Should You Visit The Mayan Ruins In Tulum?

2 Traveling Lovers

Today we visited the 13th-century archeological Mayan ruins in Tulum, which is on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean sea. The Mayan ruins are one of the only ruins which are protected by a wall, and they are considered one of the most preserved ruins in Mexico. The limestone wall surrounds the ruins on three sides; it’s 7 meters thick and 784 meters long. The architectural influences are from Chichen Itza and Mayapan and its the only Mayan ruins built on a coastline. Tulum was a major trading port city during the Mayan times.

TIP: Make sure you bring pesos as this is the only method of payment.

Our Day in Tulum

TIP: Don’t buy the package deal by the entrance, if they tell you it’s cheaper. IT WASN’T.

We visited Tulum for a day out of our stay in Valladolid. It’s a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Valladolid and 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen. After driving through the touristy town, we made our way to the Mayan ruins. Go to the end of the street (which is a dead end), and there’s a public parking lot on the right. There is a booth where you can purchase an excursion ticket to see the ruins, take a boat out of Playa Paraiso Beach to snorkel, one drink (non-alcoholic) and finishing with a boat ride along the coast so you can take pictures. We made the mistake of purchasing this package. It cost us 630 pesos or $35 each. Don’t get me wrong; we would do all of these things again, just not this way.

TIP: If you are taking your GoPro it is 45 pesos. We really couldn’t figure out why because everybody has a cell phone camera, so it didn’t make a lot of sense.

The cost to see the ruins is 75 pesos ($3.87) per person. If we had it to do over, we would go with a guide, or you can purchase a small guidebook at the entrance. Also, we would buy the entrance ticket for 75 pesos rather than the full tour. There are not a lot of signs describing what you are looking at and I think a guide would be helpful. Be prepared; this is one of the more touristy things we did during our stay in Mexico.

TIP: Get there early to beat the crowds.

“My favorite thing to do is to go where I’ve never been.”

Beach, Please!  Up To 50% Off! Shop Now!

Wear Your Swimsuit. It's HOT!!

We went in February, and it was not too crowded but it was hot. I can’t imagine what it’s like in July. Make sure you have a lot of water. Although there was some shade, the whole reason for being here is to walk around and see the ruins, so you’re in the sun most of the time. We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t get close to the ruins. Ropes are lining the paths, so you can’t climb on the ruins. However, it was still quite interesting and fun to imagine what it was like to live among these ruins hundreds of years ago.

TIP: Make sure you wear a swimsuit under your clothes.

About 1/2 way through the ruins you will come to a cliff where you can climb down the steps to the private beach called Mayan Beach where you can get wet. This was a welcome surprise for us because it was so hot.

A day visiting the ruins and snorkeling

If you are interested in checking out the ruins and going snorkeling this video will give you some good tips and tricks for the day

Playa Paraiso Beach

“Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

TIP: Bring lots of water!!

After seeing the ruins, if you follow the path along the road, you will pass many entrances to the beach. Because we bought the package deal, we were told to go to the last entry which was Pescador Beach; then you go left and walk down towards the ocean. You will come to a couple of booths; this is the place where you check in to go on the boat out to snorkel. It was at this time when we realized we didn’t get the best deal.

TIP: Wear reef-safe sunscreen.

There were a few booths selling snorkel boat excursions at the beach. We found out we could have spent 300 pesos ($15.53) per person for the snorkel tour. It didn’t come with the water bottle or the 10-minute ride up the coast but comparatively speaking that didn’t seem like a big deal.

TIP: If you are staying in Tulum, we saw many people riding bicycles to the beach. This looked like a great way to get there because there was very little parking close to the beach.

The snorkeling tour lasted 2 hours, and it was a lot of fun. We were on a boat with seven people total, which was nice because we weren’t smashed in all together. They supply the mask, fins, and a guide to swim with you to find the best spots. We saw a manta ray, quite a few colorful fish and pelicans just feet away from us eating fish.

After our boat tour, we found a double couch bed on the beach which was nice. They have food and drinks for purchase. They have lobster, fish tacos and buckets of beer. The white sand beach is beautiful, and it was fun spending the afternoon relaxing on the sand.

More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from the Yucatan peninsula:

We spent a month traveling throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.  If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful.  All of our posts have a video included, and we have new videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video.

Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in the Yucatan:

15 Things You Should Know Before You Visit The Yucatan

Best Cenotes Near Valladolid

Best Things To See & Eat In Valladolid

Why You Should See The Flamingos In Celestun 

Best Ruins & Cenote Near Merida

The Ultimate 4-Day Itinerary In Merida

2 Traveling Lovers Videos only on YouTube

The Ultimate Day In Valladolid – Restaurants, Food & Fun

Xcanche Cenote 

A Weekend On Isla Mujeres

Playa Del Carmen


Closing Words

We did find out that after spending a total of 1,260 pesos ($65.26) to see the ruins and go out on the boat that we were ripped off. We could have paid 750 pesos ($38.83) total, minus two water bottles and the 10-minute scenic ride up the coast to take pictures. Live and learn, this is why we’re putting it on our blog. We are making mistakes, so you don’t have to.

Note: In recent years Tulum has had an issue with the red seaweed coming ashore. Although, we did see evidence of the seaweed on the shoreline, from what we understand it is much better than a year ago. We saw workers carting the seaweed away from the beach. Hopefully, for Mexico’s tourism, a solution is found soon.

I hope you found our tips of the “Should You Visit The Mayan Ruins In Tulum” to be useful and you are excited to visit the area.  If you are in the area, we highly recommend you stay a few days in Valladolid if you can.  If you looking to get from that touristy type place, you will love it.  Click here to read our Valladolid post.

Travel Resources

If you are interested in checking hotel prices we have found to have the most competitive prices.  Click here to check out hotels.  

All of our video footage is taken with GoPro HERO6.  It’s a waterproof digital action camera for travel with a touchscreen.  We use this camera daily, and we love it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here

The drone we use is the DJ Spark with Remote Control Combo.  We like this drone because it’s compact, it’s effortless to take on trips, it’s easy to fly, and it shoots 1080p.  All of our drone footage on our blog posts and youtube videos are taken with this drone.  We highly recommend it.  If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here.                    

Another item we use daily is our Primocean Backpack with an insulated cooler bag.  We use this as Christie’s carryon bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination.  We used to use a different backpack and we switched to this one because it’s better made of durable material with quality zippers.  We love this backpack!! The cooler section is smaller; however, all the compartments and the quality of the backpack make it a much better choice for basically the same cost.  We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.  

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