Jane Harris

Jane Harris



October 30 2023

Pros and Cons of working remotely in Tulum


#remote work



scenic view of tulum


Tulum, with its breathtaking beaches and rich Mayan history, has become a magnet for digital nomads seeking a utopian work-life balance. As more and more professionals embrace remote work, this Mexican paradise has emerged as a top destination for those eager to trade office cubicles for turquoise waters and swaying palm trees. With reliable Wi-Fi, affordable living costs, and a vibrant expat community, Tulum has all the necessary ingredients for a successful remote work experience. However, before you pack your bags and set up your workstation on the beach, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of working fully remote in Tulum. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of embracing the digital nomad lifestyle in this tropical oasis, helping you make an informed decision about whether Tulum is the right place for you to live and work remotely.

Pros of working remotely in Tulum


scenic view of tulum

  • Affordability of living

  • Tulum offers an affordable cost of living for remote workers, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a more budget-friendly lifestyle. With a lower cost of housing compared to big cities and tourist hotspots, remote workers can find comfortable accommodations at a reasonable price. Rental options range from beachfront villas to cozy apartments, allowing individuals to choose what suits their needs and budget.

    Additionally, the overall cost of groceries and dining out in Tulum is relatively affordable. Local markets offer a variety of fresh produce, allowing remote workers to cook their meals economically. There are also plenty of local restaurants and eateries that offer delicious, budget-friendly options, making it easier to enjoy the local cuisine without breaking the bank.

    Moreover, Tulum provides numerous free or low-cost recreational activities. Remote workers can spend their leisure time exploring the beautiful beaches, swimming in cenotes, or visiting awe-inspiring Mayan ruins, all without spending a fortune. Nature enthusiasts can take advantage of the many hiking trails and reserves, immersing themselves in the breathtaking natural beauty that Tulum has to offer.

    Overall, the affordability of living in Tulum allows remote workers to make the most of their income while enjoying a high quality of life in a stunning tropical setting.

  • Safety in Tulum

  • Tulum is considered a relatively safe place to live and work remotely. The crime rate is low, and it is generally known for being a peaceful and friendly community. This provides a sense of security for remote workers, allowing them to focus on their work without constant worries about personal safety.

    Tulum's safety stems from its close-knit community, where locals and expats look out for one another. This tight bond creates a supportive environment, making it easier for remote workers to integrate into the community and feel at ease.

    Furthermore, Tulum's location in the Riviera Maya region grants it added security. The area is popular among tourists and expats, resulting in a higher police presence and overall vigilance. This helps maintain a safe environment for everyone, including remote workers.

    Whether you're enjoying a stroll on Tulum's pristine beaches, exploring the tranquil cenotes, or simply walking around the town, there is a sense of security that allows remote workers to fully embrace and enjoy their surroundings.

    Overall, Tulum's reputation as a safe destination is an attractive aspect for those looking to work remotely. The peace of mind it offers allows remote workers to focus on their professional endeavors while enjoying the beauty and adventure that Tulum has to offer.

  • Engaging recreational activities

  • Tulum offers a wide range of exciting recreational activities that can make your remote work experience even more enjoyable. With its gorgeous beaches, you can take breaks and go for a swim or simply relax and soak up the sun. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling and diving, allowing you to explore the stunning underwater world teeming with colorful marine life.

    Moreover, Tulum is home to ancient Mayan ruins, such as the famous Tulum Ruins and Coba Ruins. You can take a break from your laptop and immerse yourself in history by exploring these archaeological sites. The breathtaking views from these ruins will leave you in awe and provide a refreshing change of scenery.

    If you're a nature lover, Tulum is surrounded by lush jungles and cenotes, natural sinkholes filled with refreshing turquoise water. You can go hiking or biking through the jungle trails, discovering hidden cenotes along the way. Imagine taking a dip in these natural pools surrounded by tropical foliage, a perfect way to recharge during your work breaks.

    Additionally, Tulum is known for its yoga and wellness scene. There are numerous yoga studios offering classes for all levels, allowing you to rejuvenate your mind and body after long hours of remote work. You can also indulge in spa treatments, meditation sessions, and holistic therapies, providing the perfect balance between work and self-care.

    With its vibrant nightlife, Tulum offers plenty of options to socialize and unwind after work. You can visit trendy beach clubs or enjoy live music and entertainment at local bars and restaurants. Whether it's sipping cocktails while watching the sunset or dancing under the starry night sky, Tulum has something for everyone.

