What to know when planning to visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum Mexico
Mexico’s Yucatan region is a traveller’s dream. One of the world’s most beautiful regions, with lush jungle, Caribbean islands, unique Mexican food and a party atmosphere all rolled into one. As well as beach life and nightlife, Tulum also has the remnants of Mayan life, with the archaeological remains of a walled village located on the edge of town. In this blog, our Travelmood travel expert Denise tells you what you need to know in advance of a visit to the Mayan ruins of Tulum Mexico.
Tulum, on the east coast of the Yucatan, a two-hour drive south of transport and tourism hub Cancun, is the chill-out highlight of the region. With one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine beaches as its centre point, the city has emerged along the coast, with hotels to cater for all budgets and a burgeoning nightlife scene catering for all tastes.
Right on the edge of Tulum sits the archaeological remains of a walled village. The 13th century ruins give an insight into the life of the pre-Columban civilisation and are astonishingly well preserved, enabling visitors to see the cliff top castle, which served as a watchtower, as well as the many Mayan pyramids of various shape and sizes within the walls.
All of this is set in a perfectly manicured garden, which itself is worth a visit alone. And to complete the experience the ruins are set on the edge of 12m cliffs and a beach that is protected for nesting green turtles.
The Yucatan is dotted with Mayan ruins, with Chichen Itza the most impressive in size and scale, but Tulum’s coastal location, and superb preservation policy make it one of the most picturesque Mayan sites to take in.
When to visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Mexico
As with all major tourist sites, the crowds do flock here, and the best way to avoid them is by setting your alarm clock early and getting there at the crack of dawn. At that point you’ll have the ruins virtually to yourself, and can amble around in relative peace and quiet.
The ruins open at 8am and a two-hour visit will give you plenty of time to take it all in. If you’re on a daytrip down from your hotel in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you can combine the trip with a visit to Tulum’s stunning beach, where you can order some lunch and a cerveza, while reclining on a sun lounger under one of the palm trees.
For the more adventurous, you can jump in a taxi and head to one of the nearby cenotes. These are natural underground reservoirs of water that occur as open pools of water in the limestone rock of the Yucatan.
On a baking hot Mexican day they are the perfect place to cool off after a trip to the ruins. They’re also home to a staggering variety of fish life, which you can admire with a scuba mask rented at the entrance.
The Gran Cenote is located 5km from Tulum, and a short taxi journey will drop you right at the entrance. A couple of hours swimming in the cool waters, intermingled with sunbathing and a bite to eat in the cenote’s restaurant, completes a perfect day out at Tulum’s ruins.
So there you have it, everything you need to know before your visit to the Mayan ruins of Tulum Mexico. Check out the other highlights of Mexico here.