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12 Things to KNOW Before Going Snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico

12 Things to KNOW Before Going Snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico

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Tulum has to be one of our favorite spots to visit in the whole of the Yucatán, with tons of great restaurants, ancient ruins, and, of course, snorkeling! I don’t say that lightly – there really are tons of fun things to do in Tulum.

Snorkeling is one activity that we think is seriously underrated in Tulum. We’re always blown away by just how many amazing options there are to pick from here. From captivating freshwater cenotes like Casa Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos, to the vibrant offshore reefs that are teeming with life, it’s so easy to let the hours slip on by.

I wanted to put this guide together to share with you not just the best spots to visit, but the ins and outs of making your underwater experience in Tulum as amazing and memorable as possible. So let’s take a look at the 12 things you need to know before going snorkeling here in Tulum!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Snorkeling in Tulum offers the unique chance to explore cenotes (natural sinkholes). They’re stunningly beautiful and great for beginners since there are no ocean currents. This 3-stop cenote snorkeling tour is our pick for the best cenote snorkeling experience in Tulum!

1. About snorkeling in Tulum

Bailey snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico

Just under an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen, Tulum is a popular port town that’s full of ancient mystery, and that’s just a fraction of what the town has to offer! I was really surprised when I first learned about all of the incredible spots where you can go snorkeling or scuba diving here. We did a ton of scuba diving in Tulum but saw lots of people enjoying snorkeling, and we couldn’t resist giving it a go too!

By far, I think the best thing about snorkeling in Tulum is that you’ve got a huge and diverse range of options for where to go. Right off the coast, you’ve got the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second-largest reef in the world and, as you can imagine, is full of the most incredible marine life. With water temperatures hovering around 24-29°C (75-84°F), swimming here is pure bliss!

In the ocean, you can also snorkel with whale sharks between the middle of May and the middle of September. These gentle giants are amazing to see up close!

On the other hand, there are tons of wonderful inland cenotes in Tulum to explore. These unique natural sinkholes are super fun to visit, with some hiding huge underground caverns, while others are much more shallow and straightforward. I’ll be mentioning cenotes a lot throughout this blog, so keep your eyes peeled for some of the best ones to visit! Or better yet, check out the best cenote tours in Tulum – which offer many opportunities for snorkeling.

Related Read: Wondering how to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum? We’ve got you covered!

2. Why I love snorkeling in Tulum

A person swims near a whale shark off the coast of Tulum, Mexico
Snorkeling with whale sharks!

While we’ve already touched on just how many amazing snorkel spots there are here in Tulum, another great reason to visit is the overall vibe of the town! Tulum enjoys a much more relaxed pace than Playa del Carmen or Cancun. So, whether you’re traveling as a couple looking for a romantic and quiet getaway, or a family looking to spend some quality time by the beach, Tulum has all that and more!

To match this slower pace, there are lots of other fun things to do here too. So although the snorkeling is incredible here, what takes it to the next level are all the other fun activities you can pair with it for the ultimate day out.

Last, but definitely not least, Tulum enjoys around 300 days of sunshine per year, so depending on what time of year you visit you can pretty much guarantee that the weather will be good – but more on that below!

3. When is the best time to go snorkeling in Tulum?

Group of white fish swim in Tulum on a snorkeling tour
You do see a lot of fish!

Honestly, you can go snorkeling here in Tulum pretty much year-round, as when the sea conditions get a little rougher, there’s always the option to go snorkeling in the cenotes.

That said, if you are planning to go for a dip in the reefs (and I highly recommend it!), then the best time is during the dry season, which runs from November through to April. At this time of the year, rain is very rare and most days are full of sun. Visibility is also incredible in the sea during this time of year, and you can really see the colors of the coral popping under the waves.

The dry season is also the peak time for visitors, as you might find lots of families enjoying their holidays. Accommodation prices tend to also be higher during this time of year, so it’s a good idea to book your hotel in advance to help beat the price hikes!

On the other hand, if you’re looking to balance your budget with slightly more temperamental weather, then you may want to visit during the wet season, which runs from May to October. Naturally, there’s a higher chance of rain, but I found that these showers typically happen in the afternoon. So if you’re traveling in the wet season, I’d suggest hitting the reefs in the morning before exploring the cenotes in the afternoon!

