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12 Things to KNOW Before Booking a Catamaran Cruise in Tulum

12 Things to KNOW Before Booking a Catamaran Cruise in Tulum

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The Riviera Maya is a stretch of coastline that borders the stunning blue Caribbean Sea. It is home to well-known resort cities, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and one of our favorite cities in Mexico, Tulum! 

There are some seriously amazing things to explore in Tulum, such as the historic Tulum Ruins that overlook the sea or one of the impressively beautiful cenotes nearby. However, a trip to Tulum isn’t complete without getting out into the ocean to explore the Caribbean and the best way to do so is by taking a catamaran cruise! 

We love taking catamaran cruises and found after our most recent trip that it made for an incredible day trip from Tulum. These cruises are so fun with an open bar, snorkeling, exploring Isla Mujeres, and simply lounging on a luxury catamaran in the hot Mexican sun!

If this sounds like your type of vacation, keep reading as we fill you in on all the details of taking a catamaran cruise in Tulum!

Don’t have time to read the full article? We loved our recent catamaran cruise in Tulum and think that you will too! This Isla Mujeres catamaran tour paired with a day trip to Chichen Itza is the ultimate 2-for-1 combo to experience a gorgeous day on a luxury boat and incredible ancient ruins!

1. What is a Tulum catamaran cruise?

Daniel and Bailey pose for a photo on the end of the catamaran in Tulum, Mexico
Living our best life!
Bailey in a bikini on a catamaran cruise from Tulum, Mexico to Isla Mujeres, Mexico
Arriving at Isla Mujeres!

Catamaran boats are our favorite type of vessel to sail on! They are essentially a sailboat equipped with two hulls, which gives them a wider base and extra stabilization. This helps combat seasickness, which Bailey often gets while on cruises, and the additional hull provides extra room to roam around. They are very comfortable to cruise on, and have a somewhat fancy feel!

The boats keep the general shape but vary in size. The cruise tours we will describe shortly will have differing sizes, depending on the number of people it can accommodate and if there are any extra features, like a slide or a double-decker boat! The waters around Tulum and the Riviera Maya are pretty calm, especially during the dry season, making the cruise a relaxing day out on the water. 

These cruise tours typically include an open bar and snorkeling and often take you to the gorgeous Isla Mujeres and give you time to explore the island. The big appeal of a catamaran cruise is the cruise itself, and the extra activities are simply the cherry on top!

Related Read: Figuring out how to get from the Cancun Airport to Tulum can be a bit hectic, so be sure to research and plan ahead so you can get straight to the beach!

2. When is the best time to go on a Tulum catamaran cruise?

View out the front of the catamaran on our tour from Tulum, Mexico to Isla Mujeres
Sailing the open water!

The best time to take a catamaran cruise in Tulum is between December and May. This is Tulum’s dry season, which brings clear skies, calm water, and hot weather that just makes you want to jump in! The vibrant turquoise water of the Caribbean is also pretty astounding this time of year, so who can resist taking a catamaran cruise to enjoy this place?

I suggest taking a morning cruise if possible. This allows you to beat the crowds and the heat of the day, so you can have a comfortable cruise without getting roasted alive out there! However, afternoon tours are pretty spectacular because they time the return trip to see the sunset as you’re sailing back. There are few things in the world that are as captivating as an ocean sunset, so a sunset cruise is definitely a must-do activity if you’ve never experienced it before. 

If your Tulum trip is planned between July and November, you might want to put off a catamaran cruise as this is hurricane season in the Caribbean. Not only is a cruise less enjoyable in the rain, but it is also not a safe activity. The rainy season can bring harsh winds and dangerous waters and it is not recommended to be out in a boat during this time. High hurricane season is September and October, and even if it seems like a clear day, a storm can quickly occur! 

3. How much does a Tulum catamaran cruise cost?

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on a catamaran tour from Tulum, Mexico

A catamaran cruise can really vary in price, depending on what is included in the tour. Taking a boat tour through the Caribbean is one of the best things you can do on the Yucatan Peninsula, so there are a lot of options out there! 

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly tour, this day trip to Isla Mujeres is a great pick! It includes an open bar, lunch, access to a beach club, and free time to explore the island. If you have a car rental while in Mexico, this is the most affordable option at $55 USD. However, if you need transportation from Tulum, it’s only offered on Mondays and Thursdays and does increase the price to $95 USD. 

