Results 11-20of 51 Reviews
ST PETERS, Missouri
June 13, 2005
From journal A Week of Fun and Relaxation
May 11, 2005
When we got to Playa, we walked a short distance to the bus station. The cashier spoke English, and we easily bought tickets on the next second-class bus. The bus had comfortable seats and A/C, with lots of gringos going to see the ruins, as well as locals going about their business. I sat next to a Mexican mother and her beautiful baby boy. She was kissing him, and he was squealing in delight. It was just one of those moments that made me glad that we took a chance in going on our own.
One important lesson about riding Mexican busses is that the driver calls out the stops ahead, but will stop only when a passenger responds. I didn't know that and couldn't hear the driver anyway, which caused a problem. I assumed with the number of gringos on the bus that he'd automatically pull over at the ruins. Nope. He went sailing right past. I ran up front, but the driver told me, "I said ruinas. You'll have to catch a bus or taxi from town." So we got off in the dusty, little ramshackle town. We readily found a taxi who charged us all of $2 to take us back. Not a trip spoiler, just a little aggravating.
There are aggressive vendors at the entrance trying to sell guided tours, but we declined. There is a trolley to take visitors to the gate for a nominal charge. We decided to walk the 3/4 miles, which was not too difficult, the heat notwithstanding. The entrance fee was 38 pesos; they also charge 30 pesos to use video cameras. If you need cold water, you can buy bottles in the book store at the entrance booth.
The ruins are spectacular and in an incredible location. There are placards in English at various buildings, so it is possible to learn a lot without a guide. We also eavesdropped on numerous English-language tour groups. I was more interested in the physical beauty of the site than in learning the history (maybe because it was so hot!) I took some fantastic photos, but it’s hard to go wrong when you have an intense blue sky, turquoise ocean, and majestic stone buildings all in the same place!
After a few hours, we headed back to wait for the bus in a decent shelter with an overhead fan. We made it back to Playa for the ferry to Cozumel, and then easily hopped a cab to the ship pier with enough time to shop there before we boarded. It was a wonderful excursion that certainly cost a lot less than doing a tour through the ship!
From journal Enchanting Cruise to the Western Caribbean
May 9, 2005
From journal Cancun in December
April 25, 2005
The park is open from 8am to 5 pm and costs 35 pesos, so if you are arriving independently, try and get there early before the hoards of tour buses descend. If you are on a tour, you will already have the entrance fee covered.
Because we did it as a tour, we had a guide who walked us through the park and past all the temples, telling us all the history and pointing out things that we wouldn’t normally have noticed. This particular site dates back to 1200 AD.
Tulum is smaller than Chichen Itza, but I like this one mainly because I’m not a big history buff, but I do love to at least learn something of the culture. Admittedly, my reason for loving this one so much is its position on the coast, so you can get the most stunning photos graphs of the ancient temple El Castillo with a backdrop of white sand and ocean. Also, if the tour gets a bit much, you can nip off and lie out on the beach. Not that I would ever do that of course, but you could !!
For extra history on the Mayan ruins, check out this site
From journal Fun in the Sun
January 10, 2005
The ride to Tulum seemed very long, as there was not much in the way of scenery once you left Cancun. The actual ruins are located a fair distance away from the parking lot. If you are the adventurous type (and you are wearing comfortable shoes), you can choose to walk back to the ruins. The walk is a long one (at least 20 minutes) and, if you are visiting the area during the summer, like we were, a very hot one. However, if you don't feel like walking or have small children with you, you are also given the opportunity to purchase tickets for the tram that runs back and forth between the ruins and the parking lot. Once you reach the ruins, prepare to be amazed. For someone who has never seen ancient ruins before (like me), the sight of the Mayan city is an awesome one. There are many buildings and temples throughout the area that are well-preserved, but the main temple along the seaside cliff is by far the most magnificent. Unfortunately, tourists are no longer allowed to climb up or go inside the temples. Our guide was quite long-winded and spent close to two hours taking us through the site and providing us with a plethora of historic information. Once the tour was finished, my wife and I spent another hour or so snapping pictures and doing a little sightseeing of our own.