Come the wet season, this stretch of the Riviera Maya is also a haven for the gentle giants of the sea, the mighty whale sharks. Swimming with whale sharks in Tulum is an absolute must for the nature lovers among you out there, and even if you’re a little unsure, I say go for it. Whale sharks are completely harmless to humans, but I have to admit, they might take your breath away!

Whale sharks do tend to be a little shy, hanging around a little ways offshore, which is why going as part of an organized tour like this full-day whale shark experience is a great idea. The local guides have tons of experience finding these amazing animals, and you’ll also have all hotel transport included in your ticket too.

4. What can you see when snorkeling in Tulum?

A huge turtle swims through the waters of Akumal Beach in Mexico on a tour from Tulum
A sting ray at The Beach while on a snorkeling tour in Tulum, Mexico

You know, the worst thing about Tulum is that there’s never enough time to see everything!

But if you’re an optimist like we are, that means tons of fun snorkeling adventures, with each one revealing a new Tulum treasure that you’ve never seen before.

The reefs are bustling with all kinds of marine activity, with the coral sheltering all kinds of different fish species like parrotfish, sailfish, and barracuda, not to mention manta rays and the playful reef sharks. Another huge draw, of course, is the beautiful turtles that call the reefs home. And if you’re looking for the ultimate snorkeling with turtles experience, I highly recommend driving up to Akumal Beach! This is the site of some of the best tours that see turtles near Tulum!

But let’s not forget about the cenotes, which are a massive part of Tulum’s snorkeling appeal. Each cenote has its own distinct vibe and some, like Cenote Dos Ojos, even have various fish species swimming amidst the underwater stalagmites – super cool!

Related Read: Fancy injecting a little extra adrenaline into your trip? There are some seriously cool ATV tours in Tulum – memories guaranteed!

5. What are the best snorkeling spots in/near Tulum?

Bailey snorkeling in Cenote Dos Ojos near Tulum, Mexico
We did some snorkeling in Dos Ojos!

Casa Cenote

Casa Cenote isn’t your typical underground cenote but rather a long, winding waterway that runs through trees and mangroves. While the current can pick up, lifejackets are available to help keep things safe. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, admission to the cenote costs 150 MXN (roughly $8 USD), and it tends to be less crowded than other local spots, making it a very accessible snorkeling spot for beginners.

Lasting around four hours in total, this 3-stop cenote tour visits some of the very best cenotes near Tulum, including Casa Cenote, Grand Cenote, and Cenote Zemway. I really like that each cenote offers a different experience, from the cliff jumping you can do at Cenote Zemway, to checking out all the cool rock formations at Casa Cenote!

Tickets for this tour cost $130 USD per person, and you can add on lunch for an extra $15 USD. To secure your dates, don’t forget to reserve your spot online in advance.

Cenote Dos Ojos

Just half an hour from Tulum on the way to Playa del Carmen, Cenote Dos Ojos is a huge cenote that’s actually considered to be the world’s longest underground cavern! With an entrance fee of 350 MXN (around $19 USD), you’re free to snorkel as much as you like (lifejacket included), just not the underwater caves – best to leave that for the scuba divers.

Open from 8 am to 5 pm, this famous cenote often manages to avoid feeling too crowded thanks to just how big it actually is. And if you’re an early bird, you might even snag some of those unique areas all to yourself, just like we did during our last visit!

Yal-Ku Lagoon

Nestled within the Mexican jungle, this spot manages to keep a low profile, escaping even the watchful eyes of the highway sign-makers! The lagoon is a fascinating mix of fresh and saltwater, creating a super cool environment that attracts all sorts of marine life. With a max depth of just 13 feet (4 meters), it’s a fantastic place for snorkelers at any level.

This full-day Tulum guided experience is a wonderful way to experience a good variety of what Tulum has to offer, from the ancient archaeological site to enjoying a beachside lunch and, of course, going snorkeling in the Yal-Ku Lagoon! If you’re on a bit more of a time crunch and want to fit in as much as you can, without it feeling rushed, this is the tour for you.

