Cancún Things to Do Tips by Juliet67
Cancún Things to Do: 419 reviews and 545 photos
Tulúm is the most... Tulum Review
Tulúm is the most visited of the Maya sites in the Yucatán and not only because of its proximity to Cancún. Although the ruins are structurally less impressive than Chichén Itzá or Uxmal and much less extensive, they have the azure Caribbean as a backdrop - a startling contrast and heaven for the photographer or artist. Because the area is small and there is comparatively little climbing involved, you can gain a fair appreciation of Tulúm in a couple of hours.
Tulúm was built around AD 1200 as the Mayan civilization declined
Amongst the frescoes is a portrayal of a man on a horse, which indicates that these drawings were still being worked on after the Spanish invasion. (The horse was introduced by the Spanish and clearly had a disarming effect on the Mayans - originally it was thought that horse and rider were one being and later, when one of Cortés's horses died, its skeleton was worshipped as a god).
El Castillo is the result of several phases of building. Steps lead to an upper temple featuring columns decorated with plumed serpents as seen in Chichén Itzá and an indication of Toltec influence. It would also have been used as a watchtower, with visibility over land and sea. Beneath El Castillo is a small but perfect beach, where the Mayans would have landed their canoes.
The Temple of the Descending God is to the left of El Castillo when looking out to sea. Above the door of the temple is a stucco relief of a figure prevalent at Tulúm, the upside-down winged god that also shows bee-like features. This figure is sometimes referred to as the 'diving god' because of its position and the resemblance to a bee signifies the importance of honey to the Mayans.
The Temple of the Frescoes lies between El Castillo and the entrance to the site. Here fragments of color can be seen on murals depicting Maya life.
The ruins of... Chichen Itza Review
The ruins of Chichén Itzá lie about midway between Cancún and Mérida, so that the journey from each city takes around 2 or 3 hours via the new autopista. It is possible to see the main structures on a day trip from Cancún, and many tour buses do just this resulting in a large influx of visitors around 10-11am. Chichén Itzá is the most visited site in the Yucatán and it can get very crowded here, so if at all possible try to arrive soon after the 8am opening. This will give you time to climb the Pyramid of Kukulkán before it gets too hot, and will allow you to view the whole site from the top before the crowds swarm in. Alternatively, leave your visit until later in the day and stay overnight nearer the site, returning in the early morning. Ideally, you will need two days for a good understanding of the site, which covers 4 square miles.
Chichén Itzá has been widely studied, and excavated and restored more than any of the other Mayan cities. Yet its history is still clouded in mystery and there are many contradicting theories and legends.
The Pyramid of Kukulkán
Towering above the other buildings at 79 feet (24 m) high, the Pyramid of Kukulkán has a structured feel about it. Two of its sides have been completely restored, the other two were left to show the condition before work commenced. Each side had originally 91 steps, adding the platform at the top as a final step there are 365 in total one for every day of the year. Further evidence that this building was linked to the Mayan interests of astronomy and the calendar is demonstrated at the spring and autumn equinox. On these days the shadow of the sun playing on the stairs causes the illusion of a snake processing down the pyramid in the direction of the cenote. Naturally, it’s an impressive sight, and there are usually thousands of people on the site at these times.
Coba, an important... Coba. Review
Coba, an important archaeological site in the State of Quintana Roo, is located in the southeastern part of Mexico. Northwest of Tulúm is the Mayan city whose name means 'water stirred up by the wind'. This archeological zone is surrounded by five lakes named Macanxoz, covering an area of 11,119 acres.
A stone cylinder weighing approximately 5 tons was found near the Coba surroundings and was probably used for levering the sacred roads.
In Coba you can see the interesting work of three architectural groups:
The Nonoch Mul
The Chucmuc Mul
Tulum is the only walled... Tulum Review
Tulum is the only walled city the Mayans ever built on the Carribbean coast. It is easy to see why they chose this site. It's the only place on the low-lying Yucatan Penninsula where limestone deposits built up to create coastal cliffs.
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