Tulum On A Budget

Beach at Coco Tulum

If you’re looking for the ultimate girl’s getaway, then you’ll love my Tulum on a Budget Travel Guide. I highly recommend checking out this amazing city in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It’s a well-traveled tourist destination known for its boutique hotels and beach clubs! So, what to do in Tulum? Great question. The most popular activities to do are visit cenotes, explore the Tulum Ruins, and visit the most sought-out signs and statues that make for a great social media post. Not only is Tulum an Instagrammer’s heaven, it’s also exciting for gym lovers to get a good lift in at the Tulum Jungle Gym! Whatever your vice, you are sure to love Tulum, the ease of transportation, and the affordable boutique hotels and Airbnb’s.

Me on Tulum Beach by Coco Tulum Hotel

My friend Caroline and I spent roughly $500 each on flights from San Diego to Cancun, and we booked our tickets about a month in advance. We were excited about the possibility of staying on the beach in an affordable boutique hotel, and Coco Tulum did not disappoint. We paid approximately $1350 for the week split between the two of us. Breakfast was complimentary every day, and there was a local market within walking distance to stock up on drinks and snacks instead of overpaying for drinks at the hotel bar…although we did enjoy the fish tacos throughout the week and their amazing margaritas! 

*Plane Ticket: $500
*Lodging: $1350

The famous Ven A La Luz statue!

Before our trip, we devised a very basic itinerary of the things we wanted to do. We tried to do most of our activities in the beginning of the week so we could relax a bit more the last few days we were there. Something I learned is that it is way easier and cheaper to rent a car for a week than it is to get a taxi everywhere. So, if you want to venture out more, you’ll have the means to! Some of the coolest cenotes are a little over an hour away. There’s no sense in paying for a taxi when you can rent a car. The traffic laws and the roads are set up the same as in the United States, making it a lot easier to get around if you’re familiar with US rules of the road. Caroline and I rented a moped for a few days so we could easily get around town and see some things without having to pay for a taxi. It was a fun way to explore the city and felt very freeing (minus the time I crashed us into a bush, but we won’t talk about that!) It cost us about $150 to rent the moped for 2 days. Our hotel also had bicycles to rent for $30 for 24 hours which was a wonderful way to explore the strip.

*Moped: $150
*Bicycle: $30 

Biked to the Follow That Dream Sign

Having an itinerary gave us some ideas to stick to. The goal was to do most of the activities that were close by each other in proximity to maximize our time. We also wanted to make sure to get enough relaxation time in as well. It’s so hard to do everything you want, so just be sure to prioritize the must-sees!

Cenotes in Tulum: Cenote Calavera and the Grand Cenote are the two Caroline and I went to that were rather close by our hotel. They both ranged from $10-$20 for entry. At the Grand Cenote, there are lockers to keep your things and a place to rent snorkeling gear. Out of the two, the Grand Cenote was my favorite. It was much bigger and shallower making it much easier to see small fish and turtles swimming around with us. Cenote Calavera was cool, but it’s mostly good for jumping in from the cliff above! There’s a swing down there, but it’s difficult to get a turn on it. I would recommend going to Dos Ojos or some of the other well-known ones in the area. 

*Cenotes: $40 total

Exploring the Grand Cenote

One of the days, I took a solo trip to go scuba diving off the island of Cozumel. It’s a diver’s dream with beautifully clear water, tons of tropical fish, sea turtles, and more. My guide took me to some reefs that were spectacular. I was hoping to see some sharks, but the biggest sea creature I saw was a lone sea turtle very happy to be going the opposite direction of us. This was such a great experience. Koox Adventures is a must when book any diving excursion in Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, or Cozumel. 

Scuba: $250

Scuba Diving off Cozumel with Koox Adventures

We went to a few really cool restaurants worth noting! Casa Malca was one of Pablo Escobar’s mansion that is covered from floor to ceiling and around the property in artwork and sculptures. One of the most notable and eye-catching pieces is the wedding dress curtain. Although the dinner there wasn’t very filling, the service was immaculate, and the staff were incredibly hospitable. I recommend going during the day!

One night, we went to Taboo for dinner. They had amazing service and food! I definitely recommend going during the day. We also went to the Rosanegra not far from our hotel, and the overall vibes were awesome there as well. Great drinks and food and party vibe if you’re looking for that! Out of all of the restaurants, our favorite was Posada Margherita. So much so that we went twice! Their fish is incredible and pasta to die for. The seating arrangements are right on the beach. Cute nooks and tables, some little benches with coffee tables to just enjoy the sun setting. They also have an arrangement of gelato that is an absolute must, and you can take care of your tab via Venmo. 10/10 to Posada Margherita!

Food Cost: I lost count!

My friend Caroline and I wearing 437 Swimwear!

People always ask, “Isn’t Tulum dangerous?” All in all, I felt very safe traveling with my friend in Tulum. I know of other people who have not felt safe during their visit, but as always, it’s important to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings especially when you are traveling to a new place. Tulum has so much to offer, but it is best to be on your guard and travel with a partner if you can. To be honest, I felt safer in Tulum than I did when I was studying abroad in France! Just remember to be courteous when you are visiting another country. Each country has its own customs and courtesies. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and use your best judgement. If something feels off, then just turn around and go back to your hotel. It never hurts to be safe. 

I hope you have as wonderful of an experience in Tulum as my friend and I did. Mexico is such an underrated country in my opinion. It’s got hidden gems all around and worth exploring. Safe travels and happy adventuring!


Hi! I'm Kelsie Marie-welcome to my blog! I'm a San Diego-based Travel and Lifestyle Blogger, and I'm thrilled to have you here!

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