Visiting Tulum Ruins in 2024: What to Know Before You Go

tulum ruins on the beach in mexico


You’ve landed in the perfect spot to discover the mystery of this ancient Mayan wonder. How do I know?

I’ve been living in Mexico since 2018, and I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve traveled to Tulum Ruins!

With each new visit, I’ve learned something new, and now I want to share all my knowledge with you so you visit Tulum Ruins like a pro!

If you’re looking to dodge the crowds or catch the best weather, knowing when to go can make all the difference. But fear not, I’m here to be your virtual Tulum Ruins guide. 

From the ideal months to wander amongst these ancient structures to tips on avoiding the peak tourist rush, we’ll uncover the secrets of visiting Tulum Ruins.

By the end of this article, you’ll be navigating your trip with the ease of a seasoned Tulum traveler.

Where are the Tulum Ruins located? 

The Tulum Ruins address is Carretera Federal, Cancun – Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico.

📍 Tulum Ruins Map 

The ruins sit on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, right on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

They are located south of Cancun and south of Playa del Carmen, but you can take Highway 307 from either city straight to the ruins.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

How far is Tulum from the Mayan Ruins?

The Tulum Ruins are about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the town center.

Though they’re on a beautiful beach, the Ancient Ruins of Tulum are located near Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum or Tulum Pueblo) as well.

They’re close to plenty of hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, and other top Tulum sites around the ruins.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

The 5 Best Tulum Ruins Tours

beach near tulum ruins
On a Tulum Ruins tour, you can explore the ruins without worrying about the logistics.

Want to visit Tulum Ruins on a tour? Personally, I think it’s better to explore with a tour so you can actually learn about the historic significance of the place — and not just look at rocks all day!

However, not all tours are created equal, so if you’re wondering What are some of the best Tulum Ruins tours? — don’t worry; I’m here to help.

For those looking to tour Tulum Ruins with a guide, here are the top 5 Tulum Mayan Ruins tours: 

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Can you go to Tulum Ruins without a tour?

Yes You can visit the Tulum Ruins without a guided tour.

However, there are limited signs explaining the symbolism and historical significance of the place, so a qualified Tulum Ruins tour guide really brings it all to life.

Still, many visitors choose to explore the site independently, which allows for flexibility in terms of pacing and spending more time at points of personal interest. 

Of course, it’s worth considering that a guide can significantly enhance the experience by providing in-depth historical context and insights into the Mexican Ruins Tulum’s significance.

Without a guide, you might just be observing the structures without fully understanding their historical and cultural importance.

Or, as I tell people, without understanding what’s going on, you’re essentially just looking at piles of rocks 🪨

If a guided tour isn’t your preference, consider at least using informational resources like guidebooks or mobile apps to enrich your understanding of the site.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Where do you buy tickets for Tulum Ruins?

Once you arrive, just head to the ticket booth near the entrance and buy your Tulum Archaeological Site tickets. Keep in mind it’s cash only, so have some pesos with you.

How can you get to Tulum Ruins on your own?

Visiting the Tulum Ruins from Tulum town is straightforward. If you want to get to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum Mexico, you have several options:

1. Rental Car

Getting a Tulum rental car? There’s parking at Tulum Ruins, so you can drive your car there and park in the on-site lot.

2. Taxi

For a quick and direct route, taxis are available. A one-way trip from Tulum Center to the ruins typically costs 300 pesos ($17 USD). ⚠️ Note: There is no Uber in Tulum, so you have to take cabs.

3. Bicycle to Tulum Ruins

bike rental in tulum mexico

Renting a bike is a popular and scenic way to reach the ruins. It’s about a 20-minute ride, and bike rentals are widely available in Tulum town for about 170 MXN pesos ($8 USD) per day.

There are bicycle racks at the entrance of the Tulum Mexico Mayan Ruins where you can lock up your bike.

4. Colectivo TO TULUM RUINS

colectivo tulum mexico
The Tulum colectivos are a great and inexpensive way to get around in Tulum.

This is a budget-friendly option. These shared minibuses can be caught from the town center, and cost about 20 MXN pesos (less than $1 USD) per person.

⚠️ Note: Using the colectivo can be tricky if you don’t speak Spanish.

