Quintana Roo, a state in Mexico, makes a lot of money from tourism. Despite the fact that this is excellent for the many people who depend on tourism for a living, the influx has also led to an increase in cartel activity and corruption.

In general, cartels do not target tourists, and local authorities have a strong incentive to keep tourists safe so they will return. Your safety in Tulum, though, will largely depend on what you do and where you go when it comes to avoiding crime. Your greatest risk in Tulum is most likely from robberies and other small-time crimes related to tourism.

Of course, bad things can happen regardless of your behavior, but following a few important safety guidelines will help you have a great time.

Things to Know About Safety in Tulum

Tulum Travel Advisories

Travelers should take extra precaution in the area, according to OSAC (Overseas Security Advisory Council), which rates Tulum’s safety as moderate. They issue warnings about things like cartel activity, Covid-19, contaminated water, and natural disasters.

While the U.S. State Department does not have a Tulum-specific advisory, the advisory for Quintana Roo encourages travelers to “exercise increased caution due to crime.” Before making travel arrangements to Mexico, you ought to review the agency’s general national advisory for the most recent advice.

Covid-19 Safety in Tulum

The state of Quintana Roo in Mexico has significantly lowered Covid 19 restrictions as of summer 2022, similar to many other locations around the world. Of course, Covid still exists and should be taken into consideration, but the number of cases is comparatively small.

The Quintana Roo municipal website has the most recent stoplight color for Tulum. Even though it is written in Spanish, the colors are clear. Note that Tulum is in the north region (“Region Norte”).

Just be aware that different Mexican states enforce covid restrictions in very different ways if you intend to travel outside of Tulum in Mexico. In comparison to Tulum, other regions of Mexico generally have much stricter regulations regarding adherence to covid restrictions.

Common Scams in Tulum

In spite of the fact that fraud and crime occur everywhere in the world, Tulum has recently seen an increase in these instances. In particular, you should be aware of the following common scams in Tulum:

  • ATMs – Avoid using unattended ATMs on the street as a general rule in Quintana Roo. Always seek out a reputable bank, where an ATM should have an entrance. This will not only protect your credit card, but it may also protect you from opportunistic cash grabs. As a side note, avoid converting to USD whenever possible. Your bank will almost certainly offer you a better rate.
  • Corruption – It’s interesting to note that there has recently been a noticeable increase in complaints about corruption if you browse Facebook groups for digital nomads and expats. While it’s difficult to predict when and where this will occur, dishonest officials typically look for bribery opportunities where tourists aren’t following the law, such as when they’re intoxicated, high on drugs, driving too fast, etc. Never go out alone or while intoxicated, and always follow the law.
  • Car and Motorcycle Rentals – In Quintana Roo, renting a car can seem a little risky because some rental companies have a reputation for charging exorbitant insurance premiums and penalizing customers for damage that wasn’t their fault. When reserving a rental car abroad, I always advise using Discover Cars because it prominently displays client feedback on every company.
  • Petty Theft & Robbery – Petty theft and robberies have been reported in Tulum, as they have in many other locations. Keep your cash to a minimum, avoid flashing expensive items, and keep an eye on your possessions at all times to keep yourself safe.
  • Alcohol – Be cautious to safeguard yourself against drink-spiking, which is known to affect tourists of all genders. Keep an eye on your drink at all times, and only ever buy alcohol from a reputable vendor (a bartender or liquor store).

Tulum Crime, Drugs, & Cartels

One of the top party spots in the world, according to some, Tulum is known for its fantastic festivals and never-ending access to drugs. Unfortunately, the latter indulgence has fueled gang turf wars, violent crime, and an increase in cartel activity.

Be aware that using illegal drugs not only supports the system that has been driving up crime in Tulum, but it also puts you at risk for robberies and corruption.

In fact, statistics show that drug-related crime in Tulum increased by 783% between 2019 and 2021, with the same studies claiming that the “party drugs” that are given to tourists are the primary cause of this rise. That is to say, the number of tourists who come to Tulum to party is directly related to the city’s crime rate. And while I can’t tell you how to live your life, when you buy drugs while on vacation, remember that your actions have a real impact on both the community where you are traveling as well as other tourists.

