Location, location, location…the mantra of the real estate industry was true even in Mayan times. Tulum’s greatest attraction is its location. The walled city perched on a bluff facing the rising sun offers nothing less than spectacular views. Tulum is also different because it is a “walled city” and the Mayan’s were not known for building fortified cities. Research suggests that Tulum was originally called Zama, meaning “to dawn” , which makes sense given its location.
It is speculated that Tulum was not so much conquered by the Spaniards as destroyed by the Old World diseases they brought which wiped out the native people who had no resistance. So like so many cities, Tulum was abandoned to the elements.