This tour of Tulum takes about one to two hours. But don’t let the small size of the site fool you–– there’s a TON of historical ground to cover.
When comparing it to massive sites like Chichen Itza and Ek Balam, Tulum seems like it’s on the shrimpy side. But it’s only because the structures are so tightly packed together. This ancient walled city has a higher density of ruins than other sprawling archeological sites.
Why is it so self-contained? Tulum is located RIGHT on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Seriously–– El Castillo, The Castle, is situated on a cliff 40 feet above the water. This strategic position means this building pulled triple duty as a shrine, a lighthouse, and a watchtower.
Why are the Tulum Ruins located on the shore? It was a trading port for the Mayan Empire back in the day! Archeologists have found evidence of salt, feathers, fabric, gold, copper, jade, and obsidian, which would have been highly valuable commodities in the ancient world.
What will I see on a Tulum Ruins tour? This site features many buildings nearby: the imposing Palace of the Great Lord, the innovative House of Chultun, and the mysterious Dancing Platform. One of my favorites is the Temple of the Wind, which features holes in the stonework that whistle in the presence of hurricane-force winds.
Ready to discover Tulum? Download the Tulum Ruins self-guided walking tour today! Unlike a group tour, this app allows you to travel at your own pace. The narration is activated by GPS detection, so the app will move on to the next landmark whenever you do. You’ll get to see the whole site AND learn a ton about Mayan history and culture along the way. It’s the best way to get the most out of your Tulum trip. Safe travels!