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 just east of the main parking lot, along the old entrance road. There’s a less-used southern foot entrance from the beach road.