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“Location, location, location!”

Ruinas Mayas de Tulum
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Tulum Express Half-Day Tour
Ranked #1 of 85 things to do in Tulum
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tulum (Spanish pronunciation: [tu'lum], Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Coba.[1] The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.[1] Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society and eventually causing the city to be abandoned.[citation needed] One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.[1]
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
270 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 378 helpful votes
“Location, location, location!”
Reviewed January 27, 2011

Tulum is the only Mayan city in the Yucatan that was built right on the coast, and the combination of its scenic location and interesting if unremarkable archaeology make it an enjoyable half-day outing. The site is quite compact – in its heyday Tulum apparently had no more than 2,000 inhabitants compared to some 50,000 at nearby Coba – so you can walk all the paths at a leisurely pace, view all the buildings (exteriors only) and be on your way within a couple of hours. Or head to the beach below the Castillo/Castle, the main building located on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean, for a cooling dip. There are actually two beaches at the ruins, but one is reserved for turtles. Check out the aerial photo at [--]. The longer beach on the left of the Castillo/Castle is for humans; the deeper one on the right is the protected turtle area.

You don’t need to take an organized excursion to Tulum. If you prefer to travel independently, get a colectivo on Careterra/Highway 307, and be sure to tell the driver you’d like off at the Zona Archeologica; if you ask for just Tulum, you may be dropped further along the highway in the town of Tulum. The ride takes 20 minutes from Akumal Beach Resort to the drop-off point (a four-way crossing with traffic lights). Price seems to be variable; we paid 25 pesos each. It takes maybe five minutes to walk from the highway to the entrance to the ruins. Along the way, you’ll pass a number of booths offering to sell tickets or arrange guides, but they are not official sellers. The official ticket booth is at the end of the road. Admission is 51 pesos for adults. You can hire a guide there (500 pesos/CAD $45 for a 45-minute tour for 1 to 4 people) or walk around on your own. If you opt for the latter, a guidebook would be helpful as there’s not a great deal of information on the plaques identifying each building or group of buildings.

Aim to arrive early to avoid the heat and crowds. We got there at 9 a.m., thinking that was opening time. In fact, the site opens at 8 a.m. It was pretty quiet till around 9:30-10:00 a.m., when big tour groups started arriving.

Visited January 2011
4 Thank Tripsterchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ruston, Louisiana
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Well worth the trip - must see in cultural event”
Reviewed January 27, 2011

A definate must see if you are staying south of Cancun in the Tulum, Akumal, Puerto Aventuras area. The entrance fee is very modest and well worth it. These ruins are smaller that you would see at Chichen Itza, but do they do not disappoint if you are not willing to take the all day trip to Chichen Itza. We had about a 10 minute drive from where we were staying. If I remember right, it was about 50 pesos to park, but most will be taking a tour bus or hotel arrangements. We took the advice of a friend and paid for the guide service. We of course bartered with him to bring the price down to a more reasonable amount. I think we paid around 150 pesos total for the tour guide and it included our admission into the park. We could have paid more to take "hay-ride" type transportation the 1/4 mile from the parking lot to the ruins, but we decided to walk. Walk if you can. The tour guide was great and explained far more than we would have gotten by just walking around on our own. We walked down to the beach and were provieded some great shots of water. The beach was small and was crowded, but we weren't there to hang out on the beach. Do that back at your resort/hotel. We would recommed going early in the morning before it gets too hot and before most of the tour groups arrive. We arrived about 10am and it was almost uncomfortable hot and already quite crowded. No matter what time you go, it is well worth it. The bathroom facilites were a little sketchy, take care of that before you come. Watch out for the iguanas. They are everywhere!!

Visited May 2010
1 Thank LaTechFanatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Loved the ancient ruins and beach!! not the small souvenir shops!”
Reviewed January 25, 2011

Tulum itself is amazing! Our guide was terrific! The one fault is one small store that sells t-shirts, jewellery etc.. Beware! There are a couple of guys and one girl running it and the older guy (middle-aged) is good at ripping you off even when you barter! Ended up charging us $35US more than we bargained for.

Again loved Tulum!! but stay away from tourist trap shops!!!

Visited December 2010
Thank KaysarOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
32 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“go early and get a private tour”
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We booked a private driver through Cancun Valet and were very happy with the van, the services, etc. We also hired a private tour guide for the ruins and I wouldn't want to go without one.
Go early in the AM when it is cooler out, and less crowded.
It was a wonderful morning.

Visited January 2011
Thank scoutie22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“I wish I had stayed longer!!”
Reviewed January 22, 2011

My husband and I did a one day Tulum-Coba sight seeing tour. We went through cancun-discount tours and were not disappointed. Tulum is smaller and flatter then Coba. Also you cannot touch the ruins here as you can in Coba. However, I have to say this was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life...almost surreal. Definitely bring your bathing suit and make a day of it. I wish we had been able to stay more than 11/2 hours. You can definitely look at all of the ruins in less than 2 hours and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Visited January 2011
Thank turner1228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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