Drive from Merida to Tulum (Road Journey)
Tulum, like neighbouring Playa del Carmen has found its way into the tourism sector from the slow paced life of the fishing trade. Today Tulum is a trendy beach resort for the affluent and elite, with many a Hollywood star choosing Tulum as their holiday destination. Shabby chic and barefoot luxury is the name of the game at the many boutique hotels on offer. Perched upon a cliff top overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Pre-Columbian site of Tulum has arguably the most stunning setting of all the Mayan ruins and is an interesting contrast to the inland archaeological complexes. With substantial 5m high ramparts on three sides and a watchtower, its believed that in its heyday Tulum was an important port town.
Chichen Itza Tour
Morning Tour of Chichen Itza: The archaeological site of Chichen Itza is not a large site and it can become crowded. Nonetheless the buildings rise above the fray, impressive in their stature, beguiling in their symbolism and significance, they leave you wondering at and in awe of the Mayan civilisation.
The magnificent Pyramid of Kukulkán, was designed with the heavens, all nine of them, in mind. The Mayan astrologers were so ingenious that the temple acts as a calendar, designed with such exactitude that during the spring and autumn equinoxes the shadow of a snake, a revered animal, slithers from the top of the temple to the bottom and back again.
In another amazing trick of engineering, the 365 steps of the temple have been constructed so that when you stand in front of them and clap, the echo sounds like a quetzal, a bird venerated by Mayans. What is all the more surprising about such precision is that the shape of the pyramid is not uniform, it is in fact a trapezoid and many of the edges of the pyramid are not aligned.
The Great Ball Court is a 450 feet arena where the Mayans played the onomatopoeic pok ta pok, a game that involved two teams of seven, with the captain on each side being the only one able to score by shooting a large rubber ball through a hoop high on one side of the wall. More than a game, pok ta pok was a life ritual that involved the winning captain having the ‘honour’ of being decapitated, taking him nearer to the gods.The most famous and well preserved of all the Yucatan's Mayan sites, Chichen Itza comes highly recommended to all visitors. The Maya people built Chichen Itza in the classic period only for it to be abandoned shortly afterwards. It is believed the Toltecs re-established the area at a later date adding their own particular architectural style and introducing their blood-thirsty beliefs in human sacrifice. Dominating the vast site is the outstanding pyramid structure of El Castillo, built during the height of the Toltec occupation, and which can still be climbed for far-reaching views across the flat Yucatan plains. There is also a well-preserved ball court, a substantial natural sinkhole (cenote) of sacred importance to The Maya and a large observatory indicating the great significance the Maya attached to astronomy.
You will be staying at Jashita Hotel, Bed & Breakfast