In Mayan Footsteps. Journey to Tulum

Tour 7 Days/6 N – Golden Mayan Footprints

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Golden Traces of Maya Tour Duration: 7 days/6 nights. Start from Cancun, return to Cancun. Mode of travel: day sightseeing/overnight rest

We invite you on a journey in the footsteps of the Mayan people, people who calculated their lives according to the stars. On the program: – Tulum, the oldest Mayan port city on a cliff; – Senot Azul, a crystal well; – Becan, a water moat; – Chicanna, House of the Snake Mouth; – Villarmosa, Sumidero Canyon, San Cristobal; – La Venta Olmec Cultural Park; – Lost in the Jungle, the mysterious Palenque Temples (UNESCO heritage); – The 40-meter waterfall of Misol-Ha; – The historic fortress city of Campeche (UNESCO heritage); – Ancient Ushmal, a city built three times (UNESCO heritage); – Colonial charm of Merida; – One of the new seven wonders of the world, Chichen Itza (UNESCO heritage); – Ek Balam, a return to Cancun

Guaranteed dates in 2015-2015: Jan 18/Jan 25/Jan 01/Feb 08/Feb 15/Feb 22/March 08/March 15/March 22/March 29

Day 1: Cancun – Tulum – Chicana Departure from your hotel in Cancun. Tour to the Mayan port city of Tulum, which means “wall.” The town square, which was once used for ceremonies and rituals, the fort that also served as a lighthouse, the temple of the descending god, and other examples of the post-classical period will allow you to touch the mysteries of Mayan history. In addition, if you wish you can take a refreshing dip in the Caribbean turquoise, because the city is built on a 15-meter cliff above the sea. Bathing in the Azul Cenote and transfer to Chikanna. Accommodation in hotel.

Day 2: Bekan – Chikanna – Villahermosa 7:00 am Breakfast at the Hotel (included) 7:45 Departure. A visit to one of the most fascinating architectural sites in the Yucatan, Becan, which means “water moat.” At one time Bekan was the main center of the Rio Bek area and is an excellent example of the fortification of Mayan cities. Between 100 and 250 AD, a protective moat was dug around the ceremonial city and reservoir, and a fortified wall around the city was created from the excavated soil. There were three bridges that led to the city and a 50-meter deep tunnel in the wall that led to the main part of the city. A tour of Chikanna, the “House of the Snake’s Mouth.” Chikanna is a good example of the combination of Chenes and Rio Beck styles and is famous for its elaborate stone architecture. Chikanna’s facades depict the gaping mouth of Itzamna, the main Mayan deity, in the form of an “earthly monster.” Because of its location, size, and richly decorated buildings, Chikanna was most likely the elite center of the Bekan, where the rulers of the Bekan resided. Arrival at the hotel in Villahermosa.

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Day 3: La Venta – Cañón del Sumidero – San Cristobal Departure to Villahermosa. Visit to the Archaeological Park of the Olmec Culture of La Venta, which with its amazing combination of nature and archaeology has gathered one of the largest collections of artifacts of the Olmec culture. The park is divided into two main parts: zoological and archaeological, where the first is a natural habitat for animals such as crocodiles and jaguars, and the second is a museum of ancient monuments of the Olmec culture and presents visitors with 33 sculptures, among which are altars and huge heads carved from volcanic stones, etc. The heads weigh up to 50 tons and some reach up to 3 meters in height. The park presents evidence that Europeans, Asians, and Africans lived in the “New World” even before its discovery by Columbus in 1492 A.D. Arrive at Cañón del Sumidero, one of Mexico’s most beautiful places. Take a boat ride along the full-flowing Grijalve River, rocky cliffs covered in greenery rise to a sky-high 1,200 meters. Lunch at the canyon (not included). Arrival in colonial San Cristobal de las Casas, where the Indians live with their distinctive traditions. Walk through the center of the town. Accommodation at the hotel (arrival approximately at 18:30).

