A day at Tulum, Mexico

An ancient Mayan city constructed in the early 13th century, Tulum was a prominent trading port during its heyday, with salt and textiles being popular imports. Prominent exports included feathers, and copper items. The word Tulum means wall or fence. The 39 feet high cliffs along the coastline of Tulum acted as a fence for protection of this city. Tulum’s architecture has elements of a classic Mayan style (see map of the ruins here). These ruins are a short drive from the merry-making party towns of Playa Del Carmen and Cancun, making it a popular tourist destination in Mexico. The white sand beaches and blue Caribbean waters make Tulum perhaps the most scenic and spectacular of Mayan-ruins sites in Mexico.

Some interesting facts about Tulum are:

– Tulum is the third most visited archeological site in Mexico after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza.

– The Temple of Frescoes on the ruins site was a place used to track the movements of the sun (Sun had a god-like status and was a big deal for the Mayans)

– Tulum was a major center for trading obsidian, which would often come from as far as Guatemala.

– The Diving God is honored at Tulum though upside down figures that can be seen above doorways.

– Tulum was hit by a hurricane in 1995, with wind speeds over but damage was minimal. Some buildings in the ruins have small holes which cause a loud howling sound when high speed winds blow, acting as a warning system for the Mayan people.

– There are Iguanas crawling around everywhere on the ruins site!

This place is great for relaxation, but it also offers an opportunity to learn more about the Mayan way of life, which was the most advanced civilization in the Americas before the 13th century. The pictures below give you a snapshot of this wonderful place:

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                    (On way to Tulum from Playa Del Carmen)

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                                      (Entering the Tulum area)

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                                  (Tulum entrance and parking area)

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                                          (Iguana at the ruins site)

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             (Spectacular landscape and beaches of Tulum)

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           (Narrow passageway for going to the beach facing side)

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                                                   (The ruins)

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                            (Walkway within the ruins park)

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                    (Information plate about Mayan religions and gods)

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                                   (Beautiful Caribbean Waters)

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Items: A visit to the Mayan ruins of Tulum

Price: ₹240 (US$ 4)

Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico (near highway 307)

Type: Tourist, Archaeological

How to get there: Take a taxi or rent a car from Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. Search on tripadvisor for transport companies/options

Language: English speaking guides and ticketing staff

Also visit: Xelha, Xcaret and Xplor theme parks

Notes: Bring swimsuit and changeover/towels, 30 to 45 mins is enough to see the ruins (this does not include time you spend on the beach)

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