More people visit the ancient Mayan site of Tulum than any other site in the Yucatan because of its location, the proximity to Cancun and the spectacular Caribbean as its backdrop. Because of the size of the Tulum ruins and the amount of climbing required to see the site, you can learn a lot about this Mayan city in a few short hours. In the Mayan language, Tulum means "Wall" and it was named this because it is a walled city.
The three major ruins of interest are El Castillo, The Temple of Frescos and The Temple of the Descending God. El Castillo is the tallest building in Tulum and the view from the sea is stunning. The ruin is set against tropical vegetation, the cliff rock formations, white sand and the tropical sea. The architectural features, sculptures and paintings in the The Temple of Frescoes indicate that this building had great social and religious importance. There is a niche over the entrance of The Temple of the Descending God that contains a painted stucco representation of a god, with wings pointing upwards as if he was descending from the sky, hence the name.
The ancient ruins are an easy 2 hour drive from Cancun via 180 Federal Highway and located on the final southern stop of the Riviera Maya. The ruins are open from 8am until 5pm, but due to the huge number of visitors it is best to visit Tulum in the early morning. There are several traval agencies that you can arrange day tours with.