The first item on our agenda this day was to catch a bus to Playa Del Carmen. From there we would find out way to a new hotel, drop off our bags, then head straight down to Tulum. Tulum is another archeological site for Mayan ruins. They are nowhere near the size of Chichen Itza, but they are located right on the coast, and provide amazing views of the ocean.
Once again, we hired a guide to show us around the main buildings. Our petite guide wasn’t as thorough as our guide the day before but she did provide some interesting information about the ancient city. Surrounded by a wall on three sides, and the ocean on the fourth, we had to enter into the city through one of 5 small passages in the wall.
Upon entering, we were immediately engulfed in the city. Once populated with approximately 5,000 people inside the walls, and another 5,000 outside them, the city held all the expected venues. There were watch towers on the walls, a church, homes, meeting places for leaders, a market, a grand palace, and a the castle pyramid. Of course, now that the city is no longer inhabited by people, iguanas have claimed it as their own. Despite that, the ruins are still a beautiful thing to behold.
Our next stop was to the Temple of the Frescos. This ruin amazingly has some paint work remaining on the inside, though we were not able to see it. However, it does have some other interesting features. On the cornice of the temple, there is a relief carving of the rain god. On the upper portion of the temple, there are two mysterious hand prints left over from the original painting. In addition, there are three boxes on the front ledge contain some interesting figures. In one, a vertical god, then a god descending, and the third is empty.
Those same figures are seen reflected on the Temple of the Descending God (located on top of the Pyramid El Castillo, or Castle Pyramid). I have my own theory on the meaning of those carvings, but I will let you develop your own. I also appreciated that in that same area, there was a stage created that our guide said was for dancers.
One cannot go to Tulum and not enjoy the view of the ocean. There were multiple times where I caught myself thinking, “I could get used to a view like that”. It is stunning! Can you imagine, spending time in the Pyramid El Castillo, and looking out to the open sea? It sounds like such a romantic idea, doesn’t it?
It seemed like this day was even more warm than the day before, leaving us sweating profusely and trying to keep cool with makeshift fans. Our solution, go swimming! We could have easily taken a dip in the ocean here, it was a bit crowded and we had another plan in mind. Stay tuned for the second half of our day, and the adventures that followed.
Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Amanda! Your On the Yacht necklace and earring set from the Deep as the Ocean Etsy shop will be on their way soon. Thanks to all who entered. Another giveaway may be coming soon!