Also, they don’t have a set schedule, so you basically just have to wait around until one comes. My best advice is to ask a friendly local how to take the colectivo to Tulum Ruins.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What are the Tulum Ruins opening hours?

The ruins are open every single day of the year, even Christmas. The Tulum Ruins hours are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with the last entrance to the ruins at 3:30 PM — after which, you can no longer buy tickets.

⚠️ Note: Arriving early is recommended to avoid crowds and heat. Once the tour buses arrive at about 10 AM to see the ruins from Cancun and other places, it can get VERY crowded. 

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What is the Tulum Ruins entrance fee? 

Tulum Ruins tickets are about 90 MXN per person (about $5 USD).

Tulum Mayan ruins
With your entrance fee Tulum Ruins, you get to see this beautiful view of El Castillo.

If you have a professional camera to take Tulum Ruins photos, there’s an additional fee applied to use it, but phone cameras are fine. Drones are not allowed inside Tulum Ruins.

For the Tulum entrance fee at the ruins, you must bring cash in pesos; keep in mind they don’t often have change for large bills at the ticket counter.

They also don’t accept USD, Euros, or debit/credit cards.

⚠️ Tulum Ruins Tips: The Tulum Ruins entrance fee is waived on Sundays for Mexican citizens and foreign residents.

Sundays tend to be the most crowded days to visit Tulum Ruins, between the tour companies and locals paying a visit to the ruins.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Is there parking at the Tulum Ruins?

Yes Tulum Ruins parking is available in a designated parking lot nearby for cars and bikes, and private lots a bit further out so the tour buses can park near the site too.

coati (coatimundi) animal in mexico
We spotted this adorable coati (coatimundi) in the Tulum Ruins parking lot.

Though the car parking lot is technically on-site, it’s about a 10-15 minute journey between the parking lot and Tulum Ruins entrance.

You can walk, or hop on the tram to take you to the entrance.

Rides cost about $10 pesos per person (less than $1 USD) — but trust me, it’s worth it during the sweltering summer months.

How much is parking at Tulum Ruins?

The cost for parking is typically about 160 MXN pesos ($9 USD).

However, it’s important to note that the cost and availability of parking might change, so it’s advisable to be prepared for possible variations.

Prices sometimes increase during peak season and holidays, or depending on how busy it is. More so than the cost though, they sometimes run out of parking spaces.

⚠️ Pro Tip: How to Get Tulum Ruins FREE Parking

tulum beach
The FREE parking near Tulum Ruins is on the street near Playa Santa Fe Beach.

In recent years, the Tulum Ruins parking fee has gone up A LOT. These days, it costs more to park at the ruins than to visit the Tulum Ruins themselves!

However, let me tell you about the FREE Tulum Ruins parking lot that’s located about a 10-15 minute walk from the entrance.

Head to Playa Santa Fe, which is one of the best public beaches in Tulum.

Here, you’ll find free parking for the beach all along Carretera Tulum Boca Paila (the main street), but you can also head to Tulum Ruins because it’s close by.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Is it safe to visit the Tulum Ruins?

Yes Visiting the Tulum Ruins in Mexico is generally considered safe for tourists. Like any popular tourist destination, it’s always wise to follow basic safety precautions

woman on one of the best tulum ruins tours
Tulum Ruins makes for one of the most popular day trips from Cancun.

Keep your belongings secure, stay aware of your surroundings, and stick to the designated paths within the ruins.

It’s also important to stay hydrated and protected from the sun, as the area can get quite hot. 

As with any travel, staying informed about current local conditions and adhering to any advisories or guidelines is recommended for a safe and enjoyable visit.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

When is the best time to visit the Tulum Ruins?

The early morning hours are ideal for a visit. The site opens at 8:00 am and tends to be less crowded at that hour, allowing for a more peaceful experience. 

visitors at tulum ruins archeological site
Take note of the Ruins Tulum opening hours and be there early to avoid large crowds.

Additionally, visiting in the morning helps avoid the intense midday heat. Keep in mind that the site can become quite busy during peak tourist seasons, particularly around holidays and Spring Break.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What are the best months to visit the Tulum Ruins? 

