Tulum Mayan Ruins

Holiday Travel Guide
Tulum Mayan Ruins showing a ruin

Visit one of Yucatan’s most impressive Mayan ruins, perched high on cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

The Tulum Mayan Ruins are some of the most mysterious and picturesque pre-Hispanic ruins on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

The ruins are a cluster of well-preserved buildings, set within fortified walls that date to the 13th century. The ancient town was protected by high cliffs, the Caribbean Sea and a defensive wall, and is thought to have been an important trading post that thrived until the Spanish arrived in 1518.

The city of Tulum reached its peak between the 13th and 15th centuries, and was one of the last Mayan cities to fall to the Spanish. Today, despite their relatively small size, the ruins are one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico.

Enter the ruins through the north wall and you’ll be immediately drawn to El Castillo, the most impressive building on the site. At 25 feet (7.5 meters) tall, it dominates the entire area. Since the structure is under protective conservation, you can only look up to El Castillo; entry is not permitted. Arrive early in the morning before the tour buses roll in. Even better, arrive just before dawn to experience the sun rising over the Caribbean Sea and slowly illuminating El Castillo. Swim in the crystal clear waters off Tulum and picture the trading canoes landing and disembarking from the sheltered cove beneath the towering ruins.

The ruins are open daily and there is a small entrance fee. The area itself is less than 1,640 feet (500 meters) in length, so allow an hour to visit, and wear comfortable shoes and a hat.

The town of Tulum Pueblo is approximately 2 miles (3 kilometers) south and has several great restaurants. The ruins are an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen and about 80 minutes from Cancún. Buses run regularly from Cancún and Playa del Carmen. You can also take a shared van service. If you are driving to Tulum, note that the community has three sections: the ruins, the town and the beach (where many of the hotels are).

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Top Trending Hotels Near Tulum Mayan Ruins

Aloft Tulum by Marriott
Aloft Tulum by Marriott
4 out of 5
Av. Coba Sur Mz 5 Lt 1, Smz 1 Region 14, Tulum, QROO
Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Tulum National Park, Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum Beach. Playa Paraiso and Playa Ruinas are also ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (73 reviews)
"Beautiful,modern, great roof top bar I’m sure it will be awesome, they are working out opening kinks We had lack of hot water for showers! Undependable room servicing, claimed a bottle of water daily etc but out of the 6 days only received once"

Reviewed on 22 Nov 2021

Aloft Tulum by Marriott
Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
3.5 out of 5
Aldea Zama, Mza 2, Lote 6 Y 7, Tulum, QROO
Situated near the beach, this apartment building is steps away from Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park. Playa Ruinas and Playa Paraiso are also within ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
"Very clean and spacious. However very noisy from surrounding construction"

Reviewed on 1 Apr 2019

Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
Soliman Bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya - Mexico
Soliman Bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya - Mexico
Avenida de ruinas, Tulum, ROO
Situated in Tulum, this villa is steps away from Playa Ruinas, Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park. Playa Paraiso is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) away.
Soliman Bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya - Mexico
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Aloft Tulum by Marriott
Aloft Tulum by Marriott
4 out of 5
Av. Coba Sur Mz 5 Lt 1, Smz 1 Region 14, Tulum, QROO
Aloft Tulum by Marriott
Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
3.5 out of 5
Aldea Zama, Mza 2, Lote 6 Y 7, Tulum, QROO
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Soliman Bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya - Mexico
Soliman Bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya - Mexico
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BeachFront front vacation rental Riviera Maya - Mexico
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