Picture this – you’ve just exchanged vows with your soul mate and Mexico’s Mayan ruins are serving as a backdrop. Sound far-fetched? To the contrary, it can absolutely become a reality in Tulum, Mexico. Tulum is located approximately eighty miles south of Cancún and is just one of the many exotic destinations that make up the Mayan Riviera. With its alluring temperatures, Tulum is a fantastic wedding and honeymoon location all year round. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is one of the Caribbean coast’s biggest attractions and the Yucatan peninsula’s most visited Mayan ruin.
Most Popular Beaches in Tulum
Tulum Beach - Boca Paila has yet to be invaded by the All-inclusive resorts and remains as one of the last popular relaxed laid beaches in the area. Along the beach you’ll find inexpensive cabana's for rent drink stands or casual dining.
Travel & Transportation - There are many methods to reach Tulum from the Cancún International Airport, including taxis and the actual resort shuttles or airport private transfer. There is also company called Tucan-Kin that has a no stops shuttle from Tulum to the Airport. Having a private, air-conditioned car can be far more relaxing and time-saving, and removes any issues of "negotiating" the price with a regular taxi. You know upfront what the price will be, and there will be no stops between the airport and your destination unless you want or need to stop somewhere. Tulum is quite a long drive from Cancún International so this is something to consider.
Shuttles can be booked in advance, through your hotel or on the transfer services Web site, or you can wait until arrival and book one directly at the airport terminal.
To drive to Tulum from the Cancún airport, take the highway south until you reach the crossroads leading to the Tulum hotel zone. You will see a sign for Boca Paila and also a plaza on the right side with a large San Francisco Supermarket. At the stoplight, turn left, heading toward the sea. Once you reach the end of the road, you will be at the coastal highway, where you can turn left or right (be sure to check with your hotel before you arrive so you know which way to turn). For general orientation, the archaeological zone is to the left, and Sian Ka´an is to the right. From Cancún it is about an hour and a half drive by car.
By bus - If you prefer a more economical method of traveling south from the airport to Tulum, you can take a bus to Playa del Carmen directly from the Cancún International Airport. The Riviera bus line leaves the airport for Playa about every hour, daily from morning to evening (about $6.50 USD per person, 45 minutes). From Playa del Carmen, you can take either a first- or second-class bus to the Tulum pueblo (about $3.50 USD. per person, two or more hours). First class buses are faster than second class ones, as they do not make as many stops along the highway. Alongside the Tulum pueblo bus station you will find a taxi stop, where you can take a cab directly to the hotels (about $4.50 USD per car, maximum four passengers per vehicle, about ten minutes).
Getting Around Tulum
By taxi - If you need a taxi to get somewhere from your hotel, you can either ask your hotels receptionist, who should have a cell phone or a radio to call the taxi center in the pueblo, or you can just stand out on the coastal highway and flag one down (this is often faster, especially in the high season, when there are more taxis around).
By colectivo - The easiest (and cheapest) way to get around is by Colectivo. These are little white vans that go up and down the highway between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum every 10 minutes or so. The fares vary, depending on how far you want to go, but the most you should pay is 25 pesos (about $2.50 USD).
By bike - Bicycles may be rented in Tulum pueblo, or at Punta Piedra cabanas on the beach. They are an inexpensive way to get around to the ruins, Tulum pueblo, or to many of the areas cenotes.
Entry Requirements - Traveling to Playa del Carmen , México doesn’t require a passport only an official ID. However, effective December 31, 2006, passports are required for all U.S. citizens traveling to or from the United States regardless of destination. If you are not a citizen of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, or most Western European countries, you will need to have a visa.
Visitors must carry a Mexican tourist permit while in Tulum , which is issued free of charge after proof of citizenship upon arrival. This permit must be given to officials on departure.
Languages Spoken / official language - Spanish is the official language spoken in Tulum.
Currency - The Mexican Peso is the official currency of Tulum.
Tipping - Since most travelers in Tulum, Mexico come from the United States and Canada, it's considered best (and is generally the practice) to tip the same people one would tip in the United States or Canada. Ten to fifteen percent is a good tip for good service.
Even though All-inclusive tours say that tips are included, it’s always appreciated in Tulum if you tip for good service, whether at a bar, restaurant, or other service. In an All-inclusive, where there is no value guideline for meal service tipping, a tip at each meal and for the bellboy is always appreciated.
Taxes - In Tulum, there is a 15 percent sales tax. The tax applies to the purchase of most items. Often this tax is hidden in the total cost of restaurant bills, store purchases, and tours.
120V 60 Hz
2 parallel flat prongs - "American" type
Immunizations - Health Issues - It’s highly recommended that you buy bottled water during your visit to Tulum. Otherwise, do not drink the water unless your hotel has a water purification system. Most of the resorts in Tulum have purified water at all of the facilities located inside the resorts including the bars and restaurants. The upper-scale restaurants usually have purified water as well, but the water outside of these areas is not safe to drink.
Tulum Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information
Most of the 4 and 5 star All-Inclusive hotels have Wedding Planners on-site. In Tulum, most hotels can make all the arrangements and supply catering and entertainment. A local wedding planner can take care of arrangements if you want a wedding away from a larger hotel. Either way they will take care of all necessary forms and paperwork for a civil or Catholic wedding, including scheduling your blood tests with a local clinic for a civil ceremony.
