Located in Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, the Riviera Maya is one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations for its fun filled beaches, natural beauty, exotic jungle, and plethora tourist attractions.
One of its most alluring characteristics is the close proximity that it enjoys to a number of fascinating Mayan archeological sites. In fact, there are actually 1000s of Mayan ruins yet to be excavated. Many of these were discovered via aerial images and remain covered in dense foliage, shrouded in the peaceful mystery of the jungle.
However, many of these sites have been excavated, are accessible to the public, and have put themselves on the map as some of the Riviera’s most sought out attractions. Popular sites include Cobá, also known as the Hidden City. It is amongst the closest and best excavated to the Riviera Maya.
Muyil and Tulum are also well worth a visit and located in the Quintana Roo state. Muyil was once a significant point of trade. It is located in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. It is slightly off the grid, and the lesser-known of the three.
Once a major port for Cobá, Tulum boasts distinguishing architecture that is the result of hundreds of years of renovations and continuing construction. It is like experiencing history with a seaside view. If you’re interested in taking a family trip to see the Tulum Ruins, there are many affordable yet luxurious resort and rental options at Sea Side Mexico
Here are a few tips for visiting Riviera Maya ruins:
- Wear comfortable clothing, sunscreen and bring water. The Riviera Maya enjoys a tropical climate and lots of sunshine. It can get hot during the day, and you should be prepared to do a lot of walking when exploring the sites. Especially if you plan on hiking Cobá’s Nohoch Mul temple!
- Get an early start. The early bird beats the heat and the crowds. For the best photo opportunities and a generally “cooler” experience, wake up, get yourself a good breakfast, and hit the road early to try and arrive as sites are opening.
- Bring cash in Mexican pesos. When exploring ancient Mayan history, cash points are few and far between. You are going to need cash to cover your entrance fees and to tip your guides.
- Don’t bother bringing a tripod. Tripods are not allowed into the archeological sites, so leave the extra weight at home.
- Don’t worry about pre-booking a guide. If you didn’t think to book your guide in advance, don’t sweat it! There are always guides available at the entrances.
- For Tulum, bring a bathing suit! Tulum has the benefit of being fascinating and being located scenically on the coast. Allot yourself a few hours post-ruins exploration for lounging on its warms sands and taking in the one of a kind backdrop.
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