Renting a scooter in Tulum is a fun and affordable way to zip between the luxurious beach/hotel zone and the bustling Tulum town (pueblo).
While living as a digital nomad in Tulum, we had the chance to rent a scooter (or moped) to explore beyond where our turquoise bikes could take us!
With a scooter, you can easily get to and from the beach back to the town without having to sit in traffic (as you can carefully weave through it) and you can also explore the surrounding cenotes near Tulum or take a ride to go check out the Tulum Ruins – all without needing to pack up a car for just you and your partner (unless you’re traveling with family or friends, then maybe take a car or get two scooters).
No matter how many days you have to spare on your Tulum itinerary, renting a scooter is a fun and quick way to discover the best Tulum has to offer. It’s also fairly budget-friendly!
Here’s a quick guide for how to rent a scooter in Tulum, Mexico!
Renting a Scooter/Moped in Tulum, Mexico
Where to Rent Scooters in Tulum?
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There are not that many places where you can rent scooters in Tulum. Luckily for us, we were living right down the street from a moped and bike rental store that we always passed and became familiar with. Turns out, they’re one of the best places to rent scooters from.
I don’t know the shop name, but on Google, it displays as “Scooter rental Tulum”. You can find it on the corner of Calle Sol Ote. with Escorpion Sur. You can’t miss the shop, as there is a yellow scooter suspended on top of the store as its “sign.”
If you’re coming from Coba Ave. down Calle Sol Oriente, it will be on your left at a junction. There is a beautiful mural on the side of the shop depicting Mayan women cooking tortillas (it’s a part of the Tulum Street Art initiative).
Once you’re at Scooter rental Tulum, in the neighborhood we used to live in, you can pay in cash, pick up your scooter, speak with the owner, get information, ask questions, and add his contact to your phone in case of emergency. They will also provide you with a scooter lock and a helmet.
They also verified scratches with us so that we both had a mutual understanding and agreement about which damages were already visible on the scooter so that we would not be accused of mishandling/accidents while out exploring.
I found this to be professional and it’s important to keep this in mind so you don’t get scammed!
They also ask you to leave your passport as a deposit. That, or send a PayPal transfer which we didn’t want to do. They will keep your passport in a locked safety box until you return. You will fill out a bit of paperwork, hand over the cash, and that’s it!
Note: I would stay away from tulumscooterrental.com website since they only operate online and don’t have a physical store. And it seems that iBike Tulum also rents out scooters but for twice the price.
Also Read: 9 Best Eco Boutique Hotels in Tulum
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Moped in Tulum?
If you were to rent from the guys I mention above, then it will cost $450-500 MXN pesos (around $25 USD) to rent a scooter for 24 hours (and $200-250 pesos for just half a day – 12 hours).
Note down the time you left and plan your itinerary accordingly so you can make it back on time for drop-off.
You also need to bring the moped back with a full tank of gas. Gas in Tulum is fairly expensive. I think at the time the price per liter of petrol was about $22 MXN pesos (so about $3-4 USD per gallon). But you won’t spend that much with such a small 125cc scooter. Maybe $10-15 bucks.
Do You Need a License to Drive a Scooter in Mexico?
Yes, you need a license to drive a scooter in Mexico. When we rented our scooter, one of us had to show our license. Paul showed his French license which doubles as an international driving permit.
I could have used mine (from the USA) as well. It’s only necessary so they can fill out their paperwork.
Do You Need Insurance?
Renting a scooter in Tulum isn’t like renting a car in the States or elsewhere. In that, you aren’t forced to have insurance but you need to be able to confirm that you are indeed covered in case of an accident.
Both Paul and I are insured by the travel medical insurance for digital nomads called SafetyWing. You can get covered for as little as $40/4 weeks and you can get coverage the day you sign up for it.
You should also have liability insurance included in the rental, in case someone runs into you. (At least, I’m pretty sure we did but double-check just in case!).
Where Can You Go in Tulum with a Scooter?
Since your moped isn’t a motorbike, it’s not going to go insanely fast and it’s not going to be able to handle off-roading very well.
But there are shorter day trips from Tulum that you can reach by scooter.
- Coba Ruins and Coba Cenotes
- Laguna Kaan Luum
- Cenotes Cristal y Escondido
- Muyil Ruins inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
- and more!
We tried to go down to Punta Allen with our scooter, but the road is not ideal for it. We made it about 1/3 of the way, though, just far enough to tour the free tourist center in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (along the coast) and climb the watchtower there overlooking the lagoons and lush jungle.
Safety Tips for Driving a Scooter in Tulum
Don’t drive around looking flashy: Police can stop you for any reason, but they’ll do it mainly if you’re being an obnoxious tourist. Driving fast, showing off, or generally looking like you have a lot of money should be avoided.
Pack a small day bag: Don’t bring too many valuables or stuff. The scooter only has a small storage compartment under the seat which pops up. It can barely fit two helmets. Anything else you have you should take with you at all times.
Speed bumps: Mexico is famous for its totopes which are annoying speed bumps. Don’t hit them going fast with your scooter – or else!
Tulum traffic: Avoid heading to the beach zone in the early evening, when everyone else is heading there. And if you try to double (pass) anyone, be careful and don’t speed.
Speeding: That said, don’t speed! You want to be low-key on your scooter so as to not attract attention to yourself.
Driving the right direction on streets in town: Make sure you are driving the right direction on all streets, especially around Tulum Town. Sometimes it’s not obvious. Slow down and make sure to do a full stop at intersections with stop signs.
All in all, renting a scooter in Tulum is super fun and budget-friendly way to get around!
If you compare it to renting a car in Tulum, Mexico, it might come out at around the same price but you don’t have to deal with traffic jams or parking (especially in the hotel zone which can be a nightmare for cars).
I hope this guide to renting a scooter/moped in Tulum helps you plan your stay and add a little bit of adventure to your trip! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments below.
Be sure to check out my other travel guides to Tulum, Mexico here:
- Restaurants: Top 20 Delicious Places to Eat in Tulum
- Cenote Calavera: Jumping in Cenote Calavera (Temple of Doom)
- Scuba Diving: The Complete Guide to Scuba Diving in Tulum, Mexico
- What to Do: 9 Awesome Things to Do in Tulum, Mexico
- Best of Tulum: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Tulum, Mexico
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