The Carribean side of Mexico has so many great places to see and Mayan / Aztec ruins that it is hard to even comprehend. As far as sheer beauty though the coastal Mayan ruins in Tulum are one of the best. This was the last of the Mayan ruins I visited on my short time in the area, and it was an impressive way to finish my visit. The ruins have been well preserved and the beaches they look down on are some of the most beautiful in the entire country. If you want to visit them, which you should, here is all the information on how to best do that.
- Cost: 40 pesos and another 40 for a camera
- Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM
When to Arrive in Tulum
The ruins at Tulum are visited by over 5000 people a day during the busy season, so if you want to have the best experience, then it is imperative to get there right when they open. We got up at 5 AM just to connect with a tour from Cancun that could get us as early as possible, and it paid off. Being here in the 8 AM – 9 AM hour allows you to have many of the best spots and viewpoints to yourself as well as making it possible to skip the hottest parts of the day. When we left at 11 AM, there was a ton of people all coming in as we were exiting.
Now that we got that out of the way, here are the fun things you can expect to see there.
The Ruins of Tulum
The ruins of Tulum are about 10-15 minutes walk from the parking lot. There is a shuttle you can take which is $2 each way if you don’t want to walk. This walk will take you past shops, restaurants, and vendors which are very touristy. I would recommend stopping at on the way back if you wanted something so that you get to the ruins before the crowds.
After arriving at the ticket booth, you will pay your fees and enter into the area by walking through the tunnel of stones.
The area itself is not that big, but it feels like you are on an adventure as you walk in and out of the jungle on your journey through the ruins.
The best spot to view the area from is the viewpoint on the backside of the second castle looking back at the first. This is the view you always see when you research Tulum online, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. One of the benefits of being here early was having this spot all to myself for a good ten minutes.
There are iguanas everywhere in the trees and on the ruins, so you should see a couple while you are there.
Below the second castle is the main beach that you will want to visit while in the area. It is small but it is staggeringly beautiful. You will access it via a series of steps heading down from the cliffs to the sand.
This beach is a great spot to relax at and even go for a swim if you brought your suit.
After leaving the beach, there is another viewpoint that lets you look down on it with some of the ruins in the back.
I would then just recommend exploring the ruins in the middle of the park for as long as you would like.
There is not a lot of information about them, so you can hire a guide to have them tell you more about it or you can just explore without one.
I really liked seeing the iguanas on the ruins as it added a fun addition for photos and made it seem wilder.
After finishing your time in Tulum, you will exit out the backside and have the half mile walk back to the shops. If you are hungry I recommend stopping in for a drink and some chips and salsa. They have 2 for 1 specials when I was there that I took advantage of.
As you can see Tulum is a spectacular spot. No visit to this part of Mexico would be complete without seeing it and I guarantee it is one of those places you will not soon forget. Let me know what you think in the comments.