Does the idea of a holiday in an ancient Mayan port appeal to you? The city of Tulum, situated along the Maya Riviera region of Mexico, is a little known gem that includes impressively beautiful white sand beaches backed by amazing, ancient ruins of the Mayan era.
Set at the southern point of the Maya Riviera, the city was once a thriving Mayan port where thousands lived prior to the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors. Described as one of the most photogenic and picturesque locations imaginable, it is the perfect place to explore at sunrise or sunset, and enjoy some remarkable and impressive sights.
To enjoy your time in Tulum the most, you should take note that there are three very different and distinct areas. There is the historic area, often called the Tulum Ruinas. These are where the truly impressive Mayan ruins are found. They sit along a one-mile stretch of road, and are surrounded with facilities and services that cater to the thousands of visitors who arrive to take in the scenery every year.
There is also the Tulum Playa area, which is the coastal area that includes the Sian Ka'an Biosphere and many impressive beaches. You can also find mangrove forests and even some rare wetlands along this stretch.
This is also where most of the popular tourism locations are found, including spas and hotels, restaurants and resorts. However, there is also the third area of Tulum, which is the Pueblo. This is mostly residential, but is also where some of the best and most authentic shops and restaurants can be enjoyed. Markets offering fresh, local foods allow you to prepare or enjoy some local specialties in the comfort of your villa.
Exploring the ruins also allows you to enjoy the impressive beach that backs up against the dramatic historic site. Here too you find one of the unique "cenotes" common to the Yukatan Peninsula.
Cenotes are freshwater sinkholes or caverns and they are fascinating places for swimming and exploring. Some divers also enjoy explorations into the cenotes (which can actually go for miles). They are remarkably clear and clean, and some have tourist services surrounding them and charge fees for their use. The Cenote Dive Center is in Tulum, and one of the lovelies of all of the cenotes is also found here as well.
When you are ready to explore the best cuisine the city has available, you can stop at some of the most popular or local favorites. These include Zine Food & Films which specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine. There is Manglar Pizzeria noted for its unique setting, and the Kitchen Table is an outdoor restaurant specializing in Portuguese and Mexican fusion food. Antojitos La Chiapeneca is considered one of the most truly authentic providers of Mexican cuisine.
Though a bit farther than other spots in the region, Tulum is well worth the effort of paying a visit or booking a stay. It is remarkable for its beauty and appealing sights, its lovely beaches, and its many activities. It is sure to become one of your treasured vacation experiences.