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Best Time to Visit Tulum

With the hurricane and seaweed season in mind, here’s my guide to help you determine the best time to visit Tulum.

Tulum’s gorgeous beaches, ancient Mayan ruins, and lush jungle, make it a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year. I live just an hour away from Tulum and can safely say that Tulum is laidback, spiritual and absolutely stunning regardless of the time of the year.

While it’s hot all year round, Tulum experiences hurricanes and sargasso (seaweed) during certain times of the year. So it’s best to do your research and see when is the best month to visit Tulum. In this post, we’ll break down Tulum weather by month and list all the events that take place here throughout the year to help you decide the best time to go to Tulum.

best time to visit tulum

Best Time to visit Tulum

Best Month to Visit Tulum for weather

Overall, the best time to visit Tulum is during the dry season between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. It’s also the coolest time of the year in Tulum when temperatures average around 21 to 25°C (70 to 77°F). This is a great time to visit if you’re not used to the heat.

The wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October. The Caribbean coast is also affected by the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Try to avoid visiting during Mexican holidays as prices go up during Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter.

The hottest season in Tulum is from May to July, when temperatures average around 26°C (79°F). It can get really sticky, hot and stifling at this time of the year. This is also the rainy season, and you’ll have an increased chance of having a rainy day in Tulum. The good news is that it only rains for a couple hours at a time.

best time to visit tulum - tulum beach with kids

Best Time to Visit Tulum without Seaweed

Tulum is a beautiful destination in Mexico, but it’s been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Sargassum or sargasso, a type of seaweed, has been washing up on the beaches of the Caribbean and the Riviera Maya in record numbers.

The sargasso season can be unpredictable: some months will see the beach completely covered in foul-smelling seaweed and the water turn a shade of brown; but some months the water returns to its original crystal clear condition. But in reality, the situation is not as bad as it seems. Local authorities work hard to clean up the beaches, having brigades of cleaners clearing the beaches every day.

The best time of year to visit Tulum without seaweed is from November to January, when chances of having sargasso cover the beach are lower. This seaweed grows the most during the hottest months (June, July, and August). 

If you do choose to visit Tulum during the sargassum season, there are a few things you can do to minimize your exposure:

  • Check the Sargassum forecast before you go. This Facebook page shows daily updates of sargasso levels in the Riviera Maya.
  • Choose a beach that is known for its good sargassum management. Most beach clubs in Tulum have teams that work to remove the seaweed on a regular basis.
  • Be prepared to adjust your plans. If the sargassum is bad, you can swim in the cenotes in Tulum instead or explore the nearby Mayan ruins such as Ek Balam and Cobá.
best time to visit tulum -  tulum ruins

Best Time to Visit Tulum for a Festival

Tulum plays host to several music festivals and events each year. Here are a few of the most popular festivals in Tulum:

  • EDM Festivals: Tulum is famous for its musical festivals, raves, and parties, and there are many you can take part in during the year. There’s Zamna in January, Day Zero in September, and Horyzon in October, just to mention some of them.
  • Día de Benito Juárez (Benito Juárez Day) March 21st: This Mexican holiday celebrates the birthday of Benito Juárez, a former Mexican president who fought for democracy and equality. This celebration includes official ceremonies, cultural festivals, and even sports events.
  • Tulum Spirits, Food & Wine Festival: This festival features world-renowned chefs preparing dishes with local ingredients, as well as wine and liquor tastings. This is perfect for all foodies out there. This happens once a year during a whole week.
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week): This Christian holiday commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and is celebrated with religious processions, cultural events, and music festivals. This celebration happens to be during spring break, so expect crowded beaches and streets.
best time to visit tulum - fire festival

Best Time to Visit Tulum on a Budget

If you’re looking to save money, the best time to visit Tulum is during the off-season, which runs from June to October. During these months, hotel rates are the lowest, especially during September and October, Tulum’s two wettest months.

Although the humidity is high every day and it’s likely to rain every two days, the storms typically only last an hour or two. After the storm, the sun and heat return.

From April to June, after the high season and the pre-hurricane season, there are also occasional good deals, although prices tend to vary more widely. Check out the best hotels to stay in Tulum.

best time to visit tulum - ahau sculpture

Best Time to Visit Tulum to Avoid Crowds

Tulum can be crowded during the high season, which runs from December to April. The low season, which runs from June to October, is also the time when Tulum is at its quietest.