For a mid-range budget, this catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres is a little more luxurious! It is a smaller tour (only about 45 people vs. 75 on the cheaper tours) and includes transportation and a full day of activities for $111 USD. Or you can opt for a full-on private boat tour if you have a larger group. This option is $787 USD, but if you have nine people go in on it together, it is only $87 USD per person, and the boat is completely yours!

But honestly, the best bang for your buck is this 2-day Catamaran and Chichen Itza tour. For $179 USD you’ll have two full days of adventure, including transportation from Tulum, food, and entrance fees. 

While booking your catamaran cruise, keep in mind that there is a $20 USD dock fee that some tours include and others do not. Oftentimes, the cheaper tours won’t include this fee or transportation, which keeps the initial cost down, but by the end of it, you’ll end up paying as much as the all-inclusive tours. Pay attention to those little details when booking!

4. What to expect on a typical Tulum catamaran cruise?

Daniel poses for a photo on a catamaran cruise from Tulum, Mexico
Soaking up the sun!

Most of these cruises will take you to Isla Mujeres, which is one of the best places to explore in the Riviera Maya! While there are a lot of different tour options out there, they will all hit the same major activities.

The marina is in Cancun (walking distance from the Hotel Zone), so the majority of tours will have a transportation option from Tulum, sometimes at an extra cost. If it doesn’t, or you choose to drive yourself, you can simply meet the tour at the marina in Cancun to start your catamaran adventure! 

Isla Mujeres is 13 kilometers (8 miles) off the shore. While a quick ferry ride could get you there in about 30 minutes, this is a luxury catamaran cruise so they will cruise slowly and make stops along the way so you can really settle into the boat trip!

One of the main attractions is snorkeling, as the Mesoamerican Reef is the second-largest barrier reef in the world and teeming with marine life. Most cruises will stop for about 30 minutes to see the vibrant reef and tropical fish. 

Keep in mind that this is not a snorkeling-specific tour, so the actual time snorkeling can feel a bit rushed and crowded, but that’s not the main objective of these tours! If you are looking for an epic snorkeling experience in Tulum, there are other tours on the Yucatan geared specifically for that. But these catamaran tours provide all of the equipment, so it makes for a convenient, quick activity while cruising through the Caribbean. 

After snorkeling, you can hit the open bar and relax on the boat. This area is crazy beautiful, and with a drink in hand, good music, and the hot sun, it really doesn’t get much better than this! You will make your way to Isla Mujeres, where there is a lot to explore. Some tours will give you free time to wander around on your own, and others will provide access to a VIP beach club on the island. 

The beach clubs are a fun experience, especially if you’ve never been to one before! Lunch is served here and you can grab another margarita while relaxing on the private beach. If you choose to go explore Isla Mujeres, you can check out the cute shops, local restaurants, and white sand beaches. Playa Norte is a great beach to spend a few hours on, as it is easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico!

I also highly recommend making your way to Punta Sur, on the southern tip of the island. It has a historic, old, beautiful lighthouse that overlooks the ocean – the views are incredible here! And once you’re done exploring the island, you will head back to the catamaran and take a slow cruise back to the shore with another drink in hand! 

We have one tour on this list that has one day on the catamaran to Isla Mujeres and also includes a day trip to Chichen Itza. Which, if Chichen Itza isn’t on your bucket list, it totally should be! Plus, taking a tour to Chichen Itza from Tulum is a super easy way for you to explore the historic ruins.

Related Read: Cancun is 2 hours from Tulum, so it’s worth it to spend a few days here! There are tons of amazing day trips out of Cancun, or you can take a catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres from Cancun!

5. What are the best Tulum catamaran cruises?

1. Catamaran to Isla Mujeres, Party, Buffet, Open Bar, and Snorkel

Bailey relaxes with a drink on a catamaran cruise from Tulum, Mexico
Open bar? Yes, Please!

This catamaran tour is great if you’re looking for a party atmosphere at an affordable price! You will spend the day on a catamaran, stopping to snorkel, explore Isla Mujeres, and most importantly enjoy the gorgeous blue water.

This tour will take place on a large catamaran, as it can accommodate 75 travelers. We found that it’s more suited for those who are looking to make some friends and party it up while in Tulum. 

You can select hotel pick-up for an additional cost, otherwise, you will meet the tour at the meeting point in Cancun. Once you get on the boat, the bar opens up and the views are already incredible! You’ll sail for a while, then stop for a quick snorkeling experience along the way. 

