Before we answer that question, as we of course do have a recommendation and opinion, it is important to review what the purpose of your Tulum vacation is. Are you looking to chill on the Tulum beach, get some most needed sleep, read and just disconnect? Or are you hoping to explore, discover and find out more about the area.
If you want to chill and just walk to the local restaurants (this is a great option with Hechizo next door) then the Director of Possibiities (that being Jimmy) would say, no a car is not needed. If travel is required use a taxi and use your vacation budget for restaurants.
If you want adventure, knowledge, experiences and flexibility, Get…a…..car……
Tulum is laid out a bit differently from other cities in the area. It is broken up into three very distinct areas that have at least 4 kilometers between each area. The three areas are the Tulum ruins to the north, the Tulum pueblo or city on the highway just 3 kilometers south of the Tulum ruins and then The Tulum beach area which is to the west of the main city center. Each area has its own charm and if you wish to experience these three areas easily, a rental car is recommended.
How to arrange a rental car in Tulum
Our experience has been that it is best to make arrangements for a rental car when you arrive into Mexico. Read our blog post about airport transportation options to Tulum so you can decide how you want to get to Tulum. Rent a car in Tulum or if you are stopping in Playa del Carmen first rent a car locally there.
Costs for a rental car depending on the season and type of car you want, can range from 50 usd a day 90 usd a day. Drop off your car before you head back to the airport so you save the drop off charge.
As locals who live in the area, a car is required. The beach road is 10 kilometers long and walking in the heat of the day is not something that we recommend for us or our guests.
Conclusion: rental car requirements are based on the vacation that you choose to have. If you change your mind, you can always rent a car for the day or if you know what you want you can rent it for a discounted rate for the week that you are here.
80% of Casa de las Olas guests rent a car to explore, experience and take in all that Tulum has to offer. The Director of Possibilities makes it hard for guests not to want to explore the area! and he is always ready to help you book the rental car you need!