See also  Punta Allen: the Gateway to Sian Ka’an

The crowds are smallest in late summer/early fall, especially during September and October when the rain, heat, and humidity are at their highest. From June to August, the crowds gradually decrease, while October is the least crowded month, especially in the early first half.

best time to visit tulum - clean beach

Best Time to Visit Tulum Ruins

You can’t come to Tulum without visiting the spectacular waterfront Tulum ruins, one of the most important Mayan ruins in Mexico.

The best time to visit Tulum ruins is from November to April. During these months, the weather is typically dry and warm, with average temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (70°F to 86°). This makes it a comfortable time to be outdoors, whether you’re hiking through the jungle, visiting ancient ruins, or swimming in the cenotes.

best time to visit tulum -  tulum ruins

Hurricane Season in Tulum

The hurricane season in Tulum runs from May to October. During this time, the weather is more humid and there is a higher chance of rain. Don’t be put off by the weather forecast though (it’s never accurate); even if it rains, it never lasts too long and chances are the sun will come out right after the rain. This fall for instance has been mostly sunny with very few rainy days.

If you do decide to visit Tulum during the rainy season, there are plenty of things to do in Tulum that doesn’t involve going to the beach. You can hit the shops in town, chill in the many vegan cafes or visit the ruins and cenotes (where there’s shade).

best time to visit tulum - cenote calavera

Tulum Weather by Month

The best time of the year to visit Tulum Mexico really depends on whether you’re looking to visit during a festival or certain event. Each month offers different things, from weather variations to holidays and celebrations, so here’s a list of what you can expect from each month in Tulum.

Tulum in January

January is one of the coldest months of the year in Tulum: temperatures can go from 21°C (69°F) to 28°C (82°F). But that also means lower chances of finding seaweeds by the shore. It’s going to be very rare to have a rainy day in this season.

  • New Year – The first day of the year can be a slow day for tourism and events since Mexican families prefer to spend the day together and many businesses are closed on this day.
  • Día de Reyes – This is celebrated on January 6th and signifies the end of Christmas in Mexico. Most kids will receive candy and presents. You can also taste the “Rosca de Reyes”, a special dessert served to celebrate this day (there are small figures inside the cake, and if you get one, you’ll have to bring tamales to the next party).
best time to visit tulum - dia de reyes

Tulum in February

Winter feels very different in Tulum than in other parts of Mexico. In February, winter is about to end and it’s the perfect weather to enjoy the beach. Temperatures go from 21°C (69°F) to 29°C (84°F), and it is not very likely to rain. 

  • Carnaval de Tulum – Tulum’s Carnival is a party that can be compared to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. It is an explosion of color and light, with music and parades; a perfect Caribbean party.
best time to visit tulum -  carnival

Tulum in March

With an average temperature of 30°C (86°F), March offers great weather for enjoying aquatic activities and even tours (especially in the mornings). This is one of the most popular months to visit Tulum.

  • Alborada Maya – This celebration is the perfect fusion between Mayan and Catholic traditions, and it means a rite for a good harvest. It is celebrated in the Mayan Ceremonial Center.
  • Spring Equinox — The rising of the sun in the spring equinox is manifested in the Tulum ruins just behind El Castillo. It’s one of the best time to visit Tulum ruins.
  • Spring Break – High season in Tulum means having the chance to meet people from all over the world and enjoy Tulum’s nightlife and parties. 
best month to visit tulum - spring equinox

Tulum in April

April is the last “cold” month in Tulum, and it is also the last month of the high season, so if you want to enjoy this weather and get some good offers in hotels, restaurants, and tours, try to time your Tulum trip for the end of this month. Temperatures in April go from 24°C (75°F) to 31°C (88°F).

  • Día del Niño – If you’re traveling with your family, this is the perfect opportunity to have your kids enjoy a day just for them. This celebration offers gifts and activities for kids with discounts on different attractions.
  • Semana Santa — A series of events lead up to Easter, which is the most important festival in the Catholic calendar. It’s one of the biggest Mexican holidays, but celebrations are more subdued in Tulum.

