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Is There Uber In Tulum In 2023? How To Get Around Tulum

Planning a trip to Tulum and wondering if there’s Uber there? Unfortunately, there’s no Uber in Tulum in 2023 due to the rampant Taxi mafia pushing Uber drivers out.

Keep reading this guide to learn how to get around in Tulum easily, safely, and cheaply without Uber!

Is There Uber Or Lyft In Tulum In 2023?

There are not currently any Ubers or ride-sharing apps in Tulum. This is because the local Taxi Mafia pushed out all the ride-sharing apps so they could charge higher prices in tourist areas. 

It’s rumored that taxi drivers in Tulum make more than doctors because they charge such high prices! 

Other places in Mexico where more locals live, like Merida, Oaxaca, and Mexico City, have a variety of ride-sharing apps like Uber, Didi, and Cabify.

Keep reading for a complete guide on how to get around Tulum without Uber!

🚨 There is no Uber available at Cancun Airport (fly-in city for Tulum). The taxi drivers at Cancun Airport are predatory and frequently scam tourists, so I recommend always arranging your airport transfer ahead of time. ▶︎ Book Yours Now!

💸 On a budget? You can arrange a shared shuttle bus from Cancun > Tulum for a fraction of the cost Here.

tulum ruins
Photo by Vince Russell on Unsplash

How To Reach Tulum From Cancun Airport

🚌 Cancun To Tulum Via ADO Bus

If you’re flying into Cancun Airport the easiest way to get to Tulum is via the ADO shuttle. 

Shuttles run from Cancun Airport, all terminals, to Tulum Centro and back over 4 times a day, every day, and cost between $15 – $20 each way for the 2-hour trip. 

Keep in mind that ADO buses run from Cancun Airport to Tulum regularly from 10 AM through 9 PM every day. If you’re arriving either late at night or early in the morning consider taking a private car service.

Also, make sure when you book your bus it says it’s departing from “Cancun Airport” and not “Cancun Centro”.

You can book your shuttle from Cancun Airport to Tulum on BusBud.com.

👉 I always book my bus trips ahead of time with Busbud.com because they accept international credit cards. 👈

Girl on a swing in tulum
(Photo by Allison Heine on Unsplash)

🚕 Cancun to Tulum Via Private Transfer Service

The ADO only runs from Cancun Airport to Tulum between 10 AM through 9 PM. If you’re arriving at Cancun Airport either late at night or early in the morning I recommend paying a little extra and booking a round-trip shuttle to Tulum.

Booking a private shuttle is also a great option if you’re traveling with kids.

👉 Book your Private Round-Trip Transfer from Cancun to Tulum by clicking here. 👈

couple on a beach in tulum
(Photo by Carlos Gilbert on Unsplash)

🚗 Cancun To Tulum Via Rental Car 

If you want to rent a car in Tulum, I recommend renting a car in Cancun and driving it to Tulum yourself because it’s very difficult to rent a car in Tulum. 

The drive from Cancun airport to Tulum is very easy, it’s just straight down the main Highway 307 for two hours. 

👉 If you’re going to rent a car, I recommend using RentalCars.com to get the best deal. 👈

🚐 Cancun To Tulum Via Colectivo

If you’re on a budget and don’t have a lot of luggage, you can take a Colectivo from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, and then another Colectivo from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. 

The Colectivos do not go directly from Cancun airport though, and you will first have to take a $5 ADO bus from Cancun airport to Cancun city center. 

You can book your shuttle from Cancun Airport to Cancun city center on BusBud.com.

👉 I always book my bus trips ahead of time with Busbud.com because they accept international credit cards. 👈

The Colectivos depart for Playa del Carmen right next to the ADO station in Cancun city center. 

If you’re traveling late at night, I recommend booking an ADO bus or private shuttle, since Colectivos usually only run frequently between 7 AM – 9 PM. 

🚨 Make sure you have Mexican pesos to pay for your Colectivo because they only accept cash. 

white taxi in quintana roo mexico
Tulum taxis are white with a red stripe (Photo by Sharon Hahn Darlin via Flickr)

RELATED ARTICLE 🚕 About The Taxi Mafia In The Cancun Area

How To Get Around Tulum By Taking Taxis

  • There is no ride-sharing app like Uber in Tulum because of the Taxi Mafia pushing all ride-sharing apps out. 
  • The taxis in Tulum are white and there are usually enough of them that you won’t have a problem hailing one no matter where you are in town (unless you’re in a remote area in Aldea Zama or La Valeta. From there you’ll have to call a cab via Whatsapp).