Sian Ka’an (Punta Allen)

Just to the south of Tulum, the Sian Ka’an UNESCO Reserve is a huge, protected area, covering around 120 km (75 mi) of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef! But that’s not all, the reserve also protects a large area of vulnerable mangrove forest, as well as a massive variety of marine life, including turtles, dolphins, all kinds of colorful fish, and so much more.

I love visiting this reserve as it feels like a real adventure – it’s not overly crowded with tourists as it’s a little bit out of the way, while still having lots of professional tour operators running experiences right from Tulum.

I’ve heard great things about this full-day Sian Ka’an adventure tour, which transports you straight from Tulum to the reserve, before spending a day exploring this unique marine ecosystem. If the weather is good, you’ll also get the chance to go snorkeling, and let me tell you that there’s nothing quite like snorkeling in a protected marine habitat with literally thousands of aquatic species to discover!

A fish swims under a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico while on a snorkeling tour from Tulum
A fish swims under a turtle at Akumal Beach in Mexico while on a snorkeling tour from Tulum

Akumal Beach

While Akumal Beach may not be right here in Tulum, it’s just a 30-minute drive away and definitely can’t be missed if you’re planning a snorkeling trip. It’s my personal favorite spot to go snorkeling with turtles here in Mexico, with gorgeous white sandy beaches and some of the best underwater visibility you could possibly hope for!

They’ve recently introduced some new regulations meaning you now need to go with a registered tour guide if you’d like to snorkel. This is to help protect the turtles from harm and the environment from being damaged, and you can learn all about this in our guide on visiting Akumal Beach. Guides cost a little extra, but honestly, we think it’s worth it to swim with turtles at Akumal Beach.

This full-day snorkeling experience makes visiting Akumal Beach an absolute breeze, combining it with a stop by the famous Tulum ruins, an ancient Mayan cenote, as well as a tasty Mexican lunch at a beach club to top it all off! It’s so helpful to have experienced guides with you every step of the way, and with a maximum of 12 travelers per tour, it also feels very personalized too.

6. Is snorkeling in Tulum safe?

Bailey above the water with a snorkel on during a tour in Tulum
It felt really safe to us!

Tulum gets a big, safe thumbs up from us! Out on the reefs, the currents are generally pretty calm, especially in the dry season. Sure, you might spot a reef shark or two, but they’re more like the curious cats of the sea than any Jaws rerun.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the flag system – it’s not just for decoration! Red says stay on the shore, yellow says proceed with caution, and green gives you the all-clear. If in doubt, then going as part of an organized tour can help give you extra peace of mind, plus you’ll also be able to reach the offshore parts of the reef you couldn’t reach by swimming from the beach.

Visiting a cenote or two is also a super safe alternative, and they are also tons of fun to explore! This is a great option for families with younger kids, as there are usually little to no currents involved and most of the popular cenotes also have staff around to keep an eye on things.

Related Read: Mexico is generally a very safe country to visit, but we’ve put together this full guide on staying safe in Mexico to help you have the safest and most enjoyable experience possible.

7. Can beginners snorkel in Tulum?

Bailey snorkeling on a tour in Tulum, Mexico
With a life jacket it’s easy!
A large sea turtle swims while snorkeling in Tulum
How cool?

Yup, thanks to the abundance of unique cenotes, Tulum is one of the best places for beginners to learn. These natural sinkholes are perfect for getting to grips with breathing through the snorkel without the pressure of dealing with waves and currents. They’re kind of like nature’s own training pools!

Once you’re feeling a little more confident, then you can go ahead and give snorkeling out on the reefs a go – you’ll definitely be rewarded for your efforts. Of course, there are also plenty of beginner-friendly snorkeling tours that take place in both cenotes and out on the reefs, so you’ll always have a friendly face if you have any questions or need any help. More on these below!

8. What are the best snorkeling tours in Tulum?

Fish swim under a rock that we saw while snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico
Tropical fish!

Tankah Park Five Cenotes Adventure Tour

No two cenotes are ever the same, that’s the amazing thing about them! So what better way to experience the amazing cenote diversity here in Tulum than with this 5-hour discovery tour that features no less than five cenotes. By the end of the day, you’ll be able to call yourself a cenote expert, no questions asked!

