Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Temple of the Frescos at Tulum

Temple of the Frescos

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.

The Castle at Tulum

The Castle

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.

The Castle and ocean at Tulum

The Castle and ocean

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.

7 thoughts on “Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum

    1. The Travel Wench Post author

      That would be disappointing to be so close and yet so far! I felt the same way about Richie Sowa’s Spiral Island. We could’ve gotten close enough to see that on a different excursion, but my friend wasn’t interested. 🙁 Richie Sowa quit his “regular life” and made an island out of recycled bottles. Then his island was destroyed by a hurricane. He did rebuild and relocate a little bit, so seeing that is still something I would love to do. Making my own would be fun too!

      Working on a megayacht must have some exciting moments too though! 🙂

    1. The Travel Wench Post author

      It is sad to see ruins, but I like to envision what it was like in its prime. A nice comparison is that painting of what it looked like completed and painted. The ocean view is beautiful, I love the color of the water!

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