💵 How Much Are Taxis In Tulum?

  • Should cost 50-70 pesos to go somewhere within Centro, but you will likely get asked to pay 100. You have to negotiate before getting in the cab because there are no meters.
  • Tulum Centro to Tulum Ruins should be 100 pesos, tourist price.
  • The flat rate to go from Hotel Zone to Centro is 200 pesos (10 USD) which is way overpriced for the going taxi rate but it’s a service for tourists and usually can’t be negotiated when coming from the beach, going towards the beach (from Centro) it’s more competitive and you could probably argue it down to 150 pesos.
  • Weekends: There’s a “Taxi Mafia” that decides the prices to charge, so even if it’s the same difference it will cost way more to go to a tourist destination at a prime hour. If you’re going to the Hotel/Beach zone on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night expect to pay 350 pesos, and 400 pesos ($20) to get back. Even though there are a ton of taxis, they all decided to charge these prices, so no matter how many you ask you likely won’t be able to negotiate it much.

💡 TIP: There are no meters so negotiate what you want to pay before getting in the cab.

🚩 Taxi Scams In Tulum

Always check on your maps if you’re in the right place before getting off because sometimes you’ll ask to go somewhere and they’ll drop you off at somewhere similar but closer.

This happened to me and my friend when we tried to visit the Muyil ruins, the driver quoted us at a high price for the farther drive to Muyil and dropped us off at Tulum ruins, which was much closer (and in the opposite direction!).

🚩 Taxi Scam II

There are a lot of these but another common one is they’ll show you a laminated piece of paper with “flat rates” to certain locations.

These rates are complete BS and fake. For example, one time when I was shown an official flat rate of 140 pesos (for a 5-minute drive) I offered 70 and wound up paying 80.

Is It Safe To Take A Taxi In Tulum?

Yes! It’s just as safe to take a taxi in Tulum as it is anywhere else. 

I would recommend using the standard white taxi cabs and Colectivos, as these are registered professionals. 

You’ll be able to notice them because they’re all-white taxis with a large red stripe and a number on the side. 

tulum from above
Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash

RELATED ARTICLE 🏝 Is Tulum Still Worth Visiting?

Taking A Taxi From Aldea Zama Or La Valeta In Tulum

La Valeta and Aldea Zama are more remote residential areas of Tulum. If you’re staying in this area I recommend having a bike, scooter, or car since it’s more remote and not many Taxis drive by. If you do need a cab you can call one over WhatsApp, remember to arrange a price before they pick you up!

📲 Here Are Some WhatsApp numbers of Taxi Drivers I Picked Up While In Tulum: 

  • +52 998 482 0519 
  • +52 984 215 2557
  • +52 984 165 5805
  • +52 985 138 0487
  • +52 984 319 7391

bike in tulum at follow that dream sign
(Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash)

RELATED ARTICLE 🚴‍♀️ Ultimate Guide To Biking In Tulum

How To Get Around Tulum By Bike

A bike is more than enough to get you back and forth from Hotel Zone to Centro, or anywhere you need to go in Centro.

🚩 Stolen Bikes & Bike Scams in Tulum

I tried to rent a bike when I first got to Tulum and it was actually stolen my FIRST day! Bikes are being stolen constantly. If you leave your bike out overnight, it WILL get stolen.

My friend left hers parked outside of the ADO station, on the main Street with cameras, overnight and that was stolen as well. We both only had to pay about 80 USD for replacement bikes.

  • It’s rumored that some rental companies will take down your info, rent you a bike or scooter, and then steal the bike or scooter from you so you’ll have to pay them twice.
  • Never give a rental company in Tulum your passport or ID unless you really have to. They WILL hold it hostage if something is wrong with the bike, or if they lie and say something is wrong with the bike when you return it.

Photo by Kayleigh Foley on Unsplash

Renting A Bike In Tulum

Renting a bike in Tulum only costs $4 – $10 USD per day, $4 is the lowest you can get – you’ll likely get a rusty old bike. $10 per day gets you a nicer bike with insurance.

All the companies say if you break down any time all you need to do is WhatsApp for assistance and they’ll come to you, but in my experience, that was not the case, and they only respond during business hours.

If you’re staying more than 3 weeks, even if you’re renting the cheapest bike, it will make more sense to buy a bike than rent.

guy biking in Tulum hotel zone by follow that dream sign
(Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)

Buying and Selling A Bike vs. Renting

I bought my bike for around 150 USD at Punto Moda in Tulum Centro. Punto Moda is cash-only.

