So if you are thinking about where to spend your vacation in a special way, fun and preserving the environment is time to visit the wonderful Tulum Ruins in the Riviera Maya, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Here we will show you all the incredible activities you can enjoy there.
You’ve probably heard many times about the Tulum ruins and its beautiful beaches, how good the pictures look in this place.
A little bit of Tulum ruins history
The Tulum Ruins are located on the east coast of Quintana Roo, also known as the Riviera Maya. In ancient times, when the Mayan civilization was in its splendor, the area used to be called Zamá whose meaning in the Mayan language is “Amanecer”.
Because of the large number of mural engravings and other works found in the city’s buildings, Tulum is considered to have been an important temple for worshipping the so-called “descending god.
In the ancient Mayan culture, importance was given to the planning of the city according to cosmology, and so the construction of the city of Tulum is based on the concept of the “four corners “1 that refers to the cardinal points and in turn arises from the ancient cosmic pattern of five points.
The city, as a quadrilateral, represented an orderly, rational world, made for gods and men alike. In each corner or entrance, “protective balames” or guardians of the people were installed, which makes this place a mystical and incomparable place.
The name Tulum which in Mayan means “Muralla” was given more recently, when the city was already in ruins.
As its name implies, its wall, well known among visitors, runs along the north, south and west sides of the complex, since the east side in the Caribbean Sea.
Inside the Tulum Ruins, the oldest and best-preserved building is “The Castle,” which was built on the seashore; many archaeologists specializing in the area stress the importance this building had for Mayan navigators, as originally, the construction served as a lighthouse that guided ships through the long coral reef.
Before you Tulum ruins tour Begin
Here are some tips before you start your trip:
– It is essential to arrive early.
– Wear a bathing suit in case you visit the beaches in front of the Tulum Ruins.
– Wear light and cool clothes due to the warm climate characteristic of the area.
– Wear a hat or cap.
– Always take sunscreen and insect repellent with you.
– It is not allowed to enter the enclosure with drinks or food, so you must carry your own bottle of water to drink before entering.
– For consumptions and expenses, it is advisable to carry Mexican pesos in cash since some sellers do not accept dollars, however, there is a commercial area that does accept dollars and credit or debit cards.
If we talk about costs:
– The general entrance to the buildings that make up the Archaeological Zone of Tulum has a price of 65 Mexican pesos ($3 USD).
– Inside the complex, you can take a small train between the entrance and the parking lot, whose cost is 20 pesos ($1 USD).
The access is as follows:
– It is located at kilometer 230 of the federal highway Chetumal-Cancun.
The schedules are between
– The hours are from 8:00 am and 5:00 (the last shift comes at 4:30).
Explore the Tulum ruins
The Tulum ruins are one of the best-known places in Mexico and one of the places that we all relate to this country, being one of its most famous postcards. When you arrive at the place, you realize that although the structures are not enormous, if they have their charm, and it is very easy to take photos and make them look perfect, if you come very early, at the time of opening, we recommend you go directly to the geomorphological viewpoint, from where you will have one of the most wonderful views of the site and the most famous photo that we all relate to the Tulum ruins. We really recommend you arrive very early to Tulum Ruins zone, if you do this way you can enjoy this place with a lot of privacy, whether you arrive alone or accompanied, you enjoy much more when you tour this place without so many people. Once you finish your tour through this part, return to where you arrived and go to the other structures of the Tulum ruins.
After enjoying the beautiful landscapes in the viewpoint of Tulum ruins, and accessing the first section in the Tulum Ruins, we touched the walls and reach another section of the ruins known as “the tower”, after which you access Casa del Cenote through a kind of gate in the wall, we find the Casa del Cenote, the first structure of the enclosure in which you can see a small boat, and many things dedicated to the veneration of cenotes and their importance for Mayan culture.
Temple of the God of the Wind
After touring Casa del Cenote, there is a cenote which you can easily follow and will take you to the Temple of the God of the Wind, site that as its name says, was used for the veneration of this deity, once you’re here, prepare your camera, since you can take some excellent photos of Tulum Ruins, you’ll see it looks like calendar photo.
Continuing on the path after crossing the temple of the God of the wind, we will arrive at a building highlighted by its great structure, for that reason it is known as the great platform, since it has many great structures, it is very showy, perhaps it is not very photogenic but it has its charm.
Temple of the snails
It is very showy, you arrive continuing the route that we had traced in our tour, here we see the Mayan decoration to what comes from the sea, the name of the temple is due to its decoration that has a lot of mollusks among them “snails”.
The great palace
It looks very majestic, and when the guide told us about its history, I couldn’t help but think that there lived the members of the royalty of the place, it really is the largest residential building in the Tulum Ruins.
Temple of frescoes
It is one of the buildings that have been best preserved over the years, some know them as the temple of equal paintings, really looks great, this very close to the castle and has great decoration.
Temple of Descendant God
It’s one of the most beautiful in Tulum. Neither the walls nor the door adjusts to the vertical form, which is not a result of the passage of time because that is how it was originally built.
It was erected over another temple that was filled to serve as a base. In the niche at the top of the door stands a sculpture that depicts a character descending from the sky, has wings, a headdress on his head and holds an object in his hands.
