Move over, Cancun. The Mexican Caribbean is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in South America. But you’ve probably never heard of Tulum. Nestled on the Yucatan Peninsula is the Mexican city of Tulum – a far more quiet area in comparison to its bustling neighbour, Cancun. Here are the top spots that you shouldn’t miss when you visit this city!
Cenotes in Tulum
Tulum has an abundance of cenotes spread all across the island. Cenotes are deep, sinkholes, or pits in the ocean that are naturally formed due to the collapsing of the roof of an underground cavern. While this sounds like quite the misfortune, it actually is more of a twist of fate. The collapsed limestone bedrock creates a natural pool, exposing the pristine waters that lie underneath.
One of the most popular cenotes in all of Tulum is the Gran Cenote. This limestone sinkhole is the perfect destination for divers and freedivers alike, as well as those who just want to have a refreshing soak. The mesmerising blues in the Gran Cenote gives the entire atmosphere a mystical charm – almost otherworldly. Other cenotes that are worth the visit in Tulum are Cenote Calavera, Cenote Caracol and Cenote Suytun.
The Mayan Ruins of Tulum
When in Tulum, you should never miss the chance to visit the Mayan Ruins. Although more commonly known for being the paradise that it is, Tulum is, in fact, an incredible archaeological site that is historically rich. During the era of the Mayans, Tulum was a major seaport, exporting mainly jade and turquoise.
There are hundreds of Mayan ruins across Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. But the ruins here in Tulum are truly unique – these are the only ones that are built by the sea! Make sure to bring along your swimwear and head down to the beach after immersing yourself in the Mayan history.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
Where the waters are nothing but pristine and a warm welcome awaits from the abundance of flora and fauna. We’re talking about the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Renowned for its natural beauty, this reserve is home to wonderful wildlife and is an absolute haven for nature lovers. This is also the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its incredibly diverse ecosystem. Mass tourism has yet to hit this natural wonder, so you can expect it to be on the more tranquil side of things when you visit.
The diversity of life at Sian Ka’an is nothing but exceptional. You will see everything from pumas and jaguars roaming around the tropical rainforests; a wide array of bird species soaring through the skies; and even a vast variety of marine life such as turtles, numerous fish species, as well as the West Indian manatee.
Head over to the beach
If you love the beach, then you’ll be spoiled for choice in Tulum – there are so many stunning beaches to choose from! But one of the more notable beaches amongst locals and tourists alike is the north beach. With the south beach becoming a victim of heavy development, the north beach is the exact opposite – its untouched beauty still remains.
Technically speaking, the north beach has three different beaches that somehow seamlessly blend together to create one massive beach. There’s Playa Ruinas – at the North near the Ruins; Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach) that is smacked right in the middle; and Las Palmas Beach on the southern end. You’re sure to feel nothing but spoiled and pampered with the endless places to visit in Tulum!