The best time to visit the Tulum Ruins is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April.

woman on one of the best tulum ruins tours
The visitor’s experience changes with the seasons — sometimes it’s quiet and peaceful, other times lively and bustling.

During these months, you’ll experience sunny days and warm weather with minimal rainfall and low humidity, making it ideal for exploring the ruins and enjoying Tulum Beach.

(Note: The weather was perfect when I went to visit Tulum Ruins in March.)

If you prefer fewer crowds and more budget-friendly travel, the shoulder months of May and early-June or late-September to November are also good choices.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Traveling to Tulum with kids? Though July and August tend to be hot and humid, they’re popular months for summer vacationers, so the kiddos might make friends their age while touring the ruins.

Overall, the best time to visit Tulum depends on your preferences for weather, crowds, and prices.

Late-November to early-March provides the best weather conditions with higher tourist traffic, but April is known for its pleasant temperatures, minimal rainfall and relatively-low prices.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What to See at the Tulum Archeological Site

The Tulum Archeological Site is rich with historical and architectural gems, each telling a unique story about the Mayan civilization. Here are some key sights to see:

tulum mayan ruins in mexico

The Castle (Pyramid El Castillo): This is the most iconic structure in Tulum and served multiple purposes, including as a temple and a lighthouse.

It is the tallest pyramid at Tulum Ruins, standing 24-feet-tall (7.3 meters).

House of Columns AKA The Palace (El Palacio): This large building complex consists of multiple rooms, and served as a residence for Mayan leaders.

Temple of the Descending God (Templo del Dios Descendente): This temple is unique to the site and holds significant religious importance.

It is dedicated to the Mayan Descending God (AKA Mayan diving god), a deity always depicted in a downward diving position.

Temple of the Frescoes at Tulum Ruins Mexico

Temple of the Frescoes: This temple, known for its well-preserved frescoes, provides insights into the Mayans’ understanding of astronomy and religious practices.

Great Palace: A central structure believed to have been used for ceremonial and bureaucratic functions but not as a residence.

House of the Cenote (Casa del Cenote): A house with two small rooms, with a pathway that leads to a cenote (sinkhole).

The Maya believed cenotes were a gateways to Xibalbá (pronounced she-ball-bah), and meaning “the underworld.”

Temple of the Wind god Tulum Ruins

Temple of the Wind God: This small but iconic building is known for its location on the cliff edge and possibly served as a warning system for incoming storms.

The Wall: The limestone wall, which surrounds the city on three sides, protects Tulum and marks its boundaries. This is also why Tulum is known as the walled city — and actually, tulum means “wall” in Mayan.

House of Columns: A large building complex with four rooms, this also served as the residence for important Mayan leaders. 

House of Halach Uinic Tulum Ruins

House of Halach Uinic: This was the residence of the supreme leader and high priest in Tulum, reflecting the city’s social hierarchy and governance structure.

Tulum Ruins Beach Access: Tulum is unique for its direct beach access, offering a place to relax and swim with a picturesque backdrop of the ruins in Tulum.

Each of these structures within the Tulum Archeological Site offers a glimpse into the Mayan way of life, their architectural prowess, and their deep connection with their environment and the cosmos.

Visitors can explore the Mayan Ruins Mexico Tulum at their own pace, soaking in the Tulum Mayan Ruins history and stunning views.

Remember to bring a camera to capture the beauty and grandeur of this ancient Mayan city.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Are there any pyramids in Tulum?

Yes There are pyramids at the Tulum archaeological site, often referred to as the Tulum pyramids.

tulum ruins from the caribbean sea
🤓 Maya Ruins Tulum Fun Fact: The Maya word for Tulum is zama, which means “dawn” because it is located in the east.

The most notable among these is “El Castillo” (The Castle), which is the largest and most prominent structure within the site. 

El Castillo served multiple purposes throughout its history of Tulum Mayan Ruins, including as a temple and a lighthouse, and is a classic example of Maya architecture.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

How long does it take to walk through the Tulum Ruins?

When visiting the Tulum Ruins, you can expect to spend around 2-3 hours exploring the site.

tulum ruins mayan temple
Touring Tulum Ruins with a guide gives you the opportunity to learn the history of the site.

This duration allows you to leisurely walk through and see all the main buildings and attractions within the archaeological site. 

