El Castillo controls a commanding position within Tulum. This massive staircase faces west toward the central square of the ancient Mayan civilization. Religious ceremonies were held on the platform at the base of the temple’s columned entrance. The eastern side hugs a 40 foot limestone cliff along the shore of the Caribbean Sea. Historians believe two fires were lit from the top of the 40 foot pyramid. The beacons helped canoers navigate the dangerous reefs at night. This is why The Castle is often called The Lighthouse.