Tulum is an amazing place on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which consists of three parts: the ruins of the old Mayan city – the main “feature” of these places, the Indian village of Tulum Pueblo and the tourist and entertainment area, which stretches along the road and the Caribbean Sea for several kilometers. The town itself is small (15 thousand inhabitants) and nothing particularly remarkable, except for ancient monuments. But the hotels and beaches here are some of the best in Mexico. Check jibin123 for customs regulations and visa requirements of Mexico.
How to get there
Tulum can be reached from Cancun or from Playa del Carmen. Approximately every hour there is a bus from the station in Cancun, you will spend about 2 hours (135 km) and 220-280 MXN on it. You can also take a rural delivery van (“collectivo” van) for 100 MXN. Along the way, buses make stops at archaeological parks.
If you want to see the ruins of the ancient city, you need to get off at the first stop in Tulum – at the crossroads, from where the 1.5 km long road to the ruins begins. Another option is to order a taxi for 80 MXN or rent a car. From Playa del Carmen you can also take a bus (60 MXN) or a collective (50 MXN).
To get around Tulum, you can take a taxi or rent a car, but I must say that the town is so small that it is easier and more interesting to walk around it or rent a bike (150 MXN), almost everyone rides them here – both locals and tourists.
The beaches in Tulum are excellent and generally considered the best in Mexico: tropical nature, sheer cliffs, fine white sand, clear turquoise water and amazingly beautiful underwater world, for which, in fact, divers love these places. Romance, exoticism, archeology and village life are combined here – it turned out to be an excellent cocktail!
Shopping and shops
Almost all shops, souvenir shops, department stores and supermarkets are located along the main street of the city – Avenida Tulum. You have to bargain with the locals (if you know Spanish, it will work), the price can be reduced by two, or even two and a half times, especially if you buy a lot in one store. The Indians surrender in a couple of minutes, the Mexicans stand to the death and, with an offended look, can give in just a little.
There are a lot of jewelry stores in Tulum – just darkness, darkness. The prices are reasonable, the quality too, and if something doesn’t fit, they will adjust it before your eyes – in general, it’s impossible to resist.
You can buy all the necessary products at the Super San Francisco Food Mart, where they also sell chilled food storage rooms – you will always have cool drinks and food on the beach.
Despite the fact that the town is small, tourism is 200% organized, and there are a huge number of hotels here. Basically, they are all small (from 5 to 20 rooms) and very cozy – in general, almost home conditions. Almost all hotels are located on the coast with a gorgeous view of the ocean, but there are hotels in the city itself – close to restaurants and entertainment venues. Prices start from 170 MXN per night (in private villas and bungalows), the average price of hotels is 1400-1700 MXN for a double room.
Cuisine and restaurants
Cuisine in Tulum is mostly Mexican, but in general – whatever you want. Meals are well organized in hotels, but if you want, you can (and should) look into local restaurants. By the way, catering in the city is much cheaper than in the resort area – for 150-200 MXN you can eat normally.
One of the best Mexican restaurants is Don Cafetos. At Mezzanine, you can taste Thai cuisine on a sheer cliff 12 meters high, and for Italian dishes, it’s better to go to Posada Margherita. But for the best ice cream and desserts, experienced tourists unanimously send to Panna e Cioccolato. El Asadero has excellent dishes on an open fire – they cook right in front of your eyes.
In the evening, it’s time to visit local bars: listen to live music, see live dances and try spicy drinks. At Teetotum you can also watch movies right on the roof at weekends, at Ak’iin you will be pleased with performances of local DJs and fun parties. One of the most luxurious establishments in Tulum is Sky Bar with a real palm garden on the roof, be sure to visit there.
Pyramids and ruins of Tulum
The word “tulúm” is translated from the Yucatec language as “fence” or “wall”. This is understandable: located right on the coast, the ancient city is fenced on all sides by fortress walls 3-5 meters high and up to 8 meters thick and sheer cliffs. In these places, many buildings from the Mayan civilization remained – this is the main attraction. From some of the ruins one can only guess what was there, others are very well preserved. In general, buildings made of giant slabs do not fit into the framework of generally accepted history – even with the use of modern technology, it is very difficult to build something like this. How this could have been done a few thousand years ago is a question.
In the old town are the ruins of residential buildings, watchtowers and the Castillo fortress. Among all the buildings, the Temple of Frescoes with two galleries, which is dedicated to the “Descending God” of the Maya, and is filled with sculptures and frescoes, stands out in particular. The ruins of the old city are located 3 km from Tulum Pueblo. You can order a taxi (from 70 MXN), but many ride bicycles – 20 minutes with a breeze along a beautiful road, and you are there, besides, you can drive right up to the ruins themselves.
You will have to leave your car in a paid parking lot (50-120 MXN) and walk to the ruins or rent a minibus that will take you from the entrance directly to the ruins for 20 MXN.
The archaeological complex is open from 8:00 to 16:30, so it is best to arrive either early in the morning or already before closing, because the Babylonian pandemonium takes place here during the day. Entrance to the complex – 65 MXN, if they notice a video camera, they can charge an additional fee, you can also hire a guide here.
Another attraction of Tulum, in addition to the chic sea and beach, is the cave systems and cenotes, of which there are a great many. The beauty is indescribable, so you should definitely visit them, and stalactites and stalagmites can be seen underwater, for example, in the Gran Cenote. Entrance – 150 MXN, rental of a mask and fins – 100 MXN.