Each Mayan city had a specific purpose and Tulum, situated on 12-meter tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, was a seaport, trading mainly in turquoise and jade and the only Mayan city built on a coast.
There are several theories as to why a wall surrounds Tulum. One has a Mayan population of 600 on the inside, protected from invaders. Another suggests only priests and nobility were housed within the walls, while peasants were kept on the outside. ~Tulumruins.net
Tulum was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayas with its height between the 13th and 15th centuries. They managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. ~Wikipedia
In the Yucatec language, Tulum means “wall” referring to the large barricade that surrounds the settlement. In the Mayan language, Tulum was called Zama, meaning “dawn,” which is fitting since it is on the eastern coast.
These lizards are frequently sighted on and near the ruins, but apparently are not honored. Lizards get no respect, right?
The Tulum site is well preserved and the beach is gorgeous. It was chilly and our tour was rushed due to another group being bused in right after us. We could have easily spent another hour exploring the site.
All images by Joyce Meyer