mexico part III: ruins

In addition to my art degree, I also minored in art history. AND I was extremely lucky that one of my professors had a master of arts degree in anthropological archaeology and a Ph.D. in Pre-Columbian Art History. So needless to say it was thrilling for me to be visiting a part of the world with so many archaeological ruin sites. And even though it's been awhile, some of that information did pop right back into my little noggin! In between naps on the beach and leisurely meals we snuck in two trips to ruins: Tulum and Coba.

Just a few minutes from the hotel zone in Tulum are the Tulum ruins. Pearched above one of the most beautiful beaches in Tulum, the Mayans built a spectacular city that looked out over the Ocean. It was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans. The site is filled with blue skies and sea air, and it's easy to imagine what life would have been like there.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Coba Ruins. Coba is buried in the jungle and is largely un-excavated. It was built up around two lagoons, covered about 80km and was home to over 50,000 people at it's height. Because so much of the site is still buried by the jungle, visiting it has a very Indiana Jones feel.

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It's home to Nohoch Mul- the tallest pyramid on the Yucatán peninsula. And yes, you can still climb it. And yes we did. (You kind of have to, right?) It doesn't seem like such a big deal at the bottom, but I'm in pretty good shape and I was huffing and puffing at the top. The view is extraordinary though- seeing miles and miles of jungle all around. Climbing down is not really for the faint of heart. We did it SLOWLY.

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We were happily escorted into the site by what locals affectionately refer to as "Mayan Limos" which are bicycle taxis painted in bright colors with seats covered in floral oilcloth. I kind of want one. Maybe I could train Rita to jump into the seat in front, and we could have adventures around LA together. Or maybe not.

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