Digital Nomad Guide to Tulum, Mexico

The ultimate digital nomad guide to Tulum including where to live and stay, coffee shops with Wifi, and coworking spaces.

Published on
September 16, 2020
It's no mystery why Tulum has become the hot spot that it is today. Travelers and digital nomads are flocking here for its prime location along the Yucatan Penninsula, gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and local culture. If you're a remote worker here, read on for the best places to live and stay for digital nomads, coffee shops with wifi, coworking spaces, and things to do in Tulum.

Where to stay in Tulum, Mexico: Centro or Playa?

Most visitors base themselves either by the beach, or downtown. You'll see these being referred to as playa and pueblo in Tulum. There are also two up-and-coming towns, Aldea Zama and La Veleta, that more and more remote workers are finding themselves in.

Tulum Beach

Tulum Beach is the place to stay if you'd like to spend most of your time on the sand. There are restaurants and bars within walking distance, however, make sure to note how long the beach road is. It's not easy to walk up and down during high season due to the traffic, and you'll need to rent a bike to get to the town.

Tulum Town

This area is home to Outsite Tulum - Centro, and the majority of locals. So, it should come as no surprise that this is the spot for great authentic Mexican food. It's also easier to stay here if you plan on going to many of the cenotes. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and small boutiques here, too. 'Pueblo' refers to the center, however, La Veleta and Aldea Zama are also popular neighborhoods. You'll need to rent a bike to get around town, or down to the beach. You can also use taxis to get around, but this can get pretty expensive.

Aldea Zama

The newest neighborhood in Tulum, Aldea Zama is situated between downtown Tulum and the beaches and is known for its abundance of new condos and apartments. It's a quiet area, still building up residents and a sense of community.

La Veleta

In 2021, La Velata is becoming a haven for Tulum digital nomads, and there are new eateries, yoga studios, and coworking spaces opening up here. Because of this, it has more of an expat vibe rather than a local one like you would find in the pueblo. It is also a pricier area for renting.

La Velata is located about a kilometer from the downtown area and is further away from the beaches. However, it is closer to Tulum’s many excellent nature spots like the biosphere reserve.

La Veleta is located near Tulum's downtown but is quite far from the beaches. It's picking up traction with digital nomads with its boutique restaurants, yoga studios, and coworking spaces. There's a strong expat vibe here, unlike the local feeling maintained in downtown Tulum.

Read more about neighborhoods in Tulum.

Digital nomad communities in Tulum 

The digital nomad community in Tulum is growing rapidly. Outsite Members have access to a local WhatsApp Group for Tulum - this is an easy way to meet other digital nomads and remote workers in when you're there. There's also a comm designed for remote workers and digital nomads working in Tulum.

Members of Coworking Tulum receive access to over 20 spots (think beachside restaurants and rooftop cafes) to work from throughout the areas of Aldea Zama, La Veleta, Centro, and the hotel zone. Each of these locations has Fiber-optic WiFi, and offer up to 20% discount on food and drinks.

Coworking spaces in Tulum 

When staying in Outsite Tulum Centro, you'll have access to dedicated workspaces onsite.

Digital Jungle
This bright and natural lit coworking space is perfectly suited to Tulum with its jungle theme and abundance of greenery decorating the space. Their WiFi is reliable and it's a great spot to take your virtual meetings.

Los Amigos Cowork
This space is newer, and built on sustainability. It's not as busy as other coworking locations, and there's less emphasis on community here. They offer day, weekly, and monthly passes.

What’s the WiFi like in Tulum? 

WiFi is notoriously difficult in Tulum. This is a town built inside a jungle, and there is no cell reception on the beach. However, as Tulum develops, WiFi connections continue to improve. Outsite Tulum - Centro has reliable WiFi, and you can also find fast connections in the following coffee shops.

Note that it is helpful to purchase a local SIM card on arrival, in case you need a back up. Telcel is the most popular provider.