If time allows, I would suggest taking some time to walk along the cliffs or climb down to the beach. Some of our best honeymoon pictures were taken in those areas. Keep in mind, however, that there is very, very little shade around the ruins, so be sure to bring plenty of water with you. My wife and I both regretted not bringing our swimsuits along with us. After several hours of walking around in the hot sun, the beach was starting to look very good to us (the water looked a little rough, though). All things considered, visiting Tulum was one of the highlights of our trip to Cancun, and if we are ever given the opportunity to go back, it is one site we would definitely visit again.
From journal A Memorable Honeymoon in Cancun
December 23, 2004
A guide actually would have been a good investment because there were no maps or guides given out. You gave your money and followed the crowd through the narrow entryway into the historic area. The whole excavation covered several acres, and some of the buildings are remarkably well-preserved. As we walked along the grounds, we sometimes did a little eavesdropping by standing next to a group who had a guide. The stories told by the guides gave the listeners a better understanding of the way people lived in the times when the structures were built.
The ruins are mostly on a high ground overlooking the ocean, but at one spot is a gentle sandy slope right into the sea. There were, however, no changing room facilities or washrooms. There was also no place to purchase water or drinks or food close enough to the beach to be useful. Nevertheless, there were numerous visitors enjoying the beautiful turquoise waters.
My husband wandered around for a while, taking pictures of the buildings at various angles, enjoying the spectacular views of the coastline, and observing all the other visitors. It is obviously a popular destination for cruise ships visiting the area and seems to be combined with a visit to Xelha. It would not likely be very interesting for children, nor a great place to bring those who have difficulty walking long distances under the hot sun.
From journal Pre-Christmas Break on the Mayan Riviera
Middle Village, New York
August 30, 2004
It is very hot here and the walk from the parking lot is far. Try to take the tram as it will be worth the 10 minute wait. We got there late and the tram was not available so we walked it. In fact we got there so late that they let us in for free. It closes at 5pm and we got there about 5:30.
Bring a camera and extra film. You will want to take a picture at each ruin. Not to mention the pictures of the ocean from above. Other than it being a tourist area there realy is nothing else here to do.
From journal Mayan Palace Rivera Maya. They need to work on it.
August 28, 2004
From journal Relaxation on the Mayan Riviera
July 27, 2004
From journal Carnival Cruise
July 4, 2004
Tulum can be divided into two parts - the Mayan ruins and Tulum Pueblo, the current village. Arriving from the North, the ruins are on the left. Tulum Pueblo is a couple of kilometers farther down the road.
Upon leaving the parking lot, you arrive at a market area with several shops. There are several places to get food and drinks, including a Subway, which appears really out of place here!
To reach the ruins, you can walk about 3/4 mile or take an open air trolley for approximately $2.
At the entrance to the ruins, you pay the admission fee (approximately $4). Guides are available. We chose not to use a guide primarily because we did not want to be locked in to staying longer than we wanted due to the HOT weather that day. I had read about Tulum prior to our visit and shared information with my group, but I think a guide would have been better.
The ruins are magnificent. It is truly amazing that they are that well preserved so many years later. The Castillo is beautiful. Visitors can no longer climb its steps due to wearing of the stone. The view of the blue sea from the hill on which it sits is absolutely breathtaking.
A sandy beach area is accessible from the site. The water is very refreshing especially after several minutes of visiting the ruins.
Back at the shopping area, you can view an interesting show. I am uncertain of what it represents, but it involves traditionally costumed Mayans climbing a pole. At the top, they attach a rope to their foot and eventually "fly" down head first.
We did not visit Tulum Pueblo other than driving through and turning around (when we missed the turn off to the ruins). It is only a few blocks and appeared to have some interesting shops and several small restaurants. It is worth a stop on our next visit.
A visit to Tulum is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for anyone traveling in the Yucatan.
From journal The Mayan Riviera