Tulum, Playa del Carmen
Take a road trip to Tulum....and bring your bathing suit for a swim in the beautiful beach. Spend your day visiting Tulum. Arrive early to avoid the crowds. Wander around and witness the beautiful Mayan ruins overlooking a crystal blue ocean. When you get hot, walk down to the beach and swim in the cooling waters and look up at the ruins above. Have lunch in town and take the ADO bus or a collectivo back.
You can also tie in a trip to Akumal with this day trip. If you do, just take a collectivo and tell him you are going to Akumal, he will drop you off and you can go snorkeling there in the pretty water.
Tulum is a special place mainly because it's located right next to the sea. This location provides dramatic views of the green ocean and the grey Mayan ruins. The archeological site is much smaller than Chichen Itza or Coba and its surrounded by a wall since it served as a defensive fort as well as a trading city.
When visiting you should take a close look to the Castillo, which is seven and a half meters tall and very impressive. Also be sure to see the temple of the Frescos, the temple of the Diving God, the temple of wind and the watch towers.
Don't forget to wear bathing suit because a visit to the beach is very recomendable. Again, it´s advisable to wear confortable shoes, hat/cap and bring water.
Tulum is an ancient Maya port. As any Mayan city it has a pyramid, but it also has two lighthouses marking the gap in the coral reef for sailors.
You will not need much time for seeing the whole of Tulum, as it is quite a small site. One hour will be enough for it. However, you can make very nice pictures of the ancient city against the blue sea.
Mayan ruins by the beach in Tulum are just gorgeus. This city was a market place in late times of mayan culture and I really could imagine the life there. The beach there was most beautiful from the ones I visited on my vacation so you may want to take your swimmingsuit with you! Entry to the area is free on Sundays!
The ruins at Tulum aren't nearly as impressive as Chichen Itza but they're OK. Everything is roped off and you can't get too close. There is little shade so a visit in the afternoon is not advisable, unless you plan to swim. You see, the best thing about the Tulum archeological site is the beach. It's quite lovely and makes the sweaty walk around the ruins all worthwhile.
The parking area and visitor center are quite far away from the actual ruins. We walked the quarter mile or so in the hot sun to the entrance but there is also a tractor that pulls a train of cars along for a nominal fee if you want a ride.
Note: We had a guide book that said the ruins at Tulum were open until 7:00 PM but they start chasing people out beginning at 4:30 and they close the gate promptly at 5:00.
Tulum was about an hour from our hotel. We went around 11am and let me tell you it was HOT. It is absolutely breathtaking. The ruins are beautiful and up on a cliff. Below the cliff is a great beach to go swimming in and take a cool dip after a nice hot walk around the ruins.
Go to Tulum! Tulum is just a short cab ride from Playa Del Carmen & you can go anytime you wish w/o being on a tour & tied down to their time frame. Pay $15.00 at the gate & you can spend the whole day there if you wish. Tulum is an old Mayan shipping port and small town. Just chock full of History. I would highly advise that you take the guided tour first. That way your guide can explain to you many of the Tulum buildings, their history, some of the Mayan culture, games and techniques of the Mayan's. All of this fascinating history, even for you non-history buffs. Afterwards stroll around the many buildings and even check out the interiors of some. You'll find some interesting carvings on the walls...each with their own meaning. Take plenty of pictures. This really is a gorgeous area & I'm sure was a beautiful town. I can just see the activity back then. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit or even your fins, mask & snorkel. Tulum has it's own little beach, complete with fine white sand, tropical fish & a totally unique atmosphere. Tulum is an area that you don't want to miss! Downright gorgeous to look at, easy to imagine the hustle & bustle of it's busy little port during it's height of business & the beach! You have to take advantage of this unique spot. A highlight if you ask me, especially if you enjoy watching the marine life unfold before your eyes.
Tulum is the most visited site of Mayan ruins in Mexico...which means it is packed with people. We visited Tulum on a stormy day and the crowds were a bit smaller than usual. There is a fabulous beach for swimming, snorkeling and sunning just below the ruins, a little effort is required to hike down to it.
If you have your own transportation I would forgo paying for a tour of the place. It is small enough to see on your own, and there a plenty of locals outside the gates who will show you around for a small fee.
We went to Tulum as an excursion combined with Xel-Ha through our hotel rep, which seemed to be the way most people visited it. From Playa Del Carmen the journey took just over half an hour.
Tulum is a Mayan fortress city overlooking the Carribean with it's beautiful powder white sandy beach. Tulum was most prominent in the 13th Century when it was a seaport. The site of Tulum is fairly small, but very impressive with the contrast of the ruins against the backdrop of the sea,set on 15m high cliffs.
The main ruins you can see are the Temple of the Frescoes, the Castillo and the Temple of the Winds, the latter perching over the water and was said to serve as a warning system for hurricanes. Tulum has many altars and shrines and was a centre of worship.
You are not able to climb any of the ruins due to the damage that could be done.
There are not so many ruins close to the city. The best ones are at Tulum, about an hour south. The city of Tulum is just some houses and restaurants along the mainroad, so just get off the bus at the Ruins right before the city and spend your time there instead. The ruins are perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, so bring your swimsuit and stay here the whole day.
You can also go to Chichén Itzá which is the most visited and best restored ruins in the Yucatán peninsula. It's about 3 hours drive from the city, but it's definetly worth a trip!
Tulum is the only walled Mayan city discovered that sits over looking the sea. It will take about an hour or so to see the ruins but give yourself more time if you can because the waters of the Caribbean get no better then this. Visit my Tulum page at
The Ruins at Tulum
A 30 minute drive south of the resort brings you to the ancient ruins at Tulum. Make sure you go early, before it gets too hot, and before the busloads of tourists arrive. My advice is to hire a guide. For about $20 the guide will walk you around, give you the history, and answer all your questions.
Tulum is situated right on the ocean, and the views are stunning. The contrast between the ancient grey limestone buildings, pinkish sand beach and the turquoise sea will take your breath away. After your tour, make sure to go for a swim.
The second tour we took was a visit to Tulum, another archeological site which is worth seeing if you're in this area of Mexico.
The most impressive thing about this site is its location. The cliff-top ruins are overlooking a beautiful palm-fringed beach.
The Tulum ruins are nice for a half day tour. The ruins themselves are not that impressive but the place is so scenic that it worths the visit. Take the colectivo on the highway and go by yourself.