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With an affordable cost of living, gorgeous white sand beaches and almost no travel restrictions, it’s easy to see why a growing number of remote workers and online business owners have decided to become Tulum digital nomads.
Located on the Yucatan peninsula just one hour south of Playa Del Carmen, Tulum is a laidback beach town with spiritual vibes reminiscent of Bali. Playa Del Carmen and Mexico City have long made the list of best digital nomad destinations, but Tulum might just become Mexico’s next hotspot!
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about digital nomad life in Tulum, including accommodation options, cost of living, work spaces and more! Keep reading to find out if the Tulum digital nomad lifestyle is right for you.
Curious how Tulum stacks up to other digital nomad destinations? Check out our other destination guides:
While most people visit this part of Mexico for the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, Tulum digital nomads are drawn in by the vibrant town center, colorful street art and laidback lifestyle (though the beaches are pretty nice, too!).
The food is fantastic, there’s a growing coworking scene and plenty of natural beauty to explore. Plus it’s very affordable. What’s not to love?
The weather in Tulum is hot year round, with temperatures hovering around 70-80F. The downside of living in a tropical paradise is the wet season (June-October), which also brings risk of hurricanes.
Beaches are crowded and prices higher during the peak tourist season January-March, making late fall or early winter the best time to visit.
Although Tulum is pricier than other areas of Mexico, it’s still relatively affordable. If you’re looking to save money, your best bet is to visit outside of the peak season, when prices can rise exponentially.
Your cost of living will depend on where you choose to live and how lavishly you spend, but expect to pay between $500-750 USD/month for housing during the low season and $800-1200 USD/month in the high season. Eating out can range from $4-12 USD a meal, depending on whether you favor local restaurants or more western touristy spots.
Nomad List estimates the average cost of living in Tulum to be around $2,200 USD a month, however unless you have a pricey apartment, most people I know who live there as a digital nomad, live there for less.
The best place to look for housing in Tulum is Facebook groups, where locals and realtors will post their listings. If you’re looking for a coliving space with other digital nomads, Outsite is a good option. I have visited/worked at other Outsite locations around the world like the one in Lisbon and they are typically very clean, polished, and reliable.
Tulum can be divided into two main areas: Tulum Beach and Tulum Town.
The more expensive and touristy option, but for Tulum digital nomads who want ocean views, you can’t beat it! You’ll have all day access to the sand and waves, but note you’ll have to rent a bike to get into town if you stay here.
The downtown center of Tulum is vibrant and bustling with both locals and expats. This location is more convenient for shopping, eating out and sightseeing. Popular neighbourhoods for Tulum digital nomads include Pueblo, La Veleta and Aldea Zama.
One of the downsides for Tulum digital nomads is unreliable wifi. Power outages aren’t uncommon, but shouldn’t be a major issue. Your best bet for strong wifi is to find a good coworking space or cafe–and luckily there are several options! Check out our post on the best cafes for digital nomads in Tulum.
The Good Space is located in the heart of Tulum, with both air conditioned and open air seating with a view of downtown. Day passes start at $10 USD.
Located in the La Veleta neighbourhood, Digital Jungle offers fast wifi and a breezy, open air working space. If you’re looking to get more involved in the Tulum digital nomad community, they also host regular events and movie nights. Day passes start at $15 USD.
Another great option is to join Coworking Tulum, which isn’t one space, but a network of remote work-friendly locations around Tulum. You simply purchase a Coworking Tulum membership and use it to access any of their 20+ partner locations. You could work from downtown one day and the beach the next!
Memberships also include discounted food and drinks, private meeting rooms, and access to members only events. Prices start at $67 USD for seven days.
This lush and tropical cafe is a friendly space for Tulum digital nomads to set up their laptop and get some work done.
This colorful brunch cafe is a great workspace for creatives, or any Tulum digital nomads looking for great food and fast wifi.
Another cafe with reliable wifi, Babel has power outlets at every table. Make sure to get there early because the space is small and seating is limited!
