Home to the third most popular archeological site in Mexico (after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza), Tulum is an increasingly popular spot on the Mayan Riveria, though far less developed than Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

First impressions weren’t great, with a 10km long strip of development along the main road, it’s a very spread out place best explored by bike or car. Around town is a real mix of new developments, shanty like areas, and jungle.

The Mayan ruins are understandably popular thanks to their location. The buildings themselves are pretty average by Mayan standards, and represent the post-Classic period, with Tulum still occupied until the Spanish arrived.

Their setting though is spectacular, along a beautiful stretch of coastline.

The site is very popular, with over 2.2 million visitors a year. I got there shortly after it opened at 8am and already it was starting to fill up with people, even before the influx of tour groups from Cancun and Playa del Carmen arrived around 10am.

Nearby is a public beach which was pleasant enough first thing.

An unexpected highlight of Tulum was the huge amount of street art almost everywhere in town.

Tulum is also home to a number of cenotes, fresh water pools connected by underground caves and tunnels. I knew I was going to be visiting much better ones in the days ahead so I skipped and spent the time exploring Tulum by bike looking for street art instead.

To end with a few photos from Bacalar, a late lunch by the water on the way from the Belize border to Tulum. Nice spot…

Author: jontycrane

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