Attracted to Mayan culture? On the Yucatan Peninsula is the ancient city of Tulum, where you can not only see, stroll through the places of settlement of the mysterious people, but also have a great rest. Inquisitive travelers before the trip will be able to find a lot of interesting and informative in the book by D. Ivanovo “Mayan Civilization”.
The town of Tulum is quite small, with a population of about 15 thousand. Conventionally, it can be divided into three zones and you can hire car services to visit: the ruins of the old settlement, the modern city of Tulum Pueblo, a tourist zone.
Many people travel around the city by bicycle, its rental will cost about 150 local pesos (MXN). Tulum is the only city of the Mayan civilization, which is located on the coast of the ocean.
How to get there
The nearest airport to Tulum is in the city of Cancun. Both cities are connected by bus service, flights are made every hour. Travel time is about 2 hours, the fare is from 220 MXN (Mexican peso). You can get on the local van “Collectivo”, the ticket will cost two times cheaper. Along the way, transport makes several stops in archaeological parks.
Getting off at the first stop, at the intersection and passing 1.5 km, the tourist gets to the archaeological ruins.
About the weather
Tulum is located in southern Mexico in the tropics. The climate here is hot and humid and is divided into two seasons: dry in the winter months and humid in 100% in summer. The average annual air temperature is +30̊. Sea water warms up to +25 ̊ all year round. When visiting the resort, it is necessary to take into account that the sun in this region is very active, so only a protective cream will help save from burns.
A bit of history
Tulum remained the only city of the Mayan civilization to reach high development by the 13th century. It was a major trading center and seaport on the Caribbean coast, controlling trade from Yucatán to Honduras. After the conquest by the Spaniards, the city was inhabited for another 70 years.
Much about this period can be learned from the notes of the third bishop of Yucatan. The main part of the population lived behind the fortress walls. Inside lived priests, rulers, there were also performed cult rites.
After 7 decades of Spanish rule, the city was abandoned and gradually destroyed. But, despite this, representatives of the Mayan people continued to visit the remaining temples, until the end of the XX century, when there were few tourists on the ruins.
In the 70s of the last century, the Mexican government decided to turn the northwestern part of the Yucatan Peninsula into a tourist zone. At first, Tulum was an intermediate stop for tourist buses. Here you could see the ancient ruins of the Mayan civilization. The proximity to the sea of such an attractive area could not be ignored for a long time. Thanks to fashion photographers, celebrities from North America learned about the beauty of the sea coast
Gradually, Tulum becomes a prestigious party place, attracting fashion designers, businessmen, artists.
In the following years, spas, comfortable hotels, chic restaurants were opened here. A Portuguese lawyer in search of a better life opened a commune in Tulum, which was the spiritual core of the resort.
Now Hollywood actors, top models, business representatives come to Tulum – all those who are tired of luxury, increased attention. At the resort, they are looking for solitude and silence, although recently Tulum has been rapidly approaching the glory of Ibiza.
Interestingly, tourists who have visited Bali, say, cho in terms of service and exoticism, Tulum is in no way inferior to the famous Indonesian island-resort.
The glory of the party resort is one side of Tulum, and the ancient Mayan ruins are another, for someone perhaps the main attraction of the old city. After all, it all started with excursions to the ruins on the seashore.
The Singing Temple and the Place of Power
Tulum belongs to the pre-Columbian period. The main purpose was the defense from the sea – it was the seaport of the city of Koba. All buildings (nowadays ruins) are located on the 12-meter cliffs of the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
What can attract a sophisticated tourist? For example, on the shore you can see the Temple of the Winds. The wind, getting inside, made sounds warning the Indians about the impending bad weather. In the temple of frescoes on two floors preserved pictures of scenes from the life of the Indian tribe.
One of the significant and recognizable is the building in the form of the pyramid of El Castillo. It stands on the very shore of the sea and used to serve as a beacon for sailors. In the middle of the complex there is the Chultun House, which means “place of rainwater”, there was a container for collecting water. Many tourists note the powerful energy of these places.
The entrance to the excavation area opens at 8.00 and closes at 16.30, the ticket price for children from 5 to 12 years old is 50 MXN, the rest – 80 MXN, children under 5 years old are free of charge. A sightseeing tour on site costs about 160 MXN.
Mysteriouscenotes and how turtles appear
Another attraction that will interest the traveler is the system of groundwater that forms caves and natural cenote dips. You can dive into them and consider stalactites and stalagmites under water.
The study of the cave system led to the discovery of an underground river. Its depth reaches 128 m (!) and most of the caves are under water. In 2012, all the cenotes were interconnected, and the cave system became the second largest in the world. Those who wish will be able to go diving and see underwater stalactites and stalagmites. A mask and snorkel can be rented (100 MXN).
Resting in Tulum, do not miss the opportunity to see the unique process of laying eggs by sea turtles. It’s extraordinarily interesting. After mating in the sea, the turtle goes ashore (the entire Mexican Caribbean coast serves as a nesting site), digs a hole with flippers and lays eggs there and falls asleep with sand. After 50-60 days, small turtles appear, which quickly rush into the sea.
Not far from Tulum there is a biosphere reserve. Mangrove forests grow on a huge territory, the fauna is represented by exotic animals and three hundred species of birds. You can take a tour by jeep, independently driving the car (if you have a license).
White beaches with a little bitterness
The beach strip of the resort is picturesque and is considered one of the cleanest on the Caribbean coast. Next to the ruins, 200 metres from Santa Fe Beach. Further, an endless strip stretches other beaches – they are all public, the visit is free. There are no water activities here – only natural beauty.
The coral reef, located near the shore, creates favorable conditions for scuba diving.
Currently, what remains of the buildings of ancient culture is of interest to lovers and connoisseurs of history. Since the middle of the zero Tulum began to unwind as a beach holiday area and you can hire a car service from the airport. Colorful landscapes of snow-white sand and azure waves attracted wealthy people from North America, young people for night parties. The mass “invasion” of vacationers had a negative impact on the untouched nature.
In 2015, the first algae appeared for the first time on the cleanest beaches of Tulum. They were brought by waters from the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. At this time, the water became brown in color, with an unpleasant smell. Algae can disappear for months and then appear unexpectedly in high season.
Even the biggest critics of Tulum say that this city can be a great place when the current carries away all the algae and the music subsides.