Punto Moda just closed a few months ago, but any other beach supply shop on the main road should have beach bikes.

I bought it brand new and was able to sell it a few months later for $75. $75 for two months for a new bike is a much better price than if I was renting at the lowest price of $25 per week for a rusty old one.

All the bikes being sold in Tulum are 1-speed beach bikes, and they’re not good with the rough unpaved roads you’ll find in Tulum. 

If you want a nicer bike you’ll need to shop for it in Playa del Carmin or Cancun.

💡 Note: they did not sell bikes at the Super Aki nor the Chedraui when I was in Tulum, this is where everyone told me to look but they only sold kid’s bikes.

Bike Repair Shops In Tulum 

  • I used Iguana Bike repair when my bike busted a tire – they came to my hotel in Aldea Zama and fixed it for me there for a reasonable price.
  • Iguana Bike Repair Whatsapp: +52 984 119 0836

Tulum from above
Tulum from above

How To Get Around Tulum By Walking 

If you’re staying in the Centro area of Tulum you can easily get around to other areas by walking. 

The main streets in Centro all have sidewalks, and you can access the beach by walking down Avenida Coba from Centro to the Beach Zone.  

If you’re staying in La Valeta or Aldea Zama, you’ll be a bit more removed from things to do like restaurants and bars but you can also walk to get around since there’s a nice new sidewalk in those areas. 

If you’re staying in the Hotel Zone by the beach it’s much harder to get around via walking since there’s no sidewalk. The Hotel Zone is known for being difficult to travel in since there’s just one street that wasn’t built to withstand the level of traffic it gets. 

Even though you can get around Tulum just by walking, you might not want to. Tulum is pretty spread out and the walk from Tulum Centro to the beach can easily take an hour. 

Is It Safe To Walk Around Tulum?

It’s super safe to walk around Tulum, but the sidewalks aren’t the best. Even on the main street like Av. Coba the sidewalk is broken in many places and easy to trip over. 

In the Hotel Zone, there isn’t even a sidewalk for most of the main road! 

If you have small children I wouldn’t recommend walking as your main form of transportation for getting around Tulum. 

tulum ruins
Tulum Ruins (Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash)

Can You Walk To The Tulum Ruins?

yes! You actually can walk to Tulum ruins from Tulum Centro by walking down the main street, Highway 307, for about 45 minutes towards Cancun. There should be a sidewalk for the entire trip. 

scooter in Tulum parked
(Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash)

How To Get Around Tulum By Renting A Scooter

Renting a scooter is hands-down the best way to travel around Tulum. 

Tulum was originally just a sleepy beach village, and although it has become very built-up in recent years the infrastructure hasn’t kept up. The roads are tiny and unpaved in some areas and much of the town is short on parking. 

A scooter can navigate some of the smaller unpaved roads, like the main road in the Hotel Zone, better than a car can. It also is a lot easier to park a scooter than a car. 

You’ll see tourists, ex-pats, and locals zipping around town on their scooters every day in Tulum because it’s the easiest way to get around. 

If you feel comfortable riding a scooter or have prior experience with a motorcycle, I would highly recommend renting a scooter for your trip to Tulum. 

Photo by Joël de Vriend on Unsplash

How Much Does Renting A Scooter Cost In Tulum? 

Renting a scooter can cost more than renting a car in Tulum. My Airbnb host told me a rental scooter would be about 1,000 USD per month. Since this was more than my housing cost for the month, I decided to skip it.

The going rate now is $40-$50 per day, $1,200 per month, it’s an agreed-upon price between all the companies so it’s very hard to get discounts. 

👉 Book your Tulum scooter rental ahead of time by clicking here. 👈

Is Renting a Scooter In Tulum Worth It? 

I personally think a scooter is the best way to see Tulum, but it’s not in everyone’s budget.  

If you’re visiting Tulum on a strict budget I would stick to bikes, renting a car, or taking an ADO bus for day trips.

renting cars in tulum
(Photo by Simon Tartarotti on Unsplash)

How To Get Around Tulum By Renting A Car

  • Renting a budget automatic transmission car for a day should be around $30 USD, you could get it cheaper but you’d be forgoing insurance.
  • Mexico requires you to have rental car insurance. So, if you have gone through your credit card you don’t have to buy the additional one through the rental agency, if they say you do it’s a salesman tactic. Just have a printout of your travel rental insurance from your bank as proof. 
  • I double up on insurance. I read my travel card’s insurance and asked them for a printout of the rental car insurance they offer.

