Muyil Archaeological Site#6 in Best Things To Do in Tulum
Located on the northern edge of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (just off Highway 307), the Muyil archaeological site offers a quiet respite from the super popular, but slightly overrated, Tulum Ruins (which are located near the downtown area). The verdant site is home to a variety of ancient structures (it's believed to have been established as early as 300 B.C.), the most prominent among them being El Castillo, an impressive 55-foot pyramid and one of the tallest buildings in the Yucatán. Another must-see is the observation deck, which offers a bird's-eye view of the lagoon. If you continue along the path past the observation deck, you'll reach the lagoon, where boat tours are offered. Among the lush jungle setting, you'll find a variety of smaller pyramids, paths and ceremonial structures.
Many past visitors described their experience at Muyil as "relaxing" and "quiet" thanks to the lack of tourist crowds. According to reviewers, admission to the site costs 45 pesos (less than $2.50) per person. To access the trail that leads to the observation deck, you'll need to pay an additional 50 pesos (around $2.50). Parking is free and restrooms are located at the entrance. Though there is no guidebook available to provide context to the structures, travelers reported that there are signs stationed around the site in both English and Spanish that provide background to the area's most significant structures.
The ruins are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you want to take a boat tour of the lagoon (which includes floating among the mangroves), prepare to pay about 600 pesos (or around $31) for the experience. The easiest way to reach the ruins is via taxi. Unlike the Tulum Ruins, there are very few facilities here for tourists, so plan to wear sunscreen and appropriate walking shoes, and bring bug spray and plenty of water.
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#1 Playa Paraiso
Just south of the Tulum ruins, the wide Playa Paraíso makes a relaxing end to a day exploring the area. With the recent arrival of the Playa Paraíso Beach Club, this stretch of sand has grown extremely popular with Playa del Carmen and Cancún daytrippers, as well as Tulum vacationers. But what it doesn't boast in seclusion it makes up for in activity – you'll find plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving, plus a few hammocks, lounge chairs and umbrellas to choose from (if you get to the ruins early, you'll arrive at the beach in time to secure one), and a few beach bars should you want refreshment.
Reviewers were divided on the necessity of paying for access to the beach club. Some said the price (250 pesos, or about $13 for two beach chairs) isn't worth it, while others found the cost reasonable for the convenience. To save a little money, you can pack your own towels, chairs and snacks. As for the beach itself, some travelers described the shoreline as "beautiful," while others were disappointed with the amount of smelly seaweed.
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