You cannot find a Mayan ruin with a more dramatic location. This small but breathtaking city is set on a cliff top by the Caribbean Sea, just two hours south of Cancun. You can’t climb on these structures, but Tulum does have one of the world’s most unique beaches at the foot of the cliff.

Chichen Itza

By far the most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico, Chichen Itza is a popular day trip for travelers staying in Cancun. The main highlight is the famous El Castillo pyramid, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, this huge city also has other jaw-dropping structures like the Observatory and the Temple of the Warriors. The only downside: You can’t climb on these structures.


Less than three hours from Cancun, the ancient Mayan city of Coba is built around two lagoons. Adventurous travelers fall in love with Coba for its gorgeous jungle scenery and climbable temples. The entire site covers a large area, and bikes are available for rent so you can easily explore the entire city.