Day Four: San Cristobal – San Juan Chamula – Palenque 7:00 breakfast at the hotel (included) 7:45 Departure. Bring your own bathing gear. Visit the customary home of the local Zinacantan Indians, masters of hand embroidery. Departure to San Juan Chamula, home of a branch of the Maya, the Tsotzil tribe, who have preserved their traditions, way of life, language, who still perform healing rituals in churches. Note: It is strictly forbidden to take pictures: the Indians of the Tsotzil tribe believe that the picture can take away their soul. You can swim in the rushing stream of the 40-meter waterfall Misol-Ha. Lunch at a small restaurant by the waterfall (lunch is not included). Arrival in Palenque, hotel accommodations. Arrival at approximately 6:30 pm.

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Day Five: Palenque – Palenque Arch Zone – Campeche 7:00 Breakfast at the hotel (included) 7:45 Departure. Prepare your bathing gear in the morning. Visit Palenque, the most picturesque of all the ancient Mayan cities. Palenque is a magnificent example of Mayan architecture of the Classic period. The grace and craftsmanship of the buildings and the lightness and luminosity of the sculptural reliefs testify to the creative genius of the Mayan civilization. Stone paintings, portraits of Emperors and their cronies, a chronicle of the dynasty, the Temple of the Sun and the Cross – Palenque is still a city of mystery in which many researchers see traces of extraterrestrial civilizations. From here, take the scenic road to a restaurant with the freshest seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. Lunch is not included. You can go swimming. Arrival in the city of Campeche Fortress. Stroll through the city, which was built to protect you from formidable pirates. Arrival at the hotel at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Day Six: Campeche – Ushmal – Merida 7:00 breakfast at the hotel (included) 7:45 Departure. Arrival in the archaeological area of Ushmal, a city “built three times.” Ushmal is an unrivaled example of Puuk-style architecture: the Oval Pyramid of the Wizard, the harmonious Governor’s Palace, the Nuns’ Square, and the Temple of the Turtles. You will have the opportunity to taste a Yucatan dish prepared in a special way: cochinita pibil wrapped in banana leaves (lunch not included). Arrival in the colonial town of Mérida. “The White City,” as Merida is called because of the abundance of white buildings, was the first of the settlements founded on the Yucatan by the Spanish conquistadors. If ever there was a capital that did not belong to its time, it is Merida. It has nothing in common with modern cities. Except for a few new buildings, the entire city is built in the Spanish early colonial style. See the oldest Cathedral in America, see the home of Yucatan conqueror Francisco Montejo, and drive along the main boulevard, decorated with the luxurious residences of those who grew rich from agave threads. Arrive at the hotel at approximately 6:00 p.m.

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Day Seven: Merida – Chichen Itza – Ec Balam – Cancun 7:00 breakfast at hotel (included) 7:45 Departure. Bring swimsuits. Visit to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. You will see the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, the famous pyramid of Kukulcan, which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Observatory, the Ball Field, and the Temple of the Great Priest. On the way, tour the Mayan villages and swim in the giant, clear karst lake, the Ik Quil Cenote. Visit Ec Balam, which means “Black Jaguar” in Mayan. Eck Balam is an architectural center of the Classic period. Recent archaeological discoveries are just beginning to reveal the secret veils of this city. Arrival at the best resort in the world, Cancun (approximately 6:00 p.m.). After your stay in Cancun – transfer to the airport for an additional fee.

Important information on tours:

The price of the tour includes: Certified experienced Russian-speaking guide; Transport, depending on the size of the group: van, minibus such as Mercedes Benz Sprinter, or comfortable tourist bus; Hotels 4****; Breakfast (buffet or American); Entry tickets to all attractions on the tour program;

The tour does not include: Accommodation at hotel after the end of the tour; Transfer airport-hotel in Cancun and on the Riviera; Transfer from Cancun hotels on the Mayan Riviera to the airport after the end of the tour;

Cost per person: SGL: $1400 DBL: $1230 TRPL: $1100 CHLD: $810

Mexico: Tulum Pyramids – Ancient Mayan City by the Caribbean Sea

Tulum is another ancient Mayan city located on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula about 120 kilometers from the popular resort of Cancun. The ancient city of Tulum differs from other Mayan cities in that it is built on a high bluff on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Why the Mayan tribes preferred to build their cities mostly inland rather than on the coast remains a mystery to me.