You’ll then reach Isla Mujeres, where you hang out at a beach club and have a buffet lunch. I was actually surprised at how good the food is at these beach clubs. Plus with an open bar and the hot sun, you’ll need to refuel! You’ll have a few hours on Isla Mujeres to either explore the town or relax on the beach. 

You can also choose to participate in the spinnaker activity, which is basically parasailing. If you’re seeking a bit of adventure in this tour, we’ve got you covered!

This tour includes lunch, an open bar, snorkel equipment, access to the beach club, and the lovely catamaran! However, it does not include the $20 USD dock fee that must be paid at check-in. If you have your own transportation, such as a rental car to go between Tulum and Cancun, this tour is a great affordable option as it is only $55 USD. However, if you need transportation from Tulum, that option is only offered on Mondays and Thursdays for $95 USD per person, plus the dock fee. 

You can reserve this lively catamaran tour online here!

2. Luxury Catamaran Tour to Isla Mujeres with Transportation from Tulum

Epic views of the crystal clear waters from our Tulum, Mexico catamaran cruise
The water is so blue!

Sometimes upgrading to a more mid-range tour makes your day so simple and convenient that it’s worth the extra cost! This catamaran tour from Tulum is probably our top pick for a day trip to Isla Mujeres, as it includes roundtrip transportation, snorkeling, lunch, an open bar, and a private beach club.

It is a smaller tour of 45 people, which I think makes it a more relaxed vibe and a little less chaotic onboard! You will be sailing on a 13.5 meter (45-foot) catamaran, which is sure to fulfill your dream of riding a luxury boat while in Tulum!

This boat comes with an open bar, so you will be having fun from the get-go and will stop at the massive barrier reef to snorkel. You will reach Isla Mujeres and get to hang out at the private beach club, like a true VIP, and enjoy a buffet lunch, drinks, and the pristine white-sand beach. 

There’s also time to explore the downtown area of Isla Mujeres or hang out in the crystal blue waters. Eventually, you’ll have to head home, but at least you can enjoy cruising on the catamaran one more time! 

This 7-hour catamaran tour includes all dock and transportation fees but does require a $16 USD environmental fee at check-in. This is a great tour option to relax on the catamaran and have a good time along the way. It can be reserved online for $111 USD, be sure to book this one before spots fill up! 

3. Private Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour From Cancun with Open Bar

A catamaran in the beautiful waters off the coast of Tulum, Mexico
A catamaran in the beautiful waters off the coast of Tulum, Mexico

If you’re traveling with a large group, this private catamaran cruise is the way to go. Not only is it ideal to have a private boat for just your group, but it is actually the cheapest option for all you get!

This tour also offers multiple departure times, so you can select to leave at 9 am and have a gorgeous day on the water, or opt for an afternoon departure so you will catch the sunset on your way back to the mainland. Which, if you have the chance to take a sunset cruise along the Riviera Maya, you absolutely should – it’s stunning!

You’ll sail on a 10-meter (32-foot) catamaran with your private captain and crew, so you actually can set your own itinerary. They can take you to secluded islands, amazing snorkeling spots, or simply cruise in the Caribbean the whole time. The crew is incredibly friendly and knows the best spots, so it can be a really unique experience. The boat is equipped with an open bar (of course) and comfy lounge chairs, so you’ll really settle into this relaxing experience!

This private tour offers transportation from Tulum by request, so make sure to specify that when booking. It doesn’t include lunch, but you can add it for an additional cost, or pack some snacks! You will also have to pay the $20 USD dock fee per person upon arrival. But even with these extra fees, this is still the cheapest option for a large group. Plus, you’re paying for a private experience, which is honestly so much better!

The 4-hour tour option is $787 for the boat, which for nine people is about $87 USD per person. You can also book a 7-hour tour for $1,276, which is about $141 USD per person. Be sure to reserve this tour in advance, as a private catamaran tour is certainly a high-demand experience!

4. Tour to Isla Mujeres and Chichén Itzá

Bailey sits ont he side rail of the Catamaran soaking up the views and sun on a tour from Tulum, Mexico
Just paradise!
Bailey poses for a photo in front of El Castillo Pyramid at Chichen Itza, Mexico
What a temple!

There is a reason we have come back to the Yucatan Peninsula time and time again. There is so much to explore that you really can’t fit it all in one trip – but you can try! That’s why I love this Isla Mujeres catamaran tour paired with a day trip to Chichen Itza. They have created this combo tour so you can experience some of the best sights on the Yucatan: amazing outdoor beauty and mind-blowing ancient history!

