How to pay in Tulum? (Pesos, dollars, cash, or card)

If you plan to travel to Tulum, Mexico, you might wonder how you pay for your experiences and goods. Understanding different currencies can be challenging, so let’s figure out what you need to do to pay for things in Tulum.

Stores in Tulum use pesos, and it is best to carry cash so that you can easily pay for goods, services, and tips. You won’t be able to use USD in most stores in Tulum, so you will need to exchange the money first. This can be done before your trip or while in Tulum itself.

Nobody wants to get stuck when it comes to payments, as this can be embarrassing and upsetting. With that in mind, let’s find out more about using dollars, pesos, cash, and credit cards in Tulum!

How to pay in Tulum?

Options On How To Pay In Tulum

No matter where you go, different businesses will have other payment options, and in some places in Tulum, you will be able to use:

  • Cash in the form of US dollars
  • Cash in the form of pesos
  • A preloaded credit card with pesos
  • A credit card with USD

However, in general, you need to have the cash to pay for things in Tulum, and most places will only accept pesos. You shouldn’t carry US dollars with you, as these may be stolen and will not work in many places you visit.

Although Tulum sees a lot of tourists, almost all local businesses require you to pay in the local currency. This makes sense, but it does mean that you need to be prepared.

If you use USD in places that accept them, you should be aware that you will be paying more overall than you would if you purchased the items in Mexican pesos.

What Currency Does Tulum Use?

Tulum uses Mexican pesos, like most of Mexico. This currency was first created based on the currency of Spain and has been in use for hundreds of years. You can get Mexican pesos from your bank before leaving the US, or you can get them while in Tulum.

You should avoid exchanging dollars for pesos at the airport if you can, as this will likely give you a very poor exchange rate, and you will pay way over the odds for your pesos. Instead, ensure you get your pesos before going or once you are in the town.

Should I Bring Pesos Or USD To Tulum?

You can bring either pesos or USD to Tulum, but you will probably need to exchange the USD for pesos when you arrive. Because not many places will accept USD, you will find you are limited in what you can do if you don’t make an exchange.

Related article: Best Way to Get Mexican Pesos

Best Way to Get Mexican Pesos

Ideally, you should bring pesos with you to Tulum, so you are prepared straight away, and you don’t have to deal with getting money out while you are there. If you are going to need to pay for a hotel room and offer tips straight away, this is even more important.

However, if you would rather exchange your USD for pesos once you arrive, you can do this too, and it shouldn’t be a problem.

Do You Need Cash In Tulum?

Many places in Tulum do not take cards, so you will need to carry cash. Many tourists recommend taking enough cash for lunch, dinner, activities, and tips each day and then leaving the rest of your money in your hotel’s safe.

This reduces the risk of you losing money to pickpockets and ensures you always have the cash to pay for activities. You may find that some places will let you pay with a card, especially in larger areas, but a lot of local businesses will not have a card reader.

Remember, those card readers cost the businesses money to maintain, so businesses with low turnover or a small customer base are much less likely to have a reader. Street markets and traders are very unlikely to have card readers.

If you are used to using your card a lot in the US, it can be quite tricky to get used to this, so set a reminder on your phone if you are at risk of forgetting. Keep your cash in a safe location on your person to minimize risks.

Have you read this article? How To Do Tulum On A Budget.

Does Tulum Accept US Dollars?

Some places in Tulum accept US dollars, which could make life easier for you, but you should be aware that you will almost always be paying over the odds with this exchange.

You will get a much better rate if you exchange your dollars for pesos at a financial institution or withdraw pesos from a bank-affiliated ATM rather than using your dollars directly in a store.

Can You Use Credit Cards In Tulum?

Some places in Tulum are likely to take credit cards, but most places do not. It is generally best not to depend upon using a credit card while you are there, although if you are staying at an international chain, your hotel may take credit cards.

Some big businesses are likely to take credit cards too, but on the whole, you should make sure you are carrying enough cash each day, with the ability to withdraw more if you need it. This should reduce the risk of your vacation plans going awry due to places refusing your credit card.

Remember to notify your bank before you leave if you will be using your card abroad, or you may find that the bank blocks the card for fraudulent charges. It is also wise to travel with several cards in case something goes wrong with one of them. You can then withdraw cash and pay for things using pesos drawn from the other card.

Want to see more of Tulum? Check out this article: Do You Need a Car in Tulum? (Best Options to Get Around).


When you are traveling in Tulum, it is generally a good idea to carry pesos and make sure you have a good amount of cash on you. You will find that a lot of places don’t take credit cards and that you get a very poor exchange rate if you try to use USD at local businesses rather than exchanging them first.

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