In recent years, Tulum has become an established tourism hotspot and a strong rival to neighbouring resorts on the Riviera Maya such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Tulum in Mexico is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for investors looking for both a steady rental income and an excellent long-term return on investment. A robust local economy, growing demand and a booming tourism industry combine to create a host of opportunities.
The key to Tulum’s success is tourism. The city slots onto the spectacular Riviera Maya region running along the Caribbean south of Cancun, which has seen a surge in tourist numbers in recent years. Between January and August 2022, there were 13.5 million arrivals at Cancun International Airport, which is an increase of 14.3% on 2019. Tulum and Playa del Carmen received a record-breaking 822,000 visitors between June and August 2022, representing a 22% increase on 2019.
Tourists are attracted by a compelling mix of good weather, spectacular scenery, world-class nature reserves and gorgeous beaches. Meanwhile, the surrounding countryside, dotted with ancient Mayan ruins, gives the entire region a sense of mystery and magic.
For those who want sun and sea, it has gorgeous, expansive beaches with beautiful white sand. For others who wish to enjoy an adventure, there’s the opportunity to explore the Mayan jungle and a range of exciting sports—both water-based and for land lovers. Its vast nature reserves make it an excellent destination for eco-tourists. A presidential decree in 1981 lists it as a national park. UNESCO regards the Sian Ku’an as a world heritage site thanks to the mangroves and sea turtles. The coast also has the second-largest reef in the world.
With tourists latching onto the region as one of the next must-see places, development has accelerated. Road infrastructure projects are underway, increasing accessibility to the nearby Cancun Airport. In total, infrastructure projects equated to 47.7 million peso in 2022.
The frantic pace of development means it’s a buyer’s market with opportunities to be found across the board. Over the last few years, real estate in Tulum has seen an incredible return on investment, averaging at around 8-14%, making the area one of Mexico’s most profitable real estate markets.
Visiting Tulum and the Riviera Maya is going to be much easier from 2023 onwards with the addition of a new high-speed train (the Tren Maya), which will connect Cancun with Tulum. A new international airport in Tulum is also set to bring in 4 million visitors annually. Exponential growth is expected throughout the year and right into the next decade – making now the perfect time to invest.
Our experts say
“Tulum has really exploded onto the scene as a fashionable tourist destination and the Riviera Maya now sits as one of the most popular destinations in the world. The good news for investors is that property prices in Tulum have not yet caught up with the demand, so buyers can enjoy competitive prices with excellent scope for capital growth.
Tulum and Playa del Carmen received a record-breaking 822,000 visitors between June and August 2022.
Road infrastructure projects are underway, increasing accessibility to the nearby Cancun Airport, which saw around 13.5 million arrivals from January to August 2022. And, with a new international airport opening in Tulum by 2024, tourist numbers are set to reach even greater heights in the next couple of years.”
– Kevin Martin, Head of Sales
How to get there
Tulum is located 81 miles from Cancun. It’s a direct drive from Cancun airport along the 307 Highway to Tulum, and by car will take around 1.5 – 2 hours.
Currently, you cannot travel to Tulum via train. However, the new Maya Train that runs between Cancun Airport and Tulum is expected to be completed by 2023.
Tulum is located just two hours south of Cancun International Airport. However, there are also plans for Tulum International Airport to open by the end of 2024.
While there are no direct boats to Tulum, the closest ferry is in Playa Del Carmen, from which you can take a day tour to locations such as Cozumel or from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.
Tulum has a tropical climate, experiencing year-round warm temperatures and high humidity.
Summer is the rainy season, but don’t be fooled – it’s short-lived and still very warm. The breeze tempers a bit of the heat, but moisture is high. There is no shortage of sunshine since the rains occur mainly in showers or thunderstorms, and are usually short but intense.
There’s not really a “winter” in Tulum – more of a cool season that runs from November to February with an average daily temperature below 29°C. The coldest day of the year is 13 January, with an average low of 17°C and highs of 28°C.
The tourism industry is creating a vast amount of demand.
Travel platform Tripadvisor announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice Awards 2022, featuring the most popular destinations amongst reviewers. The Best of the Best Destinations included Cancún, Mexico at 3rd and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico at 7th. Tulum ranked 4th in the Trending Destinations category, with one of the greatest y-o-y increases in tourist numbers.
Tulum also ranks high on the list of the best places to retire in Mexico. The mixture of climate and culture makes it a great place to come for people who want to experience nature and their creature comforts simultaneously.
While the older generations look to the area as a place to retire, younger professionals are buying up holiday homes. This gives them their own regular retreat as well as a reliable source of rental income from the ever-increasing tides of tourists.
Thanks to the increased popularity of the location, much is being invested in its infrastructure. The new Maya Train connecting Tulum directly with Cancun, and the new Tulum International Airport, are both due to open by 2024.
Property here is also more accessible in many respects than in the USA or Canada. Prices are still relatively affordable, taxes are low, and the regulatory environment is welcoming.
Most of all, though, Tulum offers an exciting property opportunity with the prospect of a steady income and a high return on investment. The Airbnb market is exceptionally robust here, with good rental yields on properties of all types. While the last few years have witnessed considerable tourism growth, Tulum is still listed as an up-and-coming location.
Subsequently, property prices have more scope to increase, with demand rising by the year. Investors who get involved today can expect to see significant returns in the future.