• Riviera Maya - The Region

    The guide was updated: 2014-10-08

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Riviera Maya
The Region

Tulum

Tulum which original name is Zamá meaning “Sunrise” in the Mayan language is the best known and the most representative site of the region. This majestic archeological zone preserves impressing views that inspire its visitors to be part of the mysticism that surround them. There are over 60 structures all perfectly well preserved, amongst them “El Castillo” or “The Castle” , the highest construction of Tulum, which splendor and unique beauty are framed by the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. For the many murals and other painting that were found in the buildings it is believed that Tulum was an important ceremonial site dedicated to the Descending God. The site is open daily from 08.00 – 17.00 hrs. A little train will bring you from the parking lot to the entrance of the site, if you prefer you can also walk, it will take around 15 minutes. There is a fun outdoor shopping mall to buy a cold drink or some souvenirs after your visit to this stunning site.
Tulum Village

Tulum Village

Tulum Village is located at 3 km south of the archeological site. This cute little town is certainly worth a visit. Tourists from all over the world travel to Tulum because of its laid back atmosphere. Tulum is very popular amongst European backpackers who travel here to enjoy the beautiful beaches and the local ambience away from the crowd. There is a bus station for those who want to travel by bus. In the town you will find many different restaurants and bars as well as souvenir shops, Banks, internet cafes and supermarkets. Most of the tourists rent bicycles to move around but there is also taxi service available. The Tulum area is also very famous for its cenotes. A cenote is a fresh water sinkhole connected to vast underground river systems that flow beneath the ground and connect several caves and caverns. The cenotes have provided fresh water to the locals for centuries and they were sacred for the Mayans as it represented the entrance to the Xibalba, the Mayan underworld. Nowadays they are a unique place to go snorkeling or scuba diving.
The Region

Tulum Hotel Zone

The hotel strip of Tulum is without a doubt unique in the entire world. It is located on the coast just south of the archeological site and at 3 km distance from the village of Tulum. The beaches along this 9 km long hotel zone are amongst the most beautiful beaches Riviera Maya has to offer. The sand is powdery and white and the beaches are endless. The hotels are small and constructed with materials from the region and with great precaution to protect the natural environment. It is probably best described as small palapa style bungalows in an unspoiled natural setting. Most of the hotels depend on generators and alternative sources such as solar panels for their electricity. Only a few will offer power 24 hours a day, more common is that the electricity gets shut off at 11.00 pm. The hotels will provide you with candles to illuminate, and of course there is the moon and the millions of stars that will for sure make your stay memorable. The ambience in Tulum is best described as “Hippy Chic”. People come here to be away from the hustle and the bustle of the cities, to relax and to be close to nature. Many tourists will come to meditate and to practice yoga, giving this destination a unique spiritual touch.
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