I decided to return to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum during a recent trip to the Riviera Maya. Spending time in both Soliman Bay at Casa Corazon and also at Dreams Tulum, the Mayan Ruins of Tulum were so close. And this visit became my first to walk the site as a adventure travel photographer.
the Mayan Ruins of Tulum
Of all the ruins on the Yucatan peninsula available to visitors, Tulum may not hold the most impressive architecture, size, or even significance to the Mayan civilization. Yet, the walled trading post city built on a bluff, was one of the only inhabited Mayan civilizations recorded by the Spanish in the early 1500s.
Being such a small site, one can wonder why these Mayan ruins of Tulum are one of the most visited ruins inside Mexico? The answer is simple – access. And that includes not just its proximity to highway, but its access to one of the Riviera Maya’s most beautiful beaches.
One of Riviera Maya’s Best Beaches at the Mayan Ruins of Tulum
Tulum, an “ancient” beach town, provides not just amazing views of the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, but also the opportunity to dive in and swim. Be prepared to walk down (and then up) stairs, take on “aggressive” Iguanas (looking for your snacks), and surf not the just the waves, but the crowds (depending on when you arrive) to get your piece of the sand and sanity along the coastal cliffs.
Tulum Travel Tips
1) Pack for the beach
So as I mentioned on Tips for Visiting the Big 3 Mayan Ruins of the Yucatan, pack a bathing suit and a towel, because with the heat, the Caribbean Sea will be calling your name more than the God of Winds temple.
2) Prepare to Walk
Regardless of how you arrive, whether by taxi (if local to Tulum), a public bus from Playa del Carmen, or a rental car there is a walk from the parking lot to the actual gate entrance and the site itself. Just because the ruins are close to the highway and accessible, don’t make the mistake thinking you will not be walking in the tropics.
3) Be Mindful of the Sun and Heat
The open ruins site will be sunny and hot most days. A chance for a cerveza and or a cold water will be available near the entrances and exits (I stopped for a beer after my visit), but not much is available on ruins itself. Make sure you pack accordingly, apply sunscreen, take a hat, etc… It goes double if bringing the whole family.
4) Learn the Mayan Mysteries
If you are staying locally in Tulum or have limited time (or interest) for making Mayan culture part of your trip, Tulum is the best place to capture a bit of the ruins and combine some beach time too. For those wanting a more detailed experience, definitely consider other sites, there are plenty across the Yucatan peninsula. Popular ones like, Chichen Itza or one my favorites (and close to Tulum) Coba are great options for a fully guided tour with more extensive details about the mysteries and magic of the Mayan culture.
Stay adventurous, Craig