Topes Y Cenotes - Tulum, Mexico, Part 8 - Tulum Mayan Ruins

On day 4 we woke up with a mission - leave the resort today.  Woo hoo!!! What I've been waiting for all week!

I was itching to get out and do something adventurous and exciting and DH finally seemed to be feeling a little better.  It was on this day that he instituted what would become his standard breakfast - watermelon and bread.  He figured keeping it simple was the best way to play it safe.

Man, was I excited to finally be going to the Tulum ruins!  We put on our swimsuits, packed a bag with towels and waters, I pulled out one of the many maps that I had printed, we got a bell boy to bring our car, and we hit the Mexican highway.

As you know, I had done a ton of reading and research prior to this trip.  In advance, I had decided a couple of things:
1. We were going to visit the ruins on our own, NOT through an excursion offered by the resort
2. We were going to decline on hiring a tour guide - although probably very interesting and informative, we wanted to explore on our own
3. We were going to bring our bathing suits and take advantage of the beautiful section of beach that I had read so much about
4. We were going to get there early to try to beat the heat

We were relatively successful in all of those goals.  I was THRILLED that I had decided that we were not going to go to the ruins through a resort excursion - we learned from some people later in the week that they charged $100 a person for the excursion!  Seriously!?!?  We drove about 5 minutes down the road, paid $3 USD to park, and then paid $102 pesos ($8.57) total for both entrance fees.  I am not kidding.  They are RIPPING YOU OFF if you pay $200 to go to this site.  I'm sure the tour guide is an added fee, but if we wanted to listen to a tour guide, we could just follow one of the groups around (the groups were so big the guides would never know.)  We could have hired our own personal tour guide for just the two of us for the $188.43 USD that we saved by doing this on our own.  

Best decision I have ever made - EVER. Hands down. There's no way you can even argue with me on this one - try it. I dare you. You'll fail.  See?

One last thing about our drive to the Tulum ruins.... Signs in Mexico are only so-so.  Some of the resorts were well-marked with large signs, but a lot of them weren't.  Likewise, as we were driving into Tulum to find the ruins, we noticed that the signage got a little sketchier. We were the signs that said "ruinas," but I quickly realized they were heading towards the Coba ruins, which were in this direction.   There weren't reallysigns for things that were on the other side of the road.  I knew that we were getting really close to the Tulum ruins, so I turned around and tried to read some of the signs that the other direction of traffic was seeing, and I saw the sign for the Tulum ruins!  So we did a sort of scary u-turn and finally arrived at the Tulums ruins parking lot.

We decided to exchange money at this point in the trip, since the exchange rate at the booth there was the best that we had seen so far.  We also decided not to hire a guide or pay for the shuttle that would take you to the main entrance.  The walk was fairly reasonable - maybe about a 1/4 of a mile or so, perhaps a little more, and there were a lot of people walking, so we figured it would be ok.  The sun was just starting to peek through the clouds at this point and we could tell that it was going to get really hot, so we hurried on in through the main entrance.

Anyway, the rest of this post will be mostly pictures, with a caption here and there.  There's not a whole much to say about the ruins - they were cool, but it was hot out, so we sort of rushed through them.  Still, I am absolutely glad that we went and if I can ever convince DH to go back to Mexico, I'd like to visit some more ruins, either the Coba ones (where you can climb a pyramid) or the Chichen Itza ruins (where there is a cave cenote that they lower you into!)

Here are some pictures from the Tulum ruins.

 Apparently Mayan's were very small people... 

What's that??? You thought I was done showing iguanas?? Oh please..

 Pitt pride, baby!

The coastline - more about the beach here in the next post

The ruins were fairly well preserved, although I was surprised at how many sections didn't have any complete buildings at all.  This section...

... for example, was mostly just grass with the lowest levels of the foundation showing.  So, we could see where buildings used to be, but it wasn't much to look at.

But other sections were really well preserved.

I could show many more pictures of Mayan ruins, but I know that since they're mostly just pictures of old buildings, there might not be a lot of universal interest.

We're really glad that we went to the ruins, but based on the heat and how exhausted we were just from an hour and a half or so of walking around in the sun, we decided to pass on visiting any other ruins in the remaining days of our trip.

Coming up.... 
My Mayan ruins posts are not over yet! No sir! I showed you a few pictures of the water, but just wait until you see the beach!!!


Corinne said...

I just came across your blog and I have to admit you have me craving a vacation to Mexico - I've never been!

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