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Tulum Mayan Ruins
Vacation Travel Guide

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).

Top things to do in Tulum Mayan Ruins

Top Hotels Close to Tulum Mayan Ruins

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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Situated near the beach, this apartment building is steps from Tulum Mayan Ruins and Tulum National Park. Playa Paraiso and Las Palmas Public Beach are also ...

4/5Very Good! (1 review)

"Very clean and spacious. However very noisy from surrounding construction"…"

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2019

Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
Tulum, ROO
The price is $350 per night from Feb 26 to Feb 27

Situated on the beach, this vacation home is within a 10-minute walk of Playa Ruinas and Tulum Mayan Ruins. Tulum National Park and Playa Paraiso are also within ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (8 reviews)
We will be back

"Everything was as expected, the owners were very kind and made sure we had everything we needed and more! The ocean was amazing and the property was very clean and organized. We will hopefully be back next year! Thank you Dan, Vera, Thomas, and Dahlia!"…"

Reviewed on Feb 7, 2020

Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
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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Best Lodging Options Near Tulum Mayan Ruins

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
Casa Kaia by Tulum Homes
Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
Tulum, ROO
The price is $350 per night from Feb 26 to Feb 27
Hacienda 5 steps from beach, in beautiful Soliman Bay.
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.