When visiting the Mayan Riviera, Tulum is one stop you will want to checkout. Tulum was a place of worship, solitude and relaxation for the Mayan Kings and Gods in early times, and is now one of the most visited of all Mayan ruins. Located only 30 minutes south of Esencia, Tulum is an easy cab ride away. Tulum is split into 3 different areas, each with their own draws.
“El Pueblo,” as it is referred to by locals, is where the majority of people live and thus is the location of many store, restaurants, supermarkets and hotels.
Running along the coastline, Tulum Playa is flanked by the white-limestone beaches to the east and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere to the south. Bring a swimsuit and take a leisure swim in the jade-green Caribbean Sea.
This is the archeological site where the Mayan ruins stand. The structures were built around 1200 AD as the Mayan civilization was in decline, so the ruins lack the elegance of earlier structures. Although less impressive than Chichen Itza or Uxmal the cliff-side beach drop makes for a stunning view. Be sure to check out the three main structures: El Castillo, The Temple of the Fresnoes, and The Temple of the Descending God.
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN TULUM
The famous cenotes are crystalline fresh water pools that are part of a system of underground caves and tunnels. Visit Dos Ojos Cenote, where you can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. For the nature-minded adventurer, Sian Ka’an Biosphere is just south of Tulum with acres of pristine mangrove swamp and wetlands. It is a habitat for thousands of birds and coastal area animals. For families, a trip to Xel Ha Eco-park just north of Tulum may be of interest. There is a large lagoon for snorkeling (more for beginners), swimming with dolphins, zip lining and floating the river on inner tubes.
30 minutes from Esencia
Approx. $35 cab fare per way
Tulum ruins entrance fee: 30-50 pesos ($3-$5 USD)
It is best to visit right at 8am or to wait until later in the day to avoid huge tourist groups.