A weekend on the Yucatan Peninsula


Tulum Pueblo is a little town of about 10,000 located on Mexico's Caribbean coast in the state of Quintana Roo. It's a about two hours south of Cancun by car. I would recommend a bit of caution if driving to Tulum. The roads are excellent, but the truck drivers are insane. Don't be fooled by it's proximity to Cancun. It is everything Cancun is not. While I wouldn't call Tulum picturesque, I would say it is still small enough and local enough to be quaint. We spent a weekend here and had a wonderful time. Most of the residence are Mexican and while tourism is thriving, you don't feel like you are walking through an adult theme park. They have several decent restaurants and even a couple small clubs, (though no one seemed to be in them). It was mid May and very hot already, so I suppose it was a bit off season.

We stayed on the "Zona Hotelera", Hotel Zone, which consists of about 40 boutique type hotels on the beach. What makes it so much different from other tourist destinations in Mexico is that the general public still has access to the beaches, so you see locals flying kites, playing with their kids and walking their dogs. With one or two exceptions, the hotels are all small and personal. Most hotels are cabana style and many have thatched roofs. You do have to do inquiries, as electricity can be spotty. I believe our hotel produced their own electricity. The prices run the gamut, from inexpensive primitive thatched huts on the beach to beach-side cabanas with full services. We chose an upper-mid range hotel called the "Ana y Jose Charming Hotel". That's it's real name folks and it is actually very appropriate.

Tulum & Ana y Jose Charming Hotel

Tulúm is the site of a pre-Columbian settlement for which Tulum Pueblo is named. Apparently a major port in it's day, the ruins are much larger and more complete than I had expected. Tulúm is the Yucatan Mayan word for "wall" or "trench" and it is aptly named. With a rocky coastline on one side and a wall surrounding the other three, the city is virtually invisible until you enter the enclosure. The site dates from the 6th century, but most of the structures that remain were built between 1200 and 1450 AD. It is one of the better preserved Mayan Sites in Mexico.

Tulúm Ruins

I'm not a big beach sitter, but Tulum has a wonderful beach. White sand, turquoise waters and a nice ocean breeze.

Ah the Beach


All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Daren Willden, unless otherwise stated.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use