Getting Around Tulum By Bike
There are five ways to get around Tulum
- Walking is easy to do in the pueblo (downtown) or at the playa (beach). Most of the pueblo’s hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and the bus station sit within a three square kilometer section of town. Streets follow a mostly grid-like pattern with wide sidewalks and good lighting at night. The clubs stay open until late (some as late as 5:00 a.m.), so it’s not unusual to have the streets crowded with pedestrians until late in the evening. At the playa, there is only one narrow road, so it’s impossible to get lost. Most hotels and many restaurants are set up along the eastern, beach side of the road, while most restaurants, shops, bars, and yoga studios lie on the western, jungle side of the road. Though there is no sidewalk for most of the length of the beach road, cars move slowly and drivers are used to pedestrians, so it’s very safe to walk all day. Exercise caution walking at night, as there are no street lights here, just the lights from the hotels and other businesses, so it’s hard for drivers to see pedestrians. Though walking is the most common way to get around in the beach zone, the whole length of the beach is over 10 km from the ruins in the north to Sian Ka’an in the south and would take around 2.5 hours to walk the full length. For longer trips or to travel the 5 km between the pueblo and the playa, you’ll want a more efficient mode of transportation.
- Busing is an easy, affordable way to travel from Tulum to nearby cities, including Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Bacalar. There are two bus stations in Tulum, the main one in the pueblo and another one at the ruins. However, there are no bus routes connecting the pueblo to the beach. The closest thing Tulum has to a public bus serving local routes in the pueblo or on the beach is the colectivo, a large van that operates as a bus and is mostly used by locals and hotel workers. The colectivo between the pueblo and playa runs about every hour; it’s often full and when that’s the case, it won’t pick up more passengers. Colectivos are incredibly cheap if you’re lucky enough to flag one down on Avenida Coba, but it’s not recommended to rely on the colectivo.
- Taxis are the most expensive public transport option, but they are the best option for traveling with luggage, large groups, or for late-night trips to or from the beach zone. Taxis are easiest to find near the bus stations, Chedraui supermarket, and near hotel-heavy areas, or call ahead to reserve one. Taxis in Tulum do not use meters; instead, they charge flat rates depending on which zone you are traveling to or from. Drivers have an official list of fares per zone in their taxis, and you’ll also find these lists at designated taxi stands. For a taxi from the pueblo to the North Beach Zone (up to the ruins) or Beach Town area (as far south as Zamas Hotel), the price should be around 100 pesos, while a taxi from the pueblo to the South Beach Zone, near the entrance to Sian Ka’an will be around 180 pesos. Not too bad for an occasional expense, but for multiple trips, it adds up fast. There is no Uber in Tulum to compete with taxi rates.
- Driving is easy to do in and around Tulum and offers more flexibility for exploring farther-flung attractions, including the Cobá ruins, Punta Laguna Nature Park, or Dos Ojos cenote. But a car can be a burden for traveling along the beach road since there is not much parking available and the narrow road is prone to congestion with work trucks and too many taxis. Rent a car if you plan on doing a lot of exploring outside Tulum proper, but if the bulk of your time will be spent in the pueblo or at the beach, cycling is the best option.
- Cycling is the best way to get around Tulum especially for traveling up and down the beach road all day, for getting between the pueblo and playa, and for getting to the cenotes just outside of town. Bikes are everywhere in Tulum. They’re easy to rent and cost about 150 pesos a day (less if you rent for multiple days). Tulum pueblo, playa, and the surrounding areas are mostly flat with a few very slight inclines here and there. The bike ride between the town and beach takes 20 to 35 minutes depending on your precise starting and stopping points. Along the beach road, car traffic can stop for 5 to 15-minutes for seemingly no reason at all. On a bike, you sail right by all the traffic and are happy for not being stuck in a car.
Renting a Bike
The best bike rental shop in Tulum is Ola Bike Tulum in the Pueblo on the road to the beach. There are many rental shops nearby, but Ola has the most well-maintained bikes in all sizes, plus accessories like baby carriers. If you book in advance, they’ll even deliver the bikes to you at your hotel and pick them up when your rental term ends.
Paola is another good shop in the Tulum pueblo. The bikes are older and not as high-end as Ola’s, but they are cheaper, about 100 pesos a day. The downside is that they will keep your ID for collateral as long as you have the bike.
There are also bikes available to rent on the beach, but most beach bike rentals are run out of hotels with a limited selection of bikes at an inflated rate (around 250 to 500 pesos per day). The best bike rentals on the beach are at the hotels Punta Piedra Beach Posada and Las Palmas Maya. Both places have a good selection of well-maintained bikes at reasonable rates (around 150 pesos a day).
Cycling in the Tulum Pueblo
Cycling in the Beach Zone
Hotels in Tulum with Free Bikes
The following hotels offer free use of their bike fleets for hotel guests. Bikes are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to get an early start to your day.
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- Tulum Travel Guide
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- Videos of Tulum
- Maps of Tulum