Carretera Federal, Cancun - Chetumal Km 230, 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R
Sitio arqueológico Tulum
Tulum is an ancient Mayan archaeoligical site that sits on the edge of a Cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is a spiritual and magical place which once visited you will never forget. It used to be named Zama which means City of Dawn because this is where the ancient people watched the sunrise over the ocean. The word Tulum also means wall. This is because Tulum used to be the fortress and look out against invasion from the sea. There are many watch towers and it was protected by the steep sea cliff on one side and all around there was a wall of about 5 meters in height and 8 meters in depth and ran for about 400 meters.
The most important structure is El Castillo. This structure is about 8 meters in height and has a small shrine at the top which is believed was used as a beacon for incoming trading canoes which would land at the beach in the cove right below. El Castillo was originally covered in stucco and painted red and a sculpture of the descending god remains inside. You will find figurines and stuccos of this god all around Tulum. He as the guardian of the coast and of commerce and associated to the planet Venus. Tulum was the Mayan´s main trading port and the characteristics we have told you about are the main reasons that the Mayas founded the city of Tulum and its center for defense and trade for the region.
The Temple of the Frescoes was used as an observatory for tracking the movements of the sun. The frescoes included Ixchel, the goddess of women and medicine, and Chaac, the rain god. Most of the history that we have recorded about Tulum come from Diego de Landa who was the third bishop of Yucatan. He recorded that Tulum was a relatively small city with about 600 inhabitants who mostly lived outside the wall. Inside the wall lived only the priests and governers of the land. It remained inhabited for about 70 years after the conquest and local Mayas continued to come here to pray and perform rituals until the late 20th century when it became too busy with tourists. Tulum has easy access by bus from the town center and it is now the third most visited archaeological site in Mexico, after Chichen Itza and Teotihucan. Make sure you fit this spectacular piece of Mayan culture into your schedule.
Chichen Itza is about 95 miles from Tulum You can get there in about 2 ½ hours by car or even better take a deluxe tour which will include lunch, many stopping at the beautiful colonial city of Valladolid, and a stop at a cenote. Chichen Itza is a World Heritage Site located in the Yucatan Peninsula and was recently named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This is of little surprise as its size, symmetry and astrological importance are a testament to the Mayan civilization.
The instantly recognizable Temple of Kulkulcan, also known as El Castillo, dominates Chichen Itza. Kukulcan is the Mayan name for Quetzacoatl. The pyramid has a staircase on each side and at sunrise and sunset during both the Spring and Autumn equinoxes visitors gather from all over the world to watch this archaeo-astronomical phenomenon. The corner of the pyramid casts a shadow of a plumed serpent, Kukulcan. As the sun moves, the shadow of the serpent slithers down the side of the pyramid. It was believed that the serpent came down to fertilize the earth.
The Great Ball Court is the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica and can be found in Chichen Itza. It measures 166 x 68 meters and is 12 meters high with stone rings for the game and intricate carvings of intertwined serpents on the walls. The Temple of the Warriors is another stepped pyramid with a row of carved columns at the front depicting the ancient warriors. You will find a Chac Mool at the top of the pyramid, protecting the entrance to the temple.
The Cenote Sagrado was used by the Mayans to conduct sacrifices to Chaac, the god of rain, during times of drought. Many objects such as gold, jade, obsidian as well as skeletons have been found at the bottom of the cenote by archaeologists. The Cenote Sagrado is the most impressive of the cenotes found in this area and measures an amazing 60 meters in diameter with sheer cliffs dropping down 27 meters to the water below. You must be sure to visit Chichen Itza during your vacation to Tulum. It is a wonder not to be missed.
QROO 109 77796, Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
You will find many cenotes in and around Tulum. Cenotes are also known as sinkholes and are a natural marvel, feeding from underground streams and rivers that run under the Yucatan peninsula. The most popular cenotes are Cenote Las Mojarras, Cenote Siete Bocas, Cenote Boca Del Puma and Cenote Verde Lucero which are on the the Cenote Route but here wil talk about the ones near Tulum. Due to its geological composition, the Yucatan Peninsula reacts as a type of sponge, when it rains, by absorbing all the moisture. The water that seeps through the soil begins to dissolve, giving way to caverns that can be partially or completely flooded, and when one of these caverns collapses due to erosion, the cenotes are born. The formation of cenotes can last hundreds of thousands of years. There are open, semi-open, ancient, and cavern cenotes, classification depends mainly of age. These crystalline springs, connected by a network of underground rivers and which by nature can vary in shape and characteristics, are virtually unique to the Yucatan peninsula.
Cenotes were considered a source of life for the Maya as they provided water, the vital liquid, represented an entrance to the other world and center of communion with the gods. The word cenote comes from the Mayan dzonot, which means cave with water. In the Xenotes Tour by Experiencias Xcaret, you will visit four different types of cenotes considered sacred to the Mayan culture that also offer fun activities like kayaking, snorkeling, zip-lines and rappelling. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the majestic and refreshing cenotes of Cancun and Riviera Maya!
This is the nearest cenote to Tulum town center. It is stunning with crystal clear cool waters, and full of fish and turtles. You will also hear the the chatter of bats above! It's hard to believe until you see it with your own eyes! A nice change from the heat of the beach and warm sea water. Location: 5 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right.
