Start your tour with early morning pickup from your Playa del Carmen hotel for the drive south to Tulum, taking a break along the way for snacks (own expense). Your early wake-up call will be worth it when you arrive as one of the first visitors of the day to explore the wonders of Tulum, a fort and trading post overlooking the Caribbean Sea. With essential background knowledge provided by your group's own archeologist guide, you’ll easily imagine how this city once served as a major seaport.
Learn about the Mayans who inhabited this city and the archeological investigations of the site. Your guide will share information from studies strongly indicating that Tulum played an important role in Mayan civilization during the 13th and 14th centuries, part of the late Post-Classic age, based on the following factors: its key position along the coastline, considerable elevation above sea level and formidable defense system. You’ll find it difficult to scale the stone wall enclosing most of the city center, measuring more than 1,100 feet long and 500 feet high (335 meters by 152 meters), which stands as the largest fortified Mayan site on the Quintana Roo coast.
As you wander through the ruins in tranquility and listen to waves lapping against the shore, try to visualize Tulum in its heyday using the archaeological evidence you just heard: The sun rises, casting a warm orange glow over the city. Out of the glittering Caribbean Sea, rows of enormous canoes, with impressive lengths of 52 feet (16 meters), pull up to shore, and traders from Central and South America climb out, their arms laden with spices, obsidian, precious stones, animal skins, salt and other rich marine resources. In the city, the traders walk past bright red and blue murals painted on stark white walls depicting spiritual themes.
Learn about how Tulum existed as a political settlement independent of other provinces, and then take a look around at the setting that makes it famous today — the pristine sandy beaches and stellar views of the Caribbean Sea.
After your tour, relax with a box lunch during the transit back to your hotel in Playa del Carmen. With this Exclusive, your early morning visit to Tulum allows you to explore the site before the crowds so you can enjoy the rest of your day on the beach!