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

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

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Planning a trip to the Riviera Maya? Don’t skip visiting Tulum Ruins. In this post, I share my top tips on how to see the Tulum archaeological site as well as some other useful infomation to help you enjoy your trip.

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

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.

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 -$100 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.

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

Getting your ticket – Tulum Ruins entrance fee

The first time I visited Tulum Ruins 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 que 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.

Tulum Ruins entrance fee is 70 pesos per person

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 is on the Beach so you can take a swim

Yes, that’s right, you can cool off half way round by taking a dip in the Caribbean sea. 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 its hard to think of reasons why not to visit Tulum Ruins. Not only do you get stunning views, you can swim in the sea to cool off half way 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.

Need somewhere to stay in Tulum?

I wrote a whole post to help you decide the best area in Tulum to stay with my recommendations depending on your budget. I also wrote a guide to my top boutique hotels in Tulum here.

Top Budget pick

Top Boutique Hotel pick

Top Money is No Object pick

Or click to read my guides to accommodation in Playa del Carmen and Cancun 

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 

How to see the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico

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21 Comments

  1. July 9, 2017 / 6:17 am

    I love how easy you made it for people coming from different places explaining how to do so. It looks like a lot of fun to explore here. I love historical sites like these

  2. July 9, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    This is one of the most comprehensive posts on exploring Mayan ruins and I loved it! I really hope to visit Mexico someday…

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Thank you! And you should it blew me away. Such an incredible country!

  3. July 9, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    So many ruins! Might as well go for those with a great backdrop, like Tulum, first. In all seriousness, there’s so much pre-Columbian history to explore in Mexico, you could spend a lifetime there. A must for every history buff.

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      I know! I’m so sad that every time I visit Mexico I don’t have much time to really explore. I really need to plan a longer visit soon!

  4. July 9, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Ruins AND a beautiful coastline? Sold! I haven’t spent enough time in mexico, need to change that

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      That part of Mexico is stunning! I can;t wait to go back…

  5. Katherine
    July 9, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    I am planning to do Central and South America trip, I’ll definitely be saving this to my Mexico list! Not only do you get to explore the wonderful ruins but also that beach is stunning! 😀

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:28 pm

      I’ve been living in Central America for 6 months now. If you visit Guatemala check out my posts, I have soooo many haha. You will love it!

  6. July 10, 2017 / 11:32 am

    It’s too bad that you couldn’t get really close. The combination, however, of the beach with the ruins makes for a perfect destination!

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      Yes, it’s the only one I’ve been to where you couldn’t get close. But taking a dip in the sea half way round made up for it haha.

  7. Sandy N Vyjay
    July 12, 2017 / 2:00 am

    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.

    • July 12, 2017 / 3:19 pm

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

  8. July 14, 2017 / 4:47 am

    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.

    • July 14, 2017 / 1:59 pm

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

  9. July 14, 2017 / 8:31 am

    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

    • July 14, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      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!

  10. July 15, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    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!

    • July 18, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      My pleasure! I hope you get to visit soon!

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