The Mayan ruins of Tulum on the Riviera Maya, Mexico (Joe Sohm/Digital Vision/Getty)

This walled, post-classical Mayan city overlooking the Caribbean makes for quite a dramatic photograph. Tours depart regularly from Playa del Carmen; but arrive early to avoid crowds. If you're as interested in the beaches as you are in exploring the ruins, Tulum offers wonderful sandy stretches without the large resorts. It once served as a major center for maritime trade, and amid the crashing waves and sea bird calls, you can sense the rhythms of this once-vital sea port. It's a manageable hour-long drive from Playa del Carmen and a great place to relax, read, or float in the calm blue sea. And in the unlikely event that boredom sets, this Mayan city is less than eight miles from Xel-Há waterpark. —Kim Grant & Candyce Stapen

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Expert Review of Tulum

Family Review of Tulum

Away Travel Expert: Christine Loomis
FamilyExpert Rating 5.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Children aged 6 - 12 and 13 - 17
FamilyExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Bring your swim suit so you can jump in the water after trekking around the ruins.
  • Try to go either very early in the day or later to avoid the bus-loads of tourists that come down on day trips from Cancun.
  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen and wear a hat; this area can get very hot.
The primary reason to come to this area is to explore the Tulum Archaeological Site, which offers one of the most stunning settings of any Mayan ruin simply because it is the only one on the water. It's set on a high hill above the beach and the

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Hwy. 307
Riviera Maya Mainland
Parking: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: USD3; free admission Sundays and holidays

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: 52 984 206 3150
Neighborhood: Mainland (not on Cozumel Island)
Price Information: USD3; free admission Sundays and holidays
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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