Cancun

I got to take two weeks vacation after our studio finished the development of Tomb Raider: Legend (in stores in April) and Risa and I spontaneously decided to go to Cancun in May 2006. During the one week trip, we went to see two ruins - Chichen Itza and Tulum. We also went to the Cancun downtown briefly but spent most of the time just relaxing at the beach near the hotel.

Note If you want to quickly browse through the photos, they are stored in four places:

  1. Gallery Chichen Itza on komei.smugmug.com
  2. Gallery Tulum on komei.smugmug.com
  3. Gallery Hotels, Beach and Downtown on komei.smugmug.com
  4. Panorama and stereo pictures listed below

The Trip

Chichen Itza

Click on any of the image below to open the gallery page.

Chichen Itza is located 120 miles west of Cancun. We joined a full-day bus tour. There are tons of resources on this Mayan ruin so I'm not going into details. The largest structure on this site is El Castillo (castle) de Kukulcan. Everyone who went up this 23 meter high pyramid had told us that the stairs were very steep and scary. They said there was an ambulance standing by because people would fall and get badly hurt. When we entered the site, we did see an ambulance. However, the tour guide told us that tourists were not allowed to go up the stairs anymore because people were removing the stones to take home and drawing graffitis. What a shame! Well, the upside was that I was able to take pictures of the pyramid with no people on it. It was maybe 100 degrees with 100% humidity. I believe the ambulance was for the people who fall from heatstroke.

On the spring or fall equinox, the edge of the pyramid casts a shadow on the staircase making it look like a huge undulating snake. The guide told us that 60,000 people gathered to see it on in the 2001 spring equinox.

When you arrived at the site, you can order a tag with your name spelled on it in Mayan. They carve the letters while you go see the ruins and you can pick it up as you leave. Risa and I each ordered one. Mine in the photo is spelled "K-O-M-E-I". I think it was around US$30 (5 letters on silver; chain is not included).

On our way back, the bus stopped at an undergound sinkhole. Apparently there are many such sinkholes in the area but this one was very large. Many people from the tour bathed in the cool water but Risa and I were too tired from walking in the sun at Chichen Itza.

Tulum

Click on any of the image below to open the gallery page.

Tulum stands just by the Caribbean Sea. It is 100 miles to the south from Cancun along the coastal highway. The whole site is surrounded by stone walls and that is the origin of its name. The magnificent castle standing in front of the turquoise blue ocean was such a beautiful scenery.

Hotels, Beach and Downtown

Click on any of the image below to open the gallery page.

We stayed at Fiesta Americana Condesa on the Cancun Island which is a strip of land between the huge laguna and Caribbean Sea. We tried the restaurants in the hotels nearby but concluded that the buffet at our hotel was the best :) We went to the downtown to check out the market "Mercado 28" but didn't find anything impressive. For the rest of the time, we just lied down at the beach reading books and sipping margarita :)

Pictures

360-degree Panorama

See my
Panorama Pictures page for more info.
Juego de Pelota

QuickTime VR
scrolling panorama
Las Monjas

QuickTime VR
scrolling panorama
Tulum

QuickTime VR
scrolling panorama
Tulum

QuickTime VR
scrolling panorama
Beach in front of our Hotel

QuickTime VR
scrolling panorama

3D Stereo Pictures

See my Stereoscopic Photography page for more info.
Castillo de Kukulcan (Kukulcan Castle)

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Castillo de Kukulcan (Kukulcan Castle)

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Las Monjas

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Caracol Observatorio (Observatory)

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Tulum

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Tulum

Cross-eyed

Parallel
Tulum

Cross-eyed

Parallel

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