Make your Tulum ruin tour as long or as short as you like! This Loco Adventure tour incorporates lots of flexibility and lots of fun! The three travel options, similar to our other Loco Adventure itineraries explore just the Tulum or bring you into the pueblo and beaches of Tulum for more adventure. Whether you are a seasoned or new adventurer there is something for everyone in this Tulum Ruin itinerary.
Tulum is most famous for its position, on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. The Tulum Ruins offers stellar views of the crystal clear waters. This settlement sits on a small cliff, with visitor access to the beach below making this an interesting and fun half-day. Named Tulu’um by Yucatecans, translated to the ‘Walled City’, visitors will easily see the wall built around this ceremonial city, an architectural addition found in few Mayan sites.
Archaeologists refer to the Tulum Ruins as Zama, the original Mayan name which means ‘The City of Dawn’ due to its positioning towards the morning sunrise.
Tulum was a productive port for the Maya, built and occupied during 1200 A.D. to mid 1500 A.D., with most received trade transported to Coba or exported to Guatemala. Tulum never saw more than 1,000 to 1,600 residents, most being religious and political leaders. The site was abandoned in the late 1500s with documentation showing that residents were hit by disease, spread by Spanish conquerers.
The most significant buildings are the Temple of the Descending God, the Castillo, and the Temple of the Frescoes. These structures are on a much smaller scale found at other Mayan ruins. The Temple of the Wind and the Temple of the Sun are two small cliff-side structures that played a significant role in the spiritual practices and astrological findings of the Maya.
The cliffs to the east coupled with the surrounding walls to the west, provide a distinct architectural design to the Maya’s list of cities. The salt air has been a catalyst to deterioration of the stone structures. There are paintings in the Temple of the Frescoes and the carvings of the Descending God can be seen on the Temple that bears its name.
Tulum is a fascinating site that can be completed in as little as 2. 5 hours (door to door) or you can spend a full day there. The site is small, but the surroundings can stretch out visit to include an entire day. Travel time to this INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia) site is less, but fun time is way more! Many visitors combine their Tulum ruin visit with a Tulum beach visit, or another attraction along the way. Our suggested itineraries provide you with a few options, so pick the best one for you!