As I continue to share with you my amazing trip along the Rivera Maya, I hope you are able to utilize any information I share with you, while building your own itinerary for your visit to this beautiful and magical place 😉. Mexico is full of history and beauty and the Tulum Ruins are no exception.
The word Tulum stands for ‘fence or wall‘ in Mayan; these walls allowed for the city to defend itself against invasions. Tulum was also an important city for trade, especially for obsidian. The Tulum Ruins are one of the last cities that were built and inhabited by the Mayas and they are situated on 39 ft tall cliffs on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is believed that the Spaniards brought old world diseases that caused epidemics and eventually would cause the Mayas to abandon this place.
The three major structures at Tulum, and the most popular ones are The Temple of The Descending God, El Castillo and the Temple of the Frescoes.
I visited this site twice, by accident actually, but you can call it the best accident of the trip. The first time, I was dropped off at the entrance of the Tulum Ruins and while walking through the many shops at the start of the road, I was offered an entrance pass and snorkeling trip for $500 pesos or approximately $28 USD. I found this to be a super great deal and would definitely recommend it, especially if you want ample time for picture taking and do not need a guide to explain to you the different structures at the ruins.
As you walk through the ruins, you will spot many iguanas, mostly young ones. They were harmless little creatures and they don’t get in the way. They might even sneak into your pictures, if you let them.
My recommendation for exploring the Tulum Ruins is to wear very comfortable clothing, shoes, a hat and have a bottle of water handy. The blazing sun will tire you out quickly. I had sandals on the first day and I do not recommend this. There are so many rocks and what feels like endless walking as well, so I would recommend wearing sneakers or a similar closed toe shoe. You will reach a great spot at the top of the hill where you are able to view the beach below and the view is just breath taking. There is also a long set of stairs to go down to the beach. I did not take them as I wanted to keep admiring the view from the very top. Judge for yourself.
I walked over to Playa Paraiso (about a mile walk) for my snorkeling tour. The programmed tour was set to last 1-hour, but the captain allowed for us to stay out a bit longer. There was so much seaweed on the beach, it took a bit away from the beauty of the turquoise color water. The people taking us on the boat tour were amazing! They explained to us how this is the season for seaweed to inundate the beach and if we went out to Cozumel Island, there would be none. You could really admire the Tulum Ruins from the boat. Another breath taking moment.
The boat tour provided us with snorkeling equipment and life vests. Of course, if you cannot swim, you shouldn’t try snorkeling on your own. However, one of the snorkeling guide tours assisted a friend of mine, who is a non-swimmer. This was the only way for her to admire the beauty of the ocean beneath us. There was no charge for this, however, its always a courtesy to leave a nice tip for guides who go above and beyond the tour requirements. While snorkeling, you could see so many beautiful fish, sting rays and my favorite, the turtles. Words will not be able to describe the beauty of this ocean. Unfortunately, I did not take my water proof phone case to snap pictures of this.
Once our snorkeling tour was over, we were dropped off at the beach and were given recommendations for food. There is a restaurant within a few feet of being dropped off. Based on this picture, do you think food was good?
Abso-freaking-lutely! It was a bit pricey. This meal and 1 margarita totaled a bit over $72 USD. But it was worth it to splurge on a great meal after a day full of adventure and beautiful sites.
Check out these other pictures that tell a story beyond any words I could use.
Visit to Tulum Ruins & Snorkeling: A+