Tulum’s Ruins and Beaches

Tulum ruins

The Tulum ruins, perched cliffside above a perfect white-sand beach, must be one of the most widely shown images of the Yucatan Peninsula. I would go as far as to say that it is one of the defining images of Mexico as a whole.

Although the Mayan site is not as grand as Chichen Itza or Uxmal, its picturesque location above bizarrely turquoise waters and the fact that is seems to double as an iguana reserve make it quite an attractive destination. Add to that the fact that Tulum is easily accessible, and you quickly understand why the Tulum ruins are on the itinerary of every cruise ship that passes by (and that’s a lot).

Tulum ruins

When the waves of cruise passengers and day trippers from Cancun and Playa del Carmen hit around eleven o’clock, the resulting pedestrian jams will suddenly help you understand why those Mayans were so into human sacrifice. 😉 During rush hour, it’s probably best to avoid the Tulum ruins and make a run for the beach instead. And Tulum’s beaches are stunning!

For relatively undeveloped stretches of powdered-sugar sand and iridescent water head south of the archaeological site as you exit. A handful of laid-back beach bars and souvenir stalls are all that distract from near perfection. I was definitely a happy camper as you can see in the photos.

Tulum ruins: Jumping for joy

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins: Handicrafts

Tulum ruins and beaches

3 responses to “Tulum’s Ruins and Beaches”

  1. avatar Bama says:

    I learned about Tulum more than three years ago and was really amazed by its location by the sea. Judging from your photos and info three years later more people seem to make Tulum their destination of choice apart from Chichen Itza. But with that beautiful white sand beach, who can resist a visit to this part of Mexico?

    • avatar Tony says:

      Yes, Tulum is definitely “on the path,” but it is still quite beautiful. Let’s hope they show a little restraint with the development.

  2. avatar Nancy says:

    Tulum was used by the Mayans as a training camp for their warriors. It is so beautiful there. Standing atop of the hill, when I looked out on the ocean, I felt like I knew all the answers in Heaven.

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