Telcel is the most popular SIM card provider for Tulum digital nomads. Be aware that there’s no cell reception on the beach! Wifi can be spotty in general, but is continuously improving. Internet connections are most reliable in the town center, so keep that in mind while searching for a place to stay!
I always recommend running a speed test while viewing an apartment in person or requesting one from the host. I personally use www.speedtest.net everywhere we visit around the world.
Tip: Keep in mind power outages are more common during the hurricane season from June-October.
The closest international airport is Cancun, and you’ll need to take a bus or rent a car to reach Tulum. Once you are in Tulum, the town itself is easily walkable, although if you want to explore more long term it’s worth renting a bicycle!
Scooter rentals cost about $25 USD/day, but are obviously a much faster way to get around. For day trips outside of Tulum you’ll need to take public transit (either a bus or colectivo van).
Chedraui and Super Aki are the two main supermarkets in Tulum, where you can find groceries, a pharmacy, beauty supplies, etc. You could save money (and support the community!) by buying produce at the smaller local markets.
Monthly grocery costs can run from $50-100 USD per person depending on how much you cook versus eat out at restaurants. Remember to save room in your budget for bottled water as you should NOT drink the tap water in Tulum.
Some of the best plant-based and vegan tacos in town!
This tropical bistro serves up healthy brunch and organic coffee seven days a week.
For a more local vibe, check out this open air restaurant with incredible tacos and traditional Mexican food.
This place was practically built for Instagram! Located right on the beach with all natural weights and ocean views, the Jungle Gym makes working out infinitely more appealing.
Located right off the main beach, Tulum Reef is easily accessible by boat. Book a tour in town or at the beach for a chance to explore Tulum’s underwater world.
No trip to Tulum is complete without a visit to the spectacular Mayan ruins. Perched on the edge of the Caribbean sea, this ancient fortress is well worth a visit for the photos alone!
These gorgeous jungle pools dot the landscape around Tulum, and are one of the most popular excursions in the area. You can find a guide to the best cenotes near Tulum here.
Only an hour from Tulum, Playa Del Carmen feels like a world away. The city offers great shopping, dining and nightlife–plus better wifi than Tulum if you need to catch up on some work!
Muyil is only 20 minutes from Tulum, and accessible by car, bus, or scooter. While you’re there, don’t miss the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located just 25 minutes from Tulum, Akumal is a hotspot for divers, both experienced and those looking to get their PADI certification. If scuba isn’t your thing, it’s still a great place to swim and snorkel–and hopefully spot the sea turtles the town is named for!
One of the reasons Mexico remains a top digital nomad destination is the country’s six month visa exemption: Most travelers can remain in Mexico for 180 days visa free (see a full list of qualifying countries here).
Note: Visa rules are subject to change so always make sure to do your own research before going.
The local currency is the Mexican peso (MXN) and at the time of writing $1 USD = 20 MXN. Tipping is the norm in restaurants, starting at 10-15%, but don’t be afraid to tip more if the service was excellent!
You don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to be a Tulum digital nomad, but it’s definitely helpful to know a few words! Especially if you plan on living outside the tourist areas, it’s a good idea to brush up on your Spanish.
BONUS TIP: My favorite app for learning languages is Duolingo. This is not sponsored or an affiliate link, just a genuine recommendation and someone I personally use regularly to practice my Spanish and French skills!
Finally, make sure you have health insurance to cover any unexpected expenses. Safety Wing is the best option for digital nomads (in my opinion!).
If you’re able to stay flexible with your work schedule and can handle the occasional power outage, Tulum could be your perfect home base. With a laid back lifestyle, beautiful weather, and excellent coworking options, this digital nomad hotspot will only continue to grow in popularity.
Still dreaming of how to make the digital nomad lifestyle your reality? Make sure you download the Laptop Lifestyle Blueprint, my free 30 day guide to starting an online business and building your freedom lifestyle!
And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all things digital nomad lifestyle!