It’s a manageable size, so while an hour is enough to see everything briskly — taking a bit longer lets you fully appreciate the site and enjoy the stunning views, including a swim at the nearby Tulum beach if you’re up for it. 

Remember, the Mayan Ruins Tulum Mexico, are located on a large site with various points of interest.

Wondering, Is there a beach at Tulum Ruins? Yes, there’s also public Tulum Ruins beach access, so there’s plenty to see and experience when visiting Tulum Ruins Mexico.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

How to get from Cancun or Playa del Carmen to Tulum

If you’re considering visiting the ruins of Tulum from Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you’ll find the four best options below.

Each offers a different experience, whether you’re looking for the most economical route, the fastest, or the most scenic journey.

1. Car Rental

Renting a car gives you flexibility. The ruins are about 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen, and 90 minutes from Cancun. Remember, there’s a parking fee of 160 MXN pesos ($9 USD) at the ruins.

2. Taxi To Tulum

A more expensive option, with fares ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 MXN pesos ($87 to $165 USD) for a one-way trip from either Playa del Carmen or Cancun.

3. Colectivo from Playa del Carmen/Cancun to Tulum

This is a cost-effective way to travel, costing about 60 MXN pesos ($3 USD) from Playa del Carmen, and 130 MXN pesos ($6 USD) from Cancun — However, the colectivo takes MUCH longer than any other option.

4. Bus To Tulum

ado red bus in mexico

If you’re not renting a car in Cancun, or renting a car in Playa del Carmen, I recommend taking the ADO bus. This is Mexico’s largest bus company, with a fleet of modern, comfy buses.

The ADO bus ride from Playa del Carmen to Tulum costs about 140 MXN pesos ($8 USD); from Cancun, it’s about 275 MXN pesos ($16 USD).

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What do I need to know before visiting Tulum Ruins?

House of Columns Tulum Ruins
The House of Columns is one of the most important buildings at Tulum Ruins.

Before visiting the Tulum Ruins, it’s important to know a few key things (listed below).

Also, before going on your Tulum trip, you might want to check out the images found on this map of Tulum Ruins so you have a visual on what to expect.

1. Firstly, the site is easily accessible from Tulum Town (AKA Downtown Tulum), with options like biking, taxis, or colectivos (small, shared vans). You can also drive your rental car, as there’s onsite parking at Tulum Ruins.

2. The ruins are a popular spot and one of the top things to do in Tulum. For this reason, arriving early helps avoid the crowds, and the heat of midday.

3. Keep in mind there’s very little shade, so the earlier you arrive, the better. You’ll also want to bring essentials like your water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat.

4. The entry fee Tulum Ruins is relatively affordable, but having cash in pesos is essential, as other currencies or cards are not accepted. 

5. The Tulum Ruins open at 8am and close at 5pm, with the last entry typically at 3:30pm. They are open seven days a week.

6. Within the site, El Castillo and the Temple of the Frescoes are must-see landmarks. However, be aware that climbing the structures is not allowed.

7. Lastly, if you plan to swim at the nearby beach under Tulum Ruins, bring your swimsuit and this quick-dry microfiber towel for a refreshing end to your visit.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

A Brief Tulum Ruins History

Main temple at Tulum, lithograph in 1844 by Frederick Catherwood
Main temple at Tulum, lithograph in 1844 by Frederick Catherwood. (Image: Frederick Catherwood, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Ready for some Mayan Ruins Tulum history? Below, you’ll find a few things you should know before your visit to the Tulum Ruins and the surrounding Tulum area.

The archaeological evidence and historical records suggest that Tulum was one of the few walled cities built by the Mayas, indicating its significance as a defensive stronghold. 

Its location along the coast of the Riviera Maya made it a vital seaport for trade of things like jade and obsidian.

For this reason, the ruins have become known as merely a trade port, but there’s more to the story.

This strategic positioning allowed for the control of sea trade routes along the Yucatan Peninsula, facilitating commerce with other regions that could get to the ruins by sea.

What was Tulum Ruins used for?

The site is said to have two distinct sections: El Castillo (The Castle) and El Mercado (The Market) — showing that the Tulum Mexico Ruins was more than just a commercial center.

