Why is Tulum So Expensive?

Why is Tulum So Expensive?

Tulum has been a hot spot for years, with no signs of slowing down. Tourists from all over the globe are clamoring to experience its unique brand of laid-back luxury. But why is Tulum so expensive? Keep reading to find out.

It is true that Tulum is more expensive than Playa del Carmen and even Cancun; however, it is still more affordable compared to most Caribbean destinations such as Bahamas, Jamaica or Barbados. Tulum, and much of Mexico's coast, is a great winter destination for those escaping the cold. In fact, December is the busiest month for tourism in Mexico, and also when you can expect the highest prices. As it is also popular with spring break people, prices in Tulum remain high until May.

Here Are The Main 3 Reasons Why Tulum Is Expensive Vacation Spot

The first reason has to do with simple supply and demand. As Tulum's popularity has exploded in recent years, there hasn't been a corresponding increase in the amount of lodging options available. This has caused prices to skyrocket, as hotels and Airbnbs compete for the attention (and money) of tourists. 

The second reason is that most businesses in Tulum are locally owned and operated. Unlike big chain hotels and restaurants, these businesses don't have the same economies of scale. They also often have to pay higher prices for goods and services due to their remote location. 

The third reason is that sustainability is built into the very fabric of Tulum. Many businesses here pride themselves on being eco-friendly, which can sometimes come with a higher price tag. For example, some hotels use sustainable materials like bamboo and thatched palm roofs, which are more expensive than traditional building materials like concrete and asphalt. 

But even though it may cost a bit more to vacation here, it's definitely worth it. After all, where else can you find such a perfect combination of natural beauty, luxury, and affordability?


The Real Cost of Traveling to Tulum

Tulum has become one of the most popular travel destinations in recent years. And for good reason—it's absolutely gorgeous, with its white-sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and lush jungle foliage. But there's a downside to all this beauty: the cost. Yes, Tulum is expensive. 

But why? 

Let's take a look at a few of the factors that contribute to the high cost of travel to this Mexican paradise.

Airfare to Tulum:

Tulum is located in the state of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula. The closest major airport is Cancún International Airport (CUN), which is about an hour away by car. Unfortunately, because Cancún is such a popular tourist destination, airfare to the airport is often very expensive, especially during peak travel times like Christmas and spring break.

Understand that there are no direct flights from the US. That means you'll have to make a connection in Mexico City, Cancun, or another nearby airport. And those connecting flights aren't cheap. You can expect to pay at least $600 for a round-trip ticket during the high season. 

If you're looking to save on airfare, consider flying into one of the other airports in the area, such as Cozumel (CZM) or Mérida (MID). Both are located a bit further from Tulum but can often be reached for less money.

Tulum Accommodations:

Tulum isn't called "the beach town" for nothing—it's got some of the best beaches in Mexico. And that means that hotel rooms right on the sand can be hard (and expensive) to come by. If you're set on staying at the beachfront, your best bet is to book your room well in advance so you can have your pick of the litter. However, if you're willing to stay a bit inland, you'll find that prices drop significantly. 

In fact, there are plenty of great Airbnb options available for those who want to experience Tulum on a budget.

If you want to stay in a basic hotel room, you're looking at $100 per night during the high season. For something a little nicer, like a bungalow on the beach, you're looking at closer to $300 per night. And if you want to stay in one of the luxury resorts, you're looking at $500 per night or more.

Today, hotels in Tulum have everything from electricity and air conditioning throughout the day to swimming pools and beach clubs, all wrapped up in a package that touts both extreme indulgence and new-age wellness mantras. Five or six years ago, Tulum was mostly unknown, as a secret getaway to the Caribbean for nomads and digital backpackers. I always try to include a traditional or local favorite in my publications and this Tulum travel guide is no different. Despite the elegant façade of Tulum's boutique hotel, it is a down-to-earth beach town with lots of economic fun.

Food and Drink in Tulum:

Like any beach town worth its salt, Tulum has no shortage of amazing seafood restaurants serving up fresh-caught fish and lobster straight from the sea. Of course, all that seafood comes at a price—a pricier one than what you'll find inland. If you're looking to save some money on meals while in Tulum, stick to street food or grab something quick at one of the many small eateries located off the main drag. 

A typical meal will cost you around $20, and cocktails are around $10 each. If you plan on drinking and eating out every day, you can expect to spend a small fortune on food and drink alone.

As you can see, drinks are not cheap either but thankfully, most hotels and resorts offer all-inclusive packages that include unlimited alcohol. Cheers!

Activities in Tulum:

There are plenty of things to do in Tulum, but they all come at a cost. A day trip to one of the nearby Maya ruins will cost around $50 per person. Snorkeling and scuba diving trips start at around $100 per person. And if you want to go zip lining or take a cooking class, you're looking at $60 or more.

The best known and most easily accessible from Tulum are the Gran Cenote, the Cenote Calavera and the Cenote Dos Ojos.

In short, Tulum Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula have a tropical climate and are hot and humid for most of the year. While there are some Tulum car rental companies in the city, you don't really save money waiting to get there to rent a car. There are dozens of other exceptional restaurants along the Tulum coast, as well as great venues in Tulum Pueblo. But if you're like me and you're traveling to get to know the country you're visiting, an extended visit to Tulum is probably not for you.

These were just a few reasons why travel to Tulum can be so expensive. But don't let that deter you from visiting this incredible place! With a little planning and some insider knowledge, it is possible to experience all that Tulum has to offer without breaking the bank too much. It is really beautiful place in Mexico and you will have fun.

Bon voyage!