Escaping from Cancun we head down the coast to Tulum, the unassuming sibling to Playa Del Carmen. Tulum seems like an undiscovered paradise compared with some of the other tourist spots along the coastline. Set on the Caribbean Sea in the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is home also to the famous Tulum Mayan Ruins.
Let’s face it there’s so much to see and do on the Yucatan, it’s hard to know where to start.
From beaches to Cenotes, Jungles to Turtles, Adventure Parks to Mayan Ruins – Tulum turned out to be another good base for more exploring in the Yucatan.
It was a pretty stormy day, but today was the day, raining or not.
We packed those hideous plastic poncho things that sweat like h**l and off we went to the steamy jungle and on down to the beach.
To my utter dismay everything at the Tulum Mayan Ruins was roped off from close viewing. Not only could I not get close to view the details, it was hard to photograph.
It was hot, pouring with rain and packed with people. I could see this wasn’t going to be our best day.
Then I realised that not every day can be perfect when you travel, so best I get on with it.
I headed straight to the cliffs for a view of the beach and El Castillo, but it’s just too far away to see much. For a few minutes the beauty of the jade-green, aquamarine, blue water and the white sand beach around us took my mind off the crowd and the rain. I found myself heading down the steps to get closer view of the beautiful beach where people were swimming in the gloriously tepid water in the rain!
El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God are the three most famous buildings.
The main and most important god honored at Tulum is the “diving god,” or “Descending God,” It’s depicted on several buildings as an upside-down figure above doorways both here and at other sights around Mesoamerica.
The Temple of the Frescoes was used as an observatory for tracking the movements of the sun. Distinctly Mayan, the frescoes represent the Chaac the rain god, and Ixchel, the goddess of weaving, women, the moon, and medicine. Above the entrance on the western wall of the temple is another example of the “diving god”
Supernatural serpents are also common motifs. On the cornice of this temple is a relief of the head of Chaac the rain god. If you pause a slight distance from the building, you’ll see the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin.
Tulum wasn’t our first Mayan site – we’d travelled to Tikal, Coba and Ek Balam and to be honest I found all of them more interesting and had a better time (less crowded and no roped off areas)