It was also a site of pre-Columbian religious and ceremonial importance.

The presence of temples and other religious structures within the city and around the site points to its role as a spiritual hub for the Maya people.

What happened after the spanish arrived?

aerial photo of tulum mayan ruins
The Spanish arrived in Tulum by sea.

The Spanish began occupying Mexico in 1519, and conquistador Hernán Cortés established the first Spanish settlement in the Yucatan Peninsula (around Tulum) that same year.

When Spanish explorers came to Mexico, the Tulum Ruins were still being used for commerce and religious ceremonies.

However, only a few years after the Spanish arrived, the city was abandoned and people fled to places like Central Mexico and Central America.

Of course, many Maya continued to live in the Yucatan Peninsula as well.

Nowadays, the Tulum Archaeological Site is a place where we can learn a lot about the Mayans and see the amazing things they built a long time ago.

Tulum Ruins Fun Facts

The original name of the city was Zamá, meaning place of the dawning sun in Maya.

This reflects the location of the ruins, which face the sunrise on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Also, the word tulum means wall. It refers to the impressive wall which encircles the city on three sides.

Visiting the site, you’ll see why Tulum was a major defensive hub within the Mayan world — as it’s walled in.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Who built the Tulum Ruins?

Wondering, Is Tulum Aztec or Mayan? The Mexico Tulum Ruins were built by the ancient Maya civilization.

tulum ruins mayan archeological site

When was Tulum Ruins built?

Archeologists and historians debate this, but the general consensus is that the Ruins Tulum were built between 1200 and 1450 AD.

The most significant development in the city of Tulum occurred between the 13th and 15th Centuries, which was the late post-Classic period of Maya civilization.

However, early artworks like murals and stele have been dated as far back as 564 AD. Because of this some most say the construction of the Maya Tulum Ruins started around the 6th Century AD.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Tulum Ruins vs Chichen Itza: Which is better?

Comparing Tulum Ruins and Chichen Itza is like contrasting two distinct chapters of Mayan history, each with its own pros and cons.

Visiting Tulum Mayan Ruins

tulum mayan ruins in mexico
The Templo del Viento (Wind Temple) at Tulum Ruinas overlooks one of the best beaches in Mexico.

✅ PROS of Visiting the Tulum Ruins 

Tulum’s picturesque setting on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea is breathtaking. Its smaller size makes it easier to explore, especially for those with limited time or mobility. 

The proximity to the beach offers a unique combination of historical exploration and relaxation by the sea.

Tulum is also closer to popular destinations like Playa del Carmen and Cancun, making it more accessible for those staying in these areas.

❌ CONS of Visiting the Tulum Ruins 

While rich in history, Tulum doesn’t match the grandeur and scale of Chichen Itza. Its structures, though beautiful, are less imposing and less varied than those at Chichen Itza.

💡 Why Visit the Tulum Ruins

One of the last cities inhabited by the Maya, Tulum is perfect for those who want a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

It’s ideal for a quick yet fulfilling historical excursion, coupled with beach time.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Visiting Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins

woman at chichen itza ruins on one of the best TOURS
Chichen Itza attracts about two million visitors each year, so when you visit the Mayan Ruins, expect large crowds.

✅ PROS of Visiting Chichen Itza 

Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The site boasts the famous El Castillo pyramid and a variety of other large and intricate structures.

It provides a more comprehensive view of Mayan architecture and astronomy, it’s larger and offers a deeper dive into Mayan history and culture.

❌ CONS of Visiting Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is further away from the Riviera Maya’s main tourist spots, requiring a longer trip. It can get very crowded, and the larger size means more walking and time is needed to explore fully.

💡 Why Visit Chichen Itza

For those deeply interested in Mayan history and architecture, Chichen Itza is a must-visit. It offers a more extensive and detailed look into the ancient civilization.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

🏆 Combining Both Tulum Ruins and Chichen Itza

You don’t have to choose between the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico, and Chichen Itza. Many visitors plan to see both.

Each offers a unique perspective on the Mayan civilization. Visiting both sites provides a more rounded and complete understanding of the Mayans’ architectural, cultural, and historical legacy.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What are some of the best ruins near Tulum?

