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A modern getaway in a place laden with history: That’s what visitors to Tulum can expect. When you travel to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, you have your choice of destinations. Playa del Carmen, Cancún and Tulum all sit along the same stretch of coast, and each has features that make it a unique and appealing stop. In Tulum’s case, the combination of plush resorts and well-preserved Mayan ruins is sure to excite travelers.
See the City
While there are many sights to see in Tulum and the surrounding area, the beaches are a great place to start. Paradise Beach is a setting for simply relaxing as you enjoy the unparalleled view of the Caribbean Sea. Once you’re done sitting on the shore, you can get another perspective on the clear blue waves by diving down to see the mighty coral reef. The seas aren’t just thriving marine life habitats; they’re also sites of archeological exploration. Divers have brought up cannons from 17th-century shipwrecks, hinting that more treasure is yet to be discovered.
Tulum today is built around the ruins of an ancient walled city – also called Tulum. The Mayan empire used the region for seaborne trade, and it was a hub of commerce before Spanish conquistadores initiated the colonial era. Today, the remnants of the Mayan structures dot the Tulum coastline – well-preserved castles and temples sitting alongside breathtaking natural views.
While you’re enjoying the historical and environmental beauty of Tulum, you can take frequent breaks for meals at compelling local restaurants. The traditional cuisine of the area involves seafood baked underground after being wrapped in banana leaves and seasoned with annatto paste. If you stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts in the area, you can supplement these local meals with stops at the on-site gourmet eateries.
Enjoy the Region
If you’re a committed diver, you’ll find a worthy and fascinating challenge in the Gran Cenote of Tulum. The cavern contains 30 feet of water, and certified divers can go all the way the bottom. Fish and turtles live in the underground waters, waiting to be discovered. Casual divers and swimmers can experience the shallow waters near the cavern mouth.
Aktún Chen Natural Park is another place to see the local flora and fauna up close. Trails through the jungle can bring you face to face with spider monkeys, peccaries, agoutis and toucans. Zip lining, cave exploration and educational tours are just some of the other activities offered in this environmental conservation park.
Unparalleled natural beauty and millennia of human history mark Tulum as a special destination on the Yucatan Peninsula.
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