The name of the site, which means “enclosure,” is probably modern. Its original name is believed to have been Zama, or “Dawn,” reflecting the west-east alignment of its buildings.
Tulum’s greatest attraction is its location. It stands on a bluff facing the rising sun looking out on views of the Caribbean that are nothing less than spectacular. In Maya, Tulum means “Wall”, and the city was christened thus because it is a walled city; one of the very few the ancients ever built. Research suggests it was formerly called Zama or “to dawn” in its day, which is appropriate given the location.
You can spend a couple hours visiting Tulum ruins or you can spend the day. The following is a break-down of what is available to you:
  • Explore the Mayan ruins.
  • Swim or relax on the beach.
  • Visit craft market.
  • Get something to eat.
  • Walk up Tulum Beach Road.
  • Watch the Poll Flyers.
You can jump in the water at Tulum ruins and swim north to Boca Paila. Even if you are just going to visit the ruins it is still quite an experience to swim out on the ruins beach and see the ruins from the water. On a hot summer day it is a great way to cool off.

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