Common Crimes in Tulum

Although Tulum used to be one of the safest places in Mexico, an increase in violent crimes has caused many travelers to reconsider their upcoming vacation plans. To help you make the best decision possible, we’ve listed the most frequent safety issues in Tulum below.

3. Is Tulum Safe to Visit2

Pickpocketing/Non-Violent Theft

Pickpocketing and non-violent theft are common problems in areas with high tourist populations.

It’s simple to become a victim of opportunity crimes if you’re not paying attention to your surroundings, from thieves snatching purses off the backs of chairs in outdoor dining areas to sneaky thieves taking your wallet out of your back pocket.

Thieves frequently fabricate an excuse or an excuse to be near you in order to steal from you unnoticed. One of the more popular scams involves pickpockets pretending you have bird poop on you and “wiping you down” while stealing your items.

Never appear lost or unsure of where you’re going, be aware of your surroundings, and keep going if people start to find reasons to touch you in order to avoid becoming a target. Be firm, say “no”, and walk away while keeping your items close to you.

Some prefer to keep their safety wallets fastened inside of their shirts, but keeping nothing in your back pocket or open purse will go a long way toward safeguarding your belongings.

Gang/Drug Trade Violence

The gang and cartel violence that is prevalent throughout Mexico used to be largely absent from the Maya Riviera, which is made up of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.

Tulum, though, developed a terrible gang violence problem as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s worsening effects on the economy, an uptick in the hard partying scene, and changes in cartel territories. Unfortunately, this violence occasionally spreads to popular tourist destinations.

In 2021, there was an 80% rise in murders that were done on purpose. Shootings involving cartels in clubs and eateries frequented by tourists have increased, whereas it used to be simple to avoid cartel violence if you avoided drugs in Mexico.

In October 2021, tragedy struck when a gang leader fled into a well-known restaurant during prime dining time to avoid being shot by a member of a rival gang. Instead, the assailant stuck around and shot three more people while also killing two tourists.

Then, in February 2022, two dealers were killed in a street shooting that started between two rival cartels in front of the well-known Art Beach Tulum restaurant. Both of these shootings took place without any prior notice and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Ten different gangs are vying for control of the drug trade in Tulum, according to the head prosecutor for Quintana Roo state, which includes Tulum. This means that despite crackdowns by the police and the National Guard, shootings are likely to continue.

Unfortunately, there are no foolproof strategies to stop the violence. Luck ultimately determines the outcome.

It is not necessary to avoid any specific locations because gang violence has broken out in tourist-friendly beach clubs, all-inclusive resorts, and restaurants. Instead, being aware of those around you can buy you a few extra seconds to flee or hide if a shooting starts.

Armed Robbery

There are more armed robberies than there used to be, along with more shootings. The majority of the time, it’s done at night by groups of three to five young men who have or claim to have a gun. Your possessions will be taken from you either voluntarily or forcibly.

Don’t attempt to fight back or argue if this occurs to you. Instead, give me your things. Take a phone from a friend and cancel all of your cards when you get back to the hotel. It hurts, but your life isn’t worth it.

When you go out, only take small amounts of cash with you to prevent losing everything. Your cards and passport will be safely stored at the hotel in this manner, enabling you to get more money and return home.

Avoid walking at night in dim areas, especially if you’re alone or intoxicated. To avoid the threat of violence, it is preferable to pay for a door-to-door taxi.

Sexual Assault

Although the Mexican government does not release statistics on sexual assault crimes, and it is said that travel review websites like TripAdvisor have been removing rape alerts, there are alerts for violent sexual assaults for female visitors.

Many advise against drinking excessively, getting wasted, or taking drugs or alcohol from strangers.

Don’t assume you’re safe just because you’re with a fellow hotel guest because the offenders can be both locals and other tourists. Keep your wits about you and watch out for anyone attempting to approach too closely.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

There are neither particularly safe nor unsafe places to stay in Tulum because it is a smaller city with widespread violence.

The increase in violence has been equally noticeable in South Tulum, the Hotel Zone, and the vicinity of the Mayan ruins. The less visited city center is equally as safe as the tourist areas.

The key is to stay away from isolated areas, especially Airbnbs in the jungle, as they are more likely to be the target of armed robberies than specific neighborhoods.

Is the Water in Tulum Safe to Drink?

