Image by Peter Adams Getty Images
The ruins of Tulum preside over a rugged coastline, a strip of brilliant beach and green-and-turquoise waters that'll leave you floored. It’s true the extents and structures are of a modest scale and the late-post-Classic design is inferior to those of earlier, more grandiose projects – but, wow! Those Maya occupants must have felt pretty smug each sunrise.
Tulum is a prime destination for large tour groups. To best enjoy the ruins without feeling like part of the herd, you should visit them early in the morning. A train (M$20) takes you to the ticket booth from the entrance, or just hoof the 500m. You'll find cheaper parking (M$50 to M$100) just east of the main parking lot, along the old entrance road. There’s a less-used southern foot entrance from the beach road.