Price & Hours
- Sightseeing Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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The source of Tulum's popularity (and probably the reason you'll visit the area) are the Tulum ruins, one of the most popular Mayan archaeological sites along the Riviera Maya. Sitting on a patch of rocky coastline just south of Tulum's downtown, the ruins showcase several templos (temples) and castillos (castles) from the once-thriving pre-Colombian Mayans.
If you've already been to Chichen Itza, Tulum might prove a bit lackluster, as recent visitors said the ruins do not compare. The area isn't necessarily large nor is the architecture the most grandiose. But the scenery is dramatic; the ruins sit over the sea atop a small cliff, offering visitors beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
Travelers recommend you bring a sun hat and sneakers, since you'll likely be walking around under the sun for most of the day. Don't forget your swimsuit either because the calm beautiful beach just below the ruins provides an excellent and dramatic swimming opportunity. You'll also want to pack plenty of water and a snack or two if you plan on spending the day here. Though you'll find a Starbucks and Subway near the entrance to the ruins, as well as local vendors, all of the prices are inflated, according to past visitors. Reviewers were divided on the necessity of joining a guided tour. Some found the guided tours to be informative, while others preferred to purchase a modest guidebook at the entrance and strike out on their own.
Depending on where your hotel is located, you can either hire a taxi or rent a bike to reach the ruins (they're located between 1 and 3 miles from the hotel zone). The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is a small entrance fee of 65 pesos (or about $3.50) per person. If you're hoping to take photos using something other than your smartphone, you'll be asked to pay a photography fee of 45 pesos (less than $2.50). To beat the crowds and busloads of fellow tourists, consider getting to the site at 8 a.m. (a line usually forms before the site opens) to enjoy the architecture in (relative) peace. Many travelers also reported that pesos are the only accepted form of payment here, so bring enough to cover your entrance fee.
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