Tulum, an hour and a half away from Cancun and Playa del Carmen, is one of the major tourist attractions in Mexico. It was a walled city built by the Mayans in the 13th century. In fact, Tulum is the Yucatan Mayan word for “fence” or “wall”. Today, it is known for its Mayan ruins, gorgeous beaches and clear ocean views. Because of all that, one day in Tulum will be a spectacular experience.
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Blog: La Vida Lola
a Few facts about Tulum
Since Tulum is a beach town, it’s a popular year-round destination. The tourist crowds are heaviest in spring and summer and significantly less in the fall and winter, so depending on what type of experience you are seeking, keep that in mind when booking your trip.
One day in Tulum itinerary
Top things to do in Tulum, Mexico
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Tulum.
Walk among ancient Mayan ruins
To enter the archaeological site to see the Mayan ruins, it is 35-40 pesos per person. The ruins sit atop cliffs, so hiking up to them offers a nice vantage point to see the beach and the ocean. There are also other places where you can see Mayan ruins in Tulum, such as the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve.
Visit the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve
After viewing the Mayan ruins, you can tour the Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve. Sian Ka’an was formed in 1986 and named a UNESCO World Heritage Site the following year. The biosphere reserve is 780,000 acres big and thus has many access points. One of the most common entrances into Sian Ka’an is Muyil, also known as Chunyaxche.
The cost of a one-way bus ticket from Tulum to Muyil is 24 pesos. When you arrive at Sian Ka’an, you can relax on the beach, look at more Mayan ruins, swim in a lagoon, or see animals such as dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat.
Swim in a cenote
Cenotes are underground sinkholes that were held sacred by ancient Mayans and are now used as swimming pools and popular tourist attractions. There are over 6,000 cenotes in Mexico, however only about half of them have been explored. Some of the cenotes specifically in Tulum are Dos Ojos, Tortuga, Vacaha, Abejas, Calavera and Grand Cenote.
To preserve the delicate pH balance in the underground water, all visitors who are planning to swim in cenotes are required to not have any lotions, creams or oils on their body, otherwise it will pollute the water in the cenote.
Experience nightlife at beach bars
There are quite a few bars by the beach where you can dance the night away on the sand or dip your toes in the ocean. One of the top picks is Batey Mojito & Guarapo Bar where fruit drinks are made with real sugar cane. The bar can easily be identified by a yellow classic VW Bug parked by the entrance. Some other bars worth checking out are Curandero, Bar Iguana, and Kiki.
Where to Stay in Tulum?
There are many beachside hotels in Tulum which makes the decision of choosing one difficult. By reading reviews and checking out people’s opinions on social media, travelers interested in Tulum can find the right hotel for them.
Villas H2O Hotel
Best budget hostels in Tulum
Make your trip to Tulum even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Tulum or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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