This experience takes place in Tankah Park, which is just a little way outside Tulum in a beautiful nature reserve. It’s exactly what I think of when I think of fun in the Mayan jungle, with kayaking, ziplining, snorkeling … you name it! It’s ideal for families with kids or for bigger kids like us who still enjoy a good bit of adventure every now and again.

The folks who run this tour are such a treat to be around, and you really feel like you’re part of one big family. With tickets at $150 USD per person, this is a super special tour that’s sure to leave you with big smiles and many awesome photos. You can check out available dates and get your spots booked online here.

Half-Day Luxury Sailing Experience

For something a little more luxurious, why not hop aboard a comfortable catamaran on this 4-hour luxury sailing experience? Many sailing tours take place from Playa del Carmen, which involves getting up earlier and making the trip north, but one reason I like this trip so much is that it takes place right here in Tulum!

With the option to start at 8 am or 12 pm, you’ll sail around to some of the best reef spots this side of Tulum, where you’ll then jump in the water for a splash of snorkeling. This is where you’ll want your waterproof camera if you have one!

With an open bar, complimentary lunch, and access to all the equipment you’ll need (paddleboards too!) included in your ticket, this is perfect for couples, families, or solo travelers looking to meet some new friends. You can grab your spot online here for $149 USD per person.

Magical Cenote Snorkeling Adventure

Move over Houdini, there’s something truly magical hiding away in the Riviera Maya! On this small-group snorkeling adventure, you’ll start off by exploring the world’s third-longest underground river system, which, let me tell you, the pictures really don’t do it justice. After that, you’ll head across to the gorgeous Yal-Ku Lagoon, which is absolutely teeming with all kinds of gorgeous marine life.

This tour is perfect for all ages, and while it does take place closer to Playa del Carmen, pick-up and drop-off from Tulum are included in your ticket. This might mean waking up a bit earlier, but trust me it’s worth it for these kinds of views! Tickets for this tour cost $99 USD per person and can be booked online here.

Whale shark swims past me with my camera off the coast of Tulum, Mexico
It’s not the cheapest tour but it’s so worth it!

Whale Shark Swimming and Isla Mujeres Beach Visit

If you’re visiting during whale shark season, then I’d highly recommend going on a snorkeling experience like this half-day whale shark swimming tour! I like this tour a lot as not only do you get the chance to see whale sharks up close (which is super special if you’ve never experienced it!), but you’ll also visit Playa Norte, which is one of the best beaches in Isla Mujeres and a favorite of ours.

You’ll also get to enjoy a light breakfast as well as lunch on this trip, and with numbers capped at 20 people, it definitely feels a lot more personalized. The crew are simply fantastic and do all they can to help accommodate you!

Tickets for this experience cost $240 USD per person, although this doesn’t include the $20 USD dock fee that is payable in cash in person, so make sure to keep this in mind. Your ticket also includes hotel pickup and drop-off from Tulum, making the whole experience super smooth! You can check available dates and book your spot online here.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

9. Is a trip to Playa del Carmen worth it for the snorkeling?

Long thin fish swims past while snorkeling in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Now this fish was interesting!

Around an hour’s drive north from Tulum, you’ll hit the lively resort town of Playa del Carmen, and I’d say it’s worth the drive! Why? Because not only are there a bunch of unique places to go snorkeling in Playa del Carmen, but a visit here also brings a different, lively vibe to your trip with bustling streets, great restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

Speaking of great food, definitely stop by Cartoccio Playa Street Seafood, which we discovered on our last trip to Playa, and we’re so glad we did! The tacos here are super cheap but taste incredible, definitely worth a stop by.

While you’re making the drive up north, make sure to hit Akumal Beach, a hotspot for snorkeling alongside friendly sea turtles – it’s just a 30-minute drive from Tulum or Playa del Carmen!

Got an extra day to spare? I’d recommend taking the ferry across to Cozumel, which is known for its brilliant snorkeling spots like Playa Palancar and Punta Sur Eco Beach Park. There are also a ton of amazing snorkeling tours like this 4-hour hotspot snorkel tour that will have you visiting the best spots without wasting time figuring out where to go and how to get there.

10. Is snorkeling in Tulum suitable for children?

Long thin fish swims past while snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico
Kids love it!

