A Christmas Day in Tulum: How we spent our last day in the Yucatán peninsula

You have reached our full day-by-day account of our trip to Yucatán, day 4. If you would like to read the story from the beginning, including our itinerary and planning guide, start here.

Our last day in Yucatán was Christmas Day, and we had an early evening departure from Cancún. We wanted to see a little more of Tulum and we were told all attractions would be open that day. In fact, as we walked around all stores were open.

#Tulum

Originally we had planned to go to the Muyi ruins and the Sian Ka’an reserve, but we were not sure if there would be any boats that day, so we ended up not going. The Muyi ruins is a small Mayan complex next to the Sian Ka’an Reserve, a protected bioreserve in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The reserve contains mangroves, a tropical forest and a barrier reef. You can hire a boat to visit the canals and see the birds and marine animals that inhabit this area.

How to get to the Muyi ruins and Sian Ka’an Reserve

In case you want to visit the Muyi ruins and the Sian Ka’an Reserve, here’s the info we had gathered before our trip:

  • Take a colectivo or ADO bus to Chunyaxché ($28 MXN).
  • Walk to the Muyil ruins ($45 MXN entrance fee).
  • Follow the trail behind El Castillo to reach the reserve.
  • Sian Ka’an Reserve – $50 MXN entrance fee
  • Hire a boat, approximately $700 MXN per person for 2 hrs.
  • You will have the opportunity to swim in the canals, so bring your swimsuit and a towel.
  • Take colectivo ($20-40 MXN) or taxi ($100 MXN) back to Tulum pueblo.

So instead we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in our beach hotel , then walked to the Tulum strip mall just outside the ruins to do some souvenir shopping. Just be aware there are no bargains there!

Cool mural seen in one of the shops.

Afterwards we took a colectivo to Tulum pueblo ($40 MXN), which stops on the road across the entrance of the Tulum complex . In the pueblo, we stopped close to the Parque Museo de la Cultura Maya.

Christmas tree at Palacio Municipal de Tulum

Parque Museo de la Cultura Maya

Around that corner and a block from the ADO bus stop there is an amazing bakery, Pan del Carmen. The pastries are absolutely delicious! We even brought a small vanilla cake home. Yummy!

Great selection of pastries!

How to get from Tulum to Cancún airport

There are ADO buses to Cancún airport. The ADO bus station is very small and there is not much seating, but it has a convenience store and restroom. Make sure to book your bus ticket online, as there are not many departures from Tulum. The bus will make a quick stop in Playa del Carmen on the way to the airport.

Tulum ADO bus terminal

On our way to the airport, the unexpected happened – our bus broke down in the highway! Thankfully we were only about 15 minutes from the airport. Most of the passengers quickly realized that a replacement bus was not coming any time soon, so we started flagging colectivos and taxis. We got into a taxi and shared with other passengers. Probably the most expensive 15 min taxi ride I’ve ever taken, but we got to the airport on time.

The lounge at Cancún airport

There were no lines at the security checkpoint and we had plenty of time to enjoy the Mera Business Lounge on Terminal 3 (Priority Pass). The lounge was very crowded, but we were happy to have a place to have a quick bite before taking our flight back home.

Priority Pass lounge

And thus our holiday adventure in Yucatán came to an end. We had 4 full days packed with visits to Mayan ruins and Pueblos Mágicos, sampling some amazing food along the way. And crossing out the last New 7 Wonders of the World in our list! We can’t believe it took us so long to visit this area, and we certainly want to return some day.

Have you visited Cancún and the Yucatán peninsula?

Would you like to visit?

Let us know in the comments!

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