As founder of a female travel brand I felt it was my duty to spill the tea on what really happens inside Tulum. (written in March 2022)
Whilst it is certainly palm trees and ocean breeze. Things are really not what those fancy pics on Instagram and Pinterest set it out to be and as a woman you NEED to be careful. I am by no means a woman who believes in playing the victim but this is not spoken about and we were shocked to find out what we did...
Myself and my sister jetted off to Tulum in Feb 2022 for some R&R and to shoot our SS22 campaign whilst we were there.
Having spent a couple of days in the town side of Tulum (La Veleta) and toured around some of the hot spots by bicycle we started to notice that the town was undergoing an incredible amount of construction. The pathways are barely finished and it is still quite a rural feel to it. On initial touring I certainly was not blown away by the scenery. The town resembles a construction site which clearly has taken away the natural beauty.
Unfortunately if you are staying in downtown Tulum it is out of the way from the beautiful beachside and is very costly to get around. Taxi drivers do take advantage of tourists and can charge some $400MXN Pesos to go just one way! That is a round trip of roughly £30 to go to the beach, Ouch indeed.
Having said that, renting a bike for a couple of days was incredibly fun and I would highly recommend this. I would say it is too far to cycle down to the beach as its at least a 20-30 minute bike ride to the nice part and very sweaty in the Mexican heat!
After an initial 3 days of touring I came down with worrying food poisoning. It was very difficult to pin point where this came from as we were eating out twice a day however what I would say is that the majority of the locals do not eat out for this very reason (we learnt this towards the end of the trip!).
Having written off an entire day in bed, I managed to get it together for our shoot and had a fantastic day shooting at an airbnb we were staying at (still in the centre of Tulum). After a long day my sister and I decided to walk from our airbnb to a well known Italian restaurant some 12 minutes walk away.
We enjoyed a relaxing dinner and proceeded to walk back to our airbnb around 10:30pm local time.
We were roughly a 1 minute walk from the airbnb we were staying at when I was suddenly confronted with 2 male figures on a moped who came from across the road straight in front of me as my sister was behind.
I saw the 2 knifes immediately and my heart dropped. I muttered under my breathe 'Here we go' as I had no idea what would happen next.
One man in dark clothing and a balaclava jumped off with the knife and came running up to me, I immediately turned to run. It was definitely a complete blurr. All I can remember is accidentally running straight into my sister and waiting for the impact of the knife.
I was very lucky to have come away unscathed. He yanked my bag off my shoulder which meant the entire contents (including my passport) came out and he quickly robbed my mobile & cash. He then proceeded to my sister who just handed the bag across and they quickly jumped on and road away on the moped.
After the knife point mugging ordeal both my sister and I did not feel at all safe in Tulum so we spent 24hours inside the airbnb trying to get cash and a mode of transport to get us to Cancun.
Within those 24 hours what we learnt from a number of locals who helped us was shocking.
Women and tourists were being the subject of muggings on a daily basis. A local had moved from Tulum to Cancun as his entire apartment got raided during the pandemic and told us the place is dripping in Crime as gangs had found themselves in "desperate" situations. No travel during the pandemic meant no tourists to rob for nearly 2 years therefore plenty of time to be making up for it!
We were very glad to get out of there and felt safer in Cancun although as a whole it was the worst place I have travelled to and would not recommend it as a solo female traveller or even as a group of females.
On our final few days in Cancun I received a further message from a follower in our community who had told me that 2 days after our experience her best friend had got mugged in the centre of Tulum town also.
The reason for the honest and open blog is to show you that not everything you see on social media is what it is in real life and to please please be so careful when you travel to south America and places where there is a high crime rate.
I really hope this article can deter females from either walking alone at night in Tulum or even looking to book somewhere else until things get safer.
The town is expanding MASSIVELY because of the social media exposure and unfortunately the government has not put in any street lighting or even any proper pathing so these gang members will steak out the joint in the dark until the next victim appears.
As always ladies I am more than happy to answer any questions people have as this community and platform is a honest and open place for us to share our experiences with and if I can help just one person then I will try.
Lots of love
Jess / Founder