Tulum Ruins: Just North of the town of Tulum, perched on a bluff overlooking the caribbean sea lie the Tulum ruins. While it is a small complex with only a few buildings, it is nonetheless one of the most beautiful Mayan sites of all. The lovely beaches on either side and the myriad shades of blue and green of the sparkling sea below combine with the ancient buildings themselves in a harmonious way that is uplifting to see and experience.
The best way to visit this site is first thing in the morning at 8:30 or so before the crowds arrive and while the air is relatively cool. An hour or two is plenty of time to see it all and have a dip in the sea down in the beautiful cove below the ruins on the North side
Coba: Ah Coba! This is a must see site for all visitors to the area. It is located about 30 minutes drive West of Tulum and is very easy to get to.
A thousand years ago, this was a bustling city with an estimated population of 55,000 people, as big as many of the great cities in Europe at the time. Some of the roads are still intact and you walk on them throughout the city. The large pyramid here is quite impressive and is the highest in the Yucatan peninsula. The view from the top is breathtaking. There are two ball courts that have been restored completely and many other interesting things to see. All together there are about 55 different buildings and structures that have been excavated and reconstructed so far and an estimated 500 or so more in the jungle still waiting.
When you walk the jungle paths at Coba you can see the mounds of buildings that the jungle has long since claimed. You get a tremendous feeling that you are walking in an ancient place of significance. I strongly recommend hiring one of the guides at the entrance area. For a reasonable fee they will show you many points of interest and you can learn a lot about the ancient city and it's inhabitants, the Mayans. Most of the guides and in fact most of the local population are Mayans themselves.
Chichen Itza: The most famous site in the Yucatan, Chichen Itza with it's beautiful pyramid has been rated as one of the ten man made wonders of the world. It requires a long, full day to visit this site from the Riviera Maya or Tulum area and it can be extremely hot there. It is about a 3 hour drive from Tulum and 3 1/2 hours from Playa Del Carmen.
The best way to enjoy Chichen Itza is to go and stay somewhere nearby the night before, Valladolid for instance, and then you can get to the ruins early before the heat of the day and leave a few hours later before the crowds arrive.
Some activities to enjoy while visiting the Tulum and Riviera Maya area.
You can't leave the area without visiting at least one of our beautiful beaches, here's a list of a few
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