From Cozumel to Puerto Vallarta Mexico has always been the go to vacation spot for my family and I. However, there is one thing I've been dying to cross off my travel bucket list for years: a trip to Mayan ruins.
As we zoomed past Playa del Carmen in our tour van I realized it was silly to categorize all Mayan ruins together. Our guide explained how Chichen Itza and Tulum are as different as New York City and Miami. The vastness of the Mayan world can be seen in the differences of architecture and build. Not two ruins are the same. With that in mind, I was excited to get my first taste of the Mayan world as we took the short tram ride to the base of the ruins.
There are several things to keep in mind when visiting Mayan ruins. The most important, according to our guide, is knowing when the ruins were built. Tulum is a Mayan Post-Classic city and is considered fairly young compared to other ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. The city of Tulum was a thriving port city between the 13th and 15th century. It is the only Mayan city built directly on a coast and because of that, it is one of the most stunning.
The second most important thing to remember when visiting Mayan ruins is the belief in the circle of life. People are born, they fall in love, and then they die. Our guide explained that we start our journey in the dark, and then spend our life in the light only to return to the darkness again at the time of death. While I didn't follow everything our guide was saying, his explanation of the Mayan beliefs helped us really understand the buildings and symbols around us.
Tulum is open every day of the week from 8:00am to 5pm. We went with a guide booked through our hotel, however if you want to stay and also visit the beach below you may want to go on your own. The ruins themselves are not too expansive and can be explored within an hour or two, but make sure to not rush yourself. There is so much to see and do!