As laid-back beach destinations, Tulum and the Riviera Maya in general are typically informal, casual places to visit; Tulum tourists need not worry too much about etiquette or formal Mexican customs. That said, here are a handful of small Mexican traditions and some helpful Spanish words and phrases that might enhance one’s vacation.

Spanish

Mexicans are, for the most part, a friendly and welcoming people. They are polite, respectful, and modest. When you have left the beach, please cover up your bathing suit, especially when visiting shops or restaurants. Men should wear shirts when not on the beach.

The Beach Tulum

One delightful Mexican custom is to wish someone “Buen provecho” (enjoy your meal) when they are eating--try this when entering or exiting a restaurant and you’ll receive friendly thank yous in response. When meeting Mexicans, even for the first time, it’s very important to acknowledge and greet everyone--most commonly with a kiss on the cheek. By the same token, taking leave of a party can be a long process, as everyone must be bid goodbye as well.

Greetings and simple words:

  • Hello: Hola!
  • Goodbye: Adiós!
  • Good Morning: Buenos días!
  • Good Afternoon: Buenas tardes!
  • Good Evening: Buenas noches!
  • Yes: Si
  • No: No
  • Please: Por favor
  • Thank you: Gracias
  • You’re welcome: De nada
  • Excuse me: Perdón

Food:

  • Breakfast: desayuno
  • Lunch: almuerzo/comida or even lonch
  • Dinner: cena
  • Menu: carta or menú
  • Spoon: cuchara
  • Knife: cuchillo
  • Fork: tenedor
  • Bill: cuenta
  • Table: mesa
  • Plate: plato
  • Glass: vaso
  • Sugar: azúcar
  • Hot: caliente
  • Cold: frio/a
  • Jam: mermelada
  • Honey: miel
  • Salt: sal
  • Pepper: pimienta
  • Sauce: salsa
  • Rice: arroz
  • Bread: pan
  • Strawberry: fresa
  • Lime: limón
  • Apple: manzana
  • Orange: naranja
  • Pineapple: piña
  • Banana: platano
  • Onion: cebolla
  • Mushrooms: champiñones
  • Lettuce: lechuga
  • Potato: papa
  • Tomato: tomate or jitomate
  • Carrot: zanahoria

Sings:

  • Entrance: entrada
  • Exit: salida
  • Information: información
  • Open: abierto
  • Closed: cerrado
  • Men: hombres or caballeros
  • Women: mujeres or damas

Times and Dates:

  • What time is it?: Qué hora es?
  • Today: hoy
  • Tomorrow: mañana
  • Yesterday: ayer
  • Monday: lunes
  • Tuesday: martes
  • Wednesday: miércoles
  • Thursday: jueves
  • Friday: viernes
  • Saturday: sábado
  • Sunday: domingo