Chichen Itza is one of the most well-preserved Maya archaeological sites in the country and once stood as a mighty citadel of the Maya civilization in the 9th and 10th centuries A.D., serving as its political and economic center. One of its most legendary structures is the Kukulkan pyramid, also known as El Castillo, which is a giant Maya calendar with exactly 365 steps divided among 4 staircases and the pyramid’s highest platform. During both equinoxes (around March 21st & September 21st) the sun’s shadow cast on this pyramid at a perfect angle creates the illusion of a serpent creeping its way along the structure’s northern staircase.
Don’t miss the Gran Juego de Pelota, in which ancient Maya warriors battled to the death in this ceremonial game. Check out the acoustics of the structure by holding a conversation with someone standing 135 meters away at the opposite end of the field and the stone carvings of players in action. Feel the spirit of the Maya world by standing here admiring this unique and majestic construction that was once of monumental importance to the former inhabitants here.
Other impressive structures you can’t miss are the Plataforma de los Craneos (Skull Platform) and the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cave). Check out the impressive stone carvings on other pyramids and temples of jaguars, flowers, birds, trees, eagles and among the more gruesome, human sacrifices and human hearts in the clutches of bird claws. The observatory, El Caracol, named The Snail for its spiral staircase, was once an important point from which priests determined important dates for ceremonies and rituals.
- Backpacks are not allowed inside the archaeological site, you can leave them inside the bus at your own risk. We will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.
- A fee of $45 MXN* per person will be charged for the use of any video recording devices inside the site (tablets, cell phones, camera). (*Price subject to change)
- NOTE REGARDING LUNCH: We will make a stop at Chilam Balam for lunch where you will be offered lunch for $150 pesos, however it is NOT obligatory to eat here. Next to the restaurant you will find an inexpensive roasted chicken restaurant. Please feel free to eat wherever you please.