U.S. State Department issues warning about travel to Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Mexico is one of my favorite destinations in the world and a country I keep going back to.

I’ve written extensively about my love of Tulum and how it’s an amazing destination for remote workers. Just to the north of Tulum is Playa del Carmen, a popular destination for spring breakers, the LGBT community, and anyone who wants to worship the sun on an idyllic beach. I was there in Playa del Carmen in 2016 and really loved it.

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Sadly, after an explosive device was found on a tourist ferry in the area this week, the State Department has issued a warning to U.S. travelers and is prohibiting U.S. government employees from traveling to the region.

The U.S. government is suggesting the following actions if you are traveling to Playa del Carmen:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution.
  • Purchase travel insurance that specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance.

I’m hoping the unrest in Mexico eases soon and can’t say this would stop me from traveling there, but understand if tourism drops a bit as a result.

8 reasons why Tulum is the perfect destination for remote workers

Beautiful beaches, reliable infrastructure, and a community of digital nomads — read on to discover why Tulum may be the perfect destination for remote workers.

1. Easy to get to

Tulum is located about 90-minutes away (by car, bus, or shared shuttle service) from Cancún International Airport. Flights to Cancún are easy to get, with direct service from most major American cities.

2. It’s safe

Mexico is going through a crime wave right now, and even typical tourist hot spots like Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta have had incidents occur over the last few months and in recent weeks.

But the Yucatán Peninsula, including Tulum, Merida, and Cancún have largely been insulated from this wave of crime and violence.

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Having traveled to Mexico many, many, many times, I have never once felt unsafe in the country. That said, there is nowhere that I’ve felt more safe in Mexico than in Tulum.

3. Easy to get by on English

If remote workers needed to know the language of every country they traveled to, for many, their world would be quite small. While I encourage anyone traveling abroad to a country that speaks another language to learn basic greetings and words, it’s always nice to know if you can get by on your native tongue.

In Tulum, speaking only English isn’t an issue, with taxi drivers, hotels, and restaurants all accommodating Americans and English-speaking travelers from all over the world.

4. Reliable WiFi (unless you’re right on the beach)

I spent a week working remotely from Tulum and had no connectivity issues, except while I was sunbathing on the beach itself (and it probably was better to take a full-on break at that point).

The closer to “town” you get (which is about 2 miles west from the beach), the better the WiFi gets. To ensure you’ll have service while you work, I would recommend staying closer to central Tulum and taking a taxi to the beach, which costs about $5 per trip.

5. Simply stunning beaches

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Turquoise water, soft, white sand, and warm tropical sunshine help make Tulum’s beaches some of the best in the world.

While there, be sure to get a massage on the beach, where you can listen to the waves crash while your worries float away — and cheap-ish by American standards (~$40 for 60-minutes).

6. Community of remote workers/digital nomads/freelancers

Tulum is almost synonymous with digital nomads and remote workers. If you go to a coffee shop in Tulum in the morning or afternoon, you’ll see laptops and iPhones galore, with people typing away, (presumably) working.

If you want to get away from the beach or need to be in an office, Tulum even has a dedicated coworking space, Coworking Karma Tulum.

7. Cenotes

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One of the main attractions of staying in Tulum is visiting some of the nearby cenotes.

“Cenotes are natural swimming holes formed by the collapse of porous limestone bedrock, which has revealed a secret subterranean world of groundwater pools,” according to Lonely Planet.

“Most cave cenotes have fresh water that has been meticulously filtered by the earth, making them so clear and pure that you can see straight through to small fish frolicking in the plant life below.”

A number of cenotes surround Tulum, including Gran Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojas. You can snorkel, dive, or just check out the beautiful scenery away from the warm, Mexican sun.

8. Ruins (with a view)

I’ve saved the best for last — the famous Tulum Ruins.

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Tulum’s history goes back to at least the late in the thirteenth century, during what is known as the Mayan post-classic period. Tulum was built with a wall surrounding it, and while the reasons are still largely unknown (and may have been lost with the decline of the Mayan world), it’s thought that priests and nobility were hosted within these walls.

For the best experience, you should arrive shortly after opening before the crowds come. Once you experience the ruins themselves, be sure to head to the beach for a swim in the crystal-clear blue water, surrounded by history.

Dallas Trip Deal: $185 direct, round-trip from DFW to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Spirit

I rarely, if ever, will post deals from Spirit, but this one was too good to pass up!

Spirit is putting direct flights from Dallas to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on sale for travel with dates found from in April and May.  Flights start at $185 after taxes.

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between DFW and SJD.

Los Angeles Trip Deal: $283 direct, round-trip from LAX to Puerto Vallarta on Delta, American

Both American Airlines and Delta are putting Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on sale from Los Angeles with dates found from January through May. Flights start at $283 direct, round-trip, after taxes.

Puerto Vallarta is beautiful, especially this time of year – I’ll be making my way there in March. If you haven’t been, or you haven’t been in a while, this is your chance!

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between LAX and PVR.

Aeroméxico announces plan for 3-hour express flights from Mexico to Europe

In attempt to make Mexico even more amazing, Aeroméxico announced plans to purchase 10 aircraft from Boeing that travel so quickly, customers will be able to get from Mexico to Europe in only 3 hours.

According to Google Translate and limited Spanish skills, the press release says,

“This new service will also allow passengers to experience flying near outer space, since the flight path of the equipment amounts to 360,000 feet in height, thus reaching the boundary between the atmosphere and the latter. This is how the airline goes one step further towards the space tourism industry.”

If Aeroméxico can pull this off, it may drastically transform boundaries and travel around the globe.

Los Angeles Trip Deal: $195 direct, round-trip from LAX to Mexico City, Mexico on Volaris

Volaris is putting Mexico City on sale from Los Angeles for travel between January and May (with limited availability in April), with flights starting at just $195, direct round-trip, after taxes.

These flights are direct and time in at a at least one layover, and time in at around 7-8 hours each way.

Mexico City is one of my favorite cities in the world, and you can make a long weekend of it with little effort from the West Coast.

To find this deal, use Google Flights and search for flights between LAX and MEX.