Tulum Ruins, Tulum
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.)
There is a wall that surrounded the city on three sides, the fourth having been left open to the sea. The wall, sometimes 16 feet high, may have been built with defense in mind, but it is more likely that its prime purpose was to enclose the ceremonial and administrative zone, thereby distinguishing it from the residential enclaves that spread out along the coast towards the north and south.
Open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - winter
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - summer
Entry fee ---38 pesos or $3.80 U.S.
Video camera fee - 30 pesos or $3.00 U.S.
Train to ruins --20 pesos or $2.00 U.S.
The Mayan Ruins here are on a cliff overlooking the sea. The moment I set eyes on this place my breath was taken away. It is hard to describe the beauty of this small part of the earth. If you go, I highly recommend taking your own car. It is only a few US dollars to get in and tour busses can run you upwards of $90 US. Also, you can hire a private guide when you get there if that is what you really want, so there is no need to put up with accomodating yourself to the schedule of the bus tour when you can see everything there is to see in about an hour or so. There is a beach and swimming is allowed, so bring a suit if that is your thing. I also recommend paying the 20 pesos for a bus ride from the parking lot to the ruins, especially if it is hot--and it usually is. The outskirts of the ruins are full of nice gift shops and places to eat.
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 ).
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 .
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 .
Tulum is probably best visited in the morning before all the tourist buses show up and before the scorching sun starts beating down on you since most of it is uncovered. It's hard to find official information about anything in the Yucatan but I believe it's open from 8am to 5pm and I'm sure it currently costs 59 pesos or $6USD as of December 2014. We arrived around 9:30 or 10am and the place was crawling with tour groups, even more were coming in as we left.
In terms of the structures still standing at Tulum, they are not as impressive as other Mayan ruins in Mexico such as Chichen Itza, both in size and the amount of detail you can still see. But the location on the Caribbean is spectacular! There are some explanatory panels but if you opt to not hire a guide, you might want to print out a little information so you know what you are looking at.
From Playa del Carmen it took about 45-50 minutes to get there, we were quoted a round trip fare of $120 the night before, on that morning a one way fare of $55US and then once we arrived persuaded to keep the taxi around for the whole day, better than lugging towels and snorkel gear around!
The main reason for going to Tulum is the maya ruins, the long white beaches and the turquise sea. The best of all is that you can do all of this at the same time. The ruins of Tulum are not the greatest of the Maya ruins. The thing that makes it so spesial is the location.
The ruins are perched on a cliff, overlooking the beach and the sea. It's great to walk around and enjoy the ruins, and then to relax on the beach and cool down in the sea, before you head back to the ruins again.
Tulum was a Mayan city built around AD1000 on a limestone cliff by the Caribbean Sea. It was once a major center for commerce and a pilgrimage destiny and it is said that it is the greatest Mayan city by the sea.
The ruins have a wall around them, and few Mayan cities are walled like Tulum. Two probable explanations for the walls: to defend the city or to separate the royalty and the ceremonial center from the other people.
Probably these walls named the city: the name Tulum comes from the Yucatec word that means wall. And some believe that the city's original name was "place of the dawn".
Besides the main buildings mentioned previously, some other can be seen inside the walls:
> El Gran Palácio (Great Palace)
> El Grupo del Norte (Northern Group)
> La Casa del Cenote (House of Cenote)
> El Templo del Viento (Temple of Wind)
> El Grupo del Sur (Southern Group)
> El Templo del Mar (Temple of Sea)
Tulum social hierarchy was:
> Dominant Class, in charge of Government and Religion, as well as taking care of public acts, astronomical observation and commerce.
> Middle Class, that performed activities that were essential to the society such as burocratic work and crafstmen - painting, working woods, sculpting and so on.
> Working Class, that performed tasks as agriculture, hunting and fishing. This social class was the less privileged and the most numerous.
Tulum was "discovered" by the spanish conquerors on the 16th century who considered it a most beautiful city, comparing it to Seville.
Tulum is located about 130 km from Cancún and it's easily accessible, whether you are driving, using public transportation or on a guided tour. There is a huge parking space were you will get off the bus. There you will find lots of shops; i wouldn't advise you to buy anything there, except cool water, since prices seem to be more expensive. However buying cool water can be usefull since Tulum is very hot and there is nowhere else where you can get water when you leave the shops.
From the parking space to Tulum ruin's entry you must walk about 1km. I saw a kind of touristic train going by, but i think it's not worth getting it. Most people were walking, since it is a straight road.
The opening hours are:
> from 8am to 5pm (i don't remember how much i paid)
> free entrance on Sundays
Since there are so many guided tours around you can easily hear what those guides are saying. You will most certainly listen to english, spanhish and german speaking guides.
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.
Everywhere around the ruins you can see iguanas. It's almost like they have inhabited the site, and are carefully watching their precious ruins. They have the same color as the stones so it can be quite hard to see them sometimes. But don't worry, they don't like it if you come too close so then they just turn and run away from you.
Iguanas have actually been a source of food for thousands of years. The most normal is to sautee them in onion, tomatoes and chilly. If anyone has ever tried it please tell me how it tasted. Personally I prefer watching them from a distance... ;)