Tulum is 80 miles south of Cancun (about a 90 minute drive from the airport) and is still largely untouched. Locals take pride in the fact that Tulum is still off the grid. Cell phone and wifi service is spotty at best but that just adds to the charm that is Tulum. The majority of Tulum is accessible by foot or bike.
If you’ve never been out of the country the most important thing to consider is that you will need a passport to enter Mexico. *** THIS IS A REQUIREMENT *** so make sure you allow at least 16 weeks for processing. All of the information you will need to apply for a passport can be found here.
In order to get to Tulum you will need to fly into the Cancun International Airport. You can find direct flights to Cancun from both Atlanta and Charlotte. From the airport you will take a shuttle to Tulum. Most hotels offer shuttle services and this is the recommended way to travel to and from. If you choose to stay at a hotel that does not offer this service there are companies that make this trip. If you do arrange your own transportation make sure this is done in advance to avoid any issues upon arrival. Rental cars are not recommended.
In Tulum (and most all of Mexico), cash is the most common form of payment. Mexican Pesos and US Dollars are accepted everywhere. It is recommended to carry smaller money denominations as some local businesses often run out of change. Large bills over $20.00 are not generally accepted. There are ATM’s throughout Tulum but it is advised that you make sure to use an ATM directly associated with a local bank. Please be aware there is a daily withdrawal limit at the ATM’s, currently $5,000.00 pesos. Credit cards are not widely accepted in the area.