Did you know that the Tulum ruins is the third most visited Mayan ruin site in the Yucatan. And did you know that the Tulum ruins is only 10 kms from Casa de las Olas? You can bike to the Tulum ruins from the villa, you can drive and park your car at the end of the beach rode, you can hitch a ride, a practice still honored in Tulum, or if you are feeling athletic, an early run to the ruins or walk would be a great workout before you enter the site. If you are running, biking or walking start early or the heat my get to you.
If you have been following our articles about the Tulum ruins that provide a deeper explanation of each building in the Tulum ruins, the Temple of the Frescoes can not be ignored and is probably one of my favorite buildings on the site.
The Temple of the Frescoes is a well preserved building in the Tulum ruins as it is protected by the large Castillo from wind and salt. It is one of the only buildings that has original frescoes on the exterior and interior. It was used an observatory for tracking the movement of the sun, an activity that led to some historial findings by the Mayas.
Inside the Temple of the Frescoes in the Tulum Ruins
Visitor are not permitted inside the Temple of the Frescoes in order to preserve the 13th century frescoes that are in the interior of the building. But what we do have is an explanation of what the frescoes are like inside as we do know some of the UNESCO guides who have seen, first hand the 13th century frescoes.
The frescoes are distinctly Mayan with representations of the rain god Chaac and Ixchel, the goddess of weaving, women, the moon, and medicine. Supernatural serpents are also a common motif. The frescoe is located on the eastern interior wall and is said to resemble a style that originated in highland Mexico, called the Mixteca-Puebla style.
Outside the Temple of the Frescoes in the Tulum Ruins
There are still remain of red frescoes on the exterior of the Temple, showing visitors the possible condition of the interior frescoes. Figurines of the Maya “diving god” or Venus deity decorate the facade of the temple. Above the entrance in the western wall a stucco figure of the “diving god” is still preserved, giving the temple its name. On the exterior cornice of this temple is a relief of the head of the rain god. If you pause a slight distance from the building, you’ll see the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin.