Tulum is the ancient Mayan city overlooking the fabulous blue waters of the Caribbean, with a fantastic beach, beautiful views and fascinating history Tulum is a day trip that no Cancun tourist should miss.

Tulum is one of the most visited of all Mayan ruins, and it's also the only major Mayan ruin to be found along Mexico's Caribbean coastline on the "Riviera Maya".

Most people visit via a prearranged tour usually a public Tulum tour or if you have a group private Tulum tours can also be arranged.

Tulum is quite a small site and unlike Chichen Itza has a beach for a cooling dip in warm water to ease the heat, a couple of hours is all that is required at Tulum and it's location makes it ideal for combining with a half day at one of the many nearby local attractions, suggestions include Xel Ha, Xcaret or Playa Del Carmen which are all nearby.

If you don't fancy a pre-arranged trip then you could always do things the adventurous way and find your own way there. Bilingual guides can be found at the entrance to the ruins and can be hired quite cheaply.


Tulum Beach

The name Tulum comes from the Yucatec word for "wall". It is likely that the city's original name was something like Zama or "place of the dawn". Tulum was built in the Early Classic period (AD250-600) and developed into an important city in the years AD1200-1530.

One of the spectacles at Tulum is the voladores, or flyers located close to the entrance. They dress in brilliantly colored traditional costumes, climb up a 150 foot pole, tie their ankles to ropes wound around the pole and then jump off. They fly gracefully around and around as the ropes unwind until they reach the ground. As the voladores "fly," another performer balances at the top of the pole and plays haunting tunes on his wooden flute.

Papantla Flyers - Tulum

Tulum is dominated by El Castillo (unfortunately at the time of writing it is roped off and you cannot go inside) this is the tallest and most impressive building at Tulum, a thousand photographers seek to take their shot of a lifetime here and you can see my attempt above!

However, there are many other buildings that you can explore more intimately such as the Temple of the descending God. Tulum is surrounded by three walls and with the ocean forming the fourth boundary the city was designed to be defensive. The walls average 18 feet thick and are between 9 and 15 feet high, entrance to the city complex is via one of the original five tunnels.

Tulum Tours

Iguanas and butterflies abound and in my experience this place is never too crowded. Take a seat and cast your mind back a thousand years to visualize life in this Mayan stronghold.

Tulum is opening from 08:00 to 19:00 hrs during the Summer; and from 07:00 to 18:00 hrs during the Winter - 7 days a week.

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