The Mayan ruins of Tulum, only an hour from Playa del Carmen, undoubtedly has one of the most breath taking settings of any city past or present. The only significant large scale Mayan ruin on the coast, it is perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
The Tulum ruins are the only ones set along the coast on an impressive 45-foot Cliffside facing the Caribbean. Even if you are not into history, Mayan culture, or architecture - these sea views are sure to leave you breathless. You can even visit the beach at Tulum for a swim in the turquoise waters.
You are free to swim or sunbath at the beach below the ruins, and there are several places to take pictures and enjoy the view from above. After you have visited the ruins, there are many, many booths and shops of typical Mexican handicrafts and souvenirs to browse through, as well as several small food and drink vendors. Plan on three hours minimum to enjoy the ruins of Tulum.
Tulum was one of the last Maya inhabited cities in the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in 1518. The city was then an important port in the sea route linking Mexico to Central America. In the Maya Language, Tulum means "wall". The city was renamed at the beginning of the twentieth century, because of important fortifications that surround it. Research suggests that the city was called Zama (dawn) at the time of the Maya.
Surrounded by walls of 380 meters long, 200 meters wide and 6 meters in height that protected about 60 structures, In this unique Mayan city lived then around ten thousand inhabitants, who traded with other cities in the region. The city stands on a rocky promontory overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Unlike other cities the pyramids of Tulum are small. Most monuments had ceremonial functions. Traces of red paint can be seen on some buildings. This suggests they were painted during the Maya period. Thousands of tourists visit the Mayan ruins of Tulum daily through trips arranged by hotels and tour operators in the region. Tulum is the 3rd most visited archaeological site of Mexico, the site is open 365 days a year and operating hours are from 8h to 19h in summer and from 8 to 17h in winter.
A guarded parking is at the entrance of the site. Here was developed a commercial area containing souvenir shops and snack bars. You can find a Map of the Tulum Ruins in our free maps available for download or everywhere in Tulum.