8 facts you should know before visiting Tulum

Tulum

1. Tulum is an amazing Mayan archaeological site facing the majestic Caribbean Sea, a privileged and unique place in the world for its beauty, location and cultural value.

Beach of Tulum

Tulum beach
2. The original name of the site was Zamá, which means sunrise. Tulum, which means enclosure or wall, was the name given once this Mayan archaeological site was discovered.

3. Its strategic position facing the sea, made Tulum a commercial maritime emporium, being an unavoidable trade route, which also originated the exploitation of the maritime resources of the coast of Quintana Roo.

4. Tulum was a school of astronomy attended by Aztec nobles, Zapotecs and other reigning sites at the time of its splendor.

Tulum in the Riviera Maya

Riviera maya map
5. Tulum was dedicated to the planet Venus and was built around an astronomical tower, with rooms of obsidian mirrors to project the sky and decipher the writing of the stars. Its main buildings are the El Castillo pyramid, the Temple of the Descending God and the Temple of the Frescoes.

6. This territorial area is known as Tulum National Park, declared in 1981 for the richness of its flora and fauna, highlighting the red mangrove, the chechén, the chit palm, as well as the spoon duck, the spider monkey, armadillos , iguanas, squirrels, in addition to sea turtles (white and loggerhead) that nest on the beaches of the park.

Ancient city of Tulum
7. It is the only protected natural area in the Cancun-Tulum corridor and is the hydrological region that provides the greatest amount of fresh water to the sea with its enigmatic subterranean rivers and amazing cenotes located in the vicinity of Tulum, such as the Cenote Dos Ojos, the Great Cenote and the Crystal Cenote, among others, which had a sacred character for the Maya and are linked to Mayan traditions, ceremonies and legends.

Archaeological Site of Tulum
8. It is a tourist destination with warm starry nights that offers a quiet hotel zone with a variety of accommodations, bars and restaurants, relaxing spas and a bohemian atmosphere, where many tourists walk or bike.

Waiting for you!

Our driver will be waiting for you getting out from the terminal, he will be holding a sign with your name and our logo.

If you get out and don’t find us at the airport, please call us, because is completely sure that we are outside, but sometimes we are not viewly.

We will always be waiting for you with a signal equal to this one:

Recepcionista No problem Travels

If you are arriving at terminal 3 your assigned driver will be waiting for you outside the terminal at the bar (Margarita Ville).

Terminal 3
Terminal 3 MargaritaVille

 

In the event that you arrive at Terminal 2, your driver will be waiting for you at the Bar (Welcome Bar).

Terminal 3
Terminal 2 Welcomerbar

 

IMPORTANT
If you are arriving at terminal 4 it is very important that you know that this terminal is the longest of all, so getting to where your assigned driver is waiting for you, means more distance, in which there is the possibility of that pirates and OPC lie to you saying that we are not out there or that we do not have your reservation in our system.
If you are in any of the terminals and you do not find us, feel free to call us to guide you to where your driver is.

Call us at +529982913144 we also have WhatsApp on the same line (+529982913144)

Chichen Itza History

Chichen Itza, located at the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula of modern Mexico, was a Mayacity which was later significantly influenced by the Toltec civilization. Flourishing between c. 750 and 1200 CE, the site is rich in monumental architecture and sculpture which promote themes of militarism and displays imagery of jaguars, eagles, and feathered-serpents. Probably a capital city ruling over a confederacy of neighbouring states, Chichen Itza was one of the great Mesoamerican cities and remains today one of the most popular tourist sites in Mexico.

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

The name Chichen Itza probably derives from a large sinkhole known as the Sacred Cenote or ‘mouth of the well of the Itza’ into which the Maya threw offerings of jade and gold, and as the presence of bones testifies, human sacrifices. The early history of the site is still not clear, but settlement was certain by the Classic period (c. 250-900 CE). With the collapse of Teotihuacan, migrants may have come to the site from varying parts of Mesoamerica, and it seems likely there was contact with the Itza, a Maya group. A second period of construction seems to coincide with influence from the Toltec civilization. That Chichen Itza was a thriving trade centre with a port at Isla Cerritos is evidenced by finds of goods from elsewhere in Central America, for example, turquoise from the north, gold disks from the south, and obsidian from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The cultivation of cacao is known, and the city may have controlled the lucrative salt beds on the nearby northern coast.

DOMINATING CHICHEN ITZA IS THE HUGE PYRAMID OF KUKULCAN, ALSO KNOWN AS THE CASTILLO.