Your first day is the catamaran tour to Isla Mujeres. The tour will pick you up from your Tulum-based hotel in the morning, so you don’t have to worry about transportation for either of these activities! You will hop aboard the catamaran boat and spend all day exploring the blue waters, stopping to snorkel and encounter some unique marine life. This boat is equipped with an open bar, like any good catamaran cruise, and will give you hours to simply relax in the hot Mexican sun.

Once you reach Isla Mujeres, you will hit the beach club for a buffet lunch and have time to hang out on the gorgeous beaches or explore the island. Eventually, as the sun starts to set, you’ll sail back to the mainland, catching one of my favorite views in the world! The tour will take you back to your hotel in Tulum so you can rest up for day two.

The following day will take you to Chichen Itza. Visiting Chichen Itza is an absolute must if you’re in Tulum, especially if you initially came here to see the Tulum Ruins! The tour will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to Chichen Itza. You will have two hours to explore these massive ruins, which is just enough time as it gets pretty hot out there. 

This day continues by visiting Cenote Saamal, which is a beautiful swimming hole in a cave! Visiting one of Tulum’s many cenotes is one of my favorite things to do in Tulum, and even more refreshing after being outside for a few hours. After lunch at the cenote, you will visit the quaint town of Valladolid. This town is seriously charming, and having some time to leisurely stroll through its stunning colonial architecture is the perfect end to this two-day tour!

Bailey in front of the main cathedral in Valladolid, Mexico
Valladolid, Mexico!
Bailey swims in a cenote in mexico
The water is crystal clear!

Honestly, this tour is a fantastic deal for everything it includes. They will provide roundtrip transportation from Tulum on both days, the catamaran cruise, snorkeling equipment, access to the beach club, lunch on both days, and entrance fees to Chichen Itza and the cenote. It does not include the $20 USD dock fee, but that’s all you’ll have to pay for! From Tulum, this tour is $179 USD per person. 

If you were planning on taking a Chichen Itza tour from Tulum anyways, it makes it convenient to have a 2-for-1 combo tour as it significantly reduces the cost and you are also familiar with the tour guides/flow of the tour. You will certainly want to reserve this tour in advance, as this deal will get snatched up quickly. Book this 2-day catamaran cruise and Chichen Itza tour online here!

Related Read: For another boating adventure, with a little more adrenaline, consider swimming with whale sharks! Tulum is one of the only places to swim with whale sharks in the world.

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.

6. Are Tulum catamaran cruises suitable for children?

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on a Tulum, Mexico Catamaran cruise
Some are and some are not suitable for children!

There can be some great catamaran cruises for children and families, but you will definitely want to do your research beforehand. A lot of these tours are marketed towards the party crowd with the open bar, lively music, and big groups, which doesn’t make for the most family-friendly environment. These sorts of tours also charge the same amount for children as they do for adults, even though the kids obviously won’t be partaking in the open bar. 

Another thing to keep in mind is many of these tours only allow children 8 years old and up to snorkel, as the currents can be quite strong. So as you’re looking at these tours, double-check the age requirements. 

Our recommendation for the most family-friendly catamaran cruise would be this full-day tour to Isla Mujeres. This one includes transportation, so you don’t have to stress about it with little ones and is a fun day at sea and on the island. It is $111 for adults, but only $91 USD for kids 5-10 and completely free for those under 5! It is a smaller group, so it isn’t as likely to get as wild as larger catamaran tours. 

You can also choose to take this private catamaran tour if you have room in your budget and a large enough group! A private tour is a great option for families as you can tailor the experience to exactly what you want and don’t have to worry about your kids being around an open bar with a bunch of party-centric tourists. This is especially a great option if you’re traveling with another family, as you can split up the cost. It is $787 USD for the full boat and can accommodate nine people, which works out to a little more than $87 USD per person. 

Regardless of which tour you go with, it will sure be a memorable experience for your family!

7. Is snorkeling on a Tulum catamaran cruise good?

Bailey snorkeling in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

To be completely honest, snorkeling on a catamaran tour is not the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced. The tours typically stop for about 30 minutes, which really isn’t enough time! It often feels crowded as multiple tour groups stop in the same spot, and it’s hard to keep track of your guide so you never fully settle into the activity.

While there are lots of beautiful fish and coral reefs to explore, the water here can get quite choppy and strong. Snorkeling is more of an added bonus activity rather than the main event on a catamaran cruise, as you have so many other things to fit into your day!

