Tulum: Is it Secure? 15 Advice for Female Solo Travelers
Tulum is the top destination for many travelers in Mexico. Here are crystal clear caves and white beaches. Can you blame them?
In the past decade, Tulum has become a popular tourist destination in the country from a sleepy backpacker village. Although Tulum’s reputation as an idyllic beach paradise is well deserved for its natural beauty, the rise of tourism has also led to some safety problems in the town. So is Toulum safe?
Below I will list my first suggestions for keeping safe when traveling in Tulum, so that you can have a wonderful time there without worry.
1. Do not buy or use illegal goods
Tulum has many things more important than parties.
Since Tulum is now one of the most popular party destinations in Mexico, it is not surprising that the demand for illegal substances in this town has increased significantly. As a result, drug trafficking groups fought for territory in Tulum, while innocent civilians were caught in the middle.
When you buy party drugs in Tulum, you will actively promote violence by supporting these groups. There is no other way to say. You will also put yourself at risk of mixing with the wrong people. In addition, you never know what these substances may be doped with – even if they are pure, taking them will also reduce your inhibition and put you at risk.
2. Drinking responsibly
Although drinking in Tulum is not as dangerous as buying and consuming drugs, it is always a good idea to be cautious. If you drink alcohol, make sure you drink a lot of water and never leave your drink unattended. In Tulum, it is very common for people to pour drinks into the water, so don’t let your drinks out of your sight.
If you travel alone and meet other travelers in Tulum, if you decide to go to a bar, you should have a partner system. In this way, you and the other party will take care of each other and ensure that everyone can go home smoothly.
3. Keep an understanding of the surrounding environment
This is related to the above two points, but also applies when going out in the daytime. No matter on the beach, or on the street in the hotel area or the central district of Tulum, there are some thieves waiting for you to relax your vigilance and steal your property. Especially when you are alone, you must pay attention to your surroundings.
If you feel something wrong, trust your intuition. On the beach in Tulum, I met some random people who sat next to me and didn’t know where to start. It felt strange, so I got up and left, because I didn’t know what their intention was. I didn’t miss anything because I walked away — neither would you.
4. Don’t take valuables to Fairy Cave or the beach
In addition, don’t take anything you don’t want to lose to the beach or fairy cave. Leave your card in your room and stick to cash. If you have a mobile phone, consider putting it in a waterproof box so that you can carry it with you when you decide to wade. Another option is to bring a portable safe, you can fix it and hang it on the beach chair.
Some fairy caves near Toulum (such as Gran Cenote and Cenote Cristal) have lockers that you can rent, but not all. There are no lockers on the Playa Pocna in Tulum.
5. Lock your valuables
Whether you live in a resort, hotel, hotel or Airbnb in Tulum, make sure you have a place to store your valuables (passport, credit card, jewelry, etc.). Usually there are safes in the rooms of resorts and hotels, but hotels and Airbnbs do not. If I knew that I would stay in a hotel or Airbnb, I would take my portable safe with me.
6. Let friends know your plan
This tip is not for Tulum — it applies to any place where you travel alone. There is always at least one person you trust who knows your plan: where you are going, with whom, where you live, what you plan to do, and so on. I also suggest sharing your site location with a friend. If they haven’t heard from you for a while, they can check your situation.
I know this may sound a little redundant to some people. However, if any, letting friends know your plan can help you relax. For me, as long as I know that someone is paying attention to me, no matter how far away it is, it can reduce the pressure.
7. Choose your accommodation wisely
Tulum has different communities and regions, where you can live. There are three main areas: the hotel area along the beach; Aldea Zamna, a newly built community, has apartment buildings and some accommodation facilities; And Tulum Centro, the city center. All these places can live, but Aldea Zamna is the safest, because there are no bars or clubs there, and there may be undesirable elements gathering. The hotel area is also a good choice in terms of security, although the price is very expensive.
Tulum Centro is the biggest toss. If you have never been to Toulum, living in Centro is a good central location. However, some areas are more insecure than others. Insist on living only a few blocks away from the main road (Carretera Chetumal-Canc ú n) in the town.
Some of the Airbnbs and hotels located outside the city center are located in safe blocks, but there are also many places that deviate from the routine, so that the places where you stay at night may be dangerous.
