Tulum, Mexico
Tulum beach

Tulum is simply chock-full of Mayan ruins that also have a dramatic view of the Caribbean Sea. The pristine blue beaches run for mile and miles. Combining the splendor of its beaches with the mystery of an ancient culture, Tulum is perhaps one of the most picturesque places in the Riviera Maya.

Tulum belonged to the Tankah-Tulum region, which was composed of Xel-Ha, Tankah and Tulum. Its original name was Zama, meaning dawn or sunrise. Its sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, especially when set along the pristine shore.

Ruins in Tulum

Tulum is a post-classic city that has some of the most stunning ruins and best preserved sites in Mexico. Tulum is among the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico, third only to Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan.

The city itself is filled with palaces and temples from the Mayan era- 60 of them! The most impressive of the structures is El Castillo, which is set upon the highest part of the city. Most of these structures were built during the Post-Classic Era – between 1200 and 1450. There are some structures that have very fascinating fresco murals. Some are reminiscent of the designs of the Paris Codex, a Mayan book.

The structures are protected by large stone walls. Tulum actually means “wall” in the Mayan language.

Tulum Pueblo

This quiet village is now home to boutique hotels, cabanas, shops and restaurants. Be sure to try the pollo carbon (grilled chicken) in the many roadside barbecues in the town.

Cenotes in Tulum

You can find the Gran Cenote just outside Tulum Pueblo. For a minimal entrance fee, you can dive into the blue water of the sinkhole. You can also visit the Crystal Cenote, a sinkhole which is also great for snorkeling and swimming.

How to get to Tulum, Mexico

You can go to Tulum from Playa del Carmen by taking a bus, renting a car and driving there or taking a taxi.

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