Tulum Mexico vs Riviera Maya: Difference and Comparison

Mexico, officially known as the United Mexican States, is located in the southernmost part of North America. It is the third-largest country in Latin America, with a total of 31 states and Federal districts.

The heart of the country is the country’s capital, Mexico City, the most populated city in the United Mexican States. Mexico is one of the popular places for tourism.

The currency used is the Mexican peso, and the official language used in the country is Spanish. Mexico has one of the greatest cultural diversity in the country.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tulum is a small town south of Riviera Maya, a stretch of coastline on the Caribbean Sea in Mexico.
  2. Riviera Maya offers many activities and attractions, while Tulum is known for its Mayan ruins and natural beauty.
  3. Tulum has a more laid-back and eco-friendly atmosphere, while Riviera Maya is more developed and touristy.

Tulum Mexico vs Riviera Maya

The difference between Tulum and Riviera Maya is that Tulum is an archaeological site that is a part of Riviera Maya, while Riviera Maya is a resort district that contains many tourist spots and places to visit. Tulum is a historic site having ruins, while Riviera Maya offers various different types of places to visit.

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Tulum Mexico vs Riviera Maya

Tulum is a historical site that contains ruins of the security wall developed during the pre-Columbian era by the people of the Maya civilization.

The place has three major attractions: the Temple of Frescoes, El Castillo, and the Temple of Descending God. There are many other historical places to visit in Tulum.

Riviera Maya is a resort district and tourist place in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It has many travel destinations within itself, offering a wide variety of travel experiences from the beach to the islands. One can reach the location by road, Federal Highway 307, or by air, Cancun International Airport.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTulum MexicoRiviera Maya
MeaningAn archaeological site consisting of protective walls from the Pre-Columbian era.Resort and tourism place having many tourist spots.
EtymologyTulum word means a wall, fence, or trench.Initially known as Cancun- Tulum corridor. Maya refers to the Maya civilization of Mesoamerican people.
StateQuintana Roo, MexicoQuintana Roo, Mexico
LocationAlong Yucatan Peninsula (east coast) in the Caribbean Sea.Along the coasts of the Caribbean Sea (eastern coastal part) of Yucatan Peninsula, straddling the coastal Federal Highway 307.
Main attractionsTemple of Frescoes, El Castillo, and Temple of Descending God.Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba Inlands
Tourism spotsTemple of Doom, Temple of God of Winds, Maya Blue, Grand Cenote, Biosphere reserve of Sian Ka’an, Vachaya, etc.Ecoparks (Xcaret and Xel-Ha)

What is Tulum Mexico?

Tulum was originally built in the pre-Columbian era in order to protect the Maya civilization, a Mesoamerican civilization that was highly popular for the developments in writing culture.

Tulum was the defensive or protective wall site for the people of the Maya Civilization. It served as one of the major port sites for Coba, located in the district of Quintana Roo in Mexico.

The location of Tulum is near the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula, on a 12-meter tall cliff. The peninsula is on the coast of the Caribbean Sea in Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Tulum was the last city that was built by the people of the Maya civilization. After the city was occupied by the Spanish, it remained intact and survived up to almost 70 years. To date, it is one of the most preserved sites and is a major tourist attraction spot in Mexico.

The major attractions of Tulum include the Temple of Frescoes, El Castillo, and the Temple of Descending God. The other tourist spots include the Temple of God of Winds, also known as Temple Dios del Viento, located in the bay of Tulum Sea and Guards it.

The Tulum ruins (as per data obtained in 2017) are one of the most visited archaeological sites in the entire country of Mexico.

tulum

What is Riviera Maya?

Riviera Maya is a district situated in the east of Cancun, Mexico. It is a resort and tourism district which contains many tourist spots and resorts for tourists to stay and relax during their visits.

It is along the coasts of the Caribbean Sea (eastern coastal part) of the Yucatan Peninsula, straddling the coastal Federal Highway 307.

Riviera Maya’s starting point is Playa del Carmen City and ends at Tulum village. Riviera Maya consists of Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Tres Rios, Akumal, Boca Paila, Paamul, Bahia de Punta Soliman, Tulum, Punta Allen, Puerto Aventuras, and Xpu-Ha.

Riviera Maya was initially known as Cancun- Tulum corridor and was named Riviera Maya in 1999.

Various kinds of activities are available at Riviera Maya, such as Scuba diving, jet-skiing, zip-lining, swimming with the dolphins, swimming in cenotes, sailing, horse riding, etc. The archaeological sites are very famous around this part of the country.

The nearest international airport to Riviera Maya is the Cancun International Airport. The location has many archaeological sites, biospheres, cenotes, small islands, beaches, and lighthouses.

riviera maya

Main Differences Between Tulum Mexico and Riviera Maya

  1. Tulum is a major archaeological site, whereas Riviera Maya is a major resort and tourist district.
  2. Tulum is a historical site having ruins, while Riviera Maya is a district having many such tourist spots.
  3. Tulum has temples and old historical sites. Riviera Maya has beaches, biospheres, islands, cenotes, etc.
  4. Tulum is a part of Riviera Maya, while Riviera Maya consists of many such places.
  5. Both of the places can be visited by air route, landing at Cancun International Airport. The distance from the airport to Riviera Maya is approximately 68 km, while Tulum is approximately 120 km from the Cancun International Airport.
Difference Between Tulum Mexico and Riviera Maya
References
  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zod8DAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA31&dq=tulum+mexico&ots=y7YsP559Ce&sig=7z9B2BHyQM-q0UQRxNNgRoSZjrE&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=tulum%20mexico&f=false
  2. https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jlca.12110

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