The temple was decorated, inside and out, with numerous representations of gods in mural painting, which unfortunately have deteriorated and we can no longer admire.
It has three entrances decorated with serpentine columns, complemented with a descending deity and two zoomorphic masks in the corners. This building is the result of several phases of construction, the most recent of which is represented by two temples located on both sides of the central staircase.
Due to its coastal location, the Castle not only served as a strategic point of surveillance to prevent possible enemy attacks but also served as a lighthouse for Mayan sailors who used it to avoid the coral reef that is in the Caribbean and is the second-largest in the world. This function was very important to be located on a cliff twelve meters high above sea level, is the perfect guide for sailors since during the day the sun went through two windows that showed the way to follow, and at night ignited large flames.
In front of the Castle, there is a platform that possibly was destined for dancers and to the sides another series of buildings that complement the set being the most important the Temple of the Initial Series.
Some tips to visit the Tulum Ruins
– If you want to enjoy visiting the Tulum ruins practically very comfortably and without the hustle and bustle of people, we recommend you to be at the entrance at 8 am, when they open. Although you will meet people, it is not usually too many and if you wait a few minutes, in the most important and visited structures, you will be able to walk alone. Keep in mind that from 9-9:30 is when the organized groups usually arrive.
– In the Tulum ruins, we could say that there are two visiting areas. We recommend you go directly to the area of the geomorphological viewpoint, where there are several viewpoints that is where you have the typical postcard views of the Tulum ruins. Then you can make the other area with tranquility because although incredible, does not have sea views.
– The entrance fee to visit the Tulum ruins is 70 pesos per person and 100 pesos in the parking lot, where you can leave the car until 5 pm. Although you can park in the area of Playa Paraiso, for free, the road to the entrance of the site is almost 2 kilometers, so we advise you to pay the parking.
– The schedule of the Tulum ruins is from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, although there is a special entrance, which gives you access from 5 to 7 in the afternoon for 240 pesos.- In December the sunrise is at 7:30 a.m., so at 8 a.m. it is practically not yet daylight, and it is usually quite cloudy or foggy. Even on days when the forecast is that it will be sunny. Although when you arrive you see the sky covered, do not worry, around 8:30 in the morning, when you arrive at the main structures, the sky is usually clear and the sea is already seen with the turquoise color so characteristic.- The visit to the ruins of Tulum should not take you more than 3 hours, making it very quietly and going through all the structures a couple of times.
– At the entrance to the archaeological site of Tulum, there are shops, restaurants, cafes, including a Starbucks, so you can buy something to eat there.
- One thing to keep in mind is that if the breakfast at your hotel starts late, you can come first thing in the morning to make the visit and then have breakfast at the hotel.
The historic wonders of the imposing Tulum Ruins await you for a visit. The temples and roads on the shores of the crystal clear turquoise Caribbean Sea are the kinds of places that should be visited at least once in a lifetime, what do you expect to be part of the adventure?
How to get to Tulum Ruins?
Here you have to be careful not to confuse Tulum with Tulum, it is confusing but there are three “Tulum’s”, so descriptions can be confusing at times. When you want to go to Tulum normally all public transport goes to the town of Tulum, which is a small town. There is a Tulum beach which stretches over a wide territory and there are plenty of hotels and so on. And there is the archaeological zone of Tulum, where the Tulum ruins are located, which are approximately 3 km from the center of the city of Tulum.
It may be the cheapest way, and perhaps not the most comfortable (group taxi) from the bus station located on Calle 2 Norte between Avenida 15 and 20 in Playa del Carmen. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the ruins and costs about 60 pesos ($3 USD per person).
From the bus terminal
There are regular buses called ADO from Playa del Carmen to Tulum that cost around 100 pesos ($5 USD) or from Cancun to Tulum that would cost 190 pesos ($10 USD) per journey. Some stop directly at the ruins, others at the bus station, others at Gran Cenote, others at Xplor and others more in the city of Tulum, in case you have to look for the best route.
Taking a taxi directly from Playa del Carmen to Tulum will cost around 600 pesos ($30 USD) per journey. If you have a small group of 3-4 people to share, it’s not so bad.
You can search for both local and international car rental companies to help you find the best possible price.
Cancun – Tulum is 131 km (1 hour and 45 minutes) by car from Cancun.
Playa del Carmen – The ruins are 64 km (45 minutes) from Playa del Carmen.
It is easy to follow highway 307 directly to the ruins of Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Parking on the site costs about $100 MXN ($5 USD).
There are several companies from which you can book from home, or even to plan your trip, pick you up at your hotel and take you to the Tulum ruins, prices start from 2900 Pesos ($150 USD), cancun to tulum private shuttle is the most comfortable option.
For me this would be the best option since the experience improves a lot with the guide, he tells you the history of many historical places, also includes transportation for a long period of time. Prices start from 1200 pesos ($60 USD) per adult and 700 ($35 USD) per child.
Don’t miss it, it’s an excellent destination to visit as other amazing Mexico sites, so don’t wait for it and start enjoying the wonders of this place already, later we’ll talk exactly about the beaches and the beautiful reefs of Tulum.