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Explore 7 Must-See Attractions in Tulum Ruins

Discover Tulum: A Mayan Treasure on the Yucatan Coast

Perched atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the ancient Mayan city of Tulum is a breathtaking archaeological site in Mexico. Its unique coastal fortifications make it a standout attraction within Tulum National Park, drawing visitors from around the world.

Established after AD 1200, Tulum thrived until the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan in 1544. Its proximity to popular destinations like Cancún and Playa del Carmen makes it an accessible and essential stop for tourists exploring the Mayan Riviera.


1. The Beach at Tulum

The stunning beach below the ruins is a major draw, offering a picturesque setting and a refreshing swim for those who come prepared.

The Beach at Tulum

2. The Walls of Tulum

The ruins are encircled by a massive wall, suggesting a fortified settlement with temples and watchtowers.

The Walls of Tulum

3. Temple of the Frescoes

This central structure showcases stunning frescoes and stucco sculptures, including depictions of Mayan gods and a calendar dated to 1261.

Temple of the Frescoes

4. The Castillo

The largest edifice, The Castillo, is a temple known for its altar and serpent columns, with a commanding view of the sea.

The Castillo

5. Temple of the God Descending

This temple features a unique tapered design and a sculpture of the enigmatic God Descending.

Temple of the God Descending

6. Casa del Cenote

Linked to Mayan spirituality, the Casa del Cenote is believed to have served as a mausoleum near a sacred cenote.

Casa del Cenote

7. Touring Tulum

Visitors can join guided tours from nearby resorts or explore independently with materials from the visitor center.

Tips and Tactics: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Tulum

  • Getting to Tulum: Accessible via Highway 307, Tulum is a short drive from Cancún and Playa del Carmen.
  • Visitor Center: Pick up a map and information when you buy your ticket.
  • Food and Drink: A restaurant is available at the visitor center.
  • Climbing: Climbing the ruins is prohibited to preserve the site.
  • Walking: Expect to walk a lot; wear comfortable shoes and sun protection.
  • Arrive Early: Beat the crowds and heat by arriving at opening time, 8am.

What's Nearby?

Explore Tulum Pueblo for local culture, Chunyaxché for more ruins, and the region's cenotes for a refreshing swim.

Ancient Mayan pyramid at Chunyaxché

Exploring the Mayan Riviera: Beyond the beaches, discover Playa del Carmen, Chichen Itza, and other attractions easily visited from Cancun.