This month I visited the Tulum Mayan Ruins, which are 80 miles from the Villa del Palmar Cancun. I booked a tour bus with the Activities Office at the resort that departed from the resort around 7 am and returned around 5 pm.
Upon arrival in Tulum, I walked down the street from Tulum to the ruins. This was a 15 minute walk and there were plenty of shops with local crafts along with restaurants to keep me entertained.
Here are a few photos of what I saw on this walk:
Once I reached the ruins, everyone on our bus met up with a tour guide who gave us a 45 minute history of the ruins as we walked through the area. I learned that the word “Tulum” means “wall,” which is believed to come from the fact that this city was one of the few Mayan walled settlements. One theory is that this wall was believed to provide protection to the citizens from seaborne invasions. Another theory is that this wall separated the nobility from the city’s peasants. While walking around, I noticed that the ruins were so well preserved, which is largely because Tulum was one of the last Mayan settlements to fall after the Spanish occupation of Mexico and Central America.
Here is a photo of me at Tulum:
After the tour, we had two hours to walk around on our own and explore the area. It was a beautiful sight to see the ruins with the clear Pacific Ocean in the background. This was my favorite view from the ruins, overlooking Tulum Beach:
These are the three major structures in Tulum:
- El Castillo (the castle): The tallest and most famous building within Tulum due to its beautiful ocean view.
- Temple of the Frescoes (carved wall temple): Was used as an observatory for tracking the sun’s movements.
3. Temple of the Descending God (sometimes called the Diving God): On the front of this temple is a figure sculpted with its head pointing down, portraying this god. Here is an image of the carving:
Visiting the ruins in Tulum is a must for anyone looking to see gorgeous Pre-Colombian architecture, learn more about the Mayan culture and take a dip in the refreshing Beach of Tulum!
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