Tulum Travel Blog› entry 39 of 80 › view all entries
The site of this city is indescribably beautiful - set on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean sea - this is definitely the place I would have chosen to live if I'd been around in those days!! Some of the buildings were still in good condition while others were reduced to a foundation - hinting at what may have been... one thing they all had in common was that they all seemed to be inhabited by the most enormous iguanas. I decided that they now reigned the city of Tulum & rightly so...they are probably the only thing left that was around at the time when this was a thriving community.
I continued to walk amongst the ruins & eventually came to the edge of the cliff to see the most beautiful looking beaches running along the entire length of the coast .
After exploring the ruins for a little longer, I headed down one of the pathways which led to the sea. Fortunately I had come prepared & slipped on my swimsuit & ran into the refreshing, aqua-marine water. It was amazing to be swimming whilst looking up at an ancient, uninhabited city on the cliff above...it seemed unreal. I laid around on the beach right at the waters edge - too close I soon discovered - as I was abruptly awakened by a wave rolling over me & my belongings! Fortunately I managed to salvage most of them before they were soaked.
Tulum is thought to have reached it's heyday in AD1200 as a vibrant trading post.
The Mayan word for wall is "tulum" and the city is surrounded by a wall, which is unusual for a Mayan city. Although the wall was for defensive purposes, only the wealthy and priests would have lived within the wall.
The city's population would have been around 600 people.
There are four dominant buildings on the 650 hectare national park. The Castillo is a temple, but also thought to be used as a lighthouse.
To the left of The Castillo is the Temple of the Descending God - this God's carving can be found all over Tulum and could be the setting sun, rain, lightning or even the Bee God (as honey still is a Mayan chief export).
The Temple of Frescoes is near the main entrance and depicts Toltec bas reliefs of Chac (the God of Rain).
The Temple of Wind overlooks the coast and is very true to it's name.
Next stop Xel Ha and water activities!!!!