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Discover the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum with an archaeologist on this full-day tour and enter the site early, before the crowds. Explore the ruins, set upon a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea, on this Viator Exclusive available nowhere else. Visit all parts of the Tulum ruins and stop at the nearby beach for an opportunity to swim. Pickup and drop-off at Riviera Maya and Cancun hotels is included.

Highlights

  • Early-access Tulum tour with a private archaeologist — a Viator Exclusive
  • See Tulum in the early morning and beat the crowds
  • Discover the archaeological ruins and learn about excavations with the expertise of your guide
  • Enjoy a box lunch and round-trip hotel transportation
  • Bring sunscreen, hat, bathing suit and towel (for optional swimming at the beach)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Viator Exclusive: Early Access to Tulum Ruins with an Archeologist

Tulum Ruins
© Supplier

Leave your Cancun or Riviera Maya hotel in the early morning aboard a vehicle with your guide for this Viator Exclusive tour. On the way, get to know your archaeological guide and your group.

Arrive at Tulum before the crowds, looking out over the Caribbean Sea from the perch of a cliff. Follow your guide for an in-depth tour of the Tulum ruins with a group of just 20 other people. Learn about the meaning of Tulum, the Mayan word for "wall," and the ancient Mayan civilization that occupied this site. 

Throughout the tour, the certified guide teaches you more about the political, commercial and military history of this important Mayan city. View the remains of the walled city's elaborate murals, painted blue and red on stark white walls. Imagine what life must have been like for the ancient Mayans who occupied this city as far back as the 13th century.

Stop at the nearby beach to relax and take an optional swim.

Return to your Riviera Maya or Cancun hotel in the early afternoon, eating a boxed lunch on the way back to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at your leisure while the rest of the crowds are just arriving at the Tulum ruins.

Please note: Bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to help beat the heat for the duration of your tour. If you'd like to take a swim at the beach in Tulum, pack a swimsuit and towel, too.

Customer Reviews

Yui Yi C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Very hot around noon, so best to go with this early access in the morning.

James

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Would recommend based on the price alone, BUT PACK YOUR OWN LUNCH!
PROS: early access our bus was the only one in the parking lot 8AM. Tour Tulum from 830-1130. Prompt hotel pick up off of the hotel zone we were further out, closer to the airport. Great at email confirmation!

CONS: the lunch was literally 2 pieces of white bread, a single piece of THIN ham and cheese. A banana, fruit juice pack, and a Mexican kit-kat-like chocolate bar. We ended up having to buy our own food at the site of Tulum. I was so hungry. Would have liked an explanation of the pick-ups in the morning for other people on other tours. Very time consuming. 5AM pick up, 8 AM Tulum arrival.

The pick up was EARLY for us - 520 AM. This was in the motor lobby with previous email confirmation. It was a 14 passenger van labeled despegar that was full and stuffy. It was a silent trip to the hotel zone were we sat clueless for 20 min not a word from the driver. 40 min later 6AM we were picked up by a big tour bus greyhound style and dropped off Coba patrons on that bus, and Chichen Itza passengers were shuffled accordingly. There was one bathroom break for 5 pesos AND YOU WILL GET SCAMMED by the bathroom attendant if you only have USD!! Her exchange rate for me was 15 pesos per dollar.

By 745 we were picking up more people. By 830-1130, we were touring Tulum.

We were back at our hotel by 2PM after transferring again to a smaller 14 passenger van.

I would recommend based on the price. I would bring a hat and sunscreen, but although I brought my towels and was wearing my swimsuit, I elected not to swim. By the time we viewed the ruins and snapped some pictures of the beach, it was crowded and hot. And, we did not want to sit for hours in the tour bus drying off.

It was beautiful, cheap, and a great option if you do not want to rent a car. I don't know if other tours paying a ton more are worth it, due to the fact that we spent 5 on a Subway sandwich in the Tulum area. If you drive yourself, I saw that the admission is 70 pesos. But! I think the parking was 20USD.

I did not follow the tour guide around nor listen to his explanations, so no comment on that. However, he was very humorous on the bus with impeccable English! OUR GUIDE: CESAR!! Such a funny guy!

Taima G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

The tour was amazing. The hotel picked us and dropped us off in our hotel very promptly. Our archeologist guide was Marco, who was full of information regarding the site and Mayan culture. He was able to always keep the group engaged. Definitely recommend this tour.

Tamara

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Staff were helpful with my parents who use walkers. Really enjoyed the early access.

Heyder V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Excelent

regina

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

I'm so glad I went early. There was nobody there and we had the place almost to ourselves. By the time we were getting ready to leave, the place was getting pretty packed. The guide was knowledgeable and patient.

Marie B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

It was well worth it to have early access to Tulum with a smaller group. As the day progresses the tourists multiply and with larger groups than ours. Our tour guide was amazing and so excited about his job. He made history come alive. Our driver and bus guide were wonderful as well. Tips are appreciated for each guide on your tours, so prepare for that.

Kelly

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

This tour was great. We were picked up, bright and early, at 5am from our hotel in the Hotel Zone. Arturo was our guide, and he was great -- very informative. The only downside was that our group was a mix of Spanish and English speakers, and Arturo was the only guide. This meant that he went back and forth translating between English and Spanish during the tour, which was a bit distracting. Doing this tour is definitely worth it, though, if nothing else because you arrive at Tulum as soon as it opens at 9am. You can admire the ruins without the crowds and get as many photographs as you want without throngs of tourists in the way. Arturo gave us background information and discussed the ruins for about 90 minutes and the remaining 90 minutes could be spent as you wish -- we chose to wander the beach and explore the other ruins. We were back at our hotel by 2pm, leaving the rest of the afternoon free to wander Cancun.

Oh, and there are tons of lizards all over the ruins -- quite a beautiful sight! Bring your camera.

Jeanette M J

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

I highly recommend the early access to Tulum with an archeologist tour. What a beautiful Mayan archeological site! We arrived early enough at Tulum to beat some of the incredible heat and humidity. The greatest advantage, however, is avoiding the hoards of fellow tourists who later descend on the site. The early access gives you the opportunity to experience and get a feel for Tulum's archtectural layout, religious and historical significance to the Mayan people, while also allowing for unimpeded photographic opportunities. Our archeologist guide was Marco, who was full of information regarding the site and expressed some very interesting and plausible theories regarding the significance of the building's carvings. The one I found most interesting being his theory on the first Mayan/European interaction given the age of the main temple structure and the carving of a bearded man in one of the friezes. Marco was very informative, excited to provide his knowledge of Mayan history, and more than willing to answer any and all questions asked. I would not hesitate to recommend this tour to other travelers who are truely interested in understanding Mayan culture and the archeological sites that they are looking at. A word of advice: dress in cool clothing, comfortable foot wear, and bring some water as it is still very hot even in the earlier hours of the day.

Caroline M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Amiga Tours is a first-class company. The bus was clean, the driver and tour guide pleasant and knowledgable. The pace of the tour is relaxed with a 50 minute guided tour of the Tulum structures and then 2 hours on your own to explore. You receive a nice brown bag lunch with banana, juice, a sandwich and cookie. There are good restaurants and nice gift shops. Tulum is a national park, and is a much, much better experience than the circus at Chichen-Itza . There is a stop before arriving at the park where you can buy snacks and pay to use the toilet.

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