The Tulum Ruins

On my fourth day in Cancún, I got a day tour package to Tulum Ruins via viator.com. Tulum Ruins is another Mayan city that is situated in Yucatán Peninsula facing the Caribbean sea. It used to be a major port for Cobá and is sitting on top of the tall cliffs along the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya along with the city of Chichén Itzá. Tulum was considered a walled city to protect itself from attacks from other Maya tribes. It is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites and now, it is  a popular site for tourists.

My day tour package was booked thru viator.com giving early access to the site with a private archaeologist guide. The tour bus picked me up in my hotel at 0515H and drove to the meeting point for other tourists. We left Cancún for Tulum at around 06:00AM and arrived in the site around 9 in the morning. It was scorching hot in Tulum, it might be because it was in the coast of the peninsula. Travelers are really encouraged to put sun protection such as sunblocks, use umbrellas or hat, and always drink plenty of water. My bottled water only lasted about a couple of hours. We were huddled near the main entrance to get our tickets to get in the site. Too bad, there were plenty of guests in Tulum when we arrived. They were also early risers tourists. Anyway, our private archaeologist started to split the group into two, the Spanish speaking and English speaking groups. Once we got settled, the tour began.tul13

Upon entering the main gate, a tourist has to walk about a mile to get to the stoned wall. There were a lot of mangroves around the area and some other trees which were a good thing for shade. Few minutes, we got to the stone wall and checked the site map.tul08When we got inside the muralla (wall), we were welcomed by this cute critter also listening to the archaeologist while he was explaining about the history of the Maya city of Tulum. It is a coati and everyone in the group was just amazed and took pictures of this adorable Tulum ruin resident.

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Cute coati

The tour guide then directed us to follow him and told the rich history of the walled Maya city of Tulum. The structures were ancient but you can still the details and intricacies of how the Maya tribe built the city. The era of the Maya tribe doesn’t have cement, metals or any of the tools to build these houses and temples but they found a way. They used the resources they have in their surroundings and were able to make a beautiful and unique city.

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El Palacio

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Templo del los Frescos

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A commoner’s house

We were just following the guide while he was telling the story of the walled city of Tulum. Then we got to the most visited location of the ruins, El Castillo.

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El Castillo and la turista

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El Castillo

El Castillo is the structure facing the wide blue Caribbean sea. It was used as a lighthouse in the Maya era as it used to reflect light on the two windows of the building. The same reason why there were no trees and plants near it. Trees were scarce at that area to make sure that the building was not covered so Mayans who were at the sea can see it and will lead them back ashore.

Then we were ushered to the most beautiful vista of the Tulum ruins. It was the Templo del Dios Viento. That area was jam-packed with tourists trying to get a decent photo. Who wouldn’t want to get a picture of this amazing sight.

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Templo del Dios Viento

Templo del Dios Viento or in English, the Temple of the God of Winds appears like guarding the blue sea and blue skies. This is the most photographed site of Tulum ruins. It was really tanning hot. In just few minutes, I got toasted already but in this location, there are trees where you can find a shade and sit on rocks while having this view and enjoying the cool breeze from the sea. I stayed in this area for almost half an hour since the tour ended here.

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Closer view of Templo del Dios Viento

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Sitting on the rock under the shade of the trees around while looking at this view of Templo del Dios Viento

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But I was not alone. Here is this critter wanting to join me and relax.

Few minutes after I was hiding from the glaring sun, I stood up and went to acceso a la playa or the area that has access to the beach. Unfortunately, that day was not a good time to swim and even go down near the beach. Tourists who brought towels with them were a little frustrated but the whole Tulum city was worth the visit.

Acceso a la Playa

It was almost call time to go back to the tour bus since we only have two hours to enjoy the whole Maya city of Tulum. I got out of the walled city 30 mins early since I still have to get some food for it was already lunch time. Then I got to the muralla to get out of the Mayan ruins of Tulum.

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Muralla to Exit

The whole experience I have in Tulum ruins was enriching. It was full of information, rich of history and some intriguing facts about the past that still left questions unanswered and evidences unproven. The excavation and researches of Tulum ruins were already halted since it only made some buildings getting cracks and crumbles. In my opinion, it is a good thing since doing these researches are only causing destruction to these priceless structures of the walled city.

As of the mean time, let us enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the ancient culture of the Maya tribe mixed with the beauty of nature in Tulum ruins.

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