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Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico.
This Maya site may formerly have been known by the name Zama, meaning City of Dawn, because it faces the sunrise.
Tulum stands on a bluff facing east toward the Caribbean Sea.
Tulúm is also the Yucatan Mayan word for fence, wall or trench.
The walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to be defended against invasions.
Tulum had access to both land and sea trade routes, making it an important trade hub, especially for obsidian.
From numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.
The first detailed description of the ruins was published by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1843 in the book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan.
As they arrived from the sea, Stephens and Catherwood first saw a tall building that impressed them greatly, most likely the great Castillo of the site.
Cancun International Airport (CUN) is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean and the point of entry to the "Mundo Maya".