The city has been traditionally divided into two distinct parts and periods, even if there is some overlap both in time and design, and together they cover some 16 square kilometres. The earliest, in the south, is native Maya dating to the Epiclassic period (c. 800-1000 CE) with buildings displaying the distinct ‘Puuc’ architectural style and Maya hieroglyphs. The plan is more spread out than other parts of the city and, constructed on a roughly north-south axis, may reflect the course of the Xtoloc Cenote water source.

The second part of the city has been traditionally dated to 1000-1200 CE and is more mysterious, creating one of the most contentious debates in Mesoamerican archaeology. Built in the Florescent style and along a more ordered plan, it displays many hallmarks of the Toltec civilization, leading scholars to believe that they either conquered Chichen Itza as they expanded their empire from their capital Tula over 1,000 km away, or there was some sort of cultural and trade sharing between the two centres. Common features between the two cities found in architecture and relief sculpture include warrior columns, quetzal-feathered rattlesnakes, the clothing of subjects, chacmools (sacrificial basins in the form of a reclining person), atlantides (support columns in the form of standing males), the representation of certain animals, a tzompantli (sacrificial skull rack), Tlaloc (the rain god) incense burners, and personal names represented by glyphs which are present at both sites but which are not Maya.

Map of Chichen Itza
Map of Chichen Itza

Alternative to the two-period view, the Americas historian George Kubler divides the buildings of Chichen Itza into three distinct phases: prior to 800 CE, from 800 to 1050 CE, and 1050-1200 CE. Kubler adds that the latter stage saw the addition of ornate narrative reliefs to many of the buildings at the site. It has also been suggested that due to various styles of architecture pre-dating those found at the Toltec capital Tula, it may actually have been Chichen Itza which influenced the Toltec rather than the reverse. The exact relationship between the two cultures has yet to be ascertained for certain, and there are certainly other Mesoamerican (but non-Toltec) architectural and artistic features at Chichen Itza which are evidence of an influence from other sites such as Xochicalco and El Tajin.

Chichen Itza fell into a rapid decline from 1200 CE, and Mayapán became the new capital. However, unlike many other sites, Chichen Itza never disappeared from memory, and the city continued to be revered and esteemed as a place of ancestry and pilgrimage into the Postclassic period and up to the Spanish conquest, and even beyond.

ARCHITECTURAL HIGHLIGHTS

The earlier section of Chichen Itza displays many Classic Maya traits. The Temple of the Three Lintels, for example, has Chahk masks at each corner. Other structures include two small temples built on raised platforms, known as the Red House and the House of the Deer, and a pyramid known as the High Priest’s Grave, named after the discovery of a tombwithin it. There is also the 7th century CE Red House with its bloodletting frieze, the Nunnery with its carvings of the rain god Chac, and the small temple known as the Iglesia. All are Classic period structures.

The Caracol, Chichen Itza
The Caracol, Chichen Itza

THE CARACOL

The Caracol is one of the most impressive monuments at the site. It was constructed prior to 800 CE and was used as an astronomical observatory, especially of Venus, and perhaps was also a temple to Kukulcan in his guise as the god of the winds. A large flight of stairs on two levels leads to the circular tower structure which has windows not aligned with the steps giving the illusion the tower is turning. The interior vaulting may have been designed to represent a conch shell (an object associated with Kukulcan), and a spiral staircase gives access to the second floor. The vault is over 10 m high, the largest such Maya structure. The building as it is seen today was probably a result of remodelling to incorporate Toltec design features.

PYRAMID OF KUKULCAN

Dominating Chichen Itza is the huge Pyramid of Kukulcan, also known as the Castillo (Castle), constructed before 1050 CE. The pyramid is 24 metres high, each side is 58-9 metres wide, and it has nine levels. On each side of the pyramid is a staircase which leads up to a single modest square structure. This summit building has two chambers and is decorated with jaguar relief panels and round shields. Each stairway climbing the pyramid has 91steps, except the northern side which has 92, and so, adding all four together, one arrives at a significant 365. Seen from above, the cross created by the stairways imposed on top of the square pyramid base recalls the Maya sign for zero. At certain times of year, for example on the autumnal equinox, triangular shadows from the different levels of the pyramid are cast onto the sides of the northern staircase, giving the illusion a gigantic snake is climbing the structure built in honour of the feathered-serpent god. The northern side also has large stone snake heads to further remind the purpose of the building. Used for religious ceremonies, human sacrifices would also have been made on the top terrace. Inside the pyramid another 9-level pyramid was built, this one with only a single staircase on the north side. Inside were a chacmool and a red jaguar throne inlaid with jade. This smaller pyramid was probably used for a royal burial, perhaps even of the great Toltec king Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl.

Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza
Temple of the Warriors, Chichen Itza

TEMPLE OF THE WARRIORS

Another huge structure at Chichen Itza is the Temple of the Warriors, a three-level pyramid with neighbouring colonnades on two sides creating a semi-enclosed court. It was built in the Early Post-Classic period, sometime between 800 and 1050 CE. The colonnade of carved warrior and female gift bearer columns in front of the pyramid would have once had a roof. The building at the top of the pyramid has a doorway framed with feathered-serpents and two chambers; one contained a chacmool and the other a throne. The structure shares many common features with the Toltec Pyramid B of Tula. Buried within the base of the temple is another, older structure known as the Temple of the Chacmool. The interior walls of the temple were decorated with wall paintings showing scenes of warriors with captives, a lake, and thatched houses, all with some attempt made at achieving perspective. Next to the Temple of the Warriors is a more ruined pyramid known as the Mercado which has a 36-column gallery in front of it, and a small ballcourt.

GREAT BALLCOURT

The Great Ballcourt of Chichen Itza, measuring 146 m x 36 m, is the largest in Mesoamerica. It was constructed between 1050 and 1200 CE and is also unusual in that the sides of the court are vertical and not sloped as in most other courts. Temple platforms close off each end of the court. The lower parts of the walls and the ring on each wall are decorated with carvings of snakes. The dimensions of the court are so grand that it is difficult to envisage actual games being played here. The rings, for example, through which players had to direct the solid rubber ball, are placed at a height of 8 m. The relief carvings on the walls of the court remind us of the ritual function of ball games; for example, there is a gruesome scene of two seven-man teams facing each other and one team captain decapitating the losing captain of the opposition. It is a scene repeated on all six relief panels along the two benches of the ballcourt.

TZOMPANTLI

Near the great ballcourt a large platform takes the form of a skull rack or tzompantli, and a second platform,  the Platform of the Eagles, has relief carvings depicting jaguars and eagles eating human hearts. Both were built 1050-1200 CE, and they are further indicators that human sacrifice was a part of religious ceremonies at Chichen Itza.

EDITORIAL REVIEWThis Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.

MAP

Top 5 cravings to pamper your Cancun vacation

On vacations at lunchtime we all love to leave the routine and get to know the food of the place you are visiting, in Cancun you will not make the exception as you will find a wide variety of options in the typical dishes of Mayan cuisine that are those that will flavor your visit and make it unforgettable for your palate.

“For the Quintanorrenses the food heritage has been accentuated by the emergence of nuclei from other places, as well as the recent influence of the tourist corridor. However, the origins are maintained where the past finds the sustenance of the tradition “(Mexico Desconocido)

The heritage of the Mayan cuisine with its spices and unique blends of flavors and textures are what give flavor to the Mexican dishes present in the Yucatan Peninsula, some of which we will show you here, most of them you can find them in the typical restaurants that you visit in the city:

1. Panuchos and Salbutes

Panuchos and Salbutes
Panuchos and Salbutes

The panuchos and salbutes are something like the “taco” of Southeast Mexico. they are handmade corn tortillas that can be accompanied with any of the following stews: chicken, egg, beef or pork, served with lettuce or cabbage, avocado, tomato and purple onion. The only difference is that the panucho carries ground beans inside the tortilla, and the salbute does not.

2. Cochinita Pibil

Cochinita Pibil
Cochinita Pibil

Undoubtedly one of the favorite dishes for many when visiting Cancun is the cochinita pibil. The recipe consists of pork pieces marinated in achiote, sour orange juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper, wrapped in banana leaves and put to bake; A very interesting fact is that the typical thing is to cook it in an underground oven. Definitely try it at lunch will be something exceptional and very delicious, properly accompanied by tortillas and habanero pepper if desired, as well as purple onion and lemon to taste.

3. Lime soup

Lime Soup
Lime Soup

This dish is prepared with shredded chicken, toast and lime juice. The recipe is very simple and the taste is authentic.

 

Fish and Seafood

4. Ceviche

Ceviche
Ceviche

There are many recipes of ceviche. Most are prepared with octopus, fish or shrimp. A good Mexican ceviche takes the classic ingredients: tomato, herbs, purple or white onion, avocado, lemon and salt to taste. Some ceviches are prepared on toast and others are served in bowls.

5. Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos
Fish Tacos

Although it is not considered a dish properly, fish tacos can be found both in the center and in the Hotel Zone, there are both grilled and breaded fish, and shrimp. Most restaurants serve to accompany lemon, habanero and dressings made “at home” whether mayonnaise or garlic and even with tomato and chipotle chili, could not miss the onion and salt to taste.

What was your favorite dish in your vacation in Cancun, did you try them all?

Bon Appetite!