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Tulum Mayan ruins are one of the most beautiful and popular in Mexico. They stand out for its location right on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. It’s a top attraction for tourists.

If you are planning to visit Playa del Carmen you can do an easy day trip to Tulum Mayan ruins. That’s exactly what I did on my brief trip to Playa del Carmen.

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Taking a day trip to Tulum Mayan Ruins from Playa del Carmen. How to get there and what to expect to find. La Carte Vintage

How to get to Tulum Mayan Ruins from Playa del Carmen

Tulum is only one hour by car or bus from Playa del Carmen. If you choose to go by bus, you can do it with the ADO company. It has departures almost every hour and the ticket price is $80.00 pesos (approximately $4.23 USD).

If you are planning to stay and sleep in Playa del Carmen, check out these options for budget accommodation.


Take into consideration that in Playa del Carmen there are two bus stations. One is the Tourist Station on the 5th Avenue and the Alternate station in the center of the city. Check well if you buy online what is the departure station. Besides, the bus makes two stops, one in Tulum Mayan ruins and another in the town, be aware of your stop.

There is a cheaper option which is to take the vans or public transport that leave from the 2N Street with Avenue 20. They have frequent departures too, and they will drop you directly in the archaeological site. The cost per person is only $40 pesos (approx $2.12 USD)

Hotel, hostel or apartment? A complete accommodation guide

Beginning the visit to Tulum Mayan Ruins

To get to the entrance of Tulum Mayan Ruins you will have to walk a stretch for approximately 15 minutes. If you don’t want to walk (and I don’t blame you, the sun can be very aggressive) you can take the tourist train. It takes you to the entrance for $20 pesos per person (about a dollar).

Indispensable to carry enough water, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and shoes, and if you want, a stylish hat that protects you from the sun. On the site, there is not a single roof to find shade.

Tulum Mayan Ruins
Tulum Mayan Ruins

The price of the ticket is $70 pesos ($3.71 USD). On Sundays, admission is free for Mexican citizens and foreigners with permanent residence. The access hours are from 8 a.m to 5 p.m, the last entry is at 4:30 p.m.

A little history

The original name of Tulum in Maya was Zamá, which means “sunrise”. The name of Tulum was given recently and it means “walled city”. This city was inhabited in the early years of the Spanish colony, but at the end of the 16th century, all people had left.

The majority of the buildings date back to the Post-Classic Mayan period, between the years 1200 to 1450. It was a strategic city for the navigation and trade of the Mayan civilization. They have found pieces and objects from as far as Central America which demonstrates the importance of trade.

You must not miss …

The castle is one of the most important and striking buildings of the Tulum Mayan Ruins. This construction had a religious meaning because it’s built over a cliff in which there is a cave. The caves were considered a symbol of the underworld in the Mayan worldview.

graphic with a brief explanation of the castle in Tulum
a brief explanation of the castle

the castle of Tulum, main construction of the archaeological site

In its heyday, it was painted in bright colors and decorated with stucco masks. Experts believe that this building also served as a beacon for sailors to help them avoid the coral reef.

The Mayan city of Tulum served as a beacon for navigation in its time

The temple of the frescoes is another of the best-preserved buildings in the Tulum Mayan Ruins. It is a small building in which you can see some remains of paintings inside. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get closer to see the paintings because the access is restricted.

The temple of the frescoes is another well-preserved construction in the Tulum Mayan Ruins
Temple of the frescoes

What is possible to see are some figures in the corners that represent Itzamna, god of wisdom.


If the walk makes you tired, you can go down to the beach with your towel and bathing suit. You can swim on this beach without any problem. It’s not allowed to enter with food but you can bring water and some snacks. You can also enjoy the company of the many iguanas around here.

It is possible to swim in the beach of the Tulum mayan ruins
Tulum beach

Outside the Tulum Mayan Ruins, there are many shops where they offer souvenirs. I recommend buying them in the town if you are going to be there, or buy them in Playa del Carmen. There is no great difference in the products they offer but you can find better deals.

Tips for buying souvenirs on the cheap

Outside of Tulum Mayan Ruins you can find several souvenir shops
souvenir shops
If you prefer to stay in Tulum and spend a few relaxing days in this rustic town, check out these options for cheap accommodation.


There are also several restaurants in the area, I can’t recommend any because we went to eat at another beach after touring the ruins. But you know, the golden rule is that the further away from the tourist sites, the cheaper, so if you can, eat in the village.

Now, guys, you tell me, have you visited this or other archaeological sites in Mexico? Do you like to visit this type of sites or prefer to have a dip on the beach?

I hope you’ve liked this post. If so, remember to share with your friends and family on your favorite social media sites. I also invite you to subscribe if you want to receive notifications of new posts (no spam!). Thank you for reading, and bon voyage!

Pin it for later:

If you are spending some days in Playa del Carmen, you can easily do a day trip to Tulum Mayan Ruins. Here how to get there. La Carte Vintage

Tags : archaeological sitesbeachCaribbean Seacultural travelDay tripMayan Rivieramayan ruinssouvenirstourist attractions

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