Tulum in May

This marks the start of Tulum’s most humid season, but most days will be sunny. If you plan to visit the pyramids and ruins, remember to bring your bottle of water. The temperature will be from 28°C (82°F) to 34°C (89°F).

  • Festival de Cultura del Caribe – This holiday celebrates the heritage of Mayan, Mexican, and Caribbean cultures with food, music, dance, literature, film, and more.
  • Travesia Sagrada Maya: This annual celebration recreates a journey from Xcaret to Cozumel to honor a Mayan goddess, and hundreds of people cross the ocean in canoes.
tulum weather by month - mayan sacred journey

Tulum in June

June is the first rainy month in Tulum, with strong showers that may last up to two hours. June may be a hot month, but it’s definitely cooler than May, with an average temperature of 31°C (88°F).

  • La Fete de la Musique – This is a French celebration that shares its activities with 100 countries, and it includes events in Playa del Carmen, with music, dancing and other cultural events.
  • Pride Month – Tulum is a very international and tolerant destination, so expect many LGBTQ-themed activities this month, including a big Pride Parade in Tulum.
best time to visit tulum -  music festival

Tulum in July

July in Tulum may be hot and rainy but not as much as June. This month offers the perfect water temperature for aquatic activities like swimming and diving, or to visit a cenote.

  • Festival de la Cruz Parlante – This is another holiday that combines Catholic religion with the Mayan and pre-Columbian cultures and it celebrates history and union.

Tulum in August

August is the hottest month of the year in Tulum, reaching 34°C (93°F). It is also at its highest humidity level, so heat can feel stronger these days. It’s a great month to avoid crowds and to enjoy the cenotes.

  • Wildlife – This is the best month to interact with whale sharks and sea turtles as they are enjoying the warmer water temperatures too.
  • ZoukMX This is a 10-day music festival that happens in Playa del Carmen (just 1 hour from Tulum).
See also  Bacalar Mexico: My 2024 Guide to Bacalar Lagoon
best time to go to tulum - zouk mx

Tulum in September

September is the rainiest month of the year in Tulum. If you visit this month, you’ll have rain half the days you’re there. This is still a hot month but it’s cooler than August with an average temperature of 31°C (88°F).

  • Día de la Independencia —  Independence day is one of the most important Mexican holidays. This celebration takes place on the night of September 15th. You’ll find the streets crowded with mariachis, carnival attractions, food and snacks.
  • The Equinox – Tulum’s fall equinox, offers a spectacular and millinery event, as the sunset reveals the shadow of an ancient god in the steps of the castle pyramid in the ancient city of Chichén Itzá.
best time to visit tulum - dia de independencia

Tulum in October

October offers beautiful weather for the beach, especially during the second half of the month, once the rainy days are gone. You can have cooler days but the temperature of the water stays the same. The average max temperature for this month is 30°C (86°F).

  • Sea Turtle FestivalThis is an ecology-focused event organized by the Akumal Ecology Center in collaboration with Tulum’s Hotel’s Association that is centered in creating awareness about protecting sea turtles and their habitat. You can participate as a volunteer and learn and even help take care of these beautiful creatures.
best time to visit tulum - sea turtle festival

Tulum in November

Humidity is gone in November, and temperature oscillates around 25°C (77°F). With clear and sunny days and cool nights, this month offers the best weather to visit Tulum’s beaches, jungles and ruins. 

  • Día de Muertos – Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico with elaborate altars, decorations and cemetery vigils. The celebrations in Tulum are more intimate and smaller in comparison to Oaxaca or Mexico City, but Xcaret Eco Park offers a special event with food, dance, music and theater.
  • Tulum Food, Spirits, and Wine Festival – An event for all foodies wanting to try food and drinks by local and international chefs. From street food to fancy restaurants, the perfect opportunity to try it all.
best time to visit tulum - dia de muertos

Tulum in December

With clear skies and sunny days. December still offers great weather to enjoy the jungles and tours, but also to swim in the ocean. The average temperature is 23°C (73°F) and the sunniest days are the last ones of the month.

