Of all the places we had the opportunity to go, Tulum was, by far, my favorite! I loved the feeling of Tulum, the scenery, the charm of the city, everything! We were quite fortunate to have a guide who was LDS. He shared with us a lot of details that were of more interest to us than another guide would have been able to. This picture is Jeremy and I with our guide, Lemuel. He had quite a sense of humor about his name, and come to find out, all the children in his family were given names from the Book of Mormon. Lemuel's dad used to be a guide to all the historical sites as well. Several of Lemuel's sisters and brothers have followed in their father's footsteps and are tour guides too. If you are ever down there, you can request an LDS tour guide, or just start naming off Book of Mormon names and hopefully they will be able to find you one. :)
This is the little train we took from the shops at Tulum, through the jungle, and out to the ruins. It was pulled by a tractor. Interesting.
After the train dropped us off, we walked down through the jungle towards the main entrance.
This part I just loved. The city of Tulum was built on a cliff above the ocean. The other 3 sides that face the jungle are surrounded by this rock wall. It was at least 10 feet thick, walking through to the inside. I can't help but wonder if this is one of the walls that was ordered by Moroni to protect the cities. The wall also had guard towers in various places.
Here is the group we were with. A bunch of people Jeremy works with. From left to right there is Angela, Jeremy, Jeremy, Alexandra, Me (Renee'), Amanda, Baby Dylan, Jared, Carol, Shania (little girl above), Alberto, Michelle (little girl below), Jeff, Tawna, and McKayla (smallest girl). Hope I got the spellings all right!! I enjoyed being part of this group and sharing this experience with so many good people.
Here we start into the actual ruins. AMAZING! Behind us is the temple. This was built at the tallest location. From up on that hill you can see miles and miles of jungle all around the city. We were told that inside the walls of the city lived 1200 - 1500 people. It was mostly a political and religious center with lots of trade as well. Outside of the main walls lived an estimated 20,000 people. On the temple you can see 3 doors. Above those doors were carvings. Above the first one on the left was the Holy God. Above the middle was the great God who came down. Above the last one was nothing. Our tour guide told us it has always been empty. So whoever created it must have believed as we believe (the Lord, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost).
Our guide, Lemuel, also told us that Tulum is the only ancient city they have found that shows no signs anywhere of human sacrifice.
The building in the center of the picture was interesting to me. On one corner of the building was carved a happy face and on the opposite corner was carved a mean, or sad face. Carved into the middle of one of the sides is a baby, upside down, holding its umbilical cord.
This is the carvings a little closer on that building I mentioned. The little one in the middle is the baby. Sorry it's so hard to see in this photo, but it's there.
This is the temple. Tulum was built with much symbolism and there are several spots in the city that are used to record the equinoxes, April 6th, and other stuff like that.
We saw tons of iguanas in Tulum. They were EVERYWHERE - on the buildings, hiding in holes, on the grass.
The view from Tulum is amazing. I said the city was built on the cliff next to the ocean - well here it is. The Caribbean sea. The weather here was sooooo hot and humid. We went down and got in the water just to cool off and it felt wonderful. The water here is very warm, but still refreshing.
This is the end of the Tulum pictures I will post. I have more at home if you ever want to look at them! I really loved this place and am so grateful I could come and visit.