Ladder steps lead to half moon shaped cenote decorated with small passages & openings. One of most popular sites as it is good for all ages as it is shallow on one side. It is famous for brilliant speleothem decorations & crystal clear water. Open: 10-5 Daily Facilities: Bathrooms Snorkeling: Fun. Fantastic. Spectacular. Paradise. Entrance Fee: 50 pesos.
Dos Ojos (Hidden Worlds)
Location: 48 km south of Playa Del Carmen south of Xel-Ha on the right. Then 4 km down a dirt road. This is part of the Nohoch Nah Chich cave system was the location of filming for Imax Journey into Amazing Caves documentary. Open: 10-5 daily Facilities: Bathrooms, restaurant. Snorkeling: Superb snorkeling with stalactites & stalagmites everywhere Entrance Fee: $10 US/$25-40 US for snorkel tours.
Temple of Doom (Calavera/Skull)
Location: 2 km from Tulum on road to Coba on right down a very rugged jungle path There are three holes in the ground – one is 30 ft & two are 4 ft in diameter – creating the shape of a skull, hence the name Facilities: None Swimming: Great for swimming with a 10 ft drop down into the cenote. There is a rope swing & a ladder
Car Wash (Aktun Ha/Water Cave)
Location: 8 km from Tulum on road to Coba/4 km past Gran Cenote on left. You can drive right in approximately 30 m (100 ft) to cenote. It is called Car Wash because the locals used to wash their cars here. Open: 9-5 Daily Facilities: Bathrooms Swimming: Very easy access. Like a small lake. Good fun Snorkeling: Good in winter months. Too much algae growth in warmer months. Many small tropical fish. Entrance Fee: 20 pesos.
Location: 4 km south of Tulum on right. Facilities: Bathrooms Swimming: Great Snorkeling: Great Entrance Fee: Yes. Includes entrance to Escondido across the street.
Escondido (Mayan Blue)
Location: 4 km south of Tulum on left/Across from Cristal Cenote/2 km walk in Jungle. This place is one of the least known and really beautiful and secluded. Facilities: Bathrooms Swimming: Good Snorkeling: Good Entrance Fee: Included in Cristal entrance fee.
Characterized by its cylindrical shape, the open cenotes stand out for the spectacular flora that can be admired in its high walls and rock formations, ideal for practicing adventure activities. The best known example is the Sacred Cenote of Chichén Itzá, in which offerings and other prehispanic pieces were found during archaeological explorations. Cool off in the calm waters of the Fire Xenote and discover with Xenotes Tour why the ancient Maya considered them sacred shrines.
It is very common that ancient cenotes, for their age, are fully exposed to the outdoors and immersed in the lush vegetation of the Mayan jungle. Experiencias Xcaret takes you on a journey to discover these bodies of water that resemble lagoons and in the past served as a resource for Mayan settlements in the area. This unique cenotes tour allows you to visit a spectacular open cenote and enjoy the environment while doing refreshing activities in zip-lines. Relax in the calm waters of the Wind Xenote, an authentic oasis in the jungle!
Semi open Cenote
Semi-open cenotes usually hide their water surface inside a cave that allows partial access of the sunlight. This makes them an ideal place in Cancun and Riviera Maya for an exploration experience where you can go deep into the bowels of the earth. Discover what these natural wonders hide and admire its rock formations while practicing rappel. Make yours this full of adrenaline adventure and be part of the Mayan legends in the Earth Xenote.
Recognized many times as the most enigmatic, these cenotes are located within caves where the Maya people practiced a variety of traditional ceremonies. This type of caverns offers activities for the more adventurous, as some can extend several kilometers below the earth, and even connect to other cenotes and caves in the area. Take this opportunity with the Xenotes Tour and enjoy snorkeling in the Water Xenote, a place that few have had the fortune to meet. An experience you will never forget!
Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juárez Km 240, locales 1 & 2, módulo B, 77780 Q.R.
Visit Xcaret, Xel-Há and Xplor and enjoy the best Cancun activities and attractions. Live unforgettable experiences such as swim with dolphins, snorkeling, tours to Mayan archaeological sites, zip lining over the jungle, underground rivers swim, performances of the most representative traditions and culture of Mexico and the best all inclusive tours. These are just some of the things to do in Cancun. Unique experiences, fun and adventure for the whole family!
Xplor Live the Jungle
The jungle comes to life in the best adventure park in Riviera Maya. Xplor Park is a unique underground world, where you will enjoy an unparalleled adventure. During the day fly between trees and bridges, discover amazing caves and extraordinary rock formations. And at night, the Moon and stars will guide your way, marvel at the mysteries that Xplor Fuego has for you.
Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Q.R., Mexico
This Biosphere Reserve in the beautiful Riviera Maya is called Sian Ka'an, "where the sky is born" or "gift from heaven" in the Maya language
It's a unique place in the world due to the diversity of biological species, both animals and plants. The area has been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Sian Ka'an offers visitors the services of knowledgeable guides familiar with the flora and fauna here, as well as with the ancient Maya culture, an ideal way for visitors to penetrate one of the Riviera Maya's most exciting and rewarding locations
Akumal Beach, Carretera Tulum, Yodzonot, Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
In the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles" and it is still one of their favorite places for laying their eggs. However what makes Akumal such a charming and fascinating destination for tourists from around the world is its spectacular protected bay area of transparent waters and the sweet water currents that flow through its caves and subterranean rivers. Akumal's silky white sand beaches are protected by off-shore reefs. This is a haven for divers from around the world who have been coming here for decades.