  • Sound Tulum Music Event – Tulum offers this EDM music festival during December and January, featuring different DJ’s every two nights in different places of the city.
  • Christmas/New Year – These celebrations in Tulum tend to be private as locals prefer to spend those nights with family, but if you decide to celebrate them in Tulum, there are many restaurants and venues that host special events. Read my guide to celebrating Christmas in Mexico.
best time to visit tulum -

Tulum Travel Guide

Whether you’re traveling in Tulum for a year or a week, I always recommend travelers to buy travel insurance. You never know what can happen. Having insurance will happen incidents such as flight delay, loss of luggage, theft or accidents.

Safety Wing is the most popular travel insurance company for COVID19-coverage. I use their Nomad Insurance plan, which covers COVID-19 as any other illness as long as it was not contracted before your coverage start date. Refer to my travel insurance guide for more details.

How to Get to Tulum

Tulum doesn’t have an airport yet, but the new airport is currently under construction. It’s said to be completed in November 2023, along with the Mayan Train. For now, Cancun airport is the closest airport to Tulum and it’s only a 1.5-hour hour drive away (or 73 miles/ 118 km away).

Flying into Cancun from the US is really affordable. You can fly from New York to Cancun for as little as $300 return (4.5-hour flight). Flights from Los Angeles to Cancun are slightly more expensive around US$350 return (4.5-hour flight).

Flying from Europe to Mexico is also affordable, especially from London and Madrid. We took a direct, one-way flight from Madrid to Cancun on Iberojet for just $350. You can get really cheap deals off season.

Book Flights to Cancun

tulum travel guide - tulum map

Cancun to Tulum Transportations

Tulum is just a 1.5-hour drive from Cancun airport; read our guide on how to get from Cancun Airport to Tulum. 

If you want to be free of the stress of getting a cab, I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportations. They are reliable, responsive, and provide door-to-door service. If you’re traveling with family or a group of friends, you can easily split the cost: US$110 one-way.

Shared shuttle services to Tulum are a good option for solo travelers who don’t want to spend a lot yet seek a convenient service. You can pre-book your ride in a shared shuttle vehicle for 740 MXN (US$37) per person one-way. Whenever I travel alone, I always book a seat in a shared shuttle with Cancun Shuttles

Taking a bus is the cheapest option. ADO has regular departures from Cancun Airport to Tulum throughout the day. I’ve traveled in ADO buses many times and can safely say the bus company is top notch. Their buses are clean, safe, and air-conditioned. Book your bus tickets here for 340 MXN (US$17) each way.

how to get to tulum - tulum travel guide

How to Get Around Tulum

Renting a Car

Most of the best things to do in Tulum are outside of town, so I recommend renting a car. Traffic along the beach road can be bad at times, but having a car allows you to do several day trips from Tulum on your own.

Driving in Tulum is convenient and it’s relatively affordable; the average price ranges from 600-800 MXN (US$30-40) per day, including insurance and taxes. I always use for car rentals worldwide, as they’ve consistently given me the cheaper rates and best services. Search for car rentals in Tulum here!

Catching the Colectivo

Budget travelers can also catch colectivos (shared minibus or minivan-like vehicles). The colectivo fares are cheap (less than US$1), and you just need to flag them down along when you see one. Be sure to have Mexican pesos in hand to pay the fare.

See also  Where to Stay in Tulum: Best Beach Hotels in Tulum 2024
how to get around tulum - tulum travel guide

Tak e the taxi

Sadly, Uber isn’t available in Tulum. Taxis are everywhere though, and prices are affordable. They are the white cars with red numbers, and you can easily flag them down on the main road. It usually costs around 120 pesos from Tulum town to the beach, ruins and nearby cenotes each way (per car).

Renting a Bike

Tulum is big on bikes, and they’re cheap to hire in town or from your resort. It’s the best way to move around if you’re staying on the beach, as the dusty beach road often gets clogged with traffic. You can rent one of the ubiquitous turquoise bikes for just 150 MXN (US$7) per day from Ola Bike on Avenida Coba.

If you’re not sure about safety and prefer doing it with a guide, this bike tour takes you through quiet roads, hidden paths and through the pueblo to a variety of natural, cultural, historic and culinary attractions that Tulum has to offer.

rent a bike - tulum travel guide

How Many Days in Tulum?

