Tulum is not just another day at the beach

The beach at Tulum in Mexico. Photo by Terri Colby.

The beach at Tulum in Mexico. Photo by Terri Colby.

The Mayan ruins at Tulum, about 80 miles south of Cancun, are the only ruins in Mexico situated along a beach. And what a beach it is, a fabulously beautiful cove reached by wooden steps from the main archeological site.

So if you plan ahead, by bringing a bathing suit and sunscreen, it’s easy to combine a day of exploring the ruins with a day at the beach.

Tulum archeological site in Mexico. Photo by Terri Colby

Tulum archeological site in Mexico. Photo by Terri Colby

Tulum is one of the smallest archeological sites in Mexico, which makes it easy to visit the ruins in the morning, change into your bathing suit and head down the stairs for a few hours in the waves before making your way back to whatever hotel you are staying at. You can get a view of the ruins from the water. Hard not to imagine the ancients right where you are.

The last time I visited Tulum, I was a guest at the Valentin Imperial Maya resort, an all-inclusive with great pools and restaurants that generally seemed to be a cut above most all-inclusive locales.  We especially liked the beach side Mar y Tierra for tasty seafood, terrific margaritas and an outdoor setting that turned the sounds of crashing waves into mesmerizing background music.

The Valentin Imperial Maya resort on Mexico

The Valentin Imperial Maya resort on Mexico

The Imperial Maya is a romantic, adults-only destination where you are greeted upon arriving from the airport with a chilled flute of champagne. Always a nice way to begin.

Also part of the setting at the archeological site is a small market and a few restaurants that are perfect for settling a craving for cold Coronas and spicy tacos.  But don’t miss the beach. It’s worth the trip all by itself, even if you weren’t there to explore the history.

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