By Sandy Zimmerman
(Photos by Sandy Zimmerman)
You can walk around the land of the Mayans for an incredible journey through their past.
Some of the Mayan’s most exciting archeological ruins are in the Riviera Maya, named one of the “Thirteen Wonders in Mexico” and one of the “Seven Wonders of the World”.
Tulum, a Pre-Colombian Mayan walled city built in 400 AD, is the smallest and one of the best preserved coastal Mayan sites.
Protected by walls on three sides with a 39 foot cliff facing the Caribbean Sea on the fourth, Tulum’s walls were 16 feet high and 560 feet long on both sides with a 1,300 foot long wall parallel to the sea.
After entering through a door in the wall, we were amazed to be able to almost see the entire city.
The main street once held the residences of royalty, around 300- 500 people. The homes were simple; the area with the beds became a table during the day.
There was an altar in the back room. Since the Mayans believed in many Gods, there were several temples as well as palaces, watch towers and ceremonial centers.
The small steps zigzagged as they reached to the top of the temples. This was because the Mayans had to follow their rules about climbing up.
It is amazing to see that some of these ancient buildings seemed to still be intact while others were in different stages of repair.
To hear the stories and to understand the Mayan’s way of life, I recommend a guided tour. My guide described the animal and human sacrifices, the men were involved in ball games and the winners had the honor of being sacrificed. Not the losers!
Back in those early times, their buildings were constructed to align with the sun and moon’s movements. The guide showed pictures of the sun shining through a special opening in the building. This precision was sophisticated to master without today’s equipment.
Outside the walls 10,000 to 15,000 people lived who were only allowed to enter Tulum five times a year to pay their taxes, get married or for some other tasks.
Tulum is an easy walking archaeological site, we strolled around leisurely for a close-up look at these buildings and also saw a lot of iguanas everywhere.
As a bonus after enjoying the Tulum ruins, put on your bathing suit and climb down the wooden staircase to the beach and beautiful blue-green Caribbean Sea.
Swim by the only archaeological site near the sea. Spend a few hours, the day, or combine this with another tour.
Award winning Sandy Zimmerman is a syndicated columnist featuring Show and Dining reviews, travel, health, spas, luxury and more. Sandy is talk show host of the Las Vegas Today Show programs and Discover the Ultimate Vacation travel specials. If you want to suggest topics for articles, for information or to ask any questions about Sandy’s articles, call 702-735-5974. firstname.lastname@example.org