You’ll need the following documents for a wedding in Tulum:
Passports – A valid passport and photo-copy of passport for Bride and Groom. The passports must be valid for at least six months.
Tourist Visa - One copy each of the tourist visas for Bride, Groom and Witnesses. These are usually handed out on-flight or presented to you at your port of entry.
Divorce Decree - If either party was previously married, authenticated copies of the Divorce Decree are required. Exceptions can usually be arranged if the Bride’s passport is in the maiden name of the bride.
Widowed - If either partner is widowed, authenticated copies of Death certificate are required. Exceptions can usually be arranged if the Bride’s passport is in the maiden name of the bride.
Birth Certificates - A Birth certificate is NOT required for a groom if he has a valid passport. Birth certificates are only required for the Bride if she is divorced and her passport is NOT in her maiden name.
Marriage Application Forms - These forms are attained from any registry office in Mexico.
Blood Tests - It’s best to get this done in Mexico a minimum of three days prior to the wedding. Otherwise if the tests were done in the U.S., they’ll have to be translated.
Four Witnesses - You’ll need to have four witnesses present for a legal ceremony, and they must have valid Passport - no other ID is accepted. Witnesses can be provided if necessary.
Witnesses not from Mexico must have:
Proof of citizenship or Original Birth Certificate (2 photocopies)
Valid Passport or Drivers license (2 photocopies)
Tourism Office Information
There is no tourist office located in Tulum, though there is a lot of information on tours and activities available at the Weary Traveler hostel located in Tulum pueblo, near the south end of town, just past the main bus station on the right hand side of the avenue.
Other Tulum related Websites
Climate Information & Best Time to Travel
Tulum is a great destination any time of the year, but you need to know what to expect before you go. The weather is pretty much summery all year long (it cools off in the evenings in winter), so the seasons are divided into rainy and dry.
The rainy or wet season usually begins in June or July and lasts until November, with the heaviest rains usually being in July-August. This can mean rain all night, every night, with sunny days, or it can mean rain during the day as well. Rain is usually welcome during this time of the year, as the summer months are pretty hot and the rain cools things off.
The dry season runs from December to May or June. There can be very short downpours or light rains during the dry season as well.
Generally, the coolest months of the year are December-January, and the warmest are June-July.
High & Low Season for Travel - The peak tourist seasons in Mexico are during December and during the mid-Summer, with brief surges during the week before Easter and surges during Spring break at many of the beach resort sites which are popular with vacationing college students from the United States.
Map of Tulum
Local Attractions & Must Do’s
Mayan Ruins of Tulum are not to be missed when visiting Tulum. If the ruins themselves weren't enough the fact that the sit on a cliff above a beach, well, enough said. Once thought of as a fortress, the ruins of Tulum are actually at one time a busy location for regional commerce. Tour guides are available to take you thru the ruins and explain each building. They are well worth the price, about $35.00. Visitors are free to swim or sun at the beach below the ruins, and there are several places to take pictures and enjoy the view from above. You hould plan to spend a minimum of three to four hours to enjoy the ruins & beaches of Tulum.
Sian Ka´an Jungle Trip - This is a must do while visiting Tulum. The best trip is through the local community tour group. They offer a guided tour through the jungle with explanations of wildlife, trees, and medicinal plants. The hike takes you through Mayan ruins and wetlands where you end up by a lagoon. There is a short boat tour through the Mayan canals and then you get to cool off by wearing life jackets and literally floating downstream through one of the canals. There are gorgeous orchids and mangroves. The water is crystal clear and very refreshing.
Snorkeling – In Tulum, you will be close to Hidden Worlds and Dos Ojos and many a great cave and cenote for snorkeling.
Most Popular Hotels
Surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation amid the Mayan jungle emerges Ana y Jose Charming Hotel & Spa as one of the legendary lodging treats in Tulum, Mexico. Indulge yourself into a calmer pace of vacation where natural treasures await for you. Relax on the white sand beach, swim in the turquoise Caribbean Sea, and enjoy the warm ambience of this unique hotel thought for people who know what they deserve.
Casa Magna is located on the Riviera Maya in Tulum, Mexico... between the pristine blue ocean and the emerald green tropical forests and jungles, is nature, in its entire splendor. Think of paradise in these terms: lying in a hammock under the shade of a palm tree, facing beautiful white beaches, sipping a cool drink, and enjoying the warm but refreshing breeze caressing your skin.
Dreams Tulum is located on one of the most unique beaches in the Riviera Maya surrounded by lush tropical acres, sugary white sand and magnificent colonial architecture. Dream Tulum provides upscale surroundings and combines fun and relaxation with the ancient world of the Maya. Every guest is treated to impeccable service, elegant dining, abundant diversions and personal attention.
Located just in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, Los Lirios is a beach front hotel in Tulum only a short drive from the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, offering unusual comfort and lovely spacious rooms to its guests. Los Lirios Tulum cabins are the right place if you want to be totally relaxed, far from stress.