|Templo del Dios del Viento|
The city was one of the last built by the Maya and was in its height between the 13th ad 15th centuries. Tulum survived roughly 70 years after the Spanish arrived, but the diseases the Spanish brought with them appear to have contributed to the city's downfall. The local Maya continued to visit the site to burn incense and pray through the late 20th century until tourism just overwhelmed the site.
While it is called Tulum today (meaning wall or enclosure), the Maya called it Zama meaning 'dawn' as it faced the sunrise. The name was given to the city by explorers Stephens and Catherwood in 1847 when they found the abandoned ruins surrounded by a stone wall. The city served as a major port in the region connecting an extensive trade network between maritime and land routes.
My favorite picture is of the Wind Temple. and probably the most photographed. The building is called the Templo del Dios del Viento (the temple of the god of the wind). The wind god is known as Ehecatl with his temples built as cylinders to reduce air resistance from the winds that came from all sides. Some called this deity Huracan, which is the origin for the word hurricane.
One thing that surprised me was how many iguanas we saw; they were simply everywhere. Hidden under the thatched roofs, sunning themselves on the ruins and strolling across the main courtyard. You can see the spikes that run down their spine which give them their names 'Mexican Spiny-Tailed' iguana. They seem very unnerved by all the tourists and simply just stare you down as this guy did to me. To locals they can be a bit of a nuisance as they eat plants, flowers and prey on nesting birds, small animals and sea turtle eggs. They can scare locals by lashing their tails and biting if they feel threatened. I kept my distance using a zoom to photograph him. Just in case he got testy!