Can you imagine being able to visit the most impressive Mayan ruins in just one holiday?  Planning a trip from Tulum to Chichen Itza is the answer to make this dream come true.

Besides being two of the most popular tourist destinations in the Riviera Maya, Tulum and Chichen Itza are home to the best preserved archaeological sites of the Mayan culture.

Of course, that’s only one of the many reasons why more and more international travelers arrive in the Mexican Caribbean every year. In both Chichen Itza and Tulum there are several different adventures to enjoy apart from exploring the ruins.

Sometimes it is thought that you have to choose between them, but now I’m going to show you how to make a trip from Tulum to Chichen Itza and enjoy unforgettable experiences in both sites.

Photo: El Despertador de Quintana Roo

From Tulum to Chichen Itza: how long does it take?

The road distance between Tulum and Chichen Itza is approximately 95 miles. The way to travel from one point to the other is the road that leads to Coba, and then to the city of Valladolid.

Depending on the means of transport you choose, your travelling time could be between 1.5 to 3 hours.

For example, if you go by bus from Tulum to Chichen Itza, it’ll take you about 3 hours to get there. On the other hand, if you take a taxi or rent a car, your trip might last a little less than two hours.

Photo: Beyond The Ordinary

Is it safe to drive from Tulum to Chichen Itza?

Driving from Tulum to Chichen Itza is not only safe but also very easy. The road signs you’ll see along the way are so easy to follow that you won’t have to check Google Maps every time.

Also, you’ll be able to enjoy the view of the surroundings like the amazing water formations called cenotes or the cute little towns that are settled near the road.

If you still want to enjoy the scenery during the trip, but in less time, we recommend you to take our private tours from Tulum to Chichen Itza. It’ll take you 1.5 hours to get there, since you won’t have to make any additional stops unless you want to.

Photo: Ayz Rules

Day trips from Tulum to Chichen Itza: what can you expect?

Being only a few hours away from Chichen Itza, Tulum has become the best alternative to visit many fantastic places from the Peninsula of Yucatan in the shortest time.

Photo:Jay A. Frogel

1. Explore the ruins of Tulum

The first attraction to explore, of course, is the walled city of Tulum, built right in front of the Caribbean Sea.

Here you can enjoy the dramatic design of the ruins, learn more about the Mayan culture and spend some time on a beautiful stretch of beach.

Being so close to the coast, you can explore both the ruins and the beach in less than an hour, especially if you book a private tour with us. Our guides will always adapt to your pace, giving you a unique travel experience.

Photo: Byelikova Oksana

2. Visit the colonial town of Valladolid

The next stop on your route from Tulum to Chichen Itza will be Valladolid, a charming little town full of colonial buildings and colorful houses.

In this ancient city, you’ll find a mix of fascinating Hispanic architecture, the typical colours of local Mexican life, and ancient churches such as the Catedral de San Servacio, located in the central square of the town.

Photo: Markus Faymonville

3. Dive into the magical cenotes

Cenotes are large water formations that are dotted throughout the Yucatan Peninsula and, obviously, you’ll have the chance to watch and visit some of them on your way from Tulum to Chichen Itza.

Once considered sacred sites, today Mexican cenotes have become a perfect place to practice water sports such as swimming and diving. As a result, more and more tourists are visiting them.

Some are more popular than others, that’s why our local experts have explored more than 300 cenotes all around the area to locate the most secret ones in which you can live a VIP adventure just for yourself. 

Photo: De Agostini

4. Enjoy the Chichen Itza experience

In the final stretch of your adventure you’ll be able to explore the most important ruins of the Mayan culture and one of the Seven Wonders of the World: the Kukulkan Castle.

Besides that, you’ll be able to contemplate magnificent structures, such as the Temple of the Warriors, the Temple of the Skulls, the Main Ball Court, the Observatory and La Iglesia. 

Also, you’ll appreciate, better than anywhere else, how advanced the Mayans were in terms of astronomy. Did you know that the pyramid of Kukulkan has 365 steps? That’s right, the same number as the days of the year. 

Tulum to Chichen Itza view
Photo: Viagenza

Can you visit both Chichen Itza and Tulum in one day?

Of course, the answer is yes. However, once in the Riviera Maya, we’re pretty sure you’ll feel the need to stay more than one day and enjoy your holidays without rushing.

A good idea for day trips would be, for example, to leave Tulum early in the morning straight to Valladolid, tour the city and then visit the ruins of Chichen Itza. Then, on a different day, you could tour the ruins of Tulum and enjoy its beautiful beaches.

If you want to adjust this travel to your own pace, the best option is booking a private tour. In My Quest Concierge, you’ll design your own itinerary including only the stops you want to make. 

Also, the tour will start very early in the morning in order to avoid the queues and enjoy an authentic private trip from Tulum to Chichen Itza just for you, your family or your closest friends.