on December 28, 2008
Visited Tulum on 6/14/08 during our trip to Cancun (6/13-6/18). We are active people and were looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Hotel Zone to see some important sites in the area. We booked a private tour to Tulum from Cancun using Entertainment-Plus (who we highly recommend). It took around 1 1/2-2 hours to get to Tulum from Cancun which was mostly filled with highway driving past many of the all-inclusive resorts located along the Mayan Riviera. The outside area of the ruins of Tulum are a place to watch out for scams. No matter what mode of transportation you use, you will be dropped off at the edge of the property where then, you can take a small train up the road about a 1/2 mile or walk up to the entrance of Tulum where you buy tickets. Immediately where they will drop you off, you will see a re-creation of a "mayan village' to your right with some guys climbing a totem pole and playing a flute. Keep walking ! There are signs stating you can buy tours there and everything looks very official ... well, one of my traveling companions decided to take a photo of the men on the totem pole. Within seconds of snapping the photo, the guy with the flute was coming up to her telling her that would be a dollar for the photo. they then gave him a dollar upon which he then started to ask them for more money. he followed us for a short while before then turning back to his next victim. no where did it say that you would be charged for taking a photo of these men and we knew it was a scam. also, if you are booking a tour, walk all the way up the road to where you will buy tickets to the entrance of tulum. you will see very nice men and women dressed in official shirts standing directly outside the entrance to the ruins with clearly stated prices for the tours. it costs $40 for 4 people to take a tour. IMO, i thought the tour was shorter than we would have liked; however, it was worth it to have someone pointing out what each building was. there were many carvings and drawings on the ruins that we would have easily missed had we not had someone there to point them out to us. just a note, tulum is hot in the middle of June. the only relief was when you are up at the top of the coastline and can catch a nice open breeze. Bring lots of water and good walking shoes. Dress light. All in all, the ruins were interesting, but the heat only permitted us to tour the ruins for about an hour. Go early in the morning. After that point, we were all ready to head back to the car and get back to our resort pool/beach to cool off. So, for us, spending 3 hours in a car and 1-1 1/2 hours visiting an activity was not a good enough use of our vacation time considering that we spent most of the trip extremely hot and tired. The ruins are really lovely and the view of the beach in that area is great. If I could have planned it differently, we woule have brought our swimsuits and taken a dip in the ocean for a short while to extend our day and make the trip more enjoyable.I'm not knocking the ruins, which are a great historical site for the area. But, given the heat and the travel time from Cancun, next time, we'll likely visit Isla Mujeres just off shore from the hotel zone.Oh, and don't sit on the benches of that little Mayan village outside the ruins either. On our way back to the car, we saw the man in the flute charging an unsuspecting tourist for sitting on their bench, as well.
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