Monday, August 18, 2014

The Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Tulum is a Mayan ruin located on the east(Caribbean) coast of the Yucatan peninsula. It is perched on the top of the cliffs with its back to the sea. It is easily accessed from either Cozumel or Cancun and is therefore visited by many tourists.There is a resort area near the ruins and a beautiful beach below the cliff on which the ruins perch.

Tulum was constructed between 1200 and 1400 AD, and was first mentioned by the Spanish in 1518. It was a walled city on three sides with the cliff  as the fourth side. Apparently it was a port for the Mayas, receiving canoes and sending them out with trade goods. Obsidian was one of the important trade items. Tulum was occupied by the Mayans at the time of the Spanish arrival, but by 1600 was abandoned.

Below are three photos of the Caribbean from the Tulum cliffside, just outside the walls. The second photo shows the Castillo on top of the cliff, while the third shows some guy parasailing(?)

The next two photos show a view from just outside the wall with the Castillo in the center.

The two photos below are of the Palace.

The photos below are of the Castillo. When we were there no one was allowed to climb the steps.

The photos below are of the Temple of the Diving or Descending God. Roberta and I thought it looked like the descent of the birth canal.

The photo blow shows the remains of a mural on the wall of one of the buildings. As you can see there is no appreciable color left.

In the photo above you can see intact plaster with some streaks of red color still present. Below are two photos of some of the ruins from a different vantage point.

The final photo is of a very large lizard perched on top of the outer wall.  As a desert dweller I have seen lots of lizards, but this guy was BIG.

Tulum is a very beautiful place. Just think of what it looked like in 1490, with all the murals and brightly painted plaster on the building walls, sitting on a cliff above the beautiful Caribbean.