8. Don’t walk alone at night
It is not a good idea to walk alone after dark, even in the hotel area with constant traffic at night. This makes it easy for you to become the target of thieves and other crimes. Tulum does not have Uber, but taxis are easy to find at night, and in most cases are trustworthy.
9. Always negotiate a price with the taxi driver
El Gran Cenote can be easily reached by taxi
Tulum’s taxi drivers occasionally try to take advantage of unsuspecting tourists by charging more money — double or even triple the price. In order to avoid this situation, please tell me how much the driver costs to send you to the destination. If you can’t speak Spanish, ask: “Cu á nto cuesta llevarme de aqu í a X?”
Although it is not dangerous for taxi drivers to overcharge you, what may be potentially dangerous is the debate about it. The driver’s response to your request that they give you a fair price after the event may be unpredictable. Generally speaking, it is safer to negotiate the price before getting on the bus.
10. Avoid traveling at night
The highway from Cancun to Chetumar passes through Tulum. It is safe to drive during the day, but it will become dangerous at night. From Tulum to Bacalar, there are many places on the road without any telephone signals. In the past, kidnappings and other criminal acts have occurred in this area at night. If you want to travel from Tulum to other places in the Riviera Maya, please avoid doing so at night, even by bus.
11. Pay close attention to the news
In the weeks before your trip to Tulum, pay attention to the current events there. As I mentioned earlier, drug activities in Tulum are rampant, and insecurity factors are increasing due to territorial disputes. This kind of violence tends to wave after wave, so it is best to pay attention to any news reports in Tulum to see if there are any similar security threats.
If you visit Tulum during the hurricane season (July to November), you’d better check the weather conditions before departure. Normally, tropical storms will appear on the radar a few days before reaching the land, so I suggest you check the storm situation before you go to Tulum, so you can decide whether to make some changes to your journey. Sometimes, hurricanes are so powerful that you have to evacuate the hotel area. Obviously, if possible, you want to avoid this situation.
12. Purchase travel insurance
Wherever you go, it is a good idea to buy travel insurance — Tulum is no exception. Whether you are sick there or need to change your trip because of the hurricane, travel insurance is your backing. World Nomads is one of the most popular companies; It even provides options for more adventurous travelers in case you want to do some scuba diving or other high-risk activities in Tulum. You can also find an in-depth comparison between World Nomads and another company, Safety Wing.
13. Only use the ATM in the bank
In Toulum, you can find ATMs in the street, but I don’t recommend using them. First, the cost may be high. Secondly, they are on the street. Anyone can easily walk behind you and steal your cash without any consequences.
Adhere to the use of ATM in the bank. Almost all of these ATMs have a door that you can lock from inside when you withdraw money. In addition, there are cameras that can prevent thieves from trying to attack. I suggest withdrawing cash from Citibanamex or Santander Bank, because their ATM charges are lower and the exchange rate is usually better.
14. Only carry the cash you need
Once you withdraw the cash, immediately take it to your accommodation and put it in a safe place. Only carry the cash you need. Since pickpockets are very common in Tulum, this is the best way to avoid your huge amount of cash being stolen at one time.
15. Don’t drink tap water
… and wash all your fruits and vegetables!
It’s simple. Don’t drink any tap water anywhere in Mexico. There may be exceptions to this rule, but I don’t know what exceptions are. Tulum is definitely not an exception. Even local people don’t drink tap water here. You don’t have to worry about accidentally drinking it from the ice in the drink, because the ice is made from bottled water. The drinks in restaurants also use bottled water, so the risk of accidental drinking of tap water is very low.
As for brushing your teeth with tap water, it may not be a problem. I have lived near Tulum for about a year, and I always brush my teeth with running water without any problems.
Keeping these safety tips in mind can make you less nervous during your trip in Tulum, which means that your days of lying on the beach and exploring caves will be sweeter. Tulum is a very suitable destination for female solo travelers, because its social atmosphere is easy to recognize.
Many travelers think Tulum is overvalued, but I think there are still many things to love in this magical place. From the magnificent Maya ruins and primitive beaches to picturesque caves and dense forests, Tulum is definitely still worthy of a place on your Mexican tourism list.