Tulum Ruins Guide

About Tulum Ruins

If you're looking for a picturesque getaway or a chance to discover the fascinating cultures of Mexico or the Mayans, Tulum ruins prove to be a fantastic destination by booking Tulum Ruins Tickets & Tours. Here is our comprehensive Tulum Ruins guide that includes details on when to visit, what to see, what to wear, tips to visit, and more information to help you maximise your experience there.

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Tulum Ruins are a spectacular, must-visit destination for offering a deep insight into the rich Mayan history. The site contains a number of structures like El Castillo, temples, and cenote, that are still intact, depicting how architectural styles have changed over time.

Perched atop Caribbean limestone cliffs, the Tulum ruins history offer unquestionably the most striking scenery adorned with swaying palm trees and turquoise waters. The Secret Beach, one of the region's best locations to unwind while taking in the sunset scenery or enjoying a refreshing dip in the azure Caribbean Sea is another highlight of the ruins.

Historical Spots to See in Tulum Ruins

Archaeological Site

The Tulum archaeological site, one of Mexico's best-preserved, is renowned for its ancient Mayan temples, imposing walls, limestone cliffs, and breathtaking seascape scenery. El Castillo, the Temple of the Descending God, and the Temple of the Frescoes are a few of the beautifully preserved highlights of this majestic site. The significant beachfront location provides breathtaking views of the Caribbean and is a great location to relax after your fill of exploration. The intricate carvings and details on the stone ruins also reveal the art style of the past. Check out this Tulum Ruins guide’s ‘tips to visit’ section to have a memorable trip of this incredible archaeological site.

Pyramid EL Castillo

El Castillo (the Castle), the tallest building in the Tulum Ruins, stands at 7.5 metres and is one of the most prominent attractions for visitors due to its impressive pyramid-like architecture. It also carries significant religious importance for having a shrine on the top. This ancient pyramid served as a lighthouse during the Mayan period and had many tiny windows at the top that helped sailors to traverse the sea at dusk. The structure's design, as well as serpents adorning its corners, add to its allure, while its proximity to the water offers the chance to take in the breathtaking views of the coastline.

Temple of the Descending God

One of Tulum Ruin's most stunning structures, the intricately designed Temple of the Descending God is located in the eastern part of the city on the left side of the El Castillo. The relief figure above the door, which shows a descending (upside-down) male god with his feet up and hands pointing downwards, gave the structure the name Temple of the Descending God. The carving, which is possibly the most recognisable representation of Tulum, features a peculiar Venus deity known as Ah Macehcabob or Xuk Ek, the Mayan bee God. It draws visitors during the spring equinox when a ray of sunlight passes through the temple, perfectly aligning beneath the image.

Temple of the Frescoes

Located opposite the El Castillo pyramid, the Temple of the Frescoes is one of the most magnificent and well-preserved structures in the Tulum Ruins. This two-story building was used by the ancient Mayans as an observatory so they could keep a closer eye on the sun's path and track the seasons. It draws tourists because it showcases some of Tulum's most ornate decorations, such as paintings on stucco masks that are still in their original colours and vibrant murals on the interior walls that show a variety of Maya deities. The first floor's backroom's black, green, yellow, and red stones are other highlights of this temple.

House of the Cenote

The Casa del Cenote, also known as the House of Cenote, is a building that sits at the entrance to a cenote (natural sinkhole) at the Tulum ruins. Cenotes, which were extremely important in Mayan culture, are thought to serve as a gateway into the underworld of Xibalba. Archaeologists discovered a tomb and Mayan relics inside the Casa del Cenote and believe it was a mausoleum during the reign of the Mayans. Its proximity to the cenote, the assumed underworld entrance, supports this theory. Although other cenotes near the Tulum Ruins provide swimming opportunities, this particular cenote is not suitable for swimming. Nevertheless, the historical and archaeological significance entices visitors to this iconic Tulum Ruins attraction.

Tulum Ruins Secret Beach

The Secret Beach situated beneath the ruins and shielded by the cliffs is a must-see hidden treasure on any trip to Tulum. This protected beach, also known as "Playa Ruinas," offers spectacular views of the seascape and is a great place to unwind after all your exploring away from the crowd. When planning a trip to the Tulum ruins, be sure to check out this Tulum Ruins guide’s what to wear section because you can also take a dip here in the azure water while admiring the beauty of the ruins from the water. A view of the fort from the water also piques one's curiosity about what this city might have looked like nearly a thousand years ago.

