Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Ruins of Tulum: One of the Top Visited Mayan Archeological Sites

When you are vacationing in Tulum, the pyramids are a must see. The Ruins are one of the top visited Mayan archeological site in Mexico, located on the Caribbean coast overlooking the tourquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Tulum is a Mayan city 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.

View of the pyramids from the beach
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 for 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 Mayan sites, hovering from 39 feet tall cliffs over the turquoise Caribbean waters. Because of this, the historic Tulum was voted as the #18 Best Destination in the Caribbean and Mexico

These Mayan ruins are some of the best preserved ones in the Yucatan Peninsula and are considered the finest site in the Riviera Maya. They also have the most beautiful broad white beaches around. The archaeological site of Tulum is about a 1 hour drive south of Playa del Carmen. Mayan Explore highly recommends you visit it during your vacations in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

The beach in Tulum
Activities to do in Tulum Ruins:

There exist three major structures of interest: El Castillo, The Temple of the Frescoes and The Temple of the Descending God.
  • 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.
  • 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.
The beach beneath the pyramids
  • 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 beneath El Castillo where you will find beautiful white sand 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 sandy beach where you will find many small bars, beach and spa hotels, beachfront cabins and restaurants to choose from in Tulum. The hotels in Tulum are famous for being eco-friendly as well as luxurious, making your holidays in the Riviera Maya truly special.

The pyramids from afar
How to get to Tulum Ruins from Cancun or Playa del Carmen

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 costs around $100 Mexican pesos (8usd approx). From Playa del Carmen to Tulum is a 1 hour ride that costs around $62 Mexican pesos (5usd approx). From Merida is a 4 hour drive that costs around $276 Mexican pesos (20usd approx).

By Car: from Cancun, drive south for around 110 km or 100 minutes (you need to pass by Playa del Carmen). From Playa del Carmen drive south around 50 km (one hour approx). From Merida the best way is driving to Valladolid, then to Coba and finally go straight to Tulum (around 2.5 hours).

- There exist some local vans (called colectivos) on the highway of the Riviera Maya and in Playa del Carmen that can take you to Tulum for a very low cost. This is handy especially for people on vacation in a resort in the Riviera Maya.

Typical Caribbean waters in Tulum
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 (3usd approx)