The 5 best day trips from Tulum: incredible sights are just a couple of hours away


Glorious stretches of sand and eco-chic hotels are reason enough to visit Tulum, but if you can drag yourself away, you’ll find that this is much more than a beach destination.

Tulum is a gateway to the remarkable riches of the Yucatán Peninsula, and you can find towering Maya ruins, dense jungle forests, colonial towns and the world’s longest underground river system all just a day trip away.

Here are the best day trips from Tulum.

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Explore ancient Maya ruins at Cobá

Travel time: 45 minutes

Entering Cobá ruins long racks of multicolored bicycles are lined up for rent and people sit straddling yellow triciclos (pedicabs). Whichever you prefer, hire one – it’s worth it. The archaeological site is spread across several square miles, and the heat and humidity make riding so much more pleasant than walking. Pedaling under the forest canopy, listening to the sound of song birds and stopping to explore long abandoned Maya palaces and ball courts is nothing short of sublime.

The star of the site is Nohuch Mul. At almost 14 stories high, it’s one of the tallest pyramids in the Maya world. Climbing the narrow stone steps, clutching the thick rope that leads to the top, is not for the faint of heart, but you’ll never forget the view: a stunning jungle expanse, ancient temples poking above the verdant tree line. Aim to arrive at opening so that you miss the tour groups and have the best shot at seeing wildlife – motmots and colorful toucanets, blue morph butterflies and, if you’re lucky, spider monkeys.

How to get to Cobá from Tulum: The Cobá ruins are a 45-minute drive from Tulum on a well-maintained road. Public buses and…

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