New highway – with animal rope bridges across the top for the climbing ones (there were bridges/tunnels for non climbing animals)
Here’s a copy of the archeologist’s drawings – you can see the jungle encroached and invaded the monuments, which are in a state of disrepair.
What remains is impressive though. The site stretches over a 12 mile area and our guide was quick to state that it was not a city but a purely ceremonial site. People didn’t live here, but they used it for ceremonies and there are several processional ways through the outer walls to the main structures.
Open mouthed snakes protect the pyramid – snakes also represent motion and energy. At the equinoxes the way the sun hits the steps and moves across them looks like it’s snaking down them, or like water flowing down.
The sacred cenote – although while I was in Mexico they found that there is one directly under El Castillo, Lluis as a cave diver was very excited about that!
Comparing from the 1800’s to present day, many more pink umbrellas today (but to be fair it’s a good trick given the lack of shade!)
All the carvings would have been painted originally – here you can compare the rock carvings as they stand to a coloured in version. It’s not made up – when they found internal rooms in one of the structures it had the painting preserved inside.
Skull decoration – the Mayans did practise head flattening – attempting to bring the two hemispheres of the brain closer together, combined with meditation to receive energy through the ‘3rd eye’ created.
The cathedral in the main square with moody skies above – we waited out the storm in the restaurant!
Gorgeous! The sea here was less seaweed and the beach less crowded than in Playa del Carmen. This view was from the terrace of the La Zebra restaurant and hotel where we stopped to get drinks and lunch.
Look at that long stretch of beach! You can still see the seaweed line – but not as bad as Playa! (For some reason this July August there was a higher than normal amount of seaweed in the area). The waves were great to play in!
Ceviche Classico – Tulum has great food options, but nothing that’s cheap! There are no street stands for locals here at least not along the beach, these are all inland by the highway.