Tulum is not a big town, but there are so many things to do in Tulum that I recommend spending 5 days to a week here. You’ll need time to explore the various cenotes in Tulum, chill out on the beach, and visit the museums and photogenic cafes. Plus, its outskirts is dotted with a smattering of eco parks, Mayan ruins, and wilderness reserves that would appeal to adventure lovers.

I also recommend combining a visit to Tulum with Valladolid and Merida for the ultimate immersion into Mayan culture. I’ve designed a special 10-day Yucatan road trip to combine all of them into one epic journey for those interested in exploring beyond the beaches.

TULUM guide - tulum sign

Is Tulum Expensive?

Yes and no. Tulum Beach is one of the most expensive places in Mexico. Thanks to the deluge of visitors seeking upscale places, prices have skyrocketed in recent years. Beach hotels in Tulum go from $200-500 per night, while some restaurants charge a minimum consumption of $150 per person to dine in their rooftop nests!

Tulum town, in contrast, is still very much local and affordable. It’s all but just 10 minutes away, and yet you’ll find cheap taco stands that serve authentic tacos for just 15 MXN ($0.75), vegan burritos for $4-8, and seafood restaurants with get ceviche or grilled octopus for $10-15. There are also many Airbnbs and budget hotels that charge less than US$50/night.

Cash is still king in Mexico, so I suggest withdrawing cash at the airport or the many ATMs along the main road. While US Dollars are accepted, you won’t get the best exchange rate and will be overpaying.

Is Tulum Safe to Visit?

With recent happenings, safety is understandably a concern for many visiting Tulum. In October 2021, two women were murdered in the crossfire when opposing gangs opened fire on a well-known sidewalk restaurant in Tulum. The recent spate of drug-related violence has continued in neighboring Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos.

It is important to know that these crimes are often targeted and involve drug cartels. Sadly, the cartels are a part of life in Mexico.  In most places, it’s easy to steer clear of them. You’ll only deal with them if you’re looking to buy drugs. So avoid doing drugs, rave parties, and getting drunk.

travel guide to tulum

Where to Stay in Tulum

Hotels in Tulum Beach are definitely much more expensive than those in Tulum Pueblo. If you really want to stay on the beach, prepare to fork out at least $200/night for the eco-chic hotels. Please make sure to book only responsible properties (my suggestions are below).

Budget travelers should base themselves in Tulum Pueblo, which is packed with backpackers hostels. There’s no shortage of modern, affordable apartments for digital nomads and families in La Veleta and Aldea Zamara areas.

Check out my complete guide on where to stay in Tulum.

Budget: Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins

The super stylish and rustic bungalows at the 4-star Mamasan Treehouses & Cabins are great for those on a budget. In this secluded spot, you’ll stay in rattan cottages and sleep under mosquito nets, or cuddle with your loved one in a geodesic dome and stare at the stars by night.  Check rates here.

Midrange: Coco Hacienda

Escape into tropical foliage and get out into nature without ever leaving Tulum’s downtown. This cute hotel is on the edge of Tulum Centro and has a lush setting and gorgeous design of the Tulum beach hotels – at half the price.  Check rates here. 

Luxury: The Beach

If you’re looking to spoil yourself, this stunning eco-hotel impresses with lavish boho-chic decor and the beach is on your doorstep. Side note, yogis will love it here as there are free yoga classes in the morning! Check rates here.

BONUS: Azulik Tulum

The most famous hotel in Tulum Beach has to be Azulik. This one-of-a-kind beach resort was a pioneer in creating Tulum-style architecture with nature-inspired design. The adults-only hotel features tree houses made from Mexican royal ebony, Khatalosh, and an open-concept providing views of the lush jungle and the Caribbean Sea. Check rates here.

Azulik Tulum - best beach hotels in tulum

When Is The Best Time to Visit Tulum?

Tulum is a paradise all year round; the best time to visit Tulum really depends on what you’re looking for. Each month offers different things; from different weather to different perks, and different things to do.

I hope this guide has helped you decide when the best time to visit Tulum is for you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

For those who are planning to travel more of Mexico, check out other articles I’ve written on Mexico:

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links i.e. if you book a stay through one of my links, I get a small commission at NO EXTRA COST to you. Thank you for your support!

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best time to visit tulum - tulum weather by month

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