The Tulum ruins are a walled Maya city perched on a rocky cliff overlooking the Caribbean in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The site is of modest scale and was built during the post Classic period when the Mayan culture was in decline and therefore lacks the elegance of some other famous Mayan ruins. The tropical beach backdrop however makes this a unique site which should not be missed.
The most imposing building in Tulum is the 25 feet (7.5 meter) tall El Castillo (the castle) set above the cliff. It was once covered in with stucco and painted. A small shrine appears to have been used as a beacon for incoming canoes. On the beach below, where the canoes came ashore, tourists combine a visit to the Mayan ruins with a dip in the Caribbean.
It is important to know that there are really three different areas all referred to as Tulum, located near each other, but not close enough to walk to and from.
The town center, sometimes referred to as Tulum Pueblo, lies across the highway south of the Coba junction. There are frequent buses to Cancun, Merida, Playa del Carmen and Valladolid from the town center. Tulum Playa or Zona Hotelera extends for more than 6 miles (10km) of great white sandy beaches along the Caribbean coastline while Tulum Ruinas is the archaeological site where the Tulum Mayan ruins stand.