Tulum is an absolute win for families, especially the little explorers among us! The cenotes offer calm, clear waters, which means no unexpected waves or strong currents – making it a super safe spot for kids to snorkel. They can explore to their heart’s content, peering at fish and taking in the awe-inspiring stalagmites and stalactites without you needing to worry about sea conditions.

Secondly, the water in Tulum, particularly in the cenotes, tends to be shallower and, again, super clear. Kids can easily see all the underwater sights without having to dive deep, making it engaging and a little bit like swimming in a real-life aquarium!

Related Read: From cooking classes to ziplining, there are tons of family-friendly tours in Tulum!

11. Scuba diving vs. snorkeling in Tulum

Bailey swims past some corals while scuba Diving in Tulum, Mexico
Bailey swims past some coral while scuba diving in Tulum, Mexico
A school of fish while scuba diving in Tulum, Mexico
The diving is fantastic!

This is a tough one!

Snorkeling is a laid-back, family-friendly, and cost-effective way to immerse yourself without much preparation. It’s a lovely option for a casual day out, connecting with the lively reefs and, of course, the cenotes. Honestly, Tulum has to be one of the best spots for snorkeling, thanks to just how diverse the options are here.

On the flip side, Dan and I have a soft spot for scuba diving. There’s a whole different depth (pun slightly intended!) to the experiences it offers. I can honestly say that there’s nothing quite like going scuba diving through an underwater cenote cave system, that’s for sure!

That being said, scuba diving does require a bit more from your wallet and schedule, especially considering the training, but the freedom and close encounters it provides are just unbeatable. And trust me, those memories are worth every bubbly moment spent underwater!

If you’re curious about going scuba diving but have never tried it before, then there are still plenty of great options for you out there. Like this half-day beginner dive in a cenote, which is designed for complete beginners or those of you who haven’t been scuba diving in a while. With a big emphasis on safety, you’ll get to explore the gorgeous Casa Cenote, with all entrance fees and equipment included for $155 USD.

For those of you who already have your certification, you’re in for a treat! This 2-tank Tulum scuba diving experience gives you the best of both worlds by visiting both the reef and a cenote. Lasting around 6 hours, this makes for an awesome day out alongside a team that’s received some pretty stellar reviews. It’s around $200 USD per person which is pretty good for an immersive scuba experience!

12. Is snorkeling in Tulum worth it?

Bailey under the water while snorkeling in Tulum, Mexico


Tulum offers a snorkeling experience that’s tons of fun and accessible for everyone. From the vibrant life of its reefs to the beautiful cenotes, there’s a new adventure around every corner.

Easily one of the best things to do in Mexico, snorkeling here in Tulum shouldn’t be missed out on while you’re in town. We had such a blast exploring both the cenotes and the reefs, and we’re sure you’ll love it too. Don’t hesitate to add it on your Tulum itinerary!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Tulum

Bailey looks at a galaxy at Mystika Immersive, Tulum
You step into the art at Mystika in Tulum!
Bailey with her meal at Botanica Garden Cafe in Tulum, Mexico
Botanica Garden Cafe in Tulum

Snorkeling holds a special spot on my list of the top things to do in Tulum, but I highly recommend expanding your adventures to experience the full spectrum of what this town has to offer!

Below are some of my personal favorite activities to delve into while exploring Tulum:

