Monday, January 24, 2005.
Hans and I took local buses to TULUM. After making a stop in Play Del Carmen, it was another 39 miles, or 63 Km south.
Tulum is Mayan for "WALL" and dates to the period A.D. 900. The seaside archeological site of Tulum was once known as the "City of the Dawn". It is the only Mayan port city ever discovered and features more than 60 well-preserved buildings to explore, like the Castle, The Temple of the Wind God, Temple of the Descending God and Temple of the Frescoes God.
Also there is a wonderful beach "Papaya Playa" which many people were enjoying.
For more information, please visit my TULUM pages.
We rented a car to see some of the Mayan sites that were relatively near Cancun. This allowed us to get to Tulum in the morning and to see places where the buses do not go.
Tulum is heavily visited, sitting right on the Carribean. We got there around 8:30 am -- and by the time we left the parking lot was full. Get there early. It is in a beautiful area, but you will appreciate it more if you can see through the tour groups.
Muyil is south of Tulum. Bring bug repellent. Although the site is relatively small, it has impressive areas that give one a sense of discovery. The Mayans still use the nearby lagoon.
Coba is worth seeing whether by tour bus or on your own. But it is very spread out. We regretted not renting a bicycle. None of the guidebooks were emphatic enough: do not walk if you have a choice. The view from the top of the Grand Pyramid was spectacular, but many of the steles in some parts were too faint to recognize.
We combined Ek-Balam with a visit to the town of Valladolidad. We went on a Saturday and things were very quiet. There was more opportunity to climb around than at some of the other sites -- and it had some of the most amazing artistic work that was part of a ruler's tomb. It many ways, it is the most unique site in the Yucatan and very worthwhile visiting. One can only wonder what lies within large areas of the site.
It was good to go to Valladolidad afterwards, have a cool drink on a colonial patio, then look around the town square by the cathedral, where Mayan women were selling dresses.
There are, of course, several smaller Mayan sites around Cancun -- such as El Rey, El Meco, or the ruins next to the Sheraton.
On the Isla de Mujeres, we rented a golf cart to go to the Southern end to pay our respects to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of fertility, and the small remains of her temple. The location is beautiful. Some of the guides written only a few years ago mention the lighthouse keeper who may be tending his garden. These days, it is much more developed.
WOW! The beautfiul Mayan ruins of Tulum are stratigically located right on one of the most beautiful coast on Earth. The ruins themselves are not spectacular, but the scenery at the Caribbean coast is definitely worth a visit. This was the golden exit to my 2001 trip through my homeland. Check my Tulum page for more details.
I highly recommend taking a day or even half a day and visiting the ruins at Tulum. It's a great experience. There's even a beach there which is very beautiful. It's about 40 or so miles outside of Cancun. You can get there via any group tour or just renting a car. It's very easy to find by following the road signs. You can wander the ruins at your own pace or follow along with one of the many tours given. It would definitely be worth a visit.
Here are the ruins at Tulum.Do go early to avoid the crowds.The beach here is very quiet as most people are on package trips and dont stop long enough to use the beach.
Hired a Harley and chugged off along the coast road to Tulum, very hot, very old and still not finished!
Mayan ruins right on the beach! This was a fascinating trip. It was amazing to see the ruins and imagine the people that lived there. They sure knew about location, location, location!
I saw that funny thing (I think) in Tulum. They were attached by the feet, and were going down and up while signing and playing instrument. Funny.