Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tulum, Xelha, and Hilton Hotel in Cancun

The Mayan ruins of Tulum on the Caribbean sea on the Rivera Maya, 80 miles (120 km) south of Cancun, are the third most visited archeological site in Mexico (after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza). It was occupied for centuries until about 1200. Its picturesque site on cliffs overlooking the sea adds to its unique character.
The Tulum guardhouse shows the skill of the Mayan architects and masons.
An ancient doorway frames the view to the sea.
Three black iguanas at attention guarding Tulum. Their ancestors probably watched the construction of the Mayan buildings.
Xelha is an eco-park north of Tulum. It provides a location for swimming, hiking, and enjoying the flora and fauna of the Yucatan.
Xelha lagoon for snorkeling and swimming provides a sheltered area for viewing colorful tropical fish.
This was the view from our room at the Hilton Hotel in Cancun. It is at the southern end of the Hotel Zone in Cancun, thankfully somewhat removed and beyond walking distance from the center of the Hotel Zone where there are lots of restaurants, nightclubs, and people. This view of sunrise over the Caribbean from our hotel room signals that (1) it looks like another beautiful day in the Riviera Maya, and (2) the fact that we were awake for sunrise shows that we were not among the late night party-goers in the night clubs of Cancun.


brattcat said...

I'm struck by the lushness. I have several favorites in this series...those iguanas (and your comment about their ancestors), the stone structures, and that sunrise. Another excellent journey.

glenda said...

The photos of Tulum are so beautiful. i especially love the one with the Iguanas on guard. The doorway looking out to sea makes you wonder who in the past saw that same view.

Memphis MOJO said...

I was in Cancun two years ago and liked Tulum the best of all the tour trips I took.

Great shots!

Eleonora said...

I lived in Playa del Carmen for 6 months in 1991, and Xel-ha and Tulum were places I'd occasionally go visit off season. Cancun I stayed away from, because it was already too touristy already.

I heard that the small village of Playa has suffered the same ill fate, with skyscraper hotels, mega pools, cement and chaos. I remember the main road (avenida la Quinta) wasn't even paved then, and to reach the barrier reef all you needed was a good pair of flippers and the will to swim 20 minutes. Paco de Lucia was my neighbor and he'd practice on his guitar as the sun dove into the sea at sunset... ah, paradise.

Thank you for taking me back there.

JM said...

The day I went to visit the ruins was dark and grey so you can easily imagine my photos have nothing to do with these... even 'your' iguanas look prettier! :-)

Holly Scrivener said...

Hello! i really love your blog, its full of such inspiring places to go. I've just started to follow you so i can keep up with your travels :) if you'd like to, please take a look at my travel blog - i haven't been to as many exotic places as you but I'm still aiming to try! thanks so much for sharing all your experiences

Holly x

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