Four Great Things to Do in Tulum
Posted on 05/26/2017
Just a stone’s throw from the pulsing city of Cancun and the nearby, more laid-back beach town of Playa del Carmen, sits Tulum.
This chill beachside village featuring an Oasis Hotels & Resorts property is probably best-known for the nearby ruins that date back to the 13th century, but there’s a lot more to see and do.
Here are our top suggestions for making to most of your time in Tulum.
Visit the ruins. Perhaps the original city architects had resale in mind, because location, location, location is the name of the game with this Mayan city. Perched on a cliff overlooking the impossibly blue-green Caribbean Sea, Tulum’s residents must have had the best views in all the land. Today, of course, while the views remain, the city itself lies in ruins, albeit rather well-preserved ones. Among the most impressive structures is the Castillo (castle), which sits right up at the edge of a limestone cliff. (Be aware that climbing up is a bit of challenge and the descent is not for the faint of heart.) The Temple of the Frescoes is a must-see, and visitors can see the mural that depicts the Mayan world of the dead, the land of the living and finally, that of the creator and gods of rain.
Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sian Ka’an contains mangroves, marshes and a beautiful barrier reef. This nature park is home to more than 300 species of birds, countless varieties of flora and fauna and offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the delicate balance of coastal ecosystems firsthand.
Spend the day at Xel-Ha. Often called one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, this park offers visitors a great way to relax in the water, visit with a host of marine species close up and explore a cenote, with nearby restaurants and even convenient hammocks for a much-needed afternoon siesta. The park offers a host of family-friendly activities from snorkeling and lazy rivers to zip-lining and hiking jungle trails.
Beach Club. It might be overstating the obvious, but with all there is to see and do, don’t forget to hit up the beach. Tulum is blessed with powdery white sand and jade-green water and as any visitor will attest, once on the beach it’s hard to leave. But if your travel plans didn’t include a beachfront resort, don’t despair. There are more than 50 beach clubs that dot Tulum’s shoreline, and for the cost of a day pass (or a minimum tab at the bar or restaurant), you have unfettered access to tasty snacks, drinks and that all-important beach umbrella. Walk along the beach and find one that suits your fancy.
PHOTO: The ancient ruins of Tulum must be seen. (photo via Flickr/Eneas de Troya)