The modern history of Yucatan begins with the expedition of Francisco Hernández de Cordoba, who discovered the east coast of the Peninsula in 1517 while on a slave-hunting expedition. Juan de Grijalva followed the same route in the following year. In 1519, conquistador Hernan Cortes and his men, clashed with the Cozumel Island inhabitants.
The conquest of the Yucatan Peninsula was led by Francisco de Montejo in 1527, who discovered the remains of a high and rich civilization that had long since suffered a decline. There were deserted cities falling into ruins, and others, including Tulum, which were still inhabited by remnants of their former Maya populations.
Tulum used to be part of the Tankah-Tulum region, composed of Tankah, Xel-Ha, and Tulum. The ancient city’s original name was Zama, which means dawn or sunrise. Its major attraction includes the spectacular view if sunrises and sunsets.
This archeological site is simply chock-full of Mayan ruins that will give you a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea. The pristine blue beaches stretch for mile and miles. It is exquisitely poised on the 15-meter-high cliff overlooking the shimmering Caribbean. When the Spanish conquistadors first set foot on Tulum in early 1500s, they considered it as beautiful and divine as Sevilla in Spain.
Combining the splendor of its beaches with the mystery of an ancient culture, this ancient city is definitely a picturesque place in the Riviera Maya. It is the smallest archeological attraction in the peninsula, but it is the most scenic Mayan site in the area. You should not miss this beautiful and mysterious site when you visit Playa del Carmen.
Perhaps the Spanish colonizers were misled by their dreams of El Dorado – maybe because of the glory of Tulum’s position and the brightly painted facades of its architecture. Many thanks to its setting, this Mayan ruin sticks in your memory like no other.