During Maya times the city was called Sama, the city of dawn, and the modern name Tulum, which means “wall” or “enclosed place,” the city received in the 19th century.


Remains of the walls of the city. Usually the Maya did not fence their cities, but Tulum was fenced


Tulum is the only ancient Mayan city that is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea and the only one surrounded by a wall 3-5 meters high. In ancient times Tulum was the only seaport of the Maya tribes. The city peaked in the 14th-16th centuries, at a time when trade between the modern state of Tabasco and Guatemala was booming. Maya exported salt, cotton, and rubber.

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Unlike other Mayan cities Tulum remained inhabited and after the conquest by the Spanish conquistadors and was abandoned at the end of the 16th century.

How to get to the ancient Mayan city of Tulum

The archaeological complex of Tulum is located 120 km from Cancun and 65 km from Playa del Carmen. To get to Tulum you can:

  • By purchasing a tour of the Tulum pyramids, for example, here
  • Take a bus or minibus from Cancun or another Mayan Riviera town to the city of Tulum Pueblo, and from Tulum to the archaeological site by cab for 40-50 pesos, or by bicycle (a bicycle rental will cost you 80 pesos per day).
  • By renting a car on Route 307, then follow the signs to the Tulum ruins

The ancient Mayan city of Tulum: hours and costs to visit

The ancient city of Tulum is open to the public from 8:00 to 16:30. The cost to visit Tulum is 57 pesos ($4.50).

The ruins of Tulum are a very popular tourist destination, so I advise you to arrive to see the ruins in time for the opening. We wanted to do so, left the hotel around 8 am, but on the way it started raining, which we stopped to wait in one of the stores. The rain didn’t start to subside until 9am, so we entered the archeological site of Tulum rather late.

The ruins of Tulum are in a national park where you can even see animals. Also, one of Tulum’s beaches is where turtles lay their eggs and is fenced off and closed to the public.

Tulum National Park Tulum beach, where turtles lay their eggs Turtle beach from above

At first, there were almost no people, it was drizzling with light rain and it was very humid and hot. Because of the incessant rains over the past two weeks, all the greenery was lush green.

Tulum Pyramids

Morning, the area of the Tulum ruins is still empty and silent .

The territory of Tulum itself is not big, you can walk only on equipped paths, you can not climb the pyramids and other structures, just like in Chichen Itza. Another thing is in Ushmal and Palenque – there we went over every pyramid!

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The territory of the archeological complex of Tulum is not a big Walking is possible only on the paths.


Climbing on structures is not allowed

Climbing on the structures and even go close to the stone is not allowed.

The main building – the pyramid of Tulum or castle – El Castillo is located almost beside the Caribbean Sea. The height of the pyramid is 7.5 meters, presumably the castle also served as a lighthouse for the ships.

Near El Castillo, from the steep rocky cliff, there is a mesmerizing view of the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Sea views Caribbean Sea Well, and me, of course, in front of the sea:)

Not badly preserved is the Temple of Frescoes, a temple decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from Mayan life and two statues in niches depicting the Descending God.


And some more ruined backyards.

The archeological complex of Tulum is famous not only for the ancient ruined buildings, but also for the beautiful beach in a small cove with white sand, to which a long staircase leads. We were in cloudy weather, we did not want to swim, but if you are going on a tour in Tulum, do not forget to take bathing equipment.

Beautiful beach and azure waters of the Caribbean Sea Caribbean Sea Stairs to Tulum beach

By 10 o’clock, the area was getting more and more crowded, and around 11 o’clock, when we left the area, the whole space was full of tourists!


The tourists are coming, it’s time to run away

There are a lot of iguanas crawling around Tulum. Here’s one of them


There are also some very beautiful birds living there, with blue plumage. We couldn’t get enough of them.


In flight:)

Tulum_ruins_14 Tulum_ruins_15

The ancient Mayan city of Tulum. VIDEO

It took us about 2 hours for a leisurely walk through Tulum. The weather calmed down, the sun looked out of the clouds, and we hurried to the hotel, swimming and sunbathing!

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