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Tulum - Mexico

Experience the bohemian charm of the town's trendy boutiques, art galleries, and (very) lively nightlife scene. Sample authentic Mexican street food and sip on refreshing cocktails at beachfront bars.

 

With insider tips and recommendations, this guide ensures you make the most of your time in Tulum.

About Tulum

A little History

Tulum, located on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, was once a major port city for the ancient Maya civilization. It dates back to around AD 564 and reached its peak during the 13th and 15th centuries.

The Tulum ruins, perched on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, are among the best-preserved coastal Maya sites. The city was protected by a large wall, and its strategic location helped it thrive as a trading hub.

El Castillo, the main pyramid, served as a lighthouse guiding trading canoes. Tulum's frescoes, featuring the "Descending God," are notable examples of Maya art.

 

The Maya revered cenotes, natural sinkholes filled with fresh water, as sacred sites and believed they were gateways to the underworld (Xibalba). They conducted rituals and offerings, including human sacrifices, to appease gods like Chaac, the rain god.

 

The cenotes provided vital water and were central to spiritual ceremonies. Today, cenotes near Tulum are popular for their clear waters and historical significance, offering insight into the Maya’s deep connection with nature and their spiritual practices.

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What to know before you go

01

Try to learn basic Spanish before going to Tulum

While English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, some knowledge of Spanish could really enrich your experience, especially in more remote areas.

02

Don't drink tap water and don't flush toilet paper

Remember to stay hydrated and avoid tap water it is not drinkable. Most places in Tulum will not have toilets that can break toilet paper down, it's always best to put it in the trash. 

03

Stay safe

Although Tulum is generally safe for tourists, it's wise to stay alert, avoid isolated areas at night, and keep a close eye on your belongings like any other big city. 

If you are a woman and like to go for walks get prepared for stares, a lot of them. 

Where to stay.

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