Tulum Travel Blog› entry 6 of 12 › view all entries
Soon we arrived at the turnoff for the Tulum site. As we got off the bus, we were entertained by Los Voladores de Papantla who were putting on a show. Attired in colorful costumes and suspended upside down from ropes, they spiral downwards from a 150 ft. pole in representation of an ancient ritual.
From the parking lot, one has the choice of walking about a mile to the site, or taking a tram. We opted for the tram. While others scoffed at the idea of buying a tram ticket, we were glad we did. It was extremely sunny and very hot that day at Tulum. There is little shade on the path or at the site. (I'll tell you, it was so hot, even the iguanas were looking for shade!) When visiting Tulum, be sure to have a hat, sun block, and personal water.
Tulum was a fortified Mayan city perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean Those Mayans had the right idea. The site is impressive today! Tulum was still occupied at the time the Spanish arrived and has the distinction of being the last Mayan city to fall to the Conquistadores. Tulum has been carefully excavated and preserved. It is a national museum and visitors are not permitted to enter or climb on the structures. El Castillo dominates the scene. It is the largest temple and is situated at the top of a hill. It is said to be a temple to Kukulcan. Adjacent to it are the Temple of the Descending God (named for a bas-relief figure) and the Temple of the Initial Series. At the bottom of the hill is the Temple of the Frescoes.
The temperature is hot and the air is still as one climbs the hill up to El Castillo. Then one is in for a treat. A cool ocean breeze blows through at the top of the hill! It's quite a vista up there, too. Immediately below is a public beach.
Returning to the entrance and parking lot area, there was time to look around the souvenier shops. There is a cafe here with cold drinks and spicy local foods. A found postcards and a small book about Tulum. An interesting souvenier was to have one's name written in Mayan hieroglyphs on a silver cartouche to be worn as a pendant.