I know the ruins in Tulum are some of the best. What I want to know is, can we hire a taxi to take us there for less than $200 USD? I hate tour buses, and I'm very adventerous. If anyone is interested and wants to share, I'm on the Dec. 10, Monarch cruise. Feel free to email.
I think I can help you! Traveled to the Yucatan many times. Found out the BEST way to enjoy two wonderful excursions in one. First: Rent a car/jeep. Tulum and Xel-Ha (Shell-ha), are a short drive from Cancun or Cozulal/Playa del Carmen. Plan to arrive at Xel-Ha as early in the am as possible. (All the tour busses arrive at noon). If you arrive at 9 or 10 AM, you will have the entire magnificent lagoon to yourselves. Then, about noon, drive to Tulum for a 1-2 hour tour. Then you can "Beach-hop" up the coast, (Take any right turn to the sea) You'll find quiet beaches, pina-coladas, palm trees, and alot of serenity. I almost moved there in 1990 to run small tours myself. E-mail for more details.
We were there a couple of years ago. We went to the ADO in Cancun to catch a public bus - like a tour bus, but not a set group and everyone did their own thing - I guess you could think of it as a shuttle bus with regularly scheduled departures. I remember we stopped at Playa Del Carmen, so you could catch a similar bus that would drop you off at Tulum to do your own thing. It was very reasonably priced - can't remember exactly how much. We arrived early in the morning before all the tour busses and picked up a map at the entrance and did our own thing. By the time the crowds were descending in the early afternoon, we were back outside for the bus to come back and pick us up after having dropped off others who were interested in spending the day at Xcaret. (At Tulum you can walk to the entrance to the ruins, or take a small train-like shuttle -- if it's especially hot, the $1 pp fare is worth it.) Take lots of water and enjoy it. We had tremendous fun and Tulum was definitely one of the highlights of our two-week trip.