The tiny settlement of Tulum is located in the northeastern area of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The sparsely populated Mexican state of Quintana Roo has a strong Mayan heritage with many outstanding archaeological sites as well as some of Mexico’s most famous beach resorts. Tulum is situated only a few miles from the Caribbean Sea to the east in a very secluded area. To the north lies the Gulf of Mexico, and to the west are the states of Yucatan and Campeche. Cancun, Mexico’s five-star resort is located in Quintana Roo.

The ancient Mayan culture has strong roots in Quintana Roo; most of the state’s residents trace their ancestry directly back centuries to the Mayans. Tulum is no exception; Tulum National Park contains spectacular ruins of a Mayan city that overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

Spanish Conquistadores landed in Mexico in 1517, at the northern end of Quintana Roo. Eventually, the Mayans were defeated by the Conquistadores and this ancient culture can be seen today only in ruins such as those in Tulum and in the faces of Maya descendents.

Water Sports
In addition to the Mayan ruins, Tulum hosts a wide variety of water sports. Scuba divers and snorkelers are attracted to the beautiful, clear water and the colorful coral reefs of the Caribbean Sea. Nearby, Cozumel Island and the extraordinarily lovely lagoons of Xel-Ha also attract underwater visitors where they swim with dozens of brightly-colored fish. The Parque Nacional Tulum hugs the coastline; its white sandy beaches and gentle but challenging off-shore waves attract surfers and beachcombers. Sailboats, catamarans, and glass-bottom boats take advantage of the clear waters teeming with marine life. Sea turtles are frequent late-night beach visitors, coming ashore to lay their eggs and return to the water, their jobs as parents complete. The turtles are protected in the park and it is illegal to interfere with their activity; you can only watch quietly from a distance. But swimmers and boaters often encounter the graceful turtles as they glide silently through the clear water.

Island Diversity
The Tulum area is essentially flat limestone with few above-ground rivers and little topsoil; the area has little agricultural use. However, some of the finest wood, including mahogany, comes from the nearby forests. The people of Tulum are just as diverse; almost a third of the inhabitants speak an indigenous Mayan-based language rather than speaking Spanish. This dialect is rarely heard outside Quintana Roo and Tulum in particular. Visitors often find they need an interpreter who speaks fluent English when they mingle with the Tulum natives.

By far the most popular attraction of Tulum is the ancient Mayan ruins. Tulum of old was once one of the greatest cities of Mayan civilization. It was built sometime in the 13th century when the Mayans had existed for at least a thousand years. Why the city of Tulum fell into decline is unknown, yet the ruins tell of the daily lives of an aboriginal people older than recorded history. The ruins at Tulum include homes, palaces and temples where religious ceremonies honored Mayan gods and goddesses. Many structures were destroyed by the Christian Conquistadores in attempts to convert the natives to Catholicism. But many of the ruins are there still, taking visitors back in time to a civilization now vanished.

Explore The Mayan Ruins

Explore The Mayan Ruins

Located deep in the Mexican forests on the Caribbean coastline, Tulum holds some of the most awesome Mayan ruins to be seen. While the main site itself is small compared to other Mayan sites, Tulum is in much better shape than any of the other ruins that are found throughout Mexico and other South American countries. Tulum Pueblo was only a small, quiet village just a few years ago, but thanks to a booming tourist industry, the area has grown in popularity. The main archaeological site around the ruins at Tulum has also grown due to the rise in interest [...]