Maya Ruins > Tulum

Tulum is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico and arguably the most photogenic. Its location on the shore of the Caribbean makes picture taking a delight. The site is rather small and if it weren't so picturesque, it would only take about 45 minutes to see.

Hours: 8:00 am- 5:00 PM

Tulum temple el Castil
Tulum temple

The best time to visit Tulum is first thing in the morning and late in the day. Not only is the morning and afternoon light better, but around 9:30 the tour buses start to arrive. Prior to that, you may be lucky enough to have the place to yourself, which certainly adds to the pleasure of the place.

Tulum is one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayan people. Its main occupation occurred during 15th and 16th centuries. The original name was Zama, which means dawn, because it is located in the easter side of the Yucatan Peninsula, facing the sunrise.

Tulum is surrounded by a wall on three of its sides. This could reflect the complicated social and political conditions of the time. Experts assume that the Maya used this site as a both a religious center and fortress look out. The temples and rooms of priests and important lords were located here.

Tulum, while highly visited and in a spectacular setting, can be rather disappointing to those who harbor the spirit of "Indiana Jones". You can't climb on any of the temples due to the vast number of tourists that visit, plus the site has no tall temples. .

outer wall Tulum
Iguana in Tulum
I caught this iguana sleeping in a small window on one of the temples at Tulum.
View of the main temple in Tulum looking through the wall that surrounds the city.
Tulum El Castil
Tulum temples
Late afternoon at Tulum with rain clouds moving in.

Last updateJune 21, 2011e -->e -->e --> e -->

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