But if snorkeling is high on your bucket list, you’re in luck as there are so many tours from Tulum! What I love about snorkeling in Tulum is that there are various options. Tulum’s cenotes are world-famous for their striking beauty, but you can also snorkel in them which is simply an amazing experience! Akumal Beach is also very central to Tulum, which is widely known for its sea turtle population and gorgeous reef.

This full-day snorkel tour takes you to Casa Tortuga Ecological Park where you will get to snorkel in four different cenotes! You will hit Akumal Beach for an hour of snorkeling through the blue waters, checking out brightly colored fish and sea turtles! It also includes a stop at the Tulum Ruins for a 2 hour guided tour.

This tour only allows 15 people (nearly the perfect tour size) and includes transportation from Tulum for $139 USD. You can book this epic snorkel tour in Tulum online here!

8. Can you get seasick on a catamaran cruise in Tulum?

Catamaran cruise at sunsets sails back to Tulum, Mexico
The water is pretty calm all the time!

One of the reasons we love catamaran boats is because of how stable they are. Bailey usually struggles with seasickness when we take boat tours, but it really hasn’t been an issue whenever we are on a catamaran! We took our catamaran tour during the dry season, so the water was surprisingly calm and the boat felt incredibly stable. 

If you are prone to seasickness, I highly recommend taking medication before your tour. Dramamine is one of the most popular brands, and you will be able to find this at any pharmacy in Tulum. Be sure to take the medication an hour or so before your tour, and bring some extra in case you need it for the way back. 

I also suggest bringing water and staying well hydrated, especially being out in the sun all day, and sitting at the front of the boat so you can focus on the horizon. These all seem to help combat seasickness and ensure you have a good time!

9. What should you wear/bring on a Tulum catamaran cruise?

Bailey poses for a photo on our Catamaran anchored off Tulum, Mexico
Honestly, you don’t need much!

You won’t need much on a catamaran cruise, but a small bag packed with the essentials will make your day more comfortable! These tours will be onshore and in the water, so wearing your swimsuit and bringing clothes to throw on over it is the best option. Keep in mind that you will be exploring Isla Mujeres, so you’ll definitely need clothes and shoes to walk around on the island. 

These tours last all day, so if you’re susceptible to sunburn, be sure to pack some light layers to protect yourself from the sun or have enough sunscreen! And if your tour goes into the afternoon or after the sunset, you will want to have some warmer clothes. Pack a towel, hat, seasick medication, and water (maybe even snacks) and you’ll be set to sail!

Related Read: If you’re looking for another island adventure, take a few days to explore Cozumel!

10. What facilities will you find on a catamaran in Tulum?

Bailey enjoys the views and sun on a catamaran tour from Tulum, Mexico to Isla Mujeres
Don’t miss this!

Catamaran’s have nearly everything you’ll need for a relaxing day at sea. Most importantly, there is an open bar, fully stocked with beer and liquor (tequila shots to start the tour, anyone?). The boats are spacious with enough room on the deck for you to lounge in the sun. 

There will be snorkel equipment, and possibly even other fun water activities like paddleboards, slides, and water trampolines to hang out on. All boats have an onboard toilet– which might be even more important than the open bar!

11. Are Tulum catamaran tours safe?

Yes, you can book a catamaran cruise and feel confident that it is a safe activity while visiting Mexico. As one of the most popular activities in the country, hundreds of people take this journey every day! These tours are regulated by the Mexican government to ensure that they are properly licensed, and have safety gear, and emergency equipment to operate.

Any boat tour we’ve taken along the Riviera Maya has not only felt very secure but had a fantastic crew that went out of their way to ensure our experience was safe and enjoyable. 

The trip between Cancun (where the boats depart) and Isla Mujeres is a popular route for tours, ferries, and private boats so there is a lot of traffic throughout the day. The Coast Guard is very present in this area, just to make sure everyone is safe. You can even see Isla Mujeres from the Cancun dock, so you won’t be going too far out into the ocean!

12. Is a Tulum catamaran cruise worth it?

Bailey poses for a photo on a catamaran cruise in Tulum, Mexico

Yes, a Tulum catamaran cruise is absolutely worth it! We loved exploring the sea on a catamaran and had a relaxing day on the boat. Stopping at Isla Mujeres was a great bonus activity, and with so much to check out you almost need more time on this gorgeous island. But we really loved the balance of activities, chill boat hangs, and access to the open bar.

