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The photographs on this page were taken by
Eugenia Bodnar and Charlie McGehee.
 
 
Tulum, its greatest attraction is its location.
 
It stands on a bluff facing the rising sun looking out on views of the Caribbean that are nothing less than spectacular. In Maya, Tulum means "Wall", and the city was christened thus because it is a walled city; one of the very few the ancients ever built. Research suggests it was formerly called Zama or "to dawn" in its day, which is appropriate given the location.
 
It seems "Tulum" is the name given the site by the explorers Stephens and Catherwood in 1841, long after the city was abandoned and fell to ruins.
 
 
 
When visitors arrive at Tulum's ancient pre-Hispanic site they are able to see the buildings that in its time were the city's main center (ceremonial and political), monumentally encircled by the Mayan world's best known wall.
 
The earliest date lifted from the site is A.D. 564 (the inscription on a stele).
  This places Tulum within the Classic period, though we know that its heyday was much later (1200 - 1521 A.D.) during the Late Post-classic period.
 
 
 
 
Tulum was a major link in the Maya's extensive trade network.
 
Both maritime and land routes converged here.
 
The Castillo, sometimes referred to as the lighthouse, is the tallest building at Tulum and the most famous. It stands on the above mentioned bluff, commandinga view of the ocean and coast for miles in both directions.
 
 
 
 
The square at the center of the city was probably once used for rituals or ceremonies and is flanked by the so called Castillo (The Castle) to the West.
 
The Castillo underwent several stages of building and the lintels of its upper rooms are carved with the plumed serpent motif. The rooms themselves are vaulted in classic Mayan style.
 
 
 
Artifacts found in or near the site testify to contacts that ranged from Central Mexico to Central America and every place in between: copper rattles and rings from the Mexican highlands; flint and ceramics from all over the Yucatan; jade and obsidian from Guatemala and more.
 
Unique corner masks grace the outside of the Temple of the Frescoes.
 
 
 
 
 
The First Europeans
 
In 1518 Juan de Grijalva and his men were probably the first Europeans to see Tulumas as they sailed reconnaissance along the Eastern coast of Yucatan.
 
The Spaniards later returned to conquer the Peninsula unwittingly bringing Old World diseases which decimated the native population.
 
And so Tulum, like so many cities before it,
was abandoned to the elements.
 
 
Eugenia and her mom, Carol (VonDemfange) Manford. Gisela McGehee photographing the ruins.
 
Tulum, considered by many as the most beautiful of the Mayan Ruins sites around Cancun, is small but exquisitely poised on high cliffs above the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea.
 
 
 
The day was not over yet.  There was still more to do and see.
 
Charlie and Gisela checked out the souvenir stands and local color then they continued their day by going to ---
 
It had been a very busy day indeed!!
 
It was time for Charlie & Gisela to head back to our ship
 
Tomorrow we visit Belize.
 
Join us
for a great time.
 
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