I enjoyed the trip to Tulum.The beautiful cliff-top archaeological site of Tulum,86 miles south of Cancun,dating from the Maya Post Classic period(AD 900-1512),is one of the most famous landmarks in the Maya world.It has wonderful views of the Quintana Roo coast.
We went here on a two centre trip and had about 2 hours here.Our guide took us around the temples and told us about them,then we had free time.
From Cancun it is not far to Tulum, the only fortified Maya-City at the coast. The ruins are not as impressive as the ruins of Chichen Itza, but it is overwhelming to see the temple above the beach and the blue ocean.
As it is easy to reach from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, there are also millions of tourists.
For more photos and impressions of Tulum please see my travelogue!
Tulum is not too far from Cancun that you can't go or too close to be exagerated full. Tulum is located at a good distance 2hr drive from Cancun. THere's many ways to get there; by renting a car or taking a tour, you can take the Bus "Mayab" to Tulum.
Go to see the ruins at Tulum. It is hot and dusty, but it is worth the trip. The tours are given by real Mayans who share lots of information about the culture; both past and present.
Bring a bathing suit as well, there are amazing beaches there too.
We spent a half day at Tulum on our November 2004 trip and it was the highlight of the trip for me. Tulum is absolutely breathtaking! The town is so neat to walk through and imagine how it might have been back during the Mayans time there.
The water on the beach there is something else. The waves aren't regular waves, they roll in like beautiful soft fluffy waves, and the water is the bluest green I have seen in all of Mexico. You have to experience the beach to understand for yourself. A few pesos will get you in to see all of the sites. And remember, DO NOT climb on these ruins you will get in trouble, there was a guy climbing on them and it is forbidden and you will get whistled at and yelled at by the employee's who work there. Tulum is a must see for those who visit this area of Mexico.
The Mayan ruins at Tulum are the only known Mayan ruins located on the coast. This ancient village is in excellent condition and well worth a visit. Don?t forget to take your speedos as if the sightseeing gets too much, you can pop down to the beach for a quick dip in the ocean.
This trip is quite often run as a 2 part day-trip to Xel-Ha as well.
For more pictures from Tulum, have a look at my Tulum travelogue
This is a beautifully restored area right on the ocean. This was the primary port used by the Mayans in this area. Aparently the Mayans were mostly inland and used Tulum as a centre of commerce. We were told that only the wealthy traders and nobles lived within the gates. At the end of the day, all of the workers and slaves left and had homes outside the wall. Unlike Coba, this area is pretty much fully restored and unlike Coba, you don't have to walk 5km to take everything in. It does however lack the grandeur and mystery of Coba.
ANTUGUA CUIDAD AURALLADA, TULUM FUE UN PUERTO IMPORTANTW PARA EL COMERCIO MARITIMO DE LOS MAYAS.
TULUM THE ANCIENT WALLED CITY, WAS AN IMPORTANT PORT OF MARITIME COMMERCE FOR THE MAYANS. GREAT PLACE TO LOOK AT THE MAYAN RUINS AND THEN AFTER TAKE A SWIM INSIDE THE DEEP BLUE OCEAN.
RECOMMEND GOING.. ITS SO NEAT BECAUSE THE RUINS ARE ON THE SIDE OF A CLIFF NEXT TO THE OCEAN... COMBINE WITH XEL HA AS WELL... LEAVE ALL DAY B/C YOU WILL BE GONE FROM DUSK TO DAWN... AT LEAST 4 HOURS ROUNDTRIP SPENT ON A BUS.
YOU HAVE TO PAY 2 PESOS PER PIECE OF TOILET PAPER FROM THE MAYANS.
A mandatory day trip from Cancun takes us to Xcaret or Xel-Ha, both close to the ruins of Tulum. The ruins are not so impressive as in some other areas, but it is a very interesting visit, and the bath by the ruins a special experience, even with a rough sea that didn't frighten the kids.
Tulum is the only walled city the Mayans ever built on the Carribbean coast. It is easy to see why they chose this site. It's the only place on the low-lying Yucatan Penninsula where limestone deposits built up to create coastal cliffs.
Tulúm is the most visited of the Maya sites in the Yucatán and not only because of its proximity to Cancún. Although the ruins are structurally less impressive than Chichén Itzá or Uxmal and much less extensive, they have the azure Caribbean as a backdrop - a startling contrast and heaven for the photographer or artist. Because the area is small and there is comparatively little climbing involved, you can gain a fair appreciation of Tulúm in a couple of hours.
Tulúm was built around AD 1200 as the Mayan civilization declined
Amongst the frescoes is a portrayal of a man on a horse, which indicates that these drawings were still being worked on after the Spanish invasion. (The horse was introduced by the Spanish and clearly had a disarming effect on the Mayans - originally it was thought that horse and rider were one being and later, when one of Cortés's horses died, its skeleton was worshipped as a god).
El Castillo is the result of several phases of building. Steps lead to an upper temple featuring columns decorated with plumed serpents as seen in Chichén Itzá and an indication of Toltec influence. It would also have been used as a watchtower, with visibility over land and sea. Beneath El Castillo is a small but perfect beach, where the Mayans would have landed their canoes.
The Temple of the Descending God is to the left of El Castillo when looking out to sea. Above the door of the temple is a stucco relief of a figure prevalent at Tulúm, the upside-down winged god that also shows bee-like features. This figure is sometimes referred to as the 'diving god' because of its position and the resemblance to a bee signifies the importance of honey to the Mayans.
The Temple of the Frescoes lies between El Castillo and the entrance to the site. Here fragments of color can be seen on murals depicting Maya life.
I am not much of a 'sight seeing' person, but this is well worth your time . . . Gorgeous views . . . Tulum is the only walled city near the ocean the Mayans ever constructed . . . Built between 1200 and 1500 A.D. . . . Rising at the edge of a 40-foot cliff is 'El Castillo,' the main castle overlooking the Caribbean's turquoise waters . . . We coupled this site with Xel-Ha (Shell High), a snorkeling park, for a same day trip . . . 1/2 the day was spent at Tulum with the other half at Zel-Ha snorkeling . . . Worked out great for us
Tulum archeological site (only mayan city built so close to the ocean)
You have to be there to feel it, but it's a great place, with very interesting and well preserved buildings and objects of ancient mayan culture
Visit de mayan ruins of Tulum. It's only 60 kilometer from Playa del Carmen and it's really great. Take any bus to Tulum village and tell the driver you want to go to the ruins. From the main road it's about 10 min on foot. Entrance fee: 35 pesos. There's a nice beach on the right side of the ruins.