Taking a tour makes this day trip so convenient, as most tours include transportation, food, and other activities like snorkeling, so it makes for a fun day altogether. In fact, we even added it to our 7-day Tulum itinerary. It is the perfect vacation day trip!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Tulum

Bailey poses for a photo while enjoying the views of the Tulum Ruins and ocean in Tulum, Mexico
The famous viewpoint of the ruins!
Diving in Tulum, Mexico
My first cenote dive was in Tulum!

Besides taking a catamaran tour, you have to see more of what this awesome city has to offer before you leave! Here are a few of my favorite things to do in 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. For the best experience, I’d recommend going with this private guide, which also includes early access to beat the crowds!
  • Have a beach day – With all the adventuring and exploring you’ll likely be doing in Tulum, a lazy beach day is a perfect activity to relax! Tulum has some of the best beaches in Mexico. The closest beach to Tulum is Paradise Beach, and the name speaks for itself. You can rent lounge chairs here for $10 USD and enjoy the nearby restaurants.
  • 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

No matter what you’re looking for in a hotel, Tulum has it. Offering everything from hostels to 5-star luxury hotels, there is accommodation for any budget!

Here are some of the best places to stay in Tulum (categorized by budget!)

Luxury – $$$

If you’re looking to make your vacation a luxurious trip, there are plenty of good options in Tulum! 

Hotel Boutique TerraNova is a top-rated boutique hotel that truly makes your stay like paradise. All the rooms are spacious and have a garden patio, and there is an outdoor pool as well! You can expect to pay at least $300 USD per night during the peak season for a deluxe queen room. For an upscale hotel with modern, serene vibes, book your stay at TerraNova here!

Another incredible luxury option is Kan Tulum. This hotel is actually built around its own private cenote! These rooms have a unique jungle treehouse design, with gorgeous terraces to see the sunset. You are well located right next to beaches and nightlife. Rooms cost around $250-$450 USD, but will certainly be a memorable experience! For a unique stay you’ll only find in Tulum, reserve your room at Kan Tulum online here!

Mid-range – $$

Aruma Boutique Hotel is a moderately priced, artsy hotel that’s still very comfortable and family-friendly! It has a great location and is only a few minutes away from Tulum’s city center and many shops and restaurants. They also serve an exceptional breakfast, including espresso, and the staff is so friendly! There’s a rooftop pool and bar, which makes a great place to relax after a day of exploring.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$150 USD a night depending on the time of year you are visiting. But to take advantage of this awesome deal, you’ll want to reserve this accommodation well in advance!

Budget – $$$

For budget travelers, my favorite hostel is Che Hostel. It’s just steps from downtown Tulum and has a tropical vibe with gardens surrounding the property. There are lots of events happening here, including salsa dancing and pool parties!

You can get a dorm room for as low as $20 USD, which is truly a steal considering how nice this hostel really is! They also offer gorgeous private rooms. If you’re traveling on a budget, I encourage you to book well in advance – and you can do so on or

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! 

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

If you’re looking to save money on travel insurance, we currently use and recommend SafetyWing. We’ve been using their coverage since 2018 and they’ve had our backs when we needed emergency flights and got sick overseas.

SafetyWing is one of the cheapest providers out there and covers everything from medical costs to lost luggage, travel delays, and emergency flights. A huge difference we’ve found between them and other companies is that they let you take out a policy AFTER leaving your home country. We’ve also found it handy that it’s a monthly payment rather than a lump sum, and you can get a refund for unused time.

SafetyWing has helped us out in some scary situations before and their affordable coverage has given us peace of mind. You can read our honest review of SafetyWing for all the pros and cons.

Book your travel insurance with SafetyWing here!

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Daniel and Bailey take a selfie on a catamaran cruise Tulum, Mexico
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Our catamaran out of Tulum was one of the most memorable tours we’ve taken on the Yucatan. There was something so captivating about spending a day on a luxury boat, in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. If you are looking for some sun and sea breeze, I can’t recommend booking a catamaran cruise from Tulum enough!

Hopefully, you have found this blog useful while planning your Tulum vacation. If you’re looking for more travel inspiration and itinerary planning, check out our other blogs about Mexico. We have traveled to Tulum and all over the country multiple times, so we have a lot of helpful resources to share!

10 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Mystika in Tulum +Our Honest Review

15 BEST Restaurants in Tulum, Mexico that you HAVE to Try

21 BEST Day Trips from Playa del Carmen

12 BEST Places to go Scuba Diving in Mexico