Category Archives: a Nomad´s Blog

Tulum Ruins – The Mayan Walled City in Mexico

This is it, the first post of a long list I have for you, I am really happy that you decided to join me in this adventure.

Some of the buildings from this Mayan city beling to the postclasic era (1250 – 1550 AD) but there are some elements that indicate that it was founded in the VI century but it was not an important place at the moment. Tulum among other cities became one of the main Mayan cities from the XIII to the XIV century.

It has a strategical location because it is between Cochuah and Cozumel (main cities back then) and because it is on the highest point in the region allowing it to be the best defended city against enemies from both land and sea, its location also allowed it to become the only road for every comercial trade in the Mayan peninsula and also to exploit all the maritim resources.

It is believed that it was one of the most independent, comercially and politically speaking, Mayan city until the Spanish arrived in the XVI century which is when the it got practically a ghost city.

How to get here?

It is  130 kilometers south from Cancun so all you need to do is take an ADO bus either from Cancun or Playa del Carmen and then walk 1 kilometer from the highway to the ruin.

The entry fee is $70 pesos (4 US) for both mexicans and foreigners and all you need to do is buy a ticket.

It is open from 8 am to 5 pm so you have all day to explore it! Avoid going on Sundays because it can get pretty crowded because there is no entry fee for mexicans every sunday.

Architecture

One of its most emblematic architechtonical pieces is the wall built all around the city (except for the part that is protected by a 50 meter cliff facing the ocean), it is believed that this wall was built for defensive purposes but also to establish the manpower and economical position of the city.

Most of the main buildings in Tulum is protected by the descending God, the deity in charge of protecting the city, represented with a statue on the entrance of the building: The God of corn and it is believed it could have had a link with the birth of the Mayans and after their death, their rebirth as corn plants.

Fun Facts:

When the Spanish Juan de Grijalva got to the shores of this city in 1857, his crew stated that it was as big as the city of Seville in Spain, one of the most important and biggest Spanish cities.

After it was abandoned, it got re-discovered in 1841 by John Stephens, guided by the son of a pirate.

During the indigenous rebellion, also known as Guerra de Castas in 1847, the walled city became a sanctuary for Mayan rebels, particularly for María Iucab, an important priestess and also the political leader of this movement.

Tips for visiting TULUM.

By ALL means, find a hostel before going to the ruins, there is one right where the ADO bus drops you off, it very nice and it´s only $200 pesos and they will even let you borrow a Bike so you can visit the ruins and the town which is around 2 kilometers from the ruins.

I didn´t stay there so I had to carry my 15 kilo b ackpack and my 7 kilo frontpack.

Bring water, a lot of water, i didn´t and had to ask a Chilean couple to save my life. They did 😀

Wear snickers or running shoes for the ruins and bring your sandals in your backpack for the beach.

Get there early and then head to the beach, around 1 kilometer south of the ruins and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mayan Riviera.

If you are on a budget, do not hire a guide, there is a lot of guided tours and you are going to find one guy speaking English in every main building, just drop by and listen.

Thanks for reading the long post! Here is some animals from Tulum in return 🙂