I am not much of a 'sight seeing' person, but this is well worth your time . . . Gorgeous views . . . Tulum is the only walled city near the ocean the Mayans ever constructed . . . Built between 1200 and 1500 A.D. . . . Rising at the edge of a 40-foot cliff is 'El Castillo,' the main castle overlooking the Caribbean's turquoise waters . . . We coupled this site with Xel-Ha (Shell High), a snorkeling park, for a same day trip . . . 1/2 the day was spent at Tulum with the other half at Zel-Ha snorkeling . . . Worked out great for us
Tulúm is the most visited of the Maya sites in the Yucatán and not only because of its proximity to Cancún. Although the ruins are structurally less impressive than Chichén Itzá or Uxmal and much less extensive, they have the azure Caribbean as a backdrop - a startling contrast and heaven for the photographer or artist. Because the area is small and there is comparatively little climbing involved, you can gain a fair appreciation of Tulúm in a couple of hours.
Tulúm was built around AD 1200 as the Mayan civilization declined
Amongst the frescoes is a portrayal of a man on a horse, which indicates that these drawings were still being worked on after the Spanish invasion. (The horse was introduced by the Spanish and clearly had a disarming effect on the Mayans - originally it was thought that horse and rider were one being and later, when one of Cortés's horses died, its skeleton was worshipped as a god).
El Castillo is the result of several phases of building. Steps lead to an upper temple featuring columns decorated with plumed serpents as seen in Chichén Itzá and an indication of Toltec influence. It would also have been used as a watchtower, with visibility over land and sea. Beneath El Castillo is a small but perfect beach, where the Mayans would have landed their canoes.
The Temple of the Descending God is to the left of El Castillo when looking out to sea. Above the door of the temple is a stucco relief of a figure prevalent at Tulúm, the upside-down winged god that also shows bee-like features. This figure is sometimes referred to as the 'diving god' because of its position and the resemblance to a bee signifies the importance of honey to the Mayans.
The Temple of the Frescoes lies between El Castillo and the entrance to the site. Here fragments of color can be seen on murals depicting Maya life.
Tulum is the only walled city the Mayans ever built on the Carribbean coast. It is easy to see why they chose this site. It's the only place on the low-lying Yucatan Penninsula where limestone deposits built up to create coastal cliffs.
Visit de mayan ruins of Tulum. It's only 60 kilometer from Playa del Carmen and it's really great. Take any bus to Tulum village and tell the driver you want to go to the ruins. From the main road it's about 10 min on foot. Entrance fee: 35 pesos. There's a nice beach on the right side of the ruins.
Tulum archeological site (only mayan city built so close to the ocean)
You have to be there to feel it, but it's a great place, with very interesting and well preserved buildings and objects of ancient mayan culture
This is a beautifully restored area right on the ocean. This was the primary port used by the Mayans in this area. Aparently the Mayans were mostly inland and used Tulum as a centre of commerce. We were told that only the wealthy traders and nobles lived within the gates. At the end of the day, all of the workers and slaves left and had homes outside the wall. Unlike Coba, this area is pretty much fully restored and unlike Coba, you don't have to walk 5km to take everything in. It does however lack the grandeur and mystery of Coba.
Tulum has one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. The area is rich in culture and history. We had a tour of the ruins and its amazing to hear how they lived.
A great archeological place "garnished" with a tropical beach 130 km from Cancún.
(More details on my Tulum page.)
TULUM. This is another beautiful place with ruins. It was I think 20-30 minutes from our Hotel. I also made a Travelogue for this site.
DO NOT FORGET YOUR BATHINGSUIT! The beach there is very nice!
Tulum Tour, Horseback riding, Snorkeling, Hook Dinner Cruise and many more.
All is well worth it for culture, new adventure and seeing another world.
Check out the Mayan ruins near Cancun. This is Tulum. It was really nice, but Chichen Itza is suppose to be much bigger.
The ruins are located on a cliff over looking the Caribean Sea. Although not as inpressive as Chichen Itza (sp?) it is still worth the effort.