Not surprisingly, the ruins are the main attraction in Tulum. Settled around 900-1200, the City of Dawn is a smallish settlement without any major pyramid or sights - mainly as it is the result of the Mayan civilisation in decline. In many ways it resembles more of a fortress than any of the other major sites - it is surrounded on 3 sides by thick walls (the 4th side being the natural defence of the sea). It's its location that makes it a major attraction, but the ruins themselves are still worth 2-3 hours pottering around (and you can always go to the beach once you have finished!)
You have to walk about 10 minutes from the car park to the entrance of the ruins, but anyway there's a shuttle service for those who may need it. Close to the car park there are some mexican souvenirs shops, bars, telephones and toilets.
The site is smaller than Chich?-Itz?, it was built when the Mayan civilization was declining. Tulum in Mayan language means "wall", but someone told me that Tulum really means "badly scent stones" but as it isn't a "nice" meaning nobody would go to visit a site with such a name.
The main building is El Castillo- The Castle that is a temple situated on the highest point of the site, so it would also have been used as a lighthouse, nowadays it's not allowed to climb it.
About three kms north of town are the ruins of Tulum. This well-visited site is apparently the only Mayan ruin directly on the ocean. It served as a place of trade with the sea. You can hire a guide (many of whom seem to speak at least five languages), or you can go self-guided like I did. If you bring your videocam, there is an extra fee to use it. Admission is around $5 if memory serves. There is also a tractor that pulls a train to take you from the mall to the ruins, but only the most debilitated of us needs to take it.
Several things to keep in mind. Get there as early as possible, as the tour buses from the resorts seem to get there around 0930 or 1000. Another good reason is to beat the heat. There is a "mall" where you can find cheesy tourist shops and we even saw some sort or supposedly Mayan things where guys in brightly colored outfits swang from ropes about thirty feet up in a sort of merry-go-round effect. Finally, one of two ATM's in town is in the mall, so avoid the lines and go here if you are already in the neighborhood and save the lines downtown.
Tulum ruins are one of the most interesting pre-hispanic sites in Mexico. They owe this to the fact that the town was built right on the Carribean coast. The remains of the buldings are not that spectacular, but the setting is the one that attracts visitors. Although Tulum has one feature, other sites don't have - the town is surrounded by defensive wall from 3 sides. The forth side is guarded by a cliff on the beach.
The name Tulum acctally means ''wall'' in Mayan and the place got that name in 20th century. Before it was known as ''Zama'' (dawn) by Mayans.
The site is rather small. It can be seen in 1 hour, but many combine sightseeing with swimming in the seam as there is a nice beach right in front of the ruins.
I went to the ruins already two years ago and noticed that this times the ruins are closed to walk on because of the hurricane and also the small beach in the middle of the ruins I went swimming two years ago.
But there is still another one which is just beautiful - so don´t forget your swimsuit when you visit the ruins.
The Tulum Ruins were a walled-in city state fortress that developed around 564 AD. It is a fascinating site because the main building (the Castillo) looks spectacular as it sits perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. It's the one they use in all the commercials for Mexican travel. "Tulum" means "wall" in Mayan, and you can still walk the outer edges of the wall around the site.
The beach area inside the walls is where Maya ships and canoes used to come ashore when the fortress acted as a seaport. The primary god here was the diving/descending god.
The architecture and designs are not as impressive or intricate as those at Chichen Itza, less strong materials and somewhat crude designs, but Tulum is definitely worth the visit if you're in the area. They say Tulum's the most visited of the Mayan ruins, but I don't believe them. There's always been more people at Chichen Itza from what I've seen.
The admission was only about $5 USD.
There are guides available on site if you want to pay for that. The washrooms (which used to be pay bathrooms) are now free.
You will probably save about $60 USD per person by doing his trip on your own with coach buses instead of through a tour from your Cancun hotel. (It's not a full day excursion, like Chichen Itza.)
If you are visiting the Cancun/Mayan Riveria area, Tulum is a must in things to see. Tulum holds Mayan Ruins set upon a hill looking down on beautiful beach. The ruins cost only $3.80 US dollars to enter and you have access to the beach as well.
This is probably the main atraction within the Tulum area.
There is something special about each of the ruins I saw in Yucatan. The thing with Tulum is that there is a cliff behind them and you get to see a paradisiac beach, beautiful colors and pristine, clean and clear water. White sands...
As soon as you finish your tour on the ruins, which are not very big, go to the cliff and there are some stairs that will take you to this beach.
The moment when you get by the cliff and actually get to see the sea is undescriptible. You can see many pictures but none of them will make you feel the way you feel when you see this place...
I wish I knew what this is all about it looks a bit scary ,that's what a kid walking by said
I think it just a rock with some holes in it
It does look like two eyes and a mouth do.
I just think this is a Must See ( two eyes ).
As the song says ," I am still standing "
Well this applies to this Archway ,it is standing and it looks great ,it is just below the Castle ,I am not sure where it leads to .
Many pictures were taken in this spot .
I will have some in the travelogue later on.
Yes when the Spaniards in their ships came out this way and they saw these buildings raised above these cliffs I can almost hear them getting excited and say ,we have to check this place out .
Well they did ,and they found the
Ancient Walled City Tulum
The name Tulum probably given because of that strong wall around this City
Tulum means Wall or Fence .
Well I read that this building was not really of major importance ,I don't think anyone really knows what it was used for .
Today it makes a perfect place to play hide and seek ,or even to cool off in the summer months .Kids like this place ,the picture shows that clearly .
The Tulum ruins are considered the most important archeological site on the caribbean coast of Mexico. You can walk through the ruins in an hour or so. Unfortunately they have had to rope off most all the ruins.Entrance is 4 usd, and free on Sundays. You can go in the morning to miss the tours or pray for a rain to chase away the crowds, as we did. :)
Very big iguanodons are to be found in Tulum.
Mostly they 'se camouflaged against the walls and look for the sun but sometimes they even move.
They look ugly but Don't be afraid, they won't hurt you - on the contrary
There is a small, beautiful beach right between El Castillo and Templo del viento. But this is the most accesible beach so it can be a bit crowded here.
Anyway it's great to cool off a bit in the sea in the middle of the sightseeing. Or just lay down on the sand or the rocks to take a bit of sun.