There are numerous Mayan pyramids near Tulum to visit, including Coba, Muyil, Ek-Balam, and the world-famous Chichen Itza Ruins.

Exploring ruins near Tulum Mexico offers a journey through the rich tapestry of Mayan history and architecture.

There are several significant archaeological sites in close proximity to Tulum that provide distinct glimpses into the ancient civilization.

Here’s some information on my four favorite Mayan Ruins close to Tulum Mexico:

1. Coba Ruins

woman climbing coba pyramid in mexico
When I visited Coba Ruins, I was able to climb this historical archeological site.

Also located in Quintana Roo State about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Tulum, Coba is nestled in the jungle and is known for its large network of stone causeways.

The site’s main attraction is Nohoch Mul, one of the tallest Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan Peninsula. While it was once open for climbers to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding forest, you can no longer climb Coba Ruins.

Still, these are easily some of the best Mayan Ruins near Tulum Mexico — and there are some smaller structures you are able to climb at Coba Ruins.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

2. Muyil Ruins (AKA Chunyaxché)

Muyil Ruins
Muyil Pyramid bears a strong resemblance to the famous Mayan Ruins of Tikal.

Located just 15 miles south of Tulum, Muyil is part of the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve.

This lesser-known site is notable for its tranquil setting and a beautiful lagoon nearby, offering a more peaceful exploration experience compared to more crowded sites, like the Tulum ancient ruins. 

Visiting Tulum Ruins

3. Ek Balam Ruins

ek balam ruins in mexico
You can climb the main pyramid at Ek Balam for a spectacular jungle view.

Although a bit farther, about two hours northwest of Tulum, Ek Balam is worth the journey for its well-preserved sculptures and structures, including the impressive Acropolis pyramid.

The site offers a unique experience due to its intricate carvings and stucco figures.

In fact, the word ek-balam means “black jaguar” in the Maya language, and there is a large jarguar carving at the top of the main temple.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

4. Xel-Há Ruins

stone remains in Xel Ha Mayan Ruins
Xel Ha Mayan Ruins near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photos: Dennis Jarvis via Flickr)

Not to be confused with the eco-park of the same name, the Xel-Há Ruins are located about a half-hour drive north of Tulum.

These ruins are smaller but feature a natural inlet, which was an important trade route for the Mayans.

Each of these Mayan ruins near Tulum Maya Ruins provides a unique perspective on Mayan culture and history, making them worthwhile additions to any itinerary focused on exploring the ancient civilization of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Visiting Tulum Ruins: Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a dress code for Tulum Ruins?

No — There is no specific dress code for visiting the Tulum Ruins, but practicality and comfort should guide your choice of attire. 

Lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended due to the warm and humid climate. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as you will be exploring mostly on foot over uneven surfaces.

It’s also a good idea to bring a hat and sunglasses for sun protection, and if you plan to visit the beach nearby, swimwear and a quick-dry towel are advisable.

🧳 Need more Tulum packing suggestions? Check out this Ultimate Tulum Packing List (What to Wear & Bring).

If you’re going to swim and snorkel, remember to carry biodegradable sunscreen to protect both your skin and the environment around the Tulum Mayan Ruins Mexico. 

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What is special about the Tulum Ruins?

The Tulum Ruins are unique for their stunning location atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. This coastal setting differentiates Tulum Ruin from other Mayan sites in Mexico.

tulum ruins
Ruinas de Tulum has a beautiful view of the Caribbean Sea.

Its well-preserved structures, such as El Castillo and the Temple of the Frescoes, offer insights into ancient Mayan architecture and culture.

The Mayan Tulum Ruins site’s proximity to modern amenities in Tulum Town also adds to the appeal.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Are Tulum Ruins worth it?

Yes The Tulum Ruins are worth visiting for their historical significance, unique location, and the opportunity to combine a cultural experience with the natural beauty of the surrounding beaches in Tulum.

One of the best Tulum things to do, most visitors would say that no trip to Tulum is complete without visiting this important historical landmark.

After all, this is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites in Mexico and Central America.

For me, a visit to Tulum is quite worth your time in general, and the ruins are just the beginning!

There are amazing beach clubs and beaches, beautiful cenotes (natural jungle pools) and lagoons, yummy tacos, and much more!

