Tulum Beach, Riviera Maya

A side trip to the city of Tulum

Tulum Real Estate Information

A side trip to the city of Tulum

Excerpt from Family trip to Riviera Maya puts to rest skepticism about all-inclusive resorts published @ Cleveland.Com

A side trip to city of Tulum

Tulum Ruins

Laura DeMarco, The Plain DealerThe foreboding sky and strong winds make for a dramatic backdrop on a tour of Tulum, the pre-Columbian Mayan community on Mexico's Caribbean coast.

Despite how lovely the water was, after a day and half of fun and sun, we wanted to stretch our legs a bit.

At a kiosk in the lobby, we easily organized a trip to the ruins of the pre-Columbian city of Tulum, about 60 miles south. (Other excursions went to the nearby Xcaret eco-theme park, where activities include swimming with dolphins, but it seemed a little too mature for our preschooler.) For about $150, we purchased round-trip transportation, entry tickets and a guided tour of Tulum. The rain was free.

We had traveled to Mexico in early May due to slightly lower cost, but I recommend going earlier in the spring. As we soon learned from locals, when it rains, it pours — and the rainy season kicks off in May.

But getting a little soggy was worth it to explore this amazing historical city.

Located on steep 40-foot cliffs along the Caribbean, Tulum is one of the best preserved Mayan ruins. For Americans schooled on Euro-centric history, it was a fascinating glimpse at pre-Columbian life in the Americas. From about 1200 until the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, Tulum was a vibrant trading post. Ruins of temples, altars, houses and the massive surrounding wall remain.

Tulum Hotel

Is Mexico safe? In September, the U.S. State Department reissued a travel warning for Mexico, informing U.S. citizens of security concerns throughout the country, but particularly in the border cities of Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo and others. The tourist areas of Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas have been largely unaffected by the drug-related violence attracting attention elsewhere. The State Department encourages visitors to stay in well-known tourist areas, avoid traveling alone, and check with cell-phone providers prior to departure to confirm that phones will work in Mexico. I also would recommend arranging transportation to and from your resort prior to arrival, rather than taking a public bus. And when traveling to off-resort sites, make tour arrangements with your travel agent or through representatives in the hotel lobby rather than renting a car or taking public transportation. For more information: travel.state.gov or 1-888-407-4747.

It was a truly breathtaking experience as our English-speaking guide led us through the site, with the lush green grass amplified by the rain, the imposing ruins stark against the thunderous sky and fierce winds whipping by the jagged cliffs.

And to think, Tulum is smaller and less spectacular than the more famous Chichen Itza ruins, about 120 miles inland. We didn’t make it there on this trip — the ride was three hours each way — but will next time.



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