You should generally avoid consuming Tulum’s tap water. Despite the fact that the water in Tulum is filtered at the plant, it has been reported that the pipes that transport the water to buildings and residences can contaminate the water with dangerous bacteria.

To safely drink the water, I recommend using a Grayl Geopress water filtration device — I recently reviewed the Grayl and think it’s awesome and worth the relatively hefty price tag.

However, there is a good chance the water will be safe to drink if you are staying at a well-known hotel. The same is true of eating establishments. Ask the front desk about this before guzzling any tap water. Some hotels in the Yucatan have their own filtration systems (all the upscale places will, for sure). In case nothing else works, OXXO convenience stores can be found all over Tulum and sell large jugs of bottled water.

FAQ About Safety in Tulum, Mexico

Is Tulum Safer Than Cabo

Cabo is a safe destination for tourists too – as is Tulum – but as always you must be vigilant in regards to petty crime in both destinations, and be careful of leaving drinks unattended.

Is Tulum Safer Than Cancun

Of course, it’s common knowledge that Mexico is plagued by brutal gang wars (which are surprisingly common around the world, from Japan to Italy), but Tulum is far safer than some of the other cities in the country – even Cancun.

Is Tulum Safe for Solo Female Travellers

Tulum is generally safe for solo female travelers, though I advise against going for a nighttime solo stroll. Always keep an eye on your alcohol intake and reserve trusted properties with good reviews.

Is Tulum Safe Right Now?

Travel to Tulum is currently generally safe. Travelers should therefore review the most recent travel warnings, be more vigilant against small-time crimes, and stay informed about the state of the public health.

Is the Riviera Maya Safe?

Although the safety situation varies depending on the specific destination, the Riviera Maya is generally a safe place to travel. Compared to smaller, more tranquil Mayan Riviera beach towns like Puerto Aventuras, Puerto Morelos, or Akumal, crime rates are typically higher in Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun, which are larger cities.

What State is Tulum In?

Quintana Roo, a state in Mexico, is where Tulum is situated. State of Quintana Roo is located on the Caribbean Sea coast. The Riviera Maya, a stretch of well-known beach resort areas including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, is the most well-known feature of Quintana Roo.

What is the Crime Rate in Tulum Mexico?

Tulum is considered to have a moderate crime rate. Despite an increase in crime over the previous three years, most visitors can still anticipate a secure and enjoyable trip, according to

Is Tulum Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Although I don’t advise it, Tulum is generally safe for female travelers traveling alone at night. Always keep an eye on your alcohol intake and reserve trusted properties with good reviews. For more information, see our guide to women traveling alone.

Should I Be Worried About Hurricane Season in Tulum?

If at all possible, avoid the months of September and October, which are regarded as Tulum’s hurricane season. The good news is that even though it’s rainy season, there are still plenty of sunny days where you can enjoy the beach.

November through December are the best months to travel to Tulum because they are immediately following hurricane season and before the busiest time of year.

Can I Pay Using USD Dollars Or Should I Use Pesos?

Using local currency will always save you a ton of money, so we always advise doing so. The worst conversion rates can be found at the airport, so avoid doing it there! You could also fall victim to fraud. Instead, you can simply use an ATM to get some Mexican Pesos and get a travel card like Charles Schwab’s or Transferwise’s.

So, if you were wondering before you started reading, “Is Tulum safe? As you can see from the information provided above, visiting Tulum is safe, but it’s also the same as visiting any other foreign country. You should be cautious of some things and on guard against others. You shouldn’t have any issues at all in terms of Tulum safety as long as you are aware of them beforehand.

Is There An Airport in Tulum?

Unfortunately, Tulum still lacks its own airport and is unlikely to get one. Your best option right now is to take a flight to Cancun International Airport, which is close by and only one hour and forty minutes away. Tulum is about 40 minutes away from Playa del Carmen.

What Areas Are Safe to Stay in Tulum?

The hotel zone near Tulum Beach and the center of town are without a doubt the safest places to be. Otherwise, double-check the location before booking an Airbnb because some of them can be quite remote.

What’s the Safest Way to Get to Tulum?

The most secure means of transportation to get to Tulum from Cancun would be either a bus or a private transfer. You can check out your options from Cancun to Tulum in this article.

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