    Overall, Tulum's engaging recreational activities make it an ideal location for remote work. The opportunity to combine work with adventure, nature, and cultural exploration adds an exciting dimension to your remote work experience in this tropical paradise.

  • Year-round warm weather

  • One of the most enticing aspects of working remotely in Tulum is the year-round warm weather. With average temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius (77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit), Tulum offers a tropical paradise that can greatly enhance your remote work experience. Imagine setting up your laptop and working from a cozy beachfront cafe, feeling the gentle ocean breeze on your skin while enjoying the vibrant colors of the Caribbean Sea. The warm weather creates an inviting and relaxed atmosphere that can boost productivity and overall well-being. Additionally, the consistent warmth allows for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, swimming in cenotes (natural sinkholes), or exploring ancient Mayan ruins during your downtime. With Tulum's warm climate, you can enjoy a work-life balance that combines productivity with a laid-back and enjoyable lifestyle.

  • Good air quality

  • on average in Tulum makes it an ideal destination for remote work. With the absence of heavy traffic and industries, the air in Tulum is relatively clean and refreshing. This means you can take deep breaths of fresh air while working from your outdoor office space or enjoying breaks on the beach. Breathing in clean air not only improves your overall health but also enhances your focus and productivity. Additionally, the pleasant scent of sea breeze and tropical vegetation further adds to the positive working environment. Enjoying clean and fresh air while working remotely in Tulum is sure to rejuvenate your mind and make your work experience even more enjoyable.

  • Spacious and serene environment

  • Tulum is well-known for its spacious and serene environment, making it an ideal location for those who work remotely. The peaceful atmosphere allows you to focus on your work without the distractions often found in bustling cities. Whether you prefer working from a cozy café, a tranquil beachfront, or a private villa surrounded by nature, Tulum offers a variety of workspaces that cater to your needs.

    Imagine starting your workday with the calming sound of the ocean waves or taking a refreshing dip in a cenote during your lunch break. Tulum's natural beauty creates a harmonious backdrop that boosts your productivity and creativity. The open spaces and abundance of green areas provide a sense of freedom and inspiration that can enhance your remote work experience.

    Additionally, Tulum's tranquil surroundings are perfect for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. After a productive day, you can unwind by exploring the stunning Mayan ruins, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, or practicing yoga on the beach. The abundance of outdoor activities helps you disconnect from work and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.

    Furthermore, Tulum's spacious environment means you won't have to worry about feeling crowded or claustrophobic. Whether you choose to live in town or in one of the surrounding residential areas, you can enjoy a more relaxed pace of life, away from the hustle and bustle of larger cities. The spaciousness of Tulum allows you to find your own secluded spot to work or unwind, giving you a sense of privacy and tranquility.

    In conclusion, Tulum's spacious and serene environment provides a truly unique and inspiring setting for remote work. With its abundance of natural beauty and peaceful surroundings, you'll find it easier to stay focused, motivated, and balanced. Whether you're searching for a peaceful escape or a place to foster your creativity, Tulum offers a remote work experience like no other.

  • Low tobacco usage

  • Tulum, being a destination known for its wellness-focused lifestyle, boasts a low tobacco usage rate among its residents. This is great news for remote workers who value clean, fresh air while working. With fewer people smoking tobacco, you can enjoy a healthier and more pleasant working environment.

    Breathing in clean air can have a positive impact on your productivity, focus, and overall well-being. Without the presence of second-hand smoke, you can fully immerse yourself in your work without any distractions or concerns about your health. The lack of tobacco usage also means that you won't have to deal with uncomfortable smoke breaks or unpleasant smells that can sometimes be associated with traditional office spaces.

    Tulum's low tobacco usage culture aligns well with the town's emphasis on health and wellness. You can choose to work from various charming cafes, beachfront locations, or even outdoor spaces like co-working spaces amidst the lush greenery. Enjoy the fresh coastal breeze while you stay focused and productive on your tasks.

    Working remotely in Tulum provides a unique opportunity to prioritize your well-being and work in an environment that promotes a smoke-free lifestyle. Say goodbye to the negative effects of tobacco and embrace a healthier work-life balance in this vibrant and wellness-oriented community.

