Tulum Archaeological Site

Carretera Federal, Cancun - Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico

While not as large as other ancient Mayan cities in the region, Tulum draws in visitors for its stunning setting of centuries-old temples perched on a cliff by the Caribbean Sea. You’ll pass a large market with souvenirs, a casual Mexican restaurant, and even a Starbucks before reaching the entrance, where a train can take you to the site if you’re not up for the 10-minute walk. It’s advisable to hire a guide to fully understand each structure’s significance and the history behind the ruins; informative signage is all but nonexistent. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit, as the site encompasses a white-sand beach with soothing waves and beautiful rock formations that’s reached by a long wooden staircase.

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Magical Tulúm

Perched on a bluff above the Caribbean Sea, the enigmatic walled city of Tulúm was founded around 900 BC as the last major city of the Maya Empire – and the only known archaeological site located by the sea. Climb up to the main tower, El Castillo (the castle), sometimes referred to as the lighthouse, the tallest building here and the most noteworthy. Dedicated to Venus (Kukulkán), it stands on a bluff with commanding views of the ocean in both directions and once served as a sentinel for the ancient Maya making the pilgrimage from Guatemala and Honduras to the sacred Island of Cozumel where they paid homage to the fertility goddess Ixchel.

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Blue Beach Beauty

From the Amansala Resort in Tulum, I rented a bike to go to the Maya Ruins of Tulum. It was about a 30 minute bike ride from the property. The ride itself isn’t amazing because you are mostly riding along the road but was worth it once you got to the ruins. I enjoyed walking the grounds, but one of the best experiences while there is swimming at the beach. The water was warm and so clear + it was great looking up and seeing all the history.

Mayan Ruins

The Mayan Ruins in Tulum are one of the main attractions to see. While staying at Amansala I rented bikes with a few friends and we rode to the ruins--it was about a 30 minute ride in the hot sun and definitely worth it. The ruins are built along the cliffs above the water so have amazing views. It was very interesting to learn more about the history and see the incredible architecture of the buildings.

Spectacular Beach Setting

This beach is only accessible by boat or by paying the entry fee to get into the Tulúm ruins. Once inside and walking around the ruins, you are sure to see people walking down the long set of stairs to go in for a swim. When we were there at 10am, it was relatively empty but by 11am it was packed with day trippers from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Definitely worth wearing your trunks if you are making it to the ruins and going in for a dip as it can get pretty hot there at mid-day. Close your eyes and imagine what it would have felt like in the days of the Maya... but you might need headphones to block out the background noise.

Tulum Ruins

A pre-Columbian Maya site on the Caribbean Sea in Tulum Mexico.

Mayan ruins on the sea in Tulum, Mexico

The Mayan ruins of Tulum Mexico are easily accessed by an hour long bus ride from Playa del Carmen. Once inside this pre-Colombian walled city you’ll find craggy stone ruins centered inside squares of green grass and bisected by walkways, all with the groomed trampled feel of a local park. Push past the chattering teenagers and picnicking families and climb the cliffs for breathtaking views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Once there you can climb down the cliff to the white sand beach or you can stand at the lookout, stare at the sea and see the same view people have looked at for a 1000 years. It probably hasn’t changed much in that time and there aren’t many places left like that in the world. Enjoy it.

Too-Pretty Tulum

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.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum, Mexico

Before I arrived, I had no idea Mexico had so much more to offer than just beaches and delicious food. My first taste of this other side of Mexico came from a side trip to Tulum where I visited some Mayan Ruins. While roaming the streets of Playa Del Carmen, I found a bus station that had routes to Tulum. I bought a return ticket and off I went into the unknown. Upon my arrival at the ruins, I bought an entry permit and set out to explore the area. It was very hot so I slowly walked down the gravel road towards toward the ruins. When they appeared, I was amazed; I didn’t realize the area of the ruins would be so large! I was able to walk inside and on top of some of the buildings, getting a real feel for what life must have been like when real people lived and thrived among them. I explored them for a few hours and moved on to the beach that was nearby. The small beach was surrounded by high cliffs and was not crowded, which provided a nice place to lay out my towel and relax to the sound of the waves crashing onshore. When it came time to head back to the bus stop, I got lost and found myself at a fork in the road with a sign indicating there was another beach in one of the directions. By that point, I didn’t really care if I missed my bus; I could catch a later one. I went in search of that beach and found it. Playa Santa Fe – completely deserted, surrounded by huge sand dunes and a sandy beach that stretched along the coast – absolute paradise!