Know Before You Visit Tulum Ruins

How to Get to the Tulum Ruins
Tips for Visiting Tulum Ruins
What to Wear to Tulum Ruins
Best Time to Visit Tulum Ruins
  • By Car/Taxi: Tulum is around 65 km from Playa del Carmen and 130 km from Cancún and is well-connected through Highway 307. You can easily park your car in the lot on the left side of the car entrance. Alternatively, you can take a metered taxi to get to the ruins in the quickest way possible, but it will be expensive.

  • By Colectivo: The most economical way to get to the ruins is to take a colectivo from Playa del Carmen or Cancun to Tulum Ruins. These are always available and unquestionably a more thrilling option than taking the bus.

  • By Bus: ADO bus service is available several times a day from Cancun and Playa del Carmen to Tulum ruins. The buses stop next to the parking lot.

  • By Tours: Choose any Tulum ruins tours from Playa Del Carmen or Cancun that include return transportation from your accommodation to enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

  • Arrive early to beat the crowds and enjoy the pleasant weather while exploring all the attractions mentioned in this Tulum Ruins guide.

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and be sure to protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses, a scarf, and sunscreen. There is a good chance that it will be hot and humid while you are there because of its location along the Caribbean coast.

  • There are no shades around the ruins, so you'll probably stay exposed the entire time you're there. So, carry abundant water to keep yourself hydrated.

  • Wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking.

  • Bring your swimsuit so you can take a refreshing swim after exploring the ruins.

  • Bring enough pesos with you because you'll need them for almost everything, including meals and taxi fares.

  • When you arrive at the Tulum Mayan ruins, buy tickets only from the ticket counter at the entrance.

  • Although there is no set dress code for visiting the Tulum Ruins, choosing the wrong outfit can make your trip unpleasant.

  • Given its location along the Caribbean coast, it remains hot and humid, and you will most likely sweat as you walk around the ruins in the hot Mexican sun. As a result, it is best to wear comfortable, airy, loose fitting and light-coloured clothes.

  • There will be a lot of walking around the site, so you'll also need comfortable shoes and socks.

  • On a hot day, it's impossible to resist the allure of the stunning beach that extends beneath the ruins. Therefore, remember to bring a towel and your swimsuit, or better yet, wear it underneath your clothes.

  • Since you'll be out in the sun, remember to wear plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat or scarf to protect yourself from the harsh sun rays.

  • The Tulum Ruins are open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and see a lot of visitors each day. The best time to visit the Tulum Ruins is around its opening time because there are fewer visitors, and you can explore the attraction mentioned in our Tulum Ruins guide at peace.

  • Also, since weekends are the busiest, schedule your trip for any morning during the week.

  • The weather is perfect from January to April, but this period sees a great influx of tourists.

  • May to October are the hottest and wettest months in the Tulum Ruins. Also, this is hurricane season, so you will find fewer tourists this time. Also, hotels, resorts, and tour operators will likely charge less during this period.

  • November and December are believed to be the best months to visit Tulum Ruins. The hurricane season is over by this time and the humidity level is low, resulting in the most comfortable weather and high tourist influx. Thus, expect hiked hotel and transportation prices during this time.

FAQ's of Tulum Ruins

Can you climb the ruins in Tulum?

Previously, visitors were permitted to climb the Tulum ruins, but they are no longer allowed to do so to preserve the structures for the future.

How far are the ruins from Tulum centre?

The ruins are about 2.5 miles (4.1 km) from the Tulum town centre, which is easily accessible by rental car, taxi, or rental bike. Check out this Tulum Ruins guide to learn about the best ways to get to the Tulum ruins.

How long does it take to see Tulum ruins?

You will need at least 30 to 45 minutes to explore the attractions of the Tulum ruins. But if you also go swimming at the Secret Beach, plan on spending up to two hours at the ruins. Check out the section on tips to visit in this Tulum Ruins guide to have a memorable trip to this amazing Mexican destination.

Can you swim at Tulum Ruins?

Yes, you can swim in the Caribbean's azure waters near the Tulum ruins. The admission ticket includes access to its Secret Beach.

What is the distance from Puerto Morelos to Tulum ruins?

Tulum ruins are approximately 95 km from Puerto Morelos and take around 1 hour and 15 minutes by car.

How long does it take to move from Grand Bahia Principe Coba to Tulum ruins?

Grand Bahia Principe Coba is approx. 24 km north of Tulum Ruins and takes about 25 minutes to reach by car.


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