Tulum is a Mayan city, located along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in the State of Quintana Roo, 80 miles south of Cancun. The Ruins of Tulum which name is derived from the Mayan word for wall served to defend the city against invaders from both land and sea.
Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayans. The height of its development was between the 13th and 15th centuries. Nowadays, this remarkable area continues to be revered, not only for its history, but its extraordinary beauty and hospitality.
Although the ruins are structurally less impressive than Chichen Itza or Uxmal and much less extensive, Tulum is one of the most picturesque of all the Mayan sites, hovering from 39 feet tall cliffs over the turquoise Caribbean. Because of this, the historic Tulum was voted as the #18 Best Destination in the Caribbean and Mexico.
The archaeological site of Tulum is about a 1 hour drive south of Playa del Carmen. These Mayan ruins are some of the best preserved in the Yucatan and have the most beautiful broad white beaches, considered the finest in the Riviera Maya.
There are three major structures of interest: El Castillo, The Temple of the Frescoes and The Temple of the Descending God.
• Visit El Castillo is the tower which dominates the area and is perched on the cliff. Its columns decorated with plumed serpents are an indication of Toltec influence. Beneath El Castillo is a small but perfect beach, where the Mayans would have landed their canoes.
• Visit The Temple of the Frescoes has a portrayal of a man on a horse, which indicates that these drawings were still being worked on after the Spanish invasion. The horse was introduced by the Spanish and was worshiped by Mayans as a godly creature.
• Visit The Temple of the Descending God has a stucco relief of an upside-down winged god that also has bee-like features signifying the importance of honey to the Mayans.
* Visit the beach that is beneath el Castillo where you will find a beautiful sandy beach and the glimmering caribbean sea.
* We recommend you visit the archeological site early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds.
* South to the archeological site you will find a gorgeous white sand beach where there are many small bars, beach and spa hotels, beachfront cabins and restaurants to choose from in Tulum.
– By bus: The ADO from Cancun , Merida and Playa del Carmen can take you directly to Tulum. From Cancun to Tulum is a 2 hour drive that cost around $100 pesos. From Playa del Carmen to Tulum is a 1 hour ride that cost around $62 pesos. From Merida is a 4 hour drive that cost around $276 pesos.
– By Car: From Cancun , drive south for around 110 km or 100 minutes ( you need to pass Playa del Carmen ) . From Playa del Carmen drive south around 50 km (around one hour). From Merida the best way is driving to Valladolid, then to Coba and finally go straight to Tulum (around 2.5 hours).
– There are some local vans (called colectivos) in the highway of the Riviera Maya and in Playa del Carmen that can take you to Tulum for a very low cost. Specially for the ones that are staying in a resort in the Riviera Maya.
Schedule and Prices:
From 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in summer
From 7:00 am to 6:00 pm in winter
Price: $ 45 pesos