Best cafes to work from in Tulum 

Coffee shops with WiFi in Tulum on the beach

Ahau is a resort on the beach, which happens to have great WiFi, food, and drinks. Access to their Wifi network will also get you access to the Wifi at Raw Love, a smoothie bowl bar just behind Ahau. There are better desk spaces inside Ahau, but the crowd can get a little rowdy after midday.

Papaya Playa Project
PPP is better known for DJ sets than a fast Wifi connection, but if you're looking for a beautiful place to call your 'office', this is it. It's a design hotel and venue for musicians from around the world. The Wifi is great, but plan your visit for earlier on in the day if you're really intent on working.

NEST Tulum
NEST is a boutique hotel with a beachfront restaurant, just across the street from Outsite Tulum. Their Wifi is reliable, but it's on the beach - so this is not an all-day spot either.

Coffee shops with Wifi in Tulum in the town

Cafe Hunab Ku
Great coffee, lots of vegetarian, vegan options, and gluten-free options. There's free wifi and indoor and outdoor seating.

Matcha Mama
There are two Matcha Mama locations - one on the beach road, and one in town. Both are outdoor cafes, and not ideal for a long day of work. However, if you need coffee, breakfast, and Wifi, their connection is very reliable.

Babel Cafe
This is one of the best places for digital nomads to work from in Tulum. It has great food and coffee, power outlets at every table, and its Wifi is reliable.

Day trips from Tulum 

Cenotes close to Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is known for its vast underground caverns of water. These are a playground for divers (or even those who are just dipping their toe in - it's common to lounge around in these areas, soaking up the sun and taking photos). There are a lot around, but some of the best cenotes in Tulum are:

El Gran Cenote
This open-air cenote is one of the most popular cenotes in Tulum, and for good reason. Surrounded by caves and caverns, it makes for a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Cenote Calavera
It's likely you've seen photos of it quite a few times in your Instagram feed, it's a popular cenote with a ladder on the side and a swing in the middle. Note that it can get crowded, so try to get here early.

Cenote Carwash (also known as Aktun Ha)
This easily accessible open-air cenote is less busy than other cenotes nearby. It is, however, popular with snorkelers and sunbathers. In the summer months, algae collect on top of the water, trapping the heat and turning the cenote into a heated pool.

Cenote Zacil Ha
Slightly off the beaten path, but close to Cenote Carwash, this is another less crowded cenote. There's a zipline that runs to the center of the pool for those looking for a little thrill.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
If you drive to the end of the beach road, you'll enter the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Only a small community of locals live here, but it's one of the most beautiful places in Tulum. Crocodiles still live in the lakes, the water is pristine, and the beaches are white. Drive down, or book a trip with one of the local vendors.

Lake Bacalar  
Bacalar, 'the lake of 7 colors', is a few hours away from Tulum. This is best visited overnight so you can fully enjoy sunset and sunrise over the lake. There are a handful of bars, restaurants, and galleries, but the lake is the main focal feature here.

Gyms and yoga studios Tulum 

CrossFit Tulum
CrossFit Tulum is located in town, towards Veleta. Daily, weekly and monthly passes are available.

Evolve Fitness Tulum
Evolve is in the center of town. It's more of a 'traditional' style gym, with free weights and classes.

Tulum Jungle Gym
This is an Instagrammer's dream. All 'weights' are made with natural materials, and it's on the beach.

Shopping and groceries Tulum 

Grocery Stores

Chedraui is a mini-Walmart where you can buy fruits, vegetables, meats, cereals, homewares, and more. Taxis wait outside, so you don't have to carry your bags home.

Super Aki
Super Aki is similar to Chedraui, but it's a little smaller. There's a car park out front where you can find local street food vendors selling tacos and tamales.

Health food stores

Naturalmente Tulum is situated in the town center. Here, you can find snacks, whole grains, vegan skincare, sage, and palo santo.

Gypsy Market
This is another great option for organic, vegan, keto, and gluten-free products. It's just a 6-minute bike ride from Outsite Tulum Centro.

Ready to book? Outsite offers discounts on 30+ day stays, and you'll be instantly connected with the digital nomad community in Tulum. Book your stay at Outsite Tulum Centro now. 

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