While there are many impressive Maya ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum's beachfront location—perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea (and its fifty shades of blue)—is hard to beat. During my time there, I could not help but wonder how living in that walled city must have felt with such a million-dollar view at your doorstep.
It is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, and its construction dates back to the years 1200-1450AD. Don't miss the buildings "The Castle" and "Temple of The Frescoes" and the "God of Winds Temple" (inset).
In addition to exploring the ruins, you can also swim at the beach at the bottom of the cliff.
To get here, drive about one hour south from Playa Del Carmen.