    Cons of working remotely in Tulum


    scenic view of tulum

  • Limited freedom of speech

  • Tulum may have a beautiful natural landscape and vibrant culture, but it is important to note that freedom of speech is limited in this area. The government closely monitors and controls expressions that are deemed critical or controversial, making it difficult for individuals to freely voice their opinions or engage in political discourse. This can be particularly challenging for remote workers who rely on open communication and creative thinking to excel in their professions. While Tulum offers an escape from the fast-paced modern world, it is essential to consider the potential limitations on freedom of speech before deciding to work remotely in this location.

  • Lack of democracy

  • in Tulum poses a significant con for working remotely in this beautiful Mexican destination. While Tulum offers a warm climate, affordable living, and plenty of fun activities, the lack of democracy can have implications for individuals who value political freedoms and the ability to participate fully in decision-making processes.

    Without a strong democracy, citizens may find their voices suppressed or restricted, which can hinder efforts to advocate for change or have a say in local affairs. The absence of democratic institutions can also create an uncertain environment for businesses, with decisions made potentially without considering the needs and concerns of the population at large.

    For remote workers who rely on stable internet connections to stay connected with colleagues, clients, and complete their tasks, the lack of democracy in Tulum can impact their ability to work efficiently. When decisions about infrastructure development and public services are not made through democratic processes, it may result in the inadequate allocation of resources, including slow internet speeds that can hamper productivity.

    The absence of democratic practices can also influence the quality of education and healthcare systems in Tulum. Without democratic participation, crucial decisions about educational curriculum, funding, and healthcare policies may not adequately address the needs of the population, affecting both children and adults living in the area.

    Furthermore, the lack of democracy can have social implications. Tulum may not be as safe for women or as family-friendly compared to destinations with stronger democratic systems in place. Additionally, the absence of democratic values can create a hostile environment for the LGBTQ+ community, making it challenging for individuals to feel comfortable and accepted in their work and personal lives.

    While Tulum offers many attractive factors for remote workers, the lack of democracy calls for careful consideration and evaluation of personal values and priorities. Individuals seeking a destination with a robust democratic system that upholds freedoms and fosters community engagement may need to explore other options that better align with their values.

  • Slow internet connection

  • One of the major concerns of working remotely in Tulum is the slow internet connection. While this might not be an issue if you're on vacation, it can be a significant drawback if you rely on a stable and fast internet connection for work. Remote workers often require a reliable connection to attend video conferences, upload or download large files, or collaborate with colleagues in real-time.

    Tulum's infrastructure for internet services is still developing, and as a result, the internet speed can be quite slow and unreliable. This can lead to frustrating delays, decreased productivity, and potential disruptions in communication with clients or team members.

    It's important to note that the slow internet issue is not limited to Tulum alone. Many remote destinations, especially in developing areas, face similar challenges. However, if you heavily rely on high-speed internet for your remote work, it's essential to consider this drawback before choosing Tulum as your remote working destination.

  • Challenges in conducting business

  • One of the major hurdles for remote work in Tulum is the internet speed. The internet infrastructure in this area is not as advanced as in larger cities, and the connection can be unreliable and frustratingly slow. This can be a significant obstacle for remote workers who rely on consistent and high-speed internet for their work.

    - Language barrier: While Tulum attracts a diverse community of expats and tourists, many locals do not speak English fluently. This can pose a challenge when conducting business or collaborating with local vendors and clients. It may be necessary to hire translators or learn some basic Spanish to bridge the communication gap.

    - Quality of education: Tulum is not known for its educational institutions, which can be a drawback for those who have families or are looking for quality educational options. If you have children and value a strong education system, Tulum may not be the ideal place for long-term remote work.

    - Limited business opportunities: Tulum's economy is heavily reliant on tourism and hospitality, which may limit the availability of diverse business opportunities. If you are looking to expand your professional network or explore different industries, the options in Tulum might be limited compared to larger urban areas.

    - Limited healthcare options: While Tulum has some medical facilities, the quality of healthcare might not meet the standards you are used to. Complex medical procedures or specialized treatments might require traveling to larger cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, which can be an inconvenience.

    Navigating these challenges is essential to make the most of your remote work experience in Tulum. It's important to research and plan ahead, adapt to the local business environment, and be prepared to face potential obstacles that may arise.

  • Low quality of education

  • While Tulum may offer affordable living and an abundance of recreational activities, one of the downsides of working remotely in this area is the low quality of education available. This can be a significant concern for individuals who are looking to relocate with their families or for those who value access to quality educational institutions.

