Tulum Ruins

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Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

Translated by Ross Smith — 4 years ago

Original text by Cristina Peña

When I arrived in Mexico, I made a stop in Cancún which lasted approximately 3 days which was not enough time because there's so much to see and do... but despite that, I was able to move around the area a little.

As for me, I had a few days, so I decided to stay in a half-way point between the widespread tourism that exists in Cancún and Tulum.

Specifically, I stayed at Playa del Carmen, which is an intermediate point between Cancún and Tulum. I didn't want to be in the midst of the craziness of tourism in Cancún, but depending on your plans and what you like, if you're going on an all exclusive holiday it's worth it, but if what you really want is to really get to know Mexico, I wouldn't recommend staying in Cancún. (I don't think staying in Playa del Carmen would be good either, but it's a strategic point to be based in).

It's honestly really easy to get to Tulum from Playa del Carmen, you can take a bus, all you have to do is find out where they leave from since the majority leave from the same point but it's very easy to find.

The buses fill up really quickly but you don't have to wait very long for a next one to come along, the most I had to wait was around 15 minutes. Once on the motorway, you have to listen carefully, as the driver will say which stops are coming up next, when he says your stop, you pay him in that moment and he'll stop where you want, but without coming off the motorway. It cost me 50 pesos from Playa del Carmen to Tulum, but that also depends on the driver - it's a good idea to ask what the prices are before getting on the bus.

When I got to Tulum (more specifically the archaeological zone), I found myself on a big street, very long with lots of stalls on either side selling artisinal products, hats, hammocks! The next time I go, I have to get myself one of the hammocks, they're incredible! Then, on the other side, there are lots of "information points" which try to convince you to book one of their excursions, but it depends on the person; I didn't book an excursion because I was already going to see the ruins and enjoy the beach.

Carrying on down the street, the next area you come to hosts a series of establishments where you can eat and which is also where the station is of the train which takes you to the entrance of the ruins. I wouldn't recommend taking this train since the walk is very enjoyable - full of trees and there it's not too far until you get to the entrance which is where the ticket booth is.

If I remember correctly I paid 60 pesos to get in and there is no student discount. They organise guided group tours, I don't remember how much that cost, but in the end I didn't join any group tour.

Once inside, you start to go into the jungle and we came across this little guy who had just arrived to get his morning ration of tortilla! So glad I saw that, haha.

Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

As for the archaeological area of Tulum, it's found on top of a cliff opposite the Caribbean Sea. The city is found completely walled-in where access through a door in the wall gives way to a huge esplanade full of temples and coconut trees.

Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

One doubt that did come to mind in this place was if the grass was natural... haha.

Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

It's full of vegetation and ruins and the sea can be seen... it's a picture perfect scene!

I recommend going very early to avoid the masses of tourists, as you can see in this photo... terrible!

You can get to the beach from the stairs which are seen in the photo, the day I went, there was a lot of seaweed and the tide was restless, so no one had the guts to go swimming!

Archaeological ruins in Tulum, a great place to get to know

As I previously said, the city is walled-in, but it's a natural sea wall, so the cliffs have formed a barrier. Otherwise, inside the city, various buildings are found where priests, astronomers, mathematicians, architects and engineers, and the common people used to live outside of the city's walls.

I encourage everyone to visit this place if the opportunity arises!


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