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Our Favorite Ruins & Historical Sites in Tulum

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If you're planning a trip to Tulum, you're probably already dreaming of its pristine beaches, crystal-clear cenotes, and vibrant nightlife. But if you venture just a little off the beaten path, Tulum has something else that's equally mesmerizing: its ruins and historical sites.

Trust us, you won't want to miss these!

Tulum ruins.

Why You Should Make Time to Visit Ruins & Historical Sites in Tulum

There’s no shortage of reasons to visit the ruins and historical sites around Tulum. Here are a few of our favorites.

Step Back in Time to Mayan Civilization

First off, visiting Tulum's ruins is like stepping into a time machine. Imagine walking through stone archways and along ancient pathways where the Maya civilization once thrived. It's not just about the 'grammable moments; it's about connecting with a past that's both mysterious and enlightening.

A Historical Feast for the Eyes and the Soul

The ruins in Tulum are not just piles of old rocks; they're architectural marvels. Take the El Castillo, for example, perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The view alone is worth the trip, but when you consider that this was a functioning lighthouse and temple, it adds a whole new layer of awe.

Uncover Ancient Hidden Stories

Each ruin has its own tale to tell. From the Temple of the Frescoes with its intricate murals to the Cenote Sagrado, a natural well believed to be a gateway to the underworld, you'll leave with stories that are cooler than any souvenir.

Explore Mayan Culture

Let's be real, history can sometimes feel like a snooze fest, especially if you're not into dates and dusty old books. But Tulum's ruins are alive with cultural significance. They offer a glimpse into the spiritual and cosmological beliefs of the Maya, and you might just find some wisdom to take back to your own life.

Easy to Access Historical Sites

And here's the kicker: these historical sites are super easy to access. Whether you're staying in downtown Tulum or along the beach, you're never more than a short drive or bike ride away. Plus, the sites are well-maintained, with plenty of guides available to enrich your experience.

Mayan History Meets Natural Beauty

In Tulum, you don't have to choose between a beach vacation and a historical deep-dive. You can have both! Spend your morning exploring ruins and your afternoon sipping on a coconut by the sea. It's the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration.

Pro Tip: Remember that these ruins are not just tourist attractions; they're also important cultural and historical sites. Be respectful, follow the guidelines, and try to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of these amazing places.

Tulum ruins on the coast

What to Expect from Ruins Tours & Historical Experiences in Tulum

So, what should you actually expect when you set out on one of these adventures? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Pricing & Costs

The good news is that exploring Tulum's historical sites doesn't have to break the bank. Entrance fees to most ruins, like Tulum and Coba, range from $5 to $10 USD. If you're looking for a guided tour, prices can vary widely depending on the length and exclusivity, but expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $100 per person.

Pro tip: Some tours bundle multiple experiences, like a ruins visit plus a cenote swim, which can be a great value!

What to Pack

You're going to be walking, climbing, and maybe even doing a little Indiana Jones-style adventuring. So, pack accordingly! Here's a quick checklist:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sunscreen and a hat for that blazing sun
  • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated
  • A camera or smartphone for those Insta-worthy shots
  • Snacks, because nobody likes a hangry explorer

Pro tip: Get familiar with Tulum’s seasonal weather patterns so you know what kind of clothing to pack for max comfort.

How to Decide Which Tour or Experience is Best for You

Choosing the right tour can be overwhelming, but it really comes down to what you're interested in. Are you a history buff who wants an in-depth understanding of Mayan civilization? Opt for a tour with a knowledgeable guide.

More of a free spirit who likes to explore at your own pace? Consider renting a bike and hitting the ruins independently. And if you're looking for a mix of history and nature, look for tours that combine ruins with other activities like snorkeling or cenote visits.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to visiting ruins, timing can make or break your experience. Early morning tours offer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, while late afternoon visits can provide stunning sunset views but might be a bit busier. Check the opening times and consider your own comfort and convenience when planning your visit.

Accessibility and Family-Friendliness

Good news for families and travelers with mobility concerns: many of Tulum's historical sites are quite accessible. While some areas may require climbing or walking on uneven surfaces, there are plenty of spots that are easy to get to. Just be sure to check in advance if you have specific needs.

An iguana on Tulum ruins.

Our Favorite Ruins Tours & Other Historical Experiences in Tulum

3-in-1 Discovery Tour: Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling, Plus Cenote

Ready to pack a lifetime of memories into one epic day? Kick off your adventure amid the hauntingly beautiful ruins of Tulum, where an expert guide will help you unravel the mysteries of this ancient site. Feel the weight of history lift as you step from the past into the present, diving into the Caribbean's azure waters. Snorkel through a vivid underwater tapestry of corals and marine life, and keep those eyes peeled—you might just share a magical moment with a sea turtle or a graceful ray.