Now, take all the information on renting a car I just gave you and throw it out the window. It’s almost impossible to rent a car in Tulum.

Read the reviews for all the rental agencies. What happens is you rent a car online, with all the specifications you want, and then when you show up they simply won’t have the car.

Either there will be no cars available, and they’ll ask you to wait (while lying to you and saying all sorts of stuff about the “misunderstanding”.

This happens with every car company every day, there’s no misunderstanding). Sometimes you’ll wait for hours for a car so it’s not worth it.

IF they have any cars in stock it won’t be the one you ordered. 

We booked a $30-per-day compact economy car with automatic transmission on 3 separate days with three different companies in Tulum.

Every time we went they said, “sorry that car is not in stock *insert reason* all we have is this $180 per day much nicer car”. 

That, of course, is a complete scam and it’s often cheaper to take cabs everywhere you need to go.

The absolute cheapest we got was $80 per day, and it simply wasn’t worth it once you factor in the other risks of driving yourself since rental companies (and police) are corrupt and predatory in the Cancun area.

tulum from above
Tulum from above (Photo by Spencer Watson on Unsplash)

The Reason There Are Barely Any Rental Cars In Tulum

Scarcity drives up prices; they intentionally never have enough cars in stock in Tulum so people will pay 5X the price for the “one car left”. You’ll have better luck renting a car in Playa or Cancun where they have more inventory.

Tips For Renting A Car In Tulum 

Don’t do it! If you want to rent a car for your travels in Tulum, do it in Cancun when you fly into Cancun Airport. From there you can drive it the two hours to Tulum. There’s a much better selection of rental cars in Cancun than in Tulum. 

👉 If you’re going to rent a car in Cancun, I recommend using RentalCars.com to get the best deal.

Rental Insurance In Tulum

You can get the legally required insurance for Mexico through your travel credit card. I had Bank of America send me a formal letter about my included rental car insurance in Spanish so there would be no misunderstanding.

The kicker here is usually you’ll have to put the cost of the damage on your card and wait for the travel card company to reimburse you.

A lot of the time the rental company will put a huge hold on your card as well (I’ve read it’s $5,000).

This should cover the legally required insurance in Mexico. You can also opt for additional insurance from your rental company, which they will say is obligatory (but it is not if you’re also providing insurance from your card).

💡 Note! While your traveler’s credit card might cover collision insurance, it might not cover HEALTH insurance. I always always always use traveler’s health insurance when in a foreign country. ➡️ Click Here To Check Out The Travel Insurance I Use!

Other concerns & Scams With Renting A Car In Tulum

  • Crooked Cops: Even for Mexican citizens, cops in the Cancun area will hold up tourists for bribes. Usually demanding $20-50 USD. Don’t give them your passport because they’ll hold it hostage for more money. carry a copy of your passport if you plan on renting a car in Tulum.
  • Fake Damage: Bike, scooter, and rental companies all do this. If you return a car damaged in any way they’ll say it was you who damaged it even if it came like that. If they have your Passport or ID, they’ll hold it hostage for a crazy amount of cash. Rental places are SO predatory in the Cancun area. I’ve had someone try to scam me out of $20 just for a snorkel rental.

💡 TIP: Take time-stamped photos & videos every time you rent anything in Mexico in case they try to scam you after by saying you’re returning damaged goods.

How To Get Around Tulum By Taking The Bus 

ADO bus (Photo by VasenkaPhotography via Flickr)

ADO Bus (pronounced Ah-Dio) is the main service that runs all over the Yucatán, but there are also Mayab and Oriente buses.

ADO is considered the “first-class” bus and offers online booking and schedules. For the other bus companies, you’ll have to ask at the bus station when the service is running.

You can book ADO bus on their website directly, but I usually have a problem with the ADO site accepting non-Mexican debit and credit cards. The other option is booking through 🚌 BusBud.com, which is a lot easier.

👉 I always use BusBud.com to book my bus journeys ahead of time in Mexico because it accepts foreign cards. 👈

Sometimes not even all the Ado buses are listed online, so it’s good to check at the local station.

I always take the Ado shuttle from and to the airport, it runs frequently and goes right to the terminals. 

Tips For Taking ADO Bus In Mexico

Always have a form of ID when boarding an ADO bus, sometimes they ask for it along with your ticket.

✅ They BLAST the AC in ADO buses, keep a jacket on you.

