Tulum – Mexico – GRANDPAcking Costs

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My costs start in Playa del Carmen and include:

  • Transport from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum
  • 7 nights in a BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard Double Fan Room in a Hostel
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications
  • 3 Day Trips


For more detail, read about Tulum.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.




Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes.

I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

In Tulum I was, effectively, BACKPACKING.

Accommodation: My Hostel Room was belowGRANDPAcking Standard’; It was clean but sparse of furniture and it had a Cold Water Ensuite. It was a Backpacker Hostel.

I managed to get my room at an excellent, discounted rate. The room was usually over MXP500 / night … I got mine for MXP309 / night. This made a big difference to how much money I had left each day to have FUN with.

Transport: I was close enough to Tulum Town Center to be able to walk everywhere. I rented a bicycle for 1 day to visit the Tulum Ruins and Tulum Beach.

Communications & Fees: I had a 1 month AT&T Package with unlimited calls & texts and 600MBs of data. I did not need to top it up in Tulum. In fact, free WiFi was so readily available around town that I didn’t really need to use any of my own plan (apart from GPS to find my way around).

Food & Drink:

I averaged MXP68 / day. But, you should totally ignore my figures.

An ‘unlimited’ Breakfast was included at my Hostel. I found myself only needing a snack at Lunch time.

I experimented in different quality (and priced) restaurants in the evenings.

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was MXP417 / NZ$31 / US$22 / €20 / £17.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were MXP659 / NZ$49 / US$35 / €32 / £27 … but mainly because I was staying in a cheap Backpacker Hostel.

Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 180 Day Visitor’s Visa is free.

Getting There: It cost me MXP49 to get from my Playa Del Carmen accommodation to my Tulum accommodation (walking at both ends to / from the Bus Station). This consisted of 1 Long Distance Bus.

Drink / Partying: I averaged MXP29 / night. This was a mix of Happy Hour beers and cheap drinks back at my Hostel.

Personal: None.

Entertainment / Trips: I went on day trips to the Tulum and Coba Ruins.

SCUBA Dive Cenotes: By far my major cost was SCUBA Diving 3 Cenotes.

Shopping: None.

Other / Gifts: I tipped my SCUBA Dive Master (which is standard practice).

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at MXP890 / NZ$66 / US$47 / €43 / £37 per day. This was 83% of my total budget … I had 17% left to play with.

If I ignore my SCUBA Diving, this would have been MXP490 / NZ$36 / US$26 / €24 / £20 per day. Or 46% of my total budget … with 54% left to play with.


GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation is expensive in Tulum … this will be your main problem.

I suggest that you start looking for hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like BOOKING.COM, or EXPEDIA.COM, or AGODA.COM) well in advance and compare them with the Holiday Rentals found on TRIPADVISOR. Then, you can pick the best deal for you.

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: In Mexico, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite online for less than MXP500 / night. Under MXP500 you are usually looking at below GRANDPAcking Standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms and / or Cold Water Ensuites.

During my search (in September) the cheapest GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation was a Holiday Rental in Tulum Town which came inclusive of free use of bicycles at US$241 / week.

Transport: Try and choose accommodation that includes free use of bicycles. If not, you will pay as much as MXP80 / day each to rent one.

Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month ‘unlimited’ calls & texts MXP150 Package with 400-600MBs of data from one of the 3 major suppliers.

Food: You will not get breakfast included with your Holiday Rental accommodation. Target a cheap breakfast in your favourite local cafe. Do the same for Lunch. For Dinner, I have budgeted for you to have something from the lower quartile of the menu in a budget restaurant. The budget that I have provided is enough for you to NOT have to eat Tacos every meal.

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MXP1,074 / NZ$80 / US$57 / €52 / £45 per day.


This leaves you NOTHING to LIVE on (i.e. 0% of your GRANDPAcking budget).


Tulum is worth a visit but you will need to ‘deviate’ from our GRANDPAcking Standard.

You will need to drop the standard of your accommodation and stay in a Backpacker Hostel.

If you stay in a Hostel, you should be able to negotiate a monthly rate in an ‘acceptable’ Double Fan room with Cold Water Shower for about MXP450 / night.

This will give you MXP200 / day to LIVE on. MXP200 / day will be enough for you to have some fun on day trips, down at the beach, or popping out in the evening for a couple of drinks.

A Vacation Rental with full kitchenette facilities will allow you to get in groceries for your Breakfasts and, perhaps, Lunches. This should save a bit more MXPs per day if that is what you want to do … but, given the cost of groceries, don’t expect to save much per day.

Tulum is set on a main road and does not have a very ‘picturesque’ setting. But it is a small, pleasant town with a nice ‘hippy’ vibe … if that is what you like, you can come here and live a nice, relaxed ‘Beach Lifestyle’.

Tulum has made it into my GRANDPAcking Holiday Table … but, it DOES NOT make it into my Retirement REVIEWS.

Come for a month and have a look … some of you will like it.

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