The ancient ruins of Tulum are situated 39 feet above the turquoise waters of the Caribbean in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Tulum was at its peak between the 13th-15th centuries AD and was one of the last Mayan cities. It is surrounded on three sides by rock walls and the fourth side by the ocean. The word Tulum means “wall, trench, or fence” in Maya, and was an ideal location for sea and land trade routes.
Today it is a popular destination for tourists. Tulum was one of the cruise ship excursion options on the Carnival cruise my friend and I took. We combined Tulum with Xel-Ha, a natural aquatic park. When you enter, you can do some shopping at the outdoor market and watch the Mayan Pole Flyers. Wouldn’t catch me doing this, but they wear brightly colored clothes, climb up to the top of a 100′ pole and swing around it and as their ropes unwind, they slowly get lower and lower. Did I mention they hang upside down? They are attached at their waists, so when they get close to the ground, they can get upright again and stand up.
You can tour the ruins alone or with a guide. On your own would probably take an hour to cover it all, then you can have some time to take a dip in the beautiful ocean. There are many more Mayan ruins yet to explore, Tulum is well worth the visit if you are nearby at Playa del Carmen, you won’t be disappointed.