City by the Sea, Tulúm is a Site to See

One of the destinations we here at The California Native love to travel to is Mexico. On a recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, our own Lee Klein visited the archeological site of Tulúm.

Tulúm is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city which served as a major port for Cobá (large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization). The Maya site, formerly known by the name Zama (meaning City of Dawn), stands on a bluff 12-meters tall, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. Tulúm was one of the last cities inhabited and built by the Mayas; reaching it’s peak between the 13th and 15th centuries and surviving about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. It appears diseases brought by the Spanish settlers were the cause of Tulúm’s demise. Today Tulúm is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites and a popular location for tourists.

You can visit both Tulúm and Cobá on our 7-day Exclusive Yucatan Adventure.

Lee Klein standing by "El Castillo" (The Castle)
Lee Klein standing by “El Castillo” (The Castle)
El Castillo (The Castle), the largest structure of Tulum
El Castillo (The Castle), the largest structure of Tulum
Side view of El Castillo (The Castle) and the Caribbean Sea.
Side view of El Castillo (The Castle) and the Caribbean Sea.
The Palace - the largest residential building in Tulum which was inhabited by the upper echelons (nobles, spiritual leaders) of Maya society.
The Palace – the largest residential building in Tulum which was inhabited by the upper echelons (nobles, spiritual leaders) of Maya society.

My Copper Canyon Adventure — Day 5

Canyon Sunrise, Then on to Creel

The following story was submitted to us by Kay Gililand who describes her experience traveling with friends through Mexico’s Copper Canyon during the Christmas holidays. On this day, Kay and her traveling companions watch the sunrise over the canyon, visit a Tarahumara family, and ride the rails higher into the Sierras until they reach the town of Creel.

The California Native is always thrilled to have groups of friends join our trips to this charming region of Mexico. We appreciate it when our guests share their stories with us and we like to add them to our blog for everyone to enjoy. Excerpts from her journal will be posted regularly, so check back often to learn more about Kay’s 11-day Copper Canyon Adventure.

December 27, Saturday

A knock on the door got us up for a walk to the canyon rim to watch the sunrise. Laurie, Jenny and I bundled up against the cold and walked along the uneven path in the dark to a perfect spot to see a layer of red and gold in the sky. Clouds drifted along the cliffs making the cliffs themselves appear to move. The clouds kept moving and obscured the actual sunrise but the sky brightened with long sun rays highlighting the ridges.

We took tea to our room and sat on our porch watching the canyon colors change. Mexican eggs for breakfast, a shower, and then off for a walk along the canyon rim on ground strewn with long pine needles and oak leaves. We came to a cabin built for mining and railroad construction. We followed a large rock wall past a water supply to a big dog lying on a warm rock in the sun. A girl, Alicia, came from her house to greet us and was soon joined by her younger sister, Ypoli. They led us around the side of the dwelling—quite large for a cabin—and inside where we saw old furnishings, a victrola, hanging fixtures for candles, an old grinder, and other cabin necessities.

We walked with Alicia to their adobe house where we saw seven tiny puppies. Alicia said they were about one month old. Ypoli brought her little sister out and the girls played with the puppies and smiled at us. We left a bit regretfully; we had enjoyed the girls, the puppies and the setting.

Jenny had gone on a horseback ride and returned saying that she had a great time. Showers, lunch, and a short bus ride brought us to the train station. As usual the best place for sight-seeing was between train cars where Jenny and I rode the entire time and Sally part of the time. Jessica pointed out the Weeping Pine and explained there were more varieties of pines and oaks in the Tarahumara area than in any other region of similar size in the world.

On the train, we passed the highest point on the rail line (Los Ojitos at nearly 8000 feet) before we arrived at Creel.

Jessica gave us maps of Creel, the second-largest town in the municipality of Bocoyna, state of Chihuahua, and we boarded a big yellow school bus for a short ride to The Lodge at Creel. In our room, we lit the gas heater made to look like a little wood stove. Jenny and I walked to the museum to learn more about the Tarahumara people.  Afterwards, we walked back and met the others for a complementary margarita provided by The California Native. Later, we walked to Veronica’s Restaurant for excellent guacamole and delicious vegetable soup.