    Tulum, being a smaller town, lacks well-established and reputable schools, which could limit the educational opportunities for children. Limited resources, outdated curriculum, and a lack of qualified teachers are some of the challenges that can be encountered when seeking a quality education for your children in Tulum.

    Additionally, the language barrier may further compound the issue, as English is not widely spoken in Tulum. This can make it difficult for non-Spanish-speaking expatriates to navigate the education system or communicate effectively with school staff.

    For remote workers who rely on an excellent education system for their children or those who prioritize access to quality education, Tulum may not be the ideal location. It would be wise to thoroughly research education options and consider alternative living arrangements or educational solutions if education quality is a top priority for you and your family.

  • Poor healthcare facilities

  • One major drawback of working remotely in Tulum is the inadequate healthcare infrastructure. The quality of healthcare facilities in the area is generally subpar, with limited access to specialized treatments and medical expertise. This can be a concern for remote workers who require regular medical attention or have pre-existing health conditions. The lack of quality healthcare options can be particularly distressing in emergency situations, as the nearest well-equipped hospital may be located in a larger city.

    Additionally, language barriers can further complicate healthcare access in Tulum. Many healthcare providers in the area may not speak English fluently, making it challenging for non-Spanish speakers to effectively communicate their symptoms or understand medical instructions. This can lead to misunderstandings and potential misdiagnoses.

    Remote workers considering Tulum as their base should plan ahead and ensure they have comprehensive health insurance coverage that can address any potential medical emergencies. It is also advisable to research nearby cities with better healthcare facilities and make arrangements for quick transportation in case of serious health issues.

    Despite the drawbacks in healthcare, Tulum remains an attractive destination for remote workers due to its affordable cost of living, beautiful surroundings, and vibrant culture. However, individuals should take these limitations into account and prioritize their health and safety while working remotely in this charming Mexican town.

  • Unsafe roads

  • Tulum's roads can be a cause for concern, especially for those who rely on transportation to commute or explore the area. The lack of proper infrastructure and maintenance can lead to potholes, uneven surfaces, and limited street lighting, making driving or biking at night a risky endeavor. Additionally, the local driving culture may be different from what you're used to, with some motorists not following traffic rules or displaying reckless behavior. It's important to exercise caution and be extra vigilant while on the roads in Tulum to ensure your safety.

  • Language barrier

  • While Tulum offers a vibrant and diverse community, one challenge you may encounter while working remotely here is the language barrier. English is not widely spoken in Tulum, and many locals primarily communicate in Spanish. This can make it difficult for non-Spanish speakers to navigate daily life, interact with locals, or collaborate with colleagues or clients who are not fluent in English.

    Whether it's ordering food at a local restaurant, seeking assistance in a shop, or trying to communicate with your landlord or neighbors, the language barrier can sometimes lead to misunderstandings and frustrations. It may require extra effort and patience to overcome these communication hurdles and ensure effective interaction in both personal and professional settings.

    However, it's worth noting that Tulum's growing expat community and the tourism industry have led to an increased availability of English-speaking services and individuals. Many restaurants, hotels, and businesses catering to international visitors have staff who can communicate in English. Additionally, you can take Spanish language classes or use language learning apps to improve your Spanish skills and bridge the communication gap.

    While the language barrier may pose some challenges, it can also be an opportunity to immerse yourself in a new language and culture. Embracing the local language can enhance your overall experience in Tulum and allow for deeper connections with the community.

  • Safety concerns for women

  • Tulum, while generally safe, does have some safety concerns for women. It is important to note that the area can still be considered relatively safe compared to other parts of Mexico, but precautions should still be taken.

    Tulum is a popular tourist destination, which means that it can attract a diverse range of people. While most visitors are friendly and respectful, there is always the potential for unwanted attention or harassment. As a result, women should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially when traveling alone or at night.

    It is advisable for women to stick to well-lit and populated areas, avoid walking alone late at night, and trust their instincts if they feel uncomfortable. It is also recommended to use reputable transportation services or arrange for a trusted driver if traveling after dark.

    Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Tulum is known for its vibrant nightlife. While this can be an appealing aspect for many, it also means that alcohol consumption is prevalent. Women should always be mindful of their alcohol intake and never leave their drinks unattended to avoid any potential risks.

    Although Tulum has been making progress in terms of safety measures, it is always essential to prioritize personal safety and take precautions to ensure a positive experience while working remotely in this beautiful destination.