Tulum colectivo van
Tulum colectivo shared van

How To Get Around Tulum By Taking Colectivos

Colectivos can be hailed from any major highway/bus station; they’re large white vans that drop people off along the way.

From what I’ve found a Colectivo should cost about 1 peso per minute per person. For instance, a 20 min ride in a Colectivo costs about 25 pesos per person, but you might have to negotiate it down.

inside of a colectivo shared shuttle in tulum

How Much Do Colectivos Cost In Tulum?

  • From/to the hotel zone to Tulum Central should be 10-20 pesos, if you’re not a native Spanish speaker they will charge you more.
  • Tulum to Akumal or vice versa should be 35 pesos
  • Tulum to Playa or vice versa should be 50 pesos
  • Tulum to Xel-Ha or the other theme parks should cost 50 pesos as well since they drop you off close to Playa.
  • Playa del Carmen to Chiquila (Isla Holbox ferry port) is 250 pesos.

shuttle van in latin america
(Photo by Christopher Crouzet via Flickr)

Colectivo Scams in Tulum 

Some, not all, will lie and tell you they’re going wherever just to fill seats. 

I had a Colectivo driver lie to me when I was coming back from Akumal; the Colectivo driver said he would take me and my friend to Tulum but dropped us off 40 minutes away in the wrong direction in Playa Del Carmen.

The driver said, “well, you can take a Colectivo from Playa to Tulum now so I didn’t lie to you!”. It was really frustrating and added 2 hours to our trip.

🚨 Make SURE the Colectivo you take is going in the right direction before you hop in.

When is it better to take a Colectivo to/from Tulum?

  • Tulum > Playa del Carmen
  • Tulum > Akumal
  • Tulum > Xel Ha or Xcaret
  • Tulum > Muyil
  • Tulum > Kaan Luum

When is it better to take a Bus to/from Tulum?

  • Tulum > Isla Holbox (Chiquila ferry port)
  • Tulum > Cancun airport
  • Tulum > Coba (no legal Colectivos were running)
  • Tulum > Valladolid (no legal Colectivos were running)

tulum from above
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Transportation In Tulum FAQs

Is It Hard To Get Around In Tulum?

It’s actually pretty hard to get around Tulum, that’s why I wrote this guide! 

There are no Uber or ride-sharing apps, and many of the streets and sidewalks aren’t lit or properly paved. 

scooter in tulum mexico
The very best way to get around Tulum is by renting a scooter

What is the best way to get around Tulum? 

The very best way to get around Tulum is by renting a scooter. If you don’t feel comfortable driving a scooter or you’re on a budget, the second best way to get around Tulum is by renting a bicycle. 

👉 Book your Tulum scooter rental ahead of time by clicking here. 👈

Can I fly from Mexico City to Tulum?

Nope! Tulum unfortunately doesn’t have its own airport. So, if you’re coming from Mexico City the easiest way to get to Tulum is to fly to Cancun and take the ADO bus from Cancun Airport to Tulum.

Is Tulum a safe place to visit?

Tulum is a very safe place to visit! You read a lot of horror stories about tourists getting in trouble in Mexico. But, if you’re not doing anything illegal you shouldn’t expect to have any problems with the cartel or local police while visiting Tulum. 

What’s the cheapest way to get around Tulum? 

The very cheapest way to get around Tulum is by taking the shared Colectivos or walking for free. 

Does Tulum have public transportation?

Colectivo vans are the public transportation in Tulum as they don’t have a formal public bus service. 

tulum beach
(Photo by Tanja Cotoaga on Unsplash)

Uber In Tulum: Conclusion 

Getting around Tulum is actually pretty complicated due to the lack of Uber and other taxi apps, so I hope this detailed guide will be helpful to you on your next trip! 

Just To Recap, Here Are All The Ways To Get Around Tulum: 

  • 🚶‍♀️Walking: Best for getting around Tulum Centro. 
  • 🚐 Shared Colectivos: Best for getting around Tulum cheaply, and from Tulum to Akumal and Playa del Carmen. 
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking: The best way to travel within Tulum on a budget.
  • 🛵 Scooters: Hands-down best way to travel within Tulum.
  • 🚕 Taxis: Best for groups of 3 or more to travel within Tulum. 
  • 🚗 Car Rental: Best for families traveling to Tulum. 
  • 🚌 ADO Bus: Best for traveling long distances from Tulum and taking day trips. 

Looking For More Information On Mexico?

If you’re planning a trip to Tulum & Mexico and looking for more information, consider reading some of my other posts:

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