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Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico

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Visiting Tulum ruins is one of those must-do things when in the Riviera Maya and if you plan to solo travel Tulum. There is a reason it’s on literally everyone’s ‘Top things to do in the Riviera Maya‘ list. So if you are planning to visit Tulum Ruins in Mexico then you are probably wondering a few things like the Tulum ruins entry fee, opening hours, and most importantly how to get to Tulum ruins! Well in this Tulum Ruins blog post, you’re going to learn exactly that.

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

Tulum Ruins entrance fee

The entrance as of December 2020 was $70 pesos for tourists. If you are a QR resident you will pay less as long as you can prove your local status. If you go to Tulum ruins on an organised tour then they will cover your entrance fee included in the tour cost.

Parking can be around $200 pesos if you want to park right outside the site.

The first time I visited the Mayan ruins of Tulum it was actually my 4th Mayan Ruin Site in 3 months and I was really surprised at how different it felt to all of the others. It felt like I was walking down Main Street in Disney World. I was a little taken aback and unsure where to go. I ended up accidentally buying a train ticket instead of a park ticket… Yes, that’s right they even have a train that takes you 500m to the entrance. You can also buy your entrance ticket from the booth next to where you buy the train tickets. I would advise doing this as the queue when you get down to the actual entrance was pretty long.

Top Tip: Don’t pay for the train, walk the 500 meters if you want to save money.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo, Safety Wing, and Travel Insurance Master

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $39. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy. I also use Travel Insurance Master for short trips.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How to get to Tulum Ruins

If you are staying anywhere along the Riviera Maya coastline it’s really easy to get to Tulum Ruins as it is just set back off the main road connecting Tulum to Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

Getting to Tulum Ruins from Tulum Town:

The cheapest two options to get to the ruins from Tulum town are to take a Colectivo from the main street and then the driver “Ruines” (it is around 10-15 pesos), or rent a bike and cycle.

It’s only a 10-minute bike ride from Tulum Town to Tulum Ruins and most of it is on a bicycle path.

If neither of these options works for you, then you can take a taxi for 80 pesos or rent a car and drive yourself.

If you want to know how to get from Cancun airport to Tulum, then read this.

QUICK TIP: Book your tours, rental cars, and transfers through my local contacts

I’ve been working with Living Dreams Mexico for years and they are who I send all my family and friends to when they visit the Riviera Maya. I really can recommend them enough for private tours and experiences. They have solid 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and Google from almost 4000 reviewers! You can view all their tours here.

If you’re looking for private airport transfers and rental cars then Vanessa and Oliver from Turismo Channel are personal friends of mine and I can 100% recommend them to make an inquiry click here and complete the form. Someone will be in touch within 24 hours.

Getting to Tulum Ruins from the Tulum Beach

If you are staying on the north side of the beach (Playa Paraiso/ Playa Pescadores area) then it may not be too far for you to walk. Just remember it gets very hot and often there is little to no shade on the roads in Tulum. I personally always prefer to rent a bike for the day in Tulum. The cost of renting a bike in Tulum is around $100 pesos per day (less than$5 USD).

If you are staying further down the beach road away from the Ruins then you can take a colectivo into the town. Get out at the top of the road by the 7/11 before they turn to go into town. From the 7/11 you can take the colectivo heading towards Playa del Carmen and ask for the “Ruines”.

Alternatively, rent a bike or take a taxi. Taxis in Tulum can be pretty expensive. Expect to pay anything from $80 -$500 pesos…it really depends on how good your Spanish is!

If you are visiting the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico it’s really worth hiring a car and exploring the area. You can get a car for just $30 a day and there are so many places to explore in the area like the Pink Lakes which you can read about on Our Escape Clause. Just looking at the photos made me regret not having more time to explore the area!

Getting to Tulum Ruins from Playa Del Carmen or Cancun

Again you have a few options: Drive yourself (there is a huge carpark), take a taxi (this won’t be cheap), or take any Colectivo to Tulum and ask them to drop you off at the ruins. There is no direct colectivo from Cancun to Tulum, instead, you will need to take a colectivo first to Playa del Carmen and then change and take a colectivo from Playa to Tulum). It’s actually very easy so don’t be put off by the change!

Although what most people do is do a Mayan Ruins Tour. This way you visit Coba Ruins and Tulum Ruins in a day on the same tour. This is probably the easiest and cheapest way if you want to see both sites and don’t have your own transport.

Need Somewhere to Stay in Tulum?

I wrote a guide to the Top Boutique Hotels in TulumWhere to Stay in Tulum, and The Best Hostels in Tulum, Mexico.

