For those looking to continue their journey along the Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula, your next stop should undoubtedly be in Tulum. Aside from the picturesque beaches, Tulum is home to the third most visited archaeological ruins in Mexico. What makes them so spectacular is their backdrop, overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea below. The Tulum Ruins is really a sight to see!
On top of that, Tulum boasts a laidback vibe that, compared to its neighbours like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, truly offers you a place to lay back. There’s also plenty of restaurants to hop between and taste Tulum’s delicious traditional cuisine.
New to Tulum? Our compact Tulum guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Tulum!
The most cost-efficient way to travel the 215 km (133 miles) from Bacalar to Tulum is a 3-hour bus ride that costs around 310 MXN ($16.50). The only alternative is a 2.5-hour taxi that costs about 3,500 MXN ($185).
We recommend taking the bus from Bacalar to Tulum for its good combination of budget and convenience. Bus companies ADO and AU offer several direct bus trips every day. You can get a comfortable 3-hour ride with ticket prices at around 310 MXN ($16.50).
Taxis are also available from Bacalar to Tulum. Although taxis offer great convenience, they are pricier. A 4-seater ride costs around 3,500 MXN ($185). Still, a taxi is something you can consider if you’re travelling in a group or if you have bulky luggage.
Another alternative that has become popular with travellers is renting your own car in Bacalar. You can get a rental car with rates from 320 MXN ($17) a day. Renting a car gives you the freedom to stop at any of the beaches or towns along the way, leave whenever you want and indulge in a bit of car karaoke. Something to note though is that you have to return the car to Bacalar unless you’re willing to pay an extra $100 if you leave it in Tulum.
There are two bus companies operating on the route from Bacalar to Tulum: ADO and AU. You will get a comfortable ride with both companies, but we’re leaning more towards ADO Bus for first-class service.
If you prefer cheap bus tickets, though, then AU is not a bad choice.
All Bacalar to Tulum buses have air conditioning, toilet and reclining seats.
The bus trip takes a little less than 3 hours. Ticket prices range from 270 MXN ($14) to 310 MXN ($16.50).
It’s best to book online beforehand for guaranteed seats and also to be able to check the latest bus schedules. We recommend doing so with BookAway, which offers excellent customer service.
Do you prefer to buy your tickets onsite? They’re also available for buy at the bus station, but there’s a risk of tickets being sold out for your desired time. If that happens, then you’ll have to wait a bit for the next trip.
Buses to Tulum depart from Bacalar’s main bus terminal, which you can easily find on the town’s main road. If your hotel is too far from the bus station to walk, then the best option is to take a taxi.
Taxis in Bacalar are not metered, so make sure to agree on the rate before stepping in. Rates start from 60 MXN ($3.15) when coming from the lagoon’s beach.
There are a number of accommodation options within walking distance from the bus terminal. But if you’re staying around the beach area, then it’s best to take a taxi.
Same as the taxis in Bacalar, the taxis in Tulum are not metered. You need to agree on a price before stepping in. The average rate from the bus terminal to the beach area is 150 MXN ($7.50).
Bacalar to Tulum by Taxi
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 3,500 MXN ($185)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 3,500 MXN ($185)
Are you travelling in a group? Especially if you’re with young kids or elders, it might be more convenient to take a taxi from Bacalar to Tulum. That’s if you have the budget for it.
The 2.5-hour taxi ride from Bacalar to Tulum can be quite pricey with rates from 3,500 MXN ($185). Because Bacalar taxis are not metered, it’s important to take note of the average price to avoid being ripped off by taxi drivers.
Our favourite places to stay in Tulum
Hotel Casa Santiago Tulum – Treating yourself
There are too many great things to mention about Casa Santiago. It’s an eco-sustainable hotel with a refreshing pool and sun-loungers, perfect for relaxing around. An added bonus, all rooms offer balconies with pool views.
The star of the show though? The staff! They’re always there to help you out. Whether it’s answering a question, or helping you to organise a tour in Tulum.
Put on your complimentary bathrobe and enjoy the tranquility of this hotel. Every aspect of the hotel is so beautifully and intricately designed that you can’t help but be relaxed here. The decor is truly stunning with splashes of turquoise all around you.
There’s not one, but two pools to take a refreshing dip in after you’ve enjoyed your complimentary breakfast. And at the end of the day, the modern and spacious rooms are the perfect place to retire to at the end of the day.
The creative murals that you’ll find throughout the entire hotel, give La Palmita a vibrant and artistic feel. Wherever you look, you’ll feel inspired.
The beds are massive and incredibly comfortable, offering a great night’s sleep after a busy day in Tulum. You can also chill on your own private balcony or the big roof terrace. Plonk yourself in one of the many hammocks and enjoy the sunset.
Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.