|What is it?
||Tulum National Park protects the ancient Mayan port city of Zamá and the surrounding mangrove ecosystem!
|What makes it beautiful?
||This Mayan port of 5,000 fed the jungle city of Cobá between 1200 and 1520 AD! Built high on a limestone bluff, the buildings here were mainly for ceremonies around Solstice time, but the famous Castillo was also used as a lighthouse to guide ships to shore! The inhabitants subsisted on crops grown from raised platforms, thanks to the shallow soil, and from water that collected in cenotes that had eroded into the limestone!
What makes this park so beautiful is the starkness of the gray limestone clifs and buildings against the crystal blue of the Caribbean Sea! The buildings here are so finely tuned to nature that at Solstice, the first light of dawn at Solstice creates a fantastic golden ray through a hole in the Temple of the Descending God! Next door, in the Temple of the Wind God, there is an opening that whistles out a warning when a hurricane is approaching! This is also a sanctuary for nesting sea turtles!
|How can I Help the Helpers?
- Pay the entrance fee to help maintain trails, signs, structures, and other visitor services!
- Be a responsible visitor! Remember the old adages: Pack out what you pack in! Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints!
|Where is this place?
||Carretera Federal Chetumal – Cancún km. 230
Tulum, Quintana Roo
From Cancún: ~80mi (129km) — 1.4hrs
From Chetumal: ~157mi (253km) — 2.7hrs
From Chunhuhub: ~99mi (160km) — 1.7hrs
From Playa del Carmen: ~39mi (63km) — 0.7hrs
|When should I go?
||The park is open daily from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. This place gets pretty crowded in the summer when the weather and water are warmest. The main tourist rush starts in the second week of May and peters off in September. If you want to enjoy this park in peace and quiet, I suggest visiting in spring or fall!