Here are my picks:

Top Budget Pick:
Chill Inn
Top Boutique Pick: Elements Tulum Boutique Hotel
Top Resort: Nah Uxibal Villa and Casitas
Top Luxury Pick: Nomade Tulum

Want to see Tulum and Coba in one day?

If you are thinking of traveling to Tulum and Coba in one day to see both ruins then I highly recommend doing a tour with my friend Vanessa from Turismo Channel. You can either send her a message on WhatsApp here or complete the form below with the date you are thinking of going and she will be in contact with you within 24 hours.

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico | How to see the Tulum archaeological site

Entering the Mayan Archeological Site

When you enter the site there are two entrances once you are past the barriers. Go in through the second one. The views are much better as this is the first thing you see. I was pretty stunned and spent the longest time just staring at this view than I did anywhere else.

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico | How to see the Tulum archaeological site

I’m much more of a beach person anyway, so this for me was perfection.

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico | How to see the Tulum archaeological site

The whole time all I kept on thinking was how incredible it was and what it must have been like to actually live there.

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico | How to see the Tulum archaeological site

Unlike the other sites I’ve been to (Copan, Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Coba) you are kept well away from the ruins. Mostly behind barriers in fact. It’s the world away from Coba where I was able to climb up one of the Mayan pyramids.

Tulum Ruins Beach

Yes, that’s right, Tulum ruins beach, there is a beach just down the cliff from the ruins and it’s the perfect place to cool off and take a swim in the Caribbean sea halfway round. Where else can you do that! Although if you are in the area you need to go to some of these cenotes near Tulum, they really are out of this world!

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico | How to see the Tulum archaeological site

Why visit Tulum Ruins

Just take a look at the pictures. With the backdrop of the Caribbean sea, it’s hard to think of reasons why not to visit Tulum Ruins. Not only do you get stunning views, but you can also swim in the sea to cool off halfway round. It’s really easy to get to (unlike close by Coba) and if you have children in a pushchair or have mobility issues it’s also wheelchair friendly. That’s a bit of a rarity and not something I have seen anywhere else.

There are so many more incredible ruins you should really try to visit if you have the time though. Take a read of this great post from Mexico Bites and Sights “12 ruins in Mexico you shouldn’t miss” for more information.

Also, if you are wondering what type of clothes to wear in Mexico depending on where you are going, take a look at my Mexico packing list.

Visiting Tulum Ruins in Mexico

Looking for things to do in the Riviera Maya?

Check out these articles:

Akumal Glamping | Glamping in the Riviera Maya

Visiting Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristalino

How to spend a weekend in Merida

Food Tour in Playa Del Carmen Review

Doing a cooking class in Tulum

Choosing a Scuba Diving Company in Playa Del Carmen

Scuba Diving in Cozumel

Scuba Diving in Puerto Morelos

Cenote Diving in Tulum 

This post was proofread by Grammarly

John and Susan Pazera

Saturday 11th of May 2019

Great post and thank you for the information Clair! We are headed there next week. And will follow your advice!

Gracias! John and Susan

Hazel Tolentino

Saturday 15th of July 2017

Oh my! You have no idea on how my friends and I were once obsessed with ancient civilizations and Mayan is on the top of the list! I will surely work hard to get a visa and visit it! And this article is really informative for me. Thanks for sharing!

Claire Summers

Tuesday 18th of July 2017

My pleasure! I hope you get to visit soon!


Friday 14th of July 2017

Perfect timing :) I'm going to Mexico in a couple of weeks, and you gave an idea of what to do there except staying at the poolside or beach. I will be staying in Riviera Maya in a beautiful resort, but I prefer to go outside and to see a real life while traveling. I have never been to Tulum before but visited Mexico a few times already. I have to admit that this after Japan and Canada is my favorite country to visit. I love their food and also a lot of beautiful historic places. Do you plan to come back to Mexico any time soon?

Best, Kasia

Claire Summers

Friday 14th of July 2017

Yes! I'm actually doing my Yoga Teacher training close to Guadalajara next month! I do want to go back and do a road trip at some point though. Enjoy your trip you will have a great time I'm sure!

Trisha Velarmino

Friday 14th of July 2017

I have yet to make it to this part of America I was in South America for around a year and I love it. You write so well! I love your style, dear! And Mayan civilization is really worth to take a look at.

Claire Summers

Friday 14th of July 2017

That's where I'm heading next! I'm so excited

Sandy N Vyjay

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

Mayan civilization, culture has always been a source of fascination to me. Hence I am always interested to read about the different sites with the Mayan ruins in Mexico. Tulum seems to be a great place to explore the intrigue of the Mayan ruins, hope to get there some day.

Claire Summers

Wednesday 12th of July 2017

It's not the biggest but the backdrop is simply stunning!