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Explore Mexico’s Rich Past in Tulum

When you take all inclusive trips to Mexico, you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore the nation's fascinating history, whether you plan to venture to the iconic Chichen Itza in Merida or travel to the ruins of Teotihuacan in Mexico City. However, if you're staying at a resort in the Riviera Maya, keep in mind that this region has its own archeological gems, including Tulum.

Located about 80 miles southeast of Cancun, Tulum was once occupied by an ancient Mayan fortress that boasted several structures perched high on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Today, the sight of the centuries-old ruins shrouded in lush greenery & rising high above the blue waters below is often seen on postcards, representing all of the beauty the Riviera Maya has to offer.

The fortress-city of Tulum rose to power in the 13th century, just as the Mayan civilization began to decline & its cities in the south were abandoned. In its prime, Tulum was a thriving seaport, which remained strong even after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 1500s. In fact, the Mayans didn't abandon Tulum until about 70 years after the Spanish invasion.

One of the most well-known structures in Tulum is Castillo, or "castle." Sitting high above Tulum Beach, Castillo was once a temple & a fortress.

Many travelers on luxury vacations to Mexico choose to explore the ruins of Tulum on a guided tour; however, you are also free to visit the area on your own. If you choose the latter option, keep in mind that the ruins can get quite crowded, so mornings (before 9:30 a.m.) are often the best – & least congested – time to visit.

Once you've gotten your fill of the stunning Mayan ruins, don't pass up a chance to see Tulum's gorgeous beaches. On Tulum Beach, you can sprawl out on the soft white sand & stare out at the crystal-clear turquoise waters, as the Mayan ruins look down from the cliffs above you. This beach, as well as Boca Paila, the beach south of Tulum, tends to be less crowded than some of the other stretches of sand in the Riviera Maya, so if you're looking for unspoiled beauty & a little private relaxation, there is no better spot.

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