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All about Tulum in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips

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Author: Tobias

Besides Chichén Itzá, Tulum is the most famous and most visited excavation site of the ancient Mayan culture. Tulum is about 260km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 3h 30min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time very busy. The admission fee for foreign adults is about 90MXN. Different prices may apply for residents or children.

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Address:

Tulum Archaeological Zone, Zona Hotelera Tulum, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexiko

Website:

Category:

Trip

Phone:

+52 983 837 2411

Distance:

260km from Mérida

Travel Time:

3h 30min from Mérida

Admission:

Mex$ 90

Price Level:

Inexpensive

Since:

13th-15th century

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.7 out of 5, based on 62951 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Thursday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Saturday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
• Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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Tulum

Besides Chichén Itzá, Tulum is the most famous and most visited excavation site of the ancient Mayan culture. Tulum was built between the 13th and 15th centuries.


The buildings of Tulum are by far not as big and impressive as in Chichén Itzá or Uxmal, but the special thing about the Mayan site in Tulum is that it is located directly at the sea. This was unusual for that time and for today's visitor it is a very picturesque sight.


Due to its location directly at the sea, Tulum was a very important trading center for the Maya. Therefore, the city was equipped with a well-developed defense system and a kind of lighthouse was built for shipping.


In the time when Tulum was still inhabited by the Maya, there were also numerous small dwellings there. Today, however, only a few remains of the walls are still visible.


The city was also protected by a wall over 700 meters long (Tulum means wall), which was supposed to protect the inhabitants from attacks. This was also unusual for a Mayan city of the time.


House of the high priest in Tulum
House of the high priest

Tulum beach


There is a wooden staircase leading directly down to a beautiful bay. You can lie on the beach or swim in the sea and have an extraordinary view of the buildings. Tulum is now a vacation resort with many hotels and has long been fully developed for tourism.


El Castillo at the Tulum beach
El Castillo at the beach

The world of archaeology


Some interesting figures about Mayan archaeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula:


 
Figures about Mayan archaeological sites
Figures about Mayan archaeological sites
 

Pueblos Mágicos


Tulum is one of the places designated by Mexico 2002 as "Pueblos Mágicos". The award has been granted by SECTUR (Secretariat of Tourism in Mexico) since 2001 for unique folklore, a rich history or stunning natural beauty. On the Yucatán Peninsula, there are fourteen places that can call themselves "Pueblo Mágico".


The 14 Pueblos Magicós on the Yucatán Peninsula are (as of 2024):



A few tips


There are also several other great archaeological sites to visit in the surrounding region of Tulum. Two recommended destinations are for example the Coba ruins and Ek' Balam. From around 10:00 am it is very crowded due to the increasing number of bus groups arriving.


We have more background information and travel tips on Mayan archaeological sites.


How do you get to Tulum from Mérida?


Tulum, like most places on the Yucatán Peninsula, is well connected to Mérida. You can go from Mérida to Tulum by bus, cab or car. Of course, there are also many providers of organized tours. The bus from Merida to Tulum is run by ADO.

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Best Mérida Day Trips

If you would like to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and Mérida with a guided tour, there are wonderful experiences from Viator. We have selected the three best tours for you.

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Chichen Itza, Private Cenote, Food Experience & the magic Izamal

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The very best Chichén Itzá tour and free cancellation. It starts from US-$97

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This! Super beautiful cenotes! You have free cancellation. It starts from US-$114

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Not either/or, but also!

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One more must-have. You also have free cancellation. It starts from US-$122

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