  • Limited family-friendly options

  • Tulum may be a great destination for solo travelers or couples, but when it comes to family-friendly options, it falls short. While the town offers beautiful beaches and outdoor activities, it may not have enough attractions or amenities specifically geared towards children.

    Unlike larger tourist destinations, Tulum does not have as many theme parks, play centers, or family-oriented attractions. This limited variety can be a challenge for families looking to entertain their children. Additionally, there may be a lack of organized activities or programs for kids, making it harder for parents to keep their little ones engaged and occupied.

    Moreover, Tulum's nightlife scene is more geared towards adults with beach clubs and bars, which may not be suitable for families with young children. While there are some family-friendly restaurants in the area, the options may be relatively limited compared to more family-oriented destinations.

    Furthermore, the healthcare and educational facilities in Tulum may not meet the standards that families expect. The quality of education is generally low, and there may be a lack of international schools or institutions that cater to expat families. In terms of healthcare, while there are medical facilities available, they might not have the same level of specialized care or infrastructure as in more developed areas.

    Considering these limitations, families planning to work remotely in Tulum should carefully evaluate their specific needs and consider whether the town can meet their family-friendly requirements. It may be more suitable for shorter stays or for families with older children who can appreciate the natural beauty and outdoor activities Tulum has to offer.

  • Hostility towards LGBTQ+

  • While Tulum may offer a warm and vibrant atmosphere, it is important to acknowledge that the city still faces challenges in terms of LGBTQ+ acceptance and inclusivity. The local culture and traditions may not always align with progressive views, making it difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel fully accepted and safe in Tulum.

    This lack of acceptance can be evident in various aspects of daily life, from social interactions to accessing services. LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination and prejudice, limiting their sense of belonging and freedom. Public displays of affection between same-sex couples may attract negative attention, leading to discomfort and potentially impacting one's overall experience while working remotely in Tulum.

    Moreover, LGBTQ+ individuals may find limited spaces and resources dedicated to their community. There aren't many LGBTQ+-specific organizations, support groups, or events compared to more LGBTQ+-friendly destinations. This can result in a feeling of isolation and a lack of support for their unique needs.

    It is worth noting that as the world progresses towards greater acceptance and equality, Tulum may also evolve in its attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. However, for those looking for a fully inclusive and supportive environment, it's essential to consider the existing obstacles that LGBTQ+ individuals might face while working remotely in Tulum.


    scenic view of tulum


    In conclusion, working remotely in Tulum certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, Tulum is an affordable place to live, with a relatively low cost of living compared to other tourist destinations. It is also considered a safe place overall, making it a suitable environment for both work and leisure.

    Furthermore, Tulum offers a plethora of activities and attractions to enjoy during your free time. Whether it's exploring the magnificent ruins of the Mayan civilization, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of cenotes, or simply unwinding on the beautiful beaches, there is never a shortage of fun things to do in Tulum.

    The warm climate throughout the year is another advantage of working remotely in this area. The pleasant weather allows you to enjoy outdoor activities and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds you. Additionally, Tulum boasts good air quality on average, which contributes to a healthier living environment.

    Moreover, Tulum is known for its spaciousness and lack of overcrowding, which can be refreshing for those who prefer a more laid-back and peaceful atmosphere. This also means that you can find a quiet work environment and escape the hustle and bustle of larger cities.

    However, it's important to consider the downsides of working remotely in Tulum as well. One major drawback is the weak freedom of speech and lack of democracy, which may not align with everyone's values and ideals. Additionally, the internet speed in Tulum can be frustratingly slow, which may hamper productivity for those who rely on a stable and fast internet connection.

    Furthermore, doing business in Tulum can be challenging due to various bureaucratic processes and regulations. The quality of education in the area may not meet everyone's standards, making it less ideal for families with school-age children. The healthcare system also leaves something to be desired, with subpar hospital facilities that may not meet international standards.

    In terms of safety, Tulum may not be the safest place, particularly for women. It is also worth noting that English proficiency among the local population is not widespread, which can create communication barriers, especially for non-Spanish speakers. Finally, Tulum has been criticized for being hostile towards LGBTQ+ individuals, potentially limiting the inclusivity of the overall community.

    Ultimately, the decision to work remotely in Tulum depends on your personal priorities and preferences. While it offers affordability, safety, and an array of recreational activities, it may not be the best fit for those seeking a strong democracy, advanced infrastructure, or a family-friendly environment. Consider the pros and cons carefully before making your decision.

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