  • Check out the Tulum Ruins – Honestly, if you don’t do anything else while you’re here, make sure to check out the Tulum Ruins! This is an amazing place to get a glimpse into the area’s Mayan history, and with a 90 MXN ($5 USD) entrance fee, it’s also pretty inexpensive too. For the best experience, I’d recommend going with this private guide for one of the best tours of the Tulum Ruins, which also includes early access to beat the crowds! While you’re here, don’t miss the incredible Mystika Immersive experience right next door!
  • Explore Tulum’s epic foodie scene – No matter where you go in Mexico, you’ll find out-of-this-world food – Tulum really is no exception. Botanica Garden Cafe is our fave brunch spot – we came here three times in four days the last time we were in Tulum! You can also bring home the flavors of Tulum by learning how to cook your own authentic Mexican meal with a local cooking class.
  • Relax with some yoga – When you’re having a ton of fun scuba diving and exploring as much of the city as you can, it can be really easy to let the time fly by. That’s one reason I always recommend trying out yoga (especially in Mexico where it’s so good!), as you feel much more present and in the moment. Two of my favorite places to do it here are Azulik Maya Spa and Nomade Tulum.
  • Try a Temazcl ceremony – Another fun and authentic way to experience Mayan culture is to try a Temazcl ceremony, which is a bit like a sauna where a shaman helps you rejuvenate and cleanse the body! I’ve tried one before in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala and had a blast. I’d recommend this Temazcal tour in Tulum, which offers both shared and private tours.
  • Go ziplining – Traveling with kids? Or maybe you’re a big kid like us and still get a huge kick out of swinging through the trees? You’re never too old to let your hair down, and this 4-hour ziplining, rappelling, and cenote tour is a whole lot of fun! At $80 USD, I’d say this is great value and would make for an epic half-day out. While it doesn’t include transport, you can easily arrange this for about $15 USD from Tulum.

Where to Stay in Tulum

Che Tulum Hostel Pool
Che Tulum Hostel Pool

Choosing the perfect spot to bunk down is always one of my favorite parts whenever we’re planning our next trip, and luckily, Tulum offers a whole bunch of great choices! From cozy hostels to luxurious hotels, Tulum has plenty of options to fit any budget or group size, ensuring you’ll find a place that caters exactly to your wants.

Here are some of my own top picks for places to unwind after a fun-filled day of snorkeling and exploring:

Hostel Che Tulum – $

Who said you can’t stay in Tulum on a budget? If you want to pack your itinerary with tons of activities, then more affordable accommodation can go a long way!

Hostel Che Tulum has super affordable beds and a great social vibe, perfect for solo travelers or simply for groups looking to make some new friends. The dorms here are air-conditioned and the rate also includes breakfast. Oh, and did I mention they have their own pool, and the hotel is in a really central location in town?

From just $19 USD (yup, that’s right!), you can book your stay here on or at

Aruma Boutique Hotel – $$

Moving up into the mid-range budget category, Aruma Boutique Hotel is a great pick that’s just a few minutes walk from Tulum’s center. It’s really close to local restaurants and shops, and it’s super easy to take a taxi to wherever you’re planning to snorkel.

Breakfasts here at the hotel are amazing (personal thumbs up from me!), and the staff working here are also such a joy – there are smiles literally everywhere! The beautiful rooftop pool and bar area is the perfect place to relax after a busy day of activities, so definitely don’t forget to make the most of this.

Rooms here at the Aruma start at around $63 USD and can be booked online in advance here.

Hotel Boutique TerraNova – $$$

If budget isn’t so much of an issue, then you can enjoy a really incredible stay at one of Tulum’s stunning luxury hotels. My personal pick would be Hotel Boutique TerraNova, which is one of the top-rated in the city and really hasn’t cut any corners when it comes to comfort.

Hospitality really does have a capital H here, with the staff being so, so friendly and eager to help you however they can. As for the rooms, they’re super spacious and have air conditioning, as well as their own garden patio. There’s also a beautiful outdoor pool when you feel like relaxing, and the hotel is right in the center of town too!

Prices for rooms here at the Hotel Boutique TerraNova do fluctuate a bit depending on the season, starting from as low as around $319 USD in the high season, although this can rise to around $600 USD per night and beyond. This is why I really recommend booking in advance if you can, as this can help you make some pretty huge savings.

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. Read my honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper! 

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on a catamaran cruise Tulum, Mexico
Thanks for reading!

I hope you’ve had a great time reading this blog, and have an even bigger blast out there exploring the best snorkel spots in Tulum! Dan and I love coming back to the Riviera Maya, every time we do it feels like we’re discovering so many hidden gems.

Let us know what your plans are while you’re here down in the comments, we can’t wait to hear all about it. I’ve also included a few extra blogs below that I think will be super helpful, enjoy!

12 Things to KNOW Before Booking a Catamaran Cruise in Tulum

10 BEST Tours in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

21 BEST Mayan Ruins in Mexico and How to Visit Them

35 EXCITING Things to do in Oaxaca City, Mexico