........ I think the Mayan architects
got it right in Tul�m. The ruins in Chichen
were built in the middle of nowhere. Yes, a lot can be said for the
beauty of the rainforest. However, Tulum was built on cliffs
high above the Caribbean Sea. There is no debate in my mind which
location I preferred.
del Carmen, modern day Tulum was a sleepy little town.
There was still every kind of thing you would expect there, but the
pace was slower and the crowds were so much thinner. I really liked
the town. The actual ruins were a little ways outside of town. The
people at my hotel loaned me a bicycle - for free - and I was off
you go to the site when it opens at 8:00 AM, there is a good chance
that you can roam the ruins in solitude. That is always my preference.
By the time I visited all I wanted to see, a lot more people were
at the entrance. It was worth getting up early.
was one of the last major cities built by the Mayans, between the
13th and 15th centuries. It survived 70 years after the arrival of
the Spaniards. It appears the inhabitants were done in by diseases
that the Conquistadors brought with them to the New World. The name
"Tulum" came from the Mayan word for "fence"
or "wall". Yes, there was a wall around the area to protect
it from invasion. The wall didn't keep out those diseases, unfortunately.
its location on land and sea, Tulum
was a trading center throughout Central Mexico and Central America.
Obsidian, as well as jade, were two of the more precious materials
traded and used in Tulum.
There was also trade in copper, flint and ceramics.