10. Tulum: Self-Guided Mayan Ruins Tour
Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one.
Once downloaded, your tour of the Tulum Ruins begins on the outskirts of this incredible archaeological site. Once you enter, you’ll start learning about the fascinating, complicated history of Mayan society, the mysteries surrounding the hieroglyphics they left behind, and more.
The first major structure you’ll see will be the House of the Cenote, from which the city’s residents once got their water. Here, you’ll have a great view of the city walls, as well as the watchtower which once guarded Tulum from attackers.
The Temple of the Wind is up next. This was once a shrine built to honor the wind god. Here, you’ll learn the fundamentals of the complex Mayan religion and the significance of their many temples.
After that comes the Palace of the Great Lord, an intimidating structure once occupied by the city’s rulers. Then you’ll continue on to the Temple of the Descending God. Not only is this one of the tallest buildings on the site, it’s also one of the most detailed, with countless etchings to decipher.
Next, you’ll see the Castle, which is pretty hard to miss. This imposing building is the largest in the Tulum Ruins, and looms over all of the rest from atop a bluff. It even has a platform out front once dedicated for use by dancers!
The House of Columns comes next, thought by scholars to have once been a sort of administrative building. As you pass this, you’ll learn the details of the Mayan Calendar, like the fact that it’s actually two calendars!
Then you’ll reach the Temple of Frescoes, bedecked in so much ancient artwork you’ll be glad you have a tour guide to unpack it all for you! After that are the House of Chultun and the Temple of the Initial Series. These two structures are some of the best examples you’ll ever find of ancient Mayan architecture.
As you continue toward the conclusion, you’ll learn about the high stakes ball games played by the Mayans and find out where the Mayans are today. It might surprise you!