Tulum’s beach and quite interesting ancient Maya ruins. Photo by Dennis Jarvis.
More adventurous travellers can easily find rooms on beautiful and less crowded beaches down the Maya Riviera coast an hour or two south for much lower cost. Rent a car or take the bus to Puerto Morelos (20 minutes) or Tulum’s beach and Maya site (1 hour). Playa del Carmen (45 minutes) is between the two, but these days also specialises in all-inclusive holidaymakers.
Ruinas El Rey are small and not very exciting Mayan ruins of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Cancun’s Hotel Zone.
There’s a bigger pile of stones, El Meco, outside the city on the road to Punta Sam as well as sites not far away such as Coba, Polé (now Xcaret, see below), and Kohunlich, Kinichná, Dzibanché, Oxtankah, Tulum, and Chacchoben, in the south of Quintana Roo state.
The real thing, however, and one of the world’s best pyramid complexes is at Chichen Itza in the neighbouring state of Yucatán, a couple of hours drive.