Ever thought about living there? “How much does it cost to live in Tulum?” you may have wondered at some point. In comparison with other parts of Mexico, housing is probably the most expensive aspect of Tulum, though in many cases, less expensive than housing in the U.S.

Graphic image of a beach - How Much does it cost to live in Tulum Mexico?

You’ll probably find food, drink, and other common purchases much less expensive than back home, making the overall cost of living in Tulum for retirees and expatriates less expensive than living in the U.S. 

So, let’s walk through some of the expenses you’ll have if you decide to have an extended stay in Tulum. Olé!

Is it Expensive to Live in Tulum?

Because of Tulum’s popularity as a vacation destination and its growth, short-term rentals have gone up in recent years, and you’ll likely pay higher than average rent than in other cities in Mexico. But you’ll find the cost of food and other common items to be significantly lower than what you pay for them in the United States and in other countries. You’ll find you can eat out frequently for not more than $200 – $250 per month.

How Much Money do You Need to Live in Tulum?

Taking basic expenses into consideration, and depending on your choices for housing and your lifestyle, the average monthly costs to live in Tulum, Mexico will probably run a typical traveler/expatriate at least $1,500 to $2,500 every month to live comfortably. Housing incurs the highest cost in relation to housing in other parts of Mexico.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Tulum, Mexico?

You can retire comfortably in Tulum for $1,500 to $2,500 per month, depending on the housing and lifestyle you choose, if you’re retired and without a pension. Relocation costs are probably around $2,000 USD to include household setup and moving expenses. 

How Much Does It Cost to Rent an Apartment or Studio Apartment in Tulum?

As mentioned, housing is pricier in Tulum than in many other parts of Mexico, primarily because the demand for housing among travelers/expatriates/retirees is considerably high. It’s also worth mentioning that the costs associated with renting an apartment or studio in Tulum are a bit different for a local as compared with a “rich” traveler. Note that even if you speak Spanish well, non-native speakers are usually considered at least somewhat wealthy.

Toward the less expensive end of the housing cost spectrum, you should easily be able to find a furnished studio or 1-bedroom apartment in downtown Tulum (Tulum Town) for $500 – $600 USD per month.

Toward the higher end of the housing spectrum, you can find a fully-furnished one or two-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood full of expatriates and/or retirees for anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 USD per month.

How Do I Find Housing in Tulum?

Because demand for housing is high, you need to act quickly when you do find something. Get yourself into local Tulum Facebook groups, or search Tulum Town (downtown) on Airbnb.com to find a good deal. Note that housing in Tulum town is significantly less expensive than in neighboring areas dominated by retirees and expatriates.

Mexico is known as a place where prices can be haggled and negotiated. I’d recommend not trying to haggle a housing price in Tulum because you might miss out on a great place. If you don’t want to pay what is being asked, the seller will easily be able to find someone else who does.

Is it Safe in Tulum?

Tulum is relatively safe, but don’t travel around alone, especially at night. And keep your doors locked, and a close eye on your belongings. Since Americans and Europeans are considered to be “wealthy” by the locals, they are often targets of muggings and theft.

How Do I Get Around in Tulum?

The best way to get around the main Tulum Town is by walking. Everything is relatively close. The beach is not really within walking distance, but you can rent a bike or scooter, or take a bus to get around further.

Taxis are a bit expensive and frequently get caught in heavy downtown traffic, so I wouldn’t recommend using them. There are also buses if you want to travel to other areas of Mexico.

How Much Do Things Cost in Tulum?

Here is a chart with average pricing in USD for some basic items of interest in Tulum, Mexico. 

  • Coffee: $1 – $5
  • Coca-Cola or Pepsi: $1 – $3
  • Beer: $1 – $5
  • Groceries for 1: $25 – $50/week
  • Touring/Activities: $50 – $100/month
  • Miscellaneous: $35 – $50/month
  • Transportation (Bike/Scooter Rentals): $10 – $20/month
  • Breakfast out: $6 – $12
  • Lunch out: $6 – $15 (Tulum Town) vs $15 – 25 in Tulum’s “hotel zone”
  • Dinner out: $10 – $20 (Tulum Town) vs $25 – $50 in “hotel zone”
  • Street food: $1 – $5
  • Hotel (median price): $60 – $70/night
    $1,300 – $1,400/month
  • Airbnb (median price): $150 – $160/night
    $4,600 – $4,800/month
  • 1 Bdm/Studio Apt Downtown: $500-$600/month
  • 1 or 2 Bdm Apt: $1,000 – $2,500/month
  • 1,200 Sq. Ft. Home: $125,000 – $150,000
  • Monthly Cost of Living: For a Local: ~$575/month

           For an Expatriate: ~$1,875/month

           For a Family: ~$2,025/month

          For a Traveler: ~$2,515/month  

So, How Much Does it Cost to Live in Tulum, Mexico?

Retirees, expatriates, and those looking for investment properties or for a winter home have found Tulum a popular place to be, along with all the tourists who visit each year. Housing is quite a bit more expensive than in other areas of Mexico, but food, drink, and common daily products are much less expensive than they are in the U.S.

You can retire comfortably in Tulum for around $1,500 to $2,500 USD per month, depending on where and how you choose to live. For around $2,000 you can cover your relocation costs and expenses relating to setting up a new home. 

Tulum, Mexico. You already know what a popular vacation spot it is, with great food, warm people, and beautiful weather all year long. You probably also know that Tulum happens to also be very popular among retirees and expatriates from other countries, especially the United States.

If you’re looking for an investment property or to establish a second home in a tropical-like climate, you’ll also find that housing investment in Tulum offers an attractive return. There’s even a charming street art community in Tulum that’s a popular draw.

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