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Touring the Mayan Ruins of the Riviera Maya
A trip to Akumal and the Riviera Maya region of Mexico would not be complete without a visit to one of the numerous Mayan ruins in the area. This area is steeped in the history of this ancient civilization that still influences the art, cuisine and culture of the region today. Akumal and its surroundings were important trade routes for the Mayans and archaeologists are continuing to uncover many ruins of this once mighty civilization.

One of the most popular ruins to visit not only near Akumal but in all of Mexico is Tulum. There are also the Coba and Xel-Ha which are all conveniently located not far from Akumal and other areas in the Riviera Maya region. They are accessible by car or if you prefer, you can arrange to take a tour bus.

One of the biggest secrets to really enjoying the Mayan ruins in Tulum is to get there early in the day. The ruins open at 8:00 a.m., long before the sweltering heat of the midday sun. Most of the tour buses don't arrive that early, so if you want to spend some quiet time taking in the site, you can rent a car and get there early in the morning. The tranquility coupled with the milder temperature will help you really enjoy the beauty and wonder of these ancient ruins.

Arriving early means you can explore a little bit on your own before taking a guided tour. The beauty of the ruins of Tulum are that they are situated on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean, and you can take the steps down to a pristine private beach and enjoy some serene time before you take a more formal tour and learn about the ancient civilization that once thrived in this region. To really enjoy having some private time, get there early and get to the ticket counter as soon as possible so you can really enjoy the cliffs and beaches amidst the ruins.

Tour buses arrive at 9 a.m. and if you prefer that route, you can take a guided tour of the ruins. Each of the ruins are marked with plaques in several languages so you can take a self guided tour, or hire a tour guide to get some real insight to the Mayan culture and the history behind these majestic ruins. Tour guides are available just outside the ruins and most of them are multilingual so you can find one that speaks your language and can give you a full tour of the ruins and answer any questions you may have. You can also tour the ruins on your own. The ruins at Tulum has a bookstore where you can purchase a book about the ruins and guide yourself through the ruins. Either way, a tour of the Mayan ruins of this region is a must-see on any itinerary.
About the Author
M Gravlee is a retired newspaper publisher who spends several months a year traveling. He has visited every continent except Antarctica and over 30 countries.
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