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Tulum Ruins

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Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Gay-Tulum-Calendar-InfoTulum is one of approximately 3,000 Mayan ruins located throughout the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It is one of the smallest ruins uncovered. During the Late Post Classical Period, which was from 1250- 1550 AD, Tulum developed as a city with strategic importance. The Mayan civilization had the only fully developed written language in the pre-Columbian Americas.

In the Mayan language, Tulum means “fence” or “wall”. The walls were 26 feet thick walls, averaging 16 feet in height and 1,300 feet in length.  They were used as a defense against invasions. The explorers of the Juan de Grijalva Spanish Expedition of 1518 were the first Europeans to spot the ruins of the walled city of Tulum.

Tulum Ruins are set high above the Caribbean Sea

Tulum is set high above the Caribbean Sea

There are only 20 remaining structures at the Tulum Ruins. However, due to its location high on the cliffs above the Caribbean Sea and its proximity to the beach, it is a popular tourist spot. The inlet or former port is located between the Inner Precinct and the Temple of the Wind. With access to both land and sea, it became an important trade route for engaging in commercial activities with other cultures in Central America, as well as other people of the Yucatan. The Mayans primarily traded honey, furs, tobacco and pearls. The structures were designed to provide guidance to sailors as they approached the reefs.


The Tulum Ruins

Main-Building-at-TulumThe three primary, remaining structures at the Tulum Ruins are:

El Castillo / The Castle

This is the main building. It was designed to take advantage of its crucial vantage point to the sea.


Temple of the Descending God

This structure is easily recognizable due to its internationally slanting walls. The stucco façade has carvings of the Descending God, as well as items used in offerings.


Temple of the Frescoes

This is one of the best preserved buildings. It has great examples of mural paintings, depicting various images of fruits, flowers and the important Mayan crop corn.




You’ll also be able to see these three structures on the grounds at Tulum:

House of Columns

This building’s entrance was graced with massive columns. The interior was quite large and was covered by a flat roof.


The Northwestern House

This building was a portal with two interior pathways and three entrances.


House of Halach Huinic

Also known as House of the Great Lord, this palace flanked by columns had three interior rooms. The façade held niches where figures were placed.


For vacationers to the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is listed on the Top 10 Attractions list of places to see and things to do.  It can be easily accessed via cruise ship port of call or from one of the all-inclusive resorts in the area.

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