About 81 miles south of Cancún is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Mexico: Tulum. This walled city (Tulum translates to “wall” from the Maya language) is situated on the coast facing the Caribbean Sea. With walls on three sides, Tulum was built as a fortress by the Mayas. Because of its strategic position, it became a prominent trading port and gateway into the Yucatan peninsula.
“Tulum was the hub for international trade and responsible for the distribution of goods into the Yucatan through Coba, Chichen Itza and connecting settlements. Tulum was thought to also be a religious center for priests with the walls protecting the sacred leaders.”
At its height, about 1,600 people lived here. But it was abandoned sometime after the Spanish arrived. Today, the remains of an ancient civilization tell the story of the Mayas. Experts can fill in many of the details of their daily life, culture, religious beliefs and traditions, what threatened them, and their relationships with other Mayan city-states. Sometimes even the experts make guesses.
Tulum is also a small town just off the coast, a bit inland from the Mayan ruins. Make a whole day out of your visit. You can start with the ruins, play on the beach, and then investigate the town. The town boasts of great food like you’ll find at the Hartwood restaurant which adapts its menu daily based on the sea and land harvests each day. Or vegans will love Restaurare. Exploring the town you’ll also find yoga, quaint little shops, and some nightlife worth checking out.
If you’re driving from Club Regina Cancun Resort, give yourself about 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach Tulum. The ruins are a popular tourist destination, so arrive early to beat the crowds. The site is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day. If you come right at 8:00 a.m., you’ll probably have had an opportunity to see everything you want before the big tour buses arrive with loads of tourists. The entrance fee is only a few US Dollars, but you will pay almost double that if you want to use your camera (it is worth the extra cost).
One highlight of the ruins you might not expect is that you can swim in the gorgeous waters right outside of the ruins. Be sure to bring your swimsuit, sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat.
Need more inspiration? This video provides excellent aerial footage of the beaches and ruins of Tulum.
Where to Stay
Club Regina Cancun is a beach resort located in Mexico’s premier vacation destination, nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Nichupte Lagoon. The location brings ancient and contemporary Cancun to your vacation experience. This destination offers seaside views of naturally turquoise waters; perfect for waterskiing, diving and snorkeling. The resort amenities include an on-site restaurant and bar, and a sparkling swimming pool.