Almost as recognizable as Chichen Itza are the coastal ruins of Tulum. The image of its largest structure, El Castillo, is iconic of the destination: perched on a cliff overlooking the magnetic turquoise Caribbean Sea.
It is one of the most visited sites in Mexico, with more than two million visitors per year. The original name of the site was Zama, which means sunrise. It’s no wonder why – the sunrises here are spectacular, and certainly worth the early wake-up call to experience.
At its height, around the 13th century, the city was a gateway to connect the Yucatan Peninsula with the people of Honduras and other places in the Gulf of Mexico.
Be sure to bring a bathing suit when visiting this site. The sugar-colored sand beneath the ruins is a popular spot to take a dip after touring the ancient city.