Star of many a celebrity Instagram post, the Tulum Ruins are a striking and beautiful must-see.
What are the Tulum Ruins?
Tulum was a seaport trading in turquoise and jade and was the only Mayan city built on the coast. The name Tulum roughly means ‘walled city’ and it was one of the only ones at the time protected by a wall.
It’s disputed whether Tulum housed a general population or was more a place of religious and spiritual pilgrimage which had only priests and nobility living there. Whoever did stay there, it must have been a pretty impressive home!
How do I get to the Tulum Ruins?
The Tulum Ruins are near the beach district of Tulum, about an hour’s walk or a 20 minute bike ride from Tulum town where most of the cheap, backpacker accommodation is. You can hire a bike for about 50 pesos a day (about £2.03 in British pounds or $2.63 in US dollars). There’s a cycle path for most of the route, this is the way we got to the ruins.
You can also get a taxi, but they will be forced to drop you off about a 500m walk from the Ruins. You can get the tourist ‘train’ (a tractor pulling some carriages) from this point, but the walk is all pretty much flat and on a pedestrianised road.
How much does it cost to visit the Tulum Ruins?
Tickets are 70 pesos each (about £2.83 in British pounds or $3.68 in US dollars). You may be ‘encouraged’ by a tour guide to hire their services but unless you want a blow by blow account of every brick in the place, you definitely don’t need one. There are a lot of informative signs at every stage in both Spanish and English, which tell you all about the history of the Ruins.
Top tip – when we arrived there was a huge queue to buy tickets from the ticket desk, but we found some ticket machines by the restrooms which weren’t being used by anyone. When you’re in the Mexican midday sun, it’s nice not to queue!
Why visit the Tulum Ruins?
The Ruins are the only Mayan city built on the Caribbean Coast, meaning you can see the striking remains of this settlement against the backdrop of the turquoise ocean and stunning limestone cliffs.
They’re also incredibly well preserved and even have their own private beach!
Wait, do the Tulum Ruins have their own beach?
Yep! Included in your entrance fee is access to the best kept beach in Tulum. Follow the coastal path through the ruins and you’ll find the steps down to the white sand and crystal clear water. It’s so inviting, we decided to pay the entrance fee again on another day and to just spend the whole day by the water.
Are there lizards at Tulum Ruins?
One of the things many visitors go to the ruins to see are the population of lizards and iguanas. There must be thousands of them! We also saw some really beautiful and exotic birds and were very lucky to spot one of the more illusive lemurs which hide out near the jungle paths.
See all our pics from the Tulum Ruins below and read about more things to do in Tulum…