Visiting Tulum Ruins

What are the ruins in Tulum called?

They are simply called the Tulum Ruins, or Tulum Mayan Ruins. Located in the Tulum Archaeological Zone, you might also hear them referred to as the Tulum Archaeological Site.

tulum ruins
Today a popular site for visitors, these are some of the best Mayan Ruins in Yucatan Mexico.

How much does it cost to go to Tulum Ruins?

The Tulum Ruins admission price is $90 MXN pesos (about $5 USD). Cash in pesos is recommended for Tulum Ruins tickets, as they don’t take credit cards.

Additional Tulum Ruins costs may include transportation, parking, and optional guide services. Remember, prices can vary, so it’s good to have some extra cash on hand.

Remember that you must bring cash in pesos to the ruins Tulum Mexico, and they don’t often have change. They don’t accept USD, Euros, or debit cards or credit cards.

⚠️ To repeat: Tulum Ruins is cash only, and you must pay the Tulum Ruins price for admission in pesos.

You can purchase your tickets when you arrive at the ticket booth; there is no need to buy tickets in advance.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Can you swim at the beach at Tulum Ruins?

Yes You can swim at the beach located near the Mayan Ruins of Tulum Mexico.

playa ruinas tulum ruins beach
People also go for a swim in Ruinas Mayas Tulum beach because of its crystal clear waters.

To access Playa Ruins (Tulum Ruins Beach), you can just take the staircase down from the ruins site. There are about 50 stairs to climb down, then back up.

This famous Tulum beach is set at the base of the cliff upon which the ruins stand. It is known for its beautiful setting and clear waters, but the actual beach cove area is very small.

However, accessibility may vary depending on weather conditions and conservation efforts, especially during turtle nesting season. Also, sometimes when the tide is high, you can’t access the beach at all.

Visiting Tulum Ruins

Are the Tulum Ruins better than Chichen Itza Ruins? 

Whether the ruins at Tulum Mexico are better than Chichen Itza depends on what you’re seeking.

chichen itza ruins
Tulums Ruins and Chichen Itza both hold significance in Mexico’s history.

Tulum offers a stunning coastal setting, and is easier to navigate due to its smaller size.

Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is larger and more historically comprehensive — but also very touristy.

Each site offers a unique experience: Tulum Ruinas Mayas is known for its picturesque views and relaxed atmosphere, while Chichen Itza is known for its grandeur and deeper dive into Mayan history.

Many visitors choose to visit both to fully appreciate their distinct qualities, and if you have the space on your Tulum itinerary, I highly suggest both.

Final Thoughts: Planning Your Tulum Ruins Visit

mother with two kids posing in front of Tulum ruins
Tulum’s ancient ruins are more than just historical sites. They’re a journey back in time, set against the beautiful Caribbean Sea.

The Ruins of Tulum Mexico offer a unique glimpse into the ancient Mayan civilization in Central America and Mexico.

As an important part of any travel guide, these ruins are not just historic landmarks but also scenic wonders with their cliff-top views over the Caribbean. 

The ruins are situated on a 12-meter clifftop, unlike any other Yucatec Maya site!

The Tulum Tulum temple and other structures provide an insightful look into the architectural prowess of the Mayans, making a visit to these ruins a must for anyone exploring the rich heritage of this region.

Whether for historical insight, architectural appreciation, or sheer scenic beauty, the Mayan Ruins at Tulum stand out as a remarkable destination.

Additional Tulum Tips & Blogs

woman walking into ven a la luz Tulum sculpture of a wooden man
Don’t miss the Tulum Sculpture (Ven a la Luz), and check out a few of these best Tulum day trips.

Enjoyed this Tulum Ruins article, and looking for more info on Tulum Mexico tips? Check out these additional Tulum guides to know everything about traveling in Tulum:

Tulum Travel Planning Guide

1. Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

2. Can you drink the water in Tulum?

No — You’ll want to buy this Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

3. Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

4. Will my phone work in Tulum?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy this Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

5. What’s the best way to book my Tulum accommodations?

For Tulum hotels, is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.

6. What do I pack for Tulum?

Head to the Ultimate Tulum Packing List to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

7. What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

8. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa or passport stamp upon arrival.