Today we’re off to explore the Mayan ruins on the coast at Tulum, about two hours south of Cancún.

We will be using Autobuses de Oriente (or ADO) for all of our longer journeys. ADO operate a fleet of air-conditioned first class coaches on routes between all of the major destinations in the Yucatán. Tickets can be booked in advance on their website for typically a few pounds per journey, with safe payment via PayPal. The ADO buses will turn out to be safe, comfortable and extremely punctual throughout all of our stay in Mexico.

ADO bus (Wikipedia image)
ADO bus (Wikipedia image)

Our ADO tickets were to the Tulum Zona Arqueológica, a couple of miles before Tulum town centre. The bus pulls off the main highway into a small parking area. From here, it’s approximately a one mile walk to the site entrance, along a straight road lined with market stalls, souvenir shops, bars and cafés.

Tulum ruins, with the Castillo in the background
Tulum ruins, with the Castillo in the background

The ruins are contained within what was once a small walled town with watchtowers at the corners. Originally the town would have been an important port and busy commercial centre.

Tulum ruins, with the Castillo in the background
Tulum ruins, with the Castillo in the background

The star feature of the site has to be ‘El Castillo’, set high on a rocky crag overlooking palm-fringed beaches. It’s thought that a beacon would have been lit on top of the structure, serving as a lighthouse visible for miles around.

El Castillo seen from the beach
El Castillo seen from the beach

There are plenty of other fascinating ruins around the site, which took us a few hours to fully explore. We were also lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife – some Coatis foraging for scraps left by tourists, and several iguanas basking on the ruins.

 

 

 

After visiting the site, we had time to explore the market stalls and cafés outside the entrance, before catching our ADO return trip to Cancún.

Colourful market stalls outside Tulum ruins
Colourful market stalls outside Tulum ruins

ADO Cancún to Tulum Zona Arqueológica around 100 pesos (£4) single each.
Entrance to the site, 75 pesos (£3) each.

I love this pickpocket warning sign at the bus station
I love this warning sign at the bus station, with the pickpocket wearing a mask!

Tomorrow, a full day out at the original and probably the best eco-theme park in Mexico, Xcaret.

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