House of the Cenote, revisited

A straight-on frontal shot of the House of the Cenote, in the ancient Maya ruins of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico:

House of the Cenote

No, it’s not the most artistic angle on this structure, but it does give you a good feeling for its size and design.  This photo was shot from roughly the southeast (from the point of view of the sea, basically) and shows the face of the original part of the structure.

Some years later, a small shrine was added to the back of this building, directly over a small cenote that gives the whole construction its modern nickname.

Temple of the Frescoes (revisited)

It’s the Temple of the Frescoes, in the ancient Maya ruins of Tulum, Mexico:

Temple of the Frescoes

Compare it to a photo from my previous visit, and you can see there’s been an unfortunate addition during the past few years — bracing in a couple of the doorways over on the photo’s left.  Apparently, the structure’s developing some structural issues — hopefully they can be addressed without too much change to the building.

Tulúm shoreline

Looking north along the shoreline at the ancient Maya ruins of Tulúm in Quintana Roo, Mexico:

Tulum shoreline

Tulúm may not have the best architecture compared to other Maya sites, but you’ve got to admit that its location can’t be beat for photography! And if you’re lucky enough to show up at low tide, the beach in this picture is open to swimmers and sunbathers.

Temple of the Descending God

A piece of fast construction at the ancient Maya ruins of Tulúm in Quintana Roo, Mexico:

Temple of the Descending God

The structure’s named for an odd little head-down figure above the door. Given the lack of cracks in the structure’s wall, it was apparently built leaning the way it currently does — so it’s thought to have been built for immediate use, not as something “for the ages” (much like modern shopping malls).

BTW, this little building is far beyond the ropes at the sight, so you need a longish lens to get any decent shots of it. Bonus points to readers who can spot the iguana in the picture…

On the beach

At the ruins of Tulúm in Quintana Roo, Mexico:

On the beach

You can’t actually walk on this beach (it’s reserved for nesting sea turtles), but a trail through the site runs right past it — and it makes a great foreground for shots like this! The only real problem is that trash tends to wash up after storms, so you need to clone it out of your shot (since, obviously, you can’t walk out and get it off the beach).

House of the Cenote

At the ancient Maya ruins of Tulúm, México:

Tulúm's House of the Cenote

This was a tricky shot to get — bright sky above, and (dark, cave-like) cenote below. It didn’t turn out well as a multi-image HDR, for some odd reason — but tweaking a single image and running HDR on that did the trick. Amazingly, the structure at the top still has some of its original (500+ year old) plaster, in spite of being close to the cliff’s edge and the Caribbean.

Want to know more about photography in Tulúm? You might want to check this out

Temple Row

One of the odd things about visiting ruins is that the tour guide books seem to always give them short shrift when it comes to photography. The books will tell you that this set of ruins is more scenic than that one, and one or two things to see at a site — but they always seem to miss a lot of really nice stuff (possibly in the interest of fitting in more plugs for affiliated hotels and such). This is one of those missed things at the Maya ruins of Tulúm, México:

Temple row

If you walk down to the far southeast corner of the ruins (on an unofficial trail), you can sight up along the coast to get this nice composition. Much better than some of the other coastal shots you can make here (and the colors came out far nicer than I’d expected they would)…


An iguana strikes a dramatic pose in the ruins of Tulúm, México:


The funny thing about this shot is that the iguana wasn’t nearly this well posed until somebody with a point-and-shoot camera intervened. I was working from a distance to get a good shot of the little critter, when the cruise-boat tourist started fiddling and fussing with his P&S, trying to get a head-on shot from about 3 feet away. He made such a sight that this little guy pivoted around to watch the show — lining up perfectly for a profile shot!

About the only time on our recent trip that I was grateful to see one of the cruisers…