Tulum Ruins

This section will host different posts of things to do in Cancun and the surrounding area including the Riviera Maya and parts of Yucatan like Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Rio Lagartos, etc

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Cancun Manny
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Tulum Ruins

Post by Cancun Manny » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:32 pm

Tulum ruins brings in large crowds because of its proximity to Cancun. It is located on the south end of the Riviera Maya, right on the edge of the coast line overlooking the amazing Caribbean blues.

Tulum Pictures

Tulum was a trading post, where items from inside Yucatan came to be sent down to Central America, and items from Central America would come through Tulum and make their way into the Yucatan Peninsula. You can easily find much of Tulum's history by doing a google search, on this post I will concentrate on the information that might not be so easy to find via a google search, and info that is useful for those visiting the area.

Admissions to Tulum ruins are 57 pesos per adult. Technically foreign kids age 5 or older should pay regular admission fees, while national kids 12 and under are free. However, 95% of the time all kids 12 and under do go in free of charge regardless of nationality, but you do have to ask for a ticket for them at the ticket booth. They do have a write up in Spanish by the ticket booth that explains that national kids 12 and under don't pay, while visitors do, they just rarely enforce the rule.

They offer guide services, but they charge depending on the group size, and the price ranges from around 600 to 850 pesos. I am not a big fan of the guides at Tulum. I've hired about 10 different guides there, and none of the information they provide was consistent. The guided tour usually lasts less than an hour, and big part of that time they walk you over to a shaded area were they give you a general Mayan history. Unlike the guides at Chichen Itza where they mostly talk about the stuff you actually are seeing, at Tulum they mostly talk about general Mayan history, and put little emphasis on the actual structures you are seeing. In their defense, there are many more structures at Chichen Itza, and also Chichen Itza was a religious center, whereas Tulum some would argue it wasn't even an official city, that it was just a port.

Tulum ruins are about a 2 hour drive from Cancun Hotel zone. There are no toll roads to get to Tulum. To get to it from Cancun, you do end up driving through Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, and Akumal. There used to be a big bottle neck getting through Playa del Carmen, but about 3 years ago they built a bridge that cuts across Playa del Carmen, so it is usually a smooth ride all the way through.

How to get to Tulum ruins? Well you have different options

You can hire CancunWithMe Private Tours from Cancun, and I can help you create an itinerary to include other stops to fill in the day

You can rent a car and drive there on your own. It is relatively easy to get there. There is one main road that goes up and down the coast / Riviera Maya, so hard to get lost. Most travelers now a days have some sort of smart phone with google maps or similar, and the area is well covered.

There are some bus tours that include Tulum as a stop, another popular combination is Tulum with Xel Ha. I am not a big fan of these bus tours as they mostly include tourist traps. XelHa is a fun park, but to take full advantage of it, you probably want to spend all day there.

If you are only interested in visiting Tulum, you can my our per hour transportation.

If you are on a budget and looking for a backpacker type adventure, you can make your way to the ADO station in downtown Cancun, (ADO is similar the the Greyhound bus line in USA). There you can catch the ADO to Tulum. There are some special buses that go straight to Tulum ruins, you would have to inquire as to the hours as they are special hours for those buses. If not, you can catch the Mayab bus (2nd class bus) to Tulum, and they will drop you off in front of the ruins. The ADO regular bus stop is all the way in the center of Tulum town, about 5km from Tulum ruins.

Since Tulum ruins is about 2 hours from Cancun, you probably would want to combine the outing with other stops. There are many different options to combine your day with. You can browse through my things to do list, or you can purchase my $20 deal and I can help you plan an unforgettable day!

Snorkeling is very popular in the area. My favorite spot is Akumal's turtle bay. However, if you want to do something very unique (as snorkeling in the ocean can be done elsewhere in the world) I would suggest visiting cenotes. There are over 8000 cenotes documented in the peninsula, and they guesstimate there are well over 10,000 more than haven't been documented yet.

My favorite restaurants around Tulum are Urgue Taquito, which specialize in shrimp and fish tacos, but do offer other dishes. My other favorite is Don Cafeto, which offers a full menu of Mexican classic dishes. Two spots that often show up on reviews are La Buena Vida in Akumal, and Oscar and Lalo's. I won't say that the food is "bad", but it is somewhat bland and a bit overpriced. They offer commissions to tour operators to take their clients there, so usually you see nothing but tourists eating there. La Buena Vida, does have a very nice set up, right on the beach.
I do put a lot of time and effort to provide much detailed information to help you have a great time while in Cancun. If you feel I provided you with valuable useful information and want to reward me, why not buy me a beer? Cancun Manny

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