Tulum is one of the most representative Mayan ruins of the Riviera Maya.
By the time the Toltecs had annexed the Maya lands to their vast territories, Tulum was a thriving merchant port and remained so until the Spanish arrived in 1518. The city reached its splendor in around 1200 AD and was a characteristic example of the Maya late Post-Classic era.
''Tulum'' means ''wall, trench or fence'' in the Maya language. The conquerors were amazed by the beauty, size and strength of this ancient fortress built on a cliff, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean below.
At the time it was built, the Maya sculpting in stone art had degraded to a large extent. What was lost in intricate decoration and grandiose architecture, however, is made up for by the beauty of the location.