A trip to the Riviera Maya is not complete without a visit to one of its many world famous archaeological sites that are easily accessible to visitors. This is definitely one of the best regions to visit as there are quite a few options for lovers of Mayan history.
The coastal town of Tulum for example, boasts a 13th-century, walled Mayan archaeological site at the Tulum National Park that overlooks the sea. It incorporates the clifftop “Castillo” (the “castle”), built as a watchtower, and the “Templo de las Pinturas” (the “Temple of Paintings”), with a partially restored mural. The biggest attraction at the Tulum ruins site is of course its location. Built on a bluff facing the rising sun, this ruin site is the only Mayan settlement located on the beaches of the Caribbean, with spectacular views of its turquoise blue seawater and white sand beaches.
Fun facts about Tulum
1. The Tulum site is one of the very few walled cities built by the Mayans – the walls are located on only three sides of the settlement as the Caribbean Sea protects the eastern borders
2. The ruins are situated on cliffs that rise 39 feet above sea level
3. Tulum had an estimated population of 1,000 to 1,600 inhabitants
Another beautiful site to visit if you like archaeology is Coba. The site was the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world, and it contains many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period (AD 600–900) of Mesoamerican civilization. Located in the sub-tropical jungle these Mayan ruins are still being explored, excavated and some have only recently been opened to the public.