Lizard Spotting At The Tulum Ruins

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Tulum was the second ruin site I visited on my trip, also in Mexico, and they were totally different than Coba.  These were all open and oceanfront.  I have to say, I liked Coba better.  It felt a lot more adventurous.  BUT I saw way more wildlife at Tulum.  And by way more, I mean there were lizards everywhere.  But guess what?  I’m a horrible animal spotter.

I mean really bad.  I have to actually look, I can never just happen upon one.  It’s a shame.  Luckily, I did spot quite a few, I mean at least ten.  Does that count as a lot?  Tulum is pretty large.  Like, way more than ten lizards large.  I was better at this in the Galapagos.

Read these books about Mexico before your visit!


We spent a few hours wandering among the ruins, admiring the views, before heading out to the shops to get some food.  The shops were your average tourist souvenir shops, so nothing special.  Other markets in the area are probably much more worth visiting, but it was a good way to waste some time and we even saw a coati wandering around.

I even caught two of the elusive lizards on camera.  (Update 2020: I just looked at these pictures and there are literally four different lizards, so I guess this just reaffirms that math isn’t my strong suit?  Also, some things never change, I still love lizards and always take their pictures.)


There are two beaches that are part of the ruins ( I think?)  But they were both closed the day I was there.  If they were the ones above though, they’re pretty small, smaller than I was expecting at least.  Overall, Tulum wasn’t my favorite, but it was still cool to see and I enjoyed it, even though it was ridiculously windy.

Where are the Tulum Ruins?

The Tulum Ruins are an hour nad forty minutes from Cancun and 48 minutes from Playa del Carmen.  They make a great day trip from either.

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How much are the Tulum Ruins?

The Tulum Ruins cost $3-4 to enter without a guide, and if you would like a guide, it will be about $30.  It could definitely be worth going with a guide to really learn a lot more a bout the ruins than you would on your own.  Or, you could always do some time with a guide and some time on your own.


How to get to the Tulum Ruins from Cancun

If you feel comfortable driving in Mexico, you can always rent a car.  This will vary in price but you can find car rental places all over downtown cancun near the resorts.

If you want to splurge, for $100-$175, you can hire a private driver, but this is obviously not budget friendly, at all.  If you are on a budget, the ADO bus is your best option.  These leave from the main bus station in Cancun and make it super easy to get to Tulum.  Just make sure when you leave Tulum for Cancun again that you’re at the right bus station as there are two.


What to bring to the Tulum Ruins

Snacks – These are more important for long hikes, but you never know when you’ll get hungry!  I like EPIC bars (kind of like beef jerky but different), Sahale nut mix things, and Moon Cheese.  There’s always the good old Clif Bars and trail mix, too.  Whatever you find in town works, too, since you may not want to pack a bunch of snacks from home.

Water bottle – It’ll be hot and humid and you’ll need to stay hydrated.  A Hydro Flask will keep your water ice cold all day long.  You can usually fill it up at your hostel before leaving.


Sunscreen – If you plan on being outside, you’ll want sunscreen.  I like the Neutrogena a lot, but if you’ll be visiting a beach soon and swimming, you’ll want a reef-safe sunscreen.

Hat – You’ll want some kind of hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.  A baseball hat should be fine but a bucket hat or sun hat could help keep the sun off your neck.

Sunglasses – This is a must, especially with the strong beachy sun.  Sunglasses are best paired with a hat on those really bright days.

Light Jacket – Because you just never know.  Weather can change quickly depending on where you are and if it’s windy, you may want something to warm up a bit.  I usually use my rain jacket for this.

Have you been to the Tulum Ruins?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to go?

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