Tulum, one of Riviera Maya’s most popular Mayan archaeological sites, is the only known Mayan city built on the coast. Tulum may look familiar: It’s no wonder that this dramatic location has been frequently photographed, with the stone buildings looking out over the turquoise Caribbean. Running along the ocean are a number of the Riviera Maya’s most inviting places to spend the night, from yoga retreats and eco-chic hotels to small inns there’s something here for every type of traveler. Just a little inland from the ancient Mayan city is the modern-day town of Tulum, a welcoming low-key place where you can check out locals’ favorite restaurants and stores. To start planning your escape to Riviera Maya, visit rivieramaya.com

tulum is beautiful

one of the most beautiful places on earth.... if you go to cancun or playa del carmen,, this is a for sure place to put on your list to visit... its breath taking

The Ruins of Tulum has a Gorgeous Beach

The ruins of Tulum are a beautiful walled Mayan city that overlooks a beautiful beach and the Caribbean. We enjoyed walking the ruins without being in an organized group, although we did pick up many facts from listening to the many guides along the way. The views were breathtaking and many of the visitors took advantage of having access to the beach.

The Beach at the Tulum Ruins

The Maya ruins of Tulum are already spectacular, but then you peek over the cliffs at one of the most beautiful beaches ever seen. It’s no surprise that the Maya chose this spot for their city. Be sure to pack your swimsuit and some towels (maybe some snacks) for your visit to the Tulum ruins because the beach below the ruins is not to be missed. Take your time exploring the ruins—the remnants of one of the last cities built by the great Maya civilization. Then walk down the staircase to the beach to swim in the warm, turquoise water of the Caribbean sea and lounge in the white sand.

Mayan Ruins in Tulum

A visit to old Mayan Ruins is a must when you are vacationing in Tulum. It’s a perfect trip to sneak in some history and activity without too much effort and without loosing sight of ocean and the beach. Being built in 13th century Tulum Ruins have been a seaport and trade city in its heydays and the only Mayan city built on the coast. Located on the beautiful, lush cliffs overlooking the turquoise Caribbean sea and with a small beach the ruins will spark you imaginations how life must have been here centuries ago. Where ever you are located in Tulum the ruins are easy to reach by car, taxi or preferably by bike. You can even walk all the way from your hotel but make sure to have lots of water with you, sun screen and a hat. It get’s pretty hot. The entrance fee is about 64 pesos ( ca. $4) and you should have pesos with you as they don’t really accept credit cards and paying in dollars might be a bad deal for you. If you want to know more about the history of the place you should consider taking a guided tour as there is barely any information or description. But if you are there for gorgeous views, swimming and picture taking, you will be fine without a guide. We strolled about 1,5 hours around and challenged our camera. Unfortunately the sea was quite wild, so we didn’t get to take a dip, but yes you can spend the whole day at the beach here if you like. All in all, definitely a must do when in Tulum.

Ruin with a View

The Templo Dios del Viento, temple for gods of wind, is perched atop a rocky outcrop near Tulum’s other ruins. No wind the day we visited, but visually stunning and I couldn’t help but imagining looking out on a stormy day. The beach in the foreground is also a place where turtles lay their eggs, and in October we could see the tracks. Get to the ruins at opening or about an hour before closing if you don’t want to share it with the numerous tour groups that come down from Cancun and Playa Del Carmen.

Tulum Ruins

Enjoy two hour visit to the only ruins built on oceanfront followed by a nice walk on beach & dinner

Tulum AFAR Experience 5.0 at Zamas

Set on the southern edge of the Riviera Maya, Tulum is equally famous for its beautiful beaches and some of the Yucatán’s most dazzling Maya ruins, on a clifftop overlooking the Caribbean. A three-day package here, crafted by travel expert Will Kiburz, makes a home base of Zamas Resort Tulum, a casual-chic beach resort with its own snorkel and dive shop. Several excursions are included—like visits to the ruins, to the pristine wilderness of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and to the charming colonial city of Valladolid (a great place for shopping and lunch). AFAR Travel Advisory Council member Will Kiburz’s Tulum vacation is $2250 per couple based on double occupancy and includes all meals as well as a half-day Spa Experience at Yäan Wellness. Book now!

Wonderful trip!

We went to Tulum and the scenery is spectacular with the water so many different shades of blue that photos don’t do it justice! One of our all time favorite trips!

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