Swap the salty sea for the mystical allure of Cenote Xtun, hidden deep within the lush jungle. Imagine floating in crystal-clear waters, surrounded by awe-inspiring rock formations that seem to whisper the Earth's oldest secrets. And because adventure works up an appetite, you'll feast on a mouthwatering Cochinita Pibil lunch, a Yucatecan culinary masterpiece. From hotel pickup to snorkeling gear, lunch, and even wetsuits, everything's taken care of—just bring your sense of wonder!

Tulum Ruins, Zipline & Cenote Adventure

Start your day with an early-bird tour of Tulum's ancient ruins, where you'll beat the crowds and soak up Mayan history with an expert guide. Imagine standing amid ancient stones, absorbing tales of Mayan calendars, sacred ceremonies, and Spanish invaders, all while the morning sun casts its golden glow on the site. But hold onto your hat, because next, you're off to Parque Tankah, a hidden jungle gem that's a playground for adventure seekers.

Parque Tankah offers ziplines that'll have you soaring through the treetops, cenotes for that refreshing plunge, and lagoons perfect for snorkeling and canoeing. And get this—the park is run by a local Mayan community, offering you an authentic peek into their daily lives and scrumptious home-cooked cuisine (lunch is on them!). From transportation to entrance fees, everything's sorted. Just bring your adventurous spirit and maybe a dash of courage for those cliff jumps.

Chichen Itza From Tulum - World Wonder Discovery

Ready to be awestruck? Hop on board our Chichen Itza & Valladolid Tour and prepare to be transported—both literally and figuratively—to the ancient world of the Mayans. Picture yourself standing at the base of the Kukulkan Pyramid, one of the most iconic structures of Mayan civilization. Feel the goosebumps rise as you soak in the sheer scale and historical significance of this New World Wonder. But that's not all! You'll also get to wander through the charming streets of Valladolid, a colonial town that's a treasure trove of local culture and history.

As if that's not enough to fill your soul, we'll take you to Cenote Ik Kil, a natural swimming hole steeped in Mayan mythology. Imagine plunging into crystal-clear waters, enveloped by the cenote's lush greenery and tranquil atmosphere. It's like a spa day, but with a side of ancient legend! Led by experienced guides who live and breathe this history, you'll leave the tour not just with incredible photos, but with a newfound appreciation for the rich tapestry of the Yucatan Peninsula. From comfortable transportation to unforgettable sights, we've got you covered.

Guided Tulum Ruins & Cenote Dos Ojos

Looking for the perfect blend of history and natural beauty? Say hello to our Tulum Mayan Ruins and Dos Ojos Cenote tour! Kick things off with a guided exploration of Tulum's iconic ruins. Imagine walking through ancient pathways, captivated by stories of Mayan astronomy and architecture, all narrated by our expert bilingual guide. The best part? The terrain is so easygoing that you can soak in the history, no matter your fitness level.

But why stop at history when you can also dive into natural wonder? Next up is Dos Ojos, one of Tulum's most iconic cenotes. Picture yourself floating in crystal-clear waters, surrounded by the cenote's mystical aura, a crucial part of Mayan culture. Whether you're up for snorkeling through an underwater paradise or taking that daring cliffside leap, we've got you covered. And if all this adventuring works up an appetite, there's an option to add a local lunch to your day. From history to high dives, this tour is your ticket to experiencing the best of Tulum in one unforgettable day.

Tulum Bikes, Bees & Brunch Tour

Ready to see Tulum like a true local? Hop on a bike and join us for an insider's tour of this charming town! Start your day with an early visit to the Mayan ruins, where you'll get VIP access to ancient temples and breathtaking ocean views—minus the crowds. Our expert guide will spill the tea on Tulum's history, revealing secrets that'll make you see the city in a whole new light. Then, pedal back into town for a brunch that's as local as it gets: think mouthwatering tacos and freshly squeezed juice.

But we're just getting started! Continue your two-wheeled adventure through Tulum's vibrant streets, getting insider tips on the best spots to eat, drink, and dance. Swing by a local bee farm to sample some authentic honey, and then cap off your day with a refreshing dip in a serene cenote. Worried about the ride? Don't be! The tour is designed for all fitness levels, with short 20-minute biking stints and plenty of rest stops. And if you need a little extra oomph, e-bikes are available for just $10 more. Trust us, this is Tulum like you've never seen it—up close, personal, and from the saddle of a bike.

Explore Tulum’s Ruins

So there you have it! Whether you're a history aficionado, an adventure junkie, or someone who just wants to soak up the local culture, Tulum has a tour that's tailor-made for you. From diving into the depths of mystical cenotes to cycling through the heart of the town, from uncovering ancient Mayan secrets to tasting local culinary delights, these tours offer a slice of Tulum that you won't find in any guidebook. So go ahead, pick your adventure, and get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime. Trust us, Tulum is waiting to wow you!

Written by: Julia

Julia is the Content Marketing Manager at Tourbase. With a passion for wandering the world, she is especially drawn to the paths less traveled. On two wheels or two feet, she loves biking and exploring locales both near and distant.

All of our content at Tourbase is written by experienced travel writers who have visited all of the locations we recommend. And our review board of local tourism experts ensure that all the information we provide is accurate, current and helpful

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