February of 2017 found us in Mexico touring the Tulum Ruins. We were staying in Cancun and booked a day trip of both the Coba and Tulum Ruins. Last week I wrote about the Coba Ruins which we visited in the morning and you can read about at this link, Coba Ruins. We booked the tour from our hotel which included an informative guide.
Location of Tulum Ruins
The Tulum ruins are located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico along the Caribbean Sea about 80 miles south of Cancun.
Information on Tulum Ruins
Built in the 13th century, the Tulum Ruins were an ancient seaport and one of the last Mayan cities built. Tulum has a wall surrounding the city on three sides. The fourth side sits on a cliff overlooking the beach and Caribbean Sea below. The city deteriorated in the 16th century after the Spanish invaded the area. With them, the Spanish brought diseases unknown to the Mayans, which took a devastating toll on the Mayans. Unfortunately, resulting in many deaths. Eventually the remaining Mayans left the area.
El Castillo Pyramid
The Castillo stands on the bluff and is the largest building among the ruins. Because you can see for miles from the top, it could be used for a watch tower, guardhouse and lighthouse.
House of the Halach Uinic
This was the house of the Supreme Leader who also functioned as a High-Priest. He basically held all the power. The position passed down from father to son through generations.
Temple of the Frescoes
The Temple of the Frescoes was most likely used for religious purposes. The temple was given its name after the remnants of murals found painted on the interior. The murals were of different Mayan gods and goddesses and also of Mayan people. Two of these gods have been identified as Chaac, the god of rain, and Ixchel the goddess of the moon. In addition, we were told the top floor may have been used as an observatory.
House of the Columns
Also known as The Great Palace, this building was home to the VIP’s of Tulum.
The Temple of the Descending God
If you look for it, you will find the Descending god on several buildings around Tulum. You will see him more frequently in Tulum than in other ancient Mayan cities. His image is depicted upside down but our guide did not know the significance of this. You can see him above the doorway in the photo.
The Temple of the Wind God
The Temple of the Wind God is the small building setting at the edge of the cliff which you can see from the beach below. This building possibly served as a watch tower or observatory. Our guide told us that when winds start approaching hurricane strength there is a hole in the temple that starts to whistle. This whistle would then alert the Mayans to go inland and seek shelter.
Tulum was spectacular! I especially loved the location and would have liked to tour more of the area, but when with a tour group, I found they usually just show you the highlights. I have also found out they don’t like you wandering off on your own!
We snorkeled one of the days on our trip and really enjoyed it. I did’t want to do an entire post on this, but wanted to include it for those who like to snorkel. We snorkeled at Puerto Morelos which is south of Cancun. Not the greatest pictures as my underwater camera is older, but it really is an excellent spot to snorkel.
Where We Stayed
While in Cancun this trip we stayed at the all inclusive Hotel Riu Palace Peninsula. We had a nice time here. There were 5 restaurants on the premises, all of them good. The beach had both rocky and sandy areas which was nice.
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Climbing the Coba Ruins, February 2017
40 thoughts on “Touring Tulum Ruins in Mexico”
Beautiful pictures. 🙂
I’m going to Mexico this week!! But it isn’t safe 😖
Have fun in Mexico!!!
We had no problems with safety there. Take care!
Oh okay, thanks!
I thought so! I am always awestruck by these ancient buildings and the stories that go with them.
I went to Belize many years ago and it just blew me away
Have not been there……yet….lol
It’s really cool
But I was there over 20 years ago…I think it’s changed some
Yeah, funny how things change in 20 years. Sometimes good, sometimes not.
What an amazing place, Lori! I hope you get to go back and dig in for more; our oldest girl also loves the area; I hope we get to make it down there for more than an off-the-boat-a-few-hours one day 😊 And so many great pics! Esp loved the palm tree silhouette & the view of the cliff with ruins from the beach (above the Conclusion heading) 💕
Thank you. I think the place is amazing as well and would have loved to spend more time there. I hope you get back there soon!!
Thanks, Lori 😊
Thank you so much Madam for enlightening about Tulum. It is an amazing place. I am quite intrigued by historical places. You have beautifully explained the various buildings and their purpose. The Tulum beach also looks fascinating.. 😊
Thank you so much Madam for sharing..!!
Thank you for your kind comments! I too love historical places and the stories they tell!! It was a fun trip!
Wow..!! That’s great to hear.. I have a few posts on historical places.. Hope to hear your feedback.. 😊
Looking at your posts now for more content on archaeology and history.. 😊
I will have to check out more of your posts! I have a lot of Greek history in my posts and some USA history! Hoping to add to it the next few years!🙂
Sure Madam.. You are most welcome to check and share your feedback.. 😊
It’s hard to believe they built something in the 13th century and it’s still standing. This looks fascinating, and even has the added perk of a nice beach. (We got in trouble for wandering from our tour group once. It was in Russia, and the tour leader was really scary 🤐)
I understand about wandering from the tour group!! I’m not good at sticking with the group but group leaders don’t like that!
Sorry if this is a duplicate, my first attempt didn’t show up. It’s hard to believe they built something in the 13th century and it’s still standing. Amazing place and also has the perks of a fun beach! (We got in trouble for wandering from a tour group once. It was in Russia and the tour leader was scary 🤐!)
So when do you two select your return visit places and where can folk sign up to join you.
Just saying……What a lovely place and dialogue to go along with. jerry
Thank you! We don’t plan on returning to this area at this time. Lol! We do seem to
Keep returning to Greece though!!! I will say I was very impressed with all the ruins we visited in Mexico. All were well kept and maintained with knowledgeable people at the sites!!! Easy to get around also!!
Wow! Love this post and the pictures! You go and see such awesome places!
Thanks! We do like to travel!!
the snorkeling looks wonderful, and I like nature’s warning system with that cave whistle! By the way, did you feel safe vacationing in Mexico.
We felt relatively safe in Mexico, that being said we did not leave the resort except to go on the excursions, which was booked through the hotel. I did feel uneasy seeing police patrol the beach in ATV with what looked like machine guns. I was glad there was a police presence but wondered what I didn’t know🤔
thanks for your “insider” perspective. Mexico looks wonderful, but I’ve been hesitant to visit because of such concerns…
I understand. When we went in 2019 I was more nervous than 2017. I do believe in staying at the resorts.
It’s a shame. I’ve heard there’s so many beautiful beaches and historical sites. Hopefully some day.
Looks like an amazing site. We had planned to go to Tulum when we were in Belize last month but ran out of time. Seeing your blog though, we’ll definitely plan to go.
It was amazing!!!
What an incredibly interesting place, so much to see. Weather looks great too.
It was a perfect day!!
It looks beautiful. The whistling hole for hurricanes is so fascinating. An accident or intentional, I wonder… I’m constantly reminded of how